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Ariel's Grotto - Ariel's Disney Princess Celebration
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Ariel's Grotto is home to Ariel and the other Disney Princesses. Join Ariel, Cinderella, Snow White, Belle and Sleeping Beauty for lunch or dinner.
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Average Reviewer Rating: 3.4 out of 53.4 out of 53.4 out of 53.4 out of 53.4 out of 5
Number of Reviews: 45 ( Displaying Reviews: 21 - 30 )
3.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.0   27 January 2005
Reviewer: emmah australia     March 14, 2005
By the end of the week I was running out of places to sit down for a vegetarian meal, so I decided to give Ariel's Grotto a go; it was low season and mid week so there was no wait and I was served straight away. I had a completely delicious penne dish (way too big for one person - what it is with these family-sized portions?), and a scrummy garden salad. They served decent breadrolls, and kept my water glass refilled. The characters strolled around, and seemed to keep the kids happy. The service was good, and the food was unusually good for vegetarian service at disneyland/CA. It was a bit on the expensive side, but hey, it is a theme park.
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful
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1.0/5.01.0/5.01.0/5.01.0/5.01.0/5.0   2/22/05 - 2/26/05
Reviewer: Sussya Phoenix, AZ     February 27, 2005
This was quite possibly the worst meal of our trip. We had lunch reservations for 1:20. We arrived at 1:10 and were told it would be a 10 minute wait. It ended up being 45 minutes before we were seated--and we had reservations! We were finally seated on the patio with 2 other families, so the restaurant wasn't really busy. Lunch was a set price--$16.99 for adults and $11.99 for kids and drinks aren't included. There were basically two choices for a starter--a salad or Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup. There was a terrible selection of entrees, and we ended up having cheeseburgers. The kids had Mickey shaped nuggets. The character interaction on the patio was awful. The service left much to be desired. We ended up paying $85 for the same meal we'd paid $35 for the day before at Village Haus.

Until Disney improves the quality and value of their character dining, we'll be skipping those experiences. You can see Ariel for free outside of Sleeping Beauty's castle every day in Disneyland. What's the point of paying $85 for a terrible meal just to see a character you can see for free every day?
4 out of 6 people found this review helpful
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3.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.0   2/16/03
Reviewer: tpcshauna Sacramento, California     January 07, 2005
Quick Review - Lunch. The service was below par and shockingly bad by Disney standards. Price for 2 adults including meal, tax and tip was about $42.50. Food was not at all memorable bordering on flat out bad. Atmosphere and character interaction were quite good and the only saving grace of the visit.

Detailed Review - Being an overgrown kid and a bit of a Disney fan, I talked my husband into taking me to Ariel's Grotto for lunch since she is my favorite Princess. I made a Priority Seating appt. several days in advance for 2:15. We arrived about 2:10 and were seated about 2:20 even though the restaurant was barely 2/3 full including the outdoor deck.

We had an iced tea and a soft drink which were only refilled once during our entire 90 minute visit. I had the penne pasta which was almost tasteless with little to no seasoning. It was barely warm by the time it arrived at our table. My husband had a hamburger that was OK even though the fries were cold. We were served cotton candy for dessert which was nice but extremely random. The highlight of the meal was the fresh, sourdough bread and butter served before our entrees. I don't recall being given the option of ordering a soup or salad starter at any point during the visit. Given the poor quality of the food, small amounts and few refills, I felt the entire meal was overpriced.

Despite the poor service and unexceptional food, the character interactions were wonderful and made the lunch. We met Goofy, Minnie, Chip and Dale, all of whom were decked out in their finest nautical gear. The characters were extremely interactive and attentive considering that there were no children in our party. I got hugs from Goofy and Dale and my husband had Minnie fawning over him for a bit as well. My favorite part was getting to visit Ariel in the lobby and taking a photo with my favorite Princess. The kids in the restaurant got plenty of attention including a little musical parade led by Goofy which they seemed to love.

All in all, Ariel's Grotto was only a so-so experience for us. I give the food, service and price 2 planets and the characters 4 planets for a nice, middle of the line 3 planets overall. It's not the worst but Disney has made me want better.
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   September 28, 2004
Reviewer: Lorene Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada     October 10, 2004
We loved the restaurant - we were there for lunch. We didn't have a reservation but only had to wait about 20 minutes to get in (good time of year). Our daughter got to meet Ariel and get her autograph and a chat with her as soon as we got in the restaurant. The food was good - my husband had a huge hamburger with french fries, I had a wonderful cobb salad, and my daughter had chicken fingers served in a little Disney pail that she got to keep. They gave us cotton candy for dessert (yum). Characters were always walking around the restaurant - we also got to see Goofy, Max and Minnie. The service was excellent - we got lots of refills for our drinks. The characters had a parade around the restaurant twice while we were there and included all the children who wanted to participate. From the beaming faces of the kids involved you could tell they thought it was special.

Lunch was a set price of $14.99 for adults and around $9.99 for kids (I think). It was a very good value as we got to sit down for a good while in an air conditioned restuarant and have a yummy meal in a fun Disney atmosphere. It was perfect for our California Adventure day because the park was pretty slow (we re-rode all the rides we wanted to) and we had more time to have a long, leisurely lunch.

Recommendation: Go if you can!
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   Sunday, August 8, 2004
Reviewer: Photographer Massachusetts     August 12, 2004
My friend Drina had never been to CA Adventure or to a character dining experience. I made us a PS for 1 PM. We got there on time and waited maybe 5 minutes to be called. We chose to sit indoors and were quickly given an overview of the menu before our waitress arrived. She took our orders and explained how the characters will make their way from table to table. We both ordered the Boathouse Salad and cheeseburger for lunch. I drank water and Drina had a Coke. The waitress was attentive and not difficult to locate or annoying. I asked her for an extra button to send to my friend in Iraq and she happily abilged. The lunch was a set price of $14.99 per adult, not including drinks, tax or tip. Drina foot the bill so I'm unsure of the exact total.

Chip, Dale and Goofy came by our table. We also saw Minnie, Pluto and Ariel (who can't wander around obviously). Overall it was fun. If the restaurant didn't include character interaction then the meal would be slightly overpriced.
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   6/22/04
Reviewer: Dlandmom California     June 23, 2004
Tried Ariel's Grotto for dinner on a summer weeknight at 7 p.m. I'm glad I made reservations in advance because there was a line for walk-up's. I think I heard the hostess say that the last seating was at 8:30 (not sure what time the park closed...10?). Character interaction was pretty good, but a few of the characters would walk right past our table, and we'd have to chase them down to come back. While we were there for about 1 1/2 hours, the characters did come through twice, so we were able to meet Minnie, Chip and Dale, Goofy, and Pluto. Also, Ariel was out for photo ops in the entry hall.

Food was good. I started with Onion Soup, had the Fish 'n Chips for my main meal, and a Root Beer Float (from the kiddie's menu) for dessert. My daughter had Ursula's Octo-dog with Mac N Cheese for dinner. She had the carrot/celery sticks appetizer, and Ariel's sundae for dessert. We both had lemonade to drink. My daughter's meal came with a plastic pail and shovel. Also, we were served a hunk of cotton candy for dessert. Adult meal is $19.99 while kids are $12.99. I used my PAP for a discount.

If you like Fish N Chips, this is a decent place. When it was served, it looked brown and over-done, but when I tasted it, it was just fine, and with the malt vinegar, I was happy!

For the price, this was a decent meal with plenty of character interaction.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   June 9, 2004
Reviewer: luvmyboys Marysville, OH     June 14, 2004
This may just be the best valued character meal in all of Disneyland! Ariel spent lots of time talking to my kids - BOYS who were so in love with the pretty mermaid! The other characters were fun too - chip, dale, goofy, and minnie. Kid's meals came in/with a shovel and pail which we kept to use at the beach. Kids and adults get a starter and entree for lunch and for $15 adults/$10 kids, you CAN NOT beat this meal! Oh, and can't forget to mention the cotton candy you get for dessert - YUM!!!
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3.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.0   04/22/04
Reviewer: snow_white Sunnyvale, CA     April 25, 2004
This was our second visit to Ariel's Grotto after first going last spring. We had lunch both times.
We saw Ariel, Minnie, Pluto and Goofy.
Service was so-so. We asked for booster chairs when we checked in for our reservation. They never arrived and the kids were okay without them. We never received bread. Not a big deal since we didn't really need it, but it reflects on the service.
The kids ordered the Mickey nuggets and mini-corn dogs. Both my husband and I ordered the daily special of pork ribs. The kids also had chicken soup. I had the onion soup and my hubby had the salad. The salad was really good. Soups were fine too. They brought the kids meals, plus a kid's mini-hamburgers and only one set of ribs. We had to wait about 5 minutes for the second set of ribs. The pork rib sauce was good, but the ribs themselves were pretty tasteless. I wouldn't order them again.
What was most disappointing about the experience was the character interaction. Ariel was great with my daughter. There was no one in line, so she spent quite some time with her. The rest were less positive. Minnie stopped by first, long enough for a photo, but we had to chase her to get autographs. Pluto missed us completely and we had to have the waitress call him back in from outside. Goofy had just gotten to us when they started a conga line. He returned to another table afterwards. We had to call him back. That's what really bothered me about this visit. The atmosphere of the restaurant is relaxing and calm, but it's hard to be enjoy a meal when you have to keep an eye on the characters and constantly get up to make sure they visit your kids. It's easier to wait in line in Toontown or one of the main squares since these characters are easy to find.
With the AAA discount the price was pretty good (~$50 with tax and tip), but given the ribs and the poor character interaction I thought it was over-priced.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful
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3.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.0   November 2003
Reviewer: kansaskix KS     April 18, 2004
We picked this restaurant for our character Dinner dining experience because it was so much less expensive than all the other character dinners! I thought for the price, it was a really good deal. The food was good (nothing extraordinary, but just fine) and plenty of it, for me. I also loved the theming of the restaurant--it was very cute and charming. However, the reason I am giving this 3 stars is because of the service. It was sooooo bad. Our waiter was HORRIBLE. Reading the other reviews, we probably got a bum waiter, but wow, he was truly awful! Also, we made reservations and still had to wait almost 30 minutes to be seated. My children got lots of character interaction and enjoyed being in the parade. The kids' meals are kind of weak, I thought--but the adult menu is good. I think it is worth the price and a fun experience, but I sure would hope to get MUCH better service the next time.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   March 9, 2004
Reviewer: Marty Vancouver B.C.     March 17, 2004
If you go for lunch, this has to be about the best deal for a character dining experience in the resort. We made reservations and got right in and sat out on the patio. The location couldnt be more perfect. We were right on the water overlooking Paradise Pier on a beautiful sunny day.

Minnie, Pluto and Goofy made their rounds and our kids got lots of one on one time with them. Given that the fixed price lunch was about $15, I thought my Salmon BLT and Cheesy Onion Soup were well worth the price. The kids menu is pretty good and my wife enjoyed her seafood salad. Our waitress was very attentive and we ended up whiling away a good 90 minutes here without much problem.

Given the price, I really dont think you can go wrong for lunch. Make reservations and try it for yourself.
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful
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