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Character Meals Super Thread!!

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by DizNee Luver, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    ***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.

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    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.

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    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.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    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.

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

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    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.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    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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  3. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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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).

     
  4. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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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.php?p=48127443&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!!!!
     
  5. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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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!:cool1::cool1:

    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.
     
  6. DisneytheKid

    DisneytheKid A bad attempt at Billy the Kid

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    Great thread! Thanks for all of the great info!
     
  7. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    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!!

    You're Welcome!!
     
  8. larina

    larina DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for doing this!!! I've long thought we needed this!!!
     
  9. cpster

    cpster Mouseketeer

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    Love this! Very helpful!
     
  10. ArchOwl

    ArchOwl The Highly Educated Owl

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    Great idea, this should help people with making their reservations! :thumbsup2

    Just as an update, though, Ariel's Grotto now has Princess dinners and no longer has World of Color dinner packages. The WOC dinners are at Wine Country Trattoria and Carthay Circle. I noticed that allears doesn't list the menu for the Princess dinners, though.

    Thanks for the new thread! :)
     
  11. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    You're Welcome!!

    Great, I hope to keep this active & up to date!!

    Oh wow, I had not heard that!! That's got to be pretty new. I will adjust the review in the main post then!!
     
  12. ArchOwl

    ArchOwl The Highly Educated Owl

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  13. ExcitedSam

    ExcitedSam Mouseketeer

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    Totally awesome! I was just coming in to ask about dining times, so will check back later for those! I think I'm going to add another character meal to the list hehehehe!
     
  14. Disneyanajc

    Disneyanajc ~It's just a moment...This time will pass~

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    What a great thread :worship: Thank you DizNee Luver...a small request, could you change the color in post #1 (the color is hard for me to read, old eyes :cool2:) It is the second to the last paragraph in a aqua color...just before the BIG (thank you for BIG) black letters that reads: THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS...
    again thank you! :hug:
    jc
     
  15. purplecrush

    purplecrush Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for making this!! We have been going back and forth over what character meals to go to, and this certainly helps :worship:
     
  16. larina

    larina DIS Veteran

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    Heck, it is hard for my not old eyes to real. I'm glad somebody else said something.

    And again, thanks so much. A lot of work goes into a superthread. I do NOT take this lightly at all.
     
  17. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    The lunch & dinner menu is the same, as is the price via the Disney Dining CM.
    Again, thanx for letting me know of the dinner change!!

    Yay!! I hope I was able to get the answers you needed on hours. I haven't been able to get them all......yet!!

    I was wondering if people were able to read that....I'll look for a new color!!

    Great!! If you have any more questions, please ask!!
     
  18. teachU2

    teachU2 Earning My Ears

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    Yay! Thanks for making the superthread! So many people ask questions about character dining! Hopefully, this will decrease the amount people have to type answering the same questions over and over. :lmao:

    Here's my review:
    I posted this on another thread.
    We were at Minnie's at 7:10 (first reservation) last Thursday. We saw Minnie, Daisy, Chip, Dale, Max, Tigger, Eeyore, Rafiki, and Capt. Hook...and maybe one other...The character interaction was great. Actually, it was hard to eat, b/c the characters were always stopping by. We had several visits by each character. They had little Mickey waffles, French toast, omelete station, eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, pastries (the pound cake was dry), muffins, fruit (strawberries, grapes, pineapple and honeydew) and drinks (juices, coffee, tea, milk, and hot cocoa). Did we eat enough food to justify the cost? No way! But you're paying for the experienice. It was fun. We took lots of pictures and got lots of autographs all in one air conditioned place.

    We used our PhotoPass + card and received the printed picture package for free plus the pictures were placed digitally on our pass. Our pictures were taken on the porch right when we arrived. Poses: family and one with my son alone and the "magical" balloons were added to it. They are no PhotoPass photogs inside so you take your own pictures with the characters.
     
  19. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    It wasn't a good choice for a font color......so I fixed it!!

    You're very welcome!! All input is welcome!!
     
  20. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    Thank you for sharing your mini review of Minnie & Friends!! If you have any pics you'd like to share, feel free!!!
     
  21. cgh

    cgh Mouseketeer

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    One thing I'd add is maybe tips for the first time character meal goer?

    We went to Goofy's Kitchen last year with a 5 pm reservation. We showed up at 4:55 and there was a long line to get in. We couldn't just go in- everyone had to stand with goofy and get a photo. By the time we were sitting it was 5:30!

    I never knew that I should get there early. I wish we had gone earlier. I also didn't know that I would need things to keep our 2 year old entertained while we waited. This year, I plan on going much earlier,since it will be important for us to be sitting at 5. (dealing with time change)

    Also, tips on hours and best/worst times. (ie. optimal last time reservation if you want to eat and see characters)

    Thanks for putting this together it will definitely be easier for people new to character meals to navigate!
     

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