Trekaroo’s Insider Guide to Character Dining at Disneyland

Character dining Disneyland 567

Why wait in line to meet your favorite Disney characters when you can eat with them? Character dining at Disneyland is a great way to celebrate a special event and fulfill your child’s dream of meeting Mickey Mouse and all his friends. There are five different character dining experiences at Disneyland resort, each with their own menus and cast of characters. Don’t know which one to choose? No problem! Trekaroo is here to help with our insider guide to character dining at Disneyland.

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Good to know: A majority of Disneyland visitors are locals and unlike Disney World visitors, we tend to plan our visits at the last minute. This means it typically isn’t too hard to get reservations at a character meal and there is no stress of having to plans things out so far in advance. The exception would be during busy holiday weeks and mid-summer. Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance by calling (714) 781-DINE or visiting the Disneyland website.

Note: Disneyland’s character meal prices may increase during peak periods which is why the prices listed in this guide are averages.

Ariel’s Grotto

Ariel's Grotto

Disney California Adventure

Meals Served: Breakfast and lunch

The Scoop: This is the place to take your little princess for a very special occasion. Guests are greeted by Ariel herself at the bottom of the stairs where she will pose for pictures and give hugs before you head up into the dining room. This is the only table-service character dining option at Disneyland Resort and meals typically run between $35- $45 for adults and about $20 for kids. Breakfast options for adults include a spinach-artichoke egg white frittata and fresh berry Belgian waffle while lunch options include tri-tip with vegetables and a grilled lobster tail salad. Lunches do include a salad, entree, and dessert. Disney princesses such as Cinderella, Belle, Aurora, and Snow White make the rounds, delighting fairytale lovers of all ages. Inside and outside seating are both available.

When to Book: This is one of the most popular character meals and reservations are required. Book starting 60 days before your visit. Reservations are typically available within a week of your visit except for during busy peak periods.

Read reader reviews about dining at Ariel’s Grotto.

Disney’s PCH Grill– Surfs Up! Breakfast with Mickey and Friends

PCH Grill

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel

Meals Served: Breakfast

The Scoop: If you want to see Mickey, this is definitely the place to be. The mood is casual and playful at this buffet-style character breakfast. Mickey, Minnie, and several other characters make the rounds, making this spot a great place to have the most important meal of the day before hitting the parks. Mickey waffles, breakfast meats, eggs, chilaquiles, and pastries are some of the many options offered. Since this character meal is at a hotel, no theme park entry is required. Meals are about $30 for adults and $15 for kids.

When to Book: Reservations are recommended but may not be necessary during slow periods.

Read reader reviews about dining Surfs Up! Breakfast with Mickey and Friends.

Goofy’s Kitchen

Goofy's Kitchen

Disneyland Hotel

Meals Served: Brunch and Dinner

The Scoop: Goofy is the host of this buffet character dining experience so he is always there to say hi to his guests. The other characters vary but Aladdin, Jasmine, Pluto, Chip, Dale, Cinderella, Baloo, Rafiki, and Stitch have all been spotted by Trekaroo members. There are five food stations during meals and breakfast options include Mickey Mouse waffles, eggs Benedict, smoked salmon, made-to-order omelets, and chicken enchiladas while at dinner guests can enjoy a carving station, fresh fish, pizza, and a wide variety of desserts. Since the character meal is located in the Disneyland Hotel, no theme park admission is required. Meals are $30-$40 for adults and approaching $20 for children.

When to Book: This is a popular character meal and reservations are highly recommended. Reservations are available 60 days before your visit but are typically available within a week of your visit except for during busy peak periods.

Read reader reviews about dining at Goofy’s Kitchen.

Plaza Inn– Breakfast in the Park with Minnie and Friends

Plaza Inn Character Breakfast


Meals Served: Breakfast

The Scoop: You can dine at Plaza Inn any time of day but breakfast is the only time of day where a character meal is offered. This is the only character meal offered inside of Disneyland. Minnie is the host which means she is always there and her friends that join her seem to be quite random but Tigger and Captain Hook seem to make it into the mix quite often. Breakfast is a buffet with those famous Mickey waffles, biscuits and gravy, French toast, and made-to-order omelets. Prices are generally in the $20 range for kids and $30 range for adults.

When to Book: Bookings are available 60 days out but you can usually find availability within a week of your visit. Reservations are always recommended.

Read reader reviews about dining at the Plaza Inn.

Storytellers Cafe Chip n Dale Critter Breakfast

Storyteller's Cafe Breakfast

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Meals Served: Breakfast

The Scoop: Chip, Dale, Pluto, and various other Disney characters, including some rarely seen, make their appearance inside this breakfast buffet at the Grand Californian, not far from the main pool. Hours are from 7am to 11:25am and meal options include classic American breakfast fare, such as made-to-order omelets, French toast, pastries, breakfast meats, and Mickey-shaped waffles. Diners can choose from a buffet or a la carte menu. Prices for the buffet are about $15 for kids and $30 for adults. A la carte items are in the $15 to $25 range. Neither a stay at the hotel nor a park ticket are required in order to experience this character meal.

When to Book: Reservations can be booked up to 60 days in advance but there is generally availability close to booking time except for busy holidays and peak summer weekends.

Read reader reviews about breakfast at the Chip n Dale Critter Breakfast.

Bonus tip: The most popular dining experience at Disneyland is not a character meal, it is dining at Blue Bayou inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It is truly a unique (and pricey) experience so reservations are almost always needed. Early bookings are necessary during peak periods. Read reader reviews of dining at Blue Bayou.

Ultimate Vacation Guide to Disney Parks for Families

Our Ultimate Disney Guide is our go-to-resource for everything you need to know when planning the perfect family-friendly vacation. Explore our ultimate guides to the Disneyland California Resort, Walt Disney World, and other Disney properties, resorts, destination vacations, and cruises.

About the author

Sharlene Earnshaw is Trekaroo’s Editor in Chief. She lives in sunny Orange County, CA, with her husband and 10-year-old son and daughter (twins!). She is a self-proclaimed National Park junkie and has the goal of visiting each and every one with her kids. When she isn't traveling to places like Norway, Peru, Disney World, and Hawaii with her family, she enjoys hiking, beach days, obsessively rooting for the San Francisco 49ers, and planning her brood's next trip.

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