Only a Disney vacation offers meals with this much character. Take in a meal and rub elbows with some Hollywood stars and even royalty!
But how do you choose? Buffet or Plated meal? Classic characters or take the time to meet some more unique friends? You want to know which character meals are the BEST. So, we’re RANKING every character meal in Disney World right now!
When thinking about the all of the Disney Character Dining options, it just triggers that part of the song in Encanto, The Family Madrigal. You know the part, sing along with us…
🎶Okay, okay, okay, okaySo many <Character Meals> in our house So, let’s turn the sound up, you know why? I think it’s time for a <Character Meal> round up🎶
Alright, so it doesn’t really fit in the flow of Lin Manuel Miranda’s tight rhyming structure, but you get what we mean!
We’ve experienced some changes in character dining since Disney World reopened in 2020, and gradually most of them have returned back to normal!
7. Chef Mickey’s
When folks usually think of character meals, Chef Mickey’s is what comes to mind! It is one of the most popular spots and snagging a reservation here is not for the faint of heart. Even though this iconic dining location is uber popular, it’s not one of the highest ranked.
Chef Mickey’s features the Family Feast for breakfast for $45 per adult and $29 per child, and dinner for $60 per adult and $38 per child. The fare is pretty standard breakfast (MICKEY WAFFLES) and dinner staples, and you’ll find yourself meeting Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald in cute chef’s outfits.
Again, Chef Mickey’s is very popular which makes it somewhat difficult to get a reservation. Its big pros are that it’s fairly iconic AND it features ALL FIVE of the Fab Five! Oh, and you can spot the monorail coasting through the resort lobby while you dine. So, maybe that’s a Fab Six? Cuz that monorail has its own fan base, too!
On the other hand, though, the atmosphere can be loud and chaotic and the food is typically only okay. Is it a great way to meet fan-favorite characters? Yes. Are there character meals we tend to enjoy more? Also yes.
Over at ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, a sorely-missed character dining experience has returned! That’s right, we’re talking about the ‘Ohana Best Friends Breakfast! Yep, everyone’s favorite island-inspired all-you-care-to-enjoy spot has characters!
Lilo, Stitch, Pluto, and Mickey are bringing the island vibes to breakfast time. They’re visiting guests at tables once again, giving us a chance to partake in this unique meet and greet. And while you meet these characters, you can munch on Pineapple Coconut Breakfast Bread, Mickey and Stitch Waffles, Lilikoi Juice, Fresh Fruit, and more for $45 for adults and $29 for kids.
It’s hard to fault this one. The food is delicious, it’s all you care to eat, and just a monorail ride away from Magic Kingdom. But if Lilo and Stitch aren’t the pals you’re looking to meet, you might feel some FOMO for not booking one of restaurants that feature the Fab Five. But let’s keep digging and see who’s ranks the top of the list!
5. Hollywood and Vine
In fifth place, we’re headed to Hollywood Studios where Hollywood and Vine features TWO character meal options depending on the time of day. Start your day with the Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine Breakfast for $42 per adult and $27 per child featuring Fancy Nancy, Vampirina, Doc McStuffins, and Roadster Goofy.
After breakfast, the preschool team hits the shower and the varsity line up comes out for Minnie’s Seasonal Dine. Depending on the season, you might experience the Silver Screen Dine, the Springtime Dine, the Summertime Dine, a Halloween Dine, and a Holiday Dine. During these meals, you’re joined by Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and sometimes Pluto — all dressed for the occasion and season. Expect to pay $59 per adult and $38 per child.
What we LOVE about this restaurant is all of the character variety. You can see one set of characters for breakfast, and come back for dinner to meet all new friends! You can also keep coming back to see Minnie and the gang in all of their different outfits every season. So fun!
On the flip side, the atmosphere isn’t our favorite and this is a LOUDER meal. Plus, the food is just… okay. So even with its improvements and an impressive roster of characters, it still sits in the middle of the pack. Hey, there are some REALLY good character meals!
Something else to think about is that since Hollywood and Vine is in Hollywood Studios, you are gonna need a park ticket and park pass reservation to get to the restaurant. Yup, another layer to the planning process; you’ll need a dining reservation, a park ticket, and a park pass reservation to dine here.
4. Tusker House Restaurant
Alright, our next choice can be found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. That’s right, it’s Tusker House — where you’ll have a WILD time of character meal fun, all day long.
Tusker House features Donald’s Dining Safari with Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Mickey, AND Minnie — all ready for adventure in their safari outfits. The characters are rollin’ deep here three meals a day! Breakfast is $45 per adult and $29 per child, and lunch and dinner are $59 per adult and $38 per child.
This spot lands in the middle of our list for a few reasons. On the cons side of things, it’s a trickier option for picky eaters, though kids and picky eaters can always find some theme park basics like chicken nuggets and fries and such. Still, it doesn’t quite compete with our top three.
Still, Tusker House definitely deserves some cred! It’s got a very cool atmosphere and the numerous characters are in sweet outfits to match. Plus the food has a focus on African cuisine and it is downright delicious! We tend to love just about everything we try from the buffet!
3. Artist Point — Story Book Dining with Snow White
We’ve got some royalty securing the number three spot! If you’ve got princess fans, you might want to head over to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort to Artist Point where you’ll find Story Book Dining with Snow White.
Story Book Dining with Snow White is a dinner-only character meal served prix-fixe for $60 per adult and $39 per child. Over a meal of more upscale plates, you’ll see Snow White, Dopey, and Grumpy; and have a chance to take a photo with The Evil Queen!
We LOVE that you get to meet some unique characters. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find Dopey or the Evil Queen anywhere else on property. You don’t need a park ticket to experience this restaurant, and it provides a bit more of an upscale menu, so you’ll really feel fancy dining here!
But there are some downsides. Character dining here is only available for dinner, is a bit pricey, and if you’re looking for royalty, you’ll only find one princess here (well, and an Evil Queen).
2. Topolino’s Terrace — Flavors of the Riviera
We’re really getting close to that top spot! Comin’ in as first runner-up, Topolino’s Terrace — Flavors of the Riviera at Disney’s Riviera Resort! This spot might not always be a character meal, but when it is, it’s a winner!
When the sun goes down, Topolino’s Terrace is an ideal spot for a date night. But when the sun rises, you can welcome the day with Breakfast a la Art with Mickey & Friends. This meal is prix-fixe and offers Italian-inspired, high-end dishes. The meal is $45 per adult and $29 per child and features Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy.
This restaurant has a lot of wins. It’s got a gorgeous atmosphere, the food is amazing, AND the character outfits might be some of our favorites. You’ve got Painter Mickey, Poet Minnie, Sculptor Donald, and Dancer Daisy. The food also feels a lot fairer for the price than some other spots!
In fact, we had a hard time deciding between this one and our first-place winner. They’re practically interchangeable! Pretty much the only con with this one is that you have to make your way over to Riviera Resort — which is easy since this spot is on the Skyliner. Ok, that and Minnie’s poet outfit. If that came in our size, we’d buy it in a heartbeat!
1. Garden Grill
And the winner is…… <drum roll>…….Garden Grill Restaurant in EPCOT’s The Land Pavilion is our number one character meal in Disney World right now — and it’s not the first time it’s earned this title! Garden Grill is a longtime favorite of ours!
Offering Chip ‘n Dale’s Harvest Feast as an all-you-can-eat lunch or dinner, this spot serves up some stellar platters of classic flavors, like barbecue chicken, mac & cheese, and mashed potatoes, while you ACTUALLY ROTATE through scenes from the Living with the Land attraction below. Add that Mickey, Pluto, and Chip ‘n Dale visit your table and this is a pretty fun spot. Meals are $55 for adults and $36 for kids.
This spot has a lot going for it. You’ve got classic characters, of course, and they come to your table a LOT. This is a relatively small restaurant, so we’ve found that you can expect more character interactions than a typical meal. Plus, the pals are in fun farmer outfits to go with the fresh and delicious eats you have on your plate.
And the atmosphere is extremely cool. The restaurant slowly turns as you eat so your view changes over the course of your meal. It’s also one of the easier character dining reservations to find because it’s pretty significantly underrated. Garden Grill TOTALLY deserves to keep its top spot. We love the spot so much and we’d love it even more if the breakfast option would return!
We’ve got to give an honorable mention to a few of our other character meals. Topping off our honorable mention list is Cinderella’s Royal Table, which used to be a full princess meal – with oodles of princesses, but now, you get a quick cameo with Cinderella while you dine in her royal dining hall.
This restaurant is a POPULAR one (so, warning, reservations go FAST). If/when the full character offering returns, guests should be able to meet with MANY princesses!
Just across Fantasyland, Be Our Guest Restaurant has occasional surprise appearances from The Beast himself!
Hey, it is his castle. These spots don’t quite fit the bill for full character dining, but it is nice to see some favorite faces during a meal there.
Guests can meet Winnie the Pooh and other Hundred Acre Wood pals at this beautiful restaurant. And the price tag is pretty standard for character buffets, coming at $45 for adults for breakfast and $59 for lunch and dinner, and $29 for kids for breakfast and $38 for lunch and dinner.
Bounce with Tigger, get a hug with Pooh, giggle with Piglet, but make sure you spend some quality time at that buffet.
When available, you could dine on a whole buffet of beachy breakfast and see Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy!
Who wouldn’t want to have an Italian meal to start the day while mingling with Disney couples like Ariel and Eric and Rapunzel and Flynn Rider?
Aaaaand there are two spots that still haven’t reopened at all but used to have very fun character meals. We had to give them a mention! The first one is 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
Buffet dining had two different character meals throughout the day. The Supercalifragilistic Breakfast featured characters like Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, and The Mad Hatter. You could also head to Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner featured Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, and Cinderella’s stepsisters!
Another royal meal has yet to reopen at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in EPCOT’s Norway. Like Cinderella’s Royal Table, this spot used to offer princess dining — but this time with a buffet of Norwegian-inspired cuisine.
Princesses appear at this spot and it rotates who you might see. You could spot Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Mulan, Cinderella, and/or Mary Poppins! And good news! Akershus is re-opening on Nov. 4, 2022!
Hopefully, our ranking helps you determine what character meal is best for YOU! And we will be sure to update and change our ranking as things change in the parks! As always, keep an eye on DFB for all the Disney tips!
What’s your favorite character meal? Tell us in the comments!