Disney Hotels

Character Breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen

A couple of weeks ago, our little fam took a short trip down to Disneyland to hang out with Matt’s cousin and her son, who were visiting from Alabama. Given their location, it was the son’s first trip to Disneyland and they did the whole shebang–Disneyland Hotel, multiple days in the parks, everything you should do if you are visiting from out of state. One of the things included in their vacation package was the character breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen. Since we had never done one before (at least not together) Matt and I decided to splurge and give it a go. I (naively, stupidly) thought that since Squirt and I spend so much time in the parks, he would be totally cool with all the characters. Yeah, not so much. He was not a fan, and spent the majority of the character breakfast curled in Matt’s lap (which made it difficult for Matt to take full advantage of the overpriced breakfast buffet). It will be a couple of years before we give the character breakfast another shot (the four year old loved it!) but here are some of the highlights, nonetheless.




Our reservation was for 7:00 am (probably part of the issue for Squirt since he is a super special unicorn toddler and sleeps till 9 or 9:30 every day). I hate waking up early, but this was a really good time to go for the character breakfast because it wasn’t super crowded. The characters spent a lot of time at our table since it was pretty empty, so if you want some good interactions, get there early. Before we were seated, we got to pose for a picture with Pluto (Goofy was stationed in this spot for most of the rest of the morning).

After posing with Pluto and Chip, Squirt was pretty done with the whole character deal so we didn’t get a whole lot of family photos after that.

I managed to grab a selfie with Minnie, who loved my ears. She was the cutest in her little chef/baker outfit.

Then it was time for breakfast! Goofy’s Kitchen is a buffet, and they had all the breakfast foods you could want: eggs, bacon, pancakes, French toast, fruit, and of course, the Mickey waffle. Because Squirt was so clingy during breakfast, Matt and I didn’t get to sample as much as we would have liked (definitely don’t think we got our $45 worth of food, but whatevs…I did shove some bananas and cookies in the diaper bag on the way out). But the Mickey waffles were delicious, as always.

When our waitress asked if we were celebrating any birthdays, I don’t think she was prepared for us to say we all were, but it was true! Both the little dudes had birthdays in June and the adults all in July, so they were kind enough to bring us five Goofy birthday cupcakes. Sadly, we left most of our cupcakes on the table since it was a little early for cupcakes (especially after a breakfast consisting mainly of waffles).

While we did see quite a bit of Minnie, Chip and Dale, and Pluto, we only really saw Goofy as he was on his way in and out of the kitchen. The characters did do a cute little dance, but it was in the main room, and we weren’t seated there so it was hard to see. All I managed to get of Goofy was this blurry shot as he was passing by our seats.

So obviously the character breakfast didn’t go quite as planned for us, but I did learn some tips for next time. We went with the Goofy’s Kitchen option because it was included in our family’s package, but I think the Plaza Inn and the character breakfast at Paradise Pier (from what I have seen online) have a few more characters. We didn’t get to see Mickey at all, which was kind of a bummer. One thing I really liked about the character breakfast was the fact that the characters were really good about staying away from Squirt once it was clear he was not into it. They still interacted with our little cousin (the four year old), but made sure they weren’t getting in Squirt’s face in the meantime. I’m sure they deal with scared kids on a regular basis and they clearly know how to handle them.

If you are considering a character breakfast, I would make sure your kids are at the right age, I think four or older works best. Early mornings work great for lots of face to face interaction, but really take some time to look at the characters who tend to come to each place and pick the ones you want to see.

Have you done a Disneyland character breakfast before? What was your experience like?

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Sponsored Post: Grand Legacy at the Park Hotel Review

This is a sponsored post. I was compensated in the form of a discount, a product, and/or monetary compensation to write this post. All opinions are my own.

At least once a year Matt and I do an adults only trip to Disneyland. While I obviously love sharing Disneyland adventures with Squirt, there are things we can’t do in the parks with him there. And Mom and Dad need a break every now and then, ya know? This year, Matt and I ventured down to the Grand Legacy at the Park hotel for a belated birthday/anniversary trip. The Grand Legacy has actually been a family favorite for many years as the Ramada Maingate, but is now operating as an independent hotel and has undergone some major renovations. Probably the biggest selling point of the Grand Legacy is its location. It is literally right across the street from Disneyland and literally a ten minute walk from the hotel to the security checkpoint. Literally. (I really want to stress that point since so many hotels claim to be within walking distance of the parks and they definitely are not.) It was really nice to be able to walk straight to the park without getting on a bus or a shuttle, and I honestly think the distance from the Grand Legacy to the park entrance is shorter than from the Paradise Pier Hotel (which is a Disney property hotel). So location is a huge plus, and probably what most guests are paying for.

The Grand Legacy at the Park has some really lovely features, so we’ll start with the good. The pool is located at the center of the property and it is an awesome pool for kids. It has a bunch of these water games and a splash pad, along with a sloped entry and large wading area (only one and a half feet deep). For adults, the pool features a small bar selection and plenty of lounge chairs and tables. Matt and I spent a couple hours just sitting in the wading area, drinking some dranks. Though this was not a family trip, we both noted how much Squirt would love this pool.

Right outside the lobby of the Grand Legacy is a row of small shops. There is a pizza place, a small market with snacks, toiletries, and souvenirs, and a ticket/tour shop. Coming soon, there will also be a taco place and an ice cream shop. It is really nice to have these options so close to the hotel (a two minute walk from our room). It’s always good to have food options outside the park, and I personally love the convenience of the Alpha Mart for forgotten necessities or a quick snack.

One of the main reasons I was pumped to stay at the Grand Legacy was to have a chance to fully check out The Fifth, their rooftop bar and lounge. I was invited to the press opening of The Fifth and was (mostly) impressed with my experience, so I was looking forward to a second chance to check out the space. I will have a full review of The Fifth coming soon, but suffice to say, this is an amazing spot to check out the Disneyland fireworks without having to deal with the crowds. They even pipe in the Disneyland Forever music so you get the full experience.

Another thing we really enjoyed at the Grand Legacy was the free breakfast. If you are doing a full Disneyland trip, a free hotel breakfast is a huge bonus. Breakfast at the parks can be both crowded and pricey, so to have the option to eat at the hotel is awesome. We did the breakfast one of the days we were there and really enjoyed it. The only downside to the breakfast is that it has really early hours (6:30-9:30), which is great if you are heading out to the parks at opening, but kind of a bummer if you are planning on sleeping in (we actually missed the breakfast window on our last day, but it was worth it to sleep in without being woken up by a toddler!). (Also, please ignore the bite out of the doughnut…I was hungry.)

Some other pluses of the hotel were great wifi (which seems to be few and far between at hotels) and accessible parking. The option of adjoining rooms is also really nice if you are traveling with a large group.

Now, for the not so good. If you check out the Grand Legacy’s photo gallery on their website (which I obviously did as I was preparing for this trip and review) you will see beautifully renovated rooms. The bathrooms in the photos have large tubs and granite counters and are super modern and enticing. If you read the info on their website, you will learn that certain buildings of the hotel and some rooms have recently been renovated. What they don’t mention is that many (most?) of their rooms have not been recently renovated. I opened the door to our room expecting a gorgeous bathroom (and was planning on taking a kid free bath) and instead found a totally mediocre and outdated bathroom.

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Wah wah. I totally understand that when a hotel is undergoing renovations it is a process that takes a long time. However, it should then be made very clear when booking that the room has not yet been updated (like don’t get excited about those pictures because that is not what you will be getting). At no point was I told that we would be staying in an unrenovated room, not upon booking or checking in, and a heads up would have been nice.

In terms of the rest of the room, I appreciated the large space and the fact that there was a mini fridge and a microwave. Those are both bonuses in my eyes, and things I really appreciate when we are traveling with Squirt.

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As a frequent traveler, I am all about transparency. I can deal with pretty much anything if I am prepared for it. In the grand scheme of things, an outdated bathroom didn’t affect my trip at all. I mean, we were there for the park, not to spend time in the room. But because it wasn’t what I was expecting, it felt like we were being cheated somehow.

In terms of off property hotels near Disneyland, the Grand Legacy has a lot going for it, the main thing being its location. It is definitely the easiest commute to the parks that I have had at an off-site hotel and that is a big selling point. In my opinion, the price for an unrenovated room is pretty steep, but I can definitely see how it would be worth it for an extended family vacation. The location, breakfast, and pool make this is an awesome choice for a family Disneyland trip and I would 100% consider staying here again with Squirt.

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Take a Look at The Fifth Rooftop Bar and Lounge in Anaheim

On Wednesday night, I was invited to attend the grand opening press event for the newest in Anaheim entertainment, the Fifth Rooftop Bar and Lounge, which is atop the Grand Legacy Hotel (where Matt and I will be staying next month for my birthday trip to Disneyland). The Fifth is the only rooftop bar in Anaheim, which is crazy because it is definitely an awesome place to have a rooftop bar, as you have amazing views of the Disney parks. That is the main selling point of the Fifth, the incredible views, but they also have some tasty beverages and small bites.

Here is their menu of specialty cocktails…

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…and their champagne cocktails. Any bar that has a separate menu for champagne cocktails is okay by me!

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My Disney bestie Brianna accompanied me to the event and she sampled the That Old Rye. I am not a whisky/bourbon girl so it didn’t sound appealing to me, but Brianna liked it (though apparently it was a little sweet for her liking). I had the Champina, which tasted like a pina coloda with champagne in it. And yes, it was as delicious as it sounds. The only problem is I could have easily had ten of them before realizing I was all of the sudden drunk. I didn’t actually do that…this time.

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While we enjoyed our cocktails, we took in the amazing view of both Disneyland and California Adventure. There is a glass wall up around the edge of the bar so the views are pretty unobstructed.

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the fifth oc

The Fifth also offers some small bites to snack on. We tried the tater tots, and they were pretty yummy.

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The main event of the evening was the Disneyland Forever fireworks viewing. The Fifth has an amazing view of the show. Honestly, I don’t even think you get a view like this if you are at one of the hotels on Disney property.

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the fifth oc

The only downside to watching the fireworks from the bar is that you don’t get the music (though they did have a DJ playing it at the event, I’m not sure if that is a nightly occurrence). But you get to enjoy a cocktail while you watch, so that definitely makes up for the lack of music (in my mind).

In general, I was very impressed with the ambiance of the bar, and the cocktails and food that we tried. The main downside for me was that there were quite a few kids in the lounge area. I understand the clientele for a hotel in the Disneyland area is going to be families, but for me, if I am going to be hanging out at a place that brands itself as a bar, I’m expecting to be able to enjoy some adult conversation. The Fifth has some large lawn type games set up, which would totally be fun to play as an adult with friends, but with kids around, they were the ones playing them, and rather loudly. The service was also a little bit on the slow side, though I think that is to be expected at any new bar or restaurant. Everyone on staff was very friendly and helpful when you were talking to them and ordering.

Since we already have plans to stay at the Grand Legacy in July, we will definitely be making a trip up to the Fifth again. I’m hoping they will have tightened up on service at that point, but really we will be going there for the drinks and the fireworks. At this time, it looks as if the Fifth is only going to be open to hotel guests staying at the Grand Legacy, though that could definitely change as the bar becomes more popular. I will be sure to include my thoughts on my second trip to the bar in July!

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Restaurant Review: Hearthstone Lounge at Disney’s Grand Californian

Hey y’all! I hope if you have only learned one thing about me it is that I love Disney and drinking. I guess that’s sort of two things, but you know what I mean. So I obviously seriously love drinking at Disneyland. It’s interesting as someone who grew up going to Disneyland because before California Adventure opened, there was no opportunity to drink in the park. And since Downtown Disney is also relatively new (not really, but in terms of my youth), there was no booze in your Disneyland trip unless you were going to one of the hotel restaurants or bars. So to now have plenty of opportunities to imbibe while at Disney is awesome, to say the least.

I digress. One of my favorite places to drink at Disney is Hearthstone Lounge at the Grand Californian. I love this place because they have great drinks, some yummy appetizers, and lovely air-conditioned seating. During the summer in particular, Hearthstone is a great place to relax in the middle of the day when the heat is at its peak. There is lots of seating, I have never had a problem getting a table, and it is nice and cool. It is also one of the few places you can find a TV at the resort, so if there is a big game on, you can head to Hearthstone to check the score. And now for the goods! Here are just some of the delicious offerings from Hearthstone…




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Restaurant Review: Napa Rose

If you are at all hungry, you might want to avoid this post. Instead of doing Christmas presents for each other, the hubs and I decided to put present money into a really awesome date night out. After checking out the plethora of fancy restaurants in LA, I stumbled upon the duh choice: Napa Rose. It’s delicious, it’s Disney, and it’s on my 30 by 40 list. Bingo! I made our reservation toward the end of December and the first available date that worked with our crazy schedules happened to be Valentine’s Day weekend. We’re not big on V-Day, but it worked out to be a nice weekend to go. So we sent Squirt off to Grandma’s and headed down to the OC. We got there a little early, but the hostess informed us we could go get a cocktail on the patio. I had never noticed the patio before, even though you can see it from California Adventure. It has a fire pit and quite a few seats and there is a server stationed out there. Apparently it is open seating so you can go enjoy a drink there even if you aren’t eating in the restaurant. We will definitely be hitting up the patio in the future, especially during the summer.

Anyway, we were shown to our table pretty quickly and our waitress came over and explained the concept of the menu, which changes on a regular basis depending on seasonal offerings. We were pretty entranced by the menu as everything sounded delicious.

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The hubs finally decided on the filet, which he was kind enough to give me a bite of. It practically melted in my mouth…

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I went with the pork, for two reasons: one, I like pork. And two, it came with a bacon tater tot. We joked that the next time we were going to have a date night we were going to order a dozen tots and a bottle of wine. And if they would let me, I totally would.

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We also shared a side of the truffle mac n cheese, for obvious reasons. It was as delicious as you would expect.

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The one thing I wasn’t 150% impressed with was the dessert menu. I was in for the splurge so I was hoping for something really decadent and everything was pretty light. We ordered this apple pecan goodness and it was tasty, but not the best dessert I’ve ever had. I prefer chocolate. Always.
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Everything at Napa Rose is pretty flawless, from the service and the drinks, to the amazing food. We are clearly not going to be eating there on a regular basis given the hefty price tag, but it was a pretty awesome choice for a special date night out. I would highly, highly recommend eating there at least once if you can. It is worth the splurge!

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Disneyland Food and Drink Checklist

We all know one of the best parts about visiting the Disneyland Resort is the noms. There is so much delicious food at the parks and the hotels that it is hard to decide what to try first.  So I, being the selfless giver that I am, have decided to take on a challenge of sorts. I am going to be sampling some of the most popular foods (and drinks!) available to guests at the Disneyland Resort (both theme parks and hotels). Some of these are items I have already had, but many are not. I put together this list by going through the menus of all the different restaurants and seeing what looked good. I also thought about some of the most popular Disney food items (Dole Whips, pretzels, etc.) and added them as well. I am going to be bringing my list along with me when I go on my trips and will eventually sample every item listed (so long as they remain available, as Disneyland is ever-changing). I’ll offer you my thoughts on the items as time rolls along, and then when I have completed my task, I will offer you my favorites.

Here a peek at the list I will be using to guide my task…

If you want to get crazy with me, feel free to download my printable Food and Drink brochure! I printed mine out on cardstock (make sure you use two sided printing) and folded it to make a cute little brochure that will be easy to stash in the diaper bag or in my back pack.  By the time you read this, I will have already crossed a couple of items off of the list! Follow me on Instagram, @adisneymomblog, for updated pics and check back often over the next couple of months for updates!

You can click here to download the brochure! 




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Hotel Review: Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel

This is a sponsored post.  I received compensation in the form of payment, a discount, or a product in exchange for writing this post.  All opinions are my own.

As you know, the hubs and I ran the Disneyland 10k Labor Day weekend (and we made it!).  If you have ever run a Disney race before, you know it is pretty much essential to stay at one of the local hotels the night before your race (unless you live super close, which we do not).  I was really excited to have the opportunity to stay at the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel as it is one of the most beautiful hotels you drive by in the Disneyland area.  I’ve stayed at quite a few hotels in the Disneyland area and this one definitely felt the most “Disney”, in terms of both looks and quality of service.  And it turned out to be the perfect place to stay for a Disneyland run!


If you are a Disneyland frequenter, you have no doubt traveled by the Majestic Garden a time or two (when I was telling the hubs where we were staying, I described it as the “castley looking one” and he knew exactly what I was talking about).  I have always wanted to stay there because it looks like something out of a fairy tale and I have to say, it is even better on the inside!

The outside of the hotel reminds me of being in Fantasyland.  I love the brick and the chalet style buildings.  This courtyard was directly outside of our room.  I mean, could there be a better place to sit and have a cup of coffee in the morning?  (Sadly we didn’t get to do that, since you know, we were like running the whole morning, but we enjoyed the view nonetheless.)

 Inside the rooms feels just as royal as the rest of the hotel.  The headboard was so cool and sparkly, I was looking for a way for it to fit in my suitcase.  I was also a big fan of the purple draping on the side of the beds.

Another plus inside the room was the amount of space.  We traveled without Squirt this time since there was nowhere for him to go during the race, but had he been there, we would have had plenty of space for his travel crib, which is awesome.  I am also a big fan of having a table in a hotel room so you don’t have to eat in bed.  Inside the cabinet under the TV was a mini fridge, which is essential when traveling with a kids, and a nice bonus when traveling without.

The bathroom was nice, nothing special, but it certainly got the job done.  And seriously, my shower after the race was one of the best in my life.

We had a great time hanging out at the pool the evening before the race.  There were these awesome cabanas set up, which I thought was a really nice touch.  We sat in the hot tub for a while to help relax our muscles before the 10k and it felt amazing.

Bonus?  The pool has an outdoor server so we were able to not only order drinks, but have them delivered right to us in the hot tub.  It’s the kind of service you get at a luxury hotel, but the Majestic Garden is actually very reasonably priced.

Some other awesome amenities offered at the hotel are a free Disneyland shuttle (though it is also a short and easy walk to the park), a full service restaurant, and a quick service deli.  For me the best part about the hotel was the gorgeous setting.  The grounds were so beautiful and the rooms were decked out for the most discerning of royals.  The only downside for us was that we only had one night to stay and enjoy the hotel!  I would 100% stay at the Majestic Garden again, especially for a runDisney race trip (the walk from the hotel to the corrals was about ten minutes and served as the perfect race warm up).  From the moment we entered the hotel to the moment we checked out, we had a great experience.  I’m looking forward to my next trip there, spending a little more time exploring the grounds and enjoying all the amenities the Majestic Garden offers!


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