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Character dining for 2.5 year old that isn't into Disney

gulf coast
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Character dining for 2.5 year old that isn't into Disney

My daughter will be almost 2.5 when we go to Disney in the fall. She doesn't watch TV and really isn't into any characters. I'm wanting to do some type of character dining but I have no idea what she might enjoy. I've heard stories of younger Children being frightened by characters Any suggestions?

North Bay, Canada
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1. Re: Character dining for 2.5 year old that isn't into Disney

I would try 1900 park fare with Cinderella first it's real people so might not be frightened and your DD will eat for free since its a buffet. Most young children like chef mickeys and crystal palace, these restaurants have the large characters. It's hard to know til you get there how your child will react my DD was terrified of mascots back home but loved all Disney characters

Elk Grove Village...
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2. Re: Character dining for 2.5 year old that isn't into Disney

I agree that 1900 Park Fare would be a good choice. Similarly, Akershus in Norway at Epcot would be good. It has 5 or 6 of the princesses, which again are real people.

We went through an "afraid of characters" stage at that age, but found with our daughter we could slowly warm her up to them. First, we would just take pictures, with mom or dad between her and the character. Then we got her to give them a high five. By the end of our trip, she was at least willing to stand next to them. By the end of the next trip, she was running up to them to give them a hug. The characters know that they scare some of the kids, so they are really good at judging kids' reactions and adjusting accordingly.

Destination Expert
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3. Re: Character dining for 2.5 year old that isn't into Disney

I dont think there could be a worse choice than 1900 Park Fare since the wicked stepsisters are there and they frighten even kids and adults that are into Disney characters. Akerhaus would be a far better choice since the princesses are there or...how about not doing a character meal until she is more comfortable with the characters?Unless there is some compelling reason to do this on this trip,why not wait until she isn't frightened?There's plenty of other nice breakfasts you could have without scaring a child along with the scrambled eggs

gulf coast
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4. Re: Character dining for 2.5 year old that isn't into Disney

Thanks for your replies. I hadn't really planned on doing a character meal but then everyone started telling me this is was a 'must'. I'm not sure of this will be her only trip to Disney. If it is then I feel we should do a character meal and I like the Idea of real people and not mascots.

South Dakota
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5. Re: Character dining for 2.5 year old that isn't into Disney

Disfan took the words right out of my mouth. Character meals are extremely expensive and the food is good, but nothing out of this world. Don't spend money on something that will make her flip out and that she may not remember. This is totally none of my business and maybe you have health or financial concerns which factor into your decision, but if you are only going to do one trip to WDW, why not wait until she is around eight and can handle the walking, not need a nap, not freak out and will remember everything? If you can afford multiple trips, that is a different story.

gulf coast
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6. Re: Character dining for 2.5 year old that isn't into Disney

We are avid travelers but since my daughter was born we haven't really figured out how to travel with her. I figured that Disney would be an easy place to take her as it's pretty kid friendly. We did the beach last year. She loved it but it was a ton of work and I'm guessing that Disney will be the same. Next year we will probably try a Disney cruise and then I'm thinking that the following year she will be able to handle a more intense vacation. We will probably make it back to Disney someday but there are many, many places that I want to take her. We usually just do one nice vacation each year.

Fort Worth
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7. Re: Character dining for 2.5 year old that isn't into Disney

You might consider flipping your Disney plans; Disney cruise this year and the parks next year. You can test the "character" experience, in a much quieter atmosphere and the ships have a nursery for her age group, so you have adult time. Far less stressful than your previous vacation.

Happy planning!

gulf coast
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8. Re: Character dining for 2.5 year old that isn't into Disney

We originally considered the Disney cruise this year but I couldn't be sure she would be potty trained. I knew she would be upset and wouldn't understand if she was only allowed in the baby pool area.

Manchester N.H.
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9. Re: Character dining for 2.5 year old that isn't into Disney

Ha ha ha ha ha ha...I think Disfan is afraid of the stepsisters!! ;+))

It's ok,Disnfan.I'm still afraid of Captain Hook. :+/

Hi Amandamay~~~~~~Congrats on your "new" baby,and I have a thought. Since we're living in the computer age...maybe you could pull up some videos on YouTube,and show her some character breakfast "action." I know it may be just an image to her,but you could get a bit of her reaction.

The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom is a great place to have a breakfast with Winnie,Piglet,Tigger and Eeyore. They're a cute cuddly bunch. (Of course..huge to her,but as characters go,she might like them.). It's a magical location,and lots of fun.

Or...maybe you delay the character meal,until you see how see reacts to them in the parks? You could always try and get a reservation while you're there. I know lots of people say it must be months in advance,but I've had a lot of sit down meals at Disney with no reservations. (Traveling January/Feb). It's worth a try.

Happy planning!!

Edited: 16 February 2013, 18:35
england
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10. Re: Character dining for 2.5 year old that isn't into Disney

interesting that a few said stick with the people characters...all my kids loved the characters at about 2-3yrs but hated the "real people" characters..my eldest daughter was scared stiff of Aladdin and the princesses but was rolling around on the floor with Pluto and goofy.

Moose has it spot on..bring up some you tube videos to watch with your little one so they get a rough idea. However a character meal is not a must do at this age...i would skip it, go to one of the meet and greets at the park..if she likes them then try to book one