Trying to make some decisions about Disneyland Character Dining? This is the ultimate guide all Disneyland character meals, so that you can choose which is best for your visit to the Happiest Place on Earth.
Disneyland Character Dining is one of my biggest recommendations for families visiting Disneyland from out of town (and I'm not going to lie, it's one of our favorite Disneyland activities as annual passholders). Character Meals are an amazing way to meet a TON of characters without the pressure of long lines and a great way to rest and relax during longer park days (especially days when you are trying to beat the heat or visiting Disneyland in the Rain) . While they tend to be a little more pricey than quick service dining, you also have access to an unlimited buffet and can ABSOLUTELY eat a ton.
Pro Tip: We usually do a LATE breakfast for our Disneyland Character Dining experiences and then skip lunch (grabbing just a small snack or one of our favorite from the Best Food at Disneyland must try list).
The Ultimate Guide to Disneyland Character Dining
Minnie and Friends – Breakfast in the Park
Location and Time of Day: Minnie and Friends Breakfast in the park is located at the Plaza Inn. Plaza Inn is at the end of Main Street inside of Disneyland (which means you need a ticket or annual pass to do this one). This is a breakfast only experience and is available each day from a few minutes before park opening until 11 am (we normally do this one at around 10:30 or 11, eat something VERY small earlier and do a couple rides inside the park before breakfast).
Current Pricing: $34 for adults, $19 for kids ages 3-9, kids under 3 are free
Food Options: You can see the full breakfast menu HERE, this is a traditional American Breakfast menu. Tons of eggs (including a custom omelette station), waffles (yes even the Mickey ones), pastries, bacon, cereal, French Toast and fruit, there's TONS of food!
Characters to Expect: Minnie and Friends Breakfast in the Park always has a great variety of characters. Minnie will ALWAYS be there (she has a meet and greet with each family as you enter Plaza Inn) and then a fun group of characters will come up to your table as you eat for individual time. We've seen: Captain Hook, Tigger, Eeyore, Cinderella's Fairy Godmother, Chip and Dale, the Penguin from Mary Poppins, Max, Rafiki and more. You can definitely expect to see characters that rarely do meet and greets in the park, which is a ton of fun!
Interactive Experience: The meet and greet with Minnie is always a blast, and she usually is wearing theme attire for each holiday or festival. There isn't a separate dance party or song, but this Disneyland Character Breakfast experience tends to have WAY more characters that come to your table than the others.
There's something super special about character dining INSIDE the park. We always do Plaza Inn for birthdays and then walk through the castle for a makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique after.
Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet and Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Brunch Buffet
Location and Time of Day: Mickey's Tales of Adventure is located at the Storyteller's Cafe inside Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa (this means you do NOT need a park ticket to go to the character meal). They have both a breakfast (from 7 am to 11:25 am) and a brunch (from 11:30 am to 2 pm).
Current Pricing: $44 for adults, $26 for kids ages 3-9.
Food Options: We've done both Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet and Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Brunch Buffet and the food is definitely my favorite out of all the Disneyland Character Dining experiences. The food tends to be a bit more on the gourmet / foodie side (think Artisanal Breakfast Sausages, a Fromage Platter and a Carving Station). They also serve alcohol since it's not INSIDE Disneyland (if you're looking for mimosas, you'll find great ones here).
Characters to Expect: Mickey's Tales of Adventure has traditional characters all dressed in explorer gear (we saw Minnie, Mickey, Chip, Dale and Pluto).
Interactive Experience: During each seating, the characters lead guests in a fun parade around the cafe, it's really fun and kids love it!
If you've got a gourmet foodie in your family, this is my top recommendation, the food is AMAZING!
Breakfast and Dinner at Goofy's Kitchen:
Location and Time of Day: Goofy's Kitchen is inside the Disneyland Hotel (you do NOT need a park ticket to go to this character meal) and is open from 7:00 am to 1:30 pm for breakfast and 4 pm to 8:45 pm for dinner.
Current Pricing: Dinner at Goofy's Kitchen is $48 for adults and $28 for kids ages 3-9. Breakfast is $44 for kids and $26 for kids ages 3-9. Children under 3 are free.
Food Options: Goofy's Kitchen serves traditional American food and is CERTAIN to appeal to even the pickiest eater (Lydia's favorite was the Peanut Butter and Jelly Pizza). The “adult” food options were GREAT, I loved the fish and chicken and there were delicious salads.
Characters to Expect: When you enter Goofy's Kitchen, you'll do a meet and greet in the “kitchen” area with either Goofy or Mickey. Then Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Chip and Dale visit the tables.
Interactive Experience: During each seating, the characters do a “dance party” in the buffet area while guests wave napkins above their heads to celebrate. Kids can join in (when you hear the music, feel free to rush over to the buffet area for the best viewing)!
I love that Goofy's Kitchen has a dinner option. It's perfect if you fly in mid-day and aren't visiting the Parks until the next day!
Donald Duck's Seaside Breakfast
Location and Time of Day: Donald Duck's Seaside Breakfast is located inside Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel (you do NOT need a park ticket to go to this Disneyland Character Dining experience). As of now, it is breakfast only (from 7:30 am to 11:25 am). At the end of March 2019, they'll be launching a brunch experience on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, so expect longer hours!
Current Pricing: Donald Duck's Seaside Breakfast is $39 for adults and $23 for kids age 3-9. Children under 3 are free.
Food Options: Donald Duck's Seaside Breakfast is filled traditional American Breakfast options and some special offerings. Our favorites? The Chicken and Mickey Waffles, the Egg White Frittatas, the Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana with Chocolate-stuffed French Toast…..and they even have a soft serve ice cream machine!
Characters to Expect: This adorable beach themed Breakfast has a ton of your favorite characters in their beach attire. We saw: Minnie in her lifeguard romper, Daisy in a beach dress, Donald in his beach gear and Stitch.
Interactive Experience: This is my absolute favorite interactive experience…….multiple times each hour Daisy and Minnie host a beach dance party. It's ADORABLE.
This is a smaller, quieter experience…..and would be PERFECT for younger kids who aren't used to characters.
Have you tried Disneyland Character Dining experiences? Which is your favorite?