Now, even though won't need to buy a theme park ticket to get into these meet and greets, they aren't free — they are the character meals at the Walt Disney World resort's on-site hotels, and prices range from 30-some bucks to ten times that, per person. (Yes, the top price for a Disney hotel character meal is more than $300, so — at that price — you might be better off just buying that theme park ticket and getting in line.)
The good news is that Disney doesn't charge for parking at its on-site hotels. Just show the parking attendant that you have a reservation for a character meal and you're in. So that's another 20 bucks or so saved.
Of course, if you're not a local, you're probably not going to travel to Orlando just to get into a hotel character meal. But if you are a local, or are looking to extend an Orlando area vacation with an extra day without a theme park ticket, these events can give you that "theme park" experience without all the expense.
Most of these character meals are buffets. Expect abundant Mickey waffles and other breakfast staples at that meal, with made to order eggs and omelets available at some events, while dinner typically features a carving station with beef and turkey, and kids' selections that include chicken nuggets and sometimes pizza.
Disney's "Big Five" — Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald Duck — are the main attractions at what seems like Disney World's most popular character meal, serving breakfast and dinner daily. Prices: $41 adults at breakfast, $50 at dinner.
Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo & Stitch at 'Ohana
Meet the stars of Lilo & Stitch as you chow down on an Island-inspired breakfast, served family style to the table. Price: $34 for adults, $20 children.
Supercalifragilistic Breakfast and Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare
Disney's Grand Floridian
Meet Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger at breakfast and Cinderella and Prince Charming for dinner at these buffets. Prices: $32 for adults at breakfast, $45 for dinner.
Disney's Perfectly Princess Tea
Disney's Grand Floridian
Aurora is your host at Disney's priciest character meet and greet, a fancy tea party that costs a whopping $333.64 (plus tax) for one adult and one child. It's $234.08 for each extra child you bring and $98.66 to add another adult to your party. Yes, the kids' tickets cost more... because they are the ones taking home the princess doll and all the accompanying swag. (If you want to know all what's included, here's a review from a while back, when my kids where young enough to go without drawing stares.)
Mickey's Backyard BBQ
Disney's Fort Wilderness
Like the Princess Tea Party, this is more of a show than a straight character meet-and-greet-with-a-meal. A live band plays while Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Chip 'n Dale greet guests at this outdoor barbecue, featuring ribs, chicken, burgers, and hot dogs. Prices range from $72-62 for adults. Open seasonally.
Minnie's Beach Bash Breakfast at Cape May Cafe
Disney's Beach Club
Minnie and selected friends will greet you at this buffet, which is relatively low-key by the typically high-adrenaline standard of Disney character experiences. Price is #36 for adults, $21 for children.
Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno
Meet Ariel and Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid and Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled at Disney World's newest character dining experience, which serves your choice of Italian-inspired breakfast entrees. Price: $34 for adults, $20 for children.
Disney World fans, which is your favorite character meal in the hotels, and why?
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