For our kids, there is no better time to see characters than in the morning. Morning has the excitement of a fresh day at Disney World, no one is tired, and everyone is starving! Today we are going to share our recommendations on the best Disney character breakfasts, and give you tips on how and when to book each one!
Before we do so, however, we want to let you in on a little secret: MOST DISNEY BREAKFASTS ARE PRACTICALLY THE SAME!!! Yes, there are differences in each one. But for the most part, you are eating a buffet with sausage, eggs, breads, cereal and Mickey Waffles! Therefore, choosing which restaurants you want to go to isn’t all about the food, it’s about the overall experience. We’ve yet to have an unsatisfactory breakfast in all our time at Disney. The food is tremendous everywhere!
So how do you choose? Simple. Characters and convenience.
Each restaurant has a different cast of characters. If you are efficient in planning your restaurant schedule, you can see most of the characters while you eat, and forego the very long lines in the parks.
There are four breakfast destinations that we recommend. However, we certainly can’t claim any sort of “inside knowledge” on these four. They are popular! This is MouseHints though, and so we’ll give you a few tips on each one that will guarantee you a better Disney experience!
Also, we don’t recommend booking all four of these in one trip, unless you just love breakfast. They all charge a Table Service Credit, and as we’ve already mentioned, the food, while exceptional, isn’t all that different at each one. In fact, you’ll notice that a lot of the items can be found all over Disney, including at your resorts!
But the fun is in meeting the characters and benefitting from the excellent location of these restaurants.
The Four Best Disney Character Breakfasts
1900 Park Fare (Grand Floridian Resort)
Characters: Mary Poppins, Alice, the Mad Hatter and Friends
This is an excellent restaurant if your kids like either of these movies. The buffet breakfast takes place in the beautiful Victorian setting of the Grand Floridian Resort. The wait can be a little longer, as many have reported having long waits to sit down. That being said, it’s well worth it.
Tips: If you are not staying at a luxury resort, you can drive straight to the Resort and park your car. Then when you are done eating breakfast, catch the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom. This keeps you from having to park at the huge parking lot and battle the crowds at the Transportation Center.
The restaurant opens at 8am, however. So if you eat here, you will be unable to hit the rope drop, unless you get the 8am reservation and wolf down your food.
As we’ve noted in our article on touring, you can’t wake up at 6am every morning. Some mornings you feel like relaxing just a bit. Part of the problem with the Magic Kingdom from 10AM to 12PM is the incredibly crowded transportation center. So on the morning when you want to arrive to the MK at mid-day, and stay until nighttime, 1900 Park Fare is the perfect kickstart to the day. Breakfast is served until 11:15AM. So schedule a late reservation, say around 10:30. Drive straight to the resort, eat your brunch, then head over to the gates.
Chef Mickey’s Buffet (Contemporary Resort)
Characters: Mickey Mouse and Friends (usually the Big Five, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy)
Chef Mickey’s has a wonderful atmosphere for children. It’s a festive, bustling atmosphere, and of course Mickey and his gang are there, which makes it a thrilling breakfast for the children. It’s our top recommendation for breakfast. The buffet is quite similar in content to that of 1900 Park Fare.
In most ways the tips that we shared for 1900 Park Fare all apply to Chef Mickey’s, as you can drive up to the Contemporary resort and bypass the Transportation Center.
However, there are two significant differences! First of all, Chef Mickey’s opens at 7am, which makes a 7am reservation a goldmine for a early-morning excursion to the Magic Kingdom. You’ll be done by 8:15 easily, and you can get in the front of the line for Rope Drop.
However, Chef Mickey’s is a VERY popular restaurant. As such, please use the tips in our article on Disney Dining reservations. If you aren’t on the line on day one, you might be forced to take whichever reservation you can get, which can mess up your planning. If you are going to get that coveted spot at 7am, you need to be ready on the phone on the very first day of planning.
Cinderella’s Royal Table (Magic Kingdom)
Characters: Cinderella and Princesses
Your daughters will be blown away if you get them this reservation. After all, you would be eating in Cinderella’s castle and would be visited by the princesses! You also get pictures taken and get the photographs built-in to the price! There are a few things that stand out when it comes to eating at the Royal Table. One, is the food! This isn’t your traditional buffet. Although it’s all you can eat, they bring the food out to you, it isn’t a buffet. The food is very good, and is a bit different than what you’ll get at the other three restaurants listed here.
However, you will pay for it! It is significantly more expensive, and if you are on the Dining plan, it will cost TWO credits!
Cinderella’s Royal Table is perhaps the most difficult reservation to get in all of Disney. Especially the coveted 8-830 time slot is hard to get. You literally will need to be on the phone at the earliest possible moment to get this reservation, and even then you may miss out. Due to these facts, we hesitate to build a touring plan around this restaurant. You basically have to take what you get. But the good thing is that you are already inside the Magic Kingdom. If you end up getting a later breakfast, see if you can build a fastpass strategy around the breakfast. If not, just kick back and enjoy eating breakfast in the best building in the entire world!
Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom)
Characters: Winnie the Pooh and Friends
Our final recommendation is the Crystal Palace. Located in the Magic Kingdom, this restaurant is certainly convenient! If you get an 8:05-8:15 reservation, you quite possibly will be completely ahead of everyone else and will have the park to yourself when you are done eating.
The food is nothing special, just typical buffet fare. The characters may or may not appeal to your children. Winnie the Pooh can be a favorite of many kids, and if that is the case in your household, this is a great choice.
An 8:05 reservation isn’t too hard to snag, but I’d still try to get one as early as possible. If so, you will be at the front of the line for all FastPass tickets and for your touring of the Magic Kingdom!
Choose the Restaurant that is Right for YOUR family
These four restaurants are our favorites. There are also character breakfasts at Epcot, the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. However, the benefits of parking at the luxury resorts and being in the Magic Kingdom early far outweight the benefits of eating at the other character breakfasts.
The one thing that we can promise you is that you’ll have a great time, and the food is plentiful. Bring your appetite, and enjoy your character breakfast!
Trying to plan lunch? See our tips on the best counter service meals!