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Character Dinners and Dinner Shows in Orlando
Character dinners and dinner shows in Orlando come in many different types. Theme park character dinners features familiar characters from cartoons and children's shows and movies. Dinner shows cover everything from jousting to mysteries to hula dancing to dining on the Titanic.
Theme Park Character Dinners
Theme park character dinners are a very popular part of the Orlando experience. The most popular character dinners are at Walt Disney World, and one of the hardest meals to book is breakfast, lunch, or dinner in Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom. Meals in the castle feature Cinderella and other Disney princesses. The Disney theme parks have plenty of other character dinners, as well as some breakfast and lunch character meals. For example, the Magic Kingdom also has the Winnie the Pooh characters in the Crystal Palace, while Garden Grill in Epcot features Mickey and friends at dinner and a princess meal at the Norwegian pavilion. Disney's Hollywood Studios has characters at Hollywood & Vine, and Disney's Animal Kingdom has Donald and other characters at the Tusker House, but only for breakfast.
Universal has a character meal at Islands of Adventure featuring the Cat in the Hat and other Dr. Seuss characters, but it's at breakfast rather than dinner. At Christmas, you can dine with the Grinch and some of the Whos in addition to the regular characters. SeaWorld Orlando has a seasonal character breakfast, too, featuring Elmo and many other popular Sesame Street characters. This usually takes place during busier seasons.
Theme Park Dinner Shows
Disney World hosts several dinner shows, including the long-running Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue in the Fort Wilderness campground. This show combines corny entertainment, including jokes, song and dance routines, and audience participation, with a hearty dinner. Mickey's Backyard BBQ is also held seasonally in Fort Wilderness. This show is also a character meal, as Mickey and friends come out to greet guests and dance with the kids. Entertainment includes singing, dancing, and trick roping. Disney's Polynesian Resort has the Spirit of Aloha dinner show, featuring hula dancers and fire juggling.
SeaWorld Orlando also has a Polynesian themed dinner show, called the Makahiki Luau. The hula dancers are a highlight, and your kids might even get called up onto the stage to get a lesson and perform with them. There's a special version of the show at Christmas, and SeaWorld also hosts a dinner with Santa during the holiday season.
Other Character Dinners
The Nickelodeon Family Suites Hotel is themed around popular Nick shows and characters, and this even carries through to the meals. While you won't find a character dinner here, you can have breakfast with such luminaries as Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants. The Gaylord Palms Resort has a partnership with Dreamworks, so you may be able to have dinner with Shrek, Fiona, and other Dreamworks animated movie characters if you visit the resort around Christmas.
Other Dinner Shows
There are many theme restaurants in Orlando that feature dinner shows. Medieval Times and Arabian Nights are both in Kissimmee, and both feature action-filled shows performed with actors on horseback. Medieval Time is centered around jousting matches and battling nights, while Arabian Nights focuses on an Arabian princess and the Black Stallion. Sleuth's Mystery Dinner Show and Pirates Dinner Adventure are both in the International Drive area. Sleuth's is an interactive dinner show that involves the audience in solving a mystery, while Pirates Dinner Adventure tells a swashbuckling tale of pirates on the high seas, performed on a huge boat replica.
The Titanic Experience is one of the major sights in Orlando on International Drive because it features real artifacts from the ship. Although this attraction is mainly an exhibit similar to a museum, it also holds special themed dinners on Saturday evenings. You'll dine on a menu similar to that eaten by Titanic's passengers and interact with historic characters like the captain and the unsinkable Molly Brown. They'll recreate the feeling of having dinner on an elegant ocean liner.