• On Mar 3, 2011
    Jill from VA 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.

    Planning a last-minute, first-time trip in 12 days - Yikes!! Most of the character meals are fully booked. My questions 1) is "any" character meal better than "no" character meal and 2) what are the chances of last-minute openings, or

    Hi Jill,

    It's always possible a reservation opens up due to a cancellation, so keep trying if there is any character meal that is important to you.

    Your inquiry, "[i]s 'any' character meal better than 'no' character meal?," is a wonderful philosophical question. Without knowing the make-up of your family, the ages of any children, their interests, or a budget, it's difficult to give a specific answer. I'll let you know what works for my family to see if it gives you any insight for your situation.

    My family, which includes two young boys, generally enjoys one or two character meals per Disney World vacation. However, there are certain character meals that are too princess and storybook themed for my boys, that are must-dos for other families. So I would not go out of your way to make any character meal reservation where the food, characters, or location does not suit your interests. You can have a wonderful vacation without doing any character meals. 

    My favorite non-character fun Disney restaurant is Biergarten in the Germany Pavilion at Epcot. As you eat an all-you-can consume German-style buffet (along with some American favorites), you will be entertained by costumed musicians playing traditional German music. Dancing is encouraged, and on our two last trips, our two young boys had a blast dancing with other kids on the restaurant's dance floor.

    Other great family-fun favorites include: 50's Prime Time Café, American comfort food and fun service in a period setting; Whispering Canyon Café, an Old West themed family-style restaurant; Raglan Road, a modern twist on traditional Irish pub food; T-REX Café, a dinosaur-themed family restaurant with a large menu; 'Ohana (for dinner), a Polynesian family-style restaurant, and Coral Reef, a wonderful and fun experience for kids (and adults) where you can dine in front of stunning underwater views.

    Enjoy your vacation
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Meet the Panelist: Jonas, New York

I am a family man and huge Disney fan raising two awesome and rambunctious boys.  As Disney Vacation Club members, we travel to Walt Disney World often. Learn More About Jonas

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