About the Column

Is it possible to have too many Disney tips? Well, yes, if they're from your crazy uncle Louie, but not if they're straight from the experts, the folks who plan perfect trips for others day-in, day-out: Disney travel agents! Keith Anderson, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner and co-owner of Mouseketrips, has been doing that for years. He's learned a lot about Disney, especially how to save money on a Disney vacation without skimping on the frills or the thrills. Every week, in Disney Travel Tips from Mouseketrips, Keith will distill new Disney wisdom - just for you! Don't tell Uncle Louie...

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FROM: Disney Travel Tips from Mouseketrips Published Saturdays

Dining with Mickey

Next to dining with DeNiro, probably the hottest table ticket in the world is a meal with Mickey, and unlike DeNiro, Mickey is happy to drop by your table, and he'll sign autographs, too. Where to find him? Keith Anderson whispers in your ear.

Dining with the iconic Mickey Mouse seems to be a 'must-do' for most families with children who travel to Walt Disney World. Whether it is your first trip or your 100th, you know you want to eat with the Mouse. (It may be the only time in your life you say that.)

Fortunately, Disney offers a few different options to help you do the must-do:

Chef Mickey's
Located in the Contemporary, this is Mickey's very own restaurant, and if it's open, he's there. Chef Mickey's serves buffet breakfast and dinner daily, and is one of the toughest dining reservations to get. Plan on 180 days out to get a decent time during your trip. Loud, fun, and pretty decent food.

Tusker House
Located in the Animal Kingdom, Tusker House hosts Donald's Safari Breakfast, where Donald is the star but Mickey is still the main attraction. Fantastic buffet food, great location, and a wonderful prelude to Kilimanjaro Safaris. Characters appear for breakfast only.

Garden Grill
Located in the Land pavilion at Epcot, the Garden Grill hosts Chip and Dale's Harvest Feast. This rotating restaurant is fun and has fantastic views of the Living with the Land ride below. You will find Mickey decked out as a farmer with his friends Chip, Dale, and Pluto. Characters appear for dinner only.

Located in the Polynesian, this Hawaiian-themed breakfast features your favorite Mouse along with Minnie, Lilo, and Stitch. Family-style service makes this a fun and raucous meal, and you may even learn how to hula dance between courses. Characters appear for breakfast only.

Want a few Mouseketrips hints?

  • Book as early in advance as possible before your trip. All character meals are hard to get, and Mickey is popular!
  • Book an early breakfast. Even though the parks may open at 9:00 AM, the restaurants open at 8:00 AM. If you have early reservations, Disney will let you into the parks prior to rope drop, and there's nothing like a leisurely walk though an empty theme park.
  • Make sure you have autograph books on hand before your meal starts. They're not sold in the restaurants.
  • Inquire about transportation at your resort the day before an early reservation. You may need to arrange for alternate transportation if the buses are not running yet.
  • Don't over do it on character meals. If you book too many of them, they'll lose their appeal. Try some of Disney's many non-character restaurants.

While you're waiting for Keith's next Disney tip, why not ask him to plan your next Disney trip? Mouseketrips does nothing but Disney - and they're really good at it! Hook up with them at their website, through Twitter, or on Facebook.



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