Disney Character Dining on a Budget – (Tools you need to maximize your dollars)

Disney Character Dining on a Budget

Character dining is an easy way to save time at the parks and meet a bunch of different Disney characters. There are a ton of good options for character dining so I’d like to go through a few options, some tips, and how to get the best bang for your buck.

Though character dining is not inexpensive, I would definitely make it part of your vacation.

Garden Grove

Location: Walt Disney World Swan Hotel

Who might be there: Chip n Dale, Goofy, and Pluto

Breakfast:  Adults$12– $23; Child (3-9) $7 or $14
Lunch: Adults $14-$19; Child (3-9)$ 9–$12
Dinner: Adults$30–$37 ; Child (3-9) $19

This dining option happens in a spacious room with a 25-foot faux oak tree right in the middle.  Which at night has twinkling lights once the room lights are dimmed. What makes this character dining worth the trip to the Swan is the price.  While you won’t see Mickey, you’re getting a huge bang for your buck.

Character Dining at Wyndham Lake Buena Vista

Location: Disney Springs Area

Cost: Breakfast:  Adults $27.00; Child (3-9) $13.00

Who might be there: Goofy and Pluto

A full on Disney buffet with Mickey waffles and all you can eat omelets.  Head offsite for a less crowded, more relaxed meal that is just as much fun.  No reservations needed and the price is  great.

 

Tusker House

Location: Animal Kingdom

Who might be there: Daisy, Donald, Mickey, and Goofy

Tusker House Cost:

Breakfast:  Adults $30.00; Child (3-9) $18.00
Lunch: Adults $38.00; Child (3-9) $23.00
Dinner: Adults $42.00; Child (3-9) $25.00

This is a great character buffet and the food is good too.  One of the reasons I like this option  the most is because Animal Kingdom can be a slow day for touring.  It’s a nice break from the parks and the ambiance is so wonderful.

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Garden Grill

Location: Epcot

Who might be there: Mickey, Pluto, Chip n Dale

Cost:

Breakfast: Adults $32.00; Child (3-9) $19.00
Lunch: Adults $41.00; Child (3-9) $23.00
Dinner: Adults $41.00; Child (3-9) $23.00

This is one of two places that you can actually find Mickey Mouse in Epcot! I really like the characters at this one and that fact that it’s all you can eat.  They bring the food around in platters but you can take as much as you want.

1900 Park Fare

Location: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Who might be there: Mary Poppins, Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger.

Cost:

Breakfast:  Adults $33.00; Child (3-9) $20.00
Lunch: Adults $37.00; Child (3-9) $22.00
Dinner: Adults $47.00; Child (3-9) $37.00

There are a few different meal options here such as Cinderella’s Happily Everafter Dinner and the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast.  This is also a breakfast or dinner buffet or a tea party!

Chef Mickey’s 

Location: Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Who might be there: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy and Donald Duck

Cost:

Breakfast:  Adults $41.00; Child (3-9) $25.00
Dinner: Adults $50.00; Child (3-9) $30.00

American cuisine buffet style.  The contemporary resort is a modern themed beauty.  It’s bright and the monorail going by really takes the cake.  You get the best five characters here so make sure to reserve a table here asap.

This is going to be my next stop as I really like the character options here.  They’re the traditional ones everyone wants to see!

The Crystal Palace 

Location: Magic Kingdom

Who might be there: Pooh and friends

Cost:

Lunch: Adults $45.00; Child (3-9) $27.00
Dinner: Adults $45.00; Child (3-9) $27.00

This is also a very popular buffet that features all your favorite friends from the Hundred Acre Woods. It’s right in the heart of the Magic Kingdom park so it will be convenient to get to.

Cinderella’s Royal Table

Location: Magic Kingdom

Who might be there: Cinderella, Belle, Aurora/Sleeping BeautyFairy Godmother, and Snow White

Cost:

Breakfast:  Adults $58.00; Child (3-9) $26.00
Lunch: Adults $61.00; Child (3-9) $38.00
Dinner: Adults $73.00; Child (3-9) 43.00

“Fairytale dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table” inside her castle.  This is the most famous and popular of the character dining options. 180 advanced reservations are a must. The setting is a perfect combination of majestic and medieval.  Not to be missed if you have princess lovers in your party.

Character Dining at Disney on a Budget

There are a couple tips to find your way to the least expensive character meal at Disney World.  For starters, you want to book your vacation during the offseason.  Not that I think you should book your vacation around a character meal, but booking during the offseason is imperative for any Disney vacation a budget.

My second tip is to go with a breakfast meal.  Characters in attendance don’t really differ by meal and breakfast is always the least expensive option for character dining.

Third, scroll back up.  I’ve put the character dining options in order of increasing price.  Meaning the cheapest option is the first option.

That is the Garden Grove character dining at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel.

Since the Garden Grove doesn’t have Mickey as a character if it’s important for you to see him, head over to Tusker House.  They do have the best food in my opinion.

Should we do Character Dining

Character Dining is a splurge.  Though there’s definitely a way to maximize what you spend, you’re still going to pay more for this meal than most meals.   But that’s ok because it really is money worth spending.

Spending hours waiting on line in the parks for character autographs is just not what you want to be doing.  Especially at Magic Kingdom!  MK has so many amazing rides and things to do, there really isn’t enough time for it all.

Fit this experience into your vacation budget as it is well worth it.

Making a Reservation 

At Disney World, dining reservations can be made 180 days in advance.  And there’s no limit!

Try this:

  1. Go to Google
  2. Type in “180 days before (enter your vacation date here)
  3. BAM you got yourself the day to start booking your dining reservation.

Now that you know your day when it is time to book.  Click here.  This is the page with all the character dining options on it.

Click the place you’re interested in and the check availability box will be blue and on the right-hand side of the webpage.

That’s all folks!

While I haven’t listed every single character dining at Disney World, I’ve listed the most popular and the ones that really make the best of your dollar.

Special thanks to RealMomRecs and Happily Ever Disney for some of the images and videos.

Disney character dining

disney on a budget

disney on a budget

22 thoughts on “Disney Character Dining on a Budget – (Tools you need to maximize your dollars)

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    We’ve been to Disney several times, and we’ve never splurged on character meals. It’s one of those things that it would have to be a pretty special character.

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    We just visited Disney Land and I was shocked by the prices for food. We did most of our eating outside the park.

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    I know my kids would love to dine with the characters but seriously – I would probably be just as excited about it as them! Maybe even more since they are in their teens now.

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      Hahah fore sure. Do you go to Disney often? My teenage sister melts into a child when we go.

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    Although I have never been to Disney Land but I have seen a lot in TV programmes. It is very popular world wide. I like the characters a lot.

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    Tusker House and the character breakfast at Hollywood Studios were my favorite. My son went crazzzzzzy at Tusker House!

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    I have never been to Disneyland so I had no idea that it was so expensive to eat inside the park. Wow, those prices are ridiculous!

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      Haha well these are for Character Dining at Disney World but they are high and definitely something to budget for!

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    Some great ideas for those on a budget! I bet the kids love it!

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    Wow there are so many dining options at Disney World! I’ve never been but any tips to save money are always welcome!

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    It’s so good to know that you can have a nice Disney meal on a budget. I will check all this out and see what will work best for us. Thank you for sharing!

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    I’ve never been to Disney World before but heard from my sister who had been there told me that everything was expensive in the park. But for the experience she doesn’t mind doing it for her kids.

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    I have never been to Disneyland but your information is very useful to anyone who wants to go. They can prepare for the prices waiting for them in the restaurants.

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      Thank you! I’d like to go to one with the main characters like Mickey as well a princess one.

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    I haven’t been to Disney yet ever but would love to. I have heard a lot of good times visiting that place.

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    thanks so much for sharing details like this. Often other places do not share prices. Thanks so much for sharing I find the information very valuable

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    I think if you are going to Disneyland, a character breakfast is something you must try.

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