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Old 02-27-2013, 12:33 AM   #1
Disneylandfan1
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Ariel's Grotto

Disney dining today told me that Ariel's Grotto will discontinue the princess dinners on March 22nd, and will offer WOC dinners after that date (she quoted the price as $42 adults/$22 ages 3-9). I am trying to plan for some upcoming trips which is why I've been calling with questions, and they only just told me this today. I'm not sure how this will change the WOC meal offerings at the other restaurants. So I have a few questions:

Does anyone have experience sitting in the outside patio area? Is it better to be inside?
I will be joining some friends for lunch in the spring time (so hopefully weather should be mild) and because our party is now about 14 they have to seat us outdoors. I remember some cute theming inside the restaurant, so is it disappointing to be placed outdoors? If we try to separate they say the can't guarantee we'll be seated at the same time or near each other indoors because it then becomes a separate reservation.

When it becomes a WOC dinner, can we use the prepaid vouchers?
I'm guessing the answer is no but the person on the phone wasn't sure at this point. My husband wants to eat here in the summer, but I'm not sure we're interested in doing the WOC dinner. We experienced the WOC dinner in 2010 and the dinner was great, but the WOC tickets were not too impressive. I'm sure they've worked out the kinks in the viewing by now but we're still unsure.

Any other advice or recent experiences with Ariel's Grotto?
Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:57 AM   #2
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Not sure about WOC dinners at AG (interesting news!), but just a warning that the kinks with the WOC viewing area have not been fully worked out. The Preferred Dining area has changed since 2010, and CCR and WCT have different areas. Check the first post in the WOC Superthread to see the updated map. The PD areas still have good to excellent viewing, depending on where you stand.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:32 AM   #3
Disneylandfan1
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Thanks for your input, Luckyrabbit. We had a great experience eating dinner here in 2010, with a good table (in a seashell booth), good service...even the coffee was good that night! We still consider it one of our best Disneyland meals. We just didn't get good viewing for WOC. Since then I've read a few less favorable reviews, though nothing recent, so I'm worried we just had a good night and our experience won't be repeated. Hopefully someone has a more recent experience?
I'm looking forward to trying the princess lunch in a few months because I have boys who are not too interested in princesses and I don't usually get to enjoy the princess experience in the parks. But when I heard we will have to sit outside I was disappointed. So I'd love to hear some positive reviews about deck seating. Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:37 AM   #4
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we sat on the deck back in 2003, its wasn't the princesses back then though...Ariel was finned and sitting inside...Mickey/Minnie/Chip/Dale/Goofy did the walk around, we were there in April and was great weather to be outside in....if given the option I would always choose to sit outside on nice days!
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:01 PM   #5
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We sat on the patio for Christmas dinner in 2005. While it was cold outside it was much quieter than inside. We have been seated inside on our last 3 trips. If given the chance on our next trip I would sit outside
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:30 PM   #6
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Done the princess lunch and dinner. Both times inside. I think if you're seated outside you will miss the princesses being announced as they come down the stairs. But other than that, you'll probably enjoy the quieter atmosphere out there. It can be crowded with all the little girls in giant dresses inside!
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:45 PM   #7
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While they said that if you split up the reservation they could not guarantee that you would be seated at the same time nor near each other I would take the chance. Outdoors you do miss the entrance of the princesses and it takes longer for them to get to you. I would take the chance of splitting up. Obviously you would make the reservations for the same time. If you show up at the same time pretty good chance you will be seated one group right after the other. The restaurant isn't that big so chances are your two groups will not be too far away from each other.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:38 PM   #8
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I have been seated outside 2 of the 3 times I've been to Ariel's (1 lunch and 1 dinner. 3rd visit was dinner inside). The page announces the princesses outside when they come out there as well. We were on the far side of the dining room the time we were inside and didn't hear any announcement of the princesses there.

Outside is great, especially if the weather is nice. We did get a little chilly at the end of our last dinner there (in Mid Sept) once the sun went down but Paradise Pier all lit up across the water was beautiful!

This is very interesting news.... I wonder what changes they will make to the WoC viewing in association with this.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livtopey View Post
While they said that if you split up the reservation they could not guarantee that you would be seated at the same time nor near each other I would take the chance. Outdoors you do miss the entrance of the princesses and it takes longer for them to get to you. I would take the chance of splitting up. Obviously you would make the reservations for the same time. If you show up at the same time pretty good chance you will be seated one group right after the other. The restaurant isn't that big so chances are your two groups will not be too far away from each other.
I don't think I would count on this at all. Just because they are seated one after the other doesn't have any relation to how close their tables are. One of the parties could even end up outside...
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:29 PM   #10
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I've eaten inside for breakfast and outside for lunch in the past three months. Both were very enjoyable and had equal amounts of princess time and charm. Obviously eating outside is weather dependent. Enjoy your visit!
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:08 AM   #11
Disneylandfan1
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Thank you so much for all of your replies! You've made me feel so much better about the seating arrangements and I'm no longer worried about the outdoor seating. I discovered they actually have a fantastic 360 degree view of the restaurant on the Disneyland website, so I can see what you mean about the princesses coming down the stairs.

livtopey - I thought that as well, if I made the reservations at the same time and maybe 3 of us branched off it would work, and we wouldn't be too far from the main group, seated indoors. However, giving it more thought I think I agree now with pharmama, that this approach just isn't reliable enough.

I'll just relay all of this great info to our party and see what they want to do. We're celebrating a 3 year old's birthday and I'm sure she won't mind where she sits. (Heck, I'm 3 plus a few decades and I remember sitting in a seashell booth...but now that I look at those pictures of the restaurant, it's pretty clearly just a booth! I guess I was caught up in the underwater theme.)
Thank you again for sharing your experiences!

Now, what to do about WOC dining for the summer? I guess we'll have to wait and see what's offered after March.
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