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Guide to Character Dining at Disneyland

If you're interested in a character dining experience during your next trip to Disneyland, the guide below will help you learn more about the details you'll want to know for each dining experience that is offered at Disneyland.

There are currently only four options available for character dining at the Disneyland Resort, as Ariel's Grotto is currently closed and being remodeled as part of the new Pixar Pier area inside Disney California Adventure.  There is no word yet on if it will return or if another character dining experience will take its place.

Most of the dining experiences are buffet-style, with the exception being the character dining experience at Ariel's Grotto being a three-course meal complete with appetizer, entree and dessert.  The food selection and location was great, so let's hope it returns.  All of the options range from $30-$40 per person, with kids around $15-20 and children under 3 free.

The main attraction of character dining is that you can meet a lot of characters in a short amount of time and save lots of valuable time inside the parks.  Instead of waiting in line inside Disneyland, you'll be able to meet a lot of characters and save valuable time for other attractions.

Highlights of each of the character dining experiences and my top tips include:

Breakfast with Minnie and Friends at Plaza Inn
  • Good selection of breakfast buffet items
  • Awesome interaction with classic Disney characters and other characters you don't see that often in the parks.  Characters you may meet include Minnie Mouse, Winne the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Max, Rafiki, Chip, Dale, Geppetto, Fairy Godmother, Captain Hook and possibly others.
  • Located inside Disneyland, so you'll need a park ticket on the day you will be dining here


Goofy's Kitchen
  • Located at the Disneyland Hotel
  • Best and biggest selection of breakfast buffet items
  • Character interaction is great here and the singing/dancing will keep everyone excited
  • Character dining is open for breakfast and dinner
  • You'll meet Goofy, Minnie Mouse, Chip, Dale, Pluto and possibly Mickey Mouse

Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey and Friends
  • Located at Disney's PCH Grill at the Paradise Pier Hotel
  • Good selection of breakfast buffet items
  • Nice surf inspired theme
  • Meet Mickey Mouse and friends including Minnie, Daisy, and Stitch.

Chip 'n Dale Critter Breakfast at Storytellers Cafe
  • Located at Disney's Grand Californian hotel
  • Good selection of breakfast buffet items
  • If your content with not seeing Mickey Mouse and friends and have done some of the other character dining options then this is a good one to check out as you'll see Chip, Dale, and other friends such as Brother Bear

Ariel's Grotto (Currently Closed, but lets hope it returns in some form in the Future)
  • Good selection of food and great location overlooking Paradise Pier in Disney California Adventure
  • Great way to visit Disney princesses if you have a little princess yourself.  
  • From the menu options and character interactions, Ariel's Grotto will not disappoint 

Future of Character Dining at Disneyland
With the recent closure of Ariel's Grotto and no word yet on if it will return in some form or another, I can see Disneyland adding new character dining experiences in the future as new park attractions start opening up soon. 

In the near future, I predict Disneyland will be adding a Star Wars themed character dining experience, Marvel superhero character dining, Pixar themed character dining and possibly a new princess character dining to take the place of Ariel's Grotto.  Also, with the addition of a new Disneyland hotel, projected to be opening in 2021, I can see a new character dining experience opening up there as well.  We will all have to stay tuned as to what Disney is planning for the future, but it sure is fun to make predictions to see what could be in store for guests!

For more details, check out my previous detailed review here: 
Guide to Character Dining Options at Disneyland