How Autism Friendly are Disney’s Character Breakfasts?

 

After several parents approached me about a starting a  separate section on the website to answer questions, I’ve decided to start the  ‘Ask Margalit’ column.Readers can either contact me via our FB page or through the contact form on this website. Though only a select few will be answered in this section, rest assured that ALL questions will be replied via private e-mail.
To start us off here’s the first question from @Daisysmom and it concerns Disney’s Character Breakfast.


@Daisysmom writes: We’re going to Disney World next month and staying at a Disney hotel in the resort. I was told by our travel agent that we should take our daughter to their character breakfast. Our daughter with autism is five, loves everything Disney, but I’m reluctant since I don’t know whether she’ll sit down and eat any breakfast (she doesn’t  do that at home) or enjoy the experience.
Thank you,

Daisy’s mom

How Autism Friendly are Disney's Character Breakfasts? food

Disney Character Dining is a great experience, and the breakfasts are no exception.
They are an excellent opportunity to introduce your child to new foods they might otherwise be reluctant to try, as well as a fun way to meet Disney characters without standing in the long park lines in the heat or rain.
Even if your daughter doesn’t typically eat breakfast, she might be tempted to at least try some of the different food items shaped like Disney characters while seeing Disney characters walking around the restaurant in costume.

The buffet style breakfasts are highly popular, so you need to book well in advance if you decide to go.

The buffet we tried last May had a large selection of cold cuts, cheeses, freshly cut fruits, smoked salmon, pastries, bread, eggs prepared in various ways, cereals, yogurt, and breakfast meats along with an overabundance of desserts that cater well to the American palate. Personally, I would have liked to see more vegetarian, vegan and allergy specific options for those who have food restrictions or wish to make healthy dining choices.

How Autism Friendly are Disney's Character Breakfasts? decor

What you should know ahead of time:

 

  • The price of the Character Buffet was about ten dollars over a regular Breakfast Buffet (17$), which might be a deterrent to families traveling on a tighter budget.
  • The assigned time of dining is approximate, so there might still be a short wait of 10-20 minutes for your family when you arrive for breakfast. If you wish to minimize your wait time, make the reservations for early in the morning as soon as the restaurant opens.
  • There are no real quiet areas in the restaurant to sit in, since the dining tables are in proximity to each other, and the place is crowded with excited kids waiting to meet their favorite characters, which might be an issue if your child is noise sensitive.
  • Since each restaurant features specific characters, you should find out when you make reservations which ones will make an appearance at this particular restaurant so your daughter won’t be disappointed if she doesn’t necessarily see the character she likes the best.
  • You need to prepare your child to be patient and wait for the characters to arrive at your table and not follow them around the restaurant. We were told by the maître ‘d that the staff can’t even forward the characters any requests to go to an individual table or in a particular order. Our son was pretty disappointed when we were busy replenishing our plates, and the characters skipped our table.
  • Remember to bring your camera to photograph or videotape since unlike the parks there aren’t any professional photographers on the premises.

How Autism Friendly are Disney's Character Breakfasts? tables

Have you taken your child with autism to a Character breakfast ?

How did he /she enjoy it?

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