Surprise Dinner?

I’m traveling with my DH, my FIL, DS6 and DD2 (newly turned 2) and we’ve decided NOT to do any big character dining experiences because our son won’t be into the characters and our daughter might not sit through a lengthy meal. However, on our last night at Disney, MG closes at 6 and I was thinking of surprising them with something special. I have poured over the internet and I just can’t seem to find something. Should I just suck it up and do a character meal like a buffet? Or is there something unique I should consider? We are doing other TS places like San Angel and Sci-Fi (our son picked)…

We were there a few weeks ago with our two boys, 5 and almost 3, and their favourite dinner was Biergarten at Epcot - there’s a German band that performs and all the kids get to go up and dance and they loved that. Would yours be into that?

What makes you say your kids won’t be into characters? My kids never showed any interest in characters at, like, local fairs, but they were very excited to meet Disney characters from the movies they see, especially Baymax and Stitch.

Character buffets worked well for us. (Chef Mickey, Tusker House, 1900 PF.) My son was 15 months and I was nervous about him not being able to sit still for meals. Buffets meant we got food quicker for him since we didn’t have to order and wait for food to come. The characters came by in pretty quick succession, and would pass if you requested (DD4 was not a fan of Mad Hatter so we told him not to stop and he just twirled away). Meals lasted 45 mins, maybe max 60, I’m sure some people spend 90 but we didn’t.

Whispering Canyon in WL was also good with kids. Atmosphere is louder. Pretty sure my son dumped most of his food on the floor, and nobody gave us a side eye.

Or maybe Hoop de Doo? Great food, good entertainment but not characters. DD4 giggles the whole time. DS-then-15mon may have napped (how, I don’t know) but was definitely a special night for everyone.

How about Garden Grill? Chip and Dale visit all the tables and my kids loved the revolving restaurant. The menu is a crowd pleaser!

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I second the idea of Hoop de Doo! A really fun time.

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Absolutely loved Hoop de Doo! My DD9 and DS6 were laughing so much they had stomachaches. DH and I had a roaring time too.

Hi erinkippen, I should have clarified- my son isn’t into many of the characters found at the sit-down character meals like the princesses or Pooh and friends, but Mickey, probably. Believe me, if there was a Baymax dinner or Buzz Lightyear dinner…he would lose his mind. haha

Thanks for the suggestion on Biergarten- I will check that out! Sounds so fun!!

Garden Grill in the land pavilion at EPCOT might be a good choice! It’s all-you-can-eat like a buffet, but the servers bring platters of food to your table family style. You don’t have to get up to leave the table, so it can be a quicker meal. When we went we saw the characters several times during one sitting. Mickey, Chip & Dale, dressed in farm attire made there way through to each table. It didn’t feel rushed, but it didn’t drag on like the typical buffet experience.

Hoop it up!!!