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The Best Hotels with Character Meet and Greets in Orlando

Jennifer Greenhill-Taylor | January 04, 2018

One of the joys of visiting Disney or Universal is seeing the surprise in a child’s eyes when a beloved cartoon character appears, ready for a hug--and these encounters are not limited to the theme parks. Certain hotels outside the parks offer character breakfasts, lunches, barbecues, and even fireside singalongs featuring one or more of the familiar creatures. Adults know it’s only an actor in a bulky suit (right?), but kids clearly still believe they are hugging Mickey or Cinderella. They will learn the truth soon enough, so let the kids enjoy the magic while it lasts. Be advised, these encounters are off-the-charts popular, so make a reservation up to six months early.


Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Why it made the list

This splendid resort near the Magic Kingdom offers characters galore, whether for the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast, featuring a buffet with Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and The Mad Hatter; or the Wonderland Tea Party, where kids from 4 to 12 can hang out with Wonderland characters and partake in cupcakes, apple-juice “tea”, games. and stories; or, later in the day, princess fans can enjoy a buffet meal with Cinderella and Prince Charming at the Happily Ever After Dinner

A rambling, red-roofed Victorian inn, so close to the Magic Read More


Walt Disney World Swan

Why it made the list

Favorite Disney characters can be found at the Garden Grove restaurant in the Swan Resort, near Disney's BoardWalk, on Saturdays and Sundays for breakfast and nightly for dinner.

Epcot is so near, guests at this resort can hit the park ear Read More


Disney's Contemporary Resort

Why it made the list

Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the place to spend a morning mingling with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck, Goofy, and other Disney characters, while indulging in a hefty buffet.

You're paying for location at this sleek luxury resort next Read More


Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Why it made the list

Universal theme park characters from Minions to Spiderman, the Simpsons and Dr. Seuss characters appear Friday evenings at this on-property resort, tucked right next door to Hogwarts Castle.

A stay at Cabana Bay offers beach-style fun right next door Read More


Disney's Yacht Club and Beach Club Resorts

Why it made the list

Minnie Mouse and pals join guests for a Beach Bash Breakfast at this Epcot-area resort, across the lake from the BoardWalk. The usual autographs and photos are available, along with Mickey Mouse waffles.

These big Crescent Lake inns next door to Epcot and Hollywoo Read More


Four Seasons

Why it made the list

The whole family is coddled at this deluxe hotel, and kids are no exception. Favorite Disney characters (including Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy) arrive for breakfast twice a week at Ravello restaurant. A complimentary day camp offers activities galore, the pool complex entertains all ages.

The award-winning Four Seasons presides majestically over Di Read More


Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Orlando

Why it made the list

On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings, the Lakeview Restaurant at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista, near Disney Springs, comes alive with Disney characters, joining guests for the buffet breakfast.

A marble columned lobby welcomes guests to this all-suites l Read More


Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace Disney Springs Area

Why it made the list

Hilton’s Buena Vista Palace, right next to Disney Springs, offers opportunities to meet favorite Disney characters at the Character Dining breakfast every Sunday at the Letterpress restaurant.

Just yards from Disney Springs, this large resort gets kudos Read More

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