By the time I received confirmation that we were going to be spending 4 nights at Walt Disney World Florida we were well into the 180 days booking period for dining which meant that we missed out on being able to book some of the most popular restaurants such as The Crystal Palace and Cinderella’s Royal Table. However all was not lost and using the My Disney Experience Mobile App I was able to track down a few other options including some fabulous Character Dining experiences.
By looking at Character Dining Experiences away from the Magic Kingdom we were not only able to try some amazing food but we also got to meet characters wearing different costumes.
Tuskers Restaurant in Animal Kingdom.
The first character dining experience we went to was at Tuskers restaurant in Animal Kingdom and it was amazing. The buffet restaurant was sat in the Africa area of Animal Kingdom and the food was full of some amazing flavours that we all enjoyed and there was something for everyone. I definitely over ate as I wanted to sample a lot of the dishes available.
We were met at our table by Daisy, Donald, Goofy and Mickey who all came dressed in their safari clothes and they even had a dance around the restaurant that the guests were able to join in. The cost of Tuskers Restaurant was about $38 for adults and $23 for kids plus tax and tip and for the quality of the food and the character experience I think that this was well worth it.
Our second character dining experience was in Epcot at the Garden Grill restaurant. The restaurant slowly rotates which gives you constantly changing scenery. Unlike the buffet restaurant you are sat at your table and your waiter brings you ALL of the food on offer and if you like something a lot they will bring you even more. It’s all you can eat but in a completely different way and the food was all delicious and very homely. With a variety of meats, vegetables and accompaniments that the whole family enjoyed plus delicious desserts we were almost ready to pop by the time we had finished.We were met at our table by Mickey, Chip, Dale and Pluto and because we had a late seating we ended up being one of the last tables there which gave us lots of extra time with the characters. This was brilliant as Mickey was feeling very playful and kept winding Gaming Daddy of Two up much to the girls amusement. The cost of Garden Grill was around $35 for adults and $20 for kids plus tax and tip which again we were very happy to pay for the quality of the food and the experience.
Both of these character experiences were amazing and although none of them involved a Princess we still had a fantastic time and I would definitely recommend both of the restaurants that we ate at.
As well as the Character Dining Restaurants we also are at Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom where we had a delicious turkey dinner, Pecos Bill Tall Tales Inn and Café where we enjoyed fajitas and tacos (the salad/sides station is fantastic help yourself addition) and Mama Melrose Restaurante Italiano in Hollywood Studios where we ate some fantastic pizza and pasta dishes. The food at all of these restaurants was of a really high quality and although people go on about how much the food costs in the park I was always pleasantly surprised when we considered the quality, service and location. Don’t be put off eating in the parks and try to book at least one restaurant in the park per day, that way you don’t have to worry about where you are going to eat and the rest of the time you can get by with just a snack.
To give us more options and so we don’t have to worry about having enough spending money next time I would look at a half board dining plan and definitely book our character dining experiences as soon as we are able on the My Disney Experience App.