Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest; Animal Kingdom
  • On Sep 15, 2011
    Kim 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.

    We are 1st timers staying at the contemporary w/ kids, 5, 3 and 7months. The kids love all things Disney especially characters. How many character experiences are too many? How long does each meal take to fully enjoy the fun? Which meals are the best?

    With kids as young as yours, Kim, you might want to limit your more formal character experiences to about two or three.  And by "formal" I mean, paid (meals, for example).  In spite of the fact that your little ones are head over heels for Disney characters, you might find that they're a tad more timid when aforementioned characters are larger than life right in front of them.  Many children, especially babies, are actually quite frightened of the characters and I certainly don't blame them; Mickey is easy to love when he's two inches tall on the TV screen, but it's a whole different story when he's grown-up size in the parks!  By limiting the experiences you're paying good money for, you'll give your children the opportunity to meet and greet if they want without really spending a fortune on something they may or may not enjoy.  If you find that your kiddos are taking well to the characters, you can certainly make plans to see them in the parks; there are plenty of opportunities to do so!

    Plan on each character meal lasting at least an hour.  I've been to a couple that lasted closer to two.  My personal favorites as far as character meals, are Garden Grill and the Supercalifragilistic breakfast at 1900 Park Fare.  In my experience, we've found those two options to be a bit more low-key and less overwhelming than, say, Chef Mickey's.  One last tip for you: often times, "face characters," like Alice in Wonderland or any of the princesses, are better received by little ones who don't fare as well with the costumed characters.  Good luck!
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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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