I wanted to get opinions on character meals and what meal is the best time to go? Last July, we did The Crystal Palace (loved it!!) for dinner, Chef Mickey’s for dinner, and Ohana for breakfast (enjoyed this also). I want to try 1900 Park Fair, Tusker House, and possibly Garden Grill this time. My son and I are going the first week of March and although we are adults, we enjoy the character meals LOL!! Thanks!!
For me, the two that I would repeat again and again are:
Garden Grill breakfast - if you can do it early enough, say 8:00 to 8:15, you can ride Soarin’ afterwards without zero to little waiting. We got there at 8:00ish, were done eating by 8:45, and rode Soarin’ 2x by the time regular park-goers were showing up.
Tusker House “brunch” - try for a 10:15-10:30 time. They switch from breakfast to lunch buffet around 10:45 so you can enjoy both
I love the breakfast at 1900 PF! We went around 11am, and it was great because most people were leaving so the characters spent a lot of time at our table. The food was very good as well.
i’d recommend garden grill for breakfast. if you arrive early, try to request a booth for a better view as you rotate. the breakfast food is very tasty (the sticky buns especially) and filling. the characters were great. we were a table of three adults. the characters were engaging, happy to take photos, and stopped by more than once. it was a lovely way to kick off the first day of our trip!
We love TH and GG! Great character interaction at GG and it’s served family style (similar to Ohana) which I prefer over worrying about meeting characters when leaving to grab food at the buffet.
We’ve been to AP twice and it’s great too! I think the kids would vote that their fave character meal - the love the Queen!
This is a great point. Especially with really little ones (not relevant for OP), it was a bit of a hassle managing their plates on top of our own.
On our trip we did 3 character meals – Garden Grill PPO breakfast, Tusker House late breakfast (10:30 ADR to get access to both breakfast and lunch food), and Hollywood & Vine dinner with Minnie et. al. in Hallowe’en costumes.
Food-wise Tusker House and H&V were both very good (the latter was a surprise – we were at the beginning of the dinner shift so freshness probably helped). Garden Grill was good but it turns out we’re not that into Mickey Waffles.
Character interaction-wise, Tusker House and Garden Grill were good, Hollywood & Vine was amazing but the characters being in their Hallowe’en costumes made it more fun so I’m not sure if it would be amazing year-round. The costumes gave us all a great hook for “conversation” with them, and we saw Mickey, Donald and Goofy each twice.
I know most Liners aren’t that impressed by Hollywood & Vine so it might have also been that I went in with low expectations, but it was a really fun experience.
I know! Between the 4 of us we ate maybe 2. All the bacon and fruit got consumed though.
I’m with you, sorta. A coworker was going on and on about the amazing Mickey Waffles for weeks leading up to my trip, and I just thought they were … waffles. I think he overhyped them for me.
I travel with my mom (adults only)…and we have done:
Tusker House Breakfast
Garden Grill Breakfast
Cinderella’s Royal Table
We do Tusker House as PPO Breakfast every trip. We love it. Garden Grill is good food…but kind of a lot if there’s just two people. Also, because you’re sitting in a booth, it is a little more difficult to get up and take pictures with the characters.
I enjoyed Storybook Dining and CRT, but I’m not sure I would recommend them to people.
CP is our favorite followed by TH.
Fixed that for you.
Best food: 1900PF (omelettes and Mickey waffles), TAF (steak)
Best character experience: Ohana (Mickey), TAF (Flynn Rider)
Have also done H&V (not as bad as everyone says) and CP (meh). Trying out TH and CM next week.
The only one one your list that I’ve done is Tusker House. I really enjoyed it. The character interactions were great and the atmosphere was fun.
We just did Garden Grill PPO yesterday and Tusker House breakfast this morning (which was PPO when we booked it and then they changed the hours on us two weeks ago). I loved both of them. At GG, the sticky bun bake was amazing - we almost finished the whole thing with just two of us. The rest of it was pretty standard; I was a fan of the waffles, because they came with chocolate hazelnut sauce, and that raised them up over standard Mickey waffles (they also weren’t dried out and hard). TH had more variety, and was a free flowing buffet rather than everything being brought to the table. The roasted potatoes were top notch. The characters were great at both, but I loved the special outfits at Tusker.
We have been there twice now for the ROL package and we like to eat early. So we got ADRs between 4pm and 4:30. The restaurant is Not busy at this time which makes the character interaction top notch.
So much so that it is hard to eat your meal and have your children interacting at the same time.
But that’s a good thing.
Garden Grill is another great restaurant. Lots of good food, lots of interaction. I recommend both these restaurants.
We did: H&V, CM, AP, 1900PF, and GG. I would happily go back to each and do again. AP had the best food by far. 1900 and GG we did breakfast, I had to try the strawberry soup, but it was nothing great the other food was very good and seamed very fresh. GG was fantastic but I love Living with the Land so I may be bias. I preferred GG and AP because you are served at your table and you don’t miss any characters, also I felt that we were made more comfortable at these restaurants by the servers. I have never had a bad meal at Disney. I grew up going to 6 flags and to Jersey shore board walks so I know over priced garbage they serve. I stay at the All Stars and eat at the food courts which servers better food then the local food court in our malls. So if you go into it that I’m spending $$$ at a buffet you might not like it but if you go into it that I’m eating at a buffet the food is good maybe nothing to write home about but then I’ve only been to one buffet that was worth writing home about and that one costs $110 pp. Yes it servers whole lobster and prime rib all you can eat but no Mickey or other characters that are happy to see you as you are them. If you think of it as a meal and a show I find it is worth the price.