Gawsh: A Review of Goofy's Kitchenby Megan Walker, contributing writer
Character dining can certainly be hit or miss when visiting the parks. Most people partake in these dining opportunities for a semi-guaranteed chance to meet their favorite characters without having to wait in long lines, but they're not necessarily banking on having the absolute best meal possible. I personally don't visit character dining too often, but every now and then I'll make a reservation and I'm always very satisfied with the quality of food. I recently visited Goofy's Kitchen, located at the Disneyland Hotel at the Disneyland Resort, for brunch and had a great time. So while you might be overlooking character dining experiences now, you might want to rethink and perhaps book yourself a reservation next time you visit the resort.
Check In & Seating
We made a reservation at Goofy's Kitchen for about 7:30 a.m. The park opened at 9 a.m. that day, so figured we'd have enough time to sit, relax, and eat a nice big meal before heading into the park shortly after the immediate rush of guests. We showed up about 10 minutes before our reservation time and headed to the desk to check-in. There was no line, and the cast members working at the desk were very efficient. We checked in, paid, and then we headed over to get our picture taken with the head chef: Goofy himself! There was a small line to meet Goofy (in his chef outfit, too!), but it was only because he was being very interactive with every guest. Everything was moving quickly though; so quick, in fact, that the hostess called us to seat us just as it was our turn to get our picture taken. The hostess waited while we finished meeting with Goofy, and then led us off to our table.
The best part of any dining experience, of course, is the food, and Goofy's Kitchen definitely doesn't disappoint. We went to the restaurant for brunch so it was mainly breakfast foods with a few other "lunch" offerings. The breakfast portion had the typical fare: eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits & gravy, potatoes, pancakes, Mickey waffles, and even a custom omelet station. There was also a cereal station with a few different choices.
For the lunch options, there were a few different types of pizza (like breakfast burrito pizza, apple pie pizza, and S'mores pizza…but don't worry, there's traditional pizza too), chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and hot dogs. Goofy's Kitchen also offers a great selection of fruits and salads to round out your meal with some healthier options.
Finally, to finish it all off, the cherry on top, Goofy's Kitchen also has a large selection of desserts. Occupying its own larger station, the desserts are always varied and delicious. Ranging from cakes (I tried the root beer Bundt cake), to mini pies, to cookies, and even ice cream, I've never had a bad dessert at Goofy's Kitchen.
The characters that appear at Goofy's Kitchen these days include: Goofy, Pluto, Chip'n'Dale, and Minnie Mouse. Each character is in their kitchen outfits, as well; Goofy is the head chef with Pluto as his sous chef; Chip'n'Dale act as servers; and Minnie Mouse is the pastry chef. Each of their outfits fits this theme, which gives it a fun twist. The character interactions here are also fantastic; we noticed each character spending a good amount of time with each guest, while still moving throughout the restaurant efficiently, even with taking pictures, interacting with guests, and signing autographs.
Ambience and Service
The ambience at Goofy's Kitchen is really fun; everything is very bright and inviting and the décor fits in perfectly. It's exactly what you would imagine a kitchen and dining area to look like if Goofy was in charge of decorating it. The kitchen sits on its own in the middle, which helps the flow of traffic, as there's not a lot of foot traffic around the tables. The food area is also decently spacious, I've never been to Goofy's Kitchen where I felt overwhelmingly crowded trying to get food, like what occurs at some buffets. I also didn't find Goofy's Kitchen to be too loud, even though most guests are families with kids. It was definitely not a quiet restaurant, but I didn't find anything to be "too much" in terms of volume and business.
The kitchen staff was fantastic at keeping the food stocked, I never went for something that was out, or even running low, they definitely kept a close eye on things. Our waiter was very helpful and attentive. Although all the servers need to do at Goofy's Kitchen is clear your plates and get your drinks, they were all incredibly nice and helpful. They came by multiple times to refill our drinks and were always quick to help out if we needed anything.
Overall, we all had a really great time at Goofy's Kitchen. The service was great, the atmosphere was a lot of fun, the characters and their interactions were fantastic, and the taste and variety of food was very good. While I won't make character dining something I do every single time I visit the resort, I do plan on doing it every couple of trips. I enjoyed my brunch at Goofy's Kitchen and would absolutely do it again, and recommend you do, as well.