The Best Eats at Disneyland Resort - Family Traveller (USA)

For a family vacation at Disneyland Resort, food is not just an essential part of the experience, but an exciting part of the experience. These days theme park food is so much more than burgers, chicken fingers and fries (although you can certainly get those, too). Throughout both Disneyland theme parks families can find themed cuisines, Mickey-shaped ice cream bars, churros and more — often served in a collectible container that kids will love. Here’s a round-up of the best edible — and Instagramable — eats throughout the Disneyland Resort.

Photo courtesy of Disney

Disneyland Park

  • When it comes to snacks, it’s hard to beat the classic Dole Whip found at the Tiki Juice Bar in Adventureland. A favorite is the Dole whip float – pineapple soft serve ice-cream served in a glass of pineapple juice. This is one of the most refreshing ways to cool off on a hot summer day.
  • Pair a classic New Orleans beignet with a Disney twist, and you’ll discover Mickey-shaped beignets at the Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square.
  • On Main Street, U.S.A., order a Matterhorn Macaroon at the Jolly Holiday Bakery. For bonus points, showcase it with the Matterhorn Bobsleds mountain in the background, and you have a perfect shot for Instagram.
  • If you can’t go to a theme park without getting a funnel cake, head over to Critter Country where the Hungry Bear Restaurant creates all kinds of decadent funnel cakes including the traditional with powdered sugar, a churro cake with cinnamon sugar and caramel and a Cherry Coke cake topped with sweet cherries stewed in Coca-Cola.
  • For a sit down meal at Disneyland, there’s nothing like the atmosphere of the Blue Bayou Restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. Fireflies blink and crickets chirp as you dine on the classic Monte Cristo sandwich watching the boats float by.

Photo courtesy of Disney

Photo courtesy of Disney

Disney California Adventure Park

  • Pixar Pier serves up its own version of the Dole Whip at the Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats. The Pixar Pier Frozen Parfait is lemon soft serve in a blue raspberry frozen beverage evoking the yellow & blue colors of the Pixar ball.
  • For a unique savory snack, Cars Land’s Cozy Cone Motel serves up a chili “cone” queso made up of chili and corn chips inside a bread cone.
  • And what’s a visit to a theme park without a corn dog? Corn Dog Castle in Paradise Gardens Park has traditional corn dogs and hot-links — both dipped in corn batter and fried to a golden brown.
  • The Lamplight Lounge at Pixar Pier is a sit-down restaurant that offers small bites, sandwiches, salads, and, of course, Ratatouille in a waterfront setting surrounded by drawings and artifacts from the Pixar artists.
  • The Carthay Circle Restaurant offers a signature fine-dining experience evoking the Golden Age of Hollywood. With a menu that includes steaks, chops and salmon, the Carthay Circle has a stellar reputation as the best restaurant in either Disneyland Resort theme park.

Disneyland Resort Hotel Dining

  • Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is home to award-winning Napa Rose. The upscale restaurant is one of the finest in the greater Los Angeles/Orange County area, and has received 5-stars from Zagat’s and the AAA 4 Diamonds rating. Napa Rose features California cuisine, an extensive wine list, and is a perfect place for a sophisticated adult dinner.
  • Each of the three Disneyland Resort hotels also offers a character dining option. Families can find Mickey Mouse at Mickey’s Tales of Adventure breakfast buffet at Storytellers Café, located in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Goofy has his very own kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel serving both breakfast and dinner. Donald Duck hosts a beach-themed breakfast at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel with his girlfriend Daisy.

By Dave Parfitt