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Ariel's Grotto - Ariel's Disney Princess Celebration
 
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Description:
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: 41 - 45 )
4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   Sept 19th 2002
Reviewer: disguy San Jose, CA     September 26, 2002
First off: Great atmosphere and service. I heard a lot of mixed reviews about this restaurant. In my opinion I thought the food was very good for the price and the whole package. I had a cheeseburger which tasted great, very large portions. The server we had was always on top of things. Every half hour or so the characters would hand kids some musical instruments and they would parade along the rooms. For those of you who would want an aspirin first...it really wasn't that bad :). The two of us ate for lunch and it only cost about 24.00
 
1 out of 1 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   August 24, 2002
Reviewer: kranders Santa Maria, CA     August 26, 2002
Location...great, atmosphere...great, service...great, characters...great, food...lousy.
I ordered the cheeseburger and the meat was dried out and cold. My wife ordered the fish and chips and they were OK but not as good as Long John Silvers. My daughter ordered the kids corn dog nuggets and it came in a cute bucket you can keep. The total tab for the three of us came to over $50, you would expect a little more out of the food for that.
 
5 out of 5 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 2001
Reviewer: blusilva Downey, CA     August 06, 2002
I wouldn't recommend Avalon Cove for the food or the service, but the character interaction was spectacular and the atmosphere realistic.

It was a gorgeous So Cal day when my brother and I decided to splurge on Avalon Cove due to the lack of other dining facilities open in the area. We were asked to fill out a "reservation slip" and come back in 10 minutes, then made to wait to be seated when we returned, despite the fact that there were literally only five other tables seated at that time! The indoor restaurant staff tried to encourage us to eat inside and were vocally disappointed when we chose to eat outside due to the weather. It was kind of strange, being made to feel guilty for eating outside on such a lovely day. I understand that the waitstaff inside the restaurant was probably not making any money in tips, but found it in poor taste that they were actively trying to solicit our business.

For a fixed price of $20, we were allowed to order a soup or salad appetizer, entree and dessert. I don't recall if drinks were included in the price.

I ordered the french onion soup which was far too salty, and the Lobster Cobbster which was nearly inedible due to the rubbery, fishy lobster and the overwhelming amount of bleu cheese included. I did enjoy the Peach Cobbler, however. The waitress was slow on refilling our drinks which was inexcusable considering the dearth of customers. However, at the end of our meal she brought us a plate of cotton candy. Odd, as we'd already had our dessert, but she gladly packaged it up for us to go. I would have preferred better food and service to the extraneous sugar, but it seemed like a nice gesture. I don't know if it's a regular feature, or if she offered it to assuage my brother who complained about his food (regretfully, I don't remember his specific complaint now.)

The one saving grace was the character interaction. I saw Chip literally babysitting two kids while their mother went to attend to other business. We had visits from Chip, Dale, Minnie, Donald and Goofy. All were attired in nautical garb - a nicely themed detail. Ariel made several appearances and waved at the diners while being towed on a wagon; it was kind of strange, as she made no stops and didn't directly interact with any of the guests. Goofy, on the other hand, led the child diners in a parade to pre-recorded music. Each child got to play along to the music with sea-themed instruments as they marched through the restaurant and danced in the big finale. The kids were in heaven and a few of them were absolute hams! Even though the customers were few, the camcorders were out in force for that little show!

We were seated on the water's edge, near California Screamin' - which, to be honest, was a bit loud and distracting. Overall, though, I did feel as though I were at a restaurant on an old-style California pier; in that regard, the Imagineers did their job!

 
3 out of 3 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   3 times between June & July 2002
Reviewer: tinagirl (cstevenson@socal.rr.com) Canyon Country, CA USA     August 05, 2002
Ok, this restaurant has a bad reputation, and prior to June, I would agree with it. I went when it was first converted from Wolfgang Puck to Characters, and it was hideous, but I always give a place a second chance. I went again in June 2002. Myself & my (two 21 year olds) friend ordered the Penne Pasta. The character interaction was great (mind you, that if you don't seem like you want to play, the characters will typically leave you alone, other than a photo op or two.) We got Boudin bread first. Then I got Chicken Noodle soup and she got French Onion. I really liked mine (especially since I had a cold) and she seemed to really enjoy her soup. Then we got our MASSIVE platter of Penne Pasta with a mildly spicy Marinara. We both loved it. We also got the cotton candy for free for dessert. Our server was attentive, and the character interaction was fun. We decided that it had a mildly adult feel, but the kids were having a great time, while being quiet. It wasn't as crazy as goofy's can be. We have since been back and had Penne Pasta once, and the Pot Pie once (very cheesy pot pie, but I liked it - tasted alot like what they used to serve at the Plaza Inn). None of the 3 times we have been there since have we had a poor experience. On my friend's birthday, the characters went nuts. Chip was her "birthday date", Goofy fed her some birthday cake, they danced with her, and everyone had a great time. We really love it, and if you don't want to go, that's fine...more fun for us. ;)
 
4 out of 5 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   July 19, 2002
Reviewer: Shannon Bay Area     July 21, 2002
Do not go to this restaurant! The only good thing about it are the characters. The food was awful and so was the service. The soup was cold. I had the onion soup and my husband and kids had the chicken noodle. No clam chowder was offered which should have been on the menu. The main dishes were bad. My husband didn't eat all of his hamburger it was so over cooked. I had a "shrimp" Cobb salad. There were about 12 pieces of shrimp. Had to ask for a refill on my iced tea. It was so weak I didn't drink it. No one liked the fries. The ice cream dessert was ok. This was the biggest disappointment of the whole trip.
 
6 out of 12 people found this review helpful
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