The 8 Best Disney Character Dining Spots for a Mickey, Goofy or Donald Sighting

Mickey, Minnie, the gang’s all here!

All magic aside, dining at Disney is just like dining anywhere else: It can be hit or miss. Except after paying an arm and a leg  for the trip of a lifetime (most Disney blogs estimate between $3,000 and $8,000 for a family of four), you couldn’t be blamed for expecting a memorable meal. And Disney character dining is one of the best ways to ensure you’ll get just that. Even if you don’t wind up with an epicurean feast (though it is a possibility), you’ll be making precious memories with the fam. (And Mickey. And Minnie. And Pluto.)

The best Disney character dining experience, however, will depend on what you’re looking for. Are there specific characters you or your child are looking to meet? Is ambience a factor in your search? Or are you solely here for the grub, with Chip and Dale as an added bonus? We’ve rounded up eight of the most top-notch options the resort complex has to offer, from Cinderella’s Royal Table, where you can dine inside the Magic Kingdom castle, to Chef Mickey’s, where you can catch the Fab Five, aka Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Donald, in chef's ensembles, no less. Keep reading for our top picks.

When Will Character Dining Return to Disney World?

Good news: It already has at many restaurants! Following a pause on character dining for COVID-19 beginning in June 2020, most of the park’s Mickey and Co.-centric foodie options are back up and running, with a few exceptions: Trattoria el Forno, which previously featured characters from Frozen, is not currently offering charcter dining, nor is the 1900 Park Fare experience at Disney’s Grand Floridian.

How to Book Character Dining at Disney World

To book a character dining experience, you’ll want to select the restaurant of your choice from Disney World’s character dining page and navigate to “check availability.” From there, you’ll be able to choose which date you’d like to dine at the restaurant, which meal you’re interested in (breakfast, lunch and dinner options may be available, depending on the venue) and your party size. You’ll also be able to see a breakdown of how much the meal will cost (most run between $36 to more than $60 per adult).

How We Chose the Best Character Dining at Disney World

When curating the cream of the crop of Disney’s current 11 character dining options, we took several things into account, including the pricing, wait times, atmosphere and characters that appear throughout the meals. We also vetted reviews of the food and notes about service to see if the (sometimes high) prices were worth the squeeze. Keep reading for our top picks.

The Best Disney Character Dining at a Glance

1. Topolino Terrace Breakfast à la Art

Best Overall

  • Park: Riviera Resort at EPCOT
  • Availability: breakfast
  • Price: $$$
  • Meal Type: full service
  • Theme Park Reservations Required? no

In researching Disney character dining experiences, one popped up time and time again as a fan favorite—Topolino’s Terrace’s Breakfast à la Art with Mickey and friends. This Signature restaurant is known for its delicious fare—one reviewer called the dinner “one of the best meals” they’ve had at Disney World (no buffets here), and the breakfast prix fixe menu is stacked with upscaled entrées, like wild mushroom scramble and French Toast Brûlée. (Don’t worry, there’s bacon and eggs for the kiddies, too). But it's also highly unique when it comes to the character experience. Dressed as different types of artists (Mickey is a painter, for instance, while his girlfriend Minnie is a poet), the couple (plus Donald and Daisy) work for their supper, performing a dance for the guests roughly every hour. You’ll also be privy to spectacular views while you dine in the open, airy space complete with pasta chandeliers. Considering its popularity, it should come as no surprise that this is one it pays to plan ahead for, however. While you don’t need park reservations, it’s currently about 60-days out to book a breakfast for two.

$29 to $35 per child, $45 per adult, 407-939-5277, 1080 Esplanade Ave. Lake Buena Vista, FL, 32830,

2. Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White

Most Enchanting

  • Park: Offsite, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Availability: dinner
  • Price: $$$$
  • Meal Type: full service
  • Theme Park Reservation Required? no

Inspired by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, this experience sees guests entering an Enchanted Forest complete with twinkling, color-changing trees where they’ll come upon Snow White, Dopey and Grumpy. The less faint of heart will also have the option to snap a photo or two with the Evil Queen herself (just don't get too close). Since the characters are only available for dinner, the food is also a cut above, with fancy soups like wild mushroom bisque, hunter’s pie and royal prime rib roast for your main meal. (There’s also pork shank, sustainable fish and a vegetarian option to boot.) With so much magic in the air, this is another one that requires some pre-booking, with 60 days recommended ahead of your visit.

$39 per child, $65 per adult, 407-939-5277, 901 Timberline Dr., Orlando, FL, 32830,

3. Cinderella’s Royal Table

Best Atmosphere

  • Park: Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom
  • Availability: breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Price: $$$$
  • Meal Type: full service
  • Theme Park Reservation Required? yes

As one of the pricier options on the list (we’re talking up to $79 per adult), the expectations for Cinderella’s Royal Table, which is a Signature dining option at Disney, are high. It certainly delivers on the ambience front: Part of what makes Cinderella’s Royal Table so special is the fact that it’s situated inside the Magic Kingdom’s castle in a small and intimate banquet room that overlooks Fantasyland. As for the characters, which returned to the dining experience as recently as March 2023, they're a princess-lover’s dream. Before you even head into the dining room, you’ll have a chance to meet the belle of the ball, Cinderella, for a PhotoPass picture, which is reportedly included with your meal purchase.  Once inside, you’ll be visited by several other princesses, which may include Jasmine, Aurora, Snow White and Ariel (though they are subject to change).

You’ll also get plenty of food for your buck. Each dinner comes with a hearty appetizer, like chilled jumbo shrimp and braised beef, a full entrée and a dessert. (The children’s menu is more basic, with options for chicken nuggets, mac and cheese and the like.) If budget is an issue, you can save slightly by booking the breakfast, which comes with a pastry plate and an entrée—just note that you'll need to book this one far in advance (like, months) and have a valid Magic Kingdom park pass for your dining date.

$33 to $47 per child, $65 to $79 per adult, 407-939-5277, 1365 W. Monorail Way, Orlando, FL, 32836;

4. Tusker House Restaurant

Most Low-Key

  • Park: Africa in Animal Kingdom
  • Availability: breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Price: $$$
  • Meal Type: buffet
  • Theme Park Reservations Required? Yes

If your family is the type to go with the flow and see where the day takes you, Tusker House is a great option. The interior isn’t much to write home about, with simple wood tables and safari-themed walls, but it’s separated into five rooms, which can make for a more intimate experience. It’s also far less packed, with same-day and even walk-up reservations available on occassion. On the character roster, you’ll find Donald (aka your meal’s host), his girlfriend Daisy (a rare treat), Goofy and the main mouse himself, Mickey, all of whom are clad in their best expedition gear. Not only do they look adorable, guests say you won’t spend hours waiting for them to make their appearance, like you would at say, ‘Ohana. You won’t leave hungry, either: The African buffet is stacked with everything from tandoori chicken and za’tar braised beef to veggie jollof rice with fake sausage. (Note that the breakfast menu is slightly more limited, with simple pastries, fruit and Mickey and Simba waffles.)

$29 to $38  per child, $45 to $59 per adult, 407-939-5277, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Reunion, FL, 34747,

5. Chip and Dale’s Harvest Feast at Garden Grill Restaurant

Most Personal

  • Park: World Nature atEPCOT
  • Availability: breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Price: $$$
  • Meal Type: family style
  • Theme Park Reservation Required: Yes

The atmosphere here is super unique. Sure, there’s no sweeping views of the parks or Fantasyland to behold, but the restaurant itself rotates, showcasing different wall scenes from the park’s Living with the Land ride. Makes up for it, no? You’ll also get above average face time with the characters, who are led by the impish Chip and Dale, with Pluto and farmer Mickey dropping by for a more personal meet-and-greet sesh. The menu is somewhat limited as far as lunch and dinner go, however, with barbecue-roasted chicken or grilled beef with chimichurri as the main dishes, so if you’ve got some picky eaters, you may want to opt for the breakfast.

$27 to $36 per child, $42 to $55 per adult, 407-939-5277, 1510 N. Cove Rd., FL, 32830,

6. The Crystal Palace

Most Classic

  • Park: Magic Kingdom
  • Availability: breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Price: $$$
  • Meal Type: buffet
  • Theme Park Reservation Required? Yes

Crystal Palace, which opened in the ‘70s, has reportedly been offering character dining since the mid-‘90s. While it has undoubtedly undergone quite a few changes since then, it’s still capturing the hearts of Disnerds everywhere with its charming greenhouse-like setting and lovable Pooh Bear gang (which returned for in-dining visits on Sept. 20, 2022). Made up of Winne the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger, the character grouping is a nice change-up from the usual crew, and one of the only places to catch them, as they’re not typically wandering the parks. (Read: If your kid is missing autographs, this is the spot to grab ‘em.) You’ll also be surrounded by plenty of greenery and natural light, as it’s built to resemble the real Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, U.K. While the prices have reportedly gone up here since its reopening, it’s still one of the more affordable options on the menu, with breakfast running under $50 for both adult and child. Like most buffets, the food choices can be hit or miss (grab: sticky roasted carrots; skip: the pork with peach chutney), but overall, it's an experience to be treasured.

$29 to $38 per child, $45 to $59 per adult, 407-939-5277, 1365 W. Monorail Way, Orlando, FL, 32836,

Best Disney character dining: A photo of Goofy in a chef's hat with a Disney guest

7. Chef Mickey’s

Best Characters

  • Park: Offsite, Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Availability: breakfast, dinner
  • Price: $$$
  • Meal Type: buffet
  • Theme Park Reservation Required? No

If your main goal is to interact with the OG characters, Chef Mickey’s is your best bet. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto, affectionately known as the “Fab Five” by Disney aficionados, all make an appearance during your meal in chef’s ensembles, with a special photo opp at the end of your meal with Minnie (previously Mickey). Because there’s so much talent floating around, however, the reservations here are not an easy get: Some recommend booking the breakfast or dinner buffet a good 60 days ahead of your targeted dining date. It’s also not exactly a quiet and intimate experience. As for the food, it’s a buffet-style meal, and the fare can be quite varied in terms of taste. Guests have raved about the Mickey waffles and warned against the “artificial-tasting” orange chicken, but there’s so many options to choose from for both breakfast and dinner, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something you don’t like. You can also hit up the line again if you aren't satisfied with your picks the first time around.

$33 per child; $51 per adult, 407-939-5277, 4600 World Dr., Orlando, FL, 32830;

8. ‘Ohana Best Friends Breakfast

Best for Vegetarians

  • Park: Offsite, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Availability: breakfast
  • Price: $$$
  • Meal Type: family style
  • Theme Park Reservation Required? No

Don’t eat meat? Don’t waste your time picking over dishes at the buffet. ‘Ohana not only has an allergy-friendly breakfast, it’s got one for plant eaters, too. Served family style (duh, ‘Ohana means “family,”), you’ll get all you care to eat of the fresh fruit, breakfast skillets of choice, Mickey waffles and pineapple-coconut bread. (Psst: The Kona coffee is also some of the best you’ll find in the park.) The hotel's Polynesian theme also serves as the perfect setting for its two biggest stars: Hawaii's own Lilo and Stitch. Though Pluto and Mickey make appearances, it’s these more rare characters that are the main draw. Multiple reviewers said that while their time with each of the creatures seemed more limited than other character dining experiences and took quite a bit longer, they stayed at each table for extended periods of time to make up for it. (The group also does a Conga dance that’s said to be highly entertaining.)

$29 to $38 per child, $45 to $59 per adult, 407-939-5277, 1600 Seven Seas Dr., Orlando, FL, 32830,

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Commerce Director

Nicole is PureWow's Commerce Director. With a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Michigan State University and more than 15 years of experience writing and editing shopping...