Thoughts on Character Meals in COVID-19 WDW?

abdrury

New Member
Original Poster
re: our upcoming Advance Dining Reservations for November... My train of thought these days is that any Character Meals with human characters will not be "Character Meals" for a while (would they wear masks to greet guests ... ??) We're considering full-costume Character Meals only.

I suppose you could always cancel your Akershus or Artist Point, for example, if it's announced the characters won't be there but then you're tying up other ADR's you could have made for those meals with full costumes like Chef Mickey's or Garden Grill, that may be safe once the re-opening and subsequent changes are announced.

Would love your all's opinions!
 

wdwmagic

Administrator
Moderator
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I think it is still too early to make any decisions, especially for November. Certainly in the short term I don't see meet and greets happening, but characters could appear in restaurants, but maintaining distance.
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
I guess for me, it would depend on what those alternative choices would be. If it were something that's usually hard to get, then I wouldn't tie it up with a meal with an experience that I don't feel confident about or content with if things aren't 'the same'.

Otherwise, character meals are usually the reservations that are hard to get and I'd make them and be flexible when it comes to ditching them in favor of whatever is left.

In my experiences of last-minute ADRs/switching, there is usually still a decent variety of options, whether in-park or at a nearby resort.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
re: our upcoming Advance Dining Reservations for November... My train of thought these days is that any Character Meals with human characters will not be "Character Meals" for a while (would they wear masks to greet guests ... ??) We're considering full-costume Character Meals only.

I suppose you could always cancel your Akershus or Artist Point, for example, if it's announced the characters won't be there but then you're tying up other ADR's you could have made for those meals with full costumes like Chef Mickey's or Garden Grill, that may be safe once the re-opening and subsequent changes are announced.

Would love your all's opinions!
I can't see them having character meals or meet and greets until after a vaccine is found. Would parent really want their kids running over and grabbing onto a big character costume that has been grabbed by hundreds of other kids before some of whom are clearly going to be carriers of the virus. I just don't see something like this being open at this point. Do you really think you could control little kid and convince them just to gawk at Mickey from 6 feet away and for the love of god don't go hug him.... and if they can't do character meals why would you go to eat at alot of those character meals places, some of them have shoddy food and only get visitors because of the character aspect.. but if you lose the characters you will either have to up the food and lower the price or no guest will want to do them.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
They’d be wise to kill the character meals now...set that standard and then maybe reintroduce them later.
I don’t even know how they can make a regular restaurant enjoyable at the moment...inviting chaos marketing mostly towards children isn’t exactly a wise play as it stands
 

Disney Kween

Well-Known Member
The only thing even with the full character with masks how much contact are they going to allow you to have with them? This is what I mean. If you have all sorts of young children touching all over those costumes, and you know how hard it is to keep kids hands from rubbing their noses and putting their hands in their mouths. Then other guests are wanting photo ops with the characters. The germs are going to be flying. I don't know how they could get around it unless they have each guest before approaching the characters use hand sanitizer or something like that. I do agree that the characters such as Mary Poppins will not work.
 

WWWD

Well-Known Member
Many of the character meals are also buffets and I don’t see how those survive - hundreds of people using the same utensils to self serve and kids at food level under the sneeze guard. COVID-19 aside, with our new awareness of viruses and germs, I can’t see self serve buffets being a very popular dinning option. I think I could still do a neighborhood barbecue, but a buffet restaurant with hundreds of strangers having access to food that can sit out for hours, no thank you!
 

Hcalvert

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
I am hoping that they still have the meals that are associated with character-dining. For instance, I booked Story Book Dining for the food not the characters as we have been there several times before and my son is not interested in the characters. My last trip I told Snow White and the two dwarfs to skip our table, so not having the characters would not be a problem for us. In addition, all my dining reservations are family-style or conventional. I did not book any buffets as we have the same concerns regarding contamination.
 

mdcpr

Well-Known Member
Many of the character meals are also buffets and I don’t see how those survive - hundreds of people using the same utensils to self serve and kids at food level under the sneeze guard. COVID-19 aside, with our new awareness of viruses and germs, I can’t see self serve buffets being a very popular dinning option. I think I could still do a neighborhood barbecue, but a buffet restaurant with hundreds of strangers having access to food that can sit out for hours, no thank you!
Most buffets will go away, even Las Vegas is considering this and they are well known for this type of dining. I imagine places like Tusker House (which is one of my fave) will have to redesign their offerings.
 

disney4life2008

Well-Known Member
I am hoping that they still have the meals that are associated with character-dining. For instance, I booked Story Book Dining for the food not the characters as we have been there several times before and my son is not interested in the characters. My last trip I told Snow White and the two dwarfs to skip our table, so not having the characters would not be a problem for us. In addition, all my dining reservations are family-style or conventional. I did not book any buffets as we have the same concerns regarding contamination.
Most buffets will go away, even Las Vegas is considering this and they are well known for this type of dining. I imagine places like Tusker House (which is one of my fave) will have to redesign their offerings.

Buffets will not go away. Instead someone will serve you . I imagine at Disney the buffets will become family style like ohana. They will likely eliminate many food offerings though.
 

csmartin

New Member
I can't see them having character meals or meet and greets until after a vaccine is found. Would parent really want their kids running over and grabbing onto a big character costume that has been grabbed by hundreds of other kids before some of whom are clearly going to be carriers of the virus. I just don't see something like this being open at this point. Do you really think you could control little kid and convince them just to gawk at Mickey from 6 feet away and for the love of god don't go hug him.... and if they can't do character meals why would you go to eat at alot of those character meals places, some of them have shoddy food and only get visitors because of the character aspect.. but if you lose the characters you will either have to up the food and lower the price or no guest will want to do them.
If you are waiting for a vaccine; then don't go again. There will not be a vaccine for the novel coronavirus like there's not a vaccine for the common cold. The average age of death in many states is well above 65. If people aren't getting the experience of masked characters or live characters(princesses for example); then Disney will never open with that logic. Kids are going to come because of the characters. Parents are going to bring them to see said characters; not walk around and see them from 30 feet away. If that's the case then Six Flags and other parks are going to be swamped.
 

dryerlintfan

Well-Known Member
November is so far away. I mean.... two months ago Disney was open and operating normally. Things have changed so much from week to week, who even knows how the world will be working in six months.

Book the meals you would most want to experience, imo, and play it by ear. Maybe everything will be operating as normal. Maybe we'll be in shutdown again because of the second wave. Maybe they will be open but with no characters. You can hedge your bets with backup reservations, but at this point since you can't actually plan anything concrete, you might as well plan what you actually want rather than starting with plan B
 

Tomi-Rocket

Well-Known Member
A hard pass for me. BUT...to be fair I have been over them for a while now. Usually too crowded, noisy, and to top that off - cold food.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
If you are waiting for a vaccine; then don't go again. There will not be a vaccine for the novel coronavirus like there's not a vaccine for the common cold. The average age of death in many states is well above 65. If people aren't getting the experience of masked characters or live characters(princesses for example); then Disney will never open with that logic. Kids are going to come because of the characters. Parents are going to bring them to see said characters; not walk around and see them from 30 feet away. If that's the case then Six Flags and other parks are going to be swamped.
I don't know if a vaccine will be found or not... but I do know that the media has created so much fear and hysteria around this virus that people have gone overboard and Disney is going to be trying to appease the frightened masses which means meet and greets will not return anytime soon. Either a vaccine will have to be found or the hysteria will have to die down which is going to take a long time. I suspect the media will stop trying to fan the flames of hysteria after November, but I'm also afraid that given 9 months of constant fear-mongering that the public isn't going to act like a light switch and just flip back to the way they were pre-virus. It could be 5 years before things return to normal without a vaccine... and by that time if Disney has existed without meet and greets they may decide that they aren't worth the cost of paying someone to wear a Pooh suit and never bring them back.
 

Hockey89

Well-Known Member
I don't know if a vaccine will be found or not... but I do know that the media has created so much fear and hysteria around this virus that people have gone overboard and Disney is going to be trying to appease the frightened masses which means meet and greets will not return anytime soon. Either a vaccine will have to be found or the hysteria will have to die down which is going to take a long time. I suspect the media will stop trying to fan the flames of hysteria after November, but I'm also afraid that given 9 months of constant fear-mongering that the public isn't going to act like a light switch and just flip back to the way they were pre-virus. It could be 5 years before things return to normal without a vaccine... and by that time if Disney has existed without meet and greets they may decide that they aren't worth the cost of paying someone to wear a Pooh suit and never bring them back.
1000%
 

Gabe1

Ivory Tower Squabble EST 2011. WINDMILL SURVIVOR
Premium Member
The latest I heard buffets would flip
To cafeteria style with cast service vs help
Yourself. Similar to Sunshine Seasons in the Land Pavillon Epcot Future World
 

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