Universal Studios is known for its thrilling rides, top of the line on-site resort hotels, and magically themed Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Most people don’t think of Universal as the perfect place to take small children on vacation. Universal Studios Orlando has so much to offer children of all ages. Gulf Coast TravelingMom has prepared The Complete Guide to Universal Orlando Character Dining so you don’t have to miss a thing on your vacation.
The Complete Guide to Universal Orlando Character Dining
Character Dining at Universal Studios? Yes! Contrary to popular belief, Universal Orlando is very kid-friendly. You may be familiar with Universal’s Superstar Character Breakfast at Cafe La Bamba. This long-standing character dining experience has closed its doors to make way for exciting new experiences.
If you have purchased the Universal Dining Plan, you will not be able to use any of your table service credits towards character dining experiences. Yes, I realize you can do this at Walt Disney World, but this is not an option at Universal Studios.
Marvel Character Dinner
Dinner with Marvel superheroes? Yes, please! This character dining experience at Universal’s Islands of Adventure is perfect for Marvel fans of all ages. Every Thursday through Sunday you can immerse yourself into the world of Marvel Entertainment at Cafe 4. Characters include Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm and Rogue. Sorry ladies, Chris Evans and Hugh Jackman won’t be in attendance. While I know that’s a bit of a disappointment, I promise there’s still plenty of reasons to go.
The Marvel Character Dinner consists of an all-you-care-to-eat dinner buffet, one non-alcoholic drink, and one digital photo taken with the characters via My Universal Photos. That’s right, you can get your picture taken with Captain America. Who knew moms would enjoy Universal Orlando character dining as much as the kids?!
You will need to make reservations at least 24 hours in advance. The price for adults (ages 10 and up) is $49.99, and the price for children (ages 3-9) is $24.99, plus tax. You can purchase tickets online or by calling (407) 224-3663. Tickets are non-refundable. You will need valid theme park tickets to be able to dine here.
Despicable Me Breakfast
First of all, I honestly cannot think of a better way to start the day than having breakfast with Minions. This new character dining experience at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort is only held on Saturday mornings. There are several different seating times offered at 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., and 10:30 a.m. Breakfast is held at the Cayman Court with your favorite characters from the Despicable Me films – Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes, and the Minions.
The Despicable Me Breakfast features an all-you-care-to-eat buffet with pancakes, eggs, bacon, and more, one non-alcoholic beverage, and one digital photo taken with the characters. Another great perk to booking a character breakfast is that it eliminates the need to stand in line to meet the characters in the park. Let me just say the Minions are pretty popular and those lines can get pretty long.
You will need to make reservations at least 10 hours in advance. The price for adults (ages 10 and up) is $34.99, and the price for children (ages 3-9) is $20.99, plus tax. You can purchase your tickets online by using this link. You do not need theme park tickets nor do you need to be a guest of the Sapphire Falls Resort to be able to dine here.
The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast
This seasonal character breakfast is my absolute favorite Universal Orlando character dining experience. What can I say? I’m a fan of the Grinch. Each holiday season, the Grinch will join you for a buffet breakfast at the Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Since this is a seasonal event, the dates change from year to year. To give you an idea of what to expect in 2018, here are the 2017 dates – November 18, 19, 24, 26; December 1-3, 7-10, and 20-25.
This is a very popular character dining experience and reservations book fast. If you’re planning a visit to Universal Orlando over the holidays and want to book this character dining experience, make sure to stay tuned for updates.
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Halloween Horror Nights Scareactor Dining Experience
First of all, let me start by saying I have never attending this dining experience and have no plans to. While I am sure there are many of you who love this kind of thing, scary stuff just isn’t my idea of fun. Now that I have that off my chest, let me give you the facts. Every fall Universal Orlando hosts an event known as Halloween Horror Nights. During this event you literally walk around the park waiting for something to frighten you. Sound fun to you? Me neither.
If terror is your thing, you can purchase a ticket to the Halloween Horror Nights Scaretactor Dining Experience which is held at Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe. This dining experience is only held during the Halloween Horror Nights event. You must purchase a ticket to Halloween Horror Nights in addition to a ticket to the dining experience.
Especially relevant, Halloween Horror Nights is pretty intense. Universal Orlando does not recommend this event for anyone under the age of 13.