Storyteller’s Cafe is a table-service restaurant at the Grand Californian in Disneyland Resort. The restaurant offers a buffet for all meals, as well as character dining for breakfast. Discounts are available for DVC members and Magic Key (Annual Pass) holders. In this post, we’ll review the atmosphere, cuisine and value of Storyteller’s Cafe at dinner.
Since reopening after the pandemic, Storyteller’s Café has moved to all-you-can-eat, all of the time! That’s a change from the review we have from years ago and the experience was quite different from that time around. What seemed like a quiet place to have a meal, is now bustling. That’s kind of the norm for buffets though!
Now that it’s a buffet all of the time, the restaurant does fill a void along the row of restaurants at the Grand Californian Hotel. There’s the fancy and delicious Napa Rose. GCH Grill & Bar offers a casual counter-service and table-service restaurant. Hearthstone Lounge has an evolving menu and offers a comfortable place to relax with a drink. Storyteller’s fits in there as a nicer place to go and eat more food than your stomach can hold!
All of those restaurants have a similar vibe thanks to their proximity to each other and being inside of the Grand Californian. Want to feel like you’re inside of a mountain lodge and snuggle up next to a fireplace after a hearty dinner? Eating at one of the restaurants in the hotel will give you that cozy opportunity. With that said, each restaurant does have variations to their design.
The name is certainly appropriate for Storyteller’s Café. Throughout the restaurant there are murals, quotes and reminders of the storytelling theme. Is the restaurant actually telling a story itself? Not that I can tell, although much of the art has a country and folk style to it. Have we settled into a Twain or Steinbeck novel? I do like that this theme exists but it refrains from detailing Disney storytelling, going for something broader instead.
Along with the art, there are deep wood tones to go with the floral murals up above. There are nice fire places strewn throughout the restaurant, although it’s unlikely they’ll be turned on in the Californian heat. While the atmosphere isn’t in elite, it’s an enjoyable place to eat and in the upper half of restaurant atmospheres in Disneyland Resort.
Moving on to the food, here’s a look at the dinner menu. Again, it’s a buffet so guests can enjoy all of the items offered as well as soft drinks. The price is $44 before any discounts are added.
Going through every item I tried at the restaurant seems like overkill so I’ll hit on a few highlights before giving general thoughts. The carving station included Prime Rib and a Pork Lion. Typically, I’d prefer the Prime Rib but I actually thought the Pork was better in this instance. It was juicy and had a good flavor. The Prime Rib was good too but nothing outstanding. Both meat options were good but not great.
There was also Roasted Chicken and Salmon offered but I found both of them to be pretty dry, even though they had good seasoning. The meat selections as a whole weren’t bad but not particularly memorable.
As far as sides go, the Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Vegetables and Macaroni and Cheese were my favorite options. That all of those options are buffet standbys and not all that unique is telling. Yes, the Potatoes were nice and creamy and the Mac and Cheese was good comfort food but they also aren’t all that hard to make. While there were a number of salad options offered, we didn’t find any of them great.
Of course, there was dessert! A buffet is not a buffet without dessert. My favorite offering was the Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce and Crème Anglaise. I’m a sucker for any dessert that has Caramel Sauce on it, and this was delectable. The other desserts were good too although without a standout.
As a whole, I wish the buffet had a few more specialty items and a couple of more dishes overall. There wasn’t any standout item at Storyteller’s Café that I want to go back for. Likewise, the options weren’t varied enough to try new items or to be all that adventurous. There certainly wasn’t anything wrong with the food and it was better than the run of the mill buffet restaurant out in the real world but it also costs much more than that.
Once you factor in the atmosphere and value of the restaurant, I don’t think I’d recommend Storyteller’s unless you were looking for a last minute reservation. It was a nice meal but there are better ones to be had throughout Disneyland Resort!
Overall Rating – 7.5/10
Categories: Restaurant Reviews