Jake Character Dining
Jake Character Dining

Free Dining 2107

Character meals are pretty popular at Disney and for good reasons. Each park has its own signature character meals with designated sets of characters, as well as some of the hotels. We will review the reasons why a character meal is a great idea on your Disney Vacation.

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First off the meal is usually a buffet or family-style meal. So it usually has many options that can satisfy everyone in your party and many different dietary needs. The food is good and plentiful. Each restaurant has its own style of food. Such as Tusker house which is an african-fare inspired meal.    Many of them have a carving station, kid stations, and include dessert stations too! The family-style meal also includes dessert!  It’s a great way to fill up so you have more time in the parks going on rides and seeing attractions. Then it gives you a chance to try all the infamous Disney snacks in the park when you need a bite to eat later on, and you might not need another big meal again saving you some time for rides!

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Time is money! Character meet and greets in the parks can have long wait times to see one or two Characters. Then you have to wait in another long line to see a couple more characters. For usually a very quick interaction. A quick hello and a photo. When you do a Disney Character meal you don’t have to wait in those lines, or in the heat. It will then, in turn, save you time in the park to enjoy other attractions and rides and expand on how much you can see and do in a day. This is a great benefit of doing a sit-down Character meal. They might cost a little extra but not wasting more time in lines makes it worth it. Plus it gives you time to relax a bit.

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The interactions with the Characters can be very memorable at these restaurants. They come up to your table to meet you, and take pictures with you and sign autographs. Some meals even include a song and dance. One of the most adorable ones I have seen was at Hollywood and Vine with the Disney Junior characters. They brought all the kiddos up to dance and sing with them. The meals just give you a different type of level of interaction with the Characters. Also, there is usually a handful of characters to meet at each meal. They will usually be coupled together, such as Mickey and Pals, Princesses, Winnie the Pooh, and friends, or as mentioned Disney Junior characters for instance.

Another tip would be to make the earliest reservation before the park opens. Then you get to get into the park early and beat the crowd. Once you are done your meal you will be closer to the attractions before the lines get all crowded. Hop on one of the rides with the longest waits during the day to save you some extra time! Also a heads up the restaurants usually only have character meals for breakfast and lunchtimes unless specified.

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You have to eat anyways! Why not make it a fun and memorable experience with your family. The characters add to the excitement and the magic of the Disney experience. They may be a bit pricier than other meals but they are worth it with having the ability to meet the characters at ease. Overall they make sense and everyone should plan at least one character meal during their visit. Adults too! You can enjoy this experience without kids. The characters are fun for everyone and the food and you can’t go wrong dining at Disney.

Don’t forget to make a reservation as these meals usually fill up fast. Also, some of these meals accept Disney Dining Plan credits. Check with the one you are interested in as some may count for two meal credits. Stay connected with Disney Addicts to find out other great ideas for your trip.

Photos Courtesy: Disney




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Jenna-Lee Languirand