Walt Disney World announced that more character breakfasts, lunches and dinners are returning to table-service restaurants that have already reopened in Magic Kingdom, as well as Polynesian Village and Beach Club Resorts. This article will share the dates, details, and what’s going on with the slowness of these character dining experiences returning to normal.
To quickly recap recent progress, meet and greets from traditional characters with hugs, autographs, high-fives, and more. at Walt Disney World. At this time, a bunch of previously existing “Sightings” were instantly restored to “Meetings”. These included the Town Square Theatre, Princess Fairytale Hall, Celebrity Spotlight, Red Carpet Dreams, Royal Sommerhus, and more.
In the weeks that followed, more character encounters and greetings returned. Recent and upcoming examples include Adventurers Outpost at Animal Kingdom and Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Slowly but surely (focus on slowly), Walt Disney World has restored character components, bringing them closer to pre-closure.
Along with this, several character meals have also returned to normal. This includes dining experiences with furry characters like Breakfast à la Art at the Topolino Terrace — Flavors of the Riviera and Minnie’s seasonal dinner at DHS. It also includes Dine in a Storybook at Artist Point with Snow Whitebut not most other face character locations.
Even though he’s been back for a while, Cinderella’s royal table is not normal. Likewise, Akershus and Bon Voyage remain closed, as do other locations that previously featured face and fur characters, such as 1900 Park Fare. Not to spoil the illusion or anything, but we’ve heard it’s because Walt Disney World is currently experiencing a pronounced “princess shortage.”
More recently, other character experiences and catering updates have taken place, including the return of Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Chip ‘N Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. While both were great news, the latter was particularly important as a signal that Walt Disney World still intends to bring back the little things that could easily be overlooked – or fall victim to cost cuts.
Either way, we have some good news on the character restoration front, with a pretty noticeable expansion of options. Here is the announcement from Walt Disney World…
Across Walt Disney World, some of guest favorite restaurants are gearing up to welcome back popular friends, including Stitch for Breakfast at ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Minnie and Friends for Breakfast at Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and Winnie the Pooh and Friends at Magic Kingdom’s Crystal Palace for lunch and dinner.
Get ready for hugs, laughs, and lasting memories, because here are the places the characters will soon be returning to!
Let’s start with Magic Kingdom, where special characters return for a celebration of friendship nestled on Main Street, USA, at Crystal Palace: a character buffet featuring Winnie the Pooh and his friends. This greenhouse-inspired beauty is the perfect place to spend your day with cuddles and a treat, with options like Carved Prime Rib, Seasonal Ravioli and Peel & Eat Shrimp.
From September 20, 2022, friends of Hundred Acre Wood will join the celebratory feast for lunch and dinner at Crystal Palace. (Note: Breakfast is still not available at Crystal Palace. It’s unclear when — or even if — that missing meal will return.)
Luckily, those who want to start the day off right and have breakfast with characters before a day at the Magic Kingdom can do so just a short boat or monorail ride from the park at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
At the Poly, guests can prepare for a relaxing vibe as they enjoy breakfast classics at the Ohana Best Friends Breakfast with Lilo and Stitch! Nothing beats the love of everyone’s favorite mischievous friend, Stitch, to start your day. Snuggle up to delicious treats like Pineapple Coconut Breakfast Bread and Mickey Waffles and sip on the iconic Lilikoi juice and delicious Moana smoothie.
‘Ohana Best Friends Breakfast with Lilo and Stitch will return on September 27, 2022.
At Disney’s Beach Club Resort, you’ll find the Cape May Café, a New England-inspired spot that serves up delicious food in an all-you-can-eat buffet. Join in the fun with Disney friends as you savor your favorite morning foods at this feast, including mouth-watering salted caramel “Beach Buns.” And what breakfast would be complete without the famous Mickey and Minnie waffles? Fuel up for your day the right way with these unforgettable characters and dishes.
Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast at Cape May Café will make its exciting return on October 4, 2022.
One thing to keep in mind when making advance reservations for any of these meals is that prices will almost certainly increase once the characters return. Currently, each of these restaurants is about $10 to $17 less than before the shutdown.
As you are no doubt aware, Walt Disney World does not have decreases awards at all levels over the past two years. Quite the opposite, in fact. As a result, we expect each of these meals to increase by around $17 to $23. While there aren’t any great apple-to-apple comparisons, it would approximate them to the mostly equivalent character meals around Walt Disney World. Just something to keep in mind when reading menus and planning ADRs!
Once this trio of Character Dining Experiences returns, the list of “missing meals” at Walt Disney World will be as follows:
- Parc 1900 Rate – Breakfast and Dinner
- Akershus – Breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Be Our Guest Restaurant – Lunch & Counter Lunch
- Cinderella’s Royal Table – Fairy Tale Princess Dinner Party
- Crystal Palace – Breakfast
- Garden Grill – Chip ‘n’ Dale Harvest Feast Breakfast
- Trattoria al Forno – Bon Voyage Character Breakfast
Of these, the most obvious candidate for the return is 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Although it featured Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland and Mad Hatter before closing, it could easily be changed to any furry characters if needed.
Then there’s Cinderella’s royal table, which seems to be an integral part of the Walt Disney World experience for some families. Even with the so-called “princess shortage,” it seems like it would be a priority to bring back. Likewise, Akershus is EPCOT’s only princess meal and has always been extremely popular before closing. It’s somewhat surprising that Disney hasn’t found a way to bring them both back, especially considering how profitable both are for the company.
Everything else is breakfast in the parks, and it seems like the big hurdle to that right now is staffing. Walt Disney World still cannot imagine opening Magic Kingdom before 9:00 a.m. or closing after 11:00 p.m. on the same day due to staffing limitations; Bringing breakfast back to Crystal Palace, Be Our Guest or Garden Grill would likely require those restaurants to close earlier in the evening due to Cast Member shortages.
Again, these dining services are all profitable for Walt Disney World, so we can’t imagine the current scenario being the outcome the company “wants”. They leave money on the table and will therefore restore these breakfasts as soon as possible.
All in all, this is all great news and should please many of you who specifically asked about these meals (although I think we got more questions about Crystal’s character breakfast Palace, and this does not respond at all). While this does not directly affect restaurant capacity or the Disney dining plan since all of these restaurants were already open for these dining services, it is yet another step in the right direction for dining and character experiences. of Walt Disney World.
On another positive note, the culinary teams at Walt Disney World aren’t as understaffed as they were last year. This is one of the main reasons restaurants are able to fill more tables and increase capacity. That’s good news for those trying to get advance reservations or walk-in availability. We found ourselves having way greatest success with short-notice ADRs over the past two months, including peak season periods.
For those watching these changes closely, the next consequential development will occur in August 2022 when Walt Disney World brings back the Cultural Representative Program. While this is smaller than the College Program, it will still facilitate eventual reopenings of World Showcase restaurants.
More importantly, it will allow cast members currently at these restaurants to be reassigned to other restaurants around Walt Disney World, helping to increase capacity across the board. That alone will huge. Here’s hoping we get more big restaurant news as Walt Disney World prepares for this expansion and reallocation of resources!
Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Learn more about the hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotel Reviews page. To find out where to eat, read our Walt Disney World restaurant reviews. To save money on tickets or figure out which type to buy, read our tips for saving money on Walt Disney World tickets. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips article takes a unique look at smart on-the-go items. To know what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride guides will help you. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Travel Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
What do you think of the culinary news of this Walt Disney World character? Excited that character meals are returning to Crystal Palace, Cape May Cafe and ‘Ohana? Or would you prefer the regular, cheaper meal services to stay at these restaurants? Would you like to see more characters, or do you think Walt Disney World did a good job bringing them back? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback, even when you disagree with us, is both interesting for us and helpful for other readers, so share your thoughts below in the comments!