Review: Beach Side Bonfire Buffet is a Dinner Gem at Paradise Pier Hotel During Disneyland 60th Diamond Celebration

Hi everyone!

A new buffet option recently opened at the Disneyland Resort, the Beach Side Bonfire buffet. It is a mouthful to say, and there is no beach and no bonfire to speak of. The buffet is located at the PCH Grill inside Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. We found the price reasonable for a Disney buffet, on par with the soon-to-close Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue – and all inclusive of soft drinks AND dessert.

It has been quite a few years since we’ve walked into the Paradise Pier Hotel, and I last stayed here when it was the Disneyland Pacific Hotel in the late 90’s. We don’t stay on property, usually opting for what is now called the “Grove District”. So when we wanted to visit Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel for our dinner, we walked from Disney California Adventure park into Disney’s Grand Californian Resort, and then the Paradise Pier Hotel was just across the street. It is not a bad walk from the parks, but you do need to give a little time (15 minutes from the Disneyland entrance should be enough). It is a nice respite from the busy parks!

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel is draped in Disneyland 60th Diamond Celebration signage.

Goofy stands with a surfboard just inside the entrance.

We had an early seating for 3 at the PCH Grill, and were among the first let into the restaurant. There was a little hiccup at the desk, with Cast Members talking among themselves like I wasn’t there, but everything was smooth after that.

The menu is listed outside. There are a lot of great choices! The Beach Side Bonfire runs from 5:30pm to 9:00pm nightly.

It was nice having the buffet untouched when we arrived. A Cast Member gave us a tour of the wide range of items available.

On the right hand side upon entering, a carving station is set up. Dry rubbed tri-tip beef is located here, as are baby back ribs. The latter was Jeff’s favorite item on the buffet, and he went back for seconds on the ribs.

A piece of tri-tip steak is cut.

I am not sure if I’ve ever been to the PCH Grill before, and I enjoyed walking around to see the decor and artwork (most will be later in the article).

Garlic bread was located near the beginning of the buffet.

I don’t eat seafood, but Jeff really enjoyed the Littleneck clams.

Seafood alfredo pasta with shrimp.

Macaroni & cheese, along with tacos.

Deviled eggs.

The Cast Member who gave us a tour likes this pork best and highly recommended it, saying it was marinated for 12 hours. I don’t usually eat pork, but Jeff found it tasty.

The heirloom tomato-mozzarella salad was served in small dishes, and was one of my favorite items.

Jeff enjoyed the roasted potato salad.

I didn’t take photos of the salad area in time before it was a bit messy. The containers for the cucumbers, beets, carrots, onions and other items were on the small side and it was hard to remove the salad items neatly from them. But I did like the dark, leafy greens.

Jeff’s first plate included an assortment of items, including the pork, a small piece of tri-tip, cornbread and vegetables. The veggie skewers were delicious, and visually appealing.

This was my first regular plate (not including salad). The beef slider was a little dry for my taste – not bad, just not as juicy as I expected. The smashed potato was very good once I removed the cheese and sour cream topping from it. I did see a guest ask for a potato without topping, but I just easily peeled it off. I also removed the cheese from the slider myself, but the chefs at the restaurant seem to be very much on top of special orders.

Jeff took a few smaller bowls of items like the seafood pasta.

Shrimp in the pasta.

Littleneck clams.

Neither of us tried the fried chicken, as we’d just had the delicious Mrs. Knott’s chicken at Knott’s Berry Farm the day before.

Smashed potatoes with cheese and sour cream.

Jeff raved about the salmon.

It is easy to eat healthier on this buffet, with nice vegetables and fruit options.

Beef slides are part of the bonfire theme.

We didn’t try the hot dogs.

We didn’t have children with us, but I’m guessing this is for kids to make their own pizza.

We were told we could order personal sized pizzas as part of the buffet, so we ordered one to split. It was decent, but not the best I’ve ever had. If you are just looking for awesome pizza, try the Pizza Press on Harbor Blvd. (across from Disneyland). But this was fine for the buffet, though there were many better options available for the meal.

Dessert is a highlight here.

Jeff didn’t realize that these dessert cones were available to eat (he thought they were a decoration).

Dessert filled ice cream cones included vanilla bean, passion fruit or strawberry cream. Definitely worth saving room for!

Each dessert I tried was excellent, we didn’t try them all. The chocolate caramel tart with sea salt and bacon brittle had a lovely chocolate flavor.

This is a Hawaiian style dessert called Haupia pudding that has a coconut base. I don’t know how to pronounce it, and I didn’t have room to try it this time around.

We also didn’t try the brioche fresh fruit pizza, which looked delicious.

Fresh fruit skewers were popular at our table.

Build-your-own strawberry shortcake was as yummy as it sounds. I mentioned the small containers for the salad, which were also in play at the dessert bar.

The build-your-own s’more bar seemed to be the most popular dessert while we were there. The small containers were quickly emptied, I didn’t have a chance to pick out more than one graham cracker and the container wasn’t refilled quickly. It would be nice if they upped the size of the containers just a little bit – both for salads and desserts.

The s’mores bar included this chocolate, which was completely suitable for drinking. I didn’t, but it would have made a lovely chocolate drinking dessert!

S’mores please shark.

My s’mores actually does look like drinking chocolate with marshamallows, and my one graham cracker.

There is strawberry shortcake under there somewhere.

Here is a look around the restaurant, which has a casual, fun vibe. It also hosts a character breakfast in the morning.

Goofy on a surfboard.

Mickey’s on a surfboard over the dessert buffet.

The restaurant did get busier as we were dining.

There is some really great artwork here, including this Pacific Coast Highway painting.

There are also vintage (or vintage inspired) pieces.

Mickey can be found in this surfboard.

A variety of postcard art can be found around the rooms.

Mickey and Minnie dance.

Mickey can even be found at the dessert buffet.

Swirly straws are always a big hit.

While we continue to share restaurant photos, check out our Mousesteps Weekly #157 – we talk about our visit to the Beach Side Bonfire!

Greetings from Orange County.

There are a number of Britto pieces here.

I’m a big fan of designs by Britto.

PCH Grill.

Fireworks explode on a surfboard.

This is a fun piece of Disney artwork.

A monorail approaches the castle on this surfboard.

Santa Cruz.

We had many wonderful meals during our Disneyland visit, including Club 33 and Carthay Circle. But the Beach Side Bonfire was also a highlight for us, and we would return again. It is a nice option, not too far from the parks and Downtown Disney. The dinner buffet costs $27.99 for adults 10+ and $13.99 for ages 3-9. Call 714-781-DINE or book online. And check out our tips for visiting during the Disneyland 60th celebration!

We did pay full price minus our Premier Pass discount for the buffet.