Posts Tagged ‘character dining’

Menu Monday: WHY WAIT IN LINE WHEN WE CAN JUST DINE? Considering the value of Disney’s Character dining.

by on September 1, 2014

Now that Walt Disney World has a fully operational Fastpass+ system, it seems more clear than ever that the days of spontaneous character meet and greets are over. Instead of wandering up to park-goers on Main Street, characters meet with guests at specific locations, at specific times, with specifically designated lines. This translates into more planning, and, possibly, more waiting, to meet your favorite Disney icons.

Character Times

Character Times from the My Disney Experience App

Thankfully, character dining provides another opportunity to meet some of your favorites. As Brian McNichols outlined in a post here a few months ago, Walt Disney World offers a number of different dining experiences that feature visits with beloved characters to go along with your meal.

But is a character meal, which can approach $50 per adult at certain restaurants, a better value than waiting in line for a meet and greet (which has no cost other than Park admission and the time spent waiting)?

In this post, I’ll do my best to put values on character dining and on meet and greets so you can compare and decide how/where you’ll get a picture of little Suzie with Ariel. Read on for an explanation of how I made my calculations, or, if you prefer, skip right to some examples

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How to Pick the Right Disney World Character Meal

by on June 15, 2014

Disney World character meal

Meeting Aurora at Cinderella’s Royal Table

There are 11 places at Walt Disney World that host ever-popular character dining. While the total value of eating with characters can be debated, the thrill of shoveling sausages into your gullet while Mickey Mouse hovers over you can only be experienced by experiencing a Disney World Character Meal.

I am, of course, being flippant, as I am a huge fan of character dining. Along with my family I have eaten at least once at each of the character dining spots (reviews are linked at the bottom). Okay, truthfully I have never eaten at the Garden Grove character meal at The Swan Resort, but it’s never particularly appealed to us. Someday I will eat there just to be a completist, but for now it will not be further discussed.

So, anyway, I’m here to help you pick the perfect character meal (or meals) to visit while you’re on vacation. Let’s start with a few caveats, the most important one of which is that characters rule. What I mean by that is this: if there is a particular character that you or your child wants to visit more than anything, go to that meal. Even if the food is terrible and the atmosphere is worse than a dentist’s office, pick the one with the characters you want to see. Trust me when I say that a small portion of your meal price is going to food and atmosphere. You are paying for characters, so look there first.

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Cape May Cafe Character Breakfast: An In-Depth Review

by on June 3, 2014

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OVERVIEW Cape May Cafe has been a favorite for years because of its consistently good food and efficient service. The restaurant is large and tables turn over rapidly, but reservations are recommended. A walk-up request for a table for three at 9:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning required a 48-minute wait to be seated.

The Cape May character breakfast buffet is known for specialties like Chorizo and Four-Cheese Scrambled Eggs, cold salmon, and cranberry and banana breads.

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Universal Dining: Character Breakfast at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort

by on November 15, 2013

DSC_0265I have been fascinated by character meals for a long time now, probably because my parents would never take me to one when I was growing up. I’ve read all of Brian McNicholsarticles on character dining at WDW and love listening to various podcasts talking about the different dining experiences Disney has to offer. One thing no one ever seems to talk about is character dining at Universal. Well, today that is going to change.

Every Sunday, from 8AM – Noon, Jake’s American Bar at the Royal Pacific Resort has a character breakfast. About a month ago, I made a reservation for our party through Open Table for 10AM. Upon checking in, while we were waiting for our table, a couple of Pink Berets from the movie Hop were at the front of the restaurant. The children we were with made a bee line for these characters despite never having seen Hop.

The sheer awe that these kids showed in their faces and reactions made me realize immediately that my parents blew it. Big time.

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