California,  Doing Disney

5 Reasons To Do Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends

I’ve been helping a lot of folks plan their first trips to Disneyland Resort lately, and I had one come back and tell me they had a not so great experience at a character breakfast. This made me sad, since I realized I hadn’t written a post and informed her about why we go to the one we do. Forgive me friends – hopefully it won’t happen again 😉

So today, I’m going to tell you 5 reasons why you should do Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends at Paradise Pier Hotel!

Nana and her Grandsons at Surf's Up!
Nana and her Grandsons at Surf’s Up!

1. Guaranteed Mickey Meet and Greet!

This is a huge selling point for us! Surfs Up! Is the ONLY breakfast at Disneyland Resort where you are guaranteed to see Mickey Mouse. Within moments of entering the restaurant, you’ll be escorted around the corner to get a photo with Mickey. He’s a popular guy and my boys favorite, so getting an opportunity to say hi is a must on our list. Because we had pre-purchased PhotoPass+, we received complimentary 8×10 photos from our meeting, and they offered to retake them if we didn’t like them. Nana even got her own picture with Mickey and her Grandsons!

Hugs from Stitch!
Hugs from Stitch!

2. The Elusive Stitch (and other favorites)

I have never seen the lovable Stitch from the film Lilo & Stitch any where in the parks. I’m sure with some real effort I could find him, but it was so easy having him show up at our table to give us all hugs and sign autographs! Though my youngest was a tad terrified of the big furry alien, my oldest adored him and he spent quite a bit of time at our table. We were also very happy with the other characters who popped by, including Pluto, Minnie Mouse, and Daisy Duck. Surf’s Up! is known for having the more popular characters in their rotation, so if this is important to you I recommend dining here!

It doesn't get better than Mickey waffles & bacon!
It doesn’t get better than Mickey waffles & bacon!

3. Buffet!

I understand buffets aren’t everyone’s thing, but our family loves them and this one did not dissapoint! We munched on Mickey Waffles with strawberries, crispy bacon, made to order omelettes, fresh fruit and various cereals. We drank orange juice, coffee and tasty strawberry banana smoothies! It’s not a cheap meal by any means, but you are more so paying for the experience then you are the food. Both my husband and I had two plates full and could have eaten more had we not been so busy taking pictures and meeting characters.

Playing with Pluto!
Playing with Pluto!

4. Relaxed Environment

This place is busy and you absolutely need reservations to get in (we went off season and they were fully booked on our morning.) We chose a 9am sit down time and there was plenty of fresh hot food available. We had a waiter who stopped by with hot and cold drinks through out and we never felt pressured to leave. The characters popped  by every ten minutes or so, many staying for several minutes. Pluto was an absolute highlight, getting down on the ground and playing with my three year old for a good five minutes. Because there was no line up behind us like you’d find at a character greeting in the park, we had lots of time to play – and that’s a wonderful thing!

Some love for Minnie Mouse!
Some love for Minnie Mouse!

5. No Park Time Wasted

We purposely booked our Character Breakfast for an off-park day. We tend to take one day off during the middle of our trip to sleep in, hit the pool and generally recuperate from the non stop busyness of the parks. By doing our character dining on this day, we were able to still experience a little bit of Disney magic while still resting. There are several Character Dining experience you can do in the parks, like Minnie’s and Ariel’s Grotto, but it’s not our style to use park pass time sitting at a long meal. You can also choose to skip waiting in line to see certain characters in the parks if you know you’ll be meeting them at a character meal.

These are just a few reasons we’ve chosen to dine at Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey and Friends at Paradise Pier Hotel. Many people have had wonderful experiences at other character dining locations, so it really depends on your taste and who your children want to see! For us, this one is a hit and we’d gladly go back!


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  • Shannon Fenton

    LOVE this post on Character meals! They are so fun – even for adults! I surprised my husband when we were in Disneyland by booking a character meal at Ariel’s Grotto because I love Princesses and we had the best time. He loved how happy I was and the Princesses were so great AND the food! I totally suggest doing a character meal at the Parks!

  • Brandee

    What a great post! Last time we were at Disneyland, we stayed at the Paradise Pier and I seriously considered doing this breakfast. We ended up not doing it because we got breakfast at the concierge level lounge with our room, and decided to do dinner at Ariel’s Grotto instead but this one sounds like a lot of fun. Next time we will be sure to check it out!

  • Jamie

    We haven’t done the breakfast, but did the Princess Lunch and it was fantastic for the same reasons. All my 3 yr old daughter wanted to do was meet princesses, and this was by far the best way to do that. Plus food! I like food. 🙂

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