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Robert Niles
Editor

Vote of the Week: Which characters do you most want to see at a character dining meal?

Published: March 28, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Disney's adding Star Wars character dining to Star Wars Weekends this year at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida. Our Amanda Jenkins got in and will be filing reports for us from the event. But adding Star Wars to the character dining mix raises the question: Which characters would you most want to see at a meal?

Many theme park fans love character dining. It offers one of those welcomed "kill two birds" opportunities, where you can get in a meet-and-greet with favorite characters during a meal time, saving you the often-long wait to meet those characters elsewhere in the park. That's why fans often snap up reservations for character dining times as soon as they're available, and parks often command a premium over typical meal prices for restaurants that offer character dining.

Perfectly Princess Tea Party
Disney's all-time most expensive character dining in the United States? The Perfectly Princess Tea Party, which one very patient boy once got hauled into.

Disney's "Big Five" (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald) used to dominate character dining opportunities at the Walt Disney World Resort, but Disney now also offers wildly popular character dining meals with its line-up of Disney princesses. Disney has many more collections of characters it could send out at meal times, as well. The Star Wars characters are just one of the many IP [intellectual properties] that Disney owns. How about Toy Story and the other Pixar characters? Or Marvel?

Yes, Universal Orlando owns the Florida theme park rights for the Marvel characters. But would that keep an Avengers breakfast out of one of the Disney World hotels? Marvel characters are the only things bringing any visitors into Disneyland's Innoventions building. What if Disney just converted that space into a massive Marvel character dining facility? How many more bank vaults would Scrooge McDuck have to buy to hold all that extra cash?

Here's your chance to tell Disney what you want — how you want to spend your money on character dining. We're limiting this question to Disney's IP, though the Universal and SeaWorld parks also offer their own character dining opportunities. But they don't offer it on anywhere near the scale that Disney, and especially Walt Disney World, does.


Please tell us in the comments about your favorite, and your dream, character dining meals.

Replies (15)

151.226.89.251

Published: March 28, 2014 at 11:01 AM

how about a chance to meet and dinewith some of the rarer characters
Joseph Smith

Published: March 28, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Better than kiddie character dining: a Star Wars character experience like the old Star Trek restaurant in Vegas, where aliens from the Star Trek universe walked around amongst ordinary adult guests. There was even blue Romulan Ale. Who doesn't want to be in the Star Wars Cantina?
141.117.27.104

Published: March 28, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Villains!
Annette Forrest

Published: March 28, 2014 at 1:02 PM

I wish they had more characters out that interested boys. It would be great if they had Tarzan doing a character dining, Flynn Rider, Kristoff from Frozen, Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty with his sword and shield. I have two sons who would like to see them and other adventurous male Disney characters. I also would not mind seeing the buff Tarzan and Hercules characters myself. :)
Rob Pastor

Published: March 28, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Wow, Annette made a subliminal sexual innuendo. I hope that no young kids see that. Whatever happened to our culture's 17th century puritan virtues?...Good to see Annette lightening up a bit.
Tim Hillman

Published: March 28, 2014 at 2:43 PM

I need a curmudgeon button for my favorite character being my waitstaff and nobody else. No fuzzy costumes or oversized head characters or cast members dressed up like princesses (especially the guys!). I just want my food, good conversation, and a chance to relax and get away from the frenetic activity of the park.
James Rao
Writer

Published: March 28, 2014 at 3:06 PM

My boys and their father (whoever he is) love meeting Disney Princesses (and why not - they're hot!). And since my wife and daughter like to meet them too, it all works out.

But when we eat, like Tim, we just want good food and good service. No characters, please.

Rob Pastor

Published: March 28, 2014 at 3:16 PM

James: "My boys & their father, whoever he is", still has me laughing. One great thing about TPI is that so many of the posters have a good sense of humor. It makes for a nice discussion site..........I, also, couldn't care less about character dining. In fact, I avoid those restaurants like the plague.
Anon Mouse

Published: March 28, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Certainly have more characters that appeal to boys without the rubber masks. Girls can have their princesses, which I enjoy too ;) and have Marvel with Thor, Ironman, Captain America, and Captain Sparrow.
Ti Marco

Published: March 28, 2014 at 5:02 PM

We've never done character dining as it seems to be geared toward girls. My son doesn't want to see princesses. He'd go bananas, though, to dine with Chewbacca.

His mother, on the other hand, would rather spend the dinner hour checking out Gaston or Kronk (I like 'em big and stupid)!

Aaron McMahon

Published: March 28, 2014 at 7:48 PM

I love when Chip & Dale at character dining. They're characterization pretending to steal your food is really fun.

It'd be great to have Jack Sparrow as a dining character. He come in stumbling from the bar and pull up a chair next to the female guests.

98.21.203.151

Published: March 28, 2014 at 8:28 PM

There should be a no characters unless they are serving me my food option. I'd be okay with meeting Chip and Dale if they were dropping off some Mozzarella sticks and refilling my soda.
98.21.203.151

Published: March 28, 2014 at 8:29 PM

If I had to though.... the Chip and Dale experience as described above sounds fun.
Amanda Jenkins
Writer

Published: March 29, 2014 at 10:46 AM

As a parent of little boys, I have seen that there are a majority of character dining for girls. Granted, I know this is a way for the parks to make more money. Those little girls want to have the same dress and hair done at Bibbi Bobbi Boutique before eating in the castle or the princess dining in the Norway pavilion. Even the Grand Floridian is strictly Cindrella for dinner at 1900 Park Fare.

My boys have asked me for years why they can't dine with pirates, or Star Wars, and now more than anything they wish they could dine with Marvel chracters. My vote is definitely geared towards some boy experiences, which I hope this test during Star Wars weekends proves that it will be an excellent money maker. My boys will most likely require the proper attire (one more money maker) to look like their favorite characters. If there were Marvel dining at the resorts, you can bet that my boys would want to be dressed like Captain America, Iron Man, Wolverine, even Deadpool, etc. More money would be made off of my family if these experiences were offered on a regular basis. There are only so many times you can eat with Mickey and the fab 5 before it feels redundant. We need these boy experiences for the boys who are too old for Winnie the Pooh, yet too young for fine signature dining.

Robert Niles
Editor

Published: March 29, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Amanda nails it. This is just smart business for Disney.

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