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Disney Character Dining on a Budget – (Tools you need to maximize your dollars)

Cheapest Character Meal at Disney World

Disney Character Dining on a Budget

Character dining is an easy way to save time at the parks and meet a bunch of different Disney characters. There are a ton of good options for character dining so I’d like to go through a few options, some tips, and how to get the best bang for your buck.

Though character dining is not inexpensive, I would definitely make it part of your vacation.

Cheapest Character Meal at Disney World


Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Adult: $45.00
Child Ages 3-9: $30.00


The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom
Adult: $61.00
Child Ages 3-9: $40.00


The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom
Adult: $61.00
Child Ages 3-9: $40.00

Garden Grove

Location: Walt Disney World Swan Hotel

Who might be there: Chip n Dale, Goofy, and Pluto

Breakfast:  Adults$12– $23; Child (3-9) $7 or $14
Lunch: Adults $14-$19; Child (3-9)$ 9–$12
Dinner: Adults$30–$37 ; Child (3-9) $19

This dining option happens in a spacious room with a 25-foot faux oak tree right in the middle.  Which at night has twinkling lights once the room lights are dimmed. What makes this character dining worth the trip to the Swan is the price.  While you won’t see Mickey, you’re getting a huge bang for your buck.

Character Dining at Wyndham Lake Buena Vista

Location: Disney Springs Area

Cost: Breakfast:  Adults $27.00; Child (3-9) $13.00

Who might be there: Goofy and Pluto

A full on Disney buffet with Mickey waffles and all you can eat omelets.  Head offsite for a less crowded, more relaxed meal that is just as much fun.  No reservations needed and the price is  great.

Tusker House

Location: Animal Kingdom

Who might be there: Daisy, Donald, Mickey, and Goofy

Tusker House Cost:

Breakfast:  Adults $30.00; Child (3-9) $18.00
Lunch: Adults $38.00; Child (3-9) $23.00
Dinner: Adults $42.00; Child (3-9) $25.00

This is a great character buffet and the food is good too.  One of the reasons I like this option  the most is because Animal Kingdom can be a slow day for touring.  It’s a nice break from the parks and the ambiance is so wonderful.

Garden Grill

Location: Epcot

Who might be there: Mickey, Pluto, Chip n Dale


Breakfast: Adults $32.00; Child (3-9) $19.00
Lunch: Adults $41.00; Child (3-9) $23.00
Dinner: Adults $41.00; Child (3-9) $23.00

This is one of two places that you can actually find Mickey Mouse in Epcot! I really like the characters at this one and that fact that it’s all you can eat.  They bring the food around in platters but you can take as much as you want.

1900 Park Fare

Location: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Who might be there: Mary Poppins, Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger.


Breakfast:  Adults $33.00; Child (3-9) $20.00
Lunch: Adults $37.00; Child (3-9) $22.00
Dinner: Adults $47.00; Child (3-9) $37.00

There are a few different meal options here such as Cinderella’s Happily Everafter Dinner and the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast.  This is also a breakfast or dinner buffet or a tea party!

Chef Mickey’s 

Location: Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Who might be there: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy and Donald Duck


Breakfast:  Adults $41.00; Child (3-9) $25.00
Dinner: Adults $50.00; Child (3-9) $30.00

American cuisine buffet style.  The contemporary resort is a modern themed beauty.  It’s bright and the monorail going by really takes the cake.  You get the best five characters here so make sure to reserve a table here asap.

This is going to be my next stop as I really like the character options here.  They’re the traditional ones everyone wants to see!

The Crystal Palace 

Location: Magic Kingdom

Who might be there: Pooh and friends


Lunch: Adults $45.00; Child (3-9) $27.00
Dinner: Adults $45.00; Child (3-9) $27.00

This is also a very popular buffet that features all your favorite friends from the Hundred Acre Woods. It’s right in the heart of the Magic Kingdom park so it will be convenient to get to.

Cinderella’s Royal Table

Location: Magic Kingdom

Who might be there: Cinderella, Belle, Aurora/Sleeping BeautyFairy Godmother, and Snow White


Breakfast:  Adults $58.00; Child (3-9) $26.00
Lunch: Adults $61.00; Child (3-9) $38.00
Dinner: Adults $73.00; Child (3-9) 43.00

“Fairytale dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table” inside her castle.  This is the most famous and popular of the character dining options. 180 advanced reservations are a must. The setting is a perfect combination of majestic and medieval.  Not to be missed if you have princess lovers in your party.

Character Dining at Disney on a Budget

There are a couple tips to find your way to the least expensive character meal at Disney World.  For starters, you want to book your vacation during the offseason.  Not that I think you should book your vacation around a character meal, but booking during the offseason is imperative for any Disney vacation a budget.

My second tip is to go with a breakfast meal.  Characters in attendance don’t really differ by meal and breakfast is always the least expensive option for character dining.

Third, scroll back up.  I’ve put the character dining options in order of increasing price.  Meaning the cheapest option is the first option.

That is the Garden Grove character dining at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel.

Since the Garden Grove doesn’t have Mickey as a character if it’s important for you to see him, head over to Tusker House.  They do have the best food in my opinion.

Should we do Character Dining

Character Dining is a splurge.  Though there’s definitely a way to maximize what you spend, you’re still going to pay more for this meal than most meals.   But that’s ok because it really is money worth spending.

Spending hours waiting on line in the parks for character autographs is just not what you want to be doing.  Especially at Magic Kingdom!  MK has so many amazing rides and things to do, there really isn’t enough time for it all.

Fit this experience into your vacation budget as it is well worth it.

Making a Reservation 

At Disney World, dining reservations can be made 180 days in advance.  And there’s no limit!

Try this:

  1. Go to Google
  2. Type in “60 days before (enter your vacation date here)”
  3. BAM you got yourself the day to start booking your dining reservation.

Now that you know your day when it is time to book.  Click here.  This is the page with all the character dining options on it.

Click the place you’re interested in and the check availability box will be blue and on the right-hand side of the webpage.

Tips on How to Make The Most Out of Character Meals

If you’re planning to visit a theme park or a restaurant with character meals, here are some tips to make the most out of your experience:

  1. Make a reservation: Character meals are very popular, so it’s essential to make a reservation in advance. Most restaurants provide options to book online, so take advantage of it and secure your spot.
  2. Arrive early: Arriving early for your character meal can help you avoid the crowds and ensure that you have plenty of time to enjoy the experience.
  3. Bring your camera: You’ll have the opportunity to meet and take pictures with your favorite characters, so don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone to capture these special moments.
  4. Participate in the activities: Many character meals offer interactive experiences, such as dancing, singing, or storytelling. Don’t be shy and participate in the activities to make the most out of your time.
  5. Enjoy the food: The food at character meals is often themed, and some restaurants offer special dishes that you can’t find anywhere else. Take the time to savor the flavors and enjoy the meal.
  6. Bring your autograph book for the characters to sign. 

By following these tips, you’ll have a memorable experience at your next character meal.

That’s all folks!

While I haven’t listed every single character dining at Disney World, I’ve listed the most popular and the ones that really make the best of your dollar.

Special thanks to RealMomRecs and Happily Ever Disney for some of the images and videos.

Disney character dining
disney on a budget


Friday 9th of February 2018

I think if you are going to Disneyland, a character breakfast is something you must try.


Sunday 11th of February 2018

Seriously! Though they are expensive.


Wednesday 7th of February 2018

thanks so much for sharing details like this. Often other places do not share prices. Thanks so much for sharing I find the information very valuable


Sunday 11th of February 2018

Very Happy to help!

Ruthie Ridley (@RuthieRidley)

Wednesday 7th of February 2018

Oh I love this!! Can't wait to take the kids to disney and on a budget for food!!


Wednesday 7th of February 2018

I haven't been to Disney yet ever but would love to. I have heard a lot of good times visiting that place.

Khushboo Motihar (@kbmotihar)

Wednesday 7th of February 2018

My nephew would love the Crystal Palace! These are some marvelous ideas you have put together :)


Sunday 11th of February 2018

Thank you! I'd like to go to one with the main characters like Mickey as well a princess one.

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