Is Character Dining Back To Normal At Disney World?



Mickey Mouse hugging at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom

Disney character meet and greets are officially back to normal as of April 18th, but many fans are still left with some questions. Since Disney announced that the meet and greets will be returning slowly instead of all at once, many wondered what that meant for character dining experiences. So now that hugs have returned, is character dining back to pre pandemic normal?

The answer is YES! At least mostly. Many character dining locations have returned to their pre pandemic operations and are allowing characters to greet guests at their tables and get hugs. There are a couple locations that are still operating with modified character dining at this time and others that are still not even open. Let’s take a look at which locations have the character dining that we all love.

Normal Character Dining

Chef Mickey’s

Chef Mickey’s is a favorite character dining location where guests can see the following characters:

  • Mickey Mouse
  • Minnie Mouse
  • Donald Duck
  • Goofy
  • Pluto

The Fab Five are now making the rounds to tables and greeting guests up close and personal again.

Chef Mickey’s is located outside of the parks at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This makes it a great spot to visit on non park days as well, since only a reservation is required to enter the resort.

Hollywood & Vine

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to Hollywood & Vine where guests can enjoy hugs and autographs from two different sets of characters, depending on the time of day they go.

For Hollywood & Vine character breakfast guests can enjoy Disney Junior characters such as:

  • Fancy Nancy
  • Vampirina
  • Doc McStuffins
  • Roadster Goofy

For lunch and dinner guests will see:

  • Minnie Mouse
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Goofy
  • Donald Duck
  • Daisy Duck
  • Pluto (occasionally)

Tusker House

Tusker House is now back to its pre-pandemic character dining in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. Guests will be able to see:

  • Donald Duck
  • Daisy Duck
  • Goofy
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Minnie Mouse
Mickey Mouse giving hugs at Tusker House in Disney's Animal Kingdom
Mickey Mouse giving hugs at Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Artist Point

Artist Point is another character dining that is located in a Disney Vacation Club resort instead of one of the Disney parks. Artist Point is in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort and offers more unique characters. Here guests can find:

  • Snow White
  • Dopey
  • Grumpy
  • Evil Queen

This is a favorite character dining for princess lovers and many are enjoying the return of pre-pandemic character dining here.

Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera

Located at Disney’s Riviera Resort, Topolino’s Terrace offers an adorable and art-filled character dining experience with some fan favorites dressed in various costumes. At Topolino’s Terrace guests will see:

  • Mickey Mouse dressed as a painter
  • Minnie Mouse dressed as a poet
  • Donald Duck dressed as a sculpture
  • Daisy Duck dressed as a dancer

Guests have been loving getting artsy with these four friends since April 18th.

Garden Grill

Garden Grill is back to its full character dining experience in Epcot! Here guests will indulge in farm fresh foods from the greenhouse in The Land along with hugs and loves from the following characters:

  • Pluto
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Chip ‘n Dale

Modified Character Dining

A couple character dining locations are currently offering modified versions of their experience.

Cinderella’s Royal Table

Cinderella’s Royal Table is located in Magic Kingdom. This location has traditionally been the go to for princess lovers to enjoy a character dining experience, but it is still modified.

Pre-pandemic guests were able to spot:

  • Breakfast: Ariel, Cinderella, Princess Aurora, Snow White
  • Lunch: Cinderella, Princess Jasmine, Snow White
  • Dinner: Cinderella, Princess Jasmine, Snow White

Currently the only princess available is Cinderella, and she is not making her way around to the tables at this time. Instead she is stationary and guests are able to come up to give her a hug and have a royal chat. Regardless, this dining location is still extremely popular even still.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Also located in Magic Kingdom is the Be Our Guest Restaurant. This character dining location has always had less characters than others, only featuring the Beast in his castle. Currently this location is still offering a modified experience and the Beast comes out to greet guests from the center of the ballroom instead of going around to the tables.

Modified Character Dining at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom
Modified Character Dining at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom

Yet To Return Character Dining

The following character dining locations are currently not offering a character dining experience. Some of these popular restaurants are still open and serving their delicious meals, while others have yet to open their doors again.

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace is located in Magic Kingdom. Guests can still grab food at this restaurant but it is still sans characters at this time. When characters return guests will enjoy their meals with:

  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Tigger
  • Piglet
  • Eeyore

‘Ohana

‘Ohana is currently open to guests for regular dining, however it is not offering character dining at this time. Normally ‘Ohana offers guests a character dining experience with:

  • Lilo
  • Stitch
  • Pluto
  • Mickey Mouse

‘Ohana is located in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Cape May Cafe

Disney’s Beach Club Resort houses another character dining experience. Cape May Cafe is currently open for dining, but not with their characters. When characters return at this location guests will enjoy seeing:

  • Goofy
  • Minnie Mouse
  • Daisy Duck
  • Donald Duck

Trattoria al Forno

Trattoria al Forno in Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Resort is open but operating without characters at this time. Normally guests enjoy an Italian inspired meal with:

  • Ariel
  • Prince Eric
  • Rapunzel
  • Flynn Rider

This has traditionally been another favorite dining location for princess fans to enjoy on a non park day, and we are sure that it will be once again.

1900 Park Fare

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort is home to 1900 Park Fare.

During the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast guests may meet:

  • Mary Poppins
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • The Mad Hatter
  • Tigger
  • Winnie the Pooh

During Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner the following make an appearance:

  • Cinderella
  • Prince Charming
  • Lady Tremaine
  • Anastasia and Drizella

This location is still closed at this time, and guests are hoping to see it reopen with characters soon.

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is located in the Norway Pavilion of EPCOT’s World Showcase. This dining location offers guests a “Taste of Norway” with many traditional Scandinavian foods and of course princesses galore.

Here guests will dine with:

  • Snow White
  • Cinderella
  • Belle
  • Princess Aurora
  • Ariel

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is still closed, with no official word on when it will reopen its doors.

Let’s Eat!

In conclusion, most of the character dining locations that have been opened with modified character dining have returned back to their pre-pandemic normal! If you are looking to get hugs from your characters during your meals, you’ll want to dine at one of the following locations:

  • Chef Mickey’s
  • Hollywood & Vine
  • Tusker House
  • Artist Point
  • Topolino’s Terrace
  • Garden Grill

As Disney is brining back traditional character meet and greets in a phased approach, we are likely to see announcements of  the returns of other popular character dining locations in the following weeks.

What is your favorite character dining location? Which one are you hoping will return next? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by

Rachel Van Norman


Contributing Writer

Rachel fell deeply in love with all things Disney as a little girl. Now as a wife and a mother herself, she shares this Disney obsession with her son and everyone around her. From her love of princesses to eating all the Disney food, Rachel spends her time radiating Disney magic and keeping everyone up to date on Disney news.

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