Character Meal Information and Tips
Many people are unsure of what to do at a character meal. If you are unsure, this is the guide for you as you will learn how they work and tips for you as well.
Character Meals are meals where the characters come to your table for interaction. You should remain in your seats and let the characters come to you. Getting up will disrupt the flow for the characters, and in turn it affects everyone else at the meal.
Here are our Character Dining Reviews:
General Character Meal Rules and Tips:
When you arrive at the restaurant, ask which characters are there. You can either ask at the podium where you pay, or ask the cast member who is your waiter or waitress. They can tell you, so you know who to watch for.
Try to always leave the kids at the table (more information on this below).
Make sure you sit in a position that makes it easy for the characters to get next to the children for pictures. Never put a child in a corner. Always have them at the outer edges of the table.
Have your camera and autograph book ready with your autograph book open to the page for the character to sign, and the pen ready to write with.
Don’t ever get up and go to a character. This will disrupt the flow. If everyone stays seated, the characters will make it to each table.
If you don’t see all the characters or need help, locate the character manager. This person is usually wearing a suit, and a nametag. They are easy to find. Explain the situation to them. For example – you know Cinderella is there and she is your daughter’s favorite. You have been there for over an hour and are ready to leave, but have not seen her yet. Speak with the character manager. They MAY be able to help you!
Never yell at the character manager. Be polite and friendly. The character manager is much more willing to help a friendly person!
The time of your meal is important. At opening, all characters might not be there yet. Before closing, a character may go on break and not come back. Try to plan your meal so that you are there during the busy times. Also keep in mind that if you do breakfast, you are missing prime riding time with short lines, so plan accordingly!
Remember that your price for the character meal is basically to see the characters. Don’t expect 5 star food – that is not the main point of a character meal. The character interaction is worth the price of the meal.
You are allowed 90 minutes for a character meal. Enjoy this time. Eat slowly and have fun.
Remember that the characters DO take breaks. During a very busy period you may see a character go on break, but another character you didn’t know was there will come out.
Keep track of the characters. If you see a character in your section that has to go on break, make sure they come back to you when they return from break. If they don’t, let the character manager know.
Important Seating Information:
Each character meal has very obvious sections for the seating.
Goofy’s Kitchen uses walls to break the tables into sections. There is the upper section, the lower section, the middle section, the back door section and the glass wall section. Now, let me explain this further. (none of the names of sections are official, and table counts are approximate)
The upper section has a ramp or a few steps to enter the section. Within this section there are only 6 or so tables. This section is located to the right of the entry to the restaurant.
The lower section, located to the left of the restaurant entry is long and narrow and has approximately 10 tables.
The middle section, a very small area in front of the dance floor holds only 3 or 4 tables.
The back door section is all near the back door. There are actually a lot of tables here in this long area.
The glass wall section is up a ramp and enclosed in a circular room with more windows than solid walls. This area has about 15 tables.
The absolute worst section to sit in a Goofy’s Kitchen is the back door area. This is a bad place to sit because the characters enter and exit through that door but do not stop at these tables during this time. In essence you see them all, but they don’t come to your table. When they enter the restaurant they head off to other sections. Be patient, they will eventually make it to you.
Best sections at Goofy’s Kitchen are the Glass room and the two sections by the entrance to the restaurant, as well as the small middle section.
Breakfast with Minnie and Friends has both indoor and outdoor seating. The indoor seating is in two sections, one on each side of the central buffet. Outdoor seating sections are the patio and two large seating areas below the patio – one on each side of the entrance doors.
The characters enter from the inside. Many come out at once, and some will stay inside while other head outside. For the inside characters they do one side and then the other before going outside. The outside characters start at the patio, and move down from there. If you are seated outside be patient – there are a lot of tables for the characters to get through. If everyone stays seated, this process is very quick. If people get up and run to the characters it throws everything off.
The best section to be in for this meal is definitely inside. Smaller areas mean quicker movement for the characters.
Lilo and Stitch also has sections, but these are harder to see. From what I have been able to tell, there are 4 different sections here. The middle section, the left and right section, and the games are section. Due to the size here, it really doesn’t matter where you sit. The characters will get to you!
The Princess Meal at Ariel’s Grotto also has sections. This is very simple. You are either inside or outside. The Princesses move like clockwork starting inside and then going outside. Each Princess will spend a few minutes at your table before moving on. As long as people stay seated at their tables, this character meal runs perfectly and you will see all the Princess one right after the other.
Storyteller’s is all indoor with a middle and side sections. Not only do the characters go from table to table, but they also are fond of pulling out kids for the character parade.
Important Buffet Information:
Goofy’s Kitchen, Lilo and Stitch and Breakfast with Minnie and Friends are all buffets. Storytellers is either buffet or a la carte (your choice).
Always leave a child at the table:
For Goofy’s Kitchen, Lilo and Stitch, and Breakfast with Minnie and Friends you will find buffet service. The best way to work a buffet is to leave one adult with the children at the table. Always leave the children at the table if there is an older person to watch them. This way, while others get food, the children won’t miss the characters!
For example, when we go to buffet type character meals either Andy or I will stay with Alex while the other gets food. Andy will usually get food for himself and Alex while Alex and I stay at the table. This makes it easy to see all of the characters without missing Andy. Because it takes longer to get food at Minnie and Friends, we will usually have 2 characters come to our table before Andy has come back with food! This is important to know, because if we had all gone to get food that would have been 2 characters we missed.
Know where characters are:
Before getting up from the table, take a look around. If there are characters in your section you want to stay put.
Characters you can expect to see:
Goofy’s Kitchen – Chip and Dale, Goofy and Pluto are almost always there. At least one Princess will be there. One or two other characters such as: Mad Hatter, Rafiki, Baloo, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Max will be there.
Breakfast with Minnie and Friends – Minnie is always there. Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore are almost always there. In addition there is usually one villain such as Captain Hook or Foul Fellow, and one general character such as Gepetto or Fairy God Mother.
Lilo and Stitch – Lilo and Stitch are always there. Usually there are Max and Pluto. Occasionally Daisy Duck is there.
Storyteller’s – Chip and Dale are usually there as are Kenai and Koda from Brother Bear. Often Pluto will join the characters.
The Princess Meal – you are guaranteed 5 Princesses, but will often see 6 during your meal. This is strictly a Princess Meal, no other characters appear. Always there though is Ariel – walking!