Disney vacations create magical childhood memories. That first churro, a giant lollipop, or a special character encounter will live on in a child’s heart long after they’ve grown up. Disneyland character dining combines everything into one perfect moment and it’s something we always like to book at Disney parks worldwide.
Which Disneyland character meal you choose depends mostly on your itinerary, which characters you’d like to see, and whether it’s simply convenient because you’re staying in a Disneyland Resort Hotel. These are the current choices.
Eat Breakfast in the Park with Minnie and Friends
The first thing you might think of when it comes to Disneyland character dining where to enjoy it inside the parks.
There is one place where you can do this, Plaza Inn, at Disneyland Park which is perfectly situated where the gateways to Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland meet. We think it’s the perfect place to kick off the day with a breakfast buffet as anticipation mounts for the day’s excitement.
Here, Minnie Mouse and her friends greet every guest at their table. Be sure to have an autograph book with you for signatures and, of course, a camera.
It’s no accident that Minnie’s attending friends aren’t advertised. Although most character dining experiences will have a standard set of characters that you can reliably expect to see, there are times when characters can change without notice.
Minnie Mouse is a constant. Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore are common regulars. However, there are many other classic and rare characters that show up at Plaza Inn for breakfast. You may spot Captain Hook, The Fairy Godmother, Pinocchio, or Mary Poppins.
Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures
Most of the Disneyland character dining does not include princesses, which is a little unusual considering how many princess character meals and experiences there are at Walt Disney World.
However, Disneyland does have one princess breakfast and it’s a really big deal. Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures takes place at the Napa Rose, the signature restaurant in Disney’s Grand Californian. It’s not your typical character meal with an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet.
Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures is a three-course breakfast (luncheon items are also choices) where a highlight is the three-tier tower of starters.
This Disneyland character meal is coupled with storytelling where a Disney Princess shares her moment of courage. This could be Rapunzel’s first time out of her tower, or Mulan’s willingness to become a warrior. The experience ends with a farewell portrait session and you can book it Thursday through Monday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet
Next door at Storyteller Cafe, another kind of adventure takes place. Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet is open each morning for breakfast and you can also book Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Brunch Buffet. brunch.
Mickey is the host and other characters are subject to change. Usually, he’s joined by Minnie, Pluto, and Chip ‘n’ Dale.
The Farmer’s Market Buffet offers an assortment of breakfast favorites in Storyteller style including a made-to-order omelet station, artisan sausage, waffles shaped like Mickey, and a forage platter. With brunch service, you get an enhanced menu with the addition of a carving station and rotating entrees.
(Note that dinner at Storyteller Cafe is not a character meal.)
Another perk of this Disneyland character meal is that kids can meet their favorite characters and get a dose of Disney Magic before they even reach the park gates, which overnight guests of Disney California Adventure can enter through just steps from the cafe.
Donald Duck’s Seaside Breakfast
The Fab Four: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy are all hosts to some kind of character dining experience. While Minnie and Mickey have Disneyland and the Disney’s Grand Californian covered, you’ll go to Paradise Pier Hotel for a Donald Duck hosted breakfast at PCH Grill.
The theme at Donald Duck’s Seaside Breakfast is Southern California beaches, surfing, and suntans. It’s a pretty standard breakfast buffet but with build-your-own-parfait stations, chef’s signature flatbreads, egg white frittatas, and more. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, guests can book Donald Duck’s Seaside Brunch.
The characters dress to match the theme. Donald is in full vacation mode instead of in his traditional sailor outfit. Other characters you are likely to meet while you dine are Minnie, Daisy, and Stitch.
For those seeking the ultimate Disneyland character dining outside of the park, Goofy’s Kitchen is the place to be. Goofy’s Kitchen is not a repurposed or re-themed restaurant just for a breakfast service. Goofy’s Kitchen exists as a character dining location.
This means that it’s the only Disneyland character dining dinner experience. Breakfast and dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen are very different buffets. The character experience changes, too, but Goofy is almost always in charge. This year he did let Mickey Mouse take over dinners as part of his big 90th anniversary celebration but Goofy along with Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale are commonly in attendance.
One of the specialties they offer at Goofy’s Kitchen is “Mickey Mouse” Pancakes. The Goofy’s Kitchen breakfast menu also offers daytime cocktails, as well as a brunch service.
The experience includes a PhotoPass opportunity for a picture with Goofy with a kitchen backdrop. This is great if you have Disney MaxPass or really want to buy a photo, but they will happily take a complimentary photo with your camera or smartphone.
Tip: You will receive complimentary hotel parking for 3 hours (Disney’s PCH Grill and Goofy’s Kitchen) or 5 hours (Storyteller Cafe) if you drive over for Disneyland character dining. However, if possible, we recommend staying at one of these hotels so that you can enjoy Extra Magic Hour benefits.
Also, do not forget that we have tips for finding a Disneyland tickets discount!