Character Dining / Great food - Outside of the Parks

It’s 22 days until we arrive at Disney World for our first ever trip - we’re coming from NZ!! :airplane:

We’re staying off site at the Disney springs holiday inn, and I thought it might be fun to squeeze in a character meal on one of our non-park days. Or a great meal in general. Our options are for our arrival night, at any time on the rest day planned mid trip, I’d like to avoid departure day so that we’re not extra stressed.

There’s only 2 of us, i’m in my 30’s and travelling with my Dad who’s in his 60’s and we’re not picky eaters. I’m hoping the touring plans dining reservation finder will help in getting us in :blush:

Any suggestions that will help us out: Best Character dining suggestion for out of the parks? Or great meals in general?

For non-park breakfast character meals we like 'Ohana (Mickey, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch)–it’s basic breakfast food but it’s served family style which is nice. We also have enjoyed breakfast at Trattoria al Forno (Rapunzel, Flynn, Ariel and Eric)–it includes a fruit bowl, pastry platter for the table and then each person receives an entree of which there is a good variety. It feels a bit more upscale than many character meals which tend to be buffets and tend to be loud. 1900 Park Fare has a fun character dinner with Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters (who are so fun). It’s a buffet but has some nice choices. 1900 Park Fare also does breakfast (Pooh, Tigger, Mad Hatter and Alice). We haven’t been in several years, but did enjoy it. Chef Mickey’s does breakfast and dinner, but it’s not really the best food and it’s loud.


I’m not a good one to comment on CMs as I mostly avoid them; for the price they charge, I’d much rather have good food. DS has more good restaurants than I care to list. Raglan Road is my personal favorite, and if you like oriental food, you can’t best Morimoto’s. I haven’t been yet, but Homecoming gets universally outstanding reviews, and it would give you a taste of upscale “Southern American” cuisine.

I would avoid arrival night, you will be tired and jet lagged, I know when we come in from the U.K. we keep things low key!
It depends on what characters you’d like to see…if it’s the main 4/5 then Chef Mickeys is a good bet, yes it’s noisy but the food for us was pretty good, breakfast seemed better than dinner. Park Fare has ‘fun’ face characters like Hatter and Step Sisters (breakfast and dinner). I’ve not done any others outside of the parks, only because the characters didn’t interest me!
I think for a first visit you’re going to want those all important pictures of Mickey and the gang, then you don’t have to do the M&Gs for them in the parks. Just my opinion…:wink:

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I love 1900 park fare! I have done dinner & breakfast there and both had good food & excellent character interactions.

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I’ve been looking into character meals (and in particular what might be especially fun for an adult-only party) and while I haven’t been yet, the one that gets most recommended is 1900 Park Fare dinner! The interactions with the stepsisters/stepmother are supposed to be hilarious, and from what I hear, the food is pretty decent.

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My BF & I did it alone a couple of years ago and it really was great!
I liked the food, although I am a bit of a plain food kind of person- but my BF is a vegetarian and he enjoyed the buffet also, when he has not on several other buffets.

Which buffers did he not like being a vegetarian? My husband is a veg and I want to avoid any buffets that aren’t tasty.

Oh we shouldn’t be jetlagged! We’re arriving about a week earlier and doing things like the space center beforehand :slightly_smiling_face: if we were coming straight from a flight my only plan would be going to bed.

He didn’t like Akershus & he wasn’t thrilled with Tusker house - TH surprised me a little, but we did that as a breakfast and he is also diabetic so while they did have pastry, breads & waffles - he didn’t find a lot of other stuff. I think that if we had done lunch or dinner at TH he would have been happier.

The lunch at TH was great, we thought. We went at brunch time and got a lot of breakfast and lunch foods. I remember the carrots being delicious. I’m looking at Crystal Palace, ‘Ohana, and 1900.

My recommendations are not character meals or even Disney meals, they are both off property but very close by. I figure if you were coming all the way from NZ you might like some non Disney recommendations as well.

There is one place outside of Disney where I always plan to eat every time I am in Chicago or in Orlando for a Disney trip and that is a pizza from Giordano’s. A pizza might sound like a simple thing you can do anywhere but Giordano’s is an authentic Chicago Deep Dish pizza place and if you are coming all the way from NZ you might want to consider it.

I am also taking my family to Fogo De Chao when we go which is another off property restaurant. It is a very high end all you can eat Brazilian Steak house where the servers walk around with many different kinds of meats on skewers just serving people. It is good food, fun and a little different. download-3download-4

Thanks for the recommendations :blush: I’ve sent a list through to my dad to see what he’s most interested in. And thanks for the non-Disney suggestions too!

Staying at the Holiday Inn, I’d look to Disney Springs for a meal (or meals) outside the park, since there’s a lot of great food there and it’s pretty close to your hotel. Homecoming in a great choice for comfort food with a menu from a Florida-based chef, so you’d get a taste of something sorta local. The Boathouse also gets consistently good reviews, so that’s worth considering, too.

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Have you been recently? Just wondering if Mary Poppins is pretty much always showing up. I mean it is the Supercalifragilistc breakfast :slight_smile:

I went in January - I can’t imagine her not being there. She is really the main character - I think that the only reason that they only say that the characters are not guaranteed is if someone calls in sick & they don’t have time to get someone else there right away :slight_smile:

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