Ariel’s Grotto at Disney California Adventure Park - Today's Mama

Ariel’s Grotto at Disney California Adventure Park

Pull up a chair.
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I have some serious advice.

If your son, or daughter loves princesses, you should take them to Ariel’s Grotto located at Disney California Adventure Park, when they still believe. You can take them when they’re older, but man, there’s nothing like seeing your kid utterly enthralled. It’s pretty sweet.

Ariel’s Grotto is a restaurant at the Disney California Adventure Park. The restaurant is set right off Paradise Pier, so you have a wonderful view of the water and Mickey’s Fun Wheel. For breakfast and lunch seatings, you are entertained by music and visits from individual princesses. Ariel is the first princess you greet right before you’re seated. There you can have your picture taken by a Disney photographer, which you can purchase if you want. They will also take a photo for you on your own camera, just ask.

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​We took our kids to Ariel’s Grotto in 2009, when they were three and five-years-old. I am so glad we did that when they were young, even though there are some who don’t think taking kids on adventures when they’re young isn’t worth it. It’s not just for the kids, it’s for you, the memories, and if you’re like me, it’s priceless.

At Ariel’s Grotto our daughters wore their princess dresses. If you have a boy, he can bring whatever costume he wants. Where else can you go where no one bats an eye if you’re dressed head-to-toe in costume, and not be a kid? Awesome.

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We’ve always done the lunchtime menu. They bring out a three tiered plate stand, served family-style, filled with appetizers ranging from fruit, vegetables, olives, cheese, meat, and salad. There’s a kids menu and an adult menu. I always get the Cioppino. The dessert plate is also served family-style. We quite enjoy the chance to sit down after a busy day and still have a character experience as we enjoy a delicious meal. They also provide the kids with crowns to decorate, and souvenir pins.

The first time we visited Ariel’s Grotto, our daughters were entranced. Seeing the princesses visiting our table one-by-one was like seeing their favorite movies come to life. The princesses were so kind and gentle with our daughters, and they took time to make our girls feel important. It was fun to hear my girls ask Princess Jasmine where Aladdin was, and how Rajah was doing. It was so sweet to hear Princess Jasmine respond so sweetly to my daughters.

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My daughters are now six and eight-years-old, and I wasn’t sure if they would want to visit Ariel’s Grotto while we were at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park over spring break. When I asked them if they might want lunch at Ariel’s Grotto, my six-year-old immediately said yes. Even my eight-year-old, who’s starting to get to that too cool for school age, wanted to go. We made sure that this time they had little notebooks for all the princess autographs, and the girls both picked out princess dresses to wear, just for the lunch. I was thrilled, and I happily made reservations.

I highly recommend you make reservations to dine at a Disney park restaurant before you get to the park. In fact, you can book up to 60 days in advance. This last trip we took was a bit spontaneous so our reservations were made just a week or so in advance. As a result I took whatever was available on the day we visited. We had lunch at 2:50pm. It worked out great.

If you choose to have dinner at Ariel’s Grotto, the princesses will not be around, but you do receive reserved viewing tickets for the World of Color show without waiting in a long fast pass line.

Ariel’s Grotto Quick Tip List:

1.Book a reservation as early as you can, up to 60 days in advance if you like. Set a reminder for your meal time on your smart phone, just in case.

2.Bring costumes for the kids, notebooks for autographs, pens, and the camera.

3.Relax, enjoy your meal, and have fun.

I was not compensated for this post about Ariel’s Grotto. We were given four one-day park hopper tickets to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. All opinions, and expenses at Ariel’s Grotto are/were our own.

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