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Disney World Character Meal

Best Walt Disney World Character Meal outside the Theme Parks

If you have little kids, or even bigger kids, you have to do at least one character meal while at Walt Disney World. There isn’t anything quite like a child’s face as their favorite Disney Movie or TV character walks up to your table. While everyone knows about Cinderella’s Royal Table and Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom, there are quite a few really good character meals outside the parks. That means that you do not need a park pass to dine at any of these places.

Just so you are aware of the character meal options outside the parks, here are they are:

  • Cape May Cafe (Beach Club) – Breakfast only, featuring Goofy, Minnie and Donald Duck
  • Chef Mickey’s (Contemporary) – Breakfast and Dinner only, though lunch is offered from time to time during really busy seasons. Features Chef Mickey, Goofy, Minnie, Pluto and Donald, though Donald usually hangs out near the check-in area for photos.
  • ‘Ohana (Polynesian Village) – Breakfast only, featuring Mickey, Pluto and Lilo and Stitch.
  • 1900 Park Fare (Grand Floridian) – The Supercalifragilistic Breakfast features Mary Poppins, Alice and the Matter Hatter, plus a random character or two that are always a surprise. The Cinderella Happily Ever After Dinner features Cinderella and Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, Drizella, and the Fairy Godmother.
  • Topolino’s Terrace (Riviera Resort) – Breakfast only, featuring Mickey and friends, typically Minnie, Donald and Daisy, dressed in their finest outfits.
  • Garden Grove (Walt Disney World Swan) – Weekend only breakfast features Goofy and Pluto, while nightly dinner features Goofy and Pluto, and sometimes Chip and Dale too. Please Note: If you are on one of the Disney Dining plans, they are not accepted at Garden Grove.

Well, there you go! So many options, but which one is the best?

The Dis/dom choice for best Disney World Character Meal outside of the Theme Parks?


While Chef Mickey’s is the default character breakfast for many who visit Walt Disney World, I think ‘Ohana is a much better choice for your family. It is the best combination of food and characters outside of the Disney theme parks.

  • Great food options: A giant breakfast platter is brought to your table full of scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, sausage, bacon, fruit and sweet bread. I dream about that sweat bread. It is all you can eat, but you never need to leave your table, they just keep bring more. Plus, Mickey Waffles! Not Mickey waffles that have been sitting on a buffet for hours, but freshly made waffles. You also get all the fresh juice and/or coffee you want, and the juice is to die for.
  • Unique characters: While all the other dining option include the standard Disney characters, at ‘Ohana you get Lilo and Stitch, two hard to find characters, but here, they come to your table!

What is your favorite Disney World character meal outside of the parks?

Walt Disney’s Lamp

There is just something special about Disneyland. It was Walt’s dream, and he touched every single part of the park right up until his death in 1966. If you have not been to Disneyland, you really can’t call yourself a Disney fan. Walt Disney World is great and all, but Walt never actually set foot in any of the theme parks there. But Disneyland, Walt actually LIVED there.

During the construction of Disneyland, Walt decided that he needed a place to work and stay in the park, so the upstairs of the fire station on main street was built to fit his needs. It was completed by opening day, and it was from the window above the fire station that Walt watched as guest streamed into the park. Walt and his family spent quite a bit of time in the park during the early years, since there was constantly so much work going on.

Disneyland Firestation

Walt’s apartment was very private, you really could not tell if he was there or not, and Walt wanted it that way. Even the large patio overlooking town square was not easily seen from below, though apparently you could see down into the park quite well. While Walt wanted to keep his privacy, early on did decided that when he was in the park, he would light a lamp that was placed in the upstairs window of the fire station. Imagine during the early days seeing that lamp lit up as you entered the park! That meant there was going to be a great chance you may see Walt walking around the park that day, handing out “autographs”. What a treat that must have been!

walt disney lamp

On December 15, 1966, the day Walt Disney passed away, the light was extinguished to signal his death. The next morning, Walt’s lamp was lit again to signify his presence in the park (some say it turned on by itself), and not remains lit on a daily basis, only to be turned off on special occasions. On all the days I have been in Disneyland, I have yet to be there when the light was out.

A few years after the opening of Disneyland, and as the park was expanding to add New Orleans Square and the brand new Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, Walt decided to build a bigger apartment above the entrance to the Pirates of the Caribbean. Walt died before the completion of this apartment, so it was never occupied by anyone in the Disney family. For years, this apartment was accessible to the public as an art gallery, and recently has been remodeled into “The Dream Suite”, a luxury apartment only used on special occasions for VIP visitors (or some lucky guests if Disney is giving away stays there).

Walt’s little fire station apartment is still there, stuck in time if you will, and is accessible from time to time via special tours (Adventures by Disney often visits there if you happen to be on one of their Southern California Adventures). The fact that Walt’s lamp is still lit on a daily basis just reaffirms that this is Walt’s park, and he is still there on a daily basis.

Best Hidden Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom

Sure, everyone knows about the Crystal Palace, Tony’s Town Square and Be Our Guest, but have you ever eaten at Sleepy Hollow? If you have never been, please put it on your list of restaurants for your next visit.

sleppy hollow

Sleepy Hollow – Where is it?

As you walk down Main Street and enter the hub, there is an exit at about 10 o’clock that heads towards Liberty Square, the Hall of Presidents and eventually the Haunted Mansion. You cross the bridge, and it is immediately to your right. You can also go this way if you need to go around Cinderella’s Castle, that path leads right through the seating area of Sleepy Hollow. Many tables have fantastic views of the castle, but please note, there are very few tables that have any kind of coverage, so if it is raining, you are probably going to need to head elsewhere.

Sleepy Hollow Menu

So many good things. I get all Rumbly in My Tumbly just thinking about it. While Sleepy Hollow isn’t your normal Disney counter service restaurant, their menu is limited, the food they offer is unique and fantastic.

  • Waffle with Powdered Sugar
  • Waffle with Cinnamon
  • Waffle with Strawberries and Whipped Cream
  • Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
  • Funnel Cake dusted with Powdered Sugar
  • Funnel Cake dusted with Cinnamon
  • Funnel Cake topped with Strawberries and Whipped Cream
  • Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich
  • Ham, Prosciutto and Swiss Waffle Sandwich
  • Nutella and Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich

Just so you are aware, some of the waffles are options with a snack credit from the Disney Dining plans, and the sandwiches are options with a counter service credit. Of course, the restaurant also has plenty of drink and dessert options, including a mean Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich
Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich
fruit waffle
Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

What Makes Sleepy Hollow so Good?

There are a few things that make Sleepy Hollow fantastic.

  • First, it is out of the way, and rarely crowded. Sometimes there gets to be a line in the afternoon when that funnel cake desires gets a bit to strong for some folks, but otherwise, it is manageable.
  • Second, everything is made right in front of you. They cook your waffle right there while you wait, nothing comes from some central kitchen like you know the hamburgers at the other places do. This makes the line move a bit more slowly, but totally worth it.
  • Third, where else can you get a waffle sandwich for lunch?

Please note, because of fireworks and other events around the castle during the evening, Sleepy Hollow only serves their sandwiches until 5;30 pm. They are open after that and still serve a fantastic waffle with strawberries, but don’t plan on going to Sleepy Hollow for dinner, it is a lunch thing only.