Ariel’s Grotto Review – Disney California Adventure/Paradise Pier

By | June 27, 2010
Overall Rating4.064.064.064.064.06
Food4.254.254.254.254.25
Service4.564.564.564.564.56
Atmosphere4.54.54.54.54.5
Price/Value3.753.753.753.753.75
Romance2.42.42.42.42.4
Suitable for Children4.944.944.944.944.94
Reviews of Disney California Adventure Ariel's Grotto Make a reservation at Ariel’s Grotto and prepare to take your seat at this royal repast hosted by everybody’s favorite Disney Mer-Princess, Ariel. A lovely meal gets even lovelier as you’re joined by some of Ariel’s royal friends, like Snow White, Belle, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. It’s an experience you will treasure forever.

Visit The Mouse for Less Ariel’s Grotto Menu.

Cuisine: American

Service Type: Character Dining

Price Range: $$$$ ($30 per person or more) *

Meals Served: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Paradise Pier

Please add your own review of Ariel’s Grotto in the comments below. Don’t forget to provide a Rating by using the Stars.

16 thoughts on “Ariel’s Grotto Review – Disney California Adventure/Paradise Pier

  1. Kristina Valcarce
    Overall Rating 55555
    Food 44444
    Service 55555
    Atmosphere 55555
    Price/Value 44444
    Romance 33333
    Suitable for Children 55555

    Who: Valcarce Family

    Where: Ariel’s Grotto, Paradise Pier, California Adventure

    When: June 10th, 2013

    What: Late lunch – 4:00 PM seating for the Princess Celebration Dinner. Includes: antipasto tray, sourdough pull-apart flower and dessert tray. A la carte: Pinot Noir, Red Stag Lemonade, Kid Spaghetti and Meatballs, Red Fish, Tri-Trip

    Approximate Price of Entrees: $163.29

    Rate the following 5
    Food: 4
    Service: 5

    Atmosphere: 5
    Okay for Children: Yes – especially Princess fans!
    Okay for Couples: Yes, but couples would probably prefer the World of Color Dinner Package

    Be Sure to Try: The shrimp and lobster salad that comes with the bread basket is terrific!

    General tips: This restaurant seems to be constantly in flux, but currently they’re having princesses at breakfast and lunch and World of Color passes at dinner.

    MouseForLess Tip: Unlike the WDW character meals, the photo package is NOT included. It’s about $30 extra. Bring your own camera and save yourself the expense.

    Extra Comments: We had four princesses come to our table and met Ariel in the lobby. However, we all liked the food at Goofy’s Kitchen better.

  2. Aimee
    Overall Rating 44444
    Food 55555
    Service 44444
    Atmosphere 44444
    Price/Value 22222
    Romance 22222
    Suitable for Children 55555

    We went here Sept. 2011. I took my daughter as part of her birthday present. We had lunch. I like that they offer this character meal for lunch. All of the other ones are only for breakfast. Doing this at lunchtime gave us time to get into the park, ride some rides and get some fastpasses before the meal.

    My daughter loved this meal because she is a little girl and loves princesses! I think the character breakfast we had at PCH grill was a better character experience though.
    Basically, you wait in a line on a staircase to meet Ariel. After the child meets Ariel, you are shown to your table. The waitstaff very quickly brings you bread and the antipasti tower. The princesses come by one by one and sign an autograph, and take a picture. The princesses were Snow white, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, and Cinderella. They are all very nice and sweet, but they do hurry off to their next table.

    The waitstaff flies around this restaurant in a hurried pace. The restaurant is beautiful, but the whole meal seemed a little rushed to me. They give the child crayons and an activity sheet when they get there, but they really have no time to color! It was basically, take a bite of food, take a picture of my daughter with a princess, take another bite of food, oh no, wait…another princess. Now, they are bringing the next course and I’ve barely gotten to eat anything on this one.

    The food was excellent. I just wish I could have enjoyed it in a more relaxed atmosphere.
    I got the herbed chicken and my daughter got pasta. The jello on the antipasti tower was really good as well as the salad. We never got a chance to get to the vegetable layer. The bread was really good too and they bring 3 different spreads/dips for it. All were excellent! The main course was good, but the best is the dessert plate they bring you! By this time, we were pretty full though. We sampled a little of each and then took the rest of the desserts in a to go box.

    Again, this is a great meal for little girls. Its just very fast paced. Since it was so expensive my son and husband didn’t do it. They weren’t really interested in meeting the princesses anyway! They loved the to go box we brought them though!

  3. Charity
    Overall Rating 55555
    Food 55555
    Service 55555
    Atmosphere 55555
    Price/Value 33333
    Romance Not Rated
    Suitable for Children 55555

    I have to admit I was a bit hesitant with this one. It was $36.99 for inside seating ( a few bucks less for outdoor) and it wasn’t an all you can eat buffet. But wow the food was DELICIOUS! They start off with a three tier thing that has salad, veggies, fruit, cheese, and salami. They also give you a delicious ring of sour dough bread (it was still warm and fresh) served with butter and/or a pesto sauce.

    The main dish was not a huge portion, but more than enough to satisfy you!

    I got the tri tip, with mashed potatoes and veggies. Everything was hot and tasted amazing. The tri tip wasn’t overcooked and very tender and juicy.

    My daughter got the herb chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies. I had a few bites of her chicken and it was also very tender and moist (and I am very picky on the moistness of my chicken).

    They announce all of the princesses before they came out. It was the standard: Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, and Aurora. You see Ariel right at the beginning. It would have been nice to see Jasmine, Mulan (is she even considered a princess?), or even Tiana!

    But we will definitely come to this character meal again.

    It’s spendy yes, but really you are paying for the character interaction without the long lines. And each one comes directly to your table!

  4. Kristina Valcarce
    Overall Rating 44444
    Food 55555
    Service 55555
    Atmosphere 44444
    Price/Value 22222
    Romance 33333
    Suitable for Children 44444

    Who: Valcarce Family

    Where: Ariel’s Grotto, California Adventure, World of Color package

    When: April 19th, 2011

    What: Dinner – glass of Mirassou Pinot Noir, Hefeweizen beer, Power berry mojito, Vegetable antipasti, Kid’s spaghetti and meatballs, Tri tip, grilled redfish, dessert platter

    Approximate Price of Entrees: $137.26

    Rate the following (1-5, five being the best!)
    Food: 5
    Service:5

    Atmosphere: [rating]
    Okay for Children: Yes – we ate overlooking the water and my 5 year old loved seeing the World of Color mechanisms.
    Okay for Couples:Yes – you can see all of Paradise Pier from here.

    Be Sure to Try: The grilled redfish with pineapple chutney was outrageous.

    General tips: We booked this dinner because it came with tickets for priority viewing for World of Color.

    MouseForLess Tip: This is an extremely expensive meal. No AAA discount.

    Extra Comments: Even with the priority viewing tickets, we should have gotten to World of Color earlier in order to get even better views. Also note: the World of Color dinner does NOT come with characters.

  5. Autumn
    Overall Rating 44444
    Food 33333
    Service 55555
    Atmosphere 44444
    Price/Value 33333
    Romance 11111
    Suitable for Children 55555

    My daughter and I visited in June 2010. She had the spaghetti and I had the vegetarian ravioli. The anti-pasto tower and the deserts were fabulous, but the entrees were only so-so. One of the best parts was being able to order a glass of wine and really sit down and relax in the middle of a hot day at DCA!

    The service was really great. There was a greeter gentleman who was very funny, and our waitress was sweet. The restaurant itself seemed kind of old, and the tables are really close together. (The gal seated next to me kept bumping my with her coat, purse, kids,…etc. Of course she never apologized.) But I gave it 4 stars for atmosphere because of the princesses. Honestly, that’s why everyone is there anyway. It was great to have them all come by the table one at a time, pose for pictures and say a few words to my daughter. It almost makes up for the $40 ravioli. This is not a romantic restaurant…it’s mostly a fun time for “princesses” of all ages. Keep your camera ready!

    A reservation is a must. Even with a reservation, we still had to wait almost 30 minutes for our table.

    Overall, if you want to meet the Disney Princesses, you should make a reservation. If that is not your priority, there are plenty of other places to eat.

  6. Glen Brown
    Overall Rating 55555
    Food 55555
    Service 55555
    Atmosphere 55555
    Price/Value 55555
    Romance 33333
    Suitable for Children 55555

    Loved the food there and the chef came out and made a special dish just for my son who has food eating disorders with autism. The anti-pasta tower was great & it had a really good hard cheese that’s not listed on the menu which the waitress told us the name which startedwith an M, but we forgot the name but have had no luck finding it to enjoy at home. Could you please add the name to the menu. The wait staff was excellent.
    Thanks.

  7. Josie
    Overall Rating 44444
    Food 44444
    Service 55555
    Atmosphere 44444
    Price/Value 44444
    Romance 22222
    Suitable for Children 55555

    What: I had the mac and cheese. I also got a root beer and some bread.

    Approximate Price of Entrees: unknown

    This resteraunt is for children.

    Be Sure To Try: Everything.

    General Tips: Sit outside for a good veiw of the lake, California Screamin’, and more atractions.

    The Mouse For Less Tips: I don’t know!!! I’m a kid!

    Extra Comment: If you are coming, it’s good to make a reservation. It gets busy often. It is better for lunch than dinner.

  8. Aldersons
    Overall Rating 33333
    Food 44444
    Service 44444
    Atmosphere 33333
    Price/Value 44444
    Romance 11111
    Suitable for Children 55555

    What: Cioppino, Filet of Redfish, and the kids Mac&Cheese (and a couple of martinis).

    Approximate Price of Entrees: $160

    the character encounters were excellent.

    Be Sure To Try: I really enjoyed the Cioppino (spicy seafood bowl).

    General Tips: Phone ahead for priority seating.

    The Mouse For Less Tips: The built-in character encounters can save a lot of time if your kids enjoy the princess and Ariel characters (time is money).

    Extra Comment: The food was excellent for park food and the service was great. Unfortunately the dining area was worn and dirty (food on the ceiling).

  9. Egan
    Overall Rating 55555
    Food 55555
    Service 55555
    Atmosphere 55555
    Price/Value 55555
    Romance 55555
    Suitable for Children 55555

    What: Lunch:We orderd one Kid’s meal for my 4 year old son with the chicken tenders and the apple crisp for dessert. I had a Salad as a starter, the burger and chocolate cake.

    Approximate Price of Entrees: for an adult and one Kid it was $55 including tax and tip.

    my son was shy about getting his picture taken with the princesses but he loved it. it is romantic as well.

    Be Sure To Try: The Burger, Chicken soup and Pasta.

  10. Mom and the kiddos
    Overall Rating 44444
    Food 44444
    Service 55555
    Atmosphere 55555
    Price/Value 55555
    Romance 33333
    Suitable for Children 55555

    What: Lunch – Tritip for adult and child.

    Approximate Price of Entrees: $35.99 for adults – total for 1 adult and 1 child with discount was $63

    Extra Comments: Menu has changed completely – and prices have gone up. Keep your camera ready. Daughter was disappointed that Belle was not included.

  11. Jette
    Overall Rating 33333
    Food 55555
    Service 22222
    Atmosphere 44444
    Price/Value 33333
    Romance 11111
    Suitable for Children 55555

    What: Lunch.

    Approximate Price of Entrees: $28.00 per person

    Be Sure to Try: Salmon BLT

    General Tips: Make reservation early.

    TheMouseForLess tips: portions huge, we ordered our desert in a box.

    Extra Comments: only received a 2 for service, forgot one of our meals, finally received when ready to go because of time limit, no apology, no discount. Food was excellent though.

  12. Memorial Day Couple
    Overall Rating 33333
    Food 22222
    Service 44444
    Atmosphere 44444
    Price/Value 33333
    Romance 11111
    Suitable for Children 55555

    What: Lunch. Ship-Shape Cheesy Onion Soup, Boathouse Salad, Surf ‘n’ Salmon B.L.T., Cove’s Chicken & Biscuit Pot Pie

    Approximate Price of Entrees: $27.99 per person

    Children (especially girls) will love being able to talk to the princess characters. Each character came by to each table and took pictures/signed autographs.

    Be Sure to Try: None. We really did not think the food was that good. The onion soup was okay, but I was the crouton that came with it was larger. The salad was ok. The fish in the Salmon BLT was a little tough, and the pot pie was not good.

    General Tips: We sat outside, so we had a great view of the water, but overall there really was not much scenery to look at.

    TheMouseForLess tips: None.

    Extra Comments: Only go to this restaurant if you have children that want to see the Disney Princesses, and then make sure you have the autograph books for the characters to sign and your cameras ready for taking pictures.

  13. Powell and Brinkley
    Overall Rating 55555
    Food 55555
    Service 55555
    Atmosphere 55555
    Price/Value 55555
    Romance 33333
    Suitable for Children 55555

    What: Ordered the fish and chips, kid’s mac and cheese, chicken caesar salad, and of course deserts

    Approximate Price of Entrees: $60 for 2 adults, 1 child

    Definitely a must for little girls who love the Disney princesses. My niece (age 2) loved that all the princesses came to her table to say hi and get pictures taken. The only downside is that for a child that age when she saw another princess in the area she tended to avoid the princess that was talking to her after the initial meeting. But this would be my recommendation for any family with children who love the princesses.

    Okay for Couples: Yes, only if you want to see the characters. This is definitely geared for the “younger” fan. No, if you’re looking for a quiet romantic getaway.

    Be Sure to Try: The fish and chips were exceptionally good and the chocolate cake is a must for chocolate lovers. For something different from the normal park food get one of the salads they have to offer. They’re all excellent.

    General Tips: Definitely call ahead for priority seating if you have a preference of time and location of your seats (inside or outside) and if you have an annual pass use it to save money.

    TheMouseForLess tips: Use the annual passport for a discount. Other than that there aren’t any MouseForLess tips offered.

    Extra Comments: This is probably the best place to come to have one on one time with all the Disney princesses. Other original characters (chip and dale, goofy, and of course mickey and minnie) did make appearances but they might not be there at all times. Call ahead for character availability if you’re looking for a specific character.

  14. Family of 4
    Overall Rating 33333
    Food 44444
    Service 44444
    Atmosphere 55555
    Price/Value 33333
    Romance 11111
    Suitable for Children 55555

    What: Kids macaroni & cheese plate with hot dog shaped like octopus, french onion soup, shrimp cobb salad, half-pound burger, rocky road dessert, peach cobbler.

    Approximate Price of Entrees: $75 for entire family

    Our girls (age 3 & 7) loved the fact that every Disney princess came to our table and took pictures with them & gave them autographs.

    This place is definitely for families with little girls, for that “magical” dining experience. There are far better restaurants for couples at the park.

    Be Sure to Try: Food was not too great. Our soup was lukewarm, everything was average, tastes like a typical “cafeteria” food. The kids LOVED their mac & cheese though, due to the presentation.

    TheMouseForLess tips: Don’t forget your annual passes for a discount.

    Extra Comments: This is a great place if you have little girls that love Disney princesses. Food is very mediocre and it is way over-priced. But it was well worth it to see the smiles on our little girls’ faces and their autograph books filled with photos & autographs without having to wait in a long line. This restaurant is definitely for the magical Disney character experience, you don’t come for the food.

  15. the6x
    Overall Rating 44444
    Food 44444
    Service 55555
    Atmosphere 55555
    Price/Value 55555
    Romance 55555
    Suitable for Children 55555

    What: Dinner

    Okay for Children: Yes, especially for the Character Meals
    Okay for Couples: Yes, beautiful outside seating with view of the pier

    Be Sure to Try: Chicken Caesar Salad

    General tips: Make priority seating for the character meals & be ready to get up & dance !!

    TheMouseForLess tips: don’t know any

    Extra Comments: There were plenty of characters, which I would call the “original” characters, who would come to your table and then would get you up to dance. If a character doesn’t make it to your table, just let the wait staff know….we had that problem with Minnie Mouse and she came and brought along Mickey and Pluto to do a family photo.

  16. The Walsh Family
    Overall Rating 44444
    Food 44444
    Service 55555
    Atmosphere 55555
    Price/Value 44444
    Romance 22222
    Suitable for Children 55555

    What: We had lunch. I had the salmon blt. The boys had the chicken and the Octo-dog

    Approximate Price of Entrees: $50 for a family of 3

    We had Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald, and Dale all come to our table…more than once! They and a captain also let the kids around the restaurant in a dance…and did the limbo with them!

    The food was good enough. It isn’t exactly a romantic get-away, though!

    Be Sure to Try: The salad was such a NICE change from theme park food!!!

    General tips: There doesn’t seem to be any problem getting in to Ariel’s Grotto…but if you strongly prefer to be inside or outside, you might want to include this when you make your PS call!

    TheMouseForLess tips: They’re going to charge you whether you order for everyone or not, so saving money isn’t an issue. One fun thing, they serve cotton candy for dessert!

    Extra Comments: I LOVED the convenience of having all the main characters come right to our table. We had an 11:30 seating, one of the earliest times. It was nice because we had the characters to ourself at first!

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