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The best Disney World character meals – PREP123

The best Disney World character meals – PREP123

Character meals are the most popular dining reservations at Disney World, but not all are created equal. Today, I have my favorites for you.

I also have a bit of news and a quick tip for people to consider when booking their Disney World resort room.


These are notes from this episode. There’s much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

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Character meal overview

Each park has 1-3 character meals, and several are located in resorts. The ones in the parks can be booked starting at 8 a.m. (which is usually an hour before the parks open) and Disney always provides transportation to get there. For the full list and more info, see my character meal guide.

Best character meals

  • Best food – Garden Grill, Tusker House, Akershus breakfast, Cape May Cafe breakfast, Crystal Palace, and Ohana
  • Best Disney Dining Plan values – Garden Grill, Akershus, Crystal Palace, Hollywood and Vine dinner, Chef Mickey’s, 1900 Park Fare (see this list for more info)
  • Best classic character meals – Garden Grill, Tusker House, Chef Mickey’s, Ohana
  • Best princess meal – Akershus
  • Best overall – Garden Grill, Akershus, Ohana, Tusker House, and Cape May Cafe


  • Frozen Ever After is no longer scheduled to open on May 27 at Epcot. Opening date will likely be later.
  • FastPass+ for Wishes are not showing availability after April 20.
  • Premium parking is being tested at the parks to guarantee a spot in a closer lot.

Quick tip of the day

People considering staying at The Polynesian should look at Polynesian Villa Studio rooms which often work out better than standard rooms for many people. Check out my comparison graphic for more information.

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Sunday 21st of August 2016

Shannon, In looking into DVC rooms, I am confused on the breakdown of rooms. In the studio column (on David's website), each resort has several areas listed like- Polynesian has standard and lake. Does that simply mean view? Are all of the other amenities like the extra shower and kitchenette the same? Is there a resource available for these details? Thank you for everything!! Couldn't plan our DW trips without you!! xoxo


Friday 25th of March 2016

About your tip of the day, have you slept on the sleeper sofa? Wondering if its comfortable after a long day/week of park hopping. We are actually looking at these two rooms, and this room is cheaper than the standard for our trip. Thanks!


Wednesday 23rd of March 2016

We received our magic bands for our April trip the other day - I got purple - and didn't realize until listening to this podcast that my luggage tags were IN THE BOX. I'd even said to my husband....I wonder why they didn't send us luggage tags.


Becca Carnes

Friday 18th of March 2016

Great info as always... I had a question about Jedi Training sign-ups. You mentioned some people getting to signup before breakfast... Was this a trial or a new policy? I have 2 boys that this is a must do!!! Thanks

PS - I followed your info for our first trip and you turned me into a Disney addict! We even got picked to open Magic Kingdom! Thanks

Shannon Albert

Friday 18th of March 2016

Nice! Would love to see those pics.

The Jedi Training signups at 8 a.m. are something I've heard multiple times, but not sure if it's a permanent change. You can either try to do it then, or have an adult and the child(ren) who want to do Jedi Training step out of breakfast to go sign up as soon as you can.

Cheryl Petersen

Friday 18th of March 2016

We just left disney and totally agree with your character meal recommendations. Garden Grill felt like the best kept secret. ..breakfast was awesome and we had multiple characters visit us. Tusker House was a lucky lunch reservation as I initially could not get a time. A little chaotic and loud but my kids loved the character visit. Service and food great at both. Thanks!