Many have a love/hate relationship with the food at Disneyland, but over the years the “hate” is losing to the “love.” Disneyland has made a very conscious decision to offer not just healthier choices in the parks but way yummier ones as well. There are now foods that Disneyland visitors not just will look forward to but ones they adore and crave, present company included.
Occasionally, I will feel the need to fly down to Disneyland just to snag one of their hand-dipped corn dogs, to splurge on a greasy Monte Cristo and although we make our own Mickey Mouse pancakes at home, it just isn’t the same as having them at the River Belle Terrace.
Here are my personal picks of the 12 best (but not necessarily the best for you) things to eat in Disneyland!
These beignets — sold in New Orleans Square at the Cafe Orleans or at the Mint Julep Bar — are not for the faint of heart. The amount of sugar that they douse on them is stunning, especially when you get them "to go" from the Mint Julep bar. There they throw the freshly fried beignets in a bag with a couple cups of powered sugar. They are decadent, sweet and totally delicious.
Helpful Hint: Order a hot cocoa as well and dip the beignets in the chocolate. Delicious!
While my family does not eat things like corn dogs at home, we do while in Disneyland. It's like drinking expensive champagne on New Year's Eve or having that second slice of cake on your birthday; it's something you just indulge in. The funny thing is, we don't even like corn dogs that much, but something about the hand-dipped corn dogs in Disneyland are just so irresistible that we always get one (or two).
Helpful Hint: Get the apple slices instead of the potato chips, might as well add a little bit of healthy to the meal.
One of my go-to comfort foods is a grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of tomato soup to dip it in. At the Mary Poppins themed Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe they offer the aptly named Jolly Holiday Combo which includes a "Toasted Cheese Sandwich with Tomato Basil Soup," pairing. And although it's often hot in Anaheim, this lunch classic always seems to hit the spot.
Helpful Hint: Go outside and eat on the patio, it's especially fun when you are serenaded by the ragtime stylings of the resident piano player nearby.
You can not go to Disneyland, with or without kids, without getting Mickey Mouse pancakes. They are a classic! On every trip we go to the River Belle Terrace Restaurant for breakfast. It's become one of our Disney traditions.
Helpful Hints: Keep your kid/s in line with you so they can watch the Mickey pancakes being made right in front of their eyes.
The Carnation Cafe on Main Street recently went through an overhaul, both outside and in the kitchen. The offering are old-school comfort food classics with the occasional new-school culinary nod; they have menu items like their "homemade meatloaf," but also "buttermilk fried chicken breast with mashed potatoes and an edamame succotash," and you can get your cheeseburger with roasted poblano green chiles. After our third time there, we realized that this was one of our new Disneyland food stops, my husband was a big fan of the Chicken Fried Chicken pictured above.
Helpful Hint: They will give you a pager when you put your name on the list at the host station, which is helpful so you can stroll around Main Street while you wait.
This is truly an indulgence. The Monte Cristo is served at both the Cafe Orleans and also the Blue Bayou. It is not health food. Repeat, this is not health food. This is a fried ham and cheese sandwich that is every inch a calorie laden luxury.
Helpful hint: Split it! You really don't need to eat the whole thing yourself. Also, don't plan on riding any thrill rides afterwards, give your tummy time to rest. Photo Source: Disneyland parks
I wish I had a photo of it, but the last time we went to Disneyland was during the holiday season and we had a roasted pork platter that was rich, succulent and very tasty, oh and the tamales we had to share were totally scrumptious. While those two dishes are purely seasonal, we've really enjoyed the Burrito Sonora and the Citrus Fire-Grilled Chicken, the entrees come with rich and beans so they really fill you up and get you ready to enjoy the rest of your day. Pictured above is the citrus fire-grilled chicken.
Helpful Hint: Little kids will love the easy to eat (Arroz con Pollo — Chicken & rice with a side of applesauce)
This is one of new our family favorites although it's been around a while. Not only do you get hearty helpings of yummy BBQ chicken, ribs, sausages, beans, cole slaw, corn and cornbread, but it's all-you-can-eat. Along with the down-home cooking is the added entertainment with an old timey musical review that takes the stage throughout the day.
Helpful hint - Come hungry. Also take a moment to visit the animals in the petting zoo afterwards, like the turkey that is pardoned by the President!
This photo does not do this treat justice. I had the cream cheese pretzel for the first time on my last visit to the Magic Kindgom and I, and my thighs, wondered where it had been all our lives. The deceptively simple snacks are pumped full of creamy, rich, sweet cream cheese. And if you like it spicy, you can get one that is spiked with jalapeños.
Helpful hint: It is huge and very rich, I would suggest splitting it.
I love, love, love Bengal Barbeque. After days of eating cream cheese filled pretzels, Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes, corn dogs, beignets and Monte Cristos, my body is in need of veggies. The Bengal Barbeque is easy to miss, it's a small eatery across from the Indiana Jones ride and offers surprisingly great chicken, beef and veggie skewers at very reasonable prices.
Helpful Hint: Sometimes they have a sign up saying that additional seating is available at Aladdin's Oasis, if it up, make sure to take them up on their offer. It's very peaceful, quiet and pretty.