We’ve done our fair share of character dining experiences inside the Disney World theme parks and just a few outside of the theme parks. I was recently sent an IG message asking where the best place to get the full character dining experience without having to buy a theme park admission. I love me some IG messages, Y’all, so keep them coming! Here are 8 Disney character dining experiences outside of Disney World theme parks to consider.
I must first add a theme park ticket can be very pricey, especially for families, but I promise you won’t regret the investment or experiences in the park when and if you do purchase a Disney World ticket. You can read more about why I’m pro annual pass purchases here too. If you decide to purchase a theme park ticket and want an in-park character dining experience I would opt for the Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom. This is where you meet everyone from the 100 acre wood. You don’t have to be a Pooh fan to enjoy this feast because it’s the best buffet I’ve had! While I enjoyed the overall experience of dining at Be Our Guest I would opt for the Crystal Palace or Cinderella’s Round Table instead.
- Rapunzel, Flynn Ryder, Prince Eric, and Arial breakfast at Trattoria el Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. This is one of my most favorite Disney dining experiences. It can be a bit pricey, but meeting those specific characters (and occasionally Merida) is a one of kind experience. The food is Italian themed and it’s the best brunch I’ve ever had at Disney World
- Chef Mickey’s Character Breakfast at the Contemporary Resort. While this is still one of the most popular resort character dining experiences I’ve not heard amazing things about it lately… not sure what has changed.
- Character Breakfast Buffet with Minnie, Goofy and Pluto (Sunday’s ONLY) Hilton Lake Buena Vista Palace. I really enjoyed this breakfast. It’s one of the cleaned and cutest buffet styled settings I’ve seen and Letterpress Cafe is darling.
- Goofy’s Breakfast at the Four Seasons (Tuesday and Saturday ONLY). I’ve yet to stay at the Four Seasons or try this experience but always hear great things!
- Princesses at 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian. Ok, don’t be upset but I am not a huge Grand Floridian person (I’m more of a Polynesian or Wilderness Lodge kind of gal) which is why I haven’t experienced 1900 park fare. I hear great things though!
- Breakfast with Stitch at ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. I can’t wait to experience this one day! I’ve heard amazing things about the food.
- Cape May Cafe breakfast with Mickey and Minnie at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. While I haven’t experienced this my parents have and they truly enjoyed it. They liked Mickey and Minnie’s beach club attire too!
- Mickey’s Backyard BBQ with Mickey, Minnie, and Chip’n Dale at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. It has been a long while since I’ve been to Mickey’s backyard BBQ but it’s always such fun with the most relaxing vibe of the 8 character dining experiences.
A few things to know before you go:
Don’t stress about seeing the characters. I’ve yet experienced a Disney themed character dining without seeing each character in attendance at least twice. They make sure every single table gets noticed and you’re never rushed.
It’s Disney, so the food is good and priced a bit higher than average dining experiences. Most of these locations have a set per person rate that you can view ahead of time.
Most require a reservation but you are always welcome to try to enter morning of and it’s common to get in with a short wait. I recommend reservations always to be safe and secure a spot.
They’re fun and worth it in every way.
Now I’m off to plan my next dining reservation! I think ‘Ohana is calling my name…. or maybe it’s just the bread pudding I hear so much about? Either way I’ll finally be eating at the Polynesian Resort soon.