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“Ariel's Grotto World of Color Dinner Dining Package”
Review of Ariel's Grotto

Ariel's Grotto
Ranked #42 of 866 Restaurants in Anaheim
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Neighborhood: Disneyland
Bothell, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Ariel's Grotto World of Color Dinner Dining Package”
Reviewed January 8, 2014

We booked the World of Color Dining package for 5:50pm on 12/23/13. We arrived around 5:45 and were seated within about 3 minutes. I had indicated food sensitivites on our reservation and one of the chefs came out immediately and chatted with my daughter to come up with something she would like and could eat. I have teens but they really wanted the glowing drinks so the cast member let them order soda in the keepsake cups with the glowing Lightning McQueen and Ariel. I ordered a Pina Colava (Christmas specialty pina colada) and it was by far the best drink I have ever had - absolutely delicious. The atmosphere was nice, it was not too quiet or too loud and we had a lovely view of the bay. My daughter chose chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies. It was good, however, they were a bit over generous with the pepper so she wasn't able to eat it all. My son ordered the tri-tip lobster tail combo. He did not like the lobster - however, I ate it and it was fairly good ( a little tough). The tri-tip was a little over cooked but fairly good. I had the best luck with the sustainable fish (I think it was mahi mahi with macadamia nuts), it was delicious. My son and I had the crab chowder as our appetizer and it was absolutely delicious. The dessert platter was very nice and had many great small bites. They brought a lemon raspberry sorbet for my daughter which she liked very much. I ordered one other drink - a glowing blue drink which was fun but I was so stuffed that I should not have ordered it. It was fun to get the glowing cube though. The two drinks alone were over 22.00 so that was a bit crazy. The main purpose of this meal was to get the special world of color viewing tickets. We were not disappointed. The show was at 8:45 and we went over to the line up area at 7:45. Once we were let through, we went straight to the front railing, dead center and got the most perfect viewing spot. Although we had been warned that we'd get wet, there wasn't any wind and other than a few minor mists, we never got wet and had a perfect viewing experience. Overall this was a very good experience and I would likely do it again. Although it was definitely expensive for the food and drinks.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Dayna W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
317 reviews
151 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1,118 helpful votes
“OK food, industrialised eating”
Reviewed January 7, 2014

This is character dining packaged for the vast numbers of people who go to Disneyland. You need to book in advance, especially when it's busy. And some of it works pretty well. But it's clear at every stage you're being accommodated to a schedule and the waiters work hard to get you in and out to time so you're not encouraged to loiter.

The food was fine; surprisingly well cooked for a theme park which is usually 'burger fare' country. And the 'princesses' were a hit, especially with our youngest daughter who is still talking about seeing them and having photos with them (which I didn't buy - I took them myself). It's all saccharine-sweet but this is Disney - what do you expect?

The seating is hard and not that comfortable and I guess is to encourage you not to overstay your welcome and at $40 + tax + service a head none of this comes cheap. But then nothing at Disney comes cheap.

I can't agree with those who say diners inside get a better experience than those outside. They get the same experience, or at least did when we visited. So if you're travelling with young children who like Disney princesses and you have the money, you can do worse than this character dining experience.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank NBLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
102 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Pick Another Character Restaurant!”
Reviewed January 6, 2014

My family and I are Disney fans. This was our 3rd trip to Disney in the past 12 months, so we have a fair understanding of what to expect. However, we were surprised (not pleasantly) at what we experienced at Ariel's Grotto.

For the price, I would suggest Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel over this place. The restaurant has a very odd layout, the furnishings are blah, the service is rushed and the menu is awful. There are only 5-6 options on the menu for the adults, but lots and lots of alcoholic beverage options, which are not included in the $40+ dinner price. We had a $252 dollar meal for 2 adults and 3 kids (16, 14 and 12 years old). However, nothing felt magical at all. Even the princesses seemed blah and barely stayed at our table for 10 seconds even with asking to take photos. Our kids couldn't wait to get out of there.

I love Disney, but this restaurant is not up to the Disney standard!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
1 Thank javillane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“If I could rate lower than Terrible I would. Worst dining experience ever.”
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We had a lengthy wait to be seated even though we made a reservation months in advance. We were seated outside on the dirty patio and told that patio guests get the "same experience" as the people inside. Definitely NOT the case. We were also told if we wanted to be seated inside we would have to wait until later that evening to do so. The waitress wasn't friendly and seemed almost annoyed to be there in the first place. The kids meal consisted of half a hot dog boiled to look like an octopus, cold mac n cheese, and a few goldfish crackers sprinkled across the plate. The adult meal was quite the same just food thrown onto a plate. You know something is wrong when a 7 and 4 year old refuse to eat dessert. Over $200.00 for an awful meal and undeserved gratuity. Shame on you Disney. Save your money and see the princesses at the Fantasty Faire at Disneyland.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank jpat16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Don't believe the good reviews - they are wrong.”
Reviewed December 30, 2013

This is my first time writing a review for trip advisor. I understand the purpose of these reviews are to help those make sound decisions. I read the reviews of Ariel's Grotto before taking my own family there, hoping for the best - and really only hearing what I wanted to hear.

Let's hope this review stops others from making the same mistake we did.

First - the wait. As Seinfeld said, anyone can take a reservation. Well, they took ours, but did not honor it. We waited nearly an hour to be seated (and we were careful to time our reservation so that we'd have plenty of time before the World of Color - instead, we felt rushed and a bit anxious - who doesn't with small children!). What one reviewer said about the beeper was spot on - if I make a reservation at a $40+ price fixe restaurant, I expect it to be honored.

Second - the setting. It's a diner, not a true Disney-esque restaurant. Old feeling and just not what you would expect. After waiting so long, they sat us near the kitchen, and the magic that was described in the advertising was lost.

Third - the food. Tri tip was good, bread was better. Soup was lukewarm, salad was bland, udon was awful, no choices for kids, very limited choices for adults. I'm not clear what supports $41 (or even $21 for kids). And eat a lot of the bread - or you'll be hungry. They don't serve enough.

Fourth - the service. Our waitress was fine, but overworked. We hated to ask her for anything extra, as you knew she didn't have it to spare.

Fifth - the bill. Nearly $300 (included gratuity, but we gave her more just because we knew others likely wouldn't due to disappointment). What an incredible rip-off.

Sixth - preferred viewing promises. Yes, we got a spot in this area, but if you're not tall, don't do it. Go take the kids to see Fantasmic instead (you don't have to buy into the Ariel's Grotto or other dining options that come with the World of Color passes). Eat cheaper somewhere else, and see Fantasmic.

My husband said that Disney has 'jumped the shark.' We came here because we want to still believe in the magic, but experiences such as this will stick for a while and send us other places. Which is too bad, because we soooo want to believe the magic still exists.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
7 Thank MaryandChris2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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