If you’re looking to be warmed in your heart AND your belly, then consider booking the Plaza Gardens Character Breakfast at Disneyland Paris.
One of the most popular table reservations in the park, it boasts a buffet, characters, and a Victorian ambience.
So, gather your appetite, hold on to your Mickey ears and let’s take a deep dive into what it’s like to dine at Plaza Gardens Disneyland Paris. In this review, I’ll share my personal experience and all the tips you need including price, meal plans and getting that coveted reservation for breakfast or dinner.
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1. Plaza Gardens Ambiance and Setting
Where is Plaza Gardens located?
To get to Plaza Gardens, you need a ticket for Disneyland Paris (ie Parc Disneyland, the main park).
Travel down Main Street USA. When you reach the end, and before you get to the castle, take the path on the right through the landscaped gardens.
Even from the outside, Plaza Gardens is picturesque. The trickling fountain and red and gold antique sign guide welcome you to Main Street’s oldest building.
What is the décor inside Plaza Gardens?
Inside the Victorian-style building, you’ll find an homage to times gone by with antique mirrors, vintage tiles, and pink and green velvet drapes.
But if the Plaza Gardens character breakfast is starting to feel too fussy, think again. The general vibe at mealtimes is buzzy and casual. This family restaurant has a mix of tables and booths accommodating everyone from solo travellers and large families.
2. Opening times and booking a table
Plaza Gardens is one of 5 restaurants in Disneyland Paris that you need a reservation for, and one of only 2 character restaurants. That makes it especially difficult to book.
Let’s dive into the logistics of booking a table and at which times you can make a reservation.
What time are the meals served at Plaza Gardens?
You will need access to Extra Magic Time to book the 8:15 am sitting. Extra Magic Time is available to Disney hotel guests and certain annual passholders (ie Disneyland Paris Gold Pass).
TIP: Davy Crockett Ranch guests are asked to book the character breakfast only at the later sitting of 9:45 am.
How to get a reservation at Plaza Gardens Disneyland Paris
Currently, the rules for off-site guests booking Plaza Gardens Disneyland Paris are:
- Breakfast with characters at Plaza Gardens can be booked 3 days in advance.
- Lunch (non-character meal only) can be booked 2 months in advance.
- Dinner with characters can be booked 2 months in advance.
Currently, the rules for Disney hotel guests booking Plaza Gardens Disneyland Paris are:
- As soon as you receive your hotel booking confirmation, you can make a Plaza Gardens table reservation using the Disneyland Paris app.
- If you have a Disney Hotel + Tickets booking, you can also phone your holiday provider for a table reservation using the contact number on your confirmation letter (subject to availability).
What if I can’t get a reservation at Plaza Gardens?
You have other options if you can’t get a table reservation at Plaza Gardens using the app.
- Sign up for DLP tables. They will send you an email alert when a table becomes available.
- On the day, ask the restaurant if they have any tables available. Guests make cancellations; you may get lucky in person.
- Ask your hotel concierge if you are staying at a Disney Hotel. They will make a reservation for you as some tables are kept aside for hotel guests.
- Keep checking the app from 3 days before your trip for openings. Cancellations always happen, so it’s worth checking now and then.
- Read my full post on strategies for getting a table at Disneyland Paris, even when they are sold out.
3. Meeting Beloved Characters
Now we’ve come to my favourite part about dining at Plaza Gardens for breakfast – meeting the characters.
If you haven’t been to a character meal before, you’ll find it an experience quite unlike any other.
After you check into the restaurant for your reservation, a host or hostess will show you to your table. You can leave your coat or other non-valuables here while you visit the buffet counters.
While you are eating your breakfast, characters will be travelling through the restaurant, stopping to visit each table individually.
Which characters are at Plaza Gardens, Disneyland Paris?
The characters you normally will meet at Plaza Gardens during breakfast are:
- Eeyore and Tigger from Winnie the Pooh
- Pinocchio and his father Geppetto
- Smee and Captain Hook, the pirates from Peter Pan
- Occasionally, they will swap a character out for Pluto instead
The characters featured at Plaza Gardens during dinner sometimes vary. But you will usually see some of the Mickey and Friends characters and some from Winnie the Pooh. In total, you will meet 6 out of these characters:
- Mickey Mouse
- Minnie Mouse
- Donald Duck
Capturing magical moments
Meeting characters is part of what makes a Disney holiday so special. Even if you are not a fan, something about meeting a real-life Eeyore is something so magical it’s hard to put into words.
9 tips for interacting with characters at Plaza Gardens
- Make sure your phone is charged. There will be wonderful moments to capture forever.
- Children like having something to do while they’re meeting a character, so bring along something to sign. You can buy an autograph book, a Disney book, a canvas tote bag or even a pillowcase. My favourite is a photo mount for autographs like this one.
- Don’t forget to bring a pen if you’re getting signatures. The characters have big hands, so a Sharpie marker works best. Take the lid off for them – they will appreciate it!
- Before you meet the characters, have a quick think about something you can ask them. They love it when you have something to talk about. For example, I ask Minnie and Daisy how it’s going at their Bowtique shop. Mickey and I often chat about his clothes (he proudly tells me that Minnie makes them for him). Perhaps instigate a bouncing contest with Tigger, or tell Eeyore you’re glad he has his tail back on again. Believing in the magic is half the fun!
- If you or your child have a doll or T-shirt of the character, they will be very excited to see it.
- One thing all the characters have in common is that they love hugs! So, if you like hugs too, just put your arms out. It’s one of the best feelings in Disneyland Paris.
- The restaurant wants to make sure you have seen all 6 characters. So be sure to speak to a host/hostess if you are close to finishing your meal and haven’t met one of them.
- Keep an eye out for the characters, but don’t interrupt them when they’re with another family. They will give you their undivided attention when it’s your turn. You can wave to them to get their attention if they are bypassing your table.
- And finally, look out for sticky fingers. Keep a pack of hand wipes on the table for wiping away syrup and butter on your hands and between visits to the buffet counter. It will keep your autograph book clean, and make meeting a character a little nicer for the next person.
4. Cuisine and Quality
Although most people will be visiting for the characters, it’s also important to consider the food.
Plaza Gardens is a buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You will be shown to your table, and then you can help yourself to all the food you care to eat.
Food served at Plaza Gardens character breakfast
- Bread and pastries such as croissants and pain au chocolate
- Cereal and milk
- Scrambled eggs, sliced potatoes, beans, sausages and rashers
- Cold slices of meat and cheese
- Smoked salmon
- Mickey waffles, pancakes, and syrup
- A selection of fruit and yoghurt
Lunch and dinner dishes at the Plaza Gardens buffet
- Meat such as steak and chicken with sauces
- Baked salmon in lemon sauce
- Seafood such as prawns and smoked salmon
- Vegetarian dishes such as lentil salad, gnocchi and vegetable salads
- Sliced cold meats and French cheeses
- A selection of bread and butter
- Kids’ friendly plain rice and pasta. As well as Mickey-shaped potatoes (croquettes)
- Prepared salad such as mozzarella and tomato, coleslaw and cucumber salad
- A selection of make-your-own salads with lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet corn, mushrooms, boiled eggs etc and dressing
- Fun mini desserts such as macaroons, fruit tarts, chocolate mousse, chocolate Mickey cake, Mickey cheesecakes and fruit salad
What drinks are available?
There are hot drink machines situated at the back of the dining rooms at the Plaza Gardens character breakfast (coffee, tea and hot chocolate.) On the buffet counter is a selection of juice dispensers.
For lunch and dinner you may have Coke, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, FuzeTea, Minute Maid Orange and Minute Maid Apple. You can also request a bottle of water (still or sparkling) at any meal.
In the evening, you can also order hot drinks such as coffee, aperitifs, beer and wine at an additional cost (see photo above).
Is the food any good?
👱🏻♀️ MY EXPERIENCE: The breakfast food at Plaza Gardens is theme park buffet fare. It is designed to appeal to families with a wide variety of European tastes.
I found a nice selection at breakfast; the Mickey waffles are always a treat and the pancake machine was a novelty for the kids. Overall, the food wasn’t terribly hot, nor was it anything new and interesting. However, it was fresh, tasted good, and there was plenty of vegetarian options for me to eat on my solo adventure. On another occasion, I dined with my family and the kids were very pleased with their breakfast, piling their plates high with pancakes, waffles and pastries. My husband enjoyed the meat selection and unlimited coffee.
At dinner, we found enough to satisfy even my picky-eater son – plain rice, plain pasta and Mickey-shaped potatoes were a winner! He also ate some of the salmon and had some fruit. Both of my children liked the desserts best, especially the selection of sweets!
I also found a good variety of vegetarian food at dinner, and my husband enjoyed the steak and peppercorn sauce.
✏️ PRO TIP: The dinner has a better standard of food than breakfast, but it costs much more.
Dietary Options (Vegan, Gluten-free) and Special Requests at Plaza Gardens
If you have any allergies or dietary requirements, make sure to put them in the ‘special requests’ box of your reservation on the app. Or if you are phoning Disney or booking in person let your service agent know.
At the Plaza Gardens buffet breakfast, vegan options normally include:
- Croissants (if you request the vegan version)
- Baked beans
- Vegan sausages
- A selection of fruit
- Non-dairy options such as soy
✏️ PRO TIP: Vegan options are marked on the allergy card. You can also ask the chef, but the allergy card is more reliable.
At the Plaza Gardens buffet lunch and dinner, vegan options normally include:
- Vegan meat substitute
- A selection of salads, vegetables and vegetable dishes
- Plain white rice
- Mickey-shaped potato (croquettes)
- Pasta with marinara sauce
Gluten-free breakfast choices at Plaza Gardens include:
- Bread and muffins (gluten-free on request)
- Bacon, eggs and cooked meats
- Smoked salmon
Gluten-free lunch and dinner choices at Plaza Gardens include:
- Bread (gluten-free on request)
- Chicken, meat, and fish dishes (check labels)
- Vegetables, salads
5. Can I celebrate a birthday at Plaza Gardens?
If you are celebrating a birthday, Plaza Gardens is a lovely place to have a meal. You may order a birthday cake and the characters will be present to see it delivered and a special birthday song will be played.
If you would like to purchase a Mickey birthday cake, it currently costs €35. You will need to include it on the reservation you make in the app (see photo below). Find out more about Disney birthday cakes.
🤓GOOD TO KNOW: Can I bring my own birthday cake to Plaza Gardens?
Unfortunately, guests are not invited to bring their own celebration cakes to Plaza Gardens.
6. How much does Plaza Gardens cost, do they take meal vouchers, and is it value for money?
As of August 2023, the price for a meal at Plaza Gardens is:
- Breakfast with characters €50 adult / €40 child 3-11 years old
- Lunch (no characters) €45 adult / €25 child 3-11 years old
- Dinner with characters €80 adult / €40 child 3-11 years old
Plaza Gardens will accept meal vouchers, but in some cases, you will have to pay a supplement. For example:
- For the standard meal plans, half- or full-board, you will subtract €30 per adult from the price of the meal (i.e. your voucher is worth €30, and you will pay the difference).
- For the ‘Extra Plus’ meal plan, one character breakfast is included per stay, so there is nothing additional to pay.
Reasons why Plaza Garden is good value for money
- In busy seasons, meeting characters in the restaurant saves you from waiting long hours in a queue in the park to meet them.
- Meeting characters at your table can feel more relaxed and personal.
- If your family enjoys a wide selection of food, eating at a buffet means there is generally something for everyone.
- Having a sit-down meal can be great for tired feet. It offers a break while remaining inside the heart of Disneyland Park.
- The food selection is at a good standard for theme park food.
Reasons why Plaza Garden may not feel like good value for money
- If you are on a budget, it is far less expensive to eat at the quick service establishments.
- Having a meal takes 60-90 minutes out of your busy park day. You are also tied to eating your meals at a certain time as the reservation is fixed.
- It does not cost anything to meet characters in the park, so a character meal is an additional expense.
- If you don’t enjoy a buffet, you may prefer to eat from an a la carte menu at Capt Jacks or Walt’s Restaurant.
- The food is of above-average quality to appeal to most families. But, if you are not fussed about meeting characters, the buffet is superior at Downtown, Hunter’s Grill or Cape Cod.
👱🏻♀️MY EXPERIENCE: I think a character meal should be on everyone’s Disney bucket list. If it is your first time in Disneyland Paris, it is an experience you and your family will always treasure.
➕Pros: It’s fun for both a solo traveller and for a family, as the characters are happy to meet guests young and old. Children will especially enjoy meeting the characters, but as an adult, I enjoy the experience, too.
➖Cons: I wouldn’t pay to dine with characters every time I visit Disneyland Paris because it is very pricey for what you get. And if it is not comfortably in your budget, give it a miss. Good food can be found at the quick service venues, and you can meet characters in the park for free. If you are considering just lunch at Plaza Gardens, I honestly don’t think it is the best value for money without the characters.
7. Review of Plaza Gardens (and how to make the most of your time)
Plaza Gardens Disneyland Paris is a magical one-in-a-lifetime experience. Meeting Eeyore and having piles of Mickey pancakes is a dream come true. And an evening meal with Mickey and friends is equally heart-warming!
⭐My top dos and don’ts for Plaza Gardens Disneyland Paris
- To make the most of your time there, remember to look out for all 6 characters.
- Drinks are refillable, so don’t hesitate to have an extra beverage if you desire.
- Booking a later buffet breakfast means you can skip lunch.
- Bring something to autograph for a lovely keepsake of your experience.
- And don’t forget that adults are invited to believe in the magic, too. It’s what Walt Disney would have wanted.
Have you experienced a character meal? Or do you have any questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
➡️ READ NEXT: If you enjoyed this Plaza Gardens Character Breakfast review, you should also check out:
- Is PYM Kitchen worth it for YOUR family?
- What to Pack for Kids when going to Disneyland Paris for their first time
- Can an Annual Pass save you money? Here’s all the costs compared
- 17 clever Tips for First-Timers (number 11 even caught me out!)