One of the most unique experiences at Disneyland that I like to share with my friends is Character Dining. Some are inside the park and some are at the hotels in which you do not have to have park tickets to enjoy meet-and-greets with the beloved characters. There are five, and they're all different. There is the host and their three friends. The three friends are surprises and you won't know until you get there.
We did this one year for my son's birthday and invited immediate family and close friends. It can be a bit pricey but we loved meeting the characters. What I like about dining with characters is that they come to us and we do not have to stand in line to meet them. They rotate out the characters and they are making their way around the restaurant to meet you! They are stopping for photos and signing autographs. It is a great way to celebrate special occasions whether it be with a large group or small. Reservations are recommended and if you need to order a cake, don't wait until the last minute. You can make reservations as early as 60 days in advance. Here's where you will find them...
Inside the Park
- Ariel's Grotto is located at Paradise Pier inside Disney California Adventure. Princess Ariel and her friends are available for breakfast and lunch buffets. For dinner, there are no character appearances but diners will receive Fast Passes for World of Color's standing viewing area.
- Minnie & Friends - Breakfast in the Park is located at the Plaza Inn inside Disneyland Park at the end of Main Street. It is one of the original landmarks of Disneyland. Minnie and her friends are available for Buffet Breakfast only.
Outside of the Park
No park tickets needed for these dining experiences. You will also receive three hours free parking with restaurant validation.
- Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends is located at Disney's PCH Grill in Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel. Mickey and his friends are available for Breakfast Buffet only. The restaurant is closed for lunch, and there are no character appearances during dinner.
- Goofy's Kitchen is located at Disneyland Hotel. Goofy & Friends are available for both breakfast AND dinner buffet. Closed for lunch. Unlike the rest, this one requires a reservation and will not accept walk-ins.
- Chip ’n Dale Critter Breakfast is located at Storytellers Cafe at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Chip ’n Dale & Friends are available for a buffet breakfast only.
Character Dining is very popular and advanced reservations are highly recommended, because they are based on availability. We love it! For more information, please call (714) 781-DINE (3463) or visit their website at https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/#/character-dining.
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