It’s Kimberly with Get Away Today, here to share more tips for The Happiest Place on Earth. One of the best parts of traveling to Disneyland is indulging on all of the delicious treats and eats. Specifically, I love Character Dining with my three young children.
Character Dining is the perfect way to get autograph books signed, indulge in great food and take photos with your favorite Disney characters to create memories that will last a lifetime. Because of this, I wanted to give you the best guide to Disneyland Character Dining. This way, both kids and kids at heart can experience the magic of meeting their Disney heroes.
Here is everything You Need to Know about Character Dining.
What should you expect?
Character Dining is a fun experience for all ages. You can eat a delicious meal while meeting some of your favorite Disney characters. Popular Disney characters will come greet you at your table, so you can skip some character lines at the park. The best part? All Character Dining meals are served buffet-style, so everyone is sure to get all they want to eat!
No matter what Character Dining restaurant you visit, there will be a handful of beloved Disney characters waiting to meet you. Be aware that every restaurant has different characters and specific characters are not always guaranteed.
Each Character Dining option has a “host”, which means those characters are guaranteed to be there. If your favorite character is Minnie Mouse, get reservations at Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park. Looking for goofs and laughs? Book Goofy's Kitchen. No matter where you go, you’re sure to have a fabulous experience!
Where should I go?
As of spring 2018, the Disneyland Resort offers four different Character Dining locations. Of the four, only one requires a park ticket. The others are located in Disneyland Resort hotels.
Here are all the Character Dining restaurants and options at Disneyland:
Goofy’s Kitchen is located at the Disneyland Hotel and is currently the only Character Dining location that offers both breakfast and dinner. So if you’re looking to end your perfect Disney day with a Character Dining meal, you’ll need to do it at Goofy’s Kitchen.
Because Goofy’s Kitchen offers both breakfast and dinner, you’re able to try a variety of unique foods that you won't find elsewhere. Indulge in “Mickey Mouse” waffles, bacon and Goofy’s famous peanut butter and jelly pizza for breakfast. Enjoy the fresh catch of the day, “Goofyroni” & cheese and a carving station for dinner. Because Goofy’s Kitchen also offers the largest variety of food, even the pickiest of eaters will find something to munch on.
Since Goofy is the host of this character dining experience, you’ll be able to meet him as well as a variety of other characters. Most often seen at Goofy’s Kitchen is Pluto, Minnie Mouse, Chip and Dale, Rafiki and more. If you’re wanting to meet Goofy and his pals, Goofy’s kitchen is the perfect spot.
Related: Tips for Dining at Walt Disney World on a Budget
Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park
Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park is located at the Plaza Inn on Main Street, U.S.A., so you’ll need an admission ticket. If you make early morning reservations for your breakfast, you’ll be able to get into the park before it opens! If you schedule it late, you probably won't need a lunch break.
This is the only Character Dining experience that requires a park admission ticket, and there is something truly special about being inside Disneyland. If your schedule does not allow a day off for Character Dining at the hotels, this will be the most convenient option.
At Minnie & Friends, you’ll find scrambled eggs, bacon, French toast, sausage, pastries, fruit, Mickey waffles and more. I’ve found that Minnie & Friends has the widest variety of characters. You may meet characters like Captain Hook, The Fairy Godmother, Winnie the Pooh, Max Goof, Sleeping Beauty fairies and more. If you’re looking to meet characters that are hard to find while eating a delicious meal, Minnie & Friends won’t disappoint.
Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Character Breakfast
Guests who visit the Disneyland Resort are now able to enjoy two new Character Dining experiences. One of the new restaurants is Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Character Breakfast at the Storyteller’s Café. This experience will replace Chip and Dale's Critter Breakfast. We'll miss it, but we’re excited to see Mickey in a new location!
Located at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, you can now join Mickey Mouse and his friends for an epic journey. You’ll be immersed in Mickey’s tales of adventure in his magical Adventurer’s Journal. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet filled with farmer’s market specialties like omelets, waffles, baked goods, seasonal foods and more.
Here, you'll be able to meet pals like Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto. Previous characters seen at Storyteller’s Café were Chip and Dale, Pluto, Koda, Meeko and more.
Donald Duck’s Seaside Breakfast
Donald Duck’s Seaside Breakfast will replace Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey and Friends at the PCH Grill inside Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. You're able to dance and catch some waves with beloved Disney characters. Meet Donald, Daisy, Stitch, Minnie, Pluto and more.
The biggest change that came to this Character Dining experience was the food options. While it’s still an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, it now features items like signature flatbreads, egg white frittatas, chilaquiles, smoothies, smoked salmon and more. If you’re worried that your picky eaters won’t love the menu, don’t fret. Donald Duck’s Seaside Breakfast still offers Mickey waffles, Minnie pancakes, bananas foster French toast and more.
When should I go?
Since Character Dining is a special meal experience, it can be incredibly popular. I recommend making reservations as soon as you can. This will give you more options for the restaurant, time and date.
Disney will allow you to book your reservations up to 60 days in advance. The easiest way to make reservations is online at Disneyland’s website or by calling 1-714-781-DINE to speak with a Cast Member directly. Keep in mind that reservations and payment are different things. Keep reading to find out how you can pay less for Character Dining after you make your reservations.
Unless you want Minnie & Friends inside the park, I recommend reserving your Character Dining meal for a day you won't be in the park. Morning is the least crowded time at Disneyland, and if you're spending that time at a character breakfast, you're paying twice for the best part of the day! Pick the day you arrive or are heading home, or plan a “day off” in the middle of your trip for your Character Dining.
If you do Character Dining on a day you're in the park, I suggest making your reservations for when the park is most crowded – like an early dinner at Goofy's Kitchen or a late breakfast at Minnie & Friends. It's a good way to break up your day and relax, while still experiencing the best of Disneyland. Plus, if you make reservations for a time when most people aren't eating, you may avoid larger crowds at the restaurant.
Character Dining is popular, so book well in advance for best availability.
There is no charge for kids ages 2 and under at any Character Dining experience. Character Dining with young children can be so cute and memorable. However, some kids are scared by the larger-than-life characters, so go in with reasonable expectations.
Disneyland Character Dining is a splurge, but many families feel it's worth every penny. Click the button to read Allison's post 30+ Ways to Do Disneyland on a Budget to get lots of ideas for keeping your Disneyland expenses down so you can enjoy fun extras like Character Dining.
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