Character dining at Walt Disney World can be a treat for children and adults alike. It is an easy way to meet popular characters without waiting in line for long periods of time. My family enjoys planning a table service breakfast with characters. Before stepping foot into the parks, we have our bellies full and several autographs and photographs in hand.
Located inside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, 1900 Park Fare offers guests the opportunity to enjoy a buffet breakfast with character appearances from Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, Tigger, and Winnie the Pooh. The restaurant is beautiful and features a glorious organ that was imported from France called “Big Bertha.” The organ is played throughout the meal. The buffet line includes a variety of breakfast items including Mickey waffles, French toast, eggs, danishes, bacon, sausage, and much more.
What I love about 1900 Park Fare is the fact that we can interact with characters who we usually cannot find in the parks. However, the character interactions in the restaurant are unorganized and confusing. The characters wander from table to table, often missing entire sections. Sometimes, characters seems to stay in one section without moving. For example, Tigger came by our table three times. We finally told him he didn’t need to stop by anymore. The lack of organization with the flow of characters is distracting to children and makes it difficult to go to the buffet for food without feeling like you will miss a character.
Chef Mickey’s is also a buffet, and is located inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort. My kids always love visiting this restaurant because they get to see the monorail actually drive through the middle of the hotel. The food at Chef Mickey’s is very similar to that of 1900 Park Fare. However, the character interactions are far more organized. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald travel from table to table and take more time to interact with kids. They never seem rushed and I never worry that we will not have an opportunity to see each character. During one visit, we were at the buffet when Minnie came by. We just told our server and she personally brought Minnie back to our table for photos. The atmosphere at Chef Mickey’s is more lively and the restaurant is more colorful. There is upbeat “party” music playing in the background and children are actually encouraged to swing their napkins in the air during their meal to celebrate Mickey and friends.
Both restaurants are part of the Disney Dining Plan, and use one table service credit per person. The food is pretty much the same and the costs are extremely similar. However, if I could only choose one character breakfast, I would choose Chef Mickey’s every time.