Mom With Kids After RunDisney; Mickey Fantasia Hat; Donald Duck Hat; Goofy Hat
  • On Feb 15, 2011
    Leslie 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.

    Realizing that all children are different, what are the best character dining options for my 6 year-old daughter with autism? Specifically, which are in more "open spaces" and "lower key"? Thanks!

    Hi Leslie -

    There is a fairly wide range of energy levels to the various character meals at WDW. I'd say that Chef Mickey's is the largest and most raucous, so if you're looking to avoid overstimiulation, then you should skip that one. I have also found that the Hollywood & Vine character breakfast can be loud and overwhelming. And the Tusker House meal table layout is slightly cramped, so maybe pass on that one as well.

    I have found that meals inside Cinderella Castle are relatively calm. This is the smallest of the character meal venues, so just having fewer people there helps keep the noise level down. Of the character meal buffets, I've found the Cape May Cafe meal at the Beach Club resort to be the most mellow. The restaurant is bright, the tables are not on top of each other, and music level is lower than most. The character meal that I have found to overall the calmest is the dinner meal at the Garden Grill in the Land pavilion at Epcot. Again, it is a smaller restaurant. The tables are compartmentalized so each family has a more personal space. The only caveat here is that this is a revolving restaurant. During the course of your meal, the restaurant moves, very slowly, in around an axis.

    I have written a few articles for the independent website which you may find helpful. Look for articles there called "Which Character Meal is Right for You" and "Coping with Fears."

    Good luck and have a wonderful time with your daughter.

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Meet the Panelist: Erin, New York

I have three teenage daughters. We're DVC members obsessed with Disney travel. We've been to Walt Disney World countless times and have visited Disneyland & Disneyland Paris. We've taken several Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise trips. Learn More About Erin

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