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Character Dining Recommendations!

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday!

Sorry for all of the sporadic posts - one of these days I'll get my pictures ready over the weekend instead of gathering them throughout the week! 

This week is all about the Character Dining Experiences at Disneyland! Which experience is the best option for your family? Which will be most worth the price? See if our recommendations for Character Dining can help you with your choice!

We have tried 3 out of the 4 character dining experiences that are currently offered in the Disneyland Resort, including the breakfasts at the Plaza Inn and Storyteller's Cafe, and the dinner at Goofy's Kitchen. All Character Dining experiences in the parks are buffets, which really helps to know when deciding if it is worth the price! Our favorite? Minnie & Friend's Breakfast at the Plaza Inn! Here's why:

Out of all the dining experiences, we have loved the food here the most. It's good quality, and there are a LOT of options! I love that the majority of it is comfort food, so the whole family can find something to eat - even the picky eaters (me). There are options like cereal, french toast, Mickey Mouse waffles, ham, bacon, sausage, biscuits & gravy, pastries, omelets, chocolate milk, sodas, etc. Nothing super fancy, but that's great because that means that just about everyone can find something they love!

The Fairy Godmother is our favorite character at Minnie's breakfast! She is so sweet and she is hilarious. Fun Fact: The Fairy Godmother is the first character that didn't freak Jack out as a kid! 

Jack and the Fairy Godmother sometime around 2011.

Another important plus for the Plaza Inn - the characters are numerous and well known.  We have had dining experiences elsewhere with lesser known characters and it definitely makes a difference in how much fun you have if the little kids don't know any of them! Quite a few characters make the rounds here such as Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eyeore, Tigger, Minnie Mouse, the Fairy Godmother, some mice from Cinderella, Gepetto, Rafiki, Captain Hook, Chip & Dale, Pluto, Max, etc. The downsides to this area is that seating is a little cramped, so there can be a lot of shuffling to get out and take pictures, and we did have one experience where we were stuck in a corner table and got missed by a bunch of characters. We did let one of the cast members know as we were about to leave though, and she quickly helped us snag a few characters for some pictures, which added a little magic to our day, so it wasn't a total flop! I do wish the dining area was a little more roomy, but it is Disneyland and they have to make room for more people, which is totally understandable! 

Captain Hook and I - Minnie & Friends Character Breakfast 2017

Tip: If you are going to schedule a character breakfast at the Plaza Inn, go for the earliest time you can. They usually open the Plaza Inn before they open up the park, so you get to enter through your own entrance to the far left of the Main Entrance, and then by the time you get done eating, you are heading out while the crowds are just arriving instead of missing a ton of morning ride time! We usually go in and start eating, and then as soon as the park opens one of us will gather up the park passes and run to a ride to grab some Fastpasses and then we finish eating. By the time we are done, it's time to ride!

The other dining experiences currently offered have actually changed since the last time we were there - instead of Mickey's Surf's Up breakfast at the Paradise Pier Hotel, it's now Donald Duck's Seaside Breakfast! Chip'n'Dale's Critter Breakfast at the Storyteller's Cafe is now Mickey's Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet. Goofy's still Goofy's Kitchen! They have also closed down Ariel's Grotto since the last time I was there as well to make room for Pixar Pier.

We went to Goofy's Kitchen for a Character Dinner when I was little. We didn't love it, so we haven't been back. I don't know if things have changed much since then, but I have seen similar reviews recently so I feel comfortable with mine! The food was decent - but not the best. It was comfort food, which was really nice, because as I said before the picky eater of the family (me) was able to find stuff they liked! ;) I really don't remember much about how many options there were, but I can remember pizza slices, chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. I do know that it wasn't great quality, but to a kid that didn't matter as much as it did to my parents who really didn't love this location. There were a lot of characters, and they were all well known so that is definitely a plus! I remember characters like Goofy, Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and Aladdin among others. I have heard that the breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen is much better food-wise, but from my experience I would still choose to spend my money on Minnie and Friend's at Plaza Inn if I was only going to pay for one character buffet, mostly because it is familiar and right in the park. 

I am not sure how much the dining experience has changed at the Storyteller's Cafe have changed since the change from Chip'n'Dale to Mickey Mouse, but from our experience there this one really isn't my favorite. When it was still the Critter breakfast, one thing that the Storyteller's Cafe lacked was well known characters. Maybe we were there on a bad morning, but a lot of the characters were really only recognizable to the adults such as Brer Bear, Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, etc. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing the more rare characters walking around, but when little kids don't know who characters are they are a lot less interactive with them! There were of course characters from Brother Bear, Chip and Dale, and Jungle Book which was neat to see, but I do remember my little brother not recognizing many characters. However, this issue may have been resolved now that it's a Mickey and friends breakfast! Food-wise, I felt (as the picky eater) that this location lacked a lot of regular breakfast foods. I didn't eat nearly as much as I would at the Plaza Inn because there just wasn't that great of an offering. Less variety, and more options that were a little too fancy for my taste. However, if you like stuff like that, then maybe this is the right place for you! I know they do have things like waffles, french toast, omelets, and meats, so there definitely are good options, but as I have said before, if I am only paying for one character dining experience, I would pick a place with more options and better known characters. 

Brer Bear - Storyteller's Cafe - 2014

Koda - Storyteller's Cafe - 2014

What is your favorite character dining location? Leave us a comment below! 

As always, if you have any tips, tricks or questions you would like to submit to our blog feel free to send us an email at! And don't forget to follow us by hitting "Subscribe" at the top of the page!

-Lindsay Prout

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