Mom And Son Safari
  • On Jan 7, 2010
    Erica from NC Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    When is the cheapest and best time to have a character dining experience? Breakfast lunch or dinner and at which hotel/park would be the best place to do so?

    As a general rule character meals held at one of the Walt Disney World resorts will allow you to stretch your dining dollars the furthest.  Character meals held inside any of the four major theme parks--on the other hand--will almost always be more expensive.  Furthermore, meal prices tend to go up as the day progresses.  You'll find that if you dine on eggs and bacon, it's less expensive than the roasted meats and potatoes that pop up on the menu later in the day.

    After examining current pricing, I've discovered that currently, the least expensive character meals can be found during breakfast hours at Cape May Cafe at Disney's Beach Club and 'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian.  Cape May serves a buffet meal with swimsuit-clad characters in attendance while 'Ohana serves a family style meal featuring Lilo and Stitch. 

    If you have your heart set on eating with the characters inside one of the theme parks, you might opt for breakfast at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom; it's among the least expensive options for an in-park character meal.

    Dining with the princesses is one of the most sought after experiences, and as such, it will cost you the most.  If someone on your party has a heart set on dining with royalty, though, meals at Akershus in Epcot will fulfill those longings for far less money than dining in Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom.

    My family's favorite character meal is served at the Garden Grill in Epcot.  Dinner is served family-style in a rotating restaurant while farmer Mickey and his pals make the rounds.  I've found that--all things considered--it is one of the best values around, though certainly not the least expensive option.  Hope that helps!

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Meet the Panelist: Darcie, Alabama

Given your inclination to plan a magical trip, I can already tell we have a lot in common. I'm Darcie, and my friends would be the first to tell you that Disney trip planning (especially dining!) is my love language. Of course, the vacations my family enjoys today look much different than they did when our kids were little, but while some of our favorite activities have evolved, Disney destinations still top our travel wish lists. Let's work together to plan a downright dreamy vacation for your family! Learn More About Darcie

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