Sunday, November 2, 2014

My Favorite Character Meals

One of the most fun and exciting things to do while at Walt Disney World is character dining.  Adults and children alike will delight in visiting with their favorite characters as they stop by their tables for a little one-on-one time. 

So, what is character dining?  There are a number of restaurants around the World that offer character dining.  These are meals which feature particular characters that will visit each table during your meal. 

These can be very exciting for young children, and a time saver for you, since your child will get the opportunity to meet many of their favorite characters and get their autographs which means you won’t have to stand in lines throughout the parks to meet those characters.

We’ve enjoyed many of the character dining experiences over the last few years.  Below is a review of just a few:

Princess Storybook Breakfast
Princess Storybook Breakfast at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavilion in EPCOT’s World Showcase.  We absolutely love this breakfast experience.  Each time we’ve gone, we’re ushered into the Hall and led directly to meet Belle for a picture (included in the price) which is later presented to us at our table.  Once we are seated, we are brought platters of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and a potato casserole.  We also serve ourselves from a buffet which includes biscuits, cinnamon rolls, pastries, fresh fruit, assorted yogurts, bagels, muffins, and select Norwegian items, along with many other food items.  While we dine, the Princesses mingle among their guests, going from table to table to greet us, pose for pictures, and sign autograph books.  In addition to meeting Belle, we have also always met Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, and Ariel when we’ve dined here on each of our trips.  I’ve also read that Mulan and Mary Poppins have been known to occasionally make an appearance here as well. 
Donald's Safari Breakfast
Donald’s Safari Breakfast at Tusker House in Africa at Animal Kingdom.  This is one of our absolute favorites.  When we arrive, Donald Duck is waiting for us in his safari garb for a picture which we later have the option to purchase.  Once we’re led inside, we are greeted with their famous Jungle Juice, which is delicious!  Breakfast is a mix of traditional American and unique dishes with an African influence and includes roasted ham, corn beef hash, scrambled eggs, Mickey waffles, frittatas, bacon, sausage, assorted cereals, breads, yogurts, fruit, pastries, etc.  Donald’s friends, Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, and Goofy make their appearance wearing their safari outfits. 
Tusker House

Hollywood & Vine
Hollywood & Vine on Hollywood Boulevard at Hollywood Studios.  This breakfast is a buffet featuring standard American fare, but it’s good for meeting some of your favorite Disney Junior characters, such as Doc McStuffins, Princess Sofia from “Sofia the First”, Handy Manny, and Jake from “Jake and the Never Land Pirates.  Throughout breakfast, children are invited to participate in some fun with the characters.  The menu includes a selection of fruit, yogurt, pastries, breads, cereals, bacon, sausage, omelets, scrambled eggs, Mickey waffles, pancakes, etc.

Chef Mickey's
Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort.  This buffet breakfast is extremely popular, although I must admit it wasn’t one of my favorites.  However, my daughter absolutely loved meeting the fabulous five in their chef attire – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto – all made an appearance to the delight of their guests, all as the monorail speeds by quietly overhead.  The buffet includes fruit, yogurts, cereal, quiche, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, cheesy potatoes, Goofy’s Vegetable Lasagna, turkey hash, children’s breakfast pizza, pastries, etc.

1900 Park Fare
Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Resort.  This dinner buffet was wonderfully entertaining.  I loved it!  We’ve only been once, but I’m hoping to return sometime.  Dinner is served daily from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Here, you are joined by Cinderella, Prince Charming (who is truly charming!), Lady Tremaine, Drizella, and Anastasia.  The true jewels here are Lady Tremaine and her daughters as they interact with guests in their mean-spirited way they have always treated poor Cinderella.  The food here is good as well and includes a salad bar, carving station featuring smoked beef strip loin and hickory smoked ham, salmon, sushi rolls, pork pot stickers, chicken marsala, ribs, peel and eat shrimp, pizza, chicken nuggets, ice cream, cheesecake, chocolate mousse, etc.  If you can’t get into Cinderella’s Royal Table, this is a wonderful alternative and will not disappoint.

There is no shortage of character dining at the parks and resorts, each offering it’s own characters and dining experience.  Adding at least one character meal to your visit is a wonderful way to add some magic and make special memories.

Until next time, remember to keep the Mouse in your house.