I’d read pretty great reviews for this Disneyland restaurant, so it was a lock for our second character meal on the kids’ first trip to West coast Disney. It was such a sweet-looking restaurant, and I’d read about the large amount of characters that make their way around to the tables. I thought it would be perfect for our little character lovers.
The characters we did see were wonderful, but that’s where the rose-colored glasses come off at this meal. From the moment we checked in, it was kind of a mess. A large party had walked up ahead of us without a reservation, and both cast members working the podium were pulled in to their debacle of language barriers, missing members of their party and general disorganization. After they were finally seated (as it turns out, next to where we were to be seated), the cast members were able to see to us and the party behind us.
We were given a quick tour of the buffet and brought back outside to be seated. This was the first little annoyance. It was pretty warm, and the umbrella did little to keep the sun out of our eyes as we were dining. However, we were at the Happiest Place on Earth (and the wait for an indoor table would be another half hour), so we smiled and sat.
I was pretty excited because I’d seen some characters making that rounds that we don’t see often at Disney World. Unfortunately, we never got to see those characters. It seems there wasn’t a pattern for the table rotation. Characters just went here and there. Some of the characters I’d seen wandering inside the restaurant never made it to the outdoor tables at all. We even had a couple of characters skip our table completely despite visiting our unorganized neighbors. The handlers (when present) were hesitant to help but eventually had those characters return for pictures and autographs.
Another issue of sitting outside was that non-restaurant guests would notice the characters and come inside the outdoor dining area and stop them for pictures and autographs. They often crowded our table, as we were near the main walkway. My mom eventually alerted the podium cast members, and the offending guests were asked to leave if they were not dining at Plaza Inn.
Again, the characters that did make it to our table were very interactive, so I was very grateful for that.
Out of the two meals we experienced at Disneyland, the other being brunch at Goofy’s Kitchen, this was this was second place by a large margin in both the experience and food departments. Everyone has an off day, so we may give it another go on our summer trip, but we’ll wait for an indoor table, as it seems a lot of our issues were related to our location. If you’re a WDW person, it might drive you crazy. Haha!! If you’re not so much a planner, you’d probably enjoy yourself just fine. It wasn’t an awful experience, but I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this character meal just yet.