Any meal at the Walt Disney World Resort is sure to be a memorable one, thanks to beautiful restaurants featuring a combination of immersive theming and unique menus. While a meal at a table service restaurant is always delicious, character dining allows Guests to have even more fun while enjoying the meals amongst favorite characters. Each Disney character dining experience at the Walt Disney World Resort is unique and offers up the chance to meet beloved friends in different settings and even costumes depending on the location.
Let’s check out the best Disney character dining locations that Guests should be sure to enjoy on their Walt Disney World Resort vacations!
Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a stunning Deluxe Disney Resort that features a rustic and natural theme designed to emulate the sense of adventure found in the National Parks. In addition to the sprawling grounds filled with lush forest walkways, scenic views of Bay Lake, and gurgling streams, the main lobby building features massive wooden logs, towering stone fireplaces, and several popular table service restaurants.
Story Book Dining with Snow White is a wonderful character dining experience found at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge that magically transports Guests from the rustic charm of the main lobby to an enchanted forest that exists only in fairytales. Immediately after stepping through the door, Guests are greeted by a canopy of overhead trees filled with twinkle lights mimicking a magical forest at night.
Open for dinner only each day, Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White brings beloved characters from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to life, including Snow White, Grumpy, the Evil Queen, and Dopey. Guests love having the opportunity to spot the Evil Queen lurking or ask Snow White about her adventures while surrounded by the enchanting forest.
The menu at Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White continues the enchanted theming with prix-fixe options, featuring whimsical names that reference back to Snow White and friends. The meal kicks off with shared appetizers including Wicked Shrimp Cocktail and Hunter’s Pie before offering individual entrée selections such as Royal Prime Rib Roast, Brother’s Grimm Herb Chicken, and Magic Mirror’s Slow-braised Pork Shank before ending with shared desserts for the table, including “Poison” Apple and Miner’s Treasures.
With an immersive and magical setting, the chance to meet favorite characters from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and some truly delicious food, Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White is a must-do character dining experience at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera
One of the newest Deluxe Disney Resorts is Disney’s Riviera Resort, which can be found nestled next to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the Disney Skyliner. The massive Disney Resort brings the elegance and romance of the Riviera to life through beautiful and opulent grounds, architectural details, and dining options, including a character dining location that has quickly become a Guest favorite.
Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera can be found at the very top of Disney’s Riviera Resort and features a luxurious, yet laid back, interior that continues the theming of the Riviera. Guests can settle in amongst comfortable tables and booths and check out intricate and modern light fixtures, bold patterns and color schemes, and panoramic views from the outdoor patio featuring Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Barefoot Bay below.
While Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera is open daily for dinner, this meal focuses on a more traditional dining experience with a menu that celebrates French and Italian cuisine. Breakfast, however, is when Guests looking for a wonderful character dining experience can visit for a wonderful time.
Breakfast a la Art with Mickey & Friends invites Guests to begin their days enjoying the restaurant’s ambiance while greeting Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy, who are all wearing exclusive outfits inspired by the arts and the Riviera. While meeting favorite friends, Guests can enjoy a prix-fixe breakfast menu with entrée options that include Avocado Toast, Smoked Salmon, Sour Cream Waffle, Butcher’s Cut Steak, and Wild Mushroom Scramble.
Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera at Disney’s Riviera Resort is also open for dinner, but Guests who are truly looking for a unique experience can’t miss out on Breakfast a la Art with Mickey & Friends each morning!
Hollywood & Vine
Disney’s Hollywood Studios celebrates all things Hollywood by welcoming Guests to enjoy their own adventures and experiences that make them feel like the star in their own show. While the Disney Park is home to several popular table service restaurants, including The Hollywood Brown Derby and the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, it also boasts a popular character dining experience Guests won’t want to miss.
Hollywood & Vine is named after the famous intersection in Hollywood and can be found in the Echo Lake area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The exterior welcomes Guests with vintage silver and maroon décor reminiscent of an old diner and flashing neon signs let them know that they are in for a glamorous treat. The interior continues the theming of Hollywood with beautiful art deco inspired-décor including a detailed mural depicting the landmarks of Hollywood.
Hollywood & Vine is a very unique restaurant that offers up two unique character dining experiences throughout each day, as well as special seasonal parties. Breakfast each morning features the Disney Junior Play n’ Dine where Guests can meet favorite characters from Disney Junior shows, including Doc McStuffins and Vampirina. Featuring a large buffet, Guests can enjoy American favorites in between meeting characters, including omelets, bacon, eggs, pastries, Mickey Waffles, salmon, bagels, and more.
Lunch and dinner take a different approach at Hollywood & Vine with Minnie’s Seasonal Dining, a special experience where Minnie hosts an amazing party that changes throughout the year to reflect the current season. Depending on when Guests dine at Hollywood & Vine, they can enjoy the Silver Screen Dine, Springtime Dine, Summertime Dine, Halloween Dine, or Minnie’s Holiday Dine with Minnie and friends, including Mickey, Goofy, and Pluto — who change out their costumes to match each season.
Lunch and dinner at Hollywood & Vine also feature an extensive buffet for Guests to enjoy including options such as oven-roasted herb chicken, roasted pork, seared salmon, couscous salad with cilantro-lime, macaroni and cheese with shrimp and bacon, peel-and-eat shrimp, and slow-roasted crispy pork belly.
Hollywood & Vine in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a truly amazing character dining experience that offers up two unique meal options depending on when Guests would like to dine and who they would like to eat. Whether at the Disney Junior Play n’ Dine or one of Minnie’s seasonal parties, Guests are sure to love every moment of their character dining meal at Hollywood & Vine!
One of the most popular Disney Resorts that Guests love to visit is Disney’s Contemporary Resort, found just steps from the Magic Kingdom on Seven Seas Lagoon. This unique A-frame Disney Resort features modern architecture, beautiful views of Bay Lake from the back side, and several popular table service restaurants including Steakhouse 71, California Grill, and a unique character dining location.
Chef Mickey’s can be found in the Grand Canyon Concourse of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, where a sweeping atrium is bookended by massive windows, the monorail can be found gliding by silently above, and a stunning mural by Mary Blair towers overhead. Chef Mickey’s is an open-air restaurant, so Guests can enjoy their character dining experience while also taking in the wonderful ambiance and kinetic energy of the Grand Canyon Concourse.
Open for breakfast and dinner each day, Chef Mickey’s features a modern décor that continues the theming of Disney’s Contemporary Resort paired with bright pops of primary colors to add a sense of fun. Each table of Guests receives a signed autograph page from Mickey and friends to bring home, and throughout each meal, Mickey, Goofy, Donald, Minnie, and Pluto stop by decked out in their chef’s attire.
The food selections at Chef Mickey’s focus on traditional American favorites that are served up in a massive buffet for breakfast with items including Mickey Waffles, Slow-roasted Beef Brisket, Harvest Sweet Rolls, Banana Bread French Toast, and “Loaded” Potato-Cheese Casserole. Dinner takes a different approach with a prix-fixe menu of options served family-style including Citrus-poached Baby Shrimp, Potato Gnocchi, Roasted Salmon, Herb-crusted New York Strip Loin, and Barbecue-spiced Pork Loin.
Chef Mickey’s is absolutely a character dining experience at the Walt Disney World Resort that Guests shouldn’t miss out on. With a unique and beautiful environment created by the Grand Canyon Concourse at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, delicious American cuisine, and the chance to meet Mickey and friends, any meal at the restaurant is sure to be unforgettable.
Tusker House Restaurant
Of the four Disney Parks at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom features an incredible level of detail in every single corner that truly immerses Guests and makes them believe that they have traveled back to prehistoric times, to the savannas of Africa, to the lush jungles of the rainforest, and more. The Disney Park is also home to several table service restaurants that continue the incredible attention to detail and theming, including a popular character dining location.
Tusker House Restaurant can be found in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the village of Harambe. This quaint village features wonderful details that make Guests feel as though they have been transported to a small town in Africa, and the architectural style of Tusker House Restaurant feels like a building that has been standing there for many years with a rich history. Located tucked behind Dawa Bar and near the entrance to Festival of the Lion King, the restaurant is also slightly off the beaten path giving it a quieter feeling than the bustling main street of Harambe.
The exterior of Tusker House Restaurant features crumbling walls beautiful stonework, posters advertising local businesses, and beautiful African masks. After checking in for their reservation, Guests are invited to wait for their tables in a shady spot that offers up a great opportunity to really soak in the theming all around.
The interior of Tusker House Restaurant continues the story of Harambe with theming designed to make it feel like a bustling marketplace in the center of town. A main room with high ceilings, colorful fabrics above, and large food stations is currently prepping for the return of the beloved buffet at the restaurant, which will begin again on November 1, 2022.
The main dining rooms where Guests can find their tables are broken down into several smaller areas to create more intimate spaces, and throughout each corner, Guests can find authentic artwork, artifacts, photography, props, décor, and more that tell the story of African culture. Unique design choices also create interesting features such as spears being used as an art installation surrounding a light fixture mounted on the ceiling.
Throughout each meal at Tusker House Restaurant, Guests have the opportunity to meet Donald, Mickey, Goofy, and Daisy who are all dressed in their safari gear and ready to head over to Kilimanjaro Safaris and set off into the Harambe Reserve at any moment. With fun musical moments and the chance to see favorite friends, the character interactions at the restaurant are unforgettable.
Tusker House Restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and currently serves up family-style platters of African and American favorites until the buffet returns. Guests who dine at the restaurant now can enjoy flavorful food options like the Mickey and Simba Waffles, Durban Chicken & Egg Curry, Moroccan-spiced Beef, Berbere-marinated Pork, and Cape Malay Green Curry Shrimp.
With stunning theming, the chance to meet Donald and friends in their safari gear, and the unique menu of African and American flavors, Tusker House Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of the most popular character dining experiences at the Walt Disney World Resort and shouldn’t be missed!
Garden Grill Restaurant
The final character dining experience that Guests are sure to absolutely love can be found in EPCOT’s Word Nature neighborhood. This area of the Disney Park celebrates the beauty and diversity of Earth’s ecosystem with several pavilions, including The Land. This three-story unique pavilion focuses on the beauty of the land itself with popular attractions including Soarin’ Around the World and Living with the Land as well as a very unique character dining restaurant.
Garden Grill Restaurant is located on the middle level of The Land Pavilion and welcomes Guests into a round dining room with two levels of tables that features a big surprise. The entire restaurant is actually situated on a massive turn table so that Guests slowly rotate in circles throughout their meals. While rotating, Guests can enjoy glimpses of lush jungle murals, views out into the main area of The Land Pavilion, and even special glimpses down into the prairie and farmhouse scenes of Living with the Land which is located just below.
In addition to the slowly rotating entertainment, Garden Grill Restaurant is home to Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast, a character dining experience that offers Guests the only opportunity to meet the famous chipmunks in a restaurant setting at the Walt Disney World Resort. Chip and Dale love to visit Guests throughout their meals and cause all sorts of antics and Guests even get the opportunity to meet Mickey and Pluto, who are both decked out in their farm outfits.
The Land Pavilion and Living with the Land heavily focus on the unique growing techniques that are currently used around the world to foster delicious crops that can be enjoyed in a variety of culinary dishes. Garden Grill Restaurant continues this important focus by featuring a menu of fresh ingredients and flavors, many of which were grown in the greenhouses right there in the pavilion. It truly doesn’t get any fresher than that!
Open daily for lunch and dinner, Garden Grill Restaurant serves up its hearty and fresh menu items in family-style platters and Guests are sure to love digging into options including Harvest-inspired Garden Salad, Grilled Beef with Chimichurri, Barbecue-roasted Chicken, Macaroni & Cheese, Creamy Mashed Potatoes, and Berry Short Cake.
Garden Grill Restaurant can sometimes be overlooked by Guests due to the sheer volume of dining options in EPCOT, but it is one of the most unique character dining experiences offered at the Walt Disney World Resort. With the unique rotating dining room, special glimpses into Living with the Land, a chance to meet favorite characters, and a fresh menu of harvested ingredients, Garden Grill Restaurant is like no other restaurant on property!
And there we have the best character dining options available at the Walt Disney World Resort. Each restaurant truly features its own unique theme which is shared with Guests through details, menu items, décor, location, available characters, and more. Which character dining experience is your favorite?
*Guests should note that character dining is incredibly popular, so they should plan on booking an Advanced Dining Reservation to these restaurants as far ahead of time as possible to ensure a table! Advanced Dining Reservations previously opened at the 180-day mark, however now Guests can currently begin making selections 60 days prior to their arrival at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Didn’t get the character dining reservation you wanted? Don’t worry! Check out our guide to scoring the best dining reservations here!