The Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn is the only character dining that takes place inside Disneyland Park itself. The rest of the other character dining options at Disneyland take place at the Disneyland property owned hotels which are all located within easy walking distance from Downtown Disney and the parks.
Minnie & Friends has always been my favorite character dining option at Disneyland due to the beauty of the Plaza Inn, the ease of being able to incorporate it into my Disneyland day, and the variety of characters you see at this experience.
Read our review from our experience there in August 2019 to see why this is my top favorite dining experience to meet characters at Disneyland!
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Updated Review of Modified Character Dining
We recently visited Disneyland during Thanksgiving week 2021 which is our first experience of the modified character dining at Disneyland since the parks reopened after the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are two major changes to this experience which is why I am referring to it as modified character dining. Characters no longer give autographs or hugs which has been standard at all Disney parks since the pandemic began. We are optimistic this part of the experience will return eventually and that this is not a permanent modification!
Other than the character interactions, every other aspect of this experience was the same as previous ones with the great food options and a free PhotoPass photo with Minnie when you arrive! Keep reading below for more details of this fantastic restaurant and learn why it's my favorite character dining experience at Disneyland.
Minnie & Friends Character Dining Review
The Plaza Inn is a restaurant that is filled with Disney history. This restaurant interior was designed by Walt Disney's wife Lillian and the decor inside and outside has so much beautiful detail. Even if you are seated outside for your brunch, take the time to look around the inside of the restaurant on your way to and from the buffet to take in all the rich details from the ceilings to the light fixtures.
We have eaten in nearly every spot inside the Plaza Inn since we have enjoyed this character breakfast so many times. To be honest, I really prefer to be seated inside as it makes the trips to the buffet much easier and I feel that you really get the full ambiance of the Plaza Inn. If it's possible, try and request an indoor table. But if you are seated outside, it's not the end of the world as the outside dining is also cutely decorated and there is plenty of shade. You will be making trips to the buffet from the outside though so keep that in mind- you may have to make two trips at a time if you're carrying trays for children in your group.
Dining reservations are a must for this experience. The sign outside advertising the character breakfast misleads guests happening to walk past all the time into thinking they'll have instant availability. I can't tell you how many times we were waiting to check in and heard disgruntled guests being turned away because there was no availability. I always make our reservation for the latest possible time, usually around 10:30-10:45 so that way we can spend the morning enjoying the rides and then break for brunch. Breakfast runs from 7:30AM-11AM and is specifically for the Minnie & Friends character dining experience.
On our last visit to enjoy Minnie & Friends we had a 10:30AM reservation which as always was perfect for spending the morning enjoying the rides. I usually try to time our reservation on a day we've also used Magic Morning (early entry) so we are extra hungry by then.
When you arrive at the Plaza Inn, you will check in with the cast member seated on the left of the entrance. Confirm your reservation and she will give you a ticket with your name on it and seating arrangement. You will then be directed to hop in line right away to meet Minnie Mouse! Have your autograph books and cameras ready- this line moves pretty quick.
If you paid for MaxPass, your PhotoPass downloads with Minnie are included in your experience. The cast member will come to your table with the photos during your meal and all you have to do is sure them the park ticket and MaxPass confirmation on your app to be given the code to scan your photos. If you don't have MaxPass, you can discuss the options for purchasing your photos with the photographer. PhotoPass photographers will also take your picture gladly with your own cellphone too so don't hesitate to ask!
After you've met Minnie, you will be directed to go inside to the front cash registers to pay for your meal and be seated. Be sure to grab your free souvenir button at the cash register! Typically, one per guest in your party is the official rule but I've never seen them look too closely.
Once you're seated, you're on your own to go explore the buffet and get drinks. If you are seated outside you will then make your way back inside for all your drinks and food options. There is no table service at this experience- it's all grab your own drinks and food. Servers will come clear your plates but that's about it.
You will find an awesome variety of food at this brunch experience including made-to-order omelets and Mickey waffles, French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, breakfast potatoes, fresh-baked pastries and breads, fruit, and hot and cold cereals. The drink options are also plentiful with coffee, soda, juice, bottled war, chocolate milk, and regular milk. We always grab one of the little bottles of chocolate milk or water at the end of the meal to take with us back into the parks.
Once we settle back down with our food I always make sure I have my son's autograph book and camera ready so we're prepared when the characters come by.
Don't worry too much about the characters, there will be plenty of time for them to make their way over to your table. I often see parents chasing the characters down at these breakfasts and it's important to remember that they will come to your table. Sit down, relax, and enjoy your meal. Do not chase the characters! A cast member will usually gently remind guests of this too and encourage them to go sit down. If you feel like you're not getting enough attention from the characters, never hesitate to ask a cast member nicely to see if they can help. We've never had to do that once in all the times we've dined here- usually within about 10 minutes of sitting down with our food we start seeing characters right away.
Minnie Mouse is guaranteed since it's titled Minnie & Friends but you will also meet a large variety of characters at this experience! The ones we have seen on our visits are: Tigger, Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Fairy Godmother, Rafiki, Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Max, the Cinderella Mice, Chip n Dale, and Pluto. On this past visit in August we met Eeyore, Tigger, Fairy Godmother, Max, Dale, Pluto, Rafiki, and Chip.
Even if you dine late in the day, like we've always done, the characters stick around for plenty of time to meet everyone and the food is still plentiful. The only negative I've seen from dining so late is perhaps not getting a shot at being seated inside but often that can be left up to chance to begin with.
Overall, I highly recommend the Minnie & Friends character dining due to the large volume and variety of characters you get to meet at once. This is the only character dining meal at Disneyland that offers so many characters and it's a great way to start filling those autograph books on your visit. The Plaza Inn with its beautiful decor is just an added bonus! You can read more about the Minnie & Friends character dining experience on Disneyland Dining's website.
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