Where To Dine or Not to Dine?

Family and I went to WDW in 2016 and did CRT, Crystal Palace, and Chef Mickey’s. We paid out of pocket for those and did a Quick Service Meal plan for the rest of the time. This time we are planning on a Standard Dining Plan and want to mainly try places we didn’t last time. Our kids will be 8, 6, 3, and 10 months. The 8 and 6 year olds are girls and the three year old is a boy. They LOVE characters. The girls especially love Princesses. We will be staying at AK Jambo House. My wife and I enjoy good food. So we are trying to get a good balance of good food and characters. Here is my want list:

1900 Park Fare (Breakfast or Dinner?)
Hollywood and Vine (Minnie Meal for Fantasmic Package)
Akershus (Lunch or Dinner)
Trattoria al Forno Breakfast
Chefs de France
Boma (Dinner)
Tusker House (Lunch or Dinner with Rivers of Light Package)
Storybook Dinner at Artist Point

As you can see I have 10 listed and I need to narrow it down to 7 for our dining plan. What 3 would you ditch? Ditch only two and pay for one out of pocket? Would you replace any with something I don’t have planned? Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated!

1 Like

These look like some great choices!! Hard to pick which one to drop. Hollywood and Vine doesn’t get the best reviews for food but very strong on character interactions and I like that your using it for fantasmic. You could do the new character breakfast at Riveria in place of Hollywood and Vine as it’s getting rave reviews. But I understand if getting there doesn’t fit into your schedule.
We did Prak Fare for dinner and it was okay food wise but not memorable. Character interaction was great though.
If you choose to do one out of pocket, consider Sanaa. I think it’s a little cheaper than some but a wonderful restaurant! We loved it! Boma and Tusker House may be similar. I’ve never done Boma but we LOVED Tusker House.
Good luck and have a great trip!

1 Like

Also- we lived Trattoria for breakfast. Don’t miss that one!

1 Like

Thanks! Good insights. Do you know if the new breakfast at the Riviera is participating in Fantasmic package? I just want to get good seating for Fantasmic without wasting a Fast Pass on it. I have heard mixed reviews about Food at Hollywood and Vine but heard the Character interactions there are great and that is the main reason for that one.

I have heard Boma and Tusker House are similar but Boma has even more choices and some exhotic ones. I would probably chose one or the other if we weren’t staying at AK but since we are staying at AK I figured one works for when we are in the park and the other works for a nice convenient dinner without having to go far.

1 Like

No. You’ll have to stick with a Hollywood Studios restaurant for the Fantasmic package. So I’d probably keep the Holly Wood and Vine for that.


You have a great list!!!

Tusker and H&V both have a similar cast of characters (I think Tusker doesn’t have Minnie) so I’d vote crossing off one of those. In my opinion Tusker has better food but if your kids are like my kids they’ll likely choose the same kids fare at both places.

We’ve only done 1900 PF for breakfast and we loved the character interaction there. I feel like folks like the dinner characters even better.

Akershus doesn’t get a lot of love but the setting is quite lovely. With Snow White at AP (definitely do this one!!) and Ariel and Rapunzel at TAF (another fave of ours. Our son loved the princes there - a perk since he generally refuses to take pictures with the princesses) maybe Akershus is one you could skip.

We’ve never tried Chefs de France but since you’re wanting to focus on characters maybe that one? Or pay out of pocket for something…

1 Like

I actually asked my oldest if she would be ok with skipping Akershus and just doing AP and TAF an she said no way! She wants to do Akershus really badly. We want to keep Chefs de France as the one meal that is really for the adults. We are celebrating my 40th, my wife and I’s 10 year anniversary on the trip and my inlaws 40th Wedding Anniversary. Chefs de France is one all the adults really want to do and so we are making that the official meal that celebrates all those occasions :). I’m leaning towards skipping O’Hana (which we were going to do for a dinner possibly) and skipping 1900 Park Fare and paying for either Sanaa or Chefs de France out of pocket. Which we might have to do Chefs out of pocket cause it is currently showing up as not on the Dining plan for 2020, so we will see. I’m so torn though, I really wanted O’Hana or 1900 Park Fare but you can’t do it all…

1 Like

Sanaa is a good one to do out of pocket if you are going to get the bread service (which you totally should!!) because you can easily share some entrees after eating that. That’s what we did on our last trip.


This is a great list. You didn’t say if Ohana was breakfast or dinner.

Keep - Ohana if dinner, Tusker House and Trattoria al Forno.

Questionable - Storybook Dining - gets mixed reviews for food.

I would cut -
Chefs de France - menu doesn’t appeal to DH foodie who doesn’t like French cuisine. Check the menu if you haven’t already.
Swap Hollywood & Vine for anything else. H&V and CM are my 2 least favorite character buffet meals.
Akershus - Food does not appeal to us. Great way to meet a lot of princesses in one setting. that’s the only benefit.
Ohana would be cut if it were breakfast. It’s nothing special IMO.

1900 Park Fare - Breakfast - Mary poppins and Alice and Wonderland, eh. Dinner - Cinderella. I prefer dinner.

Character meal suggested add - Cape May breakfast. Delicious omelet station.

1 Like

Thanks for all the great insight.

O’Hana would be dinner.
Hollywood and Vine- my main reasoning for it is for the Fantasmic Package.
I’m so torn on Akershus. So many mixed reviews but my oldest wants to do it so badly.
Chefs de France- We love French Cuisine but am torn on it too- Any other nicer table service in World Showcase you would recommend?

Thanks for the tip on Cape May. I’ll look into it.

They all look good. At a quick glance, you have 3 African-themed meals so I would narrow down one of those. Also two at Grand Floridian which can eat up a lot of time to get to unless it’s on the way in to MK. So I would cut one of those also. I recently went with my 2 girls and we did a ton of princess/character meals on DDP (yes I finally did go that route). They were fun but it was too much…food, princesses and scheduling of our time. In future I think we will scale back our ADR’s to allow more flexibility for schedules and appetites. On the flip side, I would definitely recommend doing the more expensive character buffets such as H&V and Akershus while you are on DDP because they are not worth the prices OOP. Maybe save a few more reasonably priced meals for another trip when you are not on dining plan.

1 Like

Oops actually one at GF and one at Poly, but still both take time to get to. Monorail to Ohana took us nearly an hour last year between the line to get on and all the stops. Depends on the time of day.

Our group in Octobed ranged from ages of 13 months to seniors. We loved Akershus and Tusker House at breakfast. On past trips we have enjoyed Boma at both breakfast and dinner. Sanaa was good at lunch, but I would do that OOP. Much of your list includes places that I am planning for a December trip, especially Storybook Dining and Trattoria.

I like the idea of OOP for Sanaa. I, personally, would skip H &V, but that’s just me. Since you want it for Fantasmic, that works. I like both Boma and TH, but maybe you could do breakfast for one and lunch or dinner for the other? That would give you more of a variety.

I’m not a huge fan of Chefs de France, but it is not horrible, either. MP is my fav, but it’s 2 TS.

Definitely keep TaF! It is the best breakfast I’ve had on property! As for Akershus, that is one of our must-dos at WDW. If you’re afraid of your kids not liking the food, you could do breakfast instead which has more “normal” fare for non-risk takers.

I would drop ‘Ohana. I’d drop Storybook at AP because of some of the reviews about the food off the children’s menu. I am not a fan of Fixe Prix with few choices.

1 Like

We don’t have kids, so I can’t speak to any of that. However, I am here to give Chef’s de France some love. We enjoy it, and it’s getting great reviews again even from the Dis.

We have eaten at pretty much every sit down option in World Showcase (excluding Le Cellier, in June hopefully!! and the new restaurant in Japan). If you are looking to stay close to that budget and enjoy French food, I say keep it.

1 Like

My favorite character interactions in your list are 1900 Park Fare dinner, Storybook Dining, and Trattoria al Forno.

I also agree that Sana’a would be great to pay OOP.

I would make sure to consider your location and ease of transportation when you plan. So come up with your general plan for the week then choose meals from your list that work well with that schedule.


What transportation will you have? If relying solely on Disney transportation I’d totally skip trattoria al forno. If you have a car, good choice as it’s not a buffet and buffets will be kind of a pain navigating several young children. I’d choose Sanaa over Boma for that reason, it will be nice for someone to bring you the food.

I’d cut either H&V or Tusker house. I couldn’t make it until the end of the day to see more than 1 maybe 2 night time show when my daughter was young. So I guess I’d pick whichever character you want to see. Also same as before, buffets are not going to be relaxing for your party makeup.

1 Like

1900 PF was great when we went for breakfast last June and Story Book was out of this world. Boma was just ok not all that it was hyped up to be. Tusker House can be used for River of lights if you are going to see that. O’Hana has been getting mixed reviews but most all say that there is always a long wait, so timing might get thrown off.
If you want to save DC and pay OoP paying for breakfast meals might be the way to go.

1 Like

This is a good list, and very similar to what I have planned for my own family with children of very similar age!

Everyone has different tastes, so for what it’s worth these are what we are skipping that you have on your list: 1900 park fare: The characters that meet there are not high on my kids’ lists and/or can be met elsewhere. Aside from the strawberry soup, I don’t find the food particularly compelling. Not bad, but not spectacular for us. If the character experience was something different we’d probably consider it harder.

Boma: We are very excited to be eating at Sannaa, and since Boma seems somewhat similar in vibe and offerings (I know not exactly the same, but similar) we decided to just choose one.

Tusker House: Again, the characters are similar to other places on our list. Although they are in their saffari gear which is cute. Also the same as the Sanaa/Boma discussion, I just found the menus to be very similar and had to choose one.

I know the point was to knock three off the list, but you did also ask if there were any to be recommended that weren’t on the list. I feel like I am a minority in this opinion, but my family loves breakfast at Chef Mickey’s. Like your kids, they are ALL ABOUT the characters. And there is just something about the atmosphere that my kids really really love there. I actually wanted to nix Chef Mickey’s to make room in our schedule to go to Topolino’s Terrace Breakfast a La Art, which has all the same characters minus pluto, and I’m not kidding you the suggestion almost caused a riot in my house. Obviously I have not tried Topolino’s yet, but the characters are really really cute and the menu looks nice. It might be a good option. I agree with the above post that suggests replacing Hollywood and Vine with this one if it fits in your schedule. I was not pleased with the food at Hollywood and Vine