cinderellaWe just got back from our third trip to Disney World. Every time I return to Orlando, I wonder if my secret, where to get the best character meals at Disney, will have spread. But as of last week, the cat seemed to still be in the bag about where to get last minute reservations for intimate and relaxed meals with Cinderella, Winnie the Pooh, and the cast of Alice in Wonderland.

So without further ado… I will share my secret with you.

For a meal your children will always remember, head to the Grand Floridian 1900 Park Fare restaurant. Reservations, even a few days in advance, are available for breakfast, tea, and dinner. The buffet food is good, and there is wine and beer available (always a nice perk after a long day at the park). The characters vary depending on the meal, dinner currently is Cinderella and her royal court whereas breakfast is a more varied assortment of characters including Cinderella, Pooh, Tigger, Alice in Wonderland, and, my favorite, the Mad Hatter.

The characters don’t seem as pressed for time as they do at other restaurants, especially those in the park. The Mad Hatter lingered at our table, calling my husband a rude starer and asking my son if he used a pitchfork to comb his hair, Prince Charming kissed my hand and asked my 3-year old to dance, and the evil stepmother told my children to say please and be more polite.  And when it came time to hug Pooh and Tigger, they didn’t jump back up to move on to the next table. My children were the ones to end the cuddle time. We had both breakfast and dinner at the Grand Floridian and built memories we will treasure a long time.

1900 Park Fare is on the Disney dining plan. If you’re not staying on a Disney property, breakfast and dinner are $15 to $29.99 per person. Call Disney reservation line (407) WDW-DINE to book.

When not traveling with her kids to meet Prince Charming, Vanessa blogs about cooking and parenting at Chefdruck Musings.