No, not all character dining experiences are buffets. Disney offers a few other options if buffet style is not your preference.
‘Ohana’s Best Friends Breakfast with Lilo & Stitch at the Polynesian Resort has a delicious all-you-care-to-eat breakfast served family style to your table. The entertainment includes characters dressed in Hawaiian attire (Mickey, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch), parades, and hula hooping. The characters make their way around the restaurant and allow plenty of time for photos, autographs and videos. You do not need a park ticket to experience this breakfast.
Cinderella’s Royal Table at the Magic Kingdom offers pre-plated all-you-care-to-eat breakfast options as well as prix fixe menu ordering for lunch and dinner. Various princesses make their rounds for photo opportunities, autographs and creating lasting memories! To experience this character dining, you must have a park ticket.
The Garden View Tea Room at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa offers a princess dining lunch (all-you-care-to-eat) as well as a la carte ordering. These experiences are located at the Grand Floridian Resort and do not require a park ticket. Girls 3-11 are encouraged to dress in their favorite princess attire. Note: only afternoon tea can be booked online.
Lastly, The Garden Grill at Epcot serves all-you-care-to-eat family style lunch and dinner while Mickey, Chip and Dale makes their rounds. The restaurant is rotating so diners get to see the Living With The Land attraction where some of their meal was grown. To experience this character dining, you must have a park ticket.
To make reservations, book online or call (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463 up to 180 days prior to your visit. Reservations are highly recommended, character dining fills up very quickly.