One of Disney World’s most classic experiences is character dining.
When the parks and resorts reopened in summer 2020, most character dining was suspended. However, as Disney World’s phased reopening continues, we’re seeing our favorite character meals slowly return. But there’s no doubt that things are different right now — and we’re here to help ya out! We’re breaking down exactly what you can expect at each character meal, so you can pick the best option for you.
What’s Different About Character Dining?
Character dining has returned as a modified experience, which means it’s not quite the same as before! For starters, there are socially distanced meet and greets, which means no hugs or high fives from your favorite pals.
Instead, characters will pass by your table and give you a big ol’ wave! They’ll interact with you from afar, posing for pictures and talking to you.
EDITOR’S UPDATE: In December 2021, changes began rolling out for the photo policy at select Character Meals. While photos with characters remain distanced, guests are allowed to stand for photos with characters — rather than remain seated — about 6 feet in front of them. In our experience, character attendants (cast members) were able to take photos using guests’ cameras (which was previously not permitted). You can read more details here!
The food itself is also served a bit differently. While several of these meals were buffet-style before — think Chef Mickey’s — they’re now served family-style. It’s like getting your own personal buffet delivered to your table!
Now let’s break down exactly WHAT your options are as far as character dining is concerned right now. (Please Note: We are continually updating this post as various Character Meals return, so all of the options mentioned below are current. You can click here to see all of the options typically available to prepare for future options.)
At Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you can enjoy an iconic breakfast with Mickey and friends at Chef Mickey’s! Your family-style breakfast will cost $42 per adult and $27 per child (not including tax and gratuity) and includes classic eats like Mickey waffles, scrambled eggs, and fruit.
Make sure to wave hello to Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto, all decked out in chef’s attire!
Chef Mickey’s dinner is also BACK! The revamped dinner menu features four courses: a starter, plated signature items, a protein selection (Prime Rib, Roasted Salmon, and Traditional Roasted Breast of Turkey), and dessert. There is also a kids’ menu that features a Kids’ Platter with Macaroni & Cheese, Chicken Nuggets, Turkey Corn Dog Nuggets, Tater Puffs, and Steamed Broccoli. It costs $55 per adult and $36 per child, plus tax and gratuity.
For another hotel character meal, hop over to Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort! This breakfast is a bit pricier than Chef Mickey’s — for the same price of $42 per adult/$27 per child, you’ll get 1 entree, as opposed to the all-you-care-to-enjoy style at Chef Mickey’s.
As for characters — you’ve got Mickey and friends here, too! You’ll see Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy, all dressed up in artsy costumes. Daisy is a ballet dancer and Mickey makes the snazziest painter! Topolino’s Terrace is also open for dinner, but you won’t see characters at that time.
At EPCOT, you can feast at Garden Grill with — ya guessed it — Mickey and friends! Both lunch and dinner are served family-style, for $55 per adult and $36 per child (again, this does not include tax or gratuity). The food up for grabs here is comfort food: think mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and stuffing. It’s like Thanksgiving all year long!
You’ll meet Chip ‘n’ Dale, Mickey, and Pluto here — and they’re all dressed up as farmers! This remains one of our favorite Disney restaurants, and we highly recommend this experience.
Hollywood and Vine
Hollywood and Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is where you can eat breakfast with some different characters: Disney Junior pals like Fancy Nancy, Vampirina, Doc McStuffins, and Roadster Goofy! This meal will cost ya the typical $42 per adult and $27 per child.
Lunch and dinner offer Minnie’s Seasonal Dining, at $55 per adult and $36 per child.
You’ll meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto, and their outfits vary based on the season!
On June 20, 2021, Tusker House Restaurant reopened in Disney’s Animal Kingdom — you can hang out once again with Donald and friends in their safari best for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
The restaurant previously served its meals buffet-style, but Tusker House is currently serving a family-style menu with African-inspired flavors! Breakfast is $42 per adult and $27 per child. Lunch and Dinner are priced at $55 per adult and $42 per child.
Story Book Dining at Artist Point
On December 16, 2021, the return of Story Book Dining with Snow White at Artist Point brought Character Dining back to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!
The dining experience is inspired by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and guests can see Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy, and The Queen stroll around the Enchanted Forest while enjoying their dinner. The meal is prix fixe with a choice of individually plated entrees and shared starters and desserts.
We should note that ‘Ohana reopened on July 9th; however, character dining is NOT currently available there upon initial reopening. But we’ll be sure to keep you posted as we learn even more about any and all returning character meals. Overall, picking a meal will really come down to the characters you are looking to meet, if you’re wanting to eat in the parks or a resort, and the pricing and time of day that you are looking for. Take a look at those options on top of the food you can eat and see what’s best for you and your family. 😊
For now, you’ve got quite a few dining options, based on who you want to see and what you’re in the mood to eat. Stay tuned to DFB — we’ll keep bringing you the latest Disney news!
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What’s your favorite character meal in Disney World? Let us know in the comments!