I love Disney and that’s no secret. I like to tell people that we’ve spent so much time in the parks lately because “my kids are the perfect age for Disney” and that’s partially true. At almost eight, the magic of the characters is still very real. And honestly, the magic of the characters is still very real to me, too. Every time I see Minnie Mouse, I’m reminded that there’s a wide-eyed nine-year-old girl inside me who is still enthralled with all the wonder of Disney. character breakfast at Trattoria al Forno
Character meets and photo opportunities are one of the best parts of visiting Walt Disney World. One of the best ways to interact with Disney characters is at character meals. You don’t have to stand in line, you’re not as rushed, and you generally get more time with the characters that you do in the parks. Besides, you have to eat anyway and Disney has some amazing food.
Character dining at Walt Disney World can be found in a variety of locations both inside and outside the parks. You can choose character dining based on location and convenience, what characters you want to eat with, what you like to eat, or what’s open when you get around to deciding you want to do a character meal. Yes, that last thing happened to me once and we got totally lucky and walked into Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at Epcot.
Why we love the Disney character breakfast at Trattoria al Forno
But, like with most things at Walt Disney World, it’s best to plan ahead.
We just got back from another amazing trip to Walt Disney World and let’s be honest…there were a LOT of high points during our visit to the most magical place on earth. One of the highlights was our character breakfast at Trattoria al Forno. Our breakfast was on the first full day of our visit and it really set the tone for our entire trip.
Trattoria al Forno is located on Disney’s BoardWalk, so you don’t need a park admission ticket to enjoy this one. If you’re staying in one of the hotels near Epcot or the Magic Kingdom, it’s an easy jaunt. If you’re staying off property or elsewhere on the Disney property, getting to Trattoria al Forno requires some planning and time.
We spent the night at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (amazing, by the way) so we opted to take one of the new Minnie Vans to breakfast. Disney transportation was available (and free) but because it was early, we opted for the paid transportation. The Minnie Vans (which you can order through your Lyft app) are an easy way to get from resort to resort, bypassing the need to connect at the Transportation Center.
I’ll be writing more about Disney transportation and the Lyft Minnie Van service later, so definitely subscribe and check back.
We went to the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast, which is the only option for character dining at Trattoria al Forno. They do offer a full menu of Italian delights and fine wines for lunch and dinner but the characters are only present at breakfast.
One of the things that is special and unique about Trattoria al Forno is that it’s the first character dining experience to feature Disney princes.
You can find Disney princesses at many other venues but this is a great chance to interact with the princes as well. Currently, Flynn Rider from Tangled and Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid hang out at Trattoria al Forno. And yes, Rapunzel and Ariel make an appearance, too. Character appearances are subject to change.
All of our Disney friends were wonderfully in character, especially Flynn Rider. His fun, slightly arrogant personality was very entertaining but he was absolutely wonderful with my kids.
I loved Trattoria because it offered plated meals versus a buffet. Don’t get me wrong – I love me a good Disney buffet but the process of getting my kids and myself situated is a little bit of a juggling act. My kids are a little young to go to the buffet on their own and it seems like once I get them settled with food, get my own food and sit down to eat, they want something else. With the table service option at Trattoria, I got to really savor my meal without jumping up and down between bites.
The breakfast at Trattoria al Forno is absolutely amazing. They have all of the typical Disney breakfast items but they also offer some wonderful Italian breakfast dishes. My husband enjoyed King Triton’s Shipwreck al Forno, which is a huge breakfast Calzone filled with eggs, meat and cheese served on a bed of Sunday Gravy (AKA Marinara sauce.)
The Calzone comes with a fun triton but our server removed it as soon as he put it on the table. You get a minute to snap your insta-worthy photo, though. I’m not sure why they remove it. My guess is that they probably don’t mean for it to be a souvenir and they take it away so you don’t take it home.
I recommend the Golden Frittata, although I don’t think I could have gone wrong with any of the menu choices here. My frittata was perfectly cooked and so filling. The portions are very generous so make sure you don’t overeat when they bring out the pastries and the fruit bowls. That’s right. All of the meals include pastry and fresh fruit. The pastries come in a fun skillet, which also makes a great photo opportunity.
I remember thinking when they put this lovely skillet of pastries on the table “I’ll just take a nibble for research purposes so I don’t spoil my breakfast.”
Yeah, right. When we left, that skillet was empty. It was worth it, though. You can see the rest of the menu here.
You should check out the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast if:
- You’re a fan of Tangled and the Little Mermaid and want some up close and personal with the characters.
- You want character dining without going to a buffet.
- You want to enjoy an amazing character dining experience outside the Disney parks.
- You want a really fine dining style breakfast experience. Don’t get me wrong, other character breakfasts have delicious food but the food and the atmosphere at Trattoria al Forno are top-notch. This is a Disney dining experience that isn’t “too Disney” if that makes any sense.
You can make reservations through the My Disney Experience app or ask your Disney Travel Planner to book it for you. We booked our reservation through Instant Impressions, which worked out perfectly. Trattoria al Forno was on my bucket list of character dining experiences but it was unavailable when we first requested it. Since we were working with a travel planner, we were allowed to be wait-listed and we ended up getting a spot. We incurred no extra costs through booking with Instant Impressions. They can book your resort hotel rooms, fast passes, dining and more. They can also book Adventures by Disney, Disney Cruises and other fun Disney destinations such as Aulani in Hawaii or Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.
I loved the “set it and forget it” aspect of having Instant Impressions make our reservations. There was no last-minute refreshing to see if we were able to get our character meal of choice (although that is always an option that we’ve had good luck with.)
After breakfast, explored Disney’s BoardWalk and took a few pictures before walking right into Epcot. Our hearty breakfast filled us up and we ate late enough so that we didn’t need a full lunch. Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno (and character dining in general) is not cheap. Our family of four spent about $130 for breakfast and we opted not to have any of the breakfast cocktails that were on the menu, although the Caprese Bloody Mary and the Peach Bellini were tempting.
I recommend allowing about 90 minutes for breakfast. The characters visit your table one at a time. Flynn Rider, who was first, came by just as we were getting our drinks and we’d just dug into our main course when Ariel, who was last, stopped by to say hi.
If you’re staying on the Disney property you can reserve dining 180 days in advance. The character breakfast at Trattoria al Forno is popular, so you’ll want to get your reservations made as far in advance as possible – and keep checking back if it’s sold out. Or, just ask your Disney travel planner to take care of it for you. It’s one less thing you have to think about as you prepare for your visit to the most magical place on earth. See more here.