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Old 05-18-2012, 09:36 AM   #11
D C
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Originally Posted by markandtodd View Post
Just wanted to add that they often include Chip 'n' Dale on weekends. We were there for a Friday seafood buffet back in January and had unbelievable multiple interactions with Goofy, Pluto, Chip 'n' Dale. Goofy walked hand in hand around the restaurant with Sebastian for a good 10 minutes because of the light crowd. It was well worth the price, and the food was outstanding.


We go there for the seafood buffet and not so much for the characters, but the character interaction was spectacular last August. We were there early with low crowds and the amount of time the characters spent interacting was great. There is also a good amount of space between tables for the interaction as well. Not so much at some other places we've been. Most notably Garden Grill @ EPCOT. Seemed very cramped.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:27 AM   #12
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Great post, Tom! I only wish I had this when we started doing our trips with the kids. Character Dining was one of the main reasons we did DDP starting out, and those were pretty much all we did for the table service credit. Now the kids are a little older and we've knocked out a bunch, so we've started to branch out.

Those that we've done:
‘Ohana - Polynesian Resort - characters at breakfast only. Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, Goofy, and Pluto. Family Style Twice. Without a doubt the best tasting breakfast that we've had at WDW. Atmosphere is great as well. This is one of our favorites, and we still want to get back to Ohana for dinner because of it ... just haven't worked it in yet

Chef Mickey’s - Contemporary Resort - breakfast and dinner. Chef Mickey, Minnie, Chef Goofy, Donald, Pluto. Buffet We've done it once as one of our firsts. Best selection for the traditional characters. The food was good, not great. I haven't been back, but it remains my BIL's favorite, and they hit it on this last trip without us.

Garden Grill - Epcot - dinner. Mickey, Pluto, Chip & Dale. Family Style This one I can't say enough about. The food was outstanding. The rotating aspect of the room and the scenes was cool as well. Granted all this may have been affected by DD6 leaving the ER with staples in her head (long story) a few hours before, but even that couldn't kill the mood.

Crystal Palace - Magic Kingdom - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger. Buffet Did it for lunch on one of our first trips ... pretty good, but didn't stand out. Also did it for the breakfast before the park opens to try that out ... again pretty good, but nothing to write home about.

1900 Park Fare - Grand Floridian Resort -breakfast and dinner. Supercalifragilistic Breakfast with a variety of characters. Currently there are Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, and the Mad Hatter. Again good, but not great breakfast. Found ourselves waiting a long time to get Poppins to finally reach our table before we could leave, but that was probably just an isolated case.

Dinner - Cinderella's Gala Feast - Regulars include Cinderella and Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, Drizella, and the Fairy Godmother. BuffetAs far as dinner buffets go, this one was pretty darn good. The characters were fun. Anastasia scared the dogpoop out of DS4, and Prince Charming danced with DD6

Tusker House - Animal Kingdom - breakfast and lunch. Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Mickey. Buffet This was a fun breakfast both in atmosphere and food. Along the same lines as Ohana for us, but not quite up there.

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall - Epcot - Breakfast characters: Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Mary Poppins. Lunch and Dinner are Norwegian style dining with Disney Princesses, too (including the occasional visit from Ariel in her gown). Family Style It's been a must do on the past two trips. I love the food and DD6 is all about Belle and the fact that you don't have to buy the picture with her at the end of the meal is bonus

Still haven't done (but in order of want):
Cape May Buffet - Beach Club Resort - characters at breakfast only. Goofy, Minnie and Donald Duck. Buffet

Garden Grove - Swan Hotel - breakfast and dinner. Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday features Goofy and Pluto. Dinner Monday and Friday - Timon and Rafiki; All other nights Goofy and Pluto. Buffet

Hollywood & Vine - Disney’s Hollywood Studios - breakfast and lunch. Disney Junior characters Handy Manny, Agent Oso, June & Jake.

In a class by itself:
Cinderella’s Royal Table - Magic Kingdom - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Characters vary, but almost always include Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother and may include Belle, Jasmine and Snow White. Fixed Price, limited choice of appetizer, entree and desert. Just waiting to pick the right trip. I did book it for my cousin's family at 8:05 a.m. for this coming up trip, so we'll see how it goes for them!

All of that is obviously personal opinion, and everyone has different takes on what is best. Hopefully, that helps for some.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:34 AM   #13
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Tom, thank you for this. It should be pinned at the Wining and Dining tab so it can be kept updated..


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Currently, Disney World offers eleven Character Dining locations. Here is a list of the locations, what characters to expect and type of dining experience.

Cape May Buffet - Beach Club Resort - characters at breakfast only. Goofy, Minnie and Donald Duck. Buffet

Chef Mickey’s - Contemporary Resort - breakfast and dinner. Chef Mickey, Minnie, Chef Goofy, Donald, Pluto. Buffet

Garden Grill - Epcot - dinner. Mickey, Pluto, Chip & Dale. Family Style

Crystal Palace - Magic Kingdom - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger. Buffet

Hollywood & Vine - Disney’s Hollywood Studios - breakfast and lunch. Disney Junior characters Handy Manny, Agent Oso, June & Jake.

‘Ohana - Polynesian Resort - characters at breakfast only. Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, Goofy, and Pluto. Family Style

1900 Park Fare - Grand Floridian Resort -breakfast and dinner. Supercalifragilistic Breakfast with a variety of characters. Currently there are Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, and the Mad Hatter. Dinner - Cinderella's Gala Feast - Regulars include Cinderella and Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, Drizella, and the Fairy Godmother. Buffet

Tusker House - Animal Kingdom - breakfast and lunch. Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Mickey. Buffet

Cinderella’s Royal Table - Magic Kingdom - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Characters vary, but almost always include Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother and may include Belle, Jasmine and Snow White. Fixed Price, limited choice of appetizer, entree and desert.

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall - Epcot - Breakfast characters: Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Mary Poppins. Lunch and Dinner are Norwegian style dining with Disney Princesses, too (including the occasional visit from Ariel in her gown). Family Style

Garden Grove - Swan Hotel - breakfast and dinner. Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday features Goofy and Pluto. Dinner Monday and Friday - Timon and Rafiki; All other nights Goofy and Pluto. Buffet


* Note: Characters listed are not guaranteed and may change.

** ADR's are highly recommended!!!!
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:05 PM   #14
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Unabashed plug for bakery at the Contemporary and the wonderful custom cakes they make. With delivery at the Chef Mickey's character breakfast.



Isn't there some guidance about not eating anything larger than your own head?
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:21 PM   #15
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We have been to most of them and ALWAYS go to Crystal Palace for our last meal before ending vacation. Here's a quick review --

Love Them for Everyone-- H&V, 'Ohana, Cape May, and of course Crystal Palace. All of these have great character interaction, good food, and pleasant environment. Also, they work equally for girls and boys.

Perfect for Princesses -- Cinderella's Table and Akershus. We love these restaurants, although our son isn't that big of a fan as they are diffently geared more to the princesses then the princes.

OK but Nothing Special -- Chef Mickey's and 1900 Park Fare. They places felt crowded, interaction was harried, and food is just OK. Still, we would return if that's what others wanted. Our preference is for other locations.

Could Not Pay Us to Return -- Garden Grill. We had been looking forward to eating here for year but were incredibly disappointed when we finally went. While the restaurant was interesting and characters great, the food was overcooked and bland. We ended up eating a second meal after paying big money to ear here. While we don't mind paying a premium for characters with average food but for food we would not eat, no thanks. Honestly, there are few restaurants in all of Disney we will not go to (and we have eaten at almost all of them). This is certainly among those few -- if not on the top as our single most unfavorite restaurant in all of the land.

We have never tried Garden Grove or Tusker House, though we will going to Tusker House in December. So cannot comment on those.
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:01 PM   #16
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Hi, like many posts we have done most of the character dining as it was easier getting autographs than standing in queues. Our daughter was 5 when we visited cinderellas table and she loved it but I think once you have done it that is it. We were really disappointed with akershush although the setting was really good was disappointed with the food.

My daughter is now 9 and every time we go we always book Hollywood & vine for evening meal, she never gets bored of the characters and loves the food. We always book crystal palace again for lunch, dinner.

The best all round food that is breakfast, lunch and dinner is tusker house at AK. Although the characters only for breakfast but we thought the food was faultless.

Breakfast at 1900 park fare was very good, it was very busy but one of the better breakfasts we have had.

Did chef mickeys last time we were there and it was ok but it felt like I was sitting in a canteen or fast food place. Didn't seem to have the ambience of the other themed dining.

I think next summer when we go we will try the Polynesian 'spirits' show. Has anyone done this....???????
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:13 PM   #17
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I think next summer when we go we will try the Polynesian 'spirits' show. Has anyone done this....???????
If you mean summer 2013..I hope they are still around. Rumor is that the Spirits of Aloha show will be gone soon with the Polynesian expansion.
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:16 PM   #18
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Yes I meant summer 2013 I read on here they are expanding but didn't realise the hotel would close
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:39 PM   #19
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All-in-all, character dining is more about the experience than the gastronomical pleasures. I've only been to Cindy's, Crystal Palace, Chef Mickey's and Vero Beach. The experiences have been good, but the food has always been a let down except for Vero Beach. Spirit of Aloha? It's a good show; I've seen it and I don't need to go back anytime soon.

I lived in Las Vegas for over 25 years; there's a difference between a dinner show and going out for dinner. The same principle applies at WDW. YMMV.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:35 PM   #20
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Yes I meant summer 2013 I read on here they are expanding but didn't realise the hotel would close
The Polynesian wont close, just the Spirit of Aloha will be no more.
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