The Disney theme parks are not all about the attractions, and although they play a large part in the Disney experience, there is so much more for Guests to enjoy around the Walt Disney World Resort. Disney dining, shopping, parades, and fireworks are some of the other things that are likely to come to mind when you think about experiences that make a Disney vacation.
Character interactions also play a big part in helping to create the Disney experience for Guests. No matter what your age, character experiences are often one way in which a Disney vacation can be made extra magical. Guests, young and young at heart, make lifelong memories from being able to share a special moment with their favorite Disney character. From a hug to an autograph to having a conversation, magical moments are unlimited when interacting with characters.
What helps to keep character interactions fresh is seeing Disney pals in a new costume, one that is different from the usual attire that they are typically known for. When you think of Mickey Mouse, do you picture him in his red pants, yellow shoes, black jacket, and his famous yellow bowtie? Or Donald Duck in his blue sailor shirt and hat, with yellow bowtie? Mention Minnie Mouse, and you’ll probably imagine her red and white polka dot dress, with a bow to match, and classic yellow shoes.
But how about getting those photos that help you to remember those lifelong memories with the characters in different outfits? Well, here are the places to go when you’re next visiting the Walt Disney World Resort!
Visiting Mickey in the Town Square Theatre is a key part of any visit to Magic Kingdom Park. This is especially true if you are visiting Walt Disney World for the very first time or you’re introducing a younger member of the family to Mickey Mouse. Even if you have visited the Big Boss plenty of times already, you won’t want to miss him during the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary.
In honor of the celebrations, Mickey is meeting and greeting Guests in the Town Square Theatre in his 50th Anniversary outfit. You’ll find the Town Square Theatre just inside of the Magic Kingdom, to the left of the flagpole, on Main Street, U.S.A.
Donald Duck is so much fun to meet around Walt Disney World. Whilst you can spot him around all of the Disney Parks, you’ll only find him in his Mexican bib and sombrero in the Mexico Pavilion in World Showcase. He meets just to the right of the Mexico pavilion, in the shade of the trees, with a Mayan-inspired backdrop. We love to meet with him after taking a ride on the Gran Fiesta Tour, Starring The Three Caballeros.
If you’re looking for a character dining experience, the Garden Grill Restaurant in EPCOT is a great place to enjoy family-style dining. Located in The Land Pavilion, this restaurant slowly rotates whilst you dine. Join Chip ’n’ Dale, Pluto, and Mickey, as you tuck into lunch or dinner. Pluto dons his checked collar, and you’ll get to see Mickey in his dungarees and flannel shirt – the cutest farmer, we’d say! This is a great place to take a break from the sun and fill up on good food. Why not head downstairs after your meal, and take a ride on Living with the Land? You’ll have dined above this boat ride in Garden Grill and will have been served up some vegetables that will have been grown in the greenhouses you pass through.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Fitting with the Disney theme park they star in, visiting Mickey and Minnie in Red Carpet Dreams in Hollywood Studios is your opportunity to see the famous Disney mice in different outfits. Minnie is all dressed up in her red carpet gown, whilst Mickey dons his red sorcerer cloak and blue hat, greeting Guests in his Sorcerer’s Apprentice outfit from Fantasia (1940). Stop by Commisionary Lane near the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre Restaurant for this fun character experience.
A great place to enjoy character dining in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is Hollywood & Vine. Not only does it serve up great seasonal food and will return to offering Guests buffet dining from August 28, but it’s your opportunity to see favorite Disney Pals in plenty of different outfits. Depending on when you are visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, you’ll attend one of four seasonal offerings when dining at this Disney restaurant:
- Silver Screen Dine – dine with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy in their red carpet attire.
- Springtime Dine – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy dress up in their spring outfits.
- Summertime Dine – surfs up! Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy dress in their fun summer outfits.
- Halloween Dine – quite possibly our favorite outfits to see in Hollywood & Vine! See Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy don their very own Halloween costumes.
Hollywood & Vine offers Guests the chance to enjoy lunch or dinner with seasonal menus. Alternatively, dine during breakfast time with Disney Junior friends in the restaurant’s Disney Junior Play ’n’ Dine Breakfast. This is a great choice if there are younger Guests in your party.
If you’re planning to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios during the holiday season, check Hollywood & Vine to see if they are hosting the Holiday Dine. It’s your chance to see the gang dress in their best festive attire and also get a photo with Santa Goofy!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
If exploring and adventure are your thing, then you have to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom to see your favorite Disney characters in their safari gear!
Stopping by Adventurers Outpost on the way to Asia to see Safari Mickey and Minnie is one of our favorite things to do in Disney’s Animal Kingdom! It’s also a chance to get a break from the sun and heat, as the line and meeting area are inside!
Dining in Tusker House Restaurant is also the perfect place to enjoy delicious food with Mickey, Goofy, Daisy, and Donald in their safari gear. Let us tell you that they make the cutest explorers! We highly recommend securing an advanced dining reservation at Tusker House if you plan to eat there, as it’s a popular place for Guests to choose during a wild day in the Disney Park. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and currently offers family-style dining.
The final place to look for Disney characters in fun costumes is on the Discovery River. Watch out for Donald’s Dino-Bash Flotilla to see Donald, Daisy, and Launchpad McQuack in bright-colored outfits. You may even see Goofy and the cutest dinosaurs you ever did see, as Chip ’n’ Dale dress as green and blue dinos!
Disney’s Riviera Resort
Whether you’re taking a break from the Disney Parks or are a Guest in Disney’s Riviera Resort, Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera offers character dining at breakfast. Enjoy a Prix fixe menu with stunning views of the Walt Disney World Resort whilst interacting with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy in stylish outfits that can only be seen in Topolino’s Terrace.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Chef Mickey’s, located in one of the original Walt Disney World Resorts, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is a Guest favorite when it comes to character dining. Guests can enjoy an all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast or dinner with a view of the Disney Monorail whilst interacting with Mickey, Goofy, and Donald dressed as chefs. Prepare to twirl your napkin and join in the fun during your time in the restaurant as the Disney friends dance around, providing entertainment for all the family!
Make sure to plan all of these character experiences for your next Disney vacation. You’re sure to have lots of fun, make new memories, and capture moments that you’ll look back on for a while to come!