If you’ve ever done a Character Dining Meal at Disney World, you know that it’s a very special experience. The table-service restaurants that host these meals are matched with appropriately themed characters to create a really unique experience where you can meet some of your favorite Disney characters in a natural setting.
Character Dining also allows guests to spend more quality time with characters than would be possible at in-park meet and greets.
Disney is constantly working on ways to make things better, and this time the character breakfast is under the microscope. Disney has had complaints that guests feel like they don’t get enough time with characters, so to resolve this problem, Disney has taken away the autograph option. This means that characters will still visit your table, but they will no longer sign autograph books.
Instead, guests get a card with the characters signature already on it. The card fits right into most autograph books (those that are specifically designed for this purpose) with an explanation on the back saying that this is in hopes of increasing efficiency and the time that you can spend with characters.
The was first tested at Hollywood & Vine for Disney Junior Play ‘n’ Dine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Crystal Palace’s Hundred Acre Wood Breakfast in Magic Kingdom and Trattoria al Forno’s new Bon Voyage Breakfast at Disney’s Boardwalk also now use autograph cards.
What’s more, some characters aren’t even in the restaurants anymore. Take the Best Friends Breakfast at Disney’s Polynesian Resort as an example. While Lilo, Mickey, and Pluto walk around to the tables and mingle with diners, Stitch, the main attraction, is stationed outside of the restaurant for a meet and greet with diners.
Some guests aren’t happy with these changes. Guests book these meals up to 180 days ahead of time using Advanced Dining Reservations, and they’re saying they aren’t getting what they paid for. For now, Disney still allows guests to request autographs, and characters will likely oblige. However, the autographs may be completely phased out in the future.
Remember, though, this is only in the testing phase, and Disney could change it at any time.
Will you miss the in-person autographs at character dining?