Character Dining: Is It Worth It?

Character Dining: Is It Worth It? - Chef Mickey's

Photo credit: PrincessAshley via / CC BY-ND


Character dining is one of the most unique dining option you will find at Walt Disney World. Where else can you eat Mickey waffles with The Mouse himself or enjoy regal entrées with Disney princesses? Many of the character dining options also include fun entertainment for kids. The only downside to character dining? The cost. Character meals are some of the most expensive meals you’ll find at Disney, but are they really worth it?

The Food

Character Dining: Is It Worth It? - Mickey Waffles

Photo credit: danuv via / CC BY

No matter which character dining experience you select, you’ll be sure to enjoy lots of delicious food. Character breakfasts, my personal favorite dining experience, often serve traditional breakfast favorites including eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and of course Mickey waffles. There may also be additional items to go along with the restaurant’s theme. For example, at Tusker House you’ll enjoy scrumptious African inspired dishes including coconut-sweet potato casserole, beef bobotie, and fried plantains. Guests at ‘Ohana will enjoy POG juice, a blend of passionfruit, orange, and guava juices.

The food options for lunch and dinner character dining experiences are equally delightful. Guests to Cinderella’s Royal Table will enjoy dishes such as pork two ways, beef & shrimp, or grilled beef salad. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, located in the Norway pavilion at Epcot, serves up Norwegian plates including Tradisjonell Kjøttkake, Svinekotelett, and Norwegian inspired desserts. Located in The Land pavilion at Epcot, The Garden Grill serves up farm fresh entrées including turkey breast, pot roast, garden fresh vegetables, and more.

The Characters

The most exciting part of character dining is, of course, the characters! While you’re dining, the characters will make their way around the restaurant stopping at every table. They’ll often arrive with playful antics. As my family was enjoying the farm fresh foods at The Garden Grill, Chip approached our table. He motioned to the food to ask if we were enjoying it. We told him it was delicious and offered him a bite. Chip shook his head no and rubbed his fully belly letting us know he had just eaten and was too full for another bite. You never know what the characters will do when they arrive at your table.

As the characters stop by your table, they’ll also gladly pose for photos. This is one of the greatest benefits of character dining. You can meet your favorite characters without the long lines often found in the parks! In addition to photos, many of the character dining experiences also host fun activities where the children will parade around the restaurants, singing and dancing with the characters.

The Location

Character Dining: Is It Worth It? - Cinderella's Royal Table
Have you ever wished you could walk through a nearly empty Magic Kingdom or stop by Cinderella Castle for a visit? Character dining is the perfect way to do just that. Book an early breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table or the Crystal Palace and you can actually visit Magic Kingdom before park opening. This is the perfect time to take some stunning photos of Main Street, U.S.A and Cinderella Castle. Another perk of dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table is the fact that you can actually dine inside the castle. This is a dream come true for any little princess! At Epcot, The Garden Grill restaurant slowly rotates past part of the Living with The Land attraction. It’s not every day you get to dine at a spinning restaurant! Chef Mickey’s provides an opportunity to dine next to the monorail as it passes through Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Is It Worth It?

Now, for what you really want to know: is character dining worth it? With many character dining experiences costing $30 – $50+ per adult and $15 – $35+ per child, there’s no question these meals are quite expensive. Even if you have the Disney Dining Plan, several of the character meals cost two table service credits. Despite this, I have to say character dining meals are definitely worth it! You’ll make family memories to last a lifetime. Some of my favorite Disney memories as a kid are from character dining experiences. As an adult without kids, I still enjoy character dining. My family always ends our Disney vacations with a character breakfast. On our honeymoon, my husband and I decided to end the trip with a special breakfast at ‘Ohana. Dining with Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, and Pluto became one of our favorite memories of the trip. Whether you’re a child or just a child at heart, you’re sure to have a wonderful time dining with your favorite characters at Walt Disney World! So go ahead and splurge on this one of a kind dining experience!

For more opinions on what is & isn’t worth the splurge at Disney,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Is It Worth It? Loop:

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Lee Beatens

We have never done this. So it is worth it with no kids? And the breakfast ones are the best? I’m in next time I go!

Andrew Stanley

My wife and I went to Crystal Palace without kids back in 2012. It is certainly a different experience without kids, because you know full well they are not the “real” Pooh and Piglet, but it does give you an opportunity to have some fun and be playful, to, for a moment anyway, immerse yourself in the fantasy of childhood once again. I recommend it at least once. 🙂


I completely agree. It’s definitely worth it, even without kids! They’re all great, but I do prefer breakfast. I love the Mickey waffles, and we usually do breakfast because we go to one at a resort on the last day of vacation, when we aren’t going to a park. But the lunch and dinner ones are great too. You should try a character dining experience on your next trip!

Andrew Stanley

My wife and I made an effort to book a character meal the last time we visited in 2015 (our kids’ first trip). We found that it was an excellent introduction to the character experience for our four-year-olds before we spent time waiting in line for them to meet the characters, and it was an intimate, non-rushed experience for them, too!


What a great way to introduce them to the characters!

Heidi Strawser

I always used to think these were a waste of time. Then one year we decided to splurge and now we are hooked! We started with one character meal on a trip, went to two the next time, and now we do however many we can squeeze in on the dining plan. Totally worth it, even if paying out of pocket, though, for at least one character dining experience per trip!


Love it! That’s kind of how we got hooked on them too. We won a trip which included dining vouchers, and well, once you have such a wonderful dining experience, it becomes a must do on every trip!


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