Minnie’s Springtime Dine Character Dining Review
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 May 11, 2022.)
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…
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. (See When Will the Disney Dining Plan Return? for more info.) 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. As of 2022, it’s still serving a prix fixe menu, plus family style salads to start. The Garlic Crusted Beef Tenderloin and Chocolate S’mores Pie sound great to us!
On a positive note, everything else is back to normal. As of last month, traditional character meet & greets with hugs, autographs, Top Gun high-fives, etc. returned at Walt Disney World. This includes normal character dining, meaning the photos here of Minnie’s Springtime Dine are representative of what you’ll experience at the restaurant.
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.
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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!
Thank you so much for all your great advice! Just to cross my i’s and dot my t’s, this is the same meal that is able to be included in a fantasmic dining package, correct? We are going Easter Week 2023 (ugh, but the only time my niece and nephew can go apparently, and I’d rather go with them than not go at all) and I’d love to get to see the Fab Five with them and also get reserved Fantasic seating. Seems like two birds, one stone!
We did this the week after Easter. Even though it was a busy week it felt relaxed and not at all rushed. All the characters made it to our table a couple different times and hung out for a while — I have a really cute picture of my son scratching Plutos chin like he’s a real dog.
Confused. So the buffet portion of this review is not relevant now, right?
I just want to say thank you for this post! I get your newsletter and when I read this I though this would be great for the little trip I was planning. I booked for 7:50 which was the latest they had available. All the characters looked great in their spring time clothes and we weren’t just able to get one on one photos but they also allowed us to get a group picture with all the characters which was, in my book, the most exciting thing! I’m such a kid at heart!! So thank you again for the tip! I had a blast!!
I’m pretty sure I’ve made this comment on this blog before, but: We like to make the first lunch reservation of the day (usually 11:30 for the same reason you like the last dinner reservation- few other people for character interactions and a fresh buffet.
I’ve eaten there twice. The character interaction was great, but the food was nothing to write home about. The last time we went, I got sick after eating seafood. The rest of my party was fine and did not eat any of the seafood items. Just that experience makes it on my no go list. Missing a day in the parks is too much of a bummer.
Hollywood and Vine is a great character meal. The food is good (mmm buffalo baked chicken), they have unlimited soft serve (!!!!!), and our most memorable character interaction was there–our then-two year old fell and split his lip running toward Mickey, and the characters all rallied around him for a solid 10 minutes, making him the happiest little guy in the park that day. I never understood what people don’t like about that place.
I hope it stays a hidden gem so I can keep getting reservations. Shhhhh, Tom.
Hollywood & Vine with their regular character dining really needs an overhaul on the food. We just were there last week and as great as the character experience was all of the food choices there were average to below average in almost every way, shape and form. Crystal Palace use to hold our family’s all time low bar award for food on the counter service list at Disney until this year’s Hollywood Vine trip lowered the bar even lower! The food was just not good, we had low expectations being a character dining buffet going in but this was just beyond our lowest expectations. We have done several character dining experiences including Askerhaus, Chef Mickey’s, O’Hana, Crystal Palace and by far Hollywood & Vine for dinner was the worst.
We did this character dining experience at Halloween and had the most fun. Our kids are adults now but I agree with Tom that going slightly later allows you to literally have the characters all to yourself once most other diners leave. My one daughter ended up being proposed to by both Goofy and Mickey only to have a little rivalry ensue and for Minnie to get very involved. It all worked out well when she ended up marrying Goofy. Such a hilarious night!
I have a lot of food allergies and restrictions and I was not relishing paying $60 for regular buffet food that I most likely either couldn’t eat or had been cross-contaminated by guests who don’t understand such issues. I needn’t have worried. The chef personally came out and walked me through the buffet letting me know exactly what I could and couldn’t eat and then brought me a number of plates of specially prepared dishes too. I couldn’t have been treated better.
What started out with me dreading this over priced dinner has gone down in our Disney history (which is quite long, I might add) as my all time favorite meal on property.
So I heartily agree with your review, Tom great job.
Love your black sandals!! What brand?
I have to say my husband & I have become huge fans of your website Tom! I too have also wondered how you and your wife look so fit, but I pretty much assumed you guys eat healthy while not vacationing. One question, I am always curious as to why your posts are not dated and also (I guess that makes a second question) why there aren’t any videos here for us to see, maybe short walk-throughs of restaurants included in a review or anything really. I follow you both on Instagram as well but I haven’t seen any videos or any Instagram stories. It would be so fun to see some videos on your Instagram stories while you two are in the parks. Anyway, keep up all the Disney fun you two! And thanks for all the tips & advice, we have our fourth WDW trip coming up this fall. We are currently residents of Southern California and have been annual passholders of the Disneyland resort for 20+ years
Are the characters only at dinner or are breakfast and lunch character meals too?
Breakfast has Disney junior characters while lunch and dinner both have Minnie, Mickey and the gang.
Honestly, what I would really like to know is how you two stay so skinny despite eating theme park food, all day, every day? Totally unfair! 😉
Ha!!! If only you all saw what we eat at home–you’d understand why I had no interest in any of those plant-based shenanigans. We’ve also cut out sugars & alcohol from our diets. (I haven’t had a Coke in ages!)
I’ll concede that I have a fast metabolism, but we’re definitely not eating a ton of theme park or other unhealthy food on a regular basis. We have the last couple of days because we’ve been “testing” the Disney Dining Plan Plus, but normally, our park meals are somewhat spaced out. 🙂
Always wondered the same thing but didn’t have the guts to comment about such. Tom looks like a runner if I’d have to guess and/or blessed with good genes. Absolutely love how he is a carnivore so I can trust his advice about other inconsequential matters like which bear is the best in the jamboree.
I’m a big believer that Daisy Duck stole Sarah’s dress idea specifically for this meal. I’m also a big believer that she is entitled to royalties earned by Miss Daisy wearing said dress. Time to get your lawyer on the phone!
I agree with you on both food and entertainment of this restaurant. The food is buffet, but it’s not sloppily put together. It’s really decent food. Maybe not the best in HS, but it’s not terrible, so don’t know why it gets so much negativity. And the character interactions are top notch. Meeting Goofy here was so much fun. All the characters know how to have a good time and interact with guests and while you may notice it more later at night with an empty restaurant, I noticed it at 630pm with a full restaurant. These characters are hilarious and fun!
First off, don’t give Sarah any ideas. 😉
As for your point about the interactions even when it’s busy, totally agree. I’ve been meaning to ask friends in Entertainment what the deal is with Hollywood & Vine, because there’s a noticeably different vibe (better & more laid back) here than almost any other character meal. I’ll bet it’s a fun place to work!
I couldn’t find Minnie’s Springtime Dine on the website. If we are booked at Hollywood & Vine for dinner in April – is the character experience every evening w a regular reservation, or is this a separate experience that I need to reserve? Thanks,
This is all part of the reservation. Hollywood and Vine changes their theme every couple months, so I imagine it’s easier to just use Hollywood & Vine, than to constantly update to the current theme.
If you go into your plans to view the reservation, it will probably say something about Minnie’s Seasonal Dining somewhere. We did this experience during Christmas in 2018 and was really good and we’re going back in May. The character experiences are a lot of fun, even if they’re not at the end of the night! Goofy was probably the best, but they all like to have fun with the guests.
Thank you Erik. I appreciate your input.
Tom could you provide information as to where the seating is located if you do the dining package? Also do you not have to arrive early if that is the case?
If you’re referring to the Fantasmic Dining package, you just go the restaurant for your meal at the time scheduled. They’ll give you a seating voucher for Fantasmic at the time of your meal that you take with you to get early access to the venue.
For more info, see:
I was referring to where in the Fantasmic arena are the reserved sections. I did some googling and couldn’t find many maps that showed where the reserved sections are.
Ah, that makes more sense 🙂 sorry.
I saw on one site, it said that the reserved area was the middle 3 sections, which would be right in front of the stage. It does sound like you have to get there early as they’ll open the area to other guests if you’re not there 25 minutes before the show starts.
Tom mentions a bit about it in this post as well –
To my knowledge, that’s still accurate. We did not do the Fantasmic Dining Package because we didn’t want to watch it.