By Dopey Diva
I have come to realize that traveling to Disney World with only boys can limit your choices of character dining meals. As much as I would LOVE to eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table it is not on the list of priorities for my boys. Neither is Akershus or really not even 1900 Park Fare. The good thing is I don’t have to worry with trying to get a reservation at the ever so popular Cinderella’s Royal Table, but it also leaves me with fewer options of what character dining meals we should do on each trip. Having a teenager and a 4 year old make it even more of a challenge, but I have come up with my top 5 favorite character meals that boys should enjoy without feeling they are “too girly”.
1. Chef Mickey’s
Chef Mickey’s is an American Cuisine all-you-can-eat buffet located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. They offer a breakfast buffet from 7:00 am- 11:30 am and a dinner buffet from 5:00 pm- 9:30 pm. Before you enter the restaurant there is a family photo opportunity that will be included in your photo package if you purchased Memory Maker. This is a great character meal because all of the Fab 5 characters are here in their Chef costumes. You can meet Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto.* Tip: This is, in my opinion, the best restaurant for meeting characters in Disney World.
2. Tusker House
The Tusker House is located in the Animal Kingdom Park and offers an African/ American cuisine buffet. The Tusker House has a breakfast buffet from 8:00 am – 10:55 am, and also has lunch and dinner buffets with varying times throughout the year with characters only available at breakfast and lunch. Here your children will get to meet Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Goofy* all dressed in their safari costumes. There is also a character photo taken before you enter the restaurant that will be included in your photo package if you have purchased Memory Maker. **Recently announced…Tusker House will be doing character dinners beginning early March 2015.
3. The Garden Grill
The Garden Grill is another great character meal located in Epcot. This restaurant offers a family style meal which consists of all-you-can eat turkey, beef, and sustainable fish as well as salad, warm dinner rolls, mashed potatoes and other vegetables. The Garden Grill is only open for dinner with the first meals beginning at 4:00 pm. The characters you will meet here are Chip and Dale, Pluto, and Mickey Mouse* in his farmer costume. One special thing that the Garden Grill has that other restaurants don’t is that it spins! You will slowly rotate through the Living with the Land ride as you eat…how cool is that?
‘Ohana, located in Disney’s Polynesian Resort, offers a great character meal…but only for breakfast. This meal is known as Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo and Stitch. This breakfast, available from 7:00 am-11:30 am, features a family style American breakfast influenced by Polynesian flavors. The characters appearing at ‘Ohana breakfast are Lilo and Stich as well as Pluto and Mickey Mouse* in his Hawaiian outfit. Also, at most breakfasts, the kids will be invited to participate in a parade through the restaurant which is a lot of fun!
5. The Crystal Palace
I had a tough time picking the 5th best character dining meal for boys, but I decided on The Crystal Palace. Located in the Magic Kingdom, The Crystal Palace offers an all-you-can-eat buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner and also has characters at all 3 meal times. The characters who meet and greet here are Piglet, Pooh Bear, Eeyore, and Tigger*. Some of you may think these characters are a little more for the younger kids but I feel you are never too old for Pooh Bear and friends and who doesn’t enjoy having a willy, nilly, silly good time!!
*All character appearances are subject to change.
Tip: As always we highly recommend making your dining reservations 180 days in advance.