I cannot be the only one who automatically turns into a five-year-old girl when I go through the turnstiles at one of the Disney parks. I am not ashamed to say that yes, at twenty years old I still squeal each time I see a character around! So, as you can probably guess, I love character meals, where you and your family get to dine with various characters from your favorite Disney classics. So, grab your autograph books, your cameras, and your favorite pair of Mickey ears, and head over to one of these fan-favorite restaurants!
1) Crystal Palace
As my first ever Disney restaurant experience at age eight, the Crystal Palace holds many childhood memories at Walt Disney World. Characters from Winnie the Pooh, including Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore greet you with warm hugs at your table during breakfast, lunch, and dinner while you dine in a beautiful palace setting. While you’re there, you’ll get to take part in a parade around the restaurant, where the characters lead the children all around the dining room. While all the meals are delicious, this is one buffet that I definitely recommend for breakfast; the options are fantastic, and the view of Cinderella Castle cannot be beat!
2) Chef Mickey’s
This kid-favorite buffet sits high in the sky at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, where the big man himself owns the place. That’s right, I’m talking about Chef Mickey’s. Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, and Goofy will meet and greet with you at your table to sign autograph books and take pictures during your meal. How awesome is it to see the classic Disney crew in one meal? Even better, you may even get to dance and sing around the restaurant with your favorite characters, for a meal that’s sure to make a memory.
3) Cinderella’s Royal Table
To make your Walt Disney World vacation extra special, I recommend taking your little princess to Cinderella’s Royal Table, where you and your family will dine like royalty. Once inside Cinderella Castle, you’ll be greeted by Cinderella herself, before heading to your table. Once seated, you’ll be graced with the presence of several different princesses that vary depending on meal time and availability. Typically, you’ll see princesses such as Aurora, Ariel, Jasmine and Snow White during your meal. This signature dining experience is not to be missed!
4) Tusker House
Shhh, don’t tell the others, but this is my favorite Disney buffet. Tusker House is located in Animal Kingdom’s Africa, just beyond the Dawa Bar. Here, you’ll enjoy tangy, spiced, and savory dishes that have their roots in Africa while you dine with classic Disney characters. Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy (and occasionally Minnie!) will greet you at your table as they make their way around the restaurant. The most exciting part of your meal, (other than dessert of course), is when the characters lead a parade for children around the dining room. Kids of all ages will march around the room with African instruments to the beat of the music, making the meal extra fun, and creating a photo-op for parents to capture some of the candid Disney magic!
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As Lilo taught us, ‘ohana means family. There’s no better place than ‘Ohana to get your fill of family style dining at Walt Disney World! At Disney’s Polynesian resort, you and your ‘ohana can enjoy a buffet breakfast with your favorite characters from Lilo and Stitch, along with an appearance of the one and only Mickey Mouse! So grab a plate and stack it high with Hawaiian favorites and Mickey waffles. You’re in for a real treat at ‘Ohana!