Ariel’s Grotto is where they hide the Princesses

The Character Meal at Ariel’s Grotto is a Princess Parade! If you want to see Princesses, this is the place to meet and greet with your favorite princesses.

We’ve gone for twice for the opportunity meet our favorite princesses, once for lunch and once for breakfast.

You descend the spiral steps down to the “grotto” and at the bottom of the steps you meet Ariel. Ariel is always bright eyed and fun to talk to. Izzy brought her a Dinglehopper and she was so excited to see it. She tried to brush her hair with it and Izzy was just giggling the whole time. I highly recommend taking your time and having a true interaction with each character you meet. You see 4 additional princesses inside who are announced as you are eating.

Here are the Princesses we met at the first Ariel’s Grotto in 2011: The “A” team or the OG princesses (Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Sleeping Beauty)

The food is high quality and it’s presentation is amazing. The Iz had a Chocolate Chip Cruiser Waffle. I had the Tri-tip with eggs.
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In 2011, I even had a yummy cocktail for a mid afternoon rest. It was a nice place to wind down before heading back to hotel after lunch.
The meal is pretty pricey: Roughly $49 per person. Our meal came out to about $249 for 5 adults and 1 child (our 1 year old just ate off of our meals).
Is it worth it? Yes! Not only are you saving time in Disneyland later by skipping out on the princess line but your interactions don’t feel rushed, you get to talk with the the princesses and take as many photos as you want. If they told me, “You can skip the line at Disneyland and pay an extra $25 bucks to go right to the line”… I would do it. Then I got my family photo for “free” with the Photo Pass plus and got my breakfast in a nice underwater restaurant. It’s worth it to me. Each family is different and I value time saved over cash sometimes.

One recommendation: DO NOT try to walk up dine here. People make this mistake over and over! You can make reservations up to 60 days out. Here’s what Disneyland says to do:

For all booking, please check availability online or call (714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463 up to 60 days prior to your visit. Reservations can also be made in person on a limited basis, subject to availability.

For any character dining experience, I count out 60 days from my arrival date and begin to make phone calls to reserve our meals. The first time I didn’t plan as far out as that and I was only able to get 2 of the times that I wanted to eat at and our meals were all out of whack that I didn’t enjoy the food as much as I could have.

Overall, Ariel’s Grotto has yet to disappoint but we will be bypassing it for Goofy’s Kitchen and Mickey’s Surf’s Up because we haven’t been there recently.


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