If you’re planning a Disney Cruise with your family, one of the highlights will undoubtedly be character dining experiences. These unique character meals offer something for everyone, whether it’s meeting your favorite Disney princesses or participating in exciting rotational dining shows with characters. This guide will explore the different facets of character dining on Disney Cruises.

Prefer To Speak With Someone? Get Free Help From Our Favorite Disney Travel Agency!

What are Character Meals on Disney Cruises? An Overview

Disney cruises are renowned for their magical character dining events, where the enchantment of Disney is served right at your table. Whether it’s the sparkle in a child’s eyes when they see their favorite princess or the excitement of a Frozen-themed feast, these experiences are thrilling for kids and adults alike.

Character Dining on Disney Cruises - Wandering Oaken leads a toast

It’s important to note that many character dining experiences on Disney cruise ships are more show-based, contrasting with the one-on-one interactions at places like Chef Mickey’s or Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Disney theme parks. So, those expecting a traditional park-style dining encounter might find the shipboard experience slightly different (or even underwhelming). If one-on-one character time is important to you, be sure to select one of the experiences that specifically offers that.

Here’s a rundown of the character meals:

  • Special Character Dining Events: Disney Cruise Line hosts dining with princesses and Frozen characters, with photos and interactions. Magical décor and kid-friendly menus provide an immersive experience. Reservations are required, and these are not included in the fare.
  • Rotational Dining Shows with Characters: These dinner shows transform mealtime into a spectacle. Draw a character that later dances with Disney icons or indulge in Frozen-themed fun. Animator’s Palate is a prime example, offering an innovative twist on character engagement. These character dinners are included with your fare.
  • Disney Character Breakfasts (Limited): These breakfasts, once a cherished tradition on 7-night and longer voyages, have been discontinued since the COVID pandemic. However, there is an offering that is almost like a traditional Disney character breakfast on sailings which feature a PIXAR Day at Sea. And Disney Cruise Line still offers various other character experiences throughout the ship.

Whether it’s lunch with Elsa or a dinner show with Mickey, Disney Cruise Line’s character dining caters to everyone’s taste.

Questions or Ready to Book? Contact The Vacationeer!

For expert help with your Disney Cruise Line booking, contact The Vacationeer, a Diamond-Level Earmarked Disney Vacation Planner Agency. Their team will guide you through every step of planning and booking your Disney Cruise vacation, providing:

  • A dedicated Disney travel planner to handle all aspects of your trip.
  • Personalized service and invaluable advice for smooth, stress-free planning.
  • Generous Disney onboard credit of up to $1,000 when booking through The Vacationeer.
  • They offer the lowest fares and the best customer experience.
  • The services of The Vacationeer are free!

Don’t delay your dream Disney Cruise adventure! Contact The Vacationeer today for a free, no-obligation instant price quote. There’s nothing to lose, so start your magical journey now!

List of Character Dining Experiences on Disney Cruises

1. Royal Court Royal Tea

Note that the above is an older video and some elements may have changed

The Royal Court Royal Tea offers a magical dining experience for young princesses and princes aged 3-12.

  • Location: Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy.
  • Cost: $220 per child (includes gifts), $69 for ages 13-17 and adults. Accompanying adults are required.
  • The Royal Treatment: Meet Lady Chamomile, Chef Brule, and all your favorite Disney princesses. Enjoy whimsical teatime in a storybook setting adorned with sparkling chandeliers and fanciful icons. Join the fun as the Royal Tea Hostess and Royal Pastry Chef sing, dance, and share stories. Experience an exclusive meet-and-greet with Disney princesses.
  • A Regal Feast: Enjoy a lavish feast with herbal teas and two delicious courses – one sweet and one savory. In most cases, Disney can accommodate dietary needs with advance notice.
  • Happily Ever After: Children receive distinguished princess or knight-themed gifts for a truly enchanted experience. It’s a fantasy come true!
  • Reservations: Reserve online before your cruise, and please indicate any special dietary needs at the time of booking. For a hassle-free planning experience, work with The Vacationeer.
Dining tables in an elegant dining room, with a royal tile mosaic on the floor

Image © Disney

Our Review: The Royal Tea Party was an extraordinary experience. Meeting Belle, Cinderella, and other princesses brought joy to our 5-year-old, Ava. The tea party treats were delicious and cute, making for a truly magical memory. Is it worth it? There’s no denying that the cost makes it a splurge. Although it was expensive, Ava found it well worth it!

2. Olaf’s Royal Picnic

For families with children aged 3-12 who enjoy summer fun, Olaf’s Royal Picnic offers an unforgettable Disney character dining experience, set in the heart of the magical Arendelle Castle.

  • Location: Disney Wish
  • Cost: $220 per child (includes gifts), $69 for adults. All attendees are included in the celebration.
  • The Ever-So-Regal Summertime Celebration: Join Olaf, Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and the lively Arendellian host in a one-of-a-kind picnic. Behold the splendor of summer with vibrant flowers and sunflowers adorning the Castle, transforming it into an indoor summertime meadow. Enjoy an afternoon of melodies, treats, and merriment as the Castle Staff serves a delightful picnic feast.
  • A Scrumptious Picnic: Savor fresh, flavorful summertime treats. Dietary restrictions? Most needs can be accommodated with advance notice, ensuring everyone enjoys the meal.
  • All Good Things, All Good Things!: Every child receives unique Olaf-themed gifts such as headwear, a cinch bag, a mandolin, troll plush, and more. As Olaf would say, they are “all good things” and make for cherished keepsakes.
  • Reservations: Book your spots before your cruise. Remember to mention any special dietary needs for a seamless experience.

Our Review: Olaf’s Royal Picnic was a hit with our friend Zach’s daughter, who is an Olaf fan. The indoor summertime meadow setting, lively character interactions, and delightful menu impressed both the Samantha and Zach. The thoughtfully curated gifts added a special touch! In Zach’s opinion, it was well worth the price – the unforgettable memories and joys shared are well worth the money.

Book With The Vacationeer For Free Credit Towards Specialty Character Dining

3. Animator’s Palate

A large video screen on the wall in Animator's Palate

Image © Disney

For families and art and animation enthusiasts of all ages, Animator’s Palate offers a magical dining spectacle that’s unlike any other, featuring your favorite Disney and Disney·Pixar characters in an interactive show.

  • Location: Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy.
  • Cost: Included in your Disney Cruise Line fare
  • The Art of Animation Magic: Animator’s Palate presents multiple incarnations of the “show” portion of dinner, varying by ship and/or length of itinerary. Most rely heavily on large video screens scattered throughout the restaurant and easily visible from all tables. The versions of the show currently in rotation are:
    • Drawn to the Magic: Following an on-screen show highlighting some of the great moments of Disney’s animated films, Sorcerer Mickey appears in real-life, sweeping through the dining room for a brief appearance. Fans of Fantasmic! at Disney World or Disneyland might even recognize the music during the finale.
    • Animation Magic: Enjoy a solely on-screen appearance by Mickey and seize the opportunity to draw your own characters that come to life on the screen – a unique and engaging touch that turns you into an animator.
    • Undersea Magic: Engage in an on-screen interaction with Crush from Finding Nemo in a performance mirroring EPCOT’s Turtle Talk with Crush. It’s an ocean of fun!
  • A Diverse Culinary Palette: Delight in a menu rich in Pacific Island foods, Asian dishes, and California cuisine. An exciting fusion of flavors complements the engaging dinner shows.
  • Interactive Character Experience: Though character interactions are fairly minor, the creative integration of animations and the ability to draw your own characters make the dining experience thoroughly enjoyable and memorable.
  • Reservations: Check dining rotations on your cruise itinerary.
Animated turtle Crush talks with diners at their table

Crush chats with diners during Undersea Magic

Our Review: Animator’s Palate was an unexpected highlight of our cruise. Our children were thrilled by the animations, drawing their own characters, and the surprise appearance of beloved characters like Mickey. The menu’s diversity appealed to everyone in our family. Animator’s Palate isn’t just a meal; it’s an artistic and magical dining adventure that adds a splash of creativity and fun to our cruise experience.

4. Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure

Oaken, Elsa, and Olaf lead a toast to celebrate Anna and Kristoff's engagement

Oaken, Elsa, and Olaf lead a toast to celebrate Anna and Kristoff’s engagement

For Frozen enthusiasts of all ages, Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure is an immersive experience not to be missed.

A stage in-the-round is the centerpiece of the Frozen-themed restaurant

  • Location: Disney Wish
  • Cost: Included in your cruise fare.
  • A Celebration of Love and Friendship: Attend Queen Anna and Kristoff’s engagement celebration! With invisible fiber optics, panoramic windows transforming into the Aurora Borealis, and true-to-scale puppetry of Olaf, the dining room itself is a theatrical wonder.
  • Norwegian Feast: Indulge in Norwegian-inspired dishes like Elsa’s Royal Baked Scallops, Sven’s Favorite Carrot Soup, and Arendelle Kjottkake (meatballs) from Oaken’s “Hearty Party Planning Service… and Sauna.” Don’t miss the delectable dessert offerings like Norwegian Pancake Roulade.
  • Live Entertainment Extravaganza: Witness live performances from Elsa, Olaf, and other Frozen characters. Even Wandering Oaken makes an appearance! Sing-alongs, table crafts, and a grand finale ensure an interactive and engaging dining experience.
  • Reservations: Check dining rotations on your cruise itinerary.
The happy couple poses for photos with Guests

The happy couple poses for photos with Guests

Our Review: Jaimie and I appreciated the blend of familiar and adventurous food choices. Ben was ecstatic to interact with his favorite Frozen characters, while Ava was mesmerized by the magical environment. The quality of character entertainment and interactions was in a class by itself, far surpassing traditional character meals. The characters’ visits to our table, live musical performances, and the extraordinary setting made for a memorable dining experience for all of us. Even us jaded adults enjoyed it. The Arendelle experience was a highlight of our cruise, providing a delightful and immersive Frozen experience. It’s a must-do for any Frozen fans!

5. Worlds of Marvel Restaurant

Experience a few miracles from molecules at Worlds of Marvel

For fans of the Marvel universe and superhero adventures, the Worlds of Marvel dining experience is an immersive and thrilling escapade not to be overlooked.

Ant Man and The Wasp drop in as the presentation ends

Ant-Man and The Wasp drop in

  • Location: Disney Wish
  • Cost: Included in your cruise fare.
  • A Larger-Than-Life Experience: Join a mission with Ant-Man and The Wasp, and witness a thrilling cinematic dining experience. The interactive Quantum Core device at your table will pull you into the adventure, while the décor and technology are inspired by the Avengers Headquarters.
  • Marvel-ous Dishes: Savor an innovative menu inspired by iconic Marvel locations, including dishes like Widow’s Bite cocktail, Steamed Bao Buns, Ricotta Gnocchi, and Subatomic Sticky Date Pudding – a culinary nod to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Superhero Action and Adventure: Participate in a live-action mission with Ant-Man, The Wasp, and other Marvel Super Heroes. Engage in hands-on demonstrations, video visits, and unexpected villain encounters – a supercharged experience with surprises of all shapes and sizes.
  • Reservations: Check dining rotations on your cruise itinerary.
You'll need the Quantum Core device on your table in the event that something goes awry during the demonstration.

You’ll need the Quantum Core device on your table in the event that something goes awry during dinner.

Our Review: Jaimie and I were impressed by the innovative technology and engaging Marvel-themed adventure. It felt like we were part of a Marvel movie, assisting Ant-Man and The Wasp to avert a crisis. Ben, being a Marvel fan, found this dining experience thoroughly entertaining. The food was good, and the décor was impressive, though not as magical as Arendelle. Ava found the experience fun but was not as engaged as she was at the Frozen-themed restaurant.

Have Character Dining Questions But Don’t Want To Wait On Hold?

6. Rapunzel’s Royal Table

Disney character Rapunzel reaches for a floating lantern in the dining room of Rapunzel's Royal Table

Image © Disney

For fans of Disney’s “Tangled,” Rapunzel’s Royal Table is an unforgettable dining adventure filled with enchantment and delight.

  • Location: Disney Magic
  • Cost: Included in your cruise fare.
  • A Feast Fit for Royalty: Indulge in a menu of classic American favorites and international flavors such as ravioli stuffed with pulled beef, pan-seared sea bass filet, and desserts like crème brûlée cheesecake and towering chocolate cake. For true Tangled aficionados, don’t miss the angel hair pasta braided with caramelized sea scallops.
  • A Joyous Celebration: Enter the kingdom of Corona for a joyous celebration of Rapunzel’s birthday. The royal ballroom’s glowing wish lanterns and colorful drawings set the stage for live entertainment, including singing, dancing, and appearances by Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, and the mischievous Snuggly Duckling Thugs.
  • Interactive Experience: The dinner event includes a song-and-dance and brief table visits by the characters, making you feel part of the story. The spirited parade capping off the night ensures an engaging and festive experience for all.

Our Review: Rapunzel’s Royal Table was a dream come true for our daughter Ava, who adores Rapunzel. The characters stayed in their roles perfectly, adding to the magic. My wife and I appreciated the superb service and elegance of the event. Though the food was good, it was secondary to the immersive experience. Between the visual wonders, lively entertainment, and regal setting, the night was filled with fairy tale magic, making it an essential part of our Disney cruise.

7. Tiana’s Place

Performers in brightly-colored Mardi Gras costumes at Tiana's Place on the Disney Wonder cruise ship

Image © Disney

For those seeking a joyous and lively celebration of southern charm, Tiana’s Place offers an unforgettable experience, complete with live jazz and iconic storytelling.

  • Location: Disney Wonder
  • Cost: Included in your cruise fare.
  • Bounty from the Bayou: Savor Creole and Cajun cuisine like New Orleans Seafood Pepper Pot, Cajun-spiced sea bass, and delightful desserts like Tiana’s Buttermilk Beignets and New Orleans Banana Foster Sundae.
  • A Swinging Supper Club: Step into a festive New Orleans-style family gala with toe-tapping live jazz that brings The Princess and the Frog to life. Experience genteel southern charm in a vivid, brightly lit restaurant where they celebrate Mardi Gras nightly.
  • Character Engagement: Tiana’s Place on Disney Wonder has appearances by Tiana and Louis (the trumpeting alligator). We briefly said hello to Tiana at the entrance, but I don’t recall much at-the-table interaction during the dinner.
  • Reservations: Check dining rotations on your cruise itinerary.

Our Review: Jaimie and I were transported into the enchanting world of New Orleans at Tiana’s Place. The jazzy atmosphere and playful interactions with Tiana and Prince Naveen made for a lively evening. We delighted in the flavorful Cajun dishes, and the Buttermilk Beignets were a standout dessert that we both loved. The blend of live music, storytelling, and southern charm created a festive and unique dining experience. We can’t wait to share this magical experience with our kids in the future!

8. Hey Howdy Breakfast with Woody and Friends

For Pixar enthusiasts eager to join the fun, the Hey Howdy Breakfast offers a thrilling experience with Woody and his friends.

  • Location: Animator’s Palate — offered only on cruises featuring a PIXAR Day at Sea.
  • Cost: Included in your cruise fare, but reservations are required
  • A Special Not-Quite-A-Character-Breakfast Dining Event: Though character breakfasts on Disney Cruise Line have been discontinued, this new experience brings Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye to life in a unique way. Savor a breakfast feast while enjoying an interactive show from the stage. No face-to-face meetings are required (or offered), though the characters may pass relatively close by your table during the meal. It’s important to note that Disney is very careful not to call this a “character breakfast,” so don’t expect the same type of one-on-one attention you might get at, say, Chef Mickey’s.
  • Live Entertainment Extravaganza: The Hey Howdy Breakfast is more than a meal. Woody appears on stage with his pals to sing, dance, and interact with guests from “on stage.” This creates a lively, engaging atmosphere that goes beyond the typical dining experience.
  • Reservations: Must reserve in advance; no walk-ups.

Our Review: We haven’t had the opportunity to try the Hey Howdy Breakfast with Woody and Friends yet, but the idea of breakfast with some of Pixar’s most beloved characters sounds like fun! The blend of delicious food and innovative, interactive entertainment offers a unique twist on the traditional character meal, and it’s on our list for the next Disney Fantasy cruise.

Get Free Help Planning Dining and Onboard Activities: Book With The Vacationeer

Disney Character Dining: Pros and Cons


  • Unique Interactions: Enjoy memorable and sometimes personal interactions with your favorite Disney characters.
  • Extended Time with Characters: Dinner shows provide more time to see characters compared to brief meet-and-greets.
  • Smart Use of Time: Seeing characters during meals at restaurants lets you “multitask,” freeing up more leisure time on the rest of your cruise.
  • Engaging Storytelling: Experience the fun and engaging Disney storytelling during your meal.
  • Themed Menus: Savor delicious meals inspired by the characters’ worlds, adding to the immersion.
  • Family Fun: An entertaining and joyous activity for the whole family to enjoy together.
  • Included in Cruise Fare: Most character dining experiences are part of the standard dining schedule and included in your Disney cruise fare, meaning no additional cost.


  • Additional Costs for Some Events: Select character dining experiences require an additional payment on top of your cruise fare.
  • Fixed Dining Times: The scheduled dining times might not align with everyone’s preferences or needs.
  • Potential Distraction for Children: The excitement of character interactions might distract some children from eating their meals.
  • Possibly Loud and Busy: Depending on the event, the environment can be a bit loud and bustling, which might not suit all guests.

Tips for Disney Character Meals

  • Know the Schedule: Familiarize yourself with the dining times and character appearances to plan your day accordingly.
  • Bring a Camera: Don’t forget to capture the memories with photographs. Many dining experiences also have official photographers on hand.
  • Consider Dietary Restrictions: If anyone in your party has dietary restrictions, make sure to notify the cruise line or your travel agent in advance.
  • Prepare Your Children: If your kids are shy or apprehensive around characters, prepare them beforehand so they know what to expect.
  • Understand the Costs: Determine what’s included in your cruise fare and what might require additional payment to avoid surprises.
  • Manage Expectations: Explain how the character dining works to your kids so they know what to expect (i.e., sometimes there is no meet-and-greet).
  • Enjoy the Experience: Engage with the characters, participate in the activities, and immerse yourself in the experience. This total participation will make it fun for everyone!

Will Disney Character Breakfasts Return to the Ships?

Disney Cruise Line’s character breakfasts were discontinued during the COVID pandemic and have not returned. There is a possibility that this beloved experience may make a complete return to Disney Cruise Line in the future. The appearance of the Hey Howdy Breakfast with Woody and Friends — which is almost a character breakfast — is certainly a positive sign.

Meeting Disney Characters on Disney Cruises (Outside of Dining)

Apart from character dining experiences, you can meet and greet your favorite characters at common areas, special gatherings, and themed cruises. Character appearances vary by sailing, so consult your schedule to enjoy these magical opportunities!

Is Character Dining Worth It on Disney Cruise Line?

Character dining on Disney Cruises offers both included experiences and paid events with beloved Disney characters. Whether it’s worth it depends on your family’s preferences, budget, and the ages and interests of your children.

The included character dining is a definite Disney must, providing unique interactions and immersive storytelling.

The paid events, although expensive, can be amazing experiences for youngsters who adore the characters involved.

Consult with a Disney travel agent for questions or assistance in deciding or booking your VIP character dining experiences.

Plan Your Dream Disney Cruise Vacation with The Vacationeer

Embark on an enchanting Disney Cruise Line adventure with The Vacationeer, our Diamond-Level official partner. As an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, they offer:

Whether you’re seeking a budget-friendly option or a luxurious concierge-level suite, The Vacationeer manages every detail for a magical cruise. Their expert guidance, dedication, and complimentary services ensure your cruise planning is stress-free and efficient.

Contact The Vacationeer now and begin planning an unforgettable Disney Cruise Line adventure! Trust Jaimie when she says, “It will make your life so much easier, and you’ll love the onboard credit!”

Explore Further with Our Disney Cruise Line Guides

Dive into our pages dedicated to Disney Cruise Line, filled with insights and information on the unique aspects of cruising with Disney. Explore guides on:

Stay in the loop with the most current Disney Cruise Line itineraries, departure cities, and sailing dates for 2023, 2024, and 2025:

Happy cruising, and may your voyage be filled with magic!