Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Character Dining at Walt Disney World

Character Dining at Walt Disney World is like the bonus, the lagniappe or the Buy-One-Get-One deal you get when you are a guest of the Mouse. Most people expect to see the charaters in the parks, wandering around here and there or at a Character Greeting spot. When you dine in the Magic Kingdom at places like Cinderella's Royal Table, or The Crystal Palace, the characters come to you, with no waiting in line!

When my family and I visit, I like to create a challenge for myself; see as many different characters as I can at the different restaurants of Walt Disney World parks and its resorts. Here are a few of my favorites (and the favorites of my kids as well!):

Chef Mickey's at the contemporary Resort - My kids and I both loved this breakfast buffet! We always take a great family picture before we a grand breakfast. They serve all of our favorite breakfast food and BONUS...we get to see the Fab Five - Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy.

Cinderella’s Royal Table – Located inside Cinderella's castle, this is the quintessential dinner for the princess lover in the family. The fact that you're eating dinner inside Cinderella's castle is enough for most people, but then you add the princess experience before dinner and BONUS! Every prince and princess coming to eat dinner is greeted in the vestibule by Cinderella herself. Everyone gets a photo with her, in her larger-than-life throne.

Akershus Restaurant in Norway at Epcot - Princess Storybook Dining. This was a favorite of my princess and princes....as well as all of the adults in the party! Akershus is a great restaurant serving unique native dishes, that we hadn't eaten before. The food was delicious and BONUS! We saw all of the princesses! We were greeted by Aurora, Jasime, Ariel, Belle, Cinderella and I'm sure I'm forgetting someone.

Hollywood & Vine in Disney’s Hollywood Studios – You want to talk about a party for kids? You must see this one! The characters from Playhouse Disney dance around the dining room, encouraging the kids to get up and dance and sing along. Oh, yes...the food is really good too! This is a buffet restaurant that offers a substantial salad bar, many tasty entree offereings and even a kids' buffet. My kids loved the ice cream bar also. Even though I miss seeing Hollywood Mickey and Minnie visiting this restaurant, the Playhouse Disney characters really make this restaurant a party for kids of all ages. The BONUS here? The party of course!

These are jus a few of our favorites. We have experienced almost all of the Character dining opportunities at Walt Disny World, and we're looking forward to the rest of them becoming a part of our future trips. If you are like me, you are always looking for ways to add value to your vacation dollar. This is one of the esiest ways I've found! Every one of the Disney restaurants that offer Character Dining will be a BONUS for your vacation. You'll get a great meal and a great experience all rolled into one!

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