Of the character meals we have done (Chef Mickey’s, Akershus, 1900 Park, CRT, H&V, and Trattoria) I personally enjoyed Trattoria the most because…mumble mumble Flynn mumble yummy… reasons. Also the character interactions are the best.
Phew! I felt bad with you wanting Chef Mickey’s!
I am loving finding out how many other people suffer from this!!! I thought I was alone in this.
Sure, everyone talks about Flynn like this and nobody bats an eye, but when i do that with women characters it’s all “sir, you’re being inappropriate” and “please leave the fairy godmother alone!”
Unpopular opinion here, but the Bon Voyage breakfast was “eh”. My teenager liked it because she is a Little Mermaid/Tangled lover. My 8 year-old son (also loves Tangled and is the reason we do character meals to begin with) was so-so. I think there is some sort of terminology for when it’s an actual human character that talks to you and my son was NOT into it. He’s very shy so it may just be that there was actual conversation. He’d much rather hug Mickey, Goofy, whoever, snap a pic, and get an autograph without the pressure of making small talk.
These are generally known as “Face Characters” because you see the human face, as opposed to “Head Characters” who wear a character head.
We did a Chef Mickey’s lunch and while the food was nothing to write home about there was plenty of stuff we liked to be more than full and with my small kids the whole experience of riding the monorail to CR and then having lunch with Mickey was just about the best way I could think of kicking off their first WDW trip. Plus they love the napkin-waving character parade that they do at Chef Mickey’s (and also a Goofy’s Kitchen in DLR which is our favorite DLR character meal).
But you also have some really, really, really good other ones so I don’t know what to tell you to cut! We did Tusker and loved it & even though the characters are pretty similar to Chef Mickey’s, the costumes & therefore pictures you get are different, plus in that character parade, the kids join in with the characters which is super fun for them if they like participating.
We did 1900 but for breakfast and I really had a hard time choosing between doing breakfast with Mary Poppins and dinner with Cinderella & co. but the breakfast fit better with our schedule but dinner with Cinderella & co. is at the very top of the list of things I want to do next trip.
Trattoria al Forno is also one I have on my list to try next, but I would maybe eliminate this but only because it would be the most out of your way & you have a very good, solid list of other character meals. But I would be sad about cutting this over something like Hollywood & Vine or Crystal Palace.
Having never done either but reading about them when considering dining, I would also probably cut Hollywood & Vine over Crystal Palace. Hollywood & Vine didn’t even make my long list of meals that I wanted to consider doing on our 1st WDW trip when we went with young Disney Jr obsessed kids. Crystal Palace did make my long list but was in my first round of cuts after I read too many comments about it being loud & chaotic dining plus we were already doing CRT & BOG and I didn’t want all our 2 days of MK park time to be completely stuffed with meals. But Winnie the Pooh characters are some of my faves (hence why 1900 PF breakfast was a meal we decided to do bc it had both Mary Poppins & 2 Winnie the Pooh characters).
Anyway, best of luck deciding! Whittling down WDW dining is so hard (#firstworldproblem for sure, but still hard!) And I do agree that you should keep Y&Y adult treat for you! You deserve at least one nice meal for the adults who made the trip happen!
Have you checked the menus for all? I looked at the menu for Trattoria al Forno today and was surprised at how limited the options were. My wife has an egg intolerance and celiac, and we keep (loose) kosher so no pork. Maybe there would be an allergy pancake option, but if not, there would be absolutely nothing she could eat even without the pork issue! Out of about 8 entrees for breakfast, 6 of them were egg-based.
That’s my issue. BOG is similar.
And @HollyN, I find face characters a bit embarrassing to talk to as well.
BOG lunch was okay for us, but BOG breakfast, there is nothing at all. I still have an alert set for the PPO touring advantage, but she couldn’t actually eat. Definitely not worth a fixed price character meal to not eat!
Garden grill, on the other hand, has allergy friendly waffles and muffins. Not sure if the sausage is turkey or pork but at least there is something! Also, my wife can eat some fruits but not avocado, melon, or banana—last year akershus made her a separate fruit plate of just apples and berries. It was terrific.
I didn’t phrase that well, my issue is just that everything has eggs and I don’t like them - I’m not allergic but I won’t eat them so I have very little choice. I’m trying BOG lunch this trip.
I’m glad your wife has some options!
This is my concern! My daughter is coming out of her shell some, but still goes through bouts of shyness. I’m wondering if two face character meals would be too much, but Ariel and Rapunzel are favorites. The menu options there look okay, but none of it really excites me (except the Caprese Bloody Mary).
I have! We don’t have any dietary restrictions, but I wasn’t overly enthused about the Bon Voyage breakfast menu. The characters are definitely the main pull here. It’s also booked for our no park day, so even though it’s out of our way it won’t be keeping us from other super important activities.
Maybe we should reconsider our reluctance to go back to Tusker House. We were there for a character meal seven years ago and had by far our least appealing character meal. The character interaction was easily the worst of the ten character meals we have been to over the years. Daisy barely stopped at our table. We waited a while for one of the other characters to finally get to our table and they weren’t there very long. My son has a peanut allergy and when we asked about dessert options, they dropped a packet of gluten-free cookies on our table. I like the food, but the more picky eaters in our family were not fans of the food, but I realize this would not generalize easily to others. We’ve not been back while repeating most of the others.
The consensus seems to be the only one you can count on will be Cinderella. People have reported missing Lady Tremaine, The Stepsisters, and The Prince at various times.
Good to hear Cindy is always there. I assume it would just be one of the above missing at any given time which I can handle.
I had a good experience at Tuskerhouse. Goofy did “the perfect cast” for us which was pretty cool. But it was crowded and it did take a long time for the characters to make their rounds. The kids fell asleep while we were waiting for Daisy and she ended up moving along pretty quickly.
My daughter can’t eat eggs and was able to find a dish she really liked off the allergy menu at TaF. (She’s not allergic as far as we know, but they do make her sick to her stomach ). I loved my meal, which also didn’t have eggs or gluten. The pastries at the table weren’t GF, though. I honestly can’t recall what I had in place of them. I’m also allergic to nuts and I need low-carb, so I probably didn’t have any replacement. The pork thing, though, may limit meat choices, unfortunately.
I’m lurking in this very helpful thread. You scored a bunch of great reservations! I can’t help you with the characters, but I think you’re smart to keep the one non-character reservation.
Has anyone contacted the WDW special diets team for restaurant advice?