Guests can still enjoy magical character dining throughout Walt Disney World during the phased reopening. There are currently four main character dining experiences opened and we are going to break down what you need to know about each of them.
1. Topolino’s Terrace: Disney’s Riviera Resort
One of the newest character dining experiences can be found at Disney’s Riviera Resort. Located on the top floor of the resort, Topolino’s Terrace offers a character dining experience during breakfast hours of 7:30 am to 11:15 am. During this meal, adults can choose one entrée at $42 apiece. There are numerous options to choose from such as an amazing wood-fired butcher’s steak. Kids ages 3-9 are able to choose items such as Mickey Waffle Dippers (yum) or fruit and yogurt. Special alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks can be purchased as well.
The characters at this breakfast meal feature Mickey and friends in absolutely adorable outfits. Minnie is a poet, Daisy is a ballet dancer, Donald a sculpture and Mickey a painter. Each of them will parade around the dining area multiple times allowing guests to snap pictures and videos as they go by. Even though they won’t stop at your table, you can still get a quick selfie if you want. Guests are asked to remain seated to keep that in mind with your little ones. At the end of your meal, guests are given a card with the character signatures to keep as a souvenir.
Topolino’s Terrace offers some amazing sights, food and some of the most adorable character costumes we have seen.
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2. Garden Grill: The Land Pavilion in Epcot
One of the few character meals opened in a theme park right now, Garden Grill in Epcot is a wonderful option. Guests are able to enjoy a family-style meal as Chip n’ Dale and their Disney friends come by to say hello. Garden Grill is currently opened for lunch and supper from 11:30-3:30 and 3:45 to 8:00 pm. While dining here, guests are brought Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast that is $55 for adults and $36 for those 3 to 9. Featured in this harvest are amazing options such as sliced turkey, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese. For dessert the table is given a berry shortcake with whipped cream. The great thing about this feast, is you are able to get more throughout the meal making the price a little easier to take.
While enjoying the feast, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Farmer Mickey and Pluto walk around and visit with guests. Currently most guests are sat on the lower section allowing the characters to walk around on the higher level and interact at a distance. With this set up, characters are more likely to stop at individual tables (from a distance) and interact with little ones. This might seem a little bit more personal than the experience at Topolino’s where they walk around. Here guests will also get the card with signatures for a keepsake.
If you are looking for a hearty meal and time with fun characters, Garden Grill is a wonderful option.
3. Chef Mickey’s: Disney’s Contemporary Resort
We were so excited when the iconic character meal at Chef Mickey’s returned. Located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Chef Mickey’s is the classic Disney character meal we all think about. With the reopening, some changes were made which we think are improvements. The meal is now a family-style meal instead of buffet and only opened for breakfast at the moment. Chef Mickey’s Family Breakfast is $42 for adults and $27 for kids ages 3 to 9. Guests are brought a variety of breakfast foods to choose from such as harvest sweet rolls, Mickey waffles, banana bread french toast and “celebration” Mickey pancakes. Being a family-style meal, guests are able to ask for more of specific items and cast members will assist.
Like the previous two-character meals discussed, Chef Mickey’s character interaction is slightly different. Mickey and friends (very much like Topolino’s) will walk and dance around the dining area allowing guests to snap pictures and videos from a distance. Guests will receive that signed card prior to leaving as well.
We really think the food has improved greatly here as it transitioned from a buffet to a family-style meal. The character experience isn’t as personal, but it is still just as magical to have breakfast with Mickey and friends.
4. Disney’s Hollywood and Vine: Disney’s Hollywood Studios
For a unique and seasonal character dining experience, guests can enjoy Minnie’s Seasonal Dining at Hollywood and Vine. This themed meal changes with the seasons. Silver Screen Dining is from January 5th to March 1st and features Minnie in all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. From March 2nd to May 30th Springtime Dine has Minnie shaking off the winter chill with the delights of spring. Summertime Dine stars May 31st and has Minnie ready for the beach. Halloween Dine hits in the fall with Minnie and friends dressed for the Halloween season and finally Minnie’s Holiday Dine is a dinner party filled with holiday cheer. No matter what season you are there for, you can enjoy seeing Minnie and her friends dressed to celebrate with you.
This dining experience is available for lunch and dinner and also saw some changes with the reopening. Moving, like Chef Mickey’s, from a buffet to a family-style offering this dining experience has greatly improved this year. At $55 per adult and $36 for kids 3 to 9 guests can choose from a variety of plated entrees after enjoying a family style salad. Adults can have a delicious prime rib or roasted turkey breast where kids can have staples such as mac and cheese, turkey or roasted beef. Make sure to save room for dessert as you can choose from options like banana cream pie or a vanilla creme brulee.
Character interaction here if very much like Chef Mickey’s and Topolino’s as characters will move around the dining area throughout the meal allowing guests to snap those pictures and videos from a distance.
This dining experience has greatly improved with the switch in menu. The different themes make it one that is fun to go back to and try new things as well.
But Wait… Look for Bonuses!
Those four-character dining options (Chef Mickey’s, Topolino’s Terrace, Minnie’s Hollywood and Dine as well as Garden Grill) are where you are guaranteed to see characters. Disney advertises these online making it a sure thing that you will see some of your favorite pals while dining. There are two other meals that we have heard rumors of a couple of characters making surprise appearances. These are not advertised by Disney meaning they are not guaranteed and should be thought of as a bonus if they do show up during your meal.
At Be Our Guest, the Beast himself has been seen walking through the dining area during supper checking on his guests. In the same way, Cinderella has been spotted a few times welcoming guests to the castle at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Again, these aren’t for sure but definitely ones that would add some additional magic to those meals.
Character dining at Disney has been adjusted and scaled back in many areas, but the experience is still just magical. Guests still are able to see their favorite characters while enjoying a delicious meal with loved ones. If you are looking for a special dining experience, we still recommend these characters dining experiences during your Walt Disney World vacation.