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The Best Food for Kids (at Heart) at Disneyland

Confession: I bring nothing into Disneyland.

No snacks. No water. No change of clothes or, sometimes, even sunscreen. Most people hauling around a 6-year-old will at the very least bring a backpack, fill it with snacks maybe or an extra shirt or shorts in case of water rides.

I like to go more free and easy. There are, after all, plenty of water fountains all around, and you can generally find a snack for pretty cheap. I figure that even the slightly pricy corn dog or turkey leg is worth the price of not having to haul around a 20-pound backpack while I’m trying to get my fun on — especially on one of those hot, muggy summer days.

But really, I just love the food.

I enjoy stopping at some of the food shacks just as much as some of the rides, and so I plan to ditch the backpack in favor of the pit-stop.

Why?

Have you ever had a Dole Whip? That’s why.

It’s an after-dinner must while visiting the Mouse House, an old-school concoction of pineapple soft serve and juice. Mmm. It’s straight out of some 1950s cocktail party, minus the extra juice, and I love to munch on them while wandering around the lands.

But quick snacks aside, I also plan for some serious sit-down meals while in the park. No, not all the time — especially if you only have one day to visit. It seems silly to waste precious ride hours while sitting on your can and stuffing your face with all-American buffet. But if you have the time, it’s definitely a way to save your sanity by offering a little escape from the hustle.

My favorites are the Blue Bayou, a must-visit not only for the monte cristos but because how often can you dine in a Disney ride? I love it.

The American-style meals over at the Carnation Cafe are also a draw.

When we last visited, we used a Mobile Magic cell phone app to check out menus at restaurants and then headed to the nearest one to beat out an impending rain storm. It was relaxing to sit and eat in peace for an hour or so, waiting for the rain to clear. By the time the storm passed, we were fully recharged and ready to go. Thanks Blue Bayou. You were worth the wait.

What’s your favorite Disneyland restaurant, and how do you schedule breaks while visiting?

Mike Adamick writes at Cry It Out!

Previously on Babble

Hacking Disneyland

Kids and Trees: Summer’s Call of the Wild

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