Chic & Superb Springtime Character Dining

Walt Disney World is lacking when it comes to Easter entertainment and chic character costumes. While there are some decorations, desserts, egg displays, and a few meet & greets, that’s about it. Fortunately, Minnie’s Springtime Dine is perfect for those looking for fashionable fun and food. (Updated March 2, 2021.)

Minnie’s Springtime Dine is the March through May version of “Minnie’s Seasonal Dine” character lunch & dinner that Walt Disney World offers at Hollywood & Vine in DHS. It follows Silver Screen Dine in the winter and is followed by Summertime Dine, Halloween Dine, and Holiday Dine.

This review features food photos, thoughts on whether Minnie’s Springtime Dine is worth the money, and a look at Minnie & Mickey Mouse, Donald & Daisy Duck, and Goofy donning their swankiest springtime  costumes, all of which are unique to this character dining experience at Hollywood & Vine…

March 2, 2021 Update: As of today, Minnie’s Springtime Dine is back through May 30, 2021! Advance Dining Reservations are now available for booking, along with for the popular Disney Junior Play n’ Dine Breakfast, which returns March 22, 2021.

Historically, we’ve been big fans of Minnie’s Seasonal Dine for guests who are on the Disney Dining Plan. With that temporarily suspended, it’s obviously a non-factor right now. That’s not the only change you should be aware of before making ADRs for Minnie’s Springtime Dine.

Another thing that has changed is the menu. As you’ll see in our normal review below, Hollywood & Vine normally offers an all-you-can-eat buffet. Given the circumstances, it’s temporarily switching to a prix fixe menu, plus family style salads to start. The Garlic Crusted Beef Tenderloin and Chocolate S’mores Pie sound great to us!

Another change comes in terms of the character experience. Below, you’ll see photos of us posed with the characters–as with other modified character meals, that won’t be the case this year at Minnie’s Springtime Dine. Instead, they’ll be doing a smile & wave character cavalcade through the restaurant.

It is possible to grab posed photos of the characters and quick selfies with the characters as they pass, but the latter is not easy. You can see what this is like in our Topolino’s Terrace Modified Character Meal Review or our Good Morning with Goofy & Pals Modified Character Meal Review.

Note that what follows is our review of Minnie’s Springtime Dine from last March. If you’re doing this meal in March through May 2021, it’ll obviously have the aforementioned changes and, as another reminder, the mask-less photos with characters will not be possible at Minnie’s Springtime Dine in 2021. 

To regular readers, it’s probably going to come as zero surprise that we loved Minnie’s Springtime Dine. We raved about Minnie’s Halloween Dine in our review of that, and did likewise with our Minnie’s Holiday Dine Review. While we forgot to do Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine (oops!), Sarah has already marked June 1 on the calendar for Minnie’s Summertime Dine. So stay tuned for a review of that, I guess.

Moreover, in our Best Character Meals at Walt Disney World rankings, Minnie’s Seasonal Dine performs pretty well. Despite being held at Hollywood & Vine (a restaurant that hardly has a glowing reputation) and being an “old school” character buffet (as opposed to one of the newer and generally superior a la carte character dining experiences), we love Minnie’s Seasonal Dine. It defies expectations.

We booked an Advance Dining Reservation for Minnie’s Springtime Dine that was 5 minutes before the last seating. As it turned out, we were the very last guests to be seated. As we walked up to Hollywood & Vine (5 minutes early!), a Cast Member greeted us by asking, “Bricker party?” before we even said anything.

While I probably wouldn’t recommend the very last seating of the night to most families, we’re huge fans of dining late for several reasons. For one, Hollywood & Vine often has a long wait (even with ADRs) and the outdoor seating area overflows–eating late means minimal wait.

Second, the restaurant is less than half full at the start of the meal, and further empties as the night progresses. By the end of our dinner, there was only one other party left in Hollywood & Vine.

This has several benefits, including no one else in the buffet line (food is replenished until the very end despite this).

However, the biggest advantage is the characters and quality of both interactions & photos. During these late meals, we’ve frequently had characters mess with us or one another. Since they’re done meeting with most guests, they have time to slow down, linger, and goof around.

Minnie’s Seasonal Dine is always a pretty fun venue with great pacing and interactions (it’s not rushed and “assembly line style” like some meals), but it becomes “next level bonkers” at the end of the night. Just seeing Minnie’s crew prank each other and play around with guests is a hoot.

The extra space among guests also gives the characters a chance to engage in more “elaborate” interactions that encompass larger areas of the restaurant, too. Sarah danced with Goofy, Donald Duck walked us over to another part of the restaurant, etc.

There’s also a benefit in terms of backgrounds and lighting. We didn’t have other random guests behind us in our photos, which is best for everyone. We don’t want a mid-bite photo-bomber, and I don’t think anyone wants to unwittingly be “featured” on a blog like that, either.

The seating area being devoid of guests also makes it possible to move around a bit for the best lighting. We were seated under some really harsh light; after noticing this with the first couple photos, we moved away from our table a bit for subsequent shots.

This may not matter a ton to most guests, but it matters a lot to us.

As with all of the Minnie’s Seasonal Dine character meals we’ve done, the costuming is superb for Springtime Dine. While I personally prefer the costuming at both Halloween and Christmas, I think it’s easier to do cool stuff for those holidays. 

For Minnie’s Springtime Dine, everyone looks dapper and stylish, and the light colors and floral patterns give off an Easter vibe.

Sarah, on the other hand, was beyond hyped about the costumes at Minnie’s Springtime Dine. Much of that was driven by Daisy’s dress, which supposedly is a dead-ringer for one of Sarah’s favorites from when she was a kid.

I personally did not see the similarity (I mean, I get that they both have flowers on them), but I guess I’m wrong?  

While Minnie’s Springtime Dine is not billed as an Easter offering, the pastel formal attire and music that plays in Hollywood & Vine suggest otherwise.

Plus, there’s a dearth of Easter Entertainment at Walt Disney World, so this is about as good as it gets if you’re looking for Easter options within the parks.

Let’s start our look at the food with a couple of contrasting plates. Pictured above is a mix of comfort food favorites, highlighted by seafood mac & cheese and tandoori chicken.

Below are a variety of plant-based options. I have no clue what most of this stuff is.

You can probably guess whose plate is whose.

For what it’s worth, Sarah loved the plant-based options on the buffet for Minnie’s Springtime Dine. That’s good…because there are a lot (arguably a disproportionate number) of them.

I didn’t have any time for that foolishness, wanting to get as much bang for my buck as possible.

A lot of items had been switched out since we last did Hollywood & Vine–it’s worth reiterating that several of the buffet items change out seasonally. Last time, the ribs and lamb stew were among my favorite items, neither of which were present this time.

Here’s a look at the New York Strip Loin from the carving station.

In the past, I’ve remarked how I’m perpetually underwhelmed by carving station options, which are frequently slow-overcooked to rubbery and flavorless results. I was shocked by the perfect preparation here, with the steak being juicy and with a deliciously crisp exterior herb rub.

Here’s a look at a bunch of the other stuff/filler/kids options that I didn’t eat:

To my recollection, all of this stuff is pretty common at Hollywood & Vine.

Any seasonal changes are mostly lateral moves with items of comparable quality being swapped for one another. While I am a total sucker for ribs, the high-quality New York Strip Loin more than made up for their absence.

Desserts also change seasonally, with almost everything being different this go-round aside from the soft serve ice cream machine.

Most of these items were pretty good. I’d say Minnie’s Springtime Dine is superior to the previous Halloween spread.

The highlight was definitely macarons.

I’m all about bang for buck–and macarons are not cheap–so this is where I focused most of my stomach space. These were delicious.

Overall, Springtime Dine is the latest Minnie’s Seasonal Dine that we really enjoyed. We sound like a broken record on this, but the characters, costuming, and interactions were wonderful. Minnie’s Seasonal Dine remains the most fun character meal in all of those regards, and would be our #1 character dining experience at Walt Disney World if judged solely on those bases.

Cuisine is where Hollywood & Vine is more divisive; readers have reported more mixed results here, but we’ve had above average (by buffet standards) meals here for the last several years. The food isn’t on par with the newer a la carte character meals, but buffets are always about quantity over quality, so that’s no surprise.

In the end, we’d go as far as to say that Minnie’s Springtime Dine is a must-do if you have character-loving kids and are on any version of the Disney Dining Plan. From that perspective, it’s an exceptional use of a table service credit–your risk is minimal while the upside is great. That’s doubly true if you’re looking for a spring or quasi-Easter experience. In that regard, Minnie’s Springtime Dine is the best thing Walt Disney World offers.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

YOUR THOUGHTS

Have you done Minnie’s Springtime Dine or any of Minnie’s Seasonal Dines? Do you agree or disagree with our review? What did you think of the food? What about the character interactions and costumes? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

23 Responses to “Chic & Superb Springtime Character Dining”
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