Need advice concerning meals in the parks
About This Page: This is a discussion on Need advice concerning meals in the parks within the DL: Feasting and Snacking: The Eateries, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; I will have two days in the parks in September. What would be your suggestions?
I am planning on dinner ...
Welcome! We're happy you've found the PassPorter Community -- the friendliest place to plan your vacation to Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, and the world in general! You are now viewing the PassPorter Message Board Community as a guest, which gives you limited access. As our guest, feel free to browse our messages by selecting the forum you want to visit from the list below.
To post messages and ask questions, join our FREE community today and you'll get access to tools and resources not available to guests, such as our vacation countown timers, "living" avatars, private messaging system, database searches, downloads, and a special PassPorter discount code. Registration is fast, simple, and completely free. Just click the Join Our Community link.
Part of this depends on where you go (which parks at what time). I recommend that either one of your dinners or your breakfast be a character meal - good ones are Goofy's Kitchen (in DLH) or Minnie's breakfast in DL. Others speak highly of Storytellers' Chip & Dale breakfast, but I'm not wild about the restaurant.
Blue Bayou is a really good experience, though it is a bit pricey for what you get. It could, though, make a good dinner.
I really like the Wharf in DCA (Boudin's) and Wine Country Trattoria. Both are "must do" for us when we are there, however we have more time (4 days).
Whatever you decide, you should consider making a PS (Priority Seating) for the sit-downs (character meals, Wine Country Trattoria, Blue Bayou). I doubt they'll be full ahead of time, but the day of they probably won't be taking too many walk-ins and I think you'll need to plan your day a bit more than the casual guest.
There are only decent restaurants in Disneyland. They are Rocket's pizza port for buffet Italian pasta and pizza and the other decent one's are the Plaza Cafe, Carnations and the French Market Restaurant. Blue Bayou has a great atmosphere but is way overpriced. The problem is Disneyland was built so long ago that retrofitting food service in the park is hard to do. Rocket's is the latest addition and it shows.
In DCA the vineyard room at the Golden State winery is pretty good and is sit down.
Outside the parks is the ESPN sports zone which has a different menu and is much better than other ESPN restaurants. The jazz kitchen is good, but a bit pricey. The White River cafe next to the grand Californian pool is the quickest, best place for breakfast and the Compass bookstore has coffee and breakfast items too. Personally I avoid the rain forest cafe. There are a number of restaurants within walking distance such as Tony Roma's, Cheesecake factory, PF Chang's etc.
The best sit down restaurant is the Napa Rose and is among the better restaurants in Orange County as well. This one is sit down and $50+ a person but you won't be disappointed.
Carnation Cafe, Bengal BBQ, and the Plaza Inn are some of our favorites. We also really enjoyed the re-make of the Big Thunder BBQ place. For a trip the length of yours, I'd probably choose the one table service place that really appealed to me, and then do the rest counter service whenever and wherever I happened to be at the particular meal time, or whatever struck my fancy at the time. DLR has really good counter service options, so it's not like you'd be stuck eating burgers and corn dogs the whole time (although the corn dogs are especially yummy ). Have fun!
Brunch - The best character dining, in my opinion, is The Plaza Inn at DL. It has great food and features numerous characters (Cap't Hook, Fairy Godmother, Chip & Dale, Minnie, Tigger, Goofy's son <can never remember his name, LOL!>, more...).
Lunch - If you want character dining for lunch, Ariel's Grotto in CA is very good. Good food and several Disney Princesses as well as Alice In W. all stop by for a visit. In addition, there is a full bar upstairs.
Dinner - In CA, Trattoria is pretty good. They also have wine, including a wine bar outside for tasting with a great selection of California wines.
Lunch or Dinner - Blue Bayou. It's expensive, but the food is very good and the ambiance can't be beat!
There are lots of other decent food choices that don't require priority seatings. The Mexican place by Big Thunder Mtn RR, several places in Orlean's Square, Pizza Port in Tomorrowland are all good. The places mentioned at the top should have priority seatings made (which can be done 60 days in-advance).