Dining Reservations: Too Many Character Meals?

I am a first timer with a shy 5 year old. I thought having character dining would be an easy way to have her meet characters, so I scheduled the following:

Day 1: Be Our Guest (dinner)
Day 2: 'Ohana (late breakfast) & Crystal Palace (late dinner & fireworks)
Day 3: Tusker House (breakfast) & 1900 Park Fare (dinner)
Day 4: Cinderella’s Royal Table (breakfast) & Pirates Pals Fireworks Cruise
Day 5: Hollywood & Vine (breakfast)
Day 6: Akershus (breakfast) & Chef Mickeys (lunch before we leave Disney)

Is this too much? It covers all the character meals I want to do & she wanted to do?

For my family it would be too much, but that may not be the case for yours. Character meals are pretty time consuming events. The are a blast, but the eat into your park time. My family would not do more than 1/day.

It is a lot of meals, but I would think about it maybe like this

Cinderella you’ll see x3
Mickey you’ll see x3
Belle you’ll probably see x2
Donald you’ll see x2
Another couple princesses will probably be x2

This isn’t as big of an issue for the “fluffy” characters, but with face characters, it could be different people playing them. Would you daughter think it strange if she met a princess at one meal and they didn’t recognize her at the next meal? I’m thinking especially Cinderella at 1900 PF and the following morning at CRT. I would maybe do one of either CRT or Akershus. One of either Chef Mickey’s or Tusker House. Another thing to think about is that Akershus and Chef Mickey’s on the same day for breakfast and lunch will be a LOT of food close together. And as @sarahstaceymi mentioned, they take up a lot of time.

If it was me, I would try to cut 2, maybe even 3. I think keeping BOG, Ohana, H&V, CP, and the Cruise are all good, since they have characters that you wouldn’t really see anywhere else.


My last trip, we did one character meal a day for a 7 day trip. It wasn’t too much, though two in one day is a bit more extreme. :smile:

The benefits are you have significant downtime in AC (yea!) and a chance to meet many of the characters without waiting in line at the parks. Used correctly, these can actually help optimize your day if meeting characters is a big part of the plan.

That said, as noted above, the benefits start to wane a bit if you’re seeing the same characters over and over. Still, if that’s you’e thing, then do what makes you happy, not what someone else says you should do.

1 Like

Personally I’d try not to do 2 a day, but definitely not breakfast and lunch on the same day. I’d pick the most important characters and schedule as few as possible to see those. Also be aware some kids are terrified of characters - and you are introducing Beast as the first one, though he doesn’t come to the tables do you could easily skip if she is intimidated.

I agree with @mALYficent that you should consider either CRT or Akershus, instead of both. Same with Chef Mickey’s and Tusker House. Your Day 4 looks fantastic, I’d keep that as is and cancel Akershus. Breakfast and lunch on the same day will be a lot of time, and a lot of food. I’ve also heard terrible things about the food at Hollywood & Vine, but I’m guessing that’s more about characters for you guys, so it may be worth it.

Here’s what I would do if I were taking my nieces, who are around the same age, with your reservations:
Day One & Two: Keep as is
Day Three: 1900 Park Fare, no Tusker House
Day Four: Keep as is
Day Five: Keep as is
Day Six: Chef Mickey’s.

I think a lot of people might choose Tusker House over CM, but I like the idea of ending the trip by saying goodbye to Mickey.

You will still be meeting Cinderella twice. I’d suggest speaking up before your DD does the second time you see her. Something like “Cinderella! It’s so nice to see you again. We had a great time at dinner the other night!” will clue them into the fact that they’ve already met.

1 Like

Thanks for all the tips guys. I made sure to do these sit down meals b/c my kiddo loves to go out to eat as it’s more fun for her than actual events sometimes. She’s a morning kid (up at 5 am NO MATTER WHAT TIME SHE GOES TO BED!!! AH!). So the morning breakfast’s are ideal for her. Our trip is more based on Experience, rather than doing a ton of rides/shows/etc. My plan is to do a handful of rides, with mostly a lot of touring & seeing everything. To me, the character meals are more about experience than anything.

Day 1 we arrive mid-day, so when BOG had an opening, I took it. I heard its amazing!

I could only get 1 reservation for Ohana, which is why I have 2 ADR’s on day 2 of my trip. My kiddo wants to meet stitch more than anything, so that was a must (although I agree its not ideal). Then I was able to book a late Crystal Palace that would allow us to have a good spot see the fireworks at the same time, which fireworks were a must on my kiddo’s list too, so I felt like I couldn’t give that up either.

Then for day 3, we are only going to do AK for half a day, so when I saw an early ADR at Tusker House, I thought this would be a good way to see the park early as well as meet the Fab 5. Because the afternoon & evening is our “rest day” (it’s going to be July 4th, so I figured it would be super busy everywhere)… I thought it would be a good opportunity to do a fun dinner - which 1900 Park Fare was highly recommended b/c of the characters (plus my kiddo really wants to see the Prince).

Day 4: CRT is a must do for any 5 year old girl (in my opinion), as a way to check out the castle. We will do the pirates firework cruise in the evening, which does have Hook & Peter Pan. This seems like a good mix of good & evil.

Day 5 is Hollywood & Vine for the sole purpose of meeting the Disney Junior Characters.

Day 6 is a half day, leaving around 3pm. I did end up canceling Chef Mickey’s… I decided to keep Akershus b/c my daughter said she’d rather have more time with the princess & a chance to say “goodbye”.

I will think about it more… I have about 35 days to change things.

If she’s a big fireworks fan and can handle a late night, Illuminations on the Fourth is supposed to be absolutely spectacular.

Edit: It’s also an absolute madhouse, I’m sure. But Epcot handles crowds very well, and you might be able to rest at the hotel for a while between AK and heading there. Just a thought. If you’re looking for experiences she won’t forget, that’s definitely one.

Coming a little late to the party, but if you expect to have a good view of fireworks from Crystal Palace, I’m afraid you may be disappointed. Most of the tables are not near windows that face the Castle at all. If you do get one that you can catch a glimpse of the Castle, because of the design of the building, you won’t have a good view of fireworks up high, and people will stand on the porch around the restaurant to block your view of anything down low. I also don’t believe they pipe the music in there, although it has been a few years since I’ve been in there at the time of fireworks.

It’s a fun meal, but if seeing fireworks is a must, I’m not sure it is a good option for you.

1 Like

So I took into account what everyone said, as well as read a lot of people’s after stories & I agree I may be over doing it. So I rescheduled for:

Day 1: Be Our Guest (dinner)
Day 2: 'Ohana (late breakfast)
Day 3: Tusker House (breakfast) & 1900 Park Fare (dinner)
Day 4: Cinderella’s Royal Table (pre-rope drop breakfast) & Pirates Pals Fireworks Cruise
Day 5: Hollywood & Vine (breakfast)
Day 6: Crystal Palace (pre-rope drop breakfast)


Your little priness will just love the step sisters at 1900 Park Fair.

I suggest you do some reading on www.kennythepirate.com for some good tips for great character interaction.

Starting in June I would recommend watching the movies taht she will be seeing characters for. That might help her, and you can take some notes on what to say to the characters.

Better not to have more than one table service per day, but your day 3 looks good, and she should love the pirates and pals cruise. She should have something Tink on that will bring out some fun with Hook as well as ticking, he’s afarid the croc will get him.

1 Like