One of the most fun ways to eat at Disney is at a character dining location. I loved it when I was a child and I still enjoy it now as an adult. When my cousin was in town I wanted to do something special. I asked if she would be interested in doing a character breakfast. She had never done one before. I gave her the information about which characters are at the different locations. Her choice was character dining at the Paradise Pier Hotel.
The PCH Grill is home to the Surf’s Up! breakfast with Mickey Mouse and his friends. Did you know this is the only character dining location at The Disneyland Resort where you can meet Mickey? This is one of the few dining locations I had not been to before so I was excited to check it out. I made a reservation in advance just to make sure that we would be able to get in. When we checked in the hostess asked if we were celebrating anything. Since my birthday was at the end of the week I said yes. She gave me a birthday button and our server brought out a cupcake with a candle.
We got a picture with Mickey Mouse before going to our table. The other characters come by your table to take pictures and sign autographs. The Paradise Pier hotel is themed after the boardwalks that can be found along the California coast line. I love that this theme is extended to the PCH Grill. Mickey was dressed up in a life guard outfit. The cast members are willing to take photos on your cameras and/or phones as long as you ask. They take a professional photo of you with Mickey which you will have the option to buy later. It is $35 for the picture which comes with extra copies in different sizes.
After meeting Mickey we were led to our table. Our server came by to offer us orange juice and coffee. Minnie Mouse was at the table next to us so we decided to wait and get a picture with her before checking out the food. If you are not at your table while a certain character is around don’t worry. They will come back for you.
I was very pleased with the breakfast buffet at the PCH Grill. My first stop was the omelet station. I can never pass up the opportunity to get an omelet with my favorite ingredients. There were several choices of pastries, bagels, fruits, and other delicious breakfast foods. Of course, I had to have a Mickey shaped waffle.
When I did the character breakfast at Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa in Hawaii my friend and I were ignored by the characters. They kept going to all the tables around us but would never stop and take pictures with us. We said something to one of the cast members and then the characters paid attention to us. It’s possible that the characters assumed that two adults wouldn’t care to meet them. I was a little nervous that the same experience would happen again since we would be another all adult group.
I am so happy to say that the characters at this breakfast were fabulous! They all stopped by our table and came back a few times throughout our meal. Pluto, Daisy & Minnie Mouse paid special attention to my Grandpa which was wonderful to see. The characters that we saw at breakfast were Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Stitch and Pluto. Mickey is always at this location but the other characters at the breakfast change sometimes.
Character dining can be an expensive experience. However, you get to meet several characters without having to wait in line and get a meal. Most of the character dining locations like the PCH Grill have a buffet. There are a few character dining locations like Ariel’s Grotto that have a pre fixed menu. Doing your research is always a good suggestion so that you can make sure that you are selecting the best option for your family. Think about the characters that your children like and find out which locations they make appearances at. A buffet offers more food choices than the pre fixed menu locations which is something to keep in mind if your group has picky eaters.
Would I recommend the Surf’s Up! breakfast with Mickey & friends? Yes, I would. The food options were fantastic and the character interactions were exactly what I was hoping for. Andrea and I had such a wonderful time with my Grandpa. I know it was an experience that we will all remember. It is a great family friendly option for all ages.
The lobby of the Paradise Pier hotel had a gorgeous beach themed Christmas tree.
If you have any questions about what character dining location is right for you I would be happy to offer advice.