Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disneyland > Disneyland (California)
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 03-06-2013, 12:24 AM   #1
lilibc
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 37

Character Meals Questions!

What are your favourites? We're going for a week and would like to do a few - would love to hear what are the best ones to consider! We have two girls, a 5 year old and a nearly 3-year-old.

When do we have to reserve for these? Are we too late?! We're going April 28th - May 5th. Or can we just decide when we get there what we'd like to go to and when? I think it's hard to plan exactly what days we may want to go to each, but we will if we have to!

Thanks!

Last edited by lilibc; 03-06-2013 at 12:34 AM.
lilibc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 12:39 AM   #2
awdsmama
DIS Veteran
 
awdsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 1,570

We did Minnie and Friends and it was wonderful! We got one of the earliest seatings possible (7:20am on a day the park opened at 8am) and we had the place almost to ourselves. Lots of great character interaction, food was edible for a buffet breakfast ;-)

DS loved it, he got pics and autographs from: Tigger, Pooh, Eyeore, Minnie, Captain Hook (who "stole" his book and a game of chase ensued!), Rafiki, Max, Alice and Mad Hatter. Seems like I may have forgotten one but can't think of who.

We were done and walking out the door right as people were walking in on Main Street so we got on Tomorrowland rides quickly with little wait!
__________________
Trip Report: Spring Break 2014, 5 days DL, Warner Bros Tour, Huntington Beach:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3220349

DS's Surprise 1st trip, Spring Break/March 2012 PTR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2883877

awdsmama is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 03-06-2013, 02:53 AM   #3
bumbershoot
DIS Veteran
 
bumbershoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Tacoma WA
Posts: 44,377

Surf's Up at PPH, hands down. I like the restaurant space itself, the characters are good, people don't go crazy and start chasing down characters (as described in a recent Minnie's breakfast thread), and the food is good. They have an omelet station, which is lovely, but they ALSO have a chef making fresh huevos rancheros (he cracks the eggs and everything!).

Since that's pretty much my favorite food in the whole world, that was a good thing.

And since bad eggs are my least favorite food in the world AND will absolutely ruin food for me for the rest of the day, I *have to* avoid the scrambled "eggs" at any of the buffets. Therefore, it's lovely to have the option of an omelet or huevos rancheros. Good eggs are good.

OK that's enough about eggs. I always do this when it comes to character breakfasts, LOL. Don't get me started on the "guacamole salsa" or we'll be here forever (psst, it's so good on the huevos).


At Disneyland dining is reserved only 60 days out (vs 180 in Orlando) so don't worry. And it's nowhere near as difficult to get reservations.
__________________

Made weight goal 1yr8m8days after starting...currently maintaining 85 lb loss thanks to Weight Watchers!
bumbershoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 07:54 AM   #4
lana772
Disneyland Lover
 
lana772's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Modesto, Ca
Posts: 2,861

In my opinion the breakfast buffets are all ok. The food is very similar at all of them. So my vote for breakfast is PCHGrill for Surf's Up. It is a very happy atmosphere and you get all the main characters.
For lunch I think Ariel's Grotto. I like the food there, but DH did not. The atmosphere is fun and the princesses do a good job visiting with everyone. My only advice here is to try to go at an "off" time. It can get VERY busy.

Lana
lana772 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 09:20 AM   #5
awdsmama
DIS Veteran
 
awdsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 1,570

Quote:
Originally Posted by lana772 View Post
In my opinion the breakfast buffets are all ok. The food is very similar at all of them. So my vote for breakfast is PCHGrill for Surf's Up. It is a very happy atmosphere and you get all the main characters.
For lunch I think Ariel's Grotto. I like the food there, but DH did not. The atmosphere is fun and the princesses do a good job visiting with everyone. My only advice here is to try to go at an "off" time. It can get VERY busy.

Lana
If only I could get DS8 to go to Ariels Grotto. For some reason he just wont agree to it ;-)

Maybe if I bribe him with RideMakerz? Hmmm
__________________
Trip Report: Spring Break 2014, 5 days DL, Warner Bros Tour, Huntington Beach:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3220349

DS's Surprise 1st trip, Spring Break/March 2012 PTR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2883877

awdsmama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 09:26 AM   #6
ValpoCory
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,499

Quote:
Originally Posted by awdsmama View Post
We did Minnie and Friends and it was wonderful! We got one of the earliest seatings possible (7:20am on a day the park opened at 8am)
Just for full disclosure, on days where you can eat at Minnie & Friends at 7:20am, Disneyland Park opens for Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour at 7am.

If you are staying onsite, the only character dining that you can do that won't cost you ride time are the ones in the hotels. In the normal seasons, losing an hour of ride time is not a huge deal (1/14th or 1/16th of your day). But in the off season, that hour is 1/10th or 1/11th of your day, which is a much bigger chunk, especially if you are the type of family who goes back to the room for a midday break/nap.
__________________
Disney Trips:
Disneyland: Jan '13 (VGC -- Trip Report), Aug '10 (Beach house), May '04 (Good Neighbor hotel), Sept '00 (Good Neighbor hotel), about a dozen times from 1985-89
WDW: Jan '11 (BWV), Oct '08 (CBR), Sept '07 (POFQ), May '99 (CSR), Mar '92 (CBR), June '82 (Offsite)
ValpoCory is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 09:28 AM   #7
awdsmama
DIS Veteran
 
awdsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 1,570

Quote:
Originally Posted by ValpoCory View Post
Just for full disclosure, on days where you can eat at Minnie & Friends at 7:20am, Disneyland Park opens for Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour at 7am.
Yes, thanks for clarifying that I spaced it. We did our MM on a diff day.

So theoretically if you are in and out quick you have the ability to be in the park with the MM people before the park opens for regular hours ;-)
__________________
Trip Report: Spring Break 2014, 5 days DL, Warner Bros Tour, Huntington Beach:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3220349

DS's Surprise 1st trip, Spring Break/March 2012 PTR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2883877

awdsmama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 10:07 AM   #8
kirstie101
DIS Veteran
 
kirstie101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 1,185

We haven't had a bad experience at a character meal yet!
We always do Goofy's Kitchen for dinner on the day we arrive in Anaheim.
We always do Ariel's Grotto for lunch on our last day in the parks.
And on a couple of our smaller trips we've managed to squeeze in a ressie at Breakfast with Minnie and Friends.

All have been wonderful as far as character interactions. If DD6 had to pick just one it would be Ariels because of the princesses. The have always spent a nice bit of time with DD and talked to her and just made her light up. Im sure when DS2 is older we might have to change our Ariels Grotto tradition but for now we all really enjoy it. If DH had to pick just one it would be a toss up btwn Ariels and Goofy's as he enjoys the food at both. He's never been with us on a visit to Minnie and Friends though. If I had to pick a favorite I'd probably say Goofy's because theres a mix of characters, not just princesses. I too enjoy the food at both. I love the food at Minnies as well.

At Goofy's you get to see a nice array of characters, all of which DD6 has immediately known who they were: Minnie, Jasmine, Pluto, Chip, Dale, Cinderella, Belle, Goofy. At Minnies you probably see the most characters but DD didn't know immediately who some of them were like the Penguins from Marry Poppins or Rafiki from Lion King. She knows who they are now though now that she has met them a few times and watched Lion King. She still hasn't watched Mary Poppins however.

Of those three Ariels is the only restaurant where you are served and thats always enjoyable for us especially towards the end of our trip. The other two are buffet style. This post got longer than I intended. But basically IMO you can't go wrong with those three choices. Its just a matter of what you want.
Have fun!
__________________




Kirsten
kirstie101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 11:04 AM   #9
CaliDisneyMama
Mouseketeer
 
CaliDisneyMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Henderson, NV
Posts: 291

We just did Minnie and Friends on Monday, and we had the first seating (9:40; the park opened at 10). I was a little nervous, after reading a recent thread here that talked about people just going crazy and chaos ensuing, but I can honestly say we had a great time, the characters were wonderful, and Captain Hook was probably the best character interaction we've ever had. He was HILARIOUS. When DS was being a little shy at first (he is not usually a shy child, but it was first thing in the morning and it was a lot to take in), he tried everything he could to get him to smile. Dancing (he brought out the sprinkler, the cabbage patch, you name it), pantomiming jokes, stomping his feet, etc. It was like his personal quest during the breakfast and when he finally succeeded, he did a little victory jig and gave DS a gentlemanly salute.

The characters (we saw Minnie, Capt. Hook, Chip, Dale, Tigger, Eyeore, Max, Gideon (the "bad-guy" cat from Pinocchio), and a penguin from Mary Poppins) made their way around to each table, spent a good amount of time at each, no one got up and chased them down, no chaos occurred, unless you count DS dancing with his balloon in the middle of the restaurant once he warmed up to the experience.

All in all, we really liked it and plan on doing it again. The food was good, the characters were good, the whole experience was a lot of fun
__________________
Countless day trips to Disneyland as a child.
Trips as an adult: May 1997, Feb. 2003, Dec. 2004, July 2005, Feb. 2006, March 2006, Nov. 2006 (honeymoon), Nov. 2010 (first trip with our son, at age 2), March 2013

Upcoming: Dec. 2013


CaliDisneyMama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 12:24 PM   #10
thespores
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 24

We just did Surfs Up with Mickey 2/26, we had a 9:50 reservation but called that morning because we were more excited than I realized we would be and moved it to 8:50, we arrived and checked in about 8:30 and were seated about 8:45. Oh my did we have fun!! We hadn't even gone to the parks yet and it set our day off right! It wasn't super busy. We saw Mickey, Stitch, Minnie, Pluto, & Daisy. All came around to the table but Mickey. They did a dance thing with the kids and then a teach them how to surf thing. Food was good, but I wasn't expecting great- I know I was paying for the character interaction.

I honestly don't think we'll ever start a trip with out a character meal!

We did Goofy's Kitchen on Saturday 3/2 - we did brunch at 11:20. We saw Goofy, Baloo, Rafiki, Chip, Dale, Pluto, Aurora, and Mulan. Restaurant seemed a little more cramped and was darker than Surf's Up. My DH swears the food was better but I think it was just as good as Surf's Up.

We loved both of them!!!
thespores is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 01:51 PM   #11
kirstie101
DIS Veteran
 
kirstie101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 1,185

Quote:
Originally Posted by thespores View Post
We just did Surfs Up with Mickey 2/26, we had a 9:50 reservation but called that morning because we were more excited than I realized we would be and moved it to 8:50, we arrived and checked in about 8:30 and were seated about 8:45. Oh my did we have fun!! We hadn't even gone to the parks yet and it set our day off right! It wasn't super busy. We saw Mickey, Stitch, Minnie, Pluto, & Daisy. All came around to the table but Mickey. They did a dance thing with the kids and then a teach them how to surf thing. Food was good, but I wasn't expecting great- I know I was paying for the character interaction.

I honestly don't think we'll ever start a trip with out a character meal!

We did Goofy's Kitchen on Saturday 3/2 - we did brunch at 11:20. We saw Goofy, Baloo, Rafiki, Chip, Dale, Pluto, Aurora, and Mulan. Restaurant seemed a little more cramped and was darker than Surf's Up. My DH swears the food was better but I think it was just as good as Surf's Up.

We loved both of them!!!
I might have to do Surf's Up next trip just to try to see Daisy!
__________________




Kirsten
kirstie101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2013, 10:39 PM   #12
lilibc
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 37

Fun!!!!! Thanks everyone for sharing - all your experiences sound good!

I love the idea of doing one on the day we arrive, since we won't be going into the parks that day.

Should I book now (I think I will for the first one) or is it possible to call the day or two before to book?
lilibc is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:07 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.