Character Meals Super Thread!!

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

  1. AC7179

    AC7179 DIS Veteran

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    We ate at Surf's Up, Ariel's, and Storyteller's this week.

    I thought Surf's Up was outstanding, Ariel's very good but overpriced and Storyteller's was okay. Not bad, but Surf's Up was a lot better. I'd go back to Surf's Up anytime, Ariel's as long as I had little girls, and probably wouldn't return to Storyteller's. I did accidentally show up for my 9:00 reservation at 9:20 (I could have sworn it was 9:30!), and they very nicely still allowed up to be seated. The food wasn't bad---I just preferred the whole atmosphere of Surf's Up.
     
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  3. Congo Queen

    Congo Queen DLand Devotee Since 1966

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    Reading through this thread has gotten me all fired up to try a character meal again. The last one we went to was Storytellers in 2011, and it was just an OK experience. The food was fine, but there were v few characters. I remember only seeing three from across the restaurant- Chip (w/out Dale), Terk, and one of the bear's from Brother Bear. The character interaction was minimal to say the least. I had remembered that a few years before the Storyteller's breakfast had been v lively with kids playing follow-the-leader with the characters through the restaurant. But last time v dull - maybe it was b/c it was the first morning of the D23 expo and the place was packed w/ adults. We were seated right by a big table filled with Pixar employees. (They talked a lot of shop over breakfast.) Anyway, long story short I am in the mood to dine w/ our beloved fur and face characters again thanks to you all and am going to see if we can get into Goofy's Kitchen for dinner. Thanks.
     
  4. E-P-C-O-T

    E-P-C-O-T DIS Veteran

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    Sorry, wrong thread ...:duck:
     
  5. LadyHadley

    LadyHadley Earning My Ears

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    Soooo confused about character dining right now!
    We've never done it and am planning on it with our next trip

    Have read through this super thread, probably a million reviews so far and I think I've just reached that limit where my brain's become fried from so much information. :surfweb:

    Myself and my husband are planning our trip to Disneyland this October, and Im aware I need to book the character dining at 60 days out (meaning I really do need to work this out sometime soon)

    We're going as a party of 2 adults without kids looking for breakfast with characters.

    Originally was thinking "Goofys Kitchen" due to reviews indicating the good range of food & characters - but we're not fans of super noisy places.
    We know this is a theme park which has noise and it really is great for families to have fun and wonderful memories together :wizard:, just the banging pots and pans isnt our cup of tea is all (honestly not meaning offence to anyone, just trying to explain our situation is all) :)

    So, I guess, we're after somewhere with character interactions where two adults wont be ignored, and preferably somewhere not crazy loud?

    I've been tossing up between Storytellers and Plaza Inn... I think.... :(

    Like I mentioned my brain has been a bit over-loaded from the amount of information, and a lot of information seems to be family geared (which makes since considering it is Disneyland after all :goodvibes ) but was wondering if anyone had some advice for our situation?
     
  6. PinkiexLi

    PinkiexLi Earning My Ears

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    I've been to all the character dining experiences at DLR and I have to say that Goofy's Kitchen does offer the best array of characters and the food is pretty awesome. Have you considered going at a non peak time? We had a really great interaction with the Mad Hatter there. I believe you see more characters there as well. We saw Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Pluto, Minnie, Mad Hatter, Fairy Godmother, and of course Goofy.

    Storytellers is a nice restaurant and the food was really good, but the characters aren't as well known. If you want to see characters that you don't se everyday, this is a good place to eat. When we went we saw Chip and Dale, Brother Bear, and Meeko.

    As for Plaza Inn, it gets noisy in there too. The characters sometimes get the kids together and dance. The food is typical breakfast food. But you do get to see a lot of characters.

    My fav character dining is Ariel's Grotto for breakfast. I think that it's the best value and the breakfast food is quite good. You can always ask for more of what you want. Last time we went we ate at the latest time for breakfast which was around 10:30. We sat outside and it was really quiet and enjoyable with a view of the pier.
     
  7. Sherry E

    Sherry E Currently tag-less... Moderator

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    LadyHadley --

    You can easily get away with not making reservations at 60 days -- it is not as necessary to do that well in advance at Disneyland Resort restaurants as it is at WDW. In fact, most of my character meals have been walk-ups, with no reservations at all. I just wanted to make sure you knew that so you didn't pressure yourself into booking at exactly 60 days. I'm sure 30 days would be fine too.

    Have you read PinkBudgie's review of Goofy's for adults? I know it has been mentioned a few times in this thread and I think there may even be a link to it somewhere on Page 1 (I haven't looked there in a while). I can find the link to it if you haven't read it. It is very informative, and it is from the perspective of two adults (no kids). She ate there largely based on my recommendations over the years. In all of my Goofy's dining experiences, I have only eaten there with a child in my group one time. Every other time has been adults only, and we all love it.

    In any case, yes, there is a bit of a noise level that is present at Goofy's in comparison to the slower-paced Critter Breakfast at Storytellers Cafe, but I have never really found it to be off-putting, to be honest. It is a busy restaurant with a lot of activity, but I don't want anyone to get the impression that there are pots and pans banging non-stop. It's not like that, and I think it gets misrepresented.

    There is a little 'show' (I don't even know if you'd call it a show, really) when Goofy pretends to drop some pots/pans (because he is Goofy and he is clumsy!), and that somehow leads to dancing with kids or anyone who wants to get up and join in. It doesn't last that long, and I don't think we even saw/heard the 'pots and pans show' the last time we ate there (I think we missed it because of our timing).

    If you were to walk into River Belle Terrace in Disneyland (counter service), you'd find that it is pretty much just as noisy of a restaurant, but without the little Goofy-dropping-the-pots dance segment.

    I have not yet tried Minnie & Friends but from all that I have heard/read about it, it can also get quite chaotic. Plus, the food gets very mixed reviews. The main reason to eat here, I think, is for the vast array of characters -- not for quiet, and not really even for the food.

    I think that if you really want "quiet," the Critter Breakfast is absolutely for you. They have a small buffet and also a menu from which you can order. The character selection (usually 4 or 5 are there at one time) tends to include Chip, Dale, Koda, Kenai, Terk, sometimes Meeko and occasional "guest stars."

    You may also enjoy Surf's Up with Mickey at the Paradise Pier Hotel. It is probably a bit noisier than the Critter Breakfast but not as lively as Goofy's. The restaurant often looks half-empty when I peek into it. The character interaction is great. The characters are very attentive. There is a small buffet, but the buffet has a couple of Surf's Up-exclusive items. This is the only meal with Mickey and Stitch, and Daisy Duck is often there too.

    A lot of people love Surf's Up and it is their favorite. Others love the Critter Breakfast just for the quieter atmosphere, the option to order the buffet or from the menu and food quality. I like Surf's Up better than the Critter Breakfast, but I like Goofy's better than both of them for the ratio of food variety/options to character selection!
     
  8. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    An option for a little quieter meal would be to request sitting on the patio at the Plaza Inn or outside......then the noise doesn't seem to be overwhelming as it bounces off all the walls.....lol

    I've sat inside, outside and on the patio and prefer the outside options because I get claustrophobic in crowds.

    Storyteller's is definitely a mellow meal. I enjoy it because the characters are different here: Meeko (raccoon from Pocahontus), Koda & Kenai (from Brother Bear), Brer Fox, Chip, Dale and Terk (from Tarzan) are one's we've seen. At one point, they will play a game of follow the leader, but it's still pretty mellow for a character meal.

    If you want to dine with the Princesses, Ariel's Grotto offers another option. Each princess is "announced" and then goes table to table. We've always seen 4 plus Ariel at the bottom of the stairs.

    Surf's Up with Mickey is a really fun meal for kids & adults if you like Stitch. It's also the only meal Mickey attends. You could always ask to sit away from the "action" as they do have the kids come up and dance & surf.

    Goofy's Kitchen is a big restaurant and you could request to be far away from the buffet area because that is where the pots & pans banging & dancing happens. But I would say this is probably the loudest of all the meals.

    Hope this didn't just add more confusion!! :scared:
     
  9. dnamertz

    dnamertz DIS Veteran

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    The only character meal we've done was Plaza Inn in November 2011. I didn't find it to be noisy at all, but we did go later in the morning (10am on a Friday). The only noisy part was when all the characters and kids gathered to sing happy birthday to Minnie because it was actually her birthday that day.

    There were great caracters and the interaction was very good. The food was good too.
     
  10. Paris Fan

    Paris Fan Sharing the magic on Twitter! ✨

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    Does anybody know the current prices for all character dining options at DL?

    Also the opening times?

    It's our first trip next month! :)

    Thanks :thumbsup2
     
  11. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    I haven't updated the front page with prices due to personal issues at home.....but my best advice is to call Disney Dining and they can give you the prices for the actual dates you are wanting to book. They will also let you know the earliest or latest you can reserve for each meal.

    714-781-3463
     
  12. trr3601

    trr3601 Earning My Ears

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    Can anyone tell me the prices for dinner at goofys kitchen? We are going sept 28th, we have APs.
     
  13. James G

    James G Earning My Ears

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    Premium is 15% otherwise 10% off.
     
  14. timelord14

    timelord14 Earning My Ears

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    Hi there,
    I have been undecided as to whether to do a character meal, but have finally decided to do Goofy's Kitchen.

    We are 2 adults, and 2 kids (adult prices) one of who is gluten free. Both kids are not big eaters.

    We have a 3 day hopper pass, and also doing Mickey's Halloween Party on a 4th day (we are there from 30 Sept to 3 Oct)

    I want to make the most of my time at Disneyland and dont want to `waste' any time if you know what I mean.

    I am tending towards an early dinner, but maybe brunch is better? I just dont know what to do.

    Any advice much appreciated

    Thanks
     
  15. Mich Mouse

    Mich Mouse Poly Loving Disney Bride

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    We highly recommend Goofy's Kitchen! We had a wonderful experience there in August. Food was delicious and the character interaction was fantastic. Request a booth- it was comfy and spacious. Let them know of your gluten issue when you make the reservation-there will be plenty for you to eat.
    I have to add- we visit Chef Mickeys every year at WDW and the food at Goofy's is really in a different league. Goofy's is much smaller so the food is not mass produced and I think you and your family will love it!!
     
  16. Congo Queen

    Congo Queen DLand Devotee Since 1966

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    For my family (also two kids at adult prices) dinner was actually a better time for a character meal at Goofy's Kitchen when we vacationed this summer. I was there in late July and we did early dinner instead of brunch and here's why. We were staying at the DLH so we had EMH every day at the parks. Crowds are lowest first thing in the morning and so that is when we ride the rides that will have longer lines later in the day. We do not spend morning hours eating (we have a small breakfast in our hotel room as we dress) or shopping as morning is our prime time for shorter ride lines. Since we start the day so early we have lunch by 11:30am, but the character brunches are ending then, and I have read on various threads that at the end of the brunches not as many characters roaming around. Thus we like character dinners and really enjoyed the Goofy's Kitchen version. We take a break midday at the hotel so scheduled our dinner res at 5:15pm so it would be the first thing we'd do after our break and on our way back into the parks for night time fun. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the dinner food at Goofy's K. I had read mixed reviews, but I have to say for the most part it was fresh and delicious with many choices in the buffet. The characters were also great. We saw Minnie, Belle, Snow W, Pluto, Goofy, Chip and Dale, and each stopped by our table for ample visiting and photo ops.
     
  17. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    When we do the brunch on a park day, we tend to go to the park for a couple hours and then go have brunch. This way you can take advantage of the low crowds in the park, then take a break for food and back to the parks.

    For dinners, we would do an early dinner. Usually by late afternoon, if you haven't taken a break from the parks.....you'll be ready. Then after dinner you can head back to the parks for the evening activities.

    Both are good as far as characters and food go. It just depends on how you want to schedule your day. Some people prefer a big meal early in the day and some prefer a big dinner. My family is a mix......so that always makes it fun planning meals! :rolleyes1
     
  18. tnshsms

    tnshsms Mouseketeer

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    We did Surf's Up Breakfast in May of 2013 and really enjoyed it. My DD was able to see a lot of characters....Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Stitch, Pluto, Goofy and Donald. I was impressed considering we were only there for about an hour. It was a great atmosphere and the food was good. Not great, but its a breakfast buffet, you have realize its not fine dining.
     
  19. timelord14

    timelord14 Earning My Ears

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    Righteo I have decided to do Goofys Kitchen for dinner.

    Now I feel really silly asking this - I cant find where to purchase the tickets (need to do online as am in New Zealand)!! :confused3
     
  20. pharmama

    pharmama DIS Veteran

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    There are ways to buy character meal vouchers in advance but its not necessary. All you need to do is make a booking with Disney Dining. My preferred way to do this (particularly good for you being in NZ) is to email them.

    dine@disneyland.com

    Include the following information in your email:

    Your full name
    Party size, including number of adults and children
    Children's ages (between the ages of 0-17)
    The name of your requested restaurant
    The date you'd like to dine
    Your requested dining time
    A phone number where the restaurant or style location may contact you should it be necessary.
    Your ZIP or Postal Code
     
  21. timelord14

    timelord14 Earning My Ears

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    Thanks:)
     

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