The Ultimate Guide to Character Dining at Disneyland Resort

by | Oct 26, 2023 | Disneyland, Disneyland Parks, Disneyland Resorts, DLR Food

If you’re looking to grab a meal and have some fun meeting your favorite Disney characters, this is your guide to all of the character dining options available at Disneyland.

When you’re looking to grab a meal at Disneyland Resort, you have a whole lot of options – over 120 options, that is! One of the must-try dining experiences for any Disney fan, though, is character dining. At Disneyland, you’ll find a few different character dining restaurants to choose from, each offering a unique experience and a different cast of your favorite characters.

Below, we’re sharing everything you need to know about character dining at Disneyland, from the restaurants that offer character encounters to how to score reservations.

Character Dining at Disneyland Park

Disneyland Plaza Inn character dining

Tigger during the Plaza Inn’s Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park experience. Photo by Tina Chiu

There’s just one restaurant inside Disneyland that offers a character dining experience: Plaza Inn. This popular comfort food restaurant is perhaps best-known (and most loved!) for its sizable servings of crispy fried chicken come lunch and dinner, but it’s also home to a fantastic character breakfast.

At Plaza Inn, you can start your day with a hearty breakfast buffet while Disney characters stop by your table. “Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park” is the restaurant’s character dining experience, and you’ll have a chance to meet Minnie herself one-on-one during the meal. As you dine on dishes like made-to-order omelets, Mickey waffles, French toast, scrambled eggs, and biscuits and gravy (including some of that famed Plaza Inn fried chicken), other characters will wander through the restaurant’s indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Who can you expect to see during the Minnie & Friends breakfast? Well, Minnie is guaranteed to be there! The other characters do change often, so it really depends on the day you happen to dine. It’s common to spot Pluto, Chip, Dale, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger. 

Character Dining at Disney California Adventure Park

Currently, there are no character dining experiences available inside California Adventure. While the theme park was previously home to a princess-themed character dining experience – the former Ariel’s Grotto, which has since been transformed into Lamplight Lounge – that ended back in January 2018.

Character Dining at Disneyland Resort Hotels

There are three character dining experiences available at the hotels of the Disneyland Resort:

  • Goofy’s Kitchen, which offers breakfast, brunch, and dinner
  • Napa Rose, which offers breakfast
  • Storytellers Cafe, which offers breakfast

Learn more about each of these character dining experiences below.

Goofy’s Kitchen

Character parade at Goofy's Kitchen

The character parade during meals at Goofy’s Kitchen. Photo by Danny Shuster

Located at the Disneyland Hotel, Goofy’s Kitchen is one of the most popular character dining options at the resort. Here, you can dine with your favorite Disney characters for breakfast, weekend brunch, and dinner. It’s a must-do for any Disneyland fan, as Goofy’s Kitchen offers the quintessential character dining experience at the resort – and who doesn’t want to dine on breakfast, brunch, or dinner dishes created by Chef Goofy?

After meeting with Chef Goofy and snapping a few photos, you’ll enjoy a buffet filled with delicious options for every meal of the day. As you dine, Goofy’s friends (usually Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Chip ‘n’ Dale) come by for a visit or two. 

During Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, Goofy’s Kitchen is also home to a special spooky spin on the classic character breakfast, brunch, and dinner: a Halloween-themed meal! Goofy’s Kitchen Halloween features Goofy and his friends dressed up in their Halloween costumes. This weekends-only offering also includes a buffet menu filled with seasonal foods, from orange pancakes to pumpkin toast to frighteningly fun pumpkin-themed desserts. 

Similarly, during the Holidays at Disneyland Resort, Goofy’s Kitchen offers a Holidays at Goofy’s Kitchen option for breakfast, brunch, and dinner. This seasonal spin features holiday staples like prime rib, herb-marinated turkey breast, maple-glazed pork belly benedict, and pancakes coated in cookie-butter icing (and of course, festive holiday desserts!). Goofy and friends will appear wearing their best holiday attire, too. 

Napa Rose

While Napa Rose might be best-known as a more adult-focused options thanks to its impressive fine dining experience, on weekends you can actually catch one of Disneyland’s most exciting character dining experiences here. Napa Rose is home to Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures, a three-course breakfast filled with princesses and a whole lot of princess-themed fun.

Kids (and kids at heart) will feel like true royalty at this character dining experience. You’ll enjoy the sumptuous food Napa Rose is known for along with the chance to meet Disney Princesses in one-on-one encounters. Throughout the meal, Guests can also participate in storytime with Belle, warrior pose practice with Mulan. The princesses rotate while you work your way through each of the meal’s courses, giving you plenty of time to dine and spend time out on the picturesque patio with Disney royalty. 

This popular character breakfast allows Guests to spend plenty of time with each princess and features an impressive number of princesses to meet, making it a great way to squeeze in a meet and greet with beloved characters like Rapunzel, Mulan, Cinderella, Aurora, and more.

Storytellers Cafe

Over at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Storytellers Cafe is home to a character dining breakfast buffet that’s perfect for those who love adventure – and classic breakfast comfort foods. Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet is your one chance at Disneyland Resort to see Mickey Mouse himself during a meal!

During this breakfast buffet, you’ll get to dine on anything that suits your liking from a spread that includes baked treats like croissants, muffins, and danishes as well as Disney breakfast staples like Mickey Waffles. You’ll also find some different dishes like frittatas, chilaquiles, and hand-carved meats up at the buffet (and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, you can order other options from your server). 

As you dine, Mickey and his friends will make appearances and walk through the dining area to visit tables. Like Goofy’s Kitchen, this is a great opportunity to catch your favorite Disney characters in some rarely-seen outfits, with some adventure-themed flair!

Disneyland Character Dining Tips and Tricks

Goofy's Kitchen character dining at Disneyland

Dale stops by during a meal at Goofy’s Kitchen. Photo by Danny Shuster

To make the most out of your character dining experience at Disneyland, keep these tips and tricks in mind before – and while – you dine.

Book a Reservation for Character Dining Well in Advance

Because there aren’t a ton of character dining options at Disneyland, you’ll want to plan well in advance of your visit. You’re able to make dining reservations up to 60 days in advance – and character dining books up fast! Make sure to check for available reservations right at the 60-day mark to have the best odds of getting the dining experience and timeslot you’re hoping for.

Choose Your Reservation Time Carefully

Every character dining experience offers different dining timeslots. For example, Disney Princess Breakfast Adventure at Napa Rose is only available on weekend mornings, while Goofy’s Kitchen serves breakfast, brunch, and dinner. Because all of Disneyland’s character dining (except for the Princess Breakfast Adventure) are buffet-style, you’ll want to carefully time your meal so you can enjoy the full selection of foods available and spend plenty of time with the characters.

Try booking your reservations earlier rather than later for each meal time. For example, if you book a late brunch at Goofy’s Kitchen – such as 12:30 to 1:00 PM – the buffet’s foods won’t be replenished as brunch service winds down. You may also find that characters spend just a little less time at each table as the meal window begins to close. While you won’t necessarily feel rushed, you may not get to fully maximize your time if the meal is ending while you’re still dining.

Be Ready to Snap Your Own Photos

Lastly, most character dining experiences do include at least one Disney PhotoPass stop. For example, a PhotoPass photographer is on hand as you meet Goofy at Goofy’s Kitchen. However, there won’t be PhotoPass photographers at the table to snap photos of your party with the rest of the characters. You’ll want to keep your phone (or camera) handy while you dine so you can take photos and video of the experience – especially if the mischievous Chip ‘n’ Dale are around for your meal!

Posts by Heather Adams

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Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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Authored by
Heather Adams

Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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