Theme Park food is renowned world over to be low quality, unimaginative expensive junk food. An array of burgers, chips, hotdogs, and snacks all at extortionate prices and scraping the barrel in terms of quality. We have eaten enough of this food to testify, on the whole, the reputation is justified! However, Disney completely bucks this trend. Not only are Disney Restaurants creative and inventive, but they also maintain really high standards and in many cases are top quality establishments.
We delve into the world of Disney Dining and bring you all the best restaurants In Disneyland California in our Where To Eat In Disneyland California Guide. Disney has taken Themepark Dining to a completely different level, at the resort you will find a huge variety of restaurants, cafes, food stands and Bars all producing excellent quality food. While some are the regular Burgers and Hotdogs, and it is still pretty expensive, the quality and uniqueness outshines other theme park offerings. You will also find High-End fine dining, Heavily themed experience restaurants, Character dining, all you can eat buffets and so much more.
Disney has gone to great lengths to ensure the dining scene is an attraction in its own right. You really could visit the resort as a gastro trip and ignore the rest of the attractions. Admittedly that would be very expensive and ill-advised but the food really is that good!
Where To Eat In Disneyland California
The Focus of this Article is the Restaurants, Food Stands, and Bars Within Disneyland Park. There are loads more options in the resort. The Hotels, Disney Downtown, and of Course Disney California Adventure, All have Great options. We go into these is the following Articles:
Best Signature Dining Disneyland
This one is easy…There isn’t any! For fine Dining and Signature restaurants at Disneyland, you need to head out of Disneyland Park. You have Carthey Circle at the DCA, Catel at Downtown Disney, Afternoon Teas, and Steakhouse 55 at Disneyland Hotel and Napa Rose at Grand Floridian.
To find out more check out our other Dining Locations pages above or we have the best Signature Dining at Disneyland California article as well!
Best Unique or Themed Dining in Disneyland
PRICE: Ala Carte $30 – $56 for an Entree, Starters, and Desserts $9-$14 and Kids meals are $9-$13
Ever dreamt of dining inside the actual Pirates of the Caribbean ride, right next to the stinky swamp water while the ride boats float by your table! No? well neither have we, but now you can! Despite this less than stellar introduction, The Blue Bayou is right up there as our favorite dining experience in Disneyland.
The Opening Sequence of Pirates sees you sail peacefully along a New Orleans Bayou at night, Stars fill the sky and frogs and crickets chirp, and as the boats pass a New Orlean restaurant the diners are the real guests at the Blue Bayou restaurant. It is this wonderful setting and immersive experience that set this restaurant up as a must-do dining experience.
Food is high-end but probably overpriced. We are not in Fine-Dining territory but paying fine dining prices. The cost is in the experience and as a one-off or a treat meal, it’s worth every penny. The Menu is French-American with some creole twists. The Lobster and Filet Mignon is the headliner ($56) but the Huge Bone-in Ribeye is also excellent. We were let down by the Jambalaya, at $36 you expect something breathtaking and it was just above average.
This is a dry restaurant which is disappointing but the norm in Disneyland. Really the Atmosphere and experience of dining “outside” in the deep south at night is what makes the restaurant one of Disneys must-visit dining experiences.
Other great options:
Ogas Cantina – We love Oga’s but the experience is more of a Bar than restaurant so we will revisit this location later on in the Bar Section.
Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience – This $50 dining package offers hot and cold beverages plus a sort of fancy packed lunch consisting of a cheeseboard and some fancy dessert treats. Overall it is overpriced but the location overlooking Tomorrowland, The Matterhorn, and of course the Castle, makes this a great way to wind down your day and relax while you take in the Fireworks show!
Best Character Dining Disneyland
Meeting Minnie Mouse at Minnie & Friends: Breakfast in the Park – Plaza Inn
PRICE: $44 for adults and $26 for kids (ages 3 to 9)
Inside the park, Character Dining is very limited. Essentially you have one option. Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn. This is an all you can eat Buffet where Minnie & Friends wander around for a table-side meet and greets. The Characters are pretty random and you can expect a whole host of different Disney Stars to show up, from the regular Goofey, Donald and Mickey to some more obscure but great guests. We have seen, Pooh, Eeyore, Chip and dale, Timon and even Rafiki, a very rare occurrence! The best thing about the characters is the sheer number, it is not unusual for 10+ to turn up during your breakfast so you really never know who you are going to see.
The restaurant is a beautiful victorian era establishment with high ceilings crystal chandeliers and Stain glass windows, The restaurant has been on Main Street since park opening (previously Red Wagon Inn) and is a staple of any Disney Experience.
Food is regular Breakfast buffet fare, Mickey Waffles, Eggs Sausage Bacon Pastries, and cereal, they even offer fresh omelets to order. It’s not the fanciest meal in the world but it is tasty and reasonable quality and the “all you can eat” ensures you will be well set up for the day! Food Wise it is not the best Character Meal but the experience puts this as one of the best character experiences anywhere in Disney.
Remember the Plaza Inn is only Character Dining for breakfast. At other times of the day, it reverts t a regular ala carte. As the restaurant is inside the park you can get early admission with a 7:10 am reservation and by the time breakfast is done you can be first in the queue for Rides and Fast/MaxPass reservations!
Other great options:
As this is the only Character Dining inside the park there are no other options but check out our Best Character Dining at Disneyland California for out of park options.
Best Table Service Dining Disneyland
We think the Blue Bayou s one of the best restaurants in all of Disney and as it is technically a Table Service Restaurant it should be top here but as it is covered above then we will let some other dining options feature here:
PRICE: Ala Carte $20-$25 entree’s
If the Cajan/Creol Deep South menu of Blue Bayou tickles your fancy but the $56 entrees price tag is less appealing you can check out the wonderful Cafe Orleans. A far more casual experience without the ambiance and theatre of Blue Bayou but minus the eyewatering prices. The relaxed Cafe experience brings you the great cuisine of New Orleans to the wonderful riverbank setting in Disneyland.
Seating is on the outdoor terrace overlooking the rivers of America, watch the hustle and bustle of Esplande go by as you relax with some of Disneyland’s best food. While the Mark Twain riverboat glides by. Based around the legendary Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans this is a real treat for foodies the world over.
The Monte Cristo Sandwich is their signature Item ($21) and combined with the Cajon fries ($8) makes for a fantastic meal. Also, you simply cannot miss out on the Beignets a real New Orleans Classic.
Other great options:
We love bbq food and hunt it out everywhere we go in the States. The river belle Terrace is a Southern-style restaurant with several BBQ style dishes on the menu such as Ribs, Mac and Cheese, Pulled Pork Sandwich and one of our favorites Burnet End Brisket Sandwich along with some imaginative desserts. However, the food is not the best BBQ we have eaten with fairly small servings and only ok quality. It’s has a lovely location and well worth checking out but it is far from the best BBQ you will find.
The Plaza Inn offers an Alacate Menu for both lunch and dinner and the food is really good and prices reasonable($15-19 entrees), especially for such an iconic location. However we really love the character breakfast here and don’t like dining in the same place twice. But if you are not one for character meals or are in the parks for a few days the Plaza in is a great choice.
This classic American diner/cafe serves up some real American classics such as Chicken Fried Chicken, Homemade Meatloaf, Cheesburger, Turkey Sandwich, and deep-fried pickles. It is not the most imaginative of the menu’s but the quality is some of the best in the park and service is extraordinary. The restaurant feels like stepping back in time and you can easily imagine yourself back in Disneylands heyday or even the early 1900s and the golden era of America!
Best Quick Service Restaurants Disneyland
Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe
This legendary Cafe right on the Main Street Plaza is the perfect place to pick up the best treats Disney has to offer. The bakery offers seasonal Bakery treats to reflect the season and any holidays that are currently happening. Savory dishes are ok and the spot is a nice place to grab lunch but that is NOT the reason to head here. it is the creative and imaginative patisserie offerings. Eggnog Cheesecake,
Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron, Heart-shaped Mouse cake, and Dole Whip Donut.
Whatever the season or holiday there is sure to be something REALLY Instagram worthy here to show what a fantastic time you are having in at Disneyland. Everything we have tried here tastes utterly divine aswell!
Other great options:
Bengal Barbeque offers a street food style snack menu with skewers of meat and vegetables fresh off the flame grill. It is not fancy but the smell of freshly grilled meat will draw you in and the prices are fairly reasonable for Disney. The Bengal Rice plate is great value at $16.99 with two skewers of your choice with rice and salad. And don’t miss the tiger tail breadstick, delicious cheesy breadstick that makes the meal go a bit further. We tend to share one stick between two people.
Similar to Cafe Orleans and bringing more deep south flavor to Disneyland the French Market Restaraunt is not “French” but “French Quarter New Orleans”. Our Favourites are the Hearty Louisiana Beef Stew served in a Bread Bowl and the Jambalaya. Skip dessert and head to the Mint Julep Bar (below) for some Mickey Shaped Beignets!
Best Food Carts and Snacks Disneyland
There are two people in this world who have tried Dole Whip and Those that have not. If you have, we don’t need to tell you why the Tiki Juice Bar is top. Those that haven’t we don’t need to say much other than you need to get into the other category and this is the place to do it!
There really isn’t much to the place, they serve the amazing Dole Whip, on its own or as a Pineapple Juice float. Either way, it is incredible and takes us straight back to Hawaii and the Dole Plantations.
Yes, It is just Pineapple flavored Soft Serve Ice-cream, but somehow it is SO much more than that!
Other great options:
Mickey Beignets and refreshing Mint Julep, make this bar a must-try in the park. Both are icons of the deep south and here is one of the best places, outside of the south to get your hands on them!
Just a shame there is no Burbon in sight!
I am going to be honest here, as a kid when watching Star Wars I never once looked in envy at the Blue Milk and thought I got to get me some of that! Like most commentators have suggested. I mean it’s only Bantha Milk and probably is pretty Ghastly like Yaks milk!
However, when Disney announced they were bringing the Iconic beverage to galaxies Edge we naturally rejoiced! It was obviously not going to be the milk of a mythical space east and as such would have a delicious Dsinsy taste and we could finally enjoy drinking milk like a Jedi!
The blue milk has a sweet coconut milk taste with tropical flavors not unlike Lassi, however that may not help if you are unfamiliar with the Indian Drink. It is fairly innocuous and quite pleasant really. Not something we crave daily but a MUST try at the park
Also, try Kat Saka’s Kettle for some very peculiar Popcorn that splits opinion!
Best Bar in Disneyland
PRICE: Drinks $6-$13 Non-Alcoholic $15-17 Alcoholic
Easily the best bar inside the Disneyland park. This a very easy call as it the ONLY Bar inside Disneyland Park. Oga’s Cantina was the first place in the park to break Walts “dry” rule. However, Oga’s Cantina is a wonderful spectacle worthy of visiting regardless of your desire to grab a drink in the park.
Based around a typical Cantina found throughout the Galaxy. Oga’s is very reminiscent of the Moss Eisley cantina seen in “A New Hope”. A hangout for bounty hunters, Smugglers, the worst villainy and scum in the universe, and a bunch of happy fresh-faced tourists!
While there is a selection of Star-Wars themed beers and wines on the menu the star of the show is the wacky Cocktails. Fuzzy Tauntau, Dagobah Slug Slinger, T-16 Skyhopper, Jedi Mind Trick, Jet Juice, The Outer Rim and the $42 Yub Nub served in a souvenir Endor mug are some of the creative and wacky dinks on the menu. Also, look out for the Blue Bantha…non alcoholic but it is the actual blue milk consumed all across the Galaxy.
Have Your Say
What is your favorite Disney Dining location? What are your favorite dishes? Have you experienced any of the restaurants on our list? how was it for you? or maybe you have a favorite we missed out? whatever you have to say just fire away in the comments below or if you have any questions we would love to hear from you.