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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Character Breakfast? Yes or No

Character Breakfast? Yes or No.

No. Yep, the answer is no. I know, this blog is full of posts about character dining with photos and everything. So, if the question was Character Dining? Yes or No. The answer would be YES! Just not breakfast. And here's why. . .


Alice and the Mad Hatter at 1900 Park Fair
Dining with Disney Characters is a special event, you might even say it is magical. And, that dining can occur almost anytime. Character meals are at a variety of locations for a variety of meals. And, we have found the taking an hour or more out of a morning to dine with characters is not the best use of our time. Mornings are when theme parks are the least crowded and we can take in a lot of attractions during that uncrowded morning time. Then, take a break later, when the parks are more crowded, for a character meal.

Lady Tremaine at 1900 Park Fair
I can remember being in Animal Kingdom and eating breakfast with Donald at Restaurantasaurus (this particular character meal no longer exists, but another breakfast with Donald is available in Animal Kingdom. . . click here) and seeing folks outside getting to all the attractions that we were going to do, too. But, after we finished breakfast. And, by the time we were done dining, the lines were that much longer! This was during our first visit to the Walt Disney World Resort and we just didn't know better. We thought the only opportunity to dine with characters was at breakfast. You know. . . people talk about character breakfasts and ask if you are going to have a character breakfast. Now, we know better. Character meals? YES!

Cinderella at 1900 Park Fair
OK, now the caveats. . . maybe a certain character you really, really want to see is only available during breakfast. The Mad Hatter for example at 1900 Park Fair at the Grand Floridian. Or, maybe the only character dining reservation you can get is for breakfast. This means you probably didn't make your advanced dining reservations at the 180 or 90 day window, which ever window Disney is operating on at the time. Tsk, tsk!
So, if you have no other option other than a character breakfast (and that is such a tough position to be in) then I/we recommend the earliest or latest breakfast seating possible. For example, on our last trip, we had breakfast with Mickey and Friends at Ohana's at the Polynesian. The only reason we did this is because Stitch is at this meal and right now the boy loves Stitch. So, we had a 7:30 am advanced dining reservation. And, we got the be the first table that the characters visited. This means that we could eat, drink their great mango juice, meet the characters, and still get to EPCOT via the monorail by rope drop a bit before 9:00 am.
Or, we have taken advantage of Extra Magic Hours in a particular park in the morning and are ready for break around 10:30 am. Most breakfast seatings offer 10:45 or 10:50 am as their last seating.


Mulan at Akershus in the Norway Pavilion at EPCOT
Disney has done a bit of tweaking of their character meals as of late and it is to your advantage. For example, previously when dining at Cinderella's Castle, the only meals that had meet and greet characters were breakfast and lunch. Dinner consisted of the Fairy Godmother, Suzy, and Perla saying a quick hello. And, dinner was the highest priced meal of all 3. Now, breakfast, lunch, and dinner all include character visits to your table.

Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary offers both breakfast and dinner as character meals. During peak season, Chef Mickey's is often open for lunch reservations and again, characters are part of the package.

Perla, one of Cinderella's mice, at Cinderella's Castle
Garden Grill, the circulating restaurant in the Land Pavilion at EPCOT offers character lunches and dinner.
1900 Park Fair at the Grand Floridian offers two character meals, one for breakfast and one for dinner. The characters on hand for breakfast are more for fun and include appearances from a few Winnie the Pooh characters, Alice, Mad Hatter, and often Mary Poppins. Dinner is much more formal with Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the Tremaine Family (you know, the wicked step-mother and step-sisters).
Hollywood and Vine at Disney's Hollywood Studios offers a character breakfast and lunch with the Playhouse Disney gang.
Akershus in the Norway Pavilion in EPCOT offers character meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Royalty abounds at this restaurant. The Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom offers three character meals each day, too. (Click here to read about our dining at the Crystal Palace.)
In summary, character meals can be a part of any visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, and we can't imagine visiting without taking in at least one character meal. Though, I would prefer that meal be lunch or dinner, so as not to miss out on the less crowded time in the parks, morning!




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