Walt Disney World Character Dining Changes: Characters No Longer Signing, Some Located Outside Restaurant

The changes are continuing to flow into Walt Disney World, and this time, they have to do with the character dining experiences which may make things more efficient, but some guests may not like it. One of the most popular experiences in all of WDW is character dining, where guests can dine with their favorite Disney friends, but things are switching up a bit. Now, some locations no longer allow characters to sign autographs and some aren’t even in the restaurant itself.

Guests always like to book dining locations such as Hollywood & Vine, Crystal Palace and breakfast at Ohana as early as possible. They do book up rather quickly as guests want to have good food and easier interaction with characters, rather than waiting in lines at meet-and-greet locations.

Now, the interactions are starting to change up at a number of locations and the trend may soon continue to many others.

It all started about a year ago at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As reported by Disney Addicts, the practice of dining locations giving you a pre-signed autograph card and characters not actually signing for each table is spreading.

In the past month, two other character dining locations have started giving guests pre-signed autograph cards as they’ve entered the restaurant: Trattoria al Forno for the Bon Voyage breakfast and Crystal Palace. Upon entering the restaurants, guests are being handed the autograph card which has an explanation on it, as presented by WDW & Beyond.

“To improve our Guests’ interactions with Characters at Walt Disney World character dining locations, and to increase the overall efficiency of the restaurant, Characters at some locations will no longer be signing autographs at the Guests’ tables. Guests will receive a pre-signed Character card at the location that will fit in their autograph book.”

For the time being, guests are still allowed to ask for autographs when characters come to their table and they will likely be granted. If this new policy gets past the testing phase, it may get to the point that characters will not sign autographs at character dining locations at all.

Another change that has happened in the last couple of months is at Ohana for the character breakfast, which features Stitch, Lilo, Mickey, and Pluto. While three of the characters go around from table-to-table as usual, Stitch is meeting at the entrance of the restaurant for autographs and pictures.

Stitch has been standing outside of Ohana for a few weeks, and originally, it was first said to be just a test to see how things went. As time continued on, the friendly blue alien is still out there and it is beginning to look as if that may be where he’ll stay.

Again, these are all just things in testing phases and anything is possible to change at any moment.

No matter what, the changes being made to different locations at Walt Disney World are all being done after research and with reasons behind them. The character dining experiences have long had complaints that Mickey, Minnie, Ariel, and others haven’t had enough time at each table. A lot of that was due to autographs being signed and the cards are simply a way to allow characters a little more time for friendly interaction.

[Featured Image by Danny Cox]