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Best Character Dining in Disney World

December 26, 2023

Character dining is a great way to see some of your favorite characters without having to wait in line for them.  However, with so many different character dining options throughout the Disney World theme parks and resorts, which is the best one for you?

Best Food

Sour cream waffles at Topolino’s Terrace (Photo Credit: WDW News Today)

Character dining often gets a bad reputation for poor food quality since some people assume the emphasis is on the character experience.  This is not the case for Topolino’s Terrace at Riviera.  While the restaurant offers signature dining at night, in the morning you’ll find Breakfast À L’Art with Mickey as a painter, Minnie as a poet, Donald as a sculptor, and Daisy as a ballerina.  The characters are adorable in their special costumes, but the star of the show is the food.

Breakfast is à la carte with entrees like wood-fired steak and eggs, quiche gruyère, and sour cream waffles.  You also get a basket of pastries for the table, which includes muffins and croissants.  All of it is delicious and a notch above the food quality that you find at other character meals.  While it isn’t all-you-care-to-eat like many other character meals, the portions are generous, and you will not leave hungry.    

Best Costumes

Mickey at Hollywood & Vine (Photo Credit: WDW News Today)

If you love to pose with characters in unique costumes, Hollywood & Vine in Hollywood Studios is a must-do for lunch or dinner.  During lunch or dinner, the restaurant hosts Minnie’s Seasonal Dining.  There’s the Holiday Dine (November 8, 2023 to January 4, 2024), Silver Screen Dine (January 5 to March 15, 2024), Springtime Dine (March 16 to June 19, 2024), and Summertime Dine (starting June 20, 2024).  

Minnie, Mickey, Pluto, and Goofy all dress in their seasonal best.  In fact, dining at Hollywood & Vine is a great way to see them in Christmas and Halloween outfits without attending any of the holiday parties.   Even the buffet offerings, decor, and music are updated for each season.  

Best Ambiance

Cinderella’s Royal Table (Photo Credit: WDW News Today)

When you think of Disney World, it’s hard not to picture the iconic Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom.  So naturally, dining inside the castle is a special experience.  At Cinderella’s Royal Table, you can enjoy Fairytale Dining for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  There, you will meet Cinderella in the Grand Hall and then meet some of her fellow princesses, including Aurora, Jasmine, Ariel, and Snow White, in the banquet room.  The banquet room looks fit for royal guests with stained glass windows overlooking Fantasyland, stone archways, and medieval flags.  The food may not be the most memorable, but it sure is exciting to dine in the castle and meet all the princesses.

Best Interactions

Dale at Garden Grill (Photo Credit: WDW News Today)

Characters are great with kids (and kids at heart) no matter where you go in Disney World, but Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast at Garden Grill is especially great for character interactions.  Garden Grill is located within the Land Pavilion at EPCOT and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Since the restaurant is relatively small, you get plenty of chances to see Chip ‘n’ Dale, Mickey, and Pluto. Seeing the characters is even easier since the all-you-care-to-eat platters are brought to your table, so unlike at buffets, you won’t miss any characters while trying to get more food.  As a bonus, Mickey is dressed in his farmer outfit to go along with the restaurant’s Living with the Land setting.    

Check out the best character dining during your next trip to Walt Disney World!  If you need help finding dining reservations, don’t forget to try the Unlocked Magic Dining Reservation Finder to get text and email notifications when the reservation you want becomes available.

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