Culinary Quest: Storyteller’s Cafe Dinner Buffet at Disneyland’s Grand Californian Hotel

| May 4, 2012

I am a veteran of Storyteller’s Cafe Character Breakfast. Not only is the atmosphere great, the food is of the highest quality. So, it was easy for me to make a reservation for the dinner buffet at Storyteller’s. I mean how could dinner not be good when breakfast is so great? Well, I don’t know how they did it, but the dinner buffet at Storyteller’s Cafe was a major disappointment.

Storyteller’s Cafe is at the Grand Californian Hotel in the Disneyland Resort. Any restaurant at one of Disney’s Grand Hotels should be just that, grand. It is important to remember that at dinner and breakfast Storyteller’s Cafe offers a full menu as well as a buffet. I have heard great things about the dinner menu, and hope to try it soon. This is a review of the dinner buffet alone.

The buffet is very limited in selection. This is not necessarily a bad thing. At breakfast, the smaller selection is done very well. Dinner, however, was another story. They offer the following items: a carving station of Roast Beef and Turkey, mixed greens, pasta salad, fresh fruit, corn chowder, chicken nuggets, mac n’ cheese, salmon, a baked chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. I went on two different nights; on one night there were pot stickers while the other time, it was western chili. Of course they do offer dessert as well, which I will definitely discuss later.

All of these items were pedestrian at best. I am not a salt-a-holic, but they all were in dire need of salt except for the corn chowder, which was exceptional. Everything else was bland. As for the carving station, I had the end cut of the roast hoping it to be full of flavor. It wasn’t. When the end piece of your roast is bland, you’ve got problems.

They do serve freshly baked rolls and corn muffins with both the menu and the buffet, and those were very good.

Another disappointment the night we went was the service. If all you are doing at a buffet is refilling beverages and picking up plates, it should be easy to stay on top of it. Again, I was disappointed.

Just when we were about to give up on everything, there was a saving grace, dessert. The dessert offerings included bread pudding, banana cupcakes, chocolate hazelnut torte, a lemon sweet, and pineapple cheesecake. One additional choice you can get for dessert is hand-scooped ice cream with your choice of fresh berries, berries with syrup, strawberry sauce, or chocolate ganache and whipped cream. Yum!


I have to say that I am a big fan of bread pudding , but I usually only get it at buffets. I have been to expensive Las Vegas buffets, and the bread pudding I had at Storyteller’s Cafe was the best I have ever eaten! All of the desserts were outstanding. I spoke to a cast member who informed me that many of the dessert selections are created from scratch by the pastry chef.

This made total sense because the dessert was amazing, especially when compared to the main dishes. At many buffets, the dessert is an after thought. Here it wasn’t. It almost made me want to pay for the buffet and just eat dessert. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to save it. If the price of this buffet was cheaper, I could live with the limited selection and no characters due to the great desserts. The price is $28.99 for adults and $12.99 for children. That is way too expensive for the lack of characters and quality and taste of the main dishes. I look forward to trying the dinner menu, but I can assure you, I won’t be rushing back for the dinner buffet.


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Category: Dining, Disneyland

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