Until very recently, the Kuske Family’s Disneyland Resort adventures have primarily focused on pirates, talking toys, and rebel spies. However, since our daughter Emma is getting older and more interactive, we’ve been able to branch out and try things not previously on our itinerary.
Our once timid baby girl has blossomed into a talkative and excited little lady who loves to visit with her favorite characters, especially the Disney Princesses. Our last several trips to the park have involved visits to Princess Fantasy Faire, princess souvenirs, and most recently, lunch at Ariel’s Grotto for Ariel’s Disney Princess Celebration!
Ariel’s Grotto is located in Disney California Adventure Park and offers character dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Please note that the princesses are not present at dinner but the dinner does come with special seating for World of Color after the meal.) The tiled ocean murals, hanging jellyfish lights, and serene color palette help diners become a part of Ariel’s world.
During our undersea adventure, the first stop was a meet and greet with Ariel. She is beautiful, sweet, and was extremely interactive with both Emma and Evan. She took several photos and signed autograph books. It is a special moment that all Guests are able to share with this bubbly princess. When meeting the princesses, as with many of the other character dining locations, a Cast Member is on hand to take a group picture (which is available for purchase during your meal). Cast Members are also willing to take a picture with your personal camera, which is an excellent opportunity to change poses, capture special moments with Ariel, and save some money.
One of the most notable differences between this character dining experience and all of the others is that it is not a buffet, but rather is a prix fixe meal. A prix fixe meal is a complete meal where an appetizer, main course, and dessert are all served for one price. Our appetizer course included a three-tiered tray containing vegetables, fruit, meats and cheeses, as well as a very yummy sourdough bread flower with dipping sauces.
There are several main course options to choose from including pasta, tri-tip, cioppino, and herb-crusted chicken. Chris and I both had the tri-tip; which was cooked perfectly and had great flavor.
Emma had the kids’ pasta and Evan had the kids’ chicken skewers, which they both loved. Our dessert tray was beautiful (almost too beautiful to eat!), with a sampling of amazing desserts. Dessert options include lava cake, a white chocolate shell with berries, and macaroons.
During mealtime, the princesses will typically each make a grand entrance into the dining room, which is always exciting for diners. When we visited, Emma was thrilled to meet Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, and Sleeping Beauty.
Though the princess did take time to visit each table, the interactions were a bit short and hurried – especially when compared to those at Goofy’s Kitchen or Breakfast with Minnie and Friends. To encourage keeping the princesses at the table for a longer time, encourage kids to ask questions or strike up a conversation with them. For example, I encouraged my kids to ask Cinderella how Gus and Jaq are doing. I also noticed that the Princesses tend to spend more time with little girls who were dressed as their favorite Disney Princess.
I’m looking forward to many more princess adventures in the coming months, and will definitely include more trips to Ariel’s Grotto in our future itineraries. If you have a Princess or Prince in your life who would like the opportunity to dine with the Princesses- Ariel’s Disney Princess Celebration is a must do!
For general character dining tips and information and current prices for Ariel’s Disney Princess Celebration please visit my first post. Be sure to check back for my next post- a review of Minnie & Friends- Breakfast in the Park.