How many people have never done character dining?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by bobgobblin15, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. bobgobblin15

    bobgobblin15 I've got the disney fever!!

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    I am just curious as to how many people on this board have never done a character dining. Mainly because I am torn. I know there is not a wrong or right way to do disney. I was able to book the character dining that I wanted for the 4 days of parks I am planning. 4 lunches and 1 dinner. We have actually never done character dining, yes we have been to disney. We however don't go to disney every year or every other year or even every other other year. So it is kind of a special trip. But a little over $1000.00 for 5 character dining o_O
     
  2. Arielfan98

    Arielfan98 All Star Resorts Fan

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    I did character dining when I was little but don't remember it. Then, for the "first time" as an adult I went a year ago for Garden Grill breakfast and I LOVED it. I truly think it depends on which character location you go and which meal you go. My recommendation would be to only do 1 or 2 character dining locations, not all of them. Out of personal experience, Garden Grill breakfast is the best!!! The character interaction is wonderful and the food is delicious. For two adults it came to $80 plus tax and tip. Another place I'd recommend based on the reviews of others is Tusker House. If you time it right, you can get both breakfast and lunch. Good luck!
     
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  4. bobgobblin15

    bobgobblin15 I've got the disney fever!!

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    My oldest has gone to disney once when she was 4 which is how old my youngest is. My oldest is now 11. So she's at that border of still kind of wanting to do character dining before it becomes just not an option. And I have never done character dining. My 4 year old has never done it either. I am torn because I know me and the youngest can share something from the quick services and it will come out a heck of a lot cheaper. But none of us has done the character dining and really not sure when the next time we will ever go back to disney basically.
     
  5. JK World

    JK World Just me and my lil' man loving life!

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    We enjoyed doing character dining with my 3 yr old, but I wouldn't do 5 on one trip. Pick one or two, then save your money on the other meals. Garden Grill at Epcot is great food and character interaction, everyone rates Tusker House at AK high for breakfast (food is a bit more adventurous for lunch/dinner so beware), and Chef Mickey's is popular.
     
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  6. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    We've made at least a dozen trips to WDW and never done character dining, and have no plans to. We're cheap...why spend that kind of money when we have autograph books chock full from meets done in the parks...for free. It's a waste, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
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  7. marcyleecorgan

    marcyleecorgan DIS Veteran

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    We would have happily done MORE Character Dining had we known the extent of it!!!

    In our case I was trying to plan a good introduction trip that hit most of the highlights in case we couldn't go back AND juggling family members who were concerned about price AND I did not understand the full scope of Dining Plan.

    If you can do it, DO IT!!!! Lunch everyday with some characters sounds absolutely lovely! Which ones did you pick???
     
  8. bobgobblin15

    bobgobblin15 I've got the disney fever!!

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    I picked Hollywood and Vine, garden grill, Cinders table, and crystal palace ( all lunch) and BOG for one nights dinner. I am just going with my two girls my hubby isn't going. Breakfast will be at hotel and the rest of the dinners will be at hotel. I figured in the July heat especially since its the week of the 4th I am going. Even though its going to be expensive, knowing that we can sit in air conditioning and eat for how ever long it takes sounds good. But at the same time I totally agree with klayfish, you buy the autograph books and see characters in the park. It's quite aggravating to be over thinking this like I am lol. And I am driving my husband crazy. Cause he just says do what I want. lol So he is no help.
     
  9. kohlby

    kohlby DIS Veteran

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    I have not. I have three kids and we started doing theme parks when the eldest was barely 3 years old. (That child is now a teen). None of my kids have ever been that into characters. Therefore, spending the money on character dining isn't something we've ever had to consider. I agree that if you're on the fence, try one or two - not five.
     
  10. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    If you want to do it, absolutely go for it. Even though I personally don't see it being worth the extra money, that's just my own value...if you and your family really want to do it and will get tons of enjoyment from it, do it! We're many time summer veterans, so we know what it's like to take a break from the heat. But we just do it in places like the Electric Umbrella or Tomorrowland Terrace...we bring our own food in. Our kids aren't as much into meeting characters as they once were, but we've got dozens of different autographs from places in the parks.
     
  11. loves to dive

    loves to dive DIS Veteran

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    We never did it, we started going when my son was just shy of 3 and he is now 37. Back when he was little the characters just walked around in the park, there were no meet and greets like now so it was pretty easy to just walk up to them and meet them if you wanted. He had no interest of having them come up while eating.
     
  12. powellrj

    powellrj DIS Veteran

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    Bog really isn’t a character meal like others. Beast just makes an appearance in the dining room and you visit him when you have finished eating.

    That’s really lots of time spent eating. I would read up on them and pick one or two I really wanted.
     
  13. bobgobblin15

    bobgobblin15 I've got the disney fever!!

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    Yeah I read somewhere the beast just walks through. But that is one of my favorite movies, so I may of booked that one for my enjoyment :D
     
  14. 3gr8boys

    3gr8boys Mouseketeer

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    I enjoy character dining. We have two scheduled for our upcoming 6 day trip- Crystal Palace breakfast (my son's request) and Tusker House lunch (It's our first TH meal and I am really looking forward to it. Goofy is my favorite!).
     
  15. scrapquitler

    scrapquitler DIS Veteran

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    Never have done it, don't plan to ever try it.

    I hate buffets, I get grossed out and nervous about food safety and other peoples fingers and I am clumsy so I am always worried I'll trip and drop my plate. I don't want to pay $30 or more per person for a meal of buffet food. And we aren't big character meet and greet fans anyway.
     
  16. dragonfly57005

    dragonfly57005 DIS Veteran

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    My family did for the very first trip when there were only 4 kids - Cinderella. The girls still will talk about the trip where they could see the fireworks from inside.
    Then we did it the next visit when there were 5 kids - Akershus. But that trip we had the free dining plan so it was a good way to use our credits. Otherwise we wouldn’t have done it. The girls liked seeing the princesses.
    Also on that trip we did the breakfast at Poly (where we were staying) because we had time to kill before our flight. Again - used free dining credits. Not a great memory because the youngest girl came down with the stomach flu that morning and we were stressed about flying back with a sick kid. One parent was in the room with her and the other ate. The kids never talk about this meal - they weren’t that excited about it.

    The last trip - skipped all character meals. Didn’t fee like we missed out one bit.
     
  17. srwarden1928

    srwarden1928 DIS Veteran

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    I have been going to WDW since 1972. I have done one and only one character meal, which was October 2017. My 2.5 yo great nephew was on the trip, and we took him to Chef Mickey's. I will not do character dining solo, not that there is anything wrong with it, but meeting characters is not a priority for me. Character dining is MUCH preferable to waiting in line for a meet & greet. If I am with others who want to meet characters, I will suggest character dining. Otherwise, there are so many restaurants that I prefer in WDW that I will eat at those.
     
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  18. KMarston

    KMarston Mouseketeer

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    When our kids were young we "indulged". Then there were a few glorious years when we only did 1 per trip for nostalgias sake. I'm not an enormous fan of the food. Next, DH and I are taking our 2 yo grandson and we have 3 scheduled. I can deal with the ppo Tusker House, but I particularly don't like Crystal Palace and he's a huge Pooh fan, so CP it is! There are so many adult restaurants I'd love to try!
     
  19. Skippyboo

    Skippyboo Mouseketeer

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    Are you eligible for the Dining Plan because those character meals are usually very good value for table service credits due to their high cost? You may want to do the math of dining plan vs out of pocket.
     
  20. Penmac

    Penmac Mouseketeer

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    We have never done Character dining. We have 5 kids under 9. It's just too expensive. When I think we could use that money for ALL of us to attend the parks for a couple more days, it's a no-brainer. We did a reservation at Belle's Castle a couple years ago (not character dining, but pricey anyway), and my 2 year old cried the whole time because she was upset about something totally ridiculous, that only makes sense in a 2 year old's mind. She didn't eat a thing. I was kicking myself for ever making the reservation. A box of Cheerios and a gallon milk costs less than $10. I can feed all 7 of us for that price and get to the park for rope drop and hit the ground running. We make FP for some of the characters who are really important to my kids- Mickey, Cinderella, etc. Then we spend the rest of the time enjoying rides and doing quick service.
    I am very extreme, though. MANY people enjoy table service and character dining. If you think it's an experience your family will love and you can afford it, then you should go for it.
     
  21. deuceswild10

    deuceswild10 DIS Veteran

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    I absolutely love character dining! We have five scheduled for upcoming trip! I would do more if I could. It's great for the kids and I just love it too. It's very magical for me even as an adult.
     
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