Friday, May 23, 2014

Lunch with the Princesses at Ariel's Grotto

On our second day in Disney, first day in California Adventure, we had set up to have lunch with the princesses, and specifically Ariel.  In the parks, you can wait up to an hour or more in line just to see one princess and some people argue that it's cheaper than paying to eat with them.  When you think about it, you pay to be in the parks and if you spend 1/4 to 1/2 of your day waiting for princesses, you end up spending the same amount, so why not get it done more quickly and enjoy food at the same time?

Obviously, since Disneyland is much smaller than Disney World, the dining opportunities including characters aren't as plentiful.  There was only one which featured the princesses and that was at Ariel's Grotto.  You didn't have to tell me twice that this was one of the character dining experiences that we would be doing.  I know how popular eating with the princesses has become so I made sure to be on my computer to reserve a spot first thing in the morning exactly 60 days prior.

Izzie and I dressed in matching purple Ariel outfits for the occasion.  Don't worry, she'll be sporting my own handmade Ariel Halloween costume when she's big enough and an Ariel themed birthday party is on the books as well.  When you arrived at your appointment time, they put you in a line leading down a staircase to meet with Ariel. 

She LOVED Ariel!  She literally couldn't stop hugging her.

Brady wasn't immune to her charms either.

Group hug!

We were the last ones in line so she took her time with the kids.

Signing both Brady's autograph book and on Pinterest I saw an idea to have the princesses sign their stories in a book.  The Easter Bunny brought Izzie a Disney Princess story book so she could have them all sign and remember them every time she reads their stories.

We got a beautiful outdoor spot on a covered patio that extended out over the water so we could enjoy the sights of Paradise Pier.

Andy took this shot of Izzie with Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty) in the background, kind of showcasing that she didn't know what was about to happen.

Belle came to us next.

Snow White

Brady showed no lack of enthusiasm as he watched the princesses in movies long before Izzie was born, thanks to my extensive DVD collection.  He kept trying to get her to meet up with him later.

Cinderella was the last princess to come to our table.  Brady tried to get her to meet up with him later and she let him down gently, by telling him she was already married.  He's definitely a charmer.

Can you tell how happy Izzie is?

The character dining might be on the pricier side (but honestly, we could spend $50 on a quick service meals for the whole family in Disney), but they pull out all the stops when it comes to the food.  The price tag is the same no matter what you order because you're paying for the experience just as much as for the food, and everything is amazing.  Andy had a lobster salad and I had a nice chicken breast in broth with noodles and veggies.  The kids both had mac and cheese, but it had goldfish mixed in to go with the undersea theme and Brady's had a hotdog cut to look like an octopus.  Then came dessert.  The kids got a trio of jello with whipped cream, a cookie, and a chocolate covered strawberry.  Ours was a trio of creme brulee, a s'mores bar, and a chocolate covered strawberry with a strawberry coulis over top.  It was all delicious!

My kids love fruit and Izzie couldn't wait to devour the chocolate covered strawberry. 

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