5 Tips for Character Dining

We ADORE character dining – it’s a huge part of the Walt Disney World vacation experience for our family. Even though MiaMouse is 10 (she’s 10?!?!?), she still enjoys autographs and photo time with the characters and so do we! Here are 5 tips to make your character dining experience a little easier:

1. Make your dining reservations 180 days in advance. Yes, Cinderella’s Royal Table and that 8:05am breakfast at The Crystal Palace will fill up quickly so let your MTT agent make your dining reservations for you. Why should you get up at 6am when they can? ;)

MiaMouse's first trip to Cinderella's Royal Table - age 3
MiaMouse’s first trip to Cinderella’s Royal Table – age 3


2. Keep the kids outside. On the outside of the table, that is. You want them to have easy access to the characters and no one wants Johnny’s foot in their salad while he’s rushing to get to Mickey.

What not to do
A good example of what NOT to do – see poor Dale reaching over the chair to hug MiaMouse?


3. Dress the part. Want a lot of attention from characters? Wear something related to the characters you’ll be seeing at that meal. A Cinderella dress to 1900 Park Fare dinner; Jasmine to Akershus; Mickey, Minnie or Pluto to Chef Mickey’s; and so on.

all dressed like a Princess to dine with a Princess
All dressed like a Princess to dine with a Princess


4. Follow the leader. One person in charge of the camera, one person in charge of the autograph books. It can be the same person (hi, moms!) so long as the autograph books are open, stacked, and ready to go with pen prepped and the kids are aware of what order and how the photos will run. We suggested a group photo then youngest to oldest if you’re going to do individuals.

Waiting for Mickey at 'Ohana
Waiting for Mickey at ‘Ohana


5. Watch it, buster. Keep an eye on your kidlet. Just as you don’t want some random kid in your pictures, no one wants your Sally in their photo of Pooh and Junior. It’s hard to corral excited kids when Mickey comes on the scene so prep them by letting them know that everyone gets a turn with each character and then tell Mickey what a great job Sally did waiting her turn.

MiaMouse with Chip at Garden Grill - a great place for quiet character interaction
MiaMouse with Chip at Garden Grill – a great place for quiet character interaction

What do YOU do to better your character dining experience?

– Kimberly

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