DiningWalt Disney World (FL)

Every Walt Disney World Character Dining Meal Ranked

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When it comes to dining experiences at Walt Disney World, character meals are some of the most popular – and most memorable. Ideally, these special meals offer the perfect blend of delicious food and magical character interactions. But with so many options available, how do you choose the best one for your family? I’ve ranked every Walt Disney World character meal based on guest satisfaction ratings, and provided all of the other information you need so that you can make an informed decision while planning your next WDW trip.

Explain the Math

To rank the character meals at Walt Disney World, I pulled overall average satisfaction ratings from guests who have experienced these meals in the past 12 months. The satisfaction ratings are based on a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down rating for each restaurant. The overall average is the percentage of responses that were thumbs-up. These ratings reflect the guests’ opinions on food quality, character interactions, atmosphere, and overall experience.

One note about the specificity of these ratings – they are only for the overall restaurant, not a specific meal (like breakfast, lunch, or dinner). That means that restaurants that operate as a character dining location for only some meals during the day could have skewed ratings because some visitors will be rating the character meal, and others will be rating the non-character meal. This could impact scores at Cape May Cafe, ‘Ohana, and Topolino’s Terrace.

12. 1900 Park Fare – 78% (since reopening April 2024)

Location: Grand Floridian Resort
Characters: Mirabel, Tiana (in her Bayou outfit), Cinderella, and Aladdin as Prince Ali*
Meal Type: Buffet at breakfast, lunch, and dinner (menus)
Notable Dishes: Strawberry Soup, Guava and Cream Cheese Danish, Bread Pudding, Prime Rib

1900 Park Fare only reopened in April 2024. The restaurant received a redesign and a retheming of this popular meal. The entire experience is now themed to “the power of a wish,” and a wishing ceremony is performed every hour throughout the day. Unfortunately, character appearances here are much more unreliable than at other meals with defined character lists. Aladdin seems to be missing about 30% of the time, and one of the other featured characters is missing about 10% of the time. Snow White substitutes for anyone missing.

As reflected by the low satisfaction score, food on the buffet is very hit or miss. TouringPlans had an excellent experience on opening day, but my two breakfasts there in April and June were both disappointing meals. You may get lucky if you choose to go, but you may not.

11. ‘Ohana – 83%

Location: Polynesian Village Resort
Characters: Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, Pluto
Meal Type: Family-style breakfast (menu)
Notable Dishes: Hawaiian-style ham, Pineapple-coconut breakfast bread

‘Ohana provides a tropical twist on the traditional character breakfast, including the only Lilo appearance anywhere on property. Guests enjoy the somewhat unique, island-inspired breakfast offerings, but some note variability in food quality and service. The overall score here also reflects on dinner – where characters do not meet. And the food and service during that meal are at least equally as polarizing.

10. Hollywood & Vine – 84%

Location: Hollywood Studios
Characters: “Disney Junior Friends” at breakfast (usually Fancy Nancy, Vampirina, Doc McStuffins, and Goofy), and “Minnie & Friends” at lunch and dinner (usually Minnie, Mickey, Pluto, and Goofy)
Meal Type: Buffet at breakfast, lunch, and dinner (menus)
Notable Dishes: Seasonal-themed buffet items, Carved Meats, Mickey Waffles

Hollywood & Vine, while still on the lower end of satisfaction scores overall, has been making positive strides in the past few years. Ever since the buffet reopening (meals were served from a menu immediately following the pandemic), dishes have gotten more ambitious, and quality has steadily improved. Breakfast is a hit with the littlest visitors to Hollywood Studios, thanks to its Disney Junior stars that don’t dine anywhere else. And Minnie’s Seasonal Dine can add a fun and festive flair to any holiday you might be celebrating at the parks.

9. Cinderella’s Royal Table – 85%

Location: Magic Kingdom
Characters: Cinderella and a selection of 3 or 4 other princesses
Meal Type: Prix fixe menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (menus)
Notable Dishes: Filet, Catch of the Day, Banana-Stuffed French Toast

Dining inside Cinderella Castle is the pinnacle of character dining for many families. What could beat eating with princesses inside the castle in the most iconic theme park in the world? Well, it turns out … statistically speaking, eight other meals could. Still, if you have princess fans who are all about living like royalty during their Magic Kingdom day, this is the place to be. Just be prepared to pay a steep price for the privilege of dining in the castle!

8. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall – 87%

Location: EPCOT, Norway pavilion
Characters: 4 or 5 princesses
Meal Type: Family-style at breakfast, lunch, and dinner (menus)
Notable Dishes: Norwegian Waffles, Norwegian Meatballs, Seared Salmon

Belle at Restaurant Akershus in EPCOT's Norway pavilion.
Belle at Restaurant Akershus in EPCOT’s Norway pavilion.

The other princess dining experience in a castle sneaks in just ahead of Cinderella and her crew. If you’d rather dine in EPCOT, you can book this less-popular, but more-satisfying, meal at the Norway pavilion instead. You’ll still get royal vibes, but food will be served family-style instead of ordered off a menu. Still, for $17 less per adult, you might think about trading castles for one meal.

7. Storybook Dining at Artist Point – 87%

Location: Wilderness Lodge
Characters: Snow White, Evil Queen, Dopey, Grumpy
Meal Type: Prix fixe menu at dinner (menu)
Notable Dishes: Royal Prime Rib Roast, Magic Mirror Slow-braised Pork Shank, Poison Apple Dessert

Storybook Dining immerses guests in a forest-themed setting with characters from Snow White. For my money, the food here is some of the best of any character meal. You can read about the life-changing pork shank here. Unfortunately, the character interactions with the main characters are fleeting, and tables are arranged almost on top of each other. Additionally, the evil queen’s frosty presence flusters many younger diners. With all of those cards stacked against it, it’s impressive that this is the highest-rated princess meal at Walt Disney World. Thank the food.

6. Chef Mickey’s – 88%

Location: Contemporary Resort
Characters: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto
Meal Type: Buffet at all meals (menus)
Notable Dishes: Mickey-shaped Waffles, Parmesan-Crusted Chicken, Carving Station

Chef Mickey’s is a quintessential character dining experience with the iconic characters in a lively setting, with the monorail running past regularly. That lively atmosphere equates to a lot of noise. If you have nightmares about chaotic, loud character meals at Disney … this is it. And it doesn’t bode well when Mickey waffles, which appear on almost every character breakfast menu, are one of the notable dishes because so little else stands out. But enough visitors are pleased with their Chef Mickey’s experience that it barely sneaks into the top half of options.

5. Tusker House – 90%

Location: Animal Kingdom
Characters: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy
Meal Type: Buffet at all meals (menus)
Notable Dishes: Spit-roasted Chicken, Berbere Pork, Simba Waffles

Tusker House stands out for its adventurous menu featuring African-inspired cuisine. The character interactions and vibrant setting add to the overall appeal, making it a great option for many families. If members of your party are Animal Kingdom fans who also love character meals, this is an excellent choice because the outfits, the food, and the restaurant itself all serve to further immerse you in the world of African safaris. A perfect addition to a themed day.

4. Crystal Palace – 91%

Location: Magic Kingdom
Characters: Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet
Meal Type: Buffet at all meals (menus)
Notable Dishes: Carved Meats, Seasonal Salads

Set in a beautiful, Victorian-style greenhouse, Crystal Palace offers a charming dining experience with characters from the Hundred Acre Wood. According to comments, the food has remarkably improved in quality in recent months. And the character interactions with Winnie the Pooh and friends are always heart-warming. This option is a favorite with many families who have young kids and prefer a character meal in Magic Kingdom without princesses (or the higher price tag at the castle).

3. Cape May Café – 93%

Location: Beach Club Resort
Characters: Minnie, Daisy, Donald, Goofy
Meal Type: Buffet at breakfast (menu)
Notable Dishes: Salted Caramel Beach Buns, Cheddar Biscuits, Omelets

Cape May Café offers a beach-themed breakfast buffet with classic characters in beach attire. But dinner is character-free, so don’t book that meal expecting to meet Minnie and her pals. This option is certainly convenient for anyone staying along Crescent Lake or the Skyliner route, but the breakfast buffet is decidedly mediocre. Still, the fun outfits, mid-breakfast dance party, and the salted caramel buns delivered directly to your table are enough to lift this meal to well above average.

2. Garden Grill – 94%

Location: EPCOT, Land pavilion
Characters: Mickey, Pluto, Chip, Dale
Meal Type: Family-style at all meals (menus)
Notable Dishes: Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread, Backyard Grilled Steak

Garden Grill offers a unique rotating restaurant experience with views of the Living with the Land attraction. Chip and Dale embody the fun to be had at this dining location – and the low guest-to-character ratio means more time for meaningful interactions. As you rotate through the rainforest, desert, prairie, and farmhouse scenes, characters roam past and enjoy the scenery with you. For any fans of Chip and Dale, or Living with the Land, this is the obvious choice. And with such a high satisfaction score, others might want to give it a try too.

1. Topolino’s Terrace – 96%

Location: Riviera Resort
Characters: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy
Meal Type: Prix fixe menu at breakfast (menu)
Notable Dishes: Quiche Gruyère, Sour Cream Waffle, Wood-fired Steak and Eggs

Minnie Mouse. (photo by @DznyGrlSD)

Topolino’s Terrace offers an upscale dining experience with stunning views and a sophisticated menu. Characters are only available at breakfast – but dinner is also an excellent choice for those wanting a more upscale meal. The elegant setting, combined with exclusive character outfits and high-quality dishes, make it the highest-rated character meal at Walt Disney World.

Bonus Round: Ravello

Location: Four Seasons Orlando
Characters: Goofy, Mickey, Minnie
Meal Type: Buffet at breakfast
Notable Dishes: Quiche Gruyère, Sour Cream Waffle, Wood-fired Steak and Eggs

We don’t collect post-visit satisfaction data for Ravello – a dining location at the Four Seasons Orlando, near Fort Wilderness and the Magic Kingdom. This is my personal top pick for both food and character interactions of any Walt Disney World character meal. But it does require driving or taking an Uber, and it’s only available a couple of days a week. That keeps the crowds low and the quality high!

What Does This Mean For You?

Choosing the best character meal can be a challenge, but here are a few key takeaways to help you decide:

  1. Consider Your Favorite Characters: If meeting specific characters is a priority, choose a meal where those characters are guaranteed to appear. Or roll the dice with who might be available at a “and Friends” meal or 1900 Park Fare.
  2. Look at the Menu: Different meals offer different types of cuisine. Make sure the menu appeals to everyone in your party. Buffets are the best for lots of choices, but typically have lower-quality food than some of the fixed-price menus or family-style options.
  3. Think About the Atmosphere: Each restaurant has its own unique ambiance. Consider what type of setting will enhance your dining experience.
  4. Book Early: Character meals are very popular, so make your reservations as early as possible to ensure you get a spot at your desired restaurant.

Let me know in the comments what your favorite Walt Disney World character meal is, or any special character meal memories you want to share!

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Becky Gandillon

Becky Gandillon was trained in biomedical engineering, but is now a full-time data and analytics nerd. She loves problem solving and travelling. She and her husband, Jeff, live in St. Louis with their two daughters and they have Disney family movie night every Saturday. You can follow her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-gandillon/ or instagram @raisingminniemes

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