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Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

When visiting Hawaii, the Polynesian Cultural Center, located on the northern shore of Oahu, is a must-see to fully experience the cultural diversity of the Pacific Island community.

The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is a Polynesian-themed theme park and living museum, featuring six Pacific Island villages, exhibits and activities. The PCC offers an authentic luau dining experience and award-winning evening show “Hā: Breath of Life”, making it an all-day educational and entertaining experience that is perfectly suited for the entire family.

Set on 42 acres, tThe six island villages representing the unique island cultures of Hawaii, Fiji, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga, tied together by a vibrant daily Canoe Pageant.

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center

Arrive early and visit the Hukilau Marketplace 

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

The Hukilau Marketplace is located outside the PCC and is packed with food stalls and souvenir stands. It opens at 11am and is free to enter – and the parking is free, too. Inside the PCC the food options are snack stands or the luaus, so if you need proper food and aren’t doing a luau or want lunch, the Hukilau Marketplace is your best bet.

Hit up the Polynesian Cultural Center when it opens

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultual Center Oahu Hawaii

The PCC opens at 12pm but most people arrive a few hours later, which makes it hard to fit in all the activities. Arriving at 12pm not only means that you have enough time to experience everything, but also that the first few hours are free of crowds.

Grab a Passport to Polynesia for kids

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

A great way to engage kids, the free Passport to Polynesia is a guidebook to the PCC aimed at little ones.

Look at the schedule – and don’t freak out

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

If you’re a planner and organiser like me, looking at the very detailed schedule of events at the PCC is likely to cause a panic attack. Take a few deep breaths and head around the villages in some kind of order, knowing you will see a lot but not everything, and be ok with that.

Each village alternates a show with activities. We found that you can participate in the activities after the shows, so timed our visits to each village in time to see the shows and then do a quick activity or two before heading to the next. The villages are open from 12-5:30pm.

Go native!

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

The real fun at the PCC is trying your hand at traditional activities such as throwing a spear or learn to cook in an umu (Samoan aboveground oven).

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

We particularly loved learning the Tahitian dance, twirling poi balls and sampling the incredible Tahitian coconut bread. It was so good we went back twice. The “Go Native” experiences let guests try traditional Polynesian aspects of daily life, including games, crafts, cooking and ceremonies.

Take a canoe ride

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

The canoe ride is included in entry and goes from one end of the PCC to the other. You can also paddle your own canoe at the Tongan village. Canoe rides are available from 12-5:30pm.

Watch the spectacular canoe pageant

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

The canoe pageant, which runs daily from 2:30-3pm was a highlight for us. The show is filled with dancing and storytelling, with the cast in incredible traditional dress. We were absolutely wow’d. Note: go to the platform seating area at least 15/20mins ahead of the pageant as otherwise you could struggle to find a seat.

Talk to the performers

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

We highly enjoyed chatting with all of the amazing people who staff the PCC island villages. Many are students from the islands who are studying at the university next door and perform at the PCC as part of an exchange program.

Be prepared for the weather

It can be hot, cold or raining, and the show will go on. Bring a hat, plenty of water and sunscreen and a poncho/umbrella if it looks even slightly like rain.

Witness a wedding

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Another highlight for us was watching the traditional Tahitian wedding ceremony that is on during the afternoons.

Enjoy a traditional luau

There are three luaus to choose from. The Ali’i Luau features traditional Polynesian food and entertainment. Other options include the Prime Rib Buffet, with fine dining in a casual atmosphere, and the Island Buffet, which is served in a dining hall reflecting the islands of the Pacific.

End your day with a bang

The PCC day finishes with the spectacular live show “Ha: Breath of Life”, featuring over 100 performers and Samoan fireknife dancing.

“HA:Breath of Life” Show runs from 7:30pm-9pm, with seating commencing at 7pm. All seats are reserved and advance reservations are highly recommended as this is a very popular show.

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

The Polynesian Cultural Center
Hours: Monday – Saturday (closed Sunday), 11:45am -9:30pm.
55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie
polynesia.com

We were hosted at the PCC. All opinions are our own.

Top Tips For Visiting The Polynesian Cultural Center Oahu Hawaii

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

What To Expect When Staying At Aulani A Disney Resort And Spa, Hawaii

What To Expect When Staying At Aulani A Disney Resort & Spa Oahu Hawaii

What To Expect When Staying At Aulani A Disney Resort And Spa, Hawaii

We visited Aulani back in June 2016 and have wanted to return ever since because we loved our holiday so much. You can read the full hotel review from our previous visit here. This time I thought I would do a diary-style write-up to give an idea of what life is like when staying at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa.

Day one: Arrival

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We fly in late in the afternoon, pick up our car rental and drive to Target at Kapolei Commons for groceries, then head to Aulani, arriving around 5pm.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

When we check in the staff tell us that there are hundreds of Menehune  – the legendary “little people” responsible for mysterious happenings on the islands – hidden all over the resort, so we start what will be a week-long search for these mischievous creatures and find them absolutely everywhere!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

At check in I inquire about the Disney buttons that we collect from the other Disney resorts. We are in luck and are given buttons for first visit, wedding / anniversary and birthday, plus a special one for Mickey’s 90th birthday.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Our garden-view room is on the 16th floor of the Ewa tower (1671) and features an excellent view of the luau lawn and even some ocean. Inside the room we are given a queen sized bed and a pull-out sofa bed.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The bathroom features a rain shower/tub combo, and we also have a microwave and mini fridge.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We booked our room using Disney Vacation Club (DVC) rental points. Basically this meant we were able to stay at the hotel for a bit cheaper by “renting” points off someone who owned a timeshare through DVC. DVC members get a range of special benefits – however since we were only renting points and now owners of them, we were only able to benefit from the free daily parking. This saved us $37USD a day so it was an excellent benefit. You can read more about the Disney Vacation Club here and David’s Vacation Rentals (where we rented the points from) here.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Pizza Corner

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After unpacking the basics we walk across the road to grab dinner at Pizza Corner at the Ko Olina Center. At $29 the pizzas are not cheap, but they are huge, big enough for two adults and one kid with still some left over.  We also ordered a $10 pasta – penne and marinara sauce, which was also massive.

Kalepa Store

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

While Alec take Cheese to the room to get her ready for bed, I head down to the Kalepa Store to pick up a PhotoPass card and waterproof wristbands. While the photographers do also hand these out, I like to be prepared. The store stocks general grocery items plus beach supplies and a wealth of Aulani merchandise.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

I can’t resist buying Cheese one of the new Ulu plushies.

Back at the room we watch the luau from our room before heading to bed.

Day 2: Auntie’s Beach House, Meeting Moana and “Menehune Mischief” Character Dinner 

Auntie’s Beach House

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

First up today we check into Auntie’s Beach House, the Kids’ Club at Aulani. I had registered Cheese in advance online but still needed to fill in some extra info when we arrived, as well as getting our photos taken for identification purposes, choosing a secret password for child collecting and getting Cheese’s Kids’ Club wrist band fitted. The wrist band is water proof so it can stay on the entire time you’re at the resort – return it before you leave to get your security deposit back!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

As it was open house at Auntie’s we went in to take a look around. Auntie’s features two different wings, with dress ups, a movie screening room, arts and crafts tables, a stage and video games. Outside there is a huge yard with a climbing structure and shade cloths.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Auntie’s Beach House is open 8am-9pm daily and is included in your stay – AKA it’s free! Open House is 8am-9:30am daily (no check-ins or drop-offs during this time). Auntie’s is available for drop-offs for kids aged 3 to 12 and all ages during the open house (kids must be accompanied by an adult).

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Pre-register your child at least two days before your arrival here.

Meeting Moana

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After leaving Auntie’s we chanced running into Moana and had a photo taken with her. You can call the hotel character hotline each morning to find out where the characters will be each day and at what time. Some characters come out every day but some only come out every few days.

Swimming in the pools

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Next: pools! We collect our wristband that shows we are guests of the hotel (you need to collect a new wristband daily) and head to the Waikolohe Stream. Waikolohe means “mischievous water” in the Hawaiian language, which is the perfect name for this part of the resort. We grab a donut-shaped tube and jump aboard, letting the gentle current of the lazy river carry us through the Waikolohe Valley.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We sail past Menahune, rocks, trees and water features, then head up the top of Pu’u Kilo (the volcano-shaped peak in the middle of the pools) to try the two slides. Volcanic Vertical is a single-rider enclosed slide that is extremely fast and deposits you in the Waikolohe Pool below. We prefer the Tubestone Curl, which is an open-air slide that you take while sitting on a tube and can be ridden solo or with a partner. It ends up in the Waikolohe Stream.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

A note on water temperature: Aulani Resort pools are heated year-round. The Waikolohe Stream is approximately 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit or 27 to 30 degrees Celsius.

Menehune Bridge

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Next Cheese wants to head to the 2,100 square feet, Menehune Bridge water play space for kids 48 inches in height or shorter. The Menehune Bridge features two water slides, interactive water elements, spinning gourds and a climbing play structure. There are also lots of Menehune hidden everywhere!

Keiki Cove

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

There is a cute toddler play area nearby, Keiki Cove, which is designed for kids aged 5 and under and open to all ages. It features rainbow water jets and more hidden Menehune.

Kakamora Chaos with Moana

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After swimming we drop Cheese off at Auntie’s for her special activity Kakamora Chaos with MoanaThe 90-minute drop-off activity involves playing traditional Hawaiian children’s games with Moana, who teaches her new friends a game from her home island of Motunui—the Kakamora Relay.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Kids also stamp their own take-home oar and also receive a cute little Kakamora luggage tag. Kakamora Chaos with Moana is a premium activity, available Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 12:30 – 2:00pm and costing $59USD plus tax per child. We make sure Cheese has her PhotoPass wrist band on so later we can receive the photos taken at Auntie’s when we collect the PhotoPass disc at the end of our stay.

Off The Hook

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

While Cheese is at Auntie’s, Alec and I enjoy a casual poolside lunch and cocktail at Off The Hook. It’s a basic lunch and we aren’t overly impressed by the food which is soggy and doesn’t taste amazing, but the cocktails are great, so cheers to that!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We take a walk around the resort and check out the beautiful beach and facilities. There is a great lagoon walk that runs from the Aulani resort front down south to the Marriot resort. To the right of Aulani is the Four Seasons and where the trail ends. You can walk over the rocks to Paradise Beach next door where turtles are often see in the ocean and on the beach.

Popcorn and Shave Ice

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

I pick up Cheese from Auntie’s after her activity ends and we pick up a popcorn bucket from Ulu Cafe and a Mickey-shaped shave ice from the Papalua Shave Ice stand.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Menehune Mischief Character Dinner and Show 

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Next is dinner and we are booked into the early session of “Menehune Mischief” Character Dinner at Makahiki restaurant. The dinner is a buffet with musical entertainment from “Uncle” and a few Disney Characters. Uncle tells the story of the Menehune – magical little people of Hawaiian legend – with songs and interactive fun for kids, while Disney characters join in and roam around the tables before and afterwards for photos.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The buffet is very meat and seafood heavy with only a few vegetarian options, however the chef very kindly offered to make a few other options for us to eat, which was extremely appreciated.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The food quality was great, especially our custom food. There is a dedicated kids section of the buffet as well as a dessert section. So much food!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Before and after the meal we met Stitch, Chip and Dale. We also met Donald Duck who was stationed at the entrance to the restaurant.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The Menehune Mischief Character Dinner and Show runs Sunday, Monday and Thursday – 2 shows each day. Show times and seatings are:
Show #1 – 5:15 PM – 6:00 PM
1st Seating – 4:30 PM, 4:45 PM, 5:00 PM – No seating from 5:15 PM to 6:15 PM

Show #2 – 7:15 PM – 8:00 PM
2nd Seating – 6:30 PM, 6:45 PM, 7:00 PM – No seating from 7:15 PM to 8:15 PM

Price for Character Show Dining: Adults: $54USD, Keiki (Ages 3 to 9): $27USD.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Day 3: Paint The Sky Spa, Fish Are Friends, North Shore Drive and KA WA‘A Lū‘au

Paint The Sky Spa

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The day began with a special “makeover” for Cheese. We took her to Painted Sky, the spa facility, to enjoy a HI Style fashion transformation. The “transformation” or “makeover” is suitable for girls and boys aged 3-12 and includes hair styling, clothes and accessories.  There are several options to choose from, with Cheese selecting the Luau Bound option as we were heading to the Luau that evening.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After choosing and changing into her outfit, Cheese selected her hairdo and was seated in the luxe chairs for a fancy new ‘do and a bit of kid-friendly “make-up”. The whole experience took about an hour, and she was thrilled with her new look.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Luau Bound!
Girls
Prices starting at $160 (plus sales and service tax)

Hairstyling
Organic Shimmer Makeup
Aulani Dress
Plumeria Color Changing Necklace
Plumeria Color Changing Bracelet
Aulani Resort Flower Clip Set

Fish Are Friends

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Once the “transformation” is complete, I drop Cheese off at Auntie’s again for the Fish Are Friends premium activity. During the activity Cheese learns about the colourful fish of Hawaii including how the animal specialists train, feed and care for the marine life at Aulani Resort. The highlight for the kids is preparing fish food and feed it to the fish. During the three-hour activity, kids are fed lunch. Since Cheese is a pescatarian I enquire about the meals and was thrilled that they not only made sure to cater for her, but that the chef also gave me a call to make sure we were happy with the food they would be serving her. Really thoughtful.

All the kids took home a “Fish Are Friends” logo cinch bag with a DVD of Disneynature Oceans and a water bottle.

Fish are Friends is available Monday and Friday and runs from 11:00am – 2:00pm. Cost: $69 plus tax per child, lunch included.

North Shore Drive

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

While Cheese was at Auntie’s, Alec and I went for a drive up the North Shore for lunch. It’s a long way to get there, about an hour to an hour and a half in each direction, so it was a long drive for a quick lunch, but also nice to spend some time together. We stopped in Haleiwa for delicious acai bowls at Hale’iwa Bowls and checked out Waimea Bay before driving back to the resort.

KA WA‘A – A Lū‘au

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After picking up Cheese from Auntie’s it was time to head to the KA WA‘A Lū‘au. We selected the VIP Package from the options as we wanted a table that was closer to the front. The whole VIP area was sold out on the night we attended and consisted of the front four rows, so I was glad that we had selected this option.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The KA WA‘A Lū‘au is a beautiful evening of storytelling and singing, with Hawaiian stories brought to life on stage. Held on the Hālāwai Lawn, the festivities begin at 5pm with seating and pre-show activities.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Tables are assigned however not the seats at the individual tables, so I advise lining up earlier to get the best seats possible at your table. We lined up at 4:40pm and were second to our table, which meant while we had a decent view, there were still heads right in front of us we had to dodge around to see.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

As VIP we receive an “upgraded lei” which was really quite fancy and we are really happy to be taking them home. We also receive unlimited alcoholic drinks as part of our package and enjoy an evening full of cocktails.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The pre-show activities include traditional arts such as kapa printing, flower arranging, temporary kakau tattoos, ukulele playing and paʻi ai taro pounding. The activities are really fun and we do some of them twice before the luau introduction and welcome begins.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The buffet opens before the show, and we enjoy a wide variety of food. It’s also very meat heavy as you would expect, but there are still plenty of things for vegetarians to eat among the tables filled with seafood, salads and the carving station, plus the chef very kindly makes me a special pasta dish incase I couldn’t find enough to eat at the buffet. There is a special table just for kids with things like mac and cheese and Moana cupcakes, and an entire dessert table with cakes and fruit.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The show is fantastic. Beautifully told stories accompanied by talented dancers and singers. Some numbers are breathtakingly beautiful and the fire dancing leaves us in awe. There are several interactive moments for the kids, including a section where they learn the hula and at the end where they are invited to play instruments up on stage with the cast. Afterwards we have the opportunity to take photos with the wonderful cast on the way out.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

VIP Seating – $169 Adults/$109 Keiki (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for keiki under 3.*
General Admission – $129 Adults/$79 Keiki (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for keiki under 3.**

Beginning May 1, 2019, the seating package prices are changed to the following:

VIP Seating – $179 Adults/$109 Keiki (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for keiki under 3.
General Admission – $139 Adults/$89 Keiki (ages 3 through 9). There is no charge for keiki under 3.

VIP Guests receive early check-in, priority up-front seating, complimentary beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and an enhanced welcome lei.

Day 4: Swimming pools, Ukulele playing and the Ko Olina Center

After a morning walk, I line up at the Pau Hana Room to sign up for ukulele class.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After collecting the sleepyheads, we start the day off with swimming in the Ka Maka Grotto, which is stunning infinity pool overlooking Ko Olina Beach and an incredibly cool grotto attached, which has a whirlpool spa.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Then it’s off to Cheese’s fave, the  Waikolohe Stream, where we float around in tubes until it’s time for lunch.

Island Vintage Coffee

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Today we head across the road to the Ko Olina Center for bagels at Island Vintage Coffee. I get a vegetarian one that is overflowing with sprouts, tomato and avocado. They have great options for kids and also fantastic iced tea.

Two Scoops Ice Cream Parlour

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Since it’s hot we stop at the Two Scoops Ice Cream parlour next door before heading back to the resort.

Ho‘okani Pila – Learn the ‘Ukulele

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

In the afternoon we head to ‘ukulele class and learn the history of several Hawaiian instruments as well as the basic four chords on the ‘ukulele. By the end of the class we are able to play several popular songs, much to my amazement. We decide to buy our own ‘ukulele to take home after the class, we love it so much.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The 45 minute class is free and books up fast. I suggest lining up at 8am to book it in.

Menehune Adventure Trail

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Next we sign out a tablet for the Menehune Adventure Trail at the Pau Hana community center, a free high-tech scavenger hunt around the resort. There are two trails, one short one in the lobby and one longer one outside in the resort grounds. Using the tablet we solve riddles, discover magic and have a really great time. The Menehune Adventure Trail is only available at certain times of day – ask at the community center for the updated hours. The scavenger hunt is best suited to older kids due to the difficulty of the clues, but younger kids can also enjoy it with the help of their parents.

Monkeypod Kitchen

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

For dinner we head back across to the Ko Olina Center to our fave restaurant in the area, Monkeypod Kitchen. The food is always excellent and they have options for kids as well as vegetarians (not a lot, but at least some!). We always dine here when we come to Oahu.

Day 5: Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration at the Makahiki, animation class

Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration at the Makahiki

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After signing up for animation class at the Pua Hana community center, it’s time for
Aunty’s Breakfast Celebration at the Makahiki, AKA the character breakfast. Mickey awaits outside for a photo op, while inside awaits a buffet breakfast, roaming Disney characters, singing and entertainment.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The buffet breakfast includes a custom omelette station, pancakes, waffles, French toast, fruits, Asian offerings, house-baked pastries, lots of sliced meats, plus a dedicated kids section. The excellent server brings me iced tea after iced tea, which is all included in the price.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Disney character roam around the room – Minnie and Goofy both visit our table.

“Auntie” leads the entertainment with singing and interactive fun for the kids including musical instruments and parading around the room. The breakfast is a really fun experience that we highly enjoy – it’s the third time we’ve done it!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Price Adults: $41USD, Keiki (Ages 3 to 9): $21USD. The Mickey photos are separate from the PhotoPass and have to be purchased separately.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Waikolohe Valley pool

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

After breakfast we hit up the Waikolohe Valley pool area for a swim. It’s a beautiful lagoon pool with a graduating slope leading in, perfect for little kids.

Disney Family Fun Animation

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Next is animation class, another free class that goes for an hour and includes learning to draw a Disney character in pencil, and then painting an animation cell.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The class is really fun and all three of us really enjoy it.

Character meet and greets

Earlier in the day I called the character hotline and found out where Pluto and Daisy would be meeting guests later in the day. The characters are popular to meet so I suggest lining up a few minutes before the scheduled meeting times.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Daisy and other “minor” characters aren’t scheduled every day so get in to see her quickly if she’s a fave of yours. She is one of the most fun characters to meet (along with Stitch) and always makes us laugh.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Pluto is another favourite and will often try to “lick” or sniff guests.

Sunset on the beach

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We have a lazy afternoon and head down to the beach to watch the sunset. Every evening around sunset, Disney PhotoPass photographers can be found on the waters edge taking photos on request. We pose for some photos before heading out to dinner across the road at Monkeypod again.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Day 6: Pools, Characters, Kāpala Ki’i t-shirt stamping and sunset at ‘AMA‘AMA

I sign us up for Kāpala Ki’i  t-shirt stamping at 8am, then we all swim for the last time in the beautiful Aulani pools. After our swim we head to Island Vintage Coffee one last time for lunch.

Kāpala Ki’i t-shirt stamping

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Our next activity today is Kāpala Ki’i t-shirt stamping, where guests stamp their own designs on white T-shirts based on the art of Native Hawaiian kapa printing. The stamps are nice big blocks, easy to stamp with, so it’s an ideal activity to do with kids and take home a really unique souvenir of your stay. The price for this activity is adult $15 per shirt plus tax and kids $12 per shirt plus tax, and the class runs for around 30 minutes.

Chip and Dale

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

While leaving the community center with our wet tees we see Chip and Dale arriving for a character meet and greet.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

It’s a great photo op so we ditch the tees in our room and run back in time to get a photo with the mischievous pair.

Mickey and Minnie

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

We’ve had many Mickey and Minnie photos in our time with the characters separately, but never together, so this was a great opportunity to get a shot with both iconic characters together.

‘AMA‘AMA – Contemporary Island Cooking

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

For our last day at Aulani we book a sunset dinner at ‘AMA’AMA, the upmarket restaurant within the resort, overlooking the beach.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

The view is sensational and it’s the ideal spot to watch the sun go down. I am delighted to discover the restaurant has an entire vegetarian menu as well as kids’ options, so we are more than well catered for.

Mo‘olelo Fire Pit Storytelling

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

While we eat, we watch the Mo‘olelo Fire Pit Storytelling right outside the restaurant, with a special visit from Moana. Moana only comes to some of the storytellings, not all, and there is no way to know which one she will show up to. Lucky us!

Sunset photos

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

It becomes clear that sunset this night is going to be extraordinary, so we head back down to the beach to get some more photos with the Disney PhotoPass photographers.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

What a way to end our amazing week at Aulani!

To purchase your PhotoPass photos, head to Kālepa’s Store at the end of your stay. Once the CD is printed no more photos can be added to the disc.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
92-1185 Ali’inui Dr, Kapolei, HI 96707
disneyaulani.com

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, Hawaii

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

New York Guide: Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge joins Manhattan to Brooklyn, spanning the East River. Since its completion in 1883, the bridge has become one of the city’s most famous icons. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the best ways to explore the city’s neighbourhoods and experience breathtaking views along the way.

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

When to cross the Brooklyn Bridge
The bridge is open 24 hours a day and is safe to cross even late at night. It is however a major tourist attraction and by midday can be jam-packed with people. I suggest crossing the bridge early in the morning to avoid large crowds. It can get breezy on the bridge so bring an extra layer.

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge
The pedestrian promenade begins as indicated by the arrow on the map. if arriving by subway, catch the 4, 5, or 6 trains to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall or the J or Z trains to Chambers St. Other options are the 2 or 3 train to Park Place, the N or R train to City Hall, or the A or C train to Fulton Street

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway and Bicycle Lane start at the intersection of Tillary Street and Adams Street. The road is busy so keep a hold of small children when crossing. The closet subway stops are A, C or F to Jay Street/MetroTech Station, N, R to Court Street Station, 2/3 or 4/5 to Borough Hall Station. This entrance is completely accessible and suitable for strollers, wheelchairs and bikes.

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

There is another entrance closer to the foreshore which includes several stairs. To reach this entrance, catch the A or C to High Street. Walk across the large when exiting the station to reach the underpass. On the left side of the street are a set of stairs built into the bridge. They can be tricky to spot.

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

Safety on the Brooklyn Bridge

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge
Keep in the pedestrian lane and watch for bikes. The pedestrian lane is narrow and if there are people who have stopped you will have to walk around them by walking across the bike lane. Be careful as you do as cyclists go extremely fast.

Time and distance over the Brooklyn Bridge

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is slightly over 1.1miles or 1.8 km long. It takes an average of 30 minutes to cross. 45-60 if you stop to admire the view or take lots of photos.

Enjoy seeing the sights in Brooklyn!

Jane's Carousel, Brooklyn: The Best of New York for Families via christineknight.me

When you reach Brooklyn, enjoy our favourite neighbourhood with this guide of our fave places in DUMBO.

Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge

 

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

American Girl Place New York

American Girl Place, New York

American Girl Place New York

American Girl Place is the flagship store for the iconic doll brand. The store stocks the full range of American Girl dolls, clothes and accessories, a cafe and salon where girls and their dolls can get their ears pierced and receive spa treatments.

American Girl Place, New York

The American Girl dolls were released in 1986 by Pleasant Company. Made to portray eight- to eleven-year-old girls of a variety of ethnicities, the dolls are wildly popular and one step inside American Girl Place will show you why.

American Girl Place, New York

Located in the heart of the Rockefeller Center, the American Girl Place is all things pink and girly. Dolls and their accessories line the walls and fill the floors.

American Girl Place, New York

Girls (and boys!) can wander around the multi-floor store and play with the dolls that are on display, or enjoy one of the hands-on stations set up around the store, designed to engage kids.

American Girl Place, New York

A really fun experience for kids at the store is the American Girl Salon. Girls and their dolls can get matching hairstyles, mini manicures and get their ears pierced.

The Grove, LA, USA

We’ve previously been to the salon at the LA store for a hairstyle and ear piercing (above) and it’s the sweetest experience – expensive, but really fun for a special occasion.

American Girl Place, New York

The cafe inside the store is open for brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Bring your own doll or borrow a doll from the cafe to dine with.

American Girl Place, New York

Each doll is given their own special chair that attaches to the table and a special dining set with placemat, plate and cup. On the back of the placemat are conversation starters, such a cute idea. Diners are welcome to take home the doll dining set.

American Girl Place, New York

The napkins are tied with American Girl hair ties that are also a take-home gift.

When dining at the cafe, their lunch and dinner menu has the best selection for kids, with their “Truly Me” menu for kids aged 9 and under. The menu includes a choice of refillable beverage, entrée, and dessert plus a special souvenir, for $21 per child, plus tax. The entrees offer plenty of choice for fussy little eaters, with options such as chicken tenders with fruit, a cheese burger and mini hot dog, pasta (plain or marinara), mac and cheese and pizza.

American Girl Place, New York

When we dined, Cheese chose the Fancy Bow-Tie Pasta with butter and
grated Parmesan, plus a breadstick. The portion size was absolutely massive – big enough for us to share it.

American Girl Place, New York

American Girl Place, New York

American Girl Place, New York

American Girl Place, New York

American Girl Place, New York

American Girl Place New York
75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10019
Phone: +1 877-247-5223
americangirl.com

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

Climb to the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the One World Trade Center, in New York City. The One World Observatory is located on the 100-102 floors with breathtaking views, restaurants and exhibits on offer.

One World Observatory, New York

The One World Trade Center is located in Downtown Manhattan, near where the original Twin Towers in the World Trade Center complex used to stand. After the Twin Towers collapsed during the 2001 terrorist attack, the new One World Trade Center was build near to where the old towers used to stand. The footprints of the old Twin Towers have been turned into 9/11 Memorial Pool outside the new building.

I did visit New York a few months prior to the attack and went up the old Twin Towers to admire the view, so it was an emotional visit for me to return to the scene and head up the new building.

Entrance to the Observatory is on the West Plaza located alongside West Street at the Northwest corner of the World Trade Center complex.

There is usually a long queue to visit the One World Observatory so I highly suggest buying tickets online in advance. Tickets are timed, which can make it tricky to book ahead, but you can book tickets on your phone just before you’re thinking of heading up and chance that the time slot won’t be sold out. This is what we did and had no issues. We stood at the entrance, noticed the huge queue and then booked the tickets on my phone and walked straight in, past the queue, and through security.

After security, visitors walk through a really cool “bedrock” exhibition that consists of the rocks that form the base of the city.

The elevators are called “Skypods” and transport visitors 102 floors in 47 seconds. The elevator ride itself is incredible, with a video display on the walls and roof that shows the transformation of New York City from unsettled lands to today’s skyscrapers.

One World Observatory, New York

At the Observatory level, you’ll find special exhibits, the See Forever Theater, the obligatory green screen photo op, restaurants, bathrooms and shops.

One World Observatory, New York

Also at the Observatory level is the Sky Portal, which was hugely popular with Cheese. The Sky Portal is a 14-foot wide circular disco that shows high definition footage of the streets that lie 100 floor below. Not for those who are scared of heights, perhaps!

One World Observatory, New York

There is no outside area at the Observatory, however the floor to ceiling glass windows are absolutely massive (no other way to describe it!) and so large that they could almost not be there. Standing by the edge of the windows is quite the experience, peering 100 floors down.

One World Observatory, New York

We spent about 45mins-1 hour at the Observatory, which I’m told is the average visiting time.

One World Observatory, New York

If you’d like to purchase your souvenir photo, you can do so at the exit on the ground floor.

There are no binoculars at the Observatory which was a bit of a shame, as they are always a highlight particularly for kids.

One World Observatory, New York

Tips for visiting with kids

Kids under 6 are free

Strollers are allowed but you will be asked to remove your child and fold your stroller up for access to the elevators as well as the escalators within the Observatory.

Buy tickets in advance to avoid lining up.

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York

One World Observatory, New York
Hours: Daily, 9am-9pm
Phone: +1 844-696-1776
285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10006
oneworldobservatory.com

One World Observatory, New York

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Ellen’s Stardust Diner, New York

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen’s Stardust Diner is an iconic 1950s-themed diner with singing servers and a massive menu filled with American classics. Located in the heart of Times Square, your server at Ellen’s may be the next star on Broadway!

Ellen's Stardust Diner

While Ellen’s may be considered a bit of a tourist trap, it’s incredibly fun and we have been several times. The food is overpriced but adequate – it’s really the great singing and lively atmosphere that are the draw card here.

Our server, after introducing herself, hopped up on the tables to belt out a Broadway classic that left us speechless. The staff here truly have extraordinary talent.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen’s Stardust Diner serves up plenty of options with an absolutely massive menu. It’s an extremely popular spot, especially with tourists and tour groups, and there is usually a queue to get in that runs around the block. My advice is to come for breakfast since they open at 7am.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Not only is this a great time to visit and get a table immediately, it will also save you a few dollars on your meal. While there is an all-day breakfast menu, their dedicated breakfast menu is a different menu entirely and is served between served from 7am to 11am. It features cheaper food choices, making this a great time to go for both crowds and cost saving.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

We ordered the plain Jane classic three egg omelette with tater tots ($13.50) and Joseph & The Technicolor Bagel (Yes! It’s a Rainbow Bagel, served w/ rainbow sprinkle cream cheese and tater tots, $10.50). The omelette was really flat whereas we prefer fluffy omelettes and the tater tots packed a bit of spice, which meant while I liked them, Cheese didn’t. She did however love her rainbow bagel.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

I do have to mention how excellent the service is from the singing waitstaff. Not only are they amazingly talented, they are also really great at their jobs. About 30 seconds after being given a massive glass of OJ, Cheese accidentally knocked it over. Our server dashed over, cleaned it up and replaced it with another in a spill proof cup, without being asked. Really great service.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

You can read about our previous experience at Ellen’s Starburst Diner here.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Hours: Daily, 7am-12am
(212) 956-5151
1650 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
ellensstardustdiner.com

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

National Museum of Mathematics, New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

The National Museum of Mathematics or MoMath is the only hands-on science center in Manhattan. Dedicated to mathematics, the museum explores math through dynamic exhibits and fun activities. You’ll never look at math the same way again!

National Museum of Mathematics New York

MoMath does a wonderful job of showcasing how mathematics is all around us, shaping the world we live in. The two floors of hands-on exhibits show that math can be fun and exciting, particularly helpful in helping foster a love of mathematics in kids.

National Museum of Mathematics New York

The museum is spread over two floors. You could easily spend a whole day here working on each exhibit – many of them with levels of complexity that make them appealing to both kids and adults.

National Museum of Mathematics New York

The exhibits explore concepts such as patterns, formulas, statistics, geometry, velocity, acceleration, parabolas, mathematical rules, fractal patterns and number probability.

National Museum of Mathematics New York

Note: this is not just a museum for kids! Adults who love math will really enjoy it, too. In fact, the lower level has an area that features complex puzzles that are geared towards adults.

National Museum of Mathematics New York

There is no cafe in the museum, but there are plenty right outside, including Eatily, and the excellent Madison Square Park and playground.

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York

National Museum of Mathematics New York
Hours: Daily, 10am-5pm
MoMath closes early the first Wednesday of every month, at 2:30 pm.
11 E 26th St, New York, NY 10010
momath.org

National Museum of Mathematics New York

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Top of the Rock Observatory sits at the top of the Rockefeller Center in the heart of New York City. From this incredible location, the Observatory offers breathtaking views of the city including the Empire State Building and Central Park.

The main entrance to Top of the Rock is on 50th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. There is a red carpet out the front of the entrance – and usually a queue. If there is indeed a queue when you go, try the second entrance, located on the Concourse level of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Entry to the Top of the Rock is timed. The best way to get in with minimal queuing is to buy your ticker online in advance and select the day and time of your choice. Unscheduled tickets are also available but you will have to line up to exchange these for timed tickets at the box office and you might not be able to get in for a period of time if it’s a busy day.

After buying a ticket, all visitors must pass through the security checkpoint so be prepared for the scanners. No food and beverages allowed, however my water bottle and snacks were not mentioned and we were able to take them with us inside.

Once through security the queue winds through the mezzanine level, which is filled with information about the Rockefeller Center, its founder, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and how the Top of the Rock began.

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Next is a photo-op against a green-screen to recreate the famous photo of construction workers eating lunch on a steel beam high above the city that was taken at the Rockefeller Center.

Before entering the Sky Shuttle to the Top, all visitors are ushered into a theatre to watch a short video presentation about the history of NBC and Rockefeller Center. We found the video interesting, particularly the parts featuring the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

The Sky Shuttle to the Top takes less than a minute to travel up to 850 feet (260 meters) above street level to the 67th floor. Look up when you’re in the elevator – you’ll be glad you did!

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

The Sky Shuttle brings visitors to the first of three observation floors. The 67th floor is largely indoors with two outdoor areas protected by high glass panels.

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

On this floor you’ll find the Radiance Room, which absolutely enchanted Cheese.

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

The room has a wall made up of glass panels that was created by Swarovski and contains crystals, fiber-optic lighting and lots of blown glass. It’s sparkly and mesmerising.

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Head up to the 69th floor next which is completely open with glass panels. On this floor you will find the Breezeway Room, an interactive colour experience.

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

The final floor is the 70th, which has no glass or metal enclosures, so it’s the perfect spot for photos with no reflections.

On each of the 67th, 69th and 70th floors are binoculars that give a close-up view of various points of interest.

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Tips for visiting with kids

Under 6 is free.

Arrive early! The Top of the Rock is quietest between 8am-10am.

Rug up on cold days: it can get extremely cold up there!

Buy tickets in advance to save lining up.

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Top of the Rock
Hours: Daily, 8am-Midnight
Last elevator up at 11:00pm
30 Rockefeller Plaza,
New York, NY 10112
1-877-692-7625
topoftherocknyc.com

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Goofy’s Kitchen Disneyland Hotel

Goofy's Kitchen, Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland, California

Enjoy dining with your fave Disney pals over breakfast or dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen, inside the Disneyland Hotel.

You do not need to be a guest of the hotel or have a park ticket to attend the dining, which is open daily for breakfast from 7am-12pm and dinner 5pm-9pm.

No matter which time you dine, you will enjoy a buffet with a huge variety of food. It was the most impressive array of food we had seen at any of the character dining experiences.

Goofy's Kitchen

Start the experience with a photo at the entrance with Chef Mickey, then enjoy getting food at your leisure while characters drop by. Every half an hour or so the characters all march around the restaurant and diners twirl their napkins in the air.

Goofy's Kitchen

We found the characters to be excellent at Goofy’s, with several of them dropping by on multiple occasions and sneaking up on us to make us laugh.

Goofy's Kitchen

I also liked that you could meet Chip and Dale here at the same time.

Goofy's Kitchen

The buffet features five food stations. At breakfast the food includes choices such as made-to-order omelettes, cheese blintzes, Mickey Mouse waffles, pancakes, French toast, sausage, bacon, eggs Benedict, yoghurt, frittata, glazed ham, smoked salmon, pastries and fresh fruit, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese and fresh vegetables.

Goofy's Kitchen

At dinner Goofy’s Kitchen serves up a carving station, pasta, salads, veggies, fruit, pizza, rice, hot dogs, Goofyroni and cheese, and more hot and cold dishes.

Goofy's Kitchen

At both breakfast and dinner the dessert station is open, featuring cookies, cakes and a soft-serve frozen yogurt sundae bar, as well as Goofy’s wacky pizza creations. Try Goofy’s special peanut butter and jelly pizza if you dare!

Cocktails can be ordered for an additional fee.

Diners at this character experience can expect to meet five or six characters. We met Mickey, Minnie, Chip, Dale, Goofy and Pluto.

Breakfast costs $39 for adults and $23 for kids. Dinner costs $43 for adults and $25 for kids.

Reservations for “Goofy’s Kitchen” are highly recommended and be may be made up to 60 days before your visit. A limited number of reservations may be available same-day, subject to availability.

Make your reservation online or call 0011 1 (714) 781-DINE or 0011 1 (714) 781-3463.

https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/au/disneyland/dining/goofys-kitchen/

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

Start your Disneyland day the right way with Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn.

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

The Minnie & Friends breakfast is a favourite of ours due to the sheer number of characters that are available during the experience.

The Plaza In is located inside Disneyland, near the entrance to Tomorrowland. The restaurant opened in 1955 and was reportedly one of Walt Disney’s favourite places to dine inside the park.

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

Walt’s wife, designer Lillian Disney, Walt’s wife, chose many of the restaurant’s authentic 19th-century interior furnishings.

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

Minnie always greets guests at the entrance to the Plaza Inn for a photograph. The photographers will come around to your table later with a photo package to purchase, but if you have bought the Maxpass that day you can ask to add the digital photos to your Maxpass Photopass and it won’t cost anything extra.

There is inside and outside seating at the Plaza Inn. While the inside seating has a really cute atmosphere and is closer to the food, the tables are quite close together and if you’re seated in the back seating sections it can be hard to get out to meet the characters and get good photos. We prefer the outdoor seating for this reason.

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

While you’re waiting to meet characters, head to the buffet for a hearty breakfast. Our fave is the made-to-order omelette station and Mickey waffles. This time they had Banana Foster sauce to add on top, which was so delicious. The buffet also featured food such as French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, breakfast potatoes, fresh-baked pastries and breads, fresh fruit, and hot and cold cereals.

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

The characters have been the same the last three times we have dined at the Plaza Inn. Minnie Mouse, Chip, Dale, Rafiki, Tigger, Pooh, Eeyore, Pluto, Captain Hook, Fairy Godmother, Max and Perla, the mouse from Cinderella. Not all characters are available during each dining session however, so we’ve never met all of these characters in the one sitting.

We spent about 90 minutes at the Plaza Inn and didn’t feel rushed to finish up and leave, which is great because some of the characters take a long time to come around.

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

Reservations for “Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park” are highly recommended and be may be made up to 60 days before your visit. A limited number of reservations may be available same-day at the Plaza Inn, subject to availability

Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn, Disneyland

Adult buffet meals are $34 and children are $19. Breakfast opens when the park opens and is open during Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour. I highly recommend this option if you don’t have access to the MM or EMH as it means the dining won’t take away from your park time in the morning. There is a separate entrance open for character dining, but valid tickets for Disneyland are required to enter and access the restaurant.

Make your reservation online or call 0011 1 (714) 781-DINE or 0011 1 (714) 781-3463.

https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/disneyland/plaza-inn/

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!