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Want to know more about Disneyland Character Dining? Are you thinking of booking character meal at Disneyland? There are a number of choices for Disneyland Character Dining for you and your family. Which one is the best one?
Disneyland Character Dining
There are five Disneyland Character Dining venues. The good news is that three of these are outside the parks, so you do not need Disneyland park entry to enjoy a character meal. This is a great option if you are just visiting the area without a park ticket and want some of the Disney magic. You can enjoy a Disneyland Character meal without buying a ticket for the park.
It is also a great option for the first or last day of your stay at Disneyland when you may not have time to visit the parks, but you want to enjoy a classic Disney experience.
Disneyland Character Dining Without a Park Admission Ticket
These Disney Character Dining Restaurants are located in the Disneyland Resort Hotels so you can go without a park ticket.
This is considered by many to be the classic Disneyland character dining experience. You can enjoy breakfast and dinner at Goofys Kitchen. It is located inside the Disneyland Hotel. We have been visiting here for over two decades and we still highly recommend it.
You may see Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale, and Minnie Mouse. As with all character dining the appearance of specific characters is not guaranteed.
Goofy’s Kitchen has five buffet stations. The choice is pretty much standard American food, and for us it really has the lowest quality of all of the Disneyland Character Dining restaurants.
However, what Goofy’s Kitchen lacks in food quality it makes up for in fun. It is great place to bring younger children.
The Goofy’s Kitchen brunch menu has pretty standard breakfast offerings. The Mickey Pancakes are always a big hit. Goofys Kitchen Peanut Butter Pizza is probably best left for the kids to try! It’s the only place you will find it – probably for good reason.
The cost of a Disneyland character brunch at Goofy’s Kitchen is $33 for adults and $21 for children aged 3 to 9. The cost of dinner is $39 for adults and $23 for children.
The Chip n Dale Critter Breakfast at Storytellers Cafe
We think that Storytellers Cafe is one of the best restaurants at the Disneyland Resort. It is located inside the Disney Grand Californian Hotel. It is well out of the way of the hustle and bustle of the theme parks. Storytellers cafe only offers character dining at breakfast. There is a buffet and and a la carte menu in the evening, but no characters appear.
The inside of Storytellers Cafe is beautiful. The arts and crafts decor creates a feeling of grandeur and relaxation – even during a lively character breakfast!
The stars of the show are Chip n Dale. Really the downfall of the Storyteller’s character breakfast is that it only has minor characters appearing. Chip n dale, Brother Bears Kenai and Koda, Meeko, and Brer Fox just aren’t the draw of many of the other Disney characters. True they are appropriate to the setting, but try explaining that to your five year old who wants to see Mickey or Cinderella.
Whilst we think that the Storytellers buffet is the best quality option for breakfast the characters are not the most popular. If your child wants to see Mickey or Minnie they will not find them here.
Storyteller’s Cafe character breakfast is definitely the most laid back and relaxing of all the Disneyland buffets. We enjoy it a lot, but that may be because we have experienced a great many character dining experiences.
We really wonder why Disney does not put more interesting characters here. Imagine how much they could raise the price if they put the Disney Princesses here!
Breakfast is $33 for adults and $19 for children aged 3 to 9.
Surf’s Up Breakfast with Mickey and Friends
You can find Mickey and Friends in the Disney Paradise Pier Hotel for a character breakfast. This is the location which is furthest away from the entry to the Disney parks, So bear this in mind if you are going to Disneyland or California Adventure on the morning that you are going for the breakfast.
Disney Paradise Pier is the least known of all the character dining options. This has the advantage that it is often easier to make a reservation, and you may even get a walk in. We think that Surf’s Up Breakfast with Mickey and Friends is a hidden gem.
The usual characters are Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Lilo and Stitch. This is a great selection of Disney characters and is sure to please the younger crowd.
The food is the usual Disney breakfast buffet fare. We think the standard is a little higher than Goofy’s Kitchen but not as good as Storytellers. However, the Disney characters are so much better than at Storyteller’s we would certainly choose this one for the younger kids.
The cost is $35 for adults and $21 for children aged 3 to 9.
Disney Character Dining in the Parks
Remember that you must have a park ticket to eat at either of these restaurants.
Breakfast in the Park With Minnie and Friends
This character breakfast is located in Disneyland at the Plaza Inn at the end of Main Street. Surprisingly they only serve breakfast. We would expect that there is enough demand to serve lunch and dinner with characters here too, but they only offer breakfast.
One huge advantage with having Breakfast with Minnie and Friends is that you can enter the park before it opens. There will not be any rides open and you will only be able to walk down Main Street to the Plaza Inn. However,it is a very different experience being in the park with only a few other people.
Another idea is make your breakfast reservation for 10.30 am. Many people enter the park at this time. If you have arrived at opening time you can enjoy the rides with shorter lines and then work up an appetite for breakfast.
The Plaza Inn has inside and outside seating. We generally prefer the inside seating as the decor is really nice, although it can get rather noisy. The Plaza Inn is beautifully decorated in an ornate Victorian style. Lots of colorful class and elaborate chandeliers.
The food is standard Disney character buffet standard. Nothing to get excited about, but it is fine. You come here for the experience, not the food.
Breakfast in the Park with Minnie and Friends is probably the best place to go if you want to meet a wide range of characters. Minnie Mouse is always there of course, but no one else is guaranteed. One of our favorites is Captain Hook. Other possible characters are Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter and Chip and Dale.
Breakfast in the Park with Minnie and Friends costs $32 for adults and $18 for children aged 3 to 9.
Ariel’s Grotto Disney Princess Character Meal
Unfortunately Ariel’s Grotto Disney Princess Character Meal is no longer available in Disney’s California Adventure. It close on Jan 8th 2018 to make way for the Paradise Pier Pixar expansion. We guess that there will be another character dining experience to replace it. Hopefully a Pixar character dining experience. We will keep you posted of any news about what it going to be here.
How to Save Money on Disneyland Character Dining
A Disneyland character meal is an expensive experience and can soon add up to more than $200 for a family of 4. Some very simple advice as to how to save money on Character Dining is to have breakfast instead of lunch or dinner.
Breakfast is always the cheapest Disneyland Character Meal and it can also mean that you can skip buying lunch too as the buffet is so plentiful.
Another way to save money is if you have a Disneyland Annual Pass. Whilst dining discounts are not a reason to purchase an Annual Pass, if you have one always remember to ask for the discount. A Deluxe or Southern California Annual Pass gives a 10% discount, a Premium or Premier Annual Pass will get you 15% off.
Disneyland does not have a dining plan.
How to Book Disneyland Dining
The easiest way to make reservations for Disneyland dining is to do this online. Simply go to Disney Dining Reservations
You can also call to make a reservation – the phone number is (714) 781-DINE. You can book up to 60 days ahead. You will be asked to give a credit card guarantee. If you do not show up and have forgotten to cancel within 24 hours you will be charged $10 per guest.
Check with the individual Disneyland restaurant as for some the deadline to cancel without charge is 72 hours.
Is it better to call or use the online system to book Disneyland dining? We prefer the online system as it is just more convenient. It is quicker to find out if different days and times are available.
Enjoy your Disneyland character dining!
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