|Steph and Sophie with Cinderella at Akershus|
My wife Cindy and I have been taking our daughter Sophie to Walt Disney World for many years. We have stayed on resort property the past four years, and Sophie has been six times in her nine years of living!
In all that time, we have had the Disney Dining Plan the past four years, and let me tell you, if you are interested in character interactions, there is no better way than to make reservations for Character meals!
In all our time, we have been to several character restaurants, so this is my list of favorites!
1. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
The Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is located in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot, and is a wonderful eating location. After checking in, your first stop is to have a family photograph taken with Belle – and the pictures are included in the price of the meal. After being taken to your table, your initial selections are off of the cold bar, which has an assortment of cheeses, meats, breads, and other goodies for you to enjoy. Lastly, you are able to select authentic Norwegian meals to enjoy. If you go, try the Kjottkake! By the way, did I mention that while you are eating you are visited by the Disney Princesses? Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, and Sleeping Beauty greeted us at our table for pictures and autographs!
2. The Garden Grill Restaurant
The Garden Grill Restaurant is located in the Land at Epcot. This restaurant features character greetings with Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Chip, and Dale, and is located on a circular restaurant that slowly rotates to show you the different seasons for the Land boat ride. In addition, the food is wonderful, served family style, and includes selections of fish, turkey, and beef (with side dishes to accompany). All in all, it is a great restaurant and one I highly recommend!
3. The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace is located in the Magic Kingdom, and features a delicious buffet and a fun interaction with the characters of Winnie the Pooh! Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet all come to your table, and while you are eating there are fun parades and other wonderful interactions with the characters. If the Pooh characters are your favorites, then you won’t want to miss eating here!
4. Cinderella’s Royal Table
Cinderella’s Royal Table is located at Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom. If you have a child that is a huge Cinderella fan, then this is for you! The difference between this restaurant and Akershus is that here you and your family will be included in a photo with Cinderella (rather than Belle) before you are seated. You also get the photos as part of your meal price. After you are seated, and depending on the time of day, you are visited by various Disney characters. Sometimes it is Alice from Alice in Wonderland, sometimes it is the Fairy Godmother and some of the characters from the movie Cinderella. The food is good, the location is excellent (did I mention that your dining location is upstairs in the castle?), and while the price is a little high, it is nice to do this every couple of years or so.
5. Cape May Café
We discovered this restaurant last June, and enjoyed breakfast with Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck! It is a standard buffet breakfast, with Mickey Mouse waffles, bacon, eggs, sausage, and yummy pastries, and was a fun little getaway. The Cape May Café is located over on the Boardwalk at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
I hope you have enjoyed my top five places to enjoy a character meal. Why don’t you comment and tell me what your favorites are? I’m always looking for new experiences to enjoy at Disney World!