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Old 07-16-2012, 06:01 PM   #1
DizNee Luver
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Character Meals Super Thread!!

***DISNEYLAND RESORT CHARACTER MEALS***


There are 5 character meals offered, one at Disneyland, one at Disney's California Adventure, one at the Grand Californian Hotel, one at the Paradise Pier Hotel and one at the Disneyland Hotel.


Let's start with the one in Disneyland~~Minnie & Friend's Breakfast.



This is held at the Plaza Inn on Main Street. The decor is 19th century Victorian from the furnishings to the ornate stained glass windows. When you check in, you'll be taken up to the porch for a family picture. After the picture, you will then be lead to the cashier to pay for your meal. If you are new to the Plaza Inn, your host/hostess will explain the buffet area & then take you to your seats.



This is an All You Can Eat buffet. You'll find items like Cold Cereal, Pastries, Bagels, French Toast, Mickey Waffles, Fresh Fruit, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Biscuits & Gravy, Breakfast Potatoes and Made-to-Order Omelets.

This is the place you will see the most, what I call, "classic characters". Minnie of course will be your host. Winnie the Pooh, Tigger & Eeyore are pretty regular, as is Capt Hook, Rafiki, Chip, & Dale. We've personally seen: Alice, White Rabbit, Honest John, Fairy Godmother & Peter Pan as well. The characters rotate around & you never know for sure, who'll you'll see. None are guaranteed.



This is a great introduction to characters if you're bringing a very young child or a timid one. Most kids will recognize Minnie & Pooh Bear, so that always helps.

We love this meal!! We've seen as few as 5 characters at this meal & one time actually saw 14 of them (11 actually making it to our table). The made-to-order omelets are very good and worth waiting in line for. The rest of the buffet is your standard food. A good tip for any buffet is to watch them swap out trays of food (especially hot foods) and get it then!!


Disney's California Adventure~~Disney Princess Celebration.



This is held at Ariel's Grotto restaurant which is at the entrance into the Paradise Pier area. The decor makes you think you're under the sea. The lights look like jellyfish. You check in for this meal and then are lead down the spiral staircase to meet Ariel. They take a family photo & then the host/hostess will lead you to your table.



Breakfast is served family style. The servers bring out a 3 tiered serving dish with fruits, cheeses, cold cuts, pastries and bagels. Next up is the hot platter with scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, bacon & sausage. This is an all you can eat, so if you run out of something, you can request more.

Lunch & Dinner starts with an anti-pasti tower with cold cuts, cheeses, vegetables, pickles, olives, jello and fruit. Each person then orders off the menu for their entree: Pasta with sausage, Herb-Crusted Chicken, Tri-Tip, Redfish, Spinach & Ricotta Agnolotti, & Cioppino for adults & the kids have a choice of Glazed Chicken, Tri-Tip, Seashell Pasta & Meatball Lollipops. After a wonderful lunch, a tray of desserts will be shared at your table.

This is no longer an option for the World of Color Dinner Package.

During your meal, 4 of the Princesses will make their way from table to table. I've personally seen Aurora, Snow White, Cinderella, Belle & Jasmine but I've heard and seen pics of people getting to meet Mulan and I believe Pocahontus. It's been a couple years since we've done this meal, so I don't know if they've added Tiana or Rapunzel to this meal or not.



If you have a little princess of your own, this meal is a must!! We had a young boy that loved the princesses, so he was always happy to go to this meal with his sister.

Our family found the breakfast to be very good & very filling. We've never done the lunch but if it's anything like their dinners (which the menu is very close), then the lunch is excellent!!!


Grand Californian Hotel~~Storyteller's Cafe Breakfast.



The Storyteller's Cafe Breakfast is held at the Storyteller's Cafe in the Grand Californian Hotel. The rustic decor continues from the rest of this hotel. Beautiful wood & wildlife motif. You check in at the front desk and are shown to your table. You can have the All You Can Eat buffet or order off menu. Remember that ordering off the menu will not make this meal cheaper. The prices on the menu are higher to cover the character interaction at breakfast.



The buffet includes the standard foods which include: Fresh Fruit, Pastries, Bagels, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Sausage & Made-to-Order Omelets.

The menu includes typical breakfast fare, Omelets, American Breakfast, Huevos Rancheros, Eggs Benedict, Mickey Waffle, Pancakes, & Banana-stuffed French Toast.

The characters at this meal include your animal friends. We've seen Kenai from Brother Bear, Meeko from Pocahontus, Terk from Tarzan, Chip, Dale, and Brer Fox. We've been told that Koda also frequents this meal.



This restaurant is big & beautiful. A fun and quieter character meal. The Ranger does lead the kids in a game of Follow the Leader and a little dancing with characters at the buffet.

Our family enjoyed getting to see some different characters like Terk & Meeko!!


Paradise Pier Hotel~~Surf's Up with Mickey.



This meal is held at the PCH Grill Restaurant at the Paradise Pier Hotel. The beach & surf decor can be seen when you enter the restaurant. You check in at the desk & then are lead into the restaurant to meet the host of this meal~~Mickey Mouse!! This is the only meal that Mickey appears at. You take a family picture with Mickey and then are shown to your table.



This is a smaller buffet that offers the standards such as Omelets, Bacon, Sausage, Scrambled Eggs, Pastries, Bagels, & Fresh Fruit as well as some interesting offerings like Flatbreads, Chilaquiles, Smoked Salmon, Smoothies & Banana Caramel French Toast.

As I mentioned earlier, this meal has Mickey Mouse and joining him is Stitch, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto & Daisy. Not all at one meal, but a rotation of those characters.



If your kids are looking for Mickey & Stitch, this is the meal for you!!

Our family loves this meal!! The food is excellent and the character interaction is amazing! This is a smaller character meal with lots of fun activities for the kids. They learn to dance, surf & hula hoop. You haven't lived until you get to experience some of Stitch's antics!


Disneyland Hotel~~Goofy's Kitchen.



Goofy's Kitchen is next to Steakhouse 55 in the Disneyland Hotel. This is a large restaurant that is colorful and fun. After you check in at the desk, you will do a family picture with either Chef Goofy or Chef Pluto. Once this is done, you will be lead to your table.



Goofy's Kitchen offers a large buffet for brunch, offering Fresh Fruit, Pastries, Bagels, Cold Cereal, Yogurt, Mickey Mouse Waffles & Pancakes, French Toast, Bacon, Sausage, Eggs Benedict, Chicken Nuggets & Peanut Butter and Jelly Pizza. They also have the Made-to-Order Omelets.

Goofy's Kitchen also has a large buffet for dinner, offering Fresh Fruit, Salads, Hot Dogs, Pizza, Mac & Cheese, Seasoned Vegetables, Carving Station, Fresh Fish of the Day & Soft Frozen Yogurt with Toppings.

The characters we've seen at this meal is Chef Goofy & Chef Pluto, Minnie, Alice, Mad Hatter, Princesses, Chip, Dale, Baloo, Capt Hook & Brer Fox.



If you're looking for lots of options in food, this is your place. Even the pickiest eater will find something to their likings. This is a loud meal with lots of activity going on. Goofy loves to bang pots & dance with the kids.

This is a must every trip for my family!! We've been known to start our trip with brunch & end our trip with the dinner.


Please keep in mind that these are some of the food choices available but not nearly everything that's included on the buffet lines. The characters listed are the ones I've personally seen. There are always other characters and they rotate them. You never know, for sure, who will be there. None of the characters are guaranteed to appear.

This was just a short overview of the 5 restaurants available.

Plaza Inn~~Minnie & Friends Breakfast is BREAKFAST ONLY.
Ariel's Grotto~~Princess Celebration is BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER.
Storyteller's Cafe~~Storyteller's Cafe Breakfast is BREAKFAST ONLY.
PCH Grill~~Surf's Up with Mickey is BREAKFAST ONLY.
Goofy's Kitchen~~Goofy's Kitchen is BRUNCH & DINNER.




THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS, I WILL BE ADDING MORE INFO. SHERRY (moderator) ASKED IF I WOULD START THIS UP, SO PEOPLE LOOKING FOR INFO ON THE MEALS WOULD HAVE A PLACE TO GO. I LOOK FORWARD TO EVERYONE HELPING AND ADDING IN INFORMATION. I WILL LINK TRIP REPORTS AND BE ADDING PICS SOON.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:02 PM   #2
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*** Hours and Prices ***

Most current prices, as per the Disboards ~~ September 12, 2012.

Minnie & Friends:
$23.99/adult $11.99/child (3-9)

Last seating is at 10:50am but be aware that this is right before the switch over to lunch and I would suggest not booking this late for a character meal.


Ariel's Grotto:
Breakfast $29.99/adult $17.99/child (3-9)
Lunch & Dinner $33.99/adult $19.99/child (3-9)

Price does not include the 7.75% sales tax.
Gratuity is based on party size: up to 7 in your party 15%, 8 & up 18%

Breakfast first seating at 8:10am
Lunch seatings from 11:30 to 3pm
Dinner seatings from 4:00 to 7:20pm


Storyteller's Cafe:
$23.99/adult $11.99/child (3-9)
Ordering off menu will run $16.99 to $22.99

Breakfast from 7am to 11:30am


Surf's Up with Mickey:
$25.99/adult $13.99/child (3-9)

Breakfast from 7am to 11am


Goofy's Kitchen:
Brunch $25.99/adult $13.99/child (3-9)
Dinner $31.99/adult $13.99/child (3-9)

Price does not include the 7.75% sales tax.
Gratuity is 18%.

Brunch from 7am to 1pm (2pm on Sat/Sun)
Dinner from 5pm to 9pm



Discounts Available for Character Meals:

10% off with the Southern California Select, Southern California Annual Pass, Deluxe Annual Pass, DVC Owners

15% off with Premium Annual Pass, Premier Annual Pass

Unfortunately, the Disney Visa only offers a 10% discount on Goofy's Kitchen (this is a new perk)



MORE IMPORTANT INFORMATION!!

Now that you have a little information & you've decided on which character meal(s) to go to.....what's the next step??

I'd highly suggest you make Priority Seating (a reservation) at the 60 day mark. (not exactly 60 days) If you want the breakfast on Oct 8th, you would call Disney Dining on Aug 8th. If you wanted a dinner on March 30th, you would call on Jan 30th.

DISNEY DINING PHONE #: 714-781-3463 Option #4 or you can email dine@disneyland.com with your name, size of your party, which restaurant, date and a time frame

If you're celebrating a special event, make sure you let Disney Dining know when making the reservation and also mention it when you check in for that meal.

It's always a good idea to show up 15-20 minutes prior to your reservation time to check in. Sometimes you will encounter long lines at check-in. Always allow time for a character meal. You are given 90 minutes for your meal but you surely don't have to stay that long. Our family enjoys our time at these meals, so we always allot 2 hrs to be safe. If you are in a hurry, spending the money on a character meal might not be in your best interest.

I look at the time spent at a character meal, saves you a lot of time standing in character lines at the parks. So don't think of stopping to eat as losing park time........eating & spending one on one time with characters is all part of the Disney experience!!!

Minnie & Friends, Ariel's Grotto, Surf's Up with Mickey & Goofy's Kitchen will all start with a family photo. This photo will be offered to you in a photopass package during your meal. You are under no obligation to purchase this. They will use your camera to take a picture as well. Photopass photographers are not in the restaurant, so you will need to bring a camera to capture your memories from the meal. (if someone has the current price on these packages, please let me know)

Minnie & Friends will open before park opening on most days. If you're lucky to get one of these prime reservations, you will need to check in at Gates 1 & 2 where a Castmember will greet you & check their list for your name. You will be allowed in before park opening & escorted down Main Street to the Plaza Inn Restaurant. Main Street before park opening is stunning.....so have your point & shoot camera handy to snap pics as you head to breakfast!
(PS: if this happens to be a Magic Morning, you will not need one on your parkhopper to enter for your reservation, nor will you be using up your MM by entering for that reservation).


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Old 07-16-2012, 06:02 PM   #3
DizNee Luver
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Trip Reports and Reviews:


Minnie & Friends:

DisneyFreak06~Mar 2012 PART 1 PART 2 PART 3
DizNee Luver~Feb 2012 POST 778
DizNee Luver~Mar 2011 POST 601, POST 609 POST 627
DizNee Luver~July 2010 POST 1141, POST 1142 POST 1157, POST 1160, POST 1165
Smiles33~April 2013 http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=92 Also includes Ariel's & Goofy's Kitchen


Ariel's Grotto:

katt789~Mar 2012 HERE
smiles33~Sep 2011 HERE


Storyteller's Cafe:

DizNee Luver~July 2010 POST 1000 POST 1011, POST 1016, POST 1018

Surf's Up with Mickey:

DizNee Luver~Feb 2012 POST 811
DizNee Luver~July 2010 POST 1200 POST 1204, POST 1205, POST 1207, POST 1208, POST 1209, POST 1210


Goofy's Kitchen:

PinkBudgie~July 2012 POST 1
DizNee Luver~Dec 2011 POST 568
DizNee Luver~July 2010 POST 828, POST 829, POST 834, POST 838
DizNee Luver~Mar 2009 POST 138
DizNee Luver~Mar 2009 POST 193, POST 194



LINKS WITHIN THIS THREAD

larina: GK, Surfs, M&F and Story Pics~~ POST 23
silence: GK and M&F pics/review~~ POST 24
Jkpark: GK review~~ POST 35
Orbitron: Pics from M&F, Ariels, GK & Surfs~~ POST 48
sirvin12: M&F pics & review~~ POST 52
sirvin12: Ariel's pics & review~~ POST 78
DizNee Luver: Surf's Food~~ POST 82 & 90
DizNee Luver: M&F Food~~ POST 89
DizNee Luver: GK Food~~ POST 91
DizNee Luver: Story Food~~ POST 93
DizNee Luver: M&F Food~~ POST 95
DizNee Luver: Surfs Food~~ POST 96 & 98
DizNee Luver: GK dinner, Ariel's, Lilo's (Surfs) & GK brunch~~ POST 102


OTHER HELPFUL LINKS!!

DISBOARDS CHARACTER DINING AT THE DISNEYLAND RESORT INFORMATION HERE
CHARACTER MEAL PICS THREAD HERE
Disboards Disneyland Resort Menus SEARCH HERE
Allears Disneyland Resort Menus SEARCH HERE



IF YOU HAVE A TRIP REPORT OR A REVIEW OF A CHARACTER MEAL, PLEASE MESSAGE ME SO I CAN ADD THOSE TO THIS POST!! THANX!!!!

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Old 07-17-2012, 03:20 PM   #4
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Okay, we've got to bump this and get it into the spotlight since the character meal questions have been abundant lately!

Hopefully we can get lots of other people on board to share their reviews, opinions and photos of their own character meal experiences.

I am going to copy the link to this thread and post it in a couple of other character meal-related threads.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:25 PM   #5
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Great thread! Thanks for all of the great info!
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
Okay, we've got to bump this and get it into the spotlight since the character meal questions have been abundant lately!

Hopefully we can get lots of other people on board to share their reviews, opinions and photos of their own character meal experiences.

I am going to copy the link to this thread and post it in a couple of other character meal-related threads.
Thanx Sherry!! I did link the character meal pics from the Community Board. Let me know if you have others that should be listed here!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneytheKid View Post
Great thread! Thanks for all of the great info!
You're Welcome!!
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:33 PM   #7
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Wow, thank you for this awesome thread . We are in the very early stages of planning out our first ever DLR vacation for next June. The one thing that my family loves to do is character meals and this thread has really helped me out with that. When we are in WDW, we always do at least 1 character meal a day (we are usually there for more than a week). I am thinking with our DLR vacation we will be wanting to do all of the character meals...we prefer breakfast character meals over dinner, but we would be happy to adjust for the Princess meal .
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:22 PM   #8
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Goofy's Kitchen review. By way of background, we have done Minnie's, Surf's Up, Storyteller's and lunch at Ariel's. It has been 3 years since we had eaten at Goofy's Kitchen and my girls are really into the Jungle Book - so I booked this in hopes of seeing Baloo. I called about times and because it is "brunch" you could eat later. I thought this was great so we could hit the parks in the morning and then come back. We had a noon reservation (I think they said they took reservations until 1 or 2).

We arrived 5 minutes before noon but were in a long check in line (20 minutes) and after pics with Goofy had about another 10 minutes before we were seated. Goofy, Pluto, Chip, Dale, Mulan, Cinderella and Baloo were all there. Mulan spent a lot of times with the girls but they saw Baloo in the other section so they weren't very interested in Mulan. They chatted up Baloo and he was great. Other than that I was very disappointed in the interaction and the food. We were there over an hour and there was no "show" as others have mentioned (and I recall from prior visits). The characters and servers made us feel like we were keeping them from something. Cinderella actually came to our table and said she had to leave but at least wanted to say hi, grabbed their books and signed them, took a quick photo and was gone. I did see her later at other tables - maybe a potty break? The food also seemed like they weren't used to serving people past noon. Most foods had hardened from sitting under the heat lamps for so long. The kids' mac-n-cheese was still very yummy and the ice cream with all those toppings was excellent. It was seriously the strangest character breakfast I have experienced. It may have been the time of day, or just the day in general, but I won't be going back there anytime soon, and it scared me from making later reservations at character buffets. As previously stated, you are paying more for the characters than the food, and I left disappointed.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkpark View Post
Goofy's Kitchen review. By way of background, we have done Minnie's, Surf's Up, Storyteller's and lunch at Ariel's. It has been 3 years since we had eaten at Goofy's Kitchen and my girls are really into the Jungle Book - so I booked this in hopes of seeing Baloo. I called about times and because it is "brunch" you could eat later. I thought this was great so we could hit the parks in the morning and then come back. We had a noon reservation (I think they said they took reservations until 1 or 2).

We arrived 5 minutes before noon but were in a long check in line (20 minutes) and after pics with Goofy had about another 10 minutes before we were seated. Goofy, Pluto, Chip, Dale, Mulan, Cinderella and Baloo were all there. Mulan spent a lot of times with the girls but they saw Baloo in the other section so they weren't very interested in Mulan. They chatted up Baloo and he was great. Other than that I was very disappointed in the interaction and the food. We were there over an hour and there was no "show" as others have mentioned (and I recall from prior visits). The characters and servers made us feel like we were keeping them from something. Cinderella actually came to our table and said she had to leave but at least wanted to say hi, grabbed their books and signed them, took a quick photo and was gone. I did see her later at other tables - maybe a potty break? The food also seemed like they weren't used to serving people past noon. Most foods had hardened from sitting under the heat lamps for so long. The kids' mac-n-cheese was still very yummy and the ice cream with all those toppings was excellent. It was seriously the strangest character breakfast I have experienced. It may have been the time of day, or just the day in general, but I won't be going back there anytime soon, and it scared me from making later reservations at character buffets. As previously stated, you are paying more for the characters than the food, and I left disappointed.
Thank you for sharing. Our last time (as a family) we experienced the same sort of thing. The character interaction was not good (and usually it was). We had to almost tackle Goofy & Dale to get them to stop long enough for a picture.....even Baloo was quick to come and go.

I really advise people to to avoid almost empty containers of food at buffets & inquire with the cooks, if there is a new one coming out soon. You know it's been there a while & I'd prefer to get hot food pretty close to the time it comes out on the buffet lines. You don't always have a choice....but if it isn't looking "right" or it's the last one or two (or last cup or two)....I tend to avoid it & ask if more is coming out. I've never had a problem with illness at Disney, but why chance it!! Usually, they're very careful with things like that....so some times you just end up on an "OFF" day. The food usually is pretty good here.

My last trip to Goofy's was totally opposite, we had plenty of character interaction...in fact, I found it hard to eat my breakfast!! lol
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:29 PM   #10
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So excited for this thread! As you can tell from my signature, meeting characters is my fav thing to do at Disney. I'm going to Disneyland for the first time ever in December, and I'm trying to decide which character meals to do. The hardest part is that most are breakfast only (not planning on doing Ariel's), and there are days I want to get to DCA at rope drop for Carsland...but I only have so many days during the trip! I'm sure I'll be back later with questions, so thanks again for the thread!
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isisisme View Post
I just want to add that you can email for your Priority Seating at dine@disneyland.com

Email them the restaurant, date, time preference, and number in your party.

I have done this while in the park for the next day. It was great since we did not know if we wanted to eat certain places.
Thank you for this info, I will add it to the front page!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kswm30b View Post
So excited for this thread! As you can tell from my signature, meeting characters is my fav thing to do at Disney. I'm going to Disneyland for the first time ever in December, and I'm trying to decide which character meals to do. The hardest part is that most are breakfast only (not planning on doing Ariel's), and there are days I want to get to DCA at rope drop for Carsland...but I only have so many days during the trip! I'm sure I'll be back later with questions, so thanks again for the thread!
We'll be here to help!! Yes, most of these meals are breakfast....but you could hit Goofy's closer to lunch time so you can get those first few hours in the parks. Goofy's also offers a dinner option.

We've gone & done Magic Mornings and then headed off to a character meal mid-morning. We found hitting Minnie & Friends around 9:30am is a great time. This was when we had 11 characters at our table.......you had the characters leaving and new characters coming on to finish the breakfast. We still were able to take advantage of the early entry to do most of Fantasyland and get fastpasses before stopping for breakfast.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:53 PM   #12
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Thank you so much for doing this! We are going to our first character meal soon at Goofy's at 7:30am on a Sat, a non park day and the day we leave. Even though I would have liked to have one day to sleep in, it seems like 7:30am was a good choice based on what others have said. The food should be fresh and new. It is just DH and I and no kids with us so I will be able to write a little review when we get back on how it was for adults. A few quick pictures with the characters would be nice, but we don't need to spend a long time with them. It should be interesting though!
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:58 PM   #13
DizNee Luver
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Originally Posted by PinkBudgie View Post
Thank you so much for doing this! We are going to our first character meal soon at Goofy's at 7:30am on a Sat, a non park day and the day we leave. Even though I would have liked to have one day to sleep in, it seems like 7:30am was a good choice based on what others have said. The food should be fresh and new. It is just DH and I and no kids with us so I will be able to write a little review when we get back on how it was for adults. A few quick pictures with the characters would be nice, but we don't need to spend a long time with them. It should be interesting though!
Going with no kids is definitely different than with kids. I got the opportunity to go to Goofy's Kitchen with Sherry and a couple more Dis ladies. It was fun getting to play with the characters (like my kids usually do). If you look excited to see them, they'll definitely stop to greet & do pics with you. If you look down or dis-interested, they may pass you by. So be excited!!!! Have a fun breakfast & we'll look forward to your review!
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:28 PM   #14
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So excited for this thread! As you can tell from my signature, meeting characters is my fav thing to do at Disney. I'm going to Disneyland for the first time ever in December, and I'm trying to decide which character meals to do. The hardest part is that most are breakfast only (not planning on doing Ariel's), and there are days I want to get to DCA at rope drop for Carsland...but I only have so many days during the trip! I'm sure I'll be back later with questions, so thanks again for the thread!
This is why we do character breakfasts on the day we leave (on a non-park day). That way we don't feel like we're missing out in the morning. No pressure to hurry back to the park.

So far we've only done the Surf's Up breakfast, which was really fun. We had Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Stitch. The characters came by our table several times each, and spent a LOT of time with DD. Stitch tried to climb into DD's high chair, which she throught was hilarious. They also get the kids up to dance, do surf lessons, that sort of thing. Our little girl just loved it!

This time we're going to try the Goofy's Kitchen breakfast. I'm excited to see how many different characters they have there in all your pictures! I hope we see Mulan, that's DD's favorite movie at the moment.

Thanks for starting this thread, this is just the info I was looking for.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:53 PM   #15
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Minnie and Friends breakfast

I loved this character meal!!!!! It was fun for my whole family except for my almost 2 year old daughter. She was terrified of all of the characters. My 5 year old daughter however was in complete heaven!!!! The food was just ok but the character interaction was amazing!!!! This was October 2011












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