Anyone who has ever visited a Disney park knows just how long the lines for character meet-and-greets can be. Unfortunately, those meet-and-greets are among the best parts of Disneyland for many visitors, especially those who are part of the younger crowd. For this reason, many parents turn to character dining to fill their character meet-and-greet quota without waiting in ridiculous lines.
Disneyland has 5 character dining opportunities. That said, only Ariel’s Grotto offers park goers the opportunity to dine with royalty. Fortunately, we think this dining experience is one that is very well done, and definitely something you will want to consider if you are visiting with young princess fans.
Here are 9 things we love about this fun eatery.
#1: Immersive Theming
The first thing you notice when walking into this lovely restaurant is the theming. Every inch of Ariel’s Grotto carries out the “under the sea” theme in a classy and seamless fashion that leaves guests marveling at their surroundings. If you are a fan of mermaids or ocean life, you will adore this amazing decor, from the shellfish lighting fixtures to the beautiful wall murals.
#2: Great Views
Ariel’s Grotto offers some pretty amazing views of the water, as well as Mickey’s Fun Wheel. Therefore, if you are a person who loves a good view while enjoying a meal, you will appreciate a window seat in this restaurant.
Of course, even if you don’t get a window seat, there is plenty to look at inside, so you won’t have anything to worry about in that department.
#3: Immediate Meet-and-Greet
Right when you walk into this sea-themed restaurant, you will hop in line to meet the star of the show, Ariel. This means that before you ever even sit down, you get to meet a princess, something that little ones will go crazy for. Better yet, this is only the start of an amazing meet-and-greet experience.
#4: A Collection of Princesses
Obviously, guests at an Ariel’s Grotto character meal get to meet Ariel herself. However, those lucky diners also have the opportunity to meet and take pictures with a whole collection of other princesses.
These princesses change from time to time, but might include Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, Tiana, Rapunzel, and Belle. This means for the price of your meal you can avoid waiting in 4–5 princess lines later in the day.
#5: Royal Announcements
Each of those visiting princesses is announced by a fully costumed royal staff member. This is a fun little touch that builds up the anticipation before meeting each princess, and something that all little princess fans adore.
#6: Themed Food
The theming of this eatery doesn’t end with the decor. Even some of the food has a fun “under the sea” theme that kids will adore. From the waffle boats served at breakfast to the “octodogs” on the lunch menu, you won’t believe the fun ocean food this place is serving up to go along with the princess chats and photo taking.
#7: Fabulous Desserts
When you order lunch or dinner at Ariel’s Grotto, you are served a platter of adorable and delicious desserts that all diners go crazy for. While the exact desserts do change from time to time, the restaurant tends to stick to the three tiny and cute desserts served together and presented in a way that is both beautiful and well themed.
#8: Ability to Relax
Most character meals are served buffet-style, meaning diners must get up from the table and serve their own food. While this isn’t really a problem, it can take away from the relaxing aspect of the meal. Additionally, this serving method can mean some members of your party will miss some characters.
Ariel’s Grotto removes these problems by having waitstaff bring out all food and drinks, leaving you free to relax and enjoy the company of the princesses.
#9: World of Color Option
If you are uninterested in the character dining offered by Ariel’s Grotto, perhaps you’d like the World of Color dining package option. This package gives diners a yummy dinner at Ariel’s Grotto and tickets to premium seating for that night’s World of Color showing. Considering how crowded this nighttime show can become, this package is well worth looking into. That said, it is important to note that those dining at Ariel’s Grotto for dinner will not meet any princesses during their meal.
These are our favorite things about Ariel’s Grotto. However, we are certain there are dozens of other things to adore about this amazing eatery. Therefore, we recommend visiting for yourself to find your own favorite aspects of Disneyland Resort’s only princess character meal.
Photo credit Disney
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