Our First Trip to Disneyland
After a 2 week Disneyland Countdown at home, picking up our birthday girl from school and giving our birthday Disney puzzles to her friends, we drove down from Vegas to Anaheim. It’s not a far drive – about 3-4 hours – so the evening was perfect for a character dining experience at the Disneyland Resort, Goofy’s Kitchen.
I made reservations to Goofy’s Kitchen about a month in advance (although, in the middle of January, that wasn’t really necessary). After the drive from Vegas, checking in at our hotel (which was walking distance to the parks, etc), I wanted to use the evening before her first trip to Disneyland to introduce Alina to the some characters and get in the Disney spirit.
Turns out, I am really glad we had this experience. Sebastian (who is just shy of two years old) was terrified of the characters. He finally warmed up to Minnie, but she had to do some serious sweetness and endured a few nose squeezes. Goofy and Pluto never got within 2 feet of the boy, though.
Alina was, as expected, overwhelmed. She loved the character dining experience. Loved it. But I’m also glad she got her jitters out of her system… because we all know how sensitive this girl is.
There were characters everywhere! Walking from table to table, kids waited patiently and were rewarded with undivided attention. They also didn’t rush and leisurely took photos, posed and did their funny animated movements to entertain the kids. It was pretty magical.
Alina got to meet Minnie, Pluto, Goofy (of course), Chip and Dale, Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter (they were so funny) and a few other characters. About every 10-15 minutes a new one came by our table. I think Minnie took a liking to my little man because she came back for seconds and thirds. It was really sweet, actually.
My sister brought balloons and they added the perfect, extra touch of celebration… they sat in the middle of our table and immediately prompted our Disney friends that someone was celebrating. They also added for lots of fun in pictures. I would definitely recommend picking up a bunch in you are celebrating at Goofy’s Kitchen, too!To be very honest, I wasn’t impressed with the buffet. Perhaps Vegas has ruined my buffet experiences anywhere else, but the food was just okay. Not bad, in the slightest, but also not amazing. What I did love was the kids’ buffet! Goofy’s Kitchen is known for the wacky pizzas, and wacky they were! Macaroni and Cheese Pizza and Peanut Butter and Jelly Pizza were two of the wackiest. The dessert spread was also very yummy.
Alina got a chocolate cupcake for her birthday and a few Disneyland Birthday pins that she wore during our Disneyland trip. She was getting birthday wishes all day! (I hear you can pick up a birthday pin on Main Street in you’re there celebrating).
Overall, I really loved Goofy’s Kitchen and character dining in general to bring the magic of Disney even closer to your little one. Disneyland Resort was gorgeous – I hope to stay there one day! – and I would definitely go again. The price is steep, but for the experience, I think it’s worth it.
During our first trip to Disneyland, Alina met the Frozen Princesses, several other characters and even Mickey, but we didn’t plan any of those encounters. We didn’t stand in line to meet anyone (other than the Frozen girls!) and just went with the flow. That was exactly what I wanted! Having already experienced the character dining at Goofy’s Kitchen in Disneyland Resort, Alina wasn’t too worried about meeting anyone else. She got her Minnie fix, met Mickey in Toontown and all else was just icing to her Disney-loving cake.
I still can’t believe my girl is 4. She had such a great time during her Disneyland Birthday. We can’t wait to go back!