12 Best Disney Character Dining Restaurants (2024)

Character dining is one of the most beloved and iconic experiences at Walt Disney World. Enjoying a meal alongside classic Disney personalities provides endless opportunities for magical family memories and great photos. In this article, I rank the twelve best Disney character dining restaurants in 2024 based on overall experience.

Chef Mickey Mouse greets guests at a restaurant

Chef Mickey Mouse greets guests at a restaurant | Image © Disney

I cover memorable character venues both inside Disney World theme parks as well as resort hotels. Our helpful rankings weigh crucial factors like food quality, character interactions, atmosphere and décor, pricing, and more. With so many fantastic character dining options across Disney property, there’s bound to be an ideal venue for your family and taste buds.

Pricing is accurate as of June 2024 and is subject to change. Historically, Disney updates dining prices each October.

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What is Character Dining at Disney World?

Character dining allows families to enjoy delectable dishes while their beloved Disney friends visit each table for photos, hugs, and autographs—no waiting in long meet-and-greet lines necessary! It has become an iconic, quintessential Disney World experience over the years.

Most character meals are served either buffet-style or family-style. Buffets offer stations with carving meats, made-to-order omelets, and themed dishes. Family-style means platters of food brought to your table for sharing. Both typically feature all-you-can-eat American fare and dishes related to the restaurant’s characters and theme.

As of 2024, prices for Disney character dining range from $30-$43 per child and $47-$84 per adult. You pay a premium for the character interactions and entertainment, not necessarily gourmet cuisine. Still, most guests feel the lasting memories and one-on-one time with beloved characters is well worth the price.

Make dining reservations early since these iconic events book quickly. For help planning and booking all aspects of your Disney trip, including character dining and other fantastic Disney character meet and greets, consider contacting The Vacationeer. Their services are free, and their experienced Disney travel agents can ensure you don’t miss out on the magic.

Now let’s explore our top 12 Disney character dining restaurants!

1. Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera (Disney’s Riviera Resort)

  • Characters: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy
  • Theme/Atmosphere: Riviera hideaway with European flair
  • Character Meals: Breakfast
  • Menus: 2024 Menu
  • Pricing: Adult $49.00 / Child $30.00

Topolino’s Terrace stands out among Disney World’s newest character dining experiences. Perched atop a rooftop designed in the Riviera style, this venue offers the enchanting Breakfast à la Art event.

Guests can enjoy a delightful morning meal while interacting with beloved Disney characters, including Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy, who dress as painters, ballerinas, and musicians. The picturesque resort views from the rooftop terrace enhance the overall experience.

Indulge in a prix fixe menu, including pastries, frittatas, stuffed French toast, and more sophisticated breakfast fare. The artsy costumes and waterside backdrop provide a charming continental atmosphere.

My wife and I loved the above-average-quality food for the reasonable pricing. My kids couldn’t get enough of the Mickey Waffles and delightful character interactions with Disney’s Fab Four.

For exquisite cuisine, iconic characters, and stylish theming, Topolino’s brings exceptional charm. Treat yourself to an unforgettable morning of food and magic in this beautiful new space.

2. Cape May Cafe (Disney’s Beach Club Resort)

  • Characters: Minnie, Daisy, Donald, Goofy
  • Theme/Atmosphere: Bright coastal cafeteria with beachy decor
  • Character Meals: Breakfast
  • Menus: 2024 Menu
  • Pricing: Adult $47.00 / Child $30.00

Tucked inside Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Cape May Cafe brings a sunny, beachside cafeteria vibe with rare character sightings and a hearty breakfast buffet. Minnie, Daisy, Donald, and Goofy stop by in their summer attire as you dine.

The spread includes made-to-order omelets, a carving station, and breakfast basics like Mickey waffles, fresh fruit, oatmeal, and cheddar biscuits with gravy. Don’t miss the sweet and salty “Beach Buns” pastry, a hit with my kids (and me).

What makes Cape May special is its laidback charm, playful character encounters, and reasonable prices. On our last visit, Minnie posed for silly selfies with my daughter – memories to treasure. The cheerful cafeteria evokes the feel of a coastal resort dining hall.

Thanks to its proximity to Epcot and value pricing, Cape May is one of Disney’s most underrated gems. It’s a top-character dining pick for families seeking a relaxed, wallet-friendly breakfast with rare character sightings and delicious fare near the parks.

3. Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White (Disney’s Wilderness Lodge)

  • Characters: Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy, Evil Queen
  • Theme/Atmosphere: Enchanted forest tavern straight from a storybook
  • Character Meals: Dinner
  • Menus: 2024 Menu
  • Pricing: Adult $65.00 / Child $39.00

Each evening, Artist Point transforms into a fairytale fantasy from Snow White. Delightful music fills the rustic forest-inspired space as Snow White, Dopey, and Grumpy visit tables while the ominous Evil Queen lurks nearby.

Guests indulge in a decadent prix fixe dinner beginning with Wild Mushroom Bisque, Hunter’s Terrine, and Wicked Shrimp Cocktail. Continue with options like Brother’s Grimm Herbed Chicken, Royal Prime Rib Roast, or the vegetarian A Stroll Through Nature, showcasing gnocchi and seasonal vegetables.

Finish royal feasts with “Poison” Apple mousse (my favorite), Gooseberry tarts, and other fanciful treats. Our daughter was thrilled when Snow White stopped to chat during our recent visit.

With exceptional woodland cuisine, rare character sightings, and storybook whimsy, Story Book Dining brings creative magic to families year after year.

4. Garden Grill Restaurant (Epcot)

A young girl interacts with Disney characters Chip and Dale during character dining at Disney World

Image © Disney

  • Characters: Mickey, Pluto, Chip ‘n’ Dale
  • Theme/Atmosphere: Farm-style tables surrounded by Living With The Land exhibits
  • Character Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Menus: 2024 Menu
  • Pricing: Breakfast: Adult $47.00 / Child $30.00; Lunch/Dinner: Adult $62.00 / Child $40.00

Book Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast at Epcot’s Garden Grill for a one-of-a-kind character dining experience. At this spacious restaurant surrounded by Living With The Land’s exhibit, your table slowly revolves, giving a panoramic 360-degree view that includes some scenes from the ride.

Garden Grill earns rave reviews for flavorful family-style plates. Indulge in breakfast staples like Mickey waffles, grilled steak, and eggs, or opt for lunch and dinner highlights like harvest salad, chimichurri turkey, and plant-based “pulled pork” (my wife’s favorite).

While feasting on the fare, Mickey, Pluto, Chip, and Dale dressed as farmers visit tables, ready to play and pose for pictures. Pricing is average, but food quality surpasses most in-park character buffets.

Garden Grill offers a memorable dining experience with a mesmerizing view of Epcot’s vibrant gardens. With its tasty menu offerings and friendly characters, it’s my go-to recommendation for friends and family looking for a delightful break amidst the fantastic rides at Epcot.

5. Cinderella’s Royal Table (Magic Kingdom)

  • Characters: Cinderella, Ariel, Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora
  • Theme/Atmosphere: Majestic castle dining hall fit for Disney royalty
  • Character Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Menus: 2024 Menu
  • Pricing: Breakfast: Adult $69.00 / Child $42.00; Lunch/Dinner: Adult $84.00 / Child $49.00
Tables in front of ornate glass windows at Cinderella's Royal Table, among the best Character Dining at Disney World.

Image © Disney

No list feels complete without the pinnacle: Cinderella’s Royal Table inside her stunning castle at Magic Kingdom. Wind up the grand staircase to the majestic banquet hall within. Cinderella herself greets you downstairs before indulging upstairs in the ultimate fairy tale experience.

Breakfast brings indulgences like stuffed French toast or quiche while meeting Ariel, Jasmine, and others. Lunch and dinner choices range from filet mignon to catch of the day to Parisian gnocchi. The kid’s menu features family-friendly favorites like grilled steak and mac ‘n cheese, sure to please even the pickiest eaters.

While the little ones enjoy decorating cupcakes for dessert, adults can savor the decadent richness of chocolate mousse and other treats.

During our recent visit, my children were thrilled to have a one-on-one meet and greet with Disney Princesses inside the iconic Cinderella Castle. Personally, I was enchanted by my delicious chocolate mousse!

Although the experience is pricey, the royal treatment and enchanting fairytale ambiance create a truly magical Disney character dining event.

6. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Epcot)

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase brings fairytale charm as Belle invites you into the regal dining room.

Breakfast brings mostly standard morning staples, while lunch and dinner shine with creative dishes like grilled Norwegian salmon, hearty kjøttkake meatballs, and chocolate mousse cake with blackberry cream.

Ariel, Belle, Snow White, Aurora, and Tiana, Ariel, and others visit in their glittering gowns for photos and hugs. Akershus offers royal dazzle at a lower cost than Cinderella’s Royal Table, with a similar princess-filled experience. For many families, it’s an excellent, slightly more affordable alternative for meeting royalty over a delicious meal.

While both Cinderella’s Royal Table and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall offer plenty of princess power, my family prefers to eat inside the iconic Cinderella Castle. However, many guests favor Akershus for its interesting Norwegian cuisine, intimate atmosphere, and more affordable prices. Why not try both options and see which you like best?

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7. ‘Ohana (Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort)

  • Characters: Mickey, Pluto, Lilo, Stitch
  • Theme/Atmosphere: Tropical open-air eatery with a South Pacific flair
  • Character Meals: Breakfast
  • Menus: 2024 Menu
  • Pricing: Adult $49.00 / Child $30.00

This lively Polynesian-themed restaurant hosts a family-style breakfast feast starring all-you-can-eat pineapple coconut bread, unlimited fresh fruit, and loaded breakfast skillets.

Fill up on the skillet’s fluffy scrambled eggs, spicy sausage links, Hawaiian-style ham with pineapple, crispy potatoes, and Mickey waffles. Those craving lighter fare can enjoy tropical smoothies and build-your-own fruit plates.

My wife really appreciates ‘Ohana because there are plenty of vegetarian options, including plant-based breakfast skillets with meatless sausage, plant-based eggs, and vegan waffles.

Mickey and Pluto appear in tropical shirts, joined by rare sightings of Lilo and Stitch. Watch the monorail glide past overhead before hitting Magic Kingdom just steps away.

Our kids love posing with Lilo & Stitch, while I find myself craving that sweet pineapple coconut bread long after returning home. ‘Ohana earns rave reviews for family-friendly food and fab character fun in a convenient location near Magic Kingdom.

One caveat if you’re planning to head to the parks after your breakfast: ‘Ohana is notorious for running behind schedule on its reserved seating (people tend to linger over their food longer than at other Disney restaurants). Be sure to add an additional 30-60 minute buffer into your plans.

8. Tusker House Restaurant (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)

  • Characters: Mickey, Donald, Daisy, Goofy
  • Theme/Atmosphere: African marketplace cafeteria with safari details
  • Character Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Menus: 2024 Menu
  • Pricing: Breakfast: Adult $47.00 / Child $30.00; Lunch/Dinner: Adult $62.00 / Child $40.00

For a dash of adventure, Donald’s Dining Safari at Tusker House Restaurant brings outstanding African-inspired food, sensational characters, and lively entertainment.

For breakfast, you can choose from Simba Waffles, Durban Chicken, and egg curry with jasmine rice. Lunch and dinner options include Moroccan-spiced beef, Berber-marinated pork, herb chicken, and Cape Malay green curry shrimp.

Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy arrive ready to party wearing safari gear. They don’t just pose politely for photos – Cast Members lead dancing and clapping as characters stop at tables for hugs and silly selfies. My daughter gleefully dances when fun-loving Donald takes the floor!

With a flavorful menu and the Fab Four in safari attire, Tusker House wins mostly rave reviews from my family and other guests. Fuel up on Mickey waffles and exotic entrees before tackling those amazing Animal Kingdom rides like Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest.

9. Chef Mickey’s (Disney’s Contemporary Resort)

  • Characters: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto
  • Theme/Atmosphere: Modern monorail resort vibe with Chef Mickey flair
  • Character Meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Menus: 2024 Menu
  • Pricing: Breakfast: Adult $54.00 / Child $34.00; Dinner: Adult $66.00 / Child $41.00

For quintessential Disney character dining, many families flock to Chef Mickey’s. The bustling space certainly lives up to its playfully chaotic reputation. However, the unlimited comfort foods satisfy hungry guests.

Indulge in breakfast delights like fluffy pancakes, fresh tropical fruits, and sweet Mickey waffles. Dinner brings a bonanza ranging from juicy carved meats, buttery mashed potatoes, and mac ‘n’ cheese to fresh veggies. Don’t miss the warm apple crisp dessert!

In between bites, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto, clad in personalized chef apparel, visit for photos and entertainment. Yes, it’s loud, but that’s part of the signature frenetic fun here!

While it doesn’t top cuisine or ambiance rankings, where else can you dine with all Fab Five icons at once? Chef Mickey’s is the place for you if you crave quality time with icons without queues.

10. 1900 Park Fare (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa)

  • Characters: Aladdin, Cinderella, Mirabel, Princess Tiana
  • Theme/Atmosphere: Early 20th Century and carousel themes
  • Character Meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Menus: 2024 Menu
  • Pricing: Breakfast: Adult $54.00 / Child $34.00; Dinner: Adult $66.00 / Child $41.00

For many years, 1900 Park Fare offered a posh dining experience featuring Mary Poppins and friends. However the restaurant remained closed for four years following the pandemic and didn’t reopen until April 2024. Now, in its new format, Mary Poppins has given way to a celebration of Disney characters “known for making a wish… and making their wish come true.”

Typical breakfast buffet offerings include Bread Pudding with Vanilla Crème Anglaise, Guava and Cream Cheese Danish, Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, Croissant Breakfast Pizza, Mickey Waffles (of course), and the famed Grand Floridian Strawberry Soup (with Fresh Strawberries and Whipped Cream).

Dinner buffet selections often include Peel-and-Eat Shrimp, Baked Salmon with Saffron-Lemon Butter, Curry-Roasted Chicken, Roasted Garlic Sausage with Tomatoes / Herbs / Braised Cabbage, and Strawberry Soup.

While the menu items can be exotic at times, both meal periods also include “classic favorites for children.” So even the pickiest little ones should be able to find something they’ll like. While I haven’t had a chance yet to take my kids to this one since it reopened, I’m confident they’ll be quite happy with their choices once we make our way there in a few months.

11. Hollywood & Vine (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

Minnie Mouse stands outside of Hollywood & Vine restaurant, a character dining location at Disney World

Holiday themed dining at dinner time | Image © Disney

  • Characters: Disney Junior friends, or Minnie and pals
  • Theme/Atmosphere: Old Hollywood diner setting with fun seasonal decor
  • Character Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Menus: 2024 Menu
  • Pricing: Breakfast: Adult $47.00 / Child $30.00; Lunch/Dinner: Adult $63.00 / Child $40.00

What sets Hollywood & Vine apart is hosting different Disney character lineups by meal.

Guests come to the lively restaurant for the Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine breakfast to dance and laugh with Doc McStuffins, Vampirina, and Fancy Nancy. Fill up from an omelet station, Mickey waffles, frittatas, and more.

Or return for lunch or dinner for a seasonal celebration with Minnie Mouse and friends in festive outfits. These meals shine with a buffet starring mushroom risotto, crispy pork belly, Mississippi mud pie, and other hits — along with characters dressed in their seasonal finest (Halloween, Christmas, summertime, and more).

While the American fare leaves room for improvement, ever-changing stars provide re-playable fun. The entertainment and character variety earn rave reviews from guests. With costumes and food tailored to the seasons, it’s a lively chance to mingle with rare Disney friends.

Although my wife and I prefer other dining options, our kids’ love of Disney Junior characters makes Hollywood & Vine one we visit occasionally.

12. The Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom)

  • Characters: Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet
  • Theme/Atmosphere: Charming Victorian-style greenhouse with Pooh accents
  • Character Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Menus: 2024 Menu
  • Pricing: Breakfast: Adult $48.00 / Child $30.00; Lunch/Dinner: Adult $61.00 / Child $40.00

For classic Disney character charm, it’s hard to beat The Crystal Palace on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, U.S.A. Step into a glittering Victorian greenhouse and enjoy a loaded buffet of carved ham, shrimp, and familiar fixings.

While the straightforward menu earns decent marks, it isn’t particularly memorable. The real stars are Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet, who are readily available for hugs and photos. It’s a rare chance to meet characters not found trekking Pandora without queues.

Pros include an unbeatable location, fun interactions, and comfort cuisine. Cons could be possible waits even with reservations and loud, chaotic crowds.

While some children (including my own) might prefer to meet Mickey over Pooh Bear, the magical atmosphere of the Hundred Acre Wood makes Crystal Palace a popular destination for families with young children.

Honorable Mention: Ravello (Four Seasons Resort Orlando)

Ravello makes our list as an honorable mention for two reasons.

First, it’s not a Disney owned-and-operated restaurant — it’s located within the Four Seasons Resort Orlando. That hotel is on Disney property but not technically a Disney hotel (though it is a five-star hotel that is truly luxurious in its own right).

Second, characters are included only at breakfast and only a handful of days per week. As of the date this article was written, the Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy and His Pals occurs on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Regardless, if you’ve always wanted to visit the resort or are fortunate enough to stay there, it’s a good option. Note that the Disney Dining Plan is not accepted.

Honorable Mention: Be Our Guest Restaurant (Magic Kingdom)

While not a true character dining location, Be Our Guest Restaurant deserves a special mention. Located inside the Beast’s Castle at Magic Kingdom, this prix fixe restaurant typically offers glimpses of the Beast himself (no more than, say, once per hour). He emerges to greet and thank guests for coming.

The setting inside Be Our Guest restaurant provides a jaw-dropping ambiance, with high ceilings, elegant chandeliers, and snow falling outside the windows. The French-inspired cuisine also draws rave reviews.

Although the Beast sightings are brief and at a distance, the exceptional atmosphere of Be Our Guest restaurant earns it an honorable mention. If you are interested in dining at this restaurant, check out our Be Our Guest reservation tips page to learn how to get those highly coveted reservations. Alternatively, you can contact The Vacationeer to have them do the leg work for you.

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Best Disney Character Dining By Location

With so many options across Disney World property, choose your restaurant based partly on location. Here are our top picks for character dining in specific Disney areas:

  • Magic Kingdom: Cinderella’s Royal Table; Crystal Palace
  • Epcot: Akershus Royal Banquet Hall; Garden Grill Restaurant
  • Hollywood Studios: Hollywood & Vine
  • Animal Kingdom: Tusker House Restaurant
  • Monorail Resorts: ‘Ohana, 1900 Park Fare, Chef Mickey’s
  • Epcot Area Resorts: Cape May Cafe, Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera
  • Wilderness Area: Artist Point – Story Book Dining

Please note that while Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Resort remains open, it is currently without characters.

Check with your Disney travel planner at The Vacationeer for the latest character dining updates and help to choose your family’s perfect location.

The Pros and Cons of Character Dining

Character dining brings memorable magic as well as rational reservations. Understand the tradeoffs before you book:

Pros

  • Guaranteed face time with characters without waiting in long meet-and-greet lines
  • Themed dishes and decor transport you into Disney’s worlds
  • Kids delight in dining beside beloved Disney stars and royalty
  • Great family bonding time making silly memories over meals

Cons

  • Character dining pricing reaches over $60 per adult at some locations
  • Food quality often takes a backseat to the experience itself
  • Buffet-style eating risks overindulgence and food waste
  • Meals can take 1-2 hours, limiting time for attractions

Despite the higher cost and often average cuisine, many guests feel that the memories they create with the characters are worth it. Kids may not remember what they ate, but they will never forget the joy they felt when they met their favorite Disney characters.

To strike the right balance, consider booking some character meals and enjoying a mix of quick service and table service restaurants on other days.

Tips for an Exceptional Character Dining Experience

Character dining provides lasting memories, but huge crowds can diminish the experience. Beat the masses with these tips:

  • Book on weekdays for lower attendance and more quality time with characters at your table.
  • Reserve the earliest breakfast slot, even before the park opening, for smaller crowds and to minimize the amount of park time “lost” during the meal.
  • Don’t leave mid-meal for buffet refills and risk missing the characters stopping at your table.
  • Ask politely if a missed character can return for photos by notifying your server.
  • Get Help Planning and Booking: Our recommended Disney travel planner, The Vacationeer, can provide free assistance to plan and reserve your family’s dream character meals.

Following this guidance allows families to experience the joy of sharing a meal with Disney royalty and icons without spending precious park hours in queues. Character dining grants kids’ fairy tale wishes – make them magically come true with proper planning for lasting memories!

Frequently Asked Questions About Character Dining

Do you still have questions about planning the perfect character dining experience? These FAQs may help:

Are there discounts available for character meals?

Indeed! Annual Passholders and members of the Disney Vacation Club may be eligible for discounts at select restaurants, including those offering character dining experiences. Typically, the discount offered is 10% off the regular prices.

Are Disney Dining Plans accepted for character dining?

Most character meals accept table service entitlements from the Disney Dining Plan. Depending on the restaurant, the character meal may be considered a signature dining experience (requiring two table service credits per person).

Which meals feature characters?

Breakfast and dinner feature characters the most often, with character breakfasts being the most popular. Character lunches are less common, but still exist.

What is the best for adults?

Choose artistically plated meals at Artist Point or Cinderella’s Royal Table for excellent food with magic.

Do characters sign autograph books?

Yes! Bring your autograph books and let the characters sign with their own pens. Many locations also provide a signed card at the end of the meal.

Can I request certain characters?

Each character dining location at Disney World offers a pre-arranged lineup of Disney characters. To enhance your experience, prioritize locations that feature the characters your family is most eager to meet.

For recommendations and suggestions, refer to our comprehensive article “Where Can You Meet Characters at Disney World?

How early should I make reservations?

Book right at 60 days in advance, as popular character dining venues fill quickly.

  • If you’re staying on-site at a Disney World hotel, you can book up to 10 days worth of dining starting 60 days before your hotel check-in date.
  • If you’re staying off-site, you’ll have to book day-by-day — 60 days in advance of each individual day you’ll be at Disney World.

What’s the best way to get popular character dining reservations?

Disney World character dining reservations can be hard to come by, especially at popular offerings such as the character breakfast at Cinderella Castle. It’s common for those reservations to be gone within minutes (if not seconds) of the booking window opening.

If you’re trying to book them on your own, make sure you’re awake and ready to book the instant your booking window opens (6:00AM eastern time).

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Dining at Disney Theme Parks

In addition to seeking the top Disney character dining establishments, you might be interested in other dining options. To assist you in finding them, here are some helpful articles.

This is just a preview of what our Disney World theme park articles have to offer. Enjoy your trip, and remember to ask The Vacationeer for assistance with their expertise in planning and booking your magical Disney World vacation. Their services are completely free, so you have nothing to lose!