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Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, editor
Mother's Day at Disneyland: Dining Options for 2002
Disneyland has always been a popular place to take mom to celebrate her special day. It's really a win-win situation. Mom gets to enjoy a day without having to work, cook or clean. The kids get to spend the day at Disneyland. (I think I sense an ulterior motive here....)  For other families, Mother's Day means taking mom to the Mother's Day Brunch at the Disneyland Hotel. It's a big, fancy event, and mom gets treated like royalty.

But, maybe you've done that before. Maybe you're ready for a new Mother's Day tradition for your family? We've got just the thing! The expansion of the Disneyland Resort has brought more Mother's Day Brunch choices. You'll find enough tempting ideas here to keep surprising Mom for years.

Disneyland Resort Hotels

Disneyland Hotel

Grand Ballroom: "Disney's Royal Buffet for Mother's Day"

For both traditionalists and first timers, Disney's Royal Buffet for Mother's Day in the Disneyland Hotel's Grand Ballroom is the classic--and by far the largest--annual event. The food is always quite good in this lavishly decorated theme buffet, with a wide selection to choose from, including carving stations, made-to-order waffles, salad bars, custom omelets, hot pasta stations, and baked goods.

Children enjoy their own buffet tables, sized just for them and filled with favorites for the little ones. The dessert tables are always the highlight of the event. Disney food artists are on display, ready to amaze you with their skills. One could spend hours watching them turn ordinary vegetables into amazing works of art. Disney Characters are available for photo opportunities, so bring your camera!

Reservations are suggested, although walk-in guests can be accommodated as space allows. If you think you might pop in without a reservation, avoid the busiest lunch hours of 11:00 to 1:00.

8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Adults: $52.00, plus tax and gratuity.

Children 3-11: $13.50, plus tax and gratuity.

Children under 3: Free.

Seniors: 10% discount applies to that person only.

Premium Annual Pass: 10% discount applies to whole party.

Includes: Complimentary valet parking at West Magic Way entrance, or validated self-parking at the hotel or Downtown Disney lots.

Call: 714-781-DINE.

Disneyland Paradise Pier Hotel

PCH Grill

Instead of a buffet, the PCH Grill serves their full regular menu, as well as a special three-course menu prepared by Executive Chef Chad Krahling.

Noon - 9:00 p.m.

Adults: $28.00, plus tax and gratuity.

Regular menu and children's menu will be available.

Call: 714-781-DINE


Practically Perfect Tea

For a change of pace, consider skipping the big meal and take mom to the Practically Perfect Tea at the Disneyland Pacific Hotel. A different take on the concept of Character dining, Practically Perfect Tea naturally stars Mary Poppins, and features Victorian place settings, a wide selection of tea, and singing visits by everyone's favorite nanny.

There are three sittings on Mother's Day, and reservations are still being accepted. Located on the second floor of Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, you can get to the Tea Room by entering the main Harbor Boulevard entrance, walking past the glass elevator, and taking the stairs to your right. The Tea Room is at the top of the steps.

10:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m.

Times subject to change, reservations essential.

Adults: $22.50, plus tax and gratuity.

Children 12 and under: $13.50, plus tax and gratuity.

Premium Annual Pass: 10% discount applies to whole party.

Includes: Validated self-parking at the hotel or Downtown Disney lots.

Call: 714-781-DINE

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

Napa Rose Mother's Day Brunch

Napa Rose offers a four-course Mother's day brunch featuring some of Executive Chef Andrew Sutton's favorite "wine country cuisine." This menu includes:

  • Tempura-fried squash blossoms stuffed with chennel goat cheese on spring vegetable ratatouille
  • Oak-roasted California striped bass with tomatoes, fennel and preserved lemon vinaigrette
  • A dessert of pistachio crusted brioche "French toast" with cinnamon orange ice cream and grand marnier caramel sauce

Valet parking is included in the meal. The regular menu will be offered for dinner.

11:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Adults: $45.00, plus tax and gratuity.

Children's menu available.

Premium Annual Pass: 10% discount applies to whole party.

Includes: Valet parking at the Grand Californian Hotel.

Call: 714-781-DINE

Storytellers Cafe Mother's Day Brunch

In addition to the full regular menu, Chef Ralph Stuhlmueller offers a special three-course menu featuring spring's best "home-style" dishes.

11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Adults: $28.00, plus tax and gratuity.

Children's menu available.

Premium Annual Pass: 10% discount applies to whole party.

Includes: Valet parking at the Grand Californian Hotel.

Call: 714-781-DINE

All of the following restaurants are located within Downtown Disney District. After brunch, you can take mom shopping at any of the many shops, or stop for a movie at the AMC theaters. (For more information on Downtown Disney, be sure to read my two-part series. Part One / Part Two)

House of Blues

Mother's Day Gospel Brunch

"Praise the Lord, and pass the biscuits." The Sunday Gospel Brunch is a tradition throughout the House of Blues chain. The Anaheim location has added a third seating for this Mother's Day because this popular holiday brunch has sold out in the past. The program is a mix of live music, from rock to blues and everything in between. The Sunday Gospel Brunch is an experience you must try at least once.

The food is a combination of traditional breakfast foods and Delta-inspired additions. The two-hour brunch includes pastries and muffins, prepared salads, chilled shrimp, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, barbecue chicken, prime rib and ham carving stations, omelet bar, cheese grits, bread pudding, sweet potatoes cheesecake squares, and more.

Show Times: 9:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:00 p.m.

Reservations essential

Adults: $34.00, plus $2.00 fee for phone orders.

Children 2-11: $18.00, plus $2.00 fee for phone orders.

Children under 2: Free.

Call: 714-778-2583, option 3, from 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen

Sunday Jazz Brunch

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen

In addition to their popular Sunday brunch, the Jazz Kitchen offers a special three-course Mother's Day menu. For the cost of an entree, diners also get a choice of appetizer, as well as dessert and a glass of champagne.


  • Gumbo Ya-Ya - Chicken and andouille sausage, smothered in dark roux and Creole seasonings, served with rice
  • French Quarter Salad - Mixed greens tossed with cane vinaigrette and cherry tomatoes.


  • Eggs Benedict - English muffins topped with Nueske Canadian bacon, poached eggs and a brown butter hollandaise, served with grilled asparagus. $19.99
  • Creole Seafood Cakes and Eggs - New Orleans traditional pan-seared seafood cakes with poached eggs, topped with Choron sauce. $20.49
  • Crabmeat Brie Omelette-Jumbo lump crabmeat and Brie cheese folded into a fluffy three-egg omelette and served with a tomato Florentine. $21.99
  • Stuffed Quail - Two petite quail stuffed with an andouille sausage stuffing. Served with a corn maque choux and a rosemary chardonnay sauce. $23.99


  • New Orleans Bread Pudding: Served warm with house-made whisky crÂme anglaise.

Call: 714-776-5200

Catal Restaurant

Mother's Day Brunch

Catal Restaurant

Catal offers a three-course menu, featuring a choice of appetizer, entr┌e and dessert:


  • Chilled summer melon soup with blueberries and vanilla-lemon verbena ice
  • Grilled shrimp Caesar salad with hummus in a crispy parmesan ring
  • Mixed green salad with an heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart, petit green beans, crispy onions and balsamic vinaigrette
  • Compressed salad of Manchego cheese, baby arugula, red delicious apples, dates, caramelized walnuts and pistachio vinaigrette
  • Crispy soft-shell crab with a salad of baby frisee, homemade pancetta, red potatoes and violet mustard-garlic chive vinaigrette
  • White corn soup with corn shoots and white truffle oil


  • Steak and Eggs – a Chateau beefsteak with scrambled eggs, garlic spinach, tomato fondue and B┌arnaise sauce
  • Grilled chicken breast on basil scented polenta cake, with rapini broccoli and roasted eggplant caponata
  • Smoked salmon on an onion bagel with cream cheese, tomatoes, olives and capers
  • Crispy wild mushroom strudel with grilled asparagus, baby spinach, pickled baby carrots and mushroom jus
  • Brioche French toast stuffed with white peaches and macadamia nuts, topped with clotted cream and pure maple syrup
  • Two poached eggs on a baked Yukon gold potato and bacon square, caramelized onions and red wine sauce


  • Rose-infused, white-chocolate mousse cake with braised berries
  • Turtle in a box
  • Fresh strawberries with an almond teacake
  • Selection of ice cream and sorbet
  • Vanilla, chocolate and pistachio ice creams
  • Mandarin, lemon and strawberry sorbet

10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Adults: 25.00, food only.

Children: $13.00, food only.

Call: 714-774-4442



If mom enjoys sports, a brunch at the ESPNZone may be her cup of tea. You can sit in wide leather recliners and enjoy the wall full of television screens, or dine on a selection of appetizers, pastas, sandwiches, entrees, and desserts. A full children's menu is available, and the upstairs Sports Arena provides games and activities for sports lovers of all ages.

Regular menu and children's menu served 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Call: 714-300-3776

The remaining Downtown Disney restaurants did not have Mother's Day menus available at press time. Please call the location for more recent information.

Rainforest Cafe
Call: 714-772-0413

Call: 714-776-6200

La Brea Bakery and Cafe
Call: 714-490-0233

Y Arriba Y Arriba
Call: 714-533-8272

Concluding our Mother's Day dining round up we offer a few suggestions about in park dining, at both Disneyland and California Adventure.


While none of the Disneyland restaurants are offering a special meal for Mother's Day, you may not want to take several hours out of your day to experience one of the hotel events. If your mother loves Pooh and Friends, consider the Breakfast Buffet at Plaza Inn. Quoting Kevin Yee's review:

Plaza Inn

This is the place to be! Though the buffet is expensive, it's got tons of food, and Winnie the Pooh walk- around characters. It's open until 10:30. 

I know one mom who can't stand the Pooh Characters. If your mom agrees, you can also take her to a nice breakfast at Carnation Gardens, one of the few table service restaurants in the park.

Another suggestion - get to the park early, and head for New Orleans Square to make lunch or dinner reservations for the Blue Bayou. Your mom will enjoy a table served meal in the unique Blue Bayou atmosphere. 

Prices are slightly lower at the Bayou for lunch if cost may be an issue, also that's the only time they serve the rather infamous Monte Cristo sandwiches.

Disney's California Adventure

Like Disneyland, none of the DCA restaurants (at press time) have planned a special Mother's Day meal.

Keep in mind that two of the park's upscale options from last year, the Mondavi Winery complex and Wolfgang Puck's Avalon Cove have been taken over by Disney and offer more standard dining fare.

It's a good idea to check with guest relations first thing upon entering this park as to which locations will be open, as operating schedules vary quite a bit.


Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix is the super-shopper behind MouseShoppe, your personal and unofficial shopping service for the Disneyland Resort, and the owner of CharmingShoppe, a Disney collectibles store located in Anaheim.

In addition to scouring the park to find you the latest and greatest merchandise, she keeps you updated on all of the merchandise events happening in the parks.

If you want to talk to her about this column, merchandise, or events, contact her here.


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