Why We Love Character Dining
- You are guaranteed to see the characters that you want, up close and personal with no lines or waiting.
- It is fun! The characters do a great job at interacting, are personable and sensitive to kids that may be scared or unsure.
- When planing out a character dining time while in the park, it has always worked out for us to be a nice break during the long day. We’ve taken cover during rain, warmed up when it has been cold, and enjoyed the down time.
- It takes off the pressure to see characters while in the park. If lines are long and the park is crowded while you’re there, you may not get a chance to meet any characters. You may just decide to use your time waiting in lines for particular rides rather than to see a character.
- The food is always a good selection and there is always a great child-friendly section.
Character Dining Tips
- Make reservations way in advance! Disney allows up to 180 days in advance for resort guests.
- For large groups: Call on the morning of your 180 days out! This past time we went to Disney World, we went with our extended family and there were 20 of us in all. We called to schedule our dining experiences on the very first day possible (180 days in advance) and still did not get in to all the places we wanted.
- For large groups: Be sure to make special seating requests clear. We had 10 adults and 10 kids for our family reunion trip and being all together was important to us. We thought that having a reservation guaranteed we’d be seated together. This is not always the case! Most restaurants were very accommodating, and the friendly staff did what they could. However, many of the restaurants are just not set up to fit that large of a table all together. At Chef Mickey’s for example, we were at 3 small separate tables, but grouped together. At 1900 Park Fare we crammed into one large table, but it was tight (and took some persuading)!
- On the other side of this: it was very annoying when it came our time to get pictures and autographs but kids from other tables were running up and jumping into the mix. Don’t be that family! Explain to your kids that you must take turns and share the characters with the other kids and their families.