Where to Meet Characters outside of the Theme Parks
Everyday during your Disney vacation can be magical and you don’t even need to be at one of the four theme parks. Did you know you can meet Disney characters outside of the four theme parks. Which means you can gain time at the parks by meeting those must meet characters on non-park days. Take a look at where you can meet some of your favourite characters.
There are a number of restaurants that host characters and these are not just found at the parks. There are a number that are found at Disney resorts. Just pay attention because not every meal offering at these restaurants has characters or the same characters. Take a look at which restaurants these are and where.
Chef Mickey’s. Contemporary Resort.
1900 Park Fare. Grand Floridian Resort.
This buffet-style restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner. At breakfast you’ll be able to meet a wide variety of characters including Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Mary Poppins, Alice and the Mad Hatter. At dinner you’ll meet characters from Cinderella including Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, Drizella and of course Cinderella. Grand Floridian Resort is on the monorail making it very easy to access from Epcot, Magic Kingdom and the other monorail resorts.
O’Hana. Polynesian Resort. O’Hana is a Hawaiian style restaurant, so you can expect to receive a lei and see the characters dressed in their floral shirts. For breakfast only you’ll meet Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch. This is an all you can eat platter meal, where your server will bring you platter after platter of delicious breakfast offerings. If you want to meet these characters you’ll need to dine at O’Hana between 7:30am-12pm. The Polynesian is also on the monorail so you can grab the monorail from Epcot or the Magic Kingdom and you can also walk from Grand Floridian or take the boat from the Magic Kingdom.
Cape May Cafe. Beach Club Resort.
Cape May Cafe features Minnie, Daisy, Donald and Goofy during their buffet style breakfast. Breakfast is from 7:30am-11:00am. Don’t mistake this for their dinner offerings because they do not have any characters at their dinner buffet.
Trattoria al Forno. Boardwalk Inn & Villas.
Trattoria al Forno is a restaurant found in the Crescent Lake resort area. It’s open for breakfast and dinner, at breakfast only you can meet four characters: Rapunzel, Ariel, Prince Eric and Flynn Rider. Breakfast is from 7:30am until 12pm and is a prix fixed menu which gives guests appetizers as well as their breakfast entree. It’s a delicious meal for every member of the family. You can easily get here from any of the other Crescent Lake resorts or by walking from Hollywood Studios.
There are a couple of special events that have a cost and some that don’t. All have you meeting and interacting with characters outside of the theme parks.
Disney Princess Tea Party. Grand Floridian Resort. This special event takes place in the Grand Floridian resort a few days a week. At this event, your princess or prince will have a tea party with a sing a long, storytelling and a meet and greet with Princess Aurora. The cost is $333.64 for a guest and an adult. The guest is to be between the age of 3 to 9. Included in the cost of the tea party is a Princess Aurora doll, a tiara, a bracelet, a necklace, a rose and a princess cinch bag.
Wonderland Tea Party. Grand Floridian Resort. Throughout the week kids between 4 and 12 can join the Mad Hatter and Alice for an unbirthday celebration at this Tea Party found at 1900 Park Fare. The cost is $49 per guest. During the party, guests will enjoy apple juice tea and cupcakes. The party lasts an hour and will have everyone create a craft to take home as a souvenir.
Grand Floridian Magical Moment. Grand Floridian Resort.
This free event happens every single weekday at the Grand Floridian Resort. Children between the age of 3 and 12 can accompany Cinderella and Prince Charming from the second floor of the resort to the lobby where they’ll share a waltz. Have your kids dress up as their favourite princess or come as you are. The event takes place at 3:30pm, meet up at the second floor shop M. Mouse Mercantile.
Chip n Dale Campfire Sing-a-long. Fort Wilderness Resort.
Every single evening, guests from all over Walt Disney World can meet Chip and Dale at this free event at Fort Wilderness Lodge. With two campfires set up, you can bring your own s’mores kits or purchase some at the closely located Chuck Wagon. Around nightfall Chip n Dale will appear to lead the group in a sing-a-long for the whole family. After a couple songs together, the duo will go out into the crowd and meet and greet guests while a troubadour sings some Disney favourites.
It’s been known to happen that characters will appear at Value Resorts. You can find them in the lobby or around the property. There’s no rhyme nor reasons as to when or why they’ll be there. So don’t expect it but you just could be surprised.
The benefit to taking in some of these events is you give yourself more time at the parks. The special events can create amazing memories beyond the attractions, parades and entertainment. We’ve taken in a couple of these events and they’ve been some of our favourite things we’ve done on those vacations. Be sure to reserve ahead of time if need be. On our last trip, we had intended on bringing M to the Wonderland Tea Party but we didn’t book ahead and when we called a couple of days before it was already sold out. We will definitely be taking her on our next vacation. Hopefully it won’t be too young for her by then. Happy Planning, Friends.