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.
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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.
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.
Who might be there: Mickey, Pluto, Chip n Dale
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.
Location: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
Who might be there: Mary Poppins, Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger.
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!
Location: Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Who might be there: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy and Donald Duck
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!
Location: Magic Kingdom
Who might be there: Pooh and friends
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.
Location: Magic Kingdom
Who might be there: Cinderella, Belle, Aurora/Sleeping BeautyFairy Godmother, and Snow White
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!
- Go to Google
- Type in “180 days before (enter your vacation date here)
- 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.