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Disneyland’s Blue Bayou

Ye come seekin’ adventure with salty ol’ pirates, eh? Sure you’ve come to the proper place. But keep a weather eye open mates, and hold on tight. With both hands, if you please.

Ah, yes. We’re headed to the Blue Bayou. All jazzy New Orleans Square on the outside and dreaded pirates on the inside, these are some of the most coveted tables in Disneyland.

Atmosphere

Coming in from the busy New Orleans Square Royal Street outside (those little winding alleyways make it seriously congested in NOS!), Blue Bayou is like a hushed hive of activity. From the lobby, you can only catch a glimpse of shadows scurrying everywhere underneath the Chinese lanterns of the restaurant. The rest looks like sheer blackness — pitch dark.

From the Lobby Into the Restaurant

After giving your name to the reservations CM (hopefully you made an ADR — Blue Bayou is one of the only Disneyland restaurants for which a reservation is practically a necessity), take some time to peek around the lobby. Take in the incredible detailing of the walls, windows, and ceiling. Every inch of Disneyland is packed with intricate themeing.

Stained Glass Window Above Blue Bayou Door

Your Very Own Blue Bayou Gift Card

And while you’re waiting for your table, let the CM know that you’ll gladly wait for a table by the water. You might end up waiting for 45 minutes, but you’ll be glad you did. The difference between sitting closer to the door or kitchen vs. sitting by the water is substantial. Your experience will be completely different, and sitting by the water goes a long way to better integrate you into the theme of the restaurant.

Once you get inside and are shown to your table (seriously — bring a pen light — this place is d-a-r-k) let your eyes adjust as you take in the balconies of the buildings around you, the lanterns dotting the night “sky,” and the boats of eager pirate-lovers floating by.

Restaurant Themeing

Table Setting

Wide Shot of the Restaurant From the Water

That’s right — the restaurant is themed to have you in an outdoor courtyard next to a bayou, and those boats are actual Pirates of the Caribbean ride vehicles carrying your fellow theme park guests on their adventure! You’re part of the ride! See? I told you to sit by the water!

Pirates of the Caribbean Boat

Eats

When we ate at Blue Bayou, it took a while for us to stop staring at everything around us, but soon we turned our attention to the menu. The menu here is relatively short, but very interesting. Combining classic dishes and Cajun flair, just about every entree had a component I wanted to try (with accompaniments like “CousCous Macque Choux” and “citrus crawfish beurre blanc,” how could you not want to eat here?).

Menu -- Click for Larger Version

We took a long look and finally decided to order the Filet Mignon with bearnaise sauce and the Tesoro Island Chicken. Both came with Blue Bayou potatoes and seasonal vegetables. All entrees at the Blue Bayou are prefaced with either a “Cajun-inspired” salad or the delicious New Orleans gumbo that makes Disneyland’s New Orleans Square famous. Luckily, we were started with a basked of bread (always good to take the edge off…)

Bread Basket

The salad was nothing special (in our estimation), but the gumbo is to die for. Delicious. We order it whenever we can — Cafe Orleans, Blue Bayou…anywhere they’ll sell it. (I believe the Royal Street Verandah version is slightly different — can anyone corroborate?)

Cajun Inspired salad

Blue Bayou Gumbo

The entrees soon arrived and I was a bit…surprised. The steak looked good enough, but the chicken… well… the chicken looked like something I’d be served at a networking luncheon (and trust me, I’ve been to a lot of them). While it tasted fine, I hate to say that it was — in no way — worth the $27.99 I paid for it. As for sides, the Blue Bayou potatoes were decent, and the asparagus was less so. But the chicken was most definitely not what I was expecting.

Tesoro Chicken

The steak ended up being quite good — the bearnaise sauce adding a wonderful richness that we’d been anticipating. It was pricey ($36.99) and small, but we were very glad we ordered it. (Which is more than I can say for the chicken. Am I being a bit harsh here?)

Filet Mignon with Bearnaise Sauce

(By the way, while we didn’t go to the Blue Bayou for lunch, and therefore couldn’t order the famous Monte Cristo, we did order it a few days later at Cafe Orleans. Stay tuned for that review soon.)

The relative antipathy toward our entrees was unfortunate. Most reviews of Blue Bayou are glowing when it comes to the food and I wanted mine to be the same. Alas, in the future, I’m getting something more interesting for my entree. Something with citrus crawfish buerre blanc.

But, we must move on, and dessert was next! I couldn’t contain my excitement to see the dessert menu, but I already knew what I was getting: the pirate ship dessert. I’d heard about it. I’d read about it. I’d seen pictures of it!!! I couldn’t wait. It was supposed to be a big, gooey cookie in the shape of a boat, topped with pirate masts and flags and sails… oh, I was bursting at the seams!!!

The menu finally arrived! I held it up to the table candle (’cause it’s so dark you can’t read anything in there — did I already mention that?) and….

It wasn’t there. The pirate ship dessert wasn’t on the menu. I asked the server — surely it was just a specialty dessert that they didn’t list. But, no; to my dismay, the dessert had been discontinued. Our server told us that the company that made the pirate masts couldn’t make them fast enough for the restaurant, so the dessert had been given the axe.

Hmm. I’ll let you make head or tails of that in your own time, but we weren’t convinced. Sadly, our wrath couldn’t bring the pirate ship dessert back, so we had to go ahead and order the chocolate mousse cake and the creme brulee.

Chocolate Mousse Cake

There was nothing wrong with either of these desserts. They look gorgeous in the photos, and they were delicious. Maybe it was just my emotional response to the chickens and pirate ships that made the desserts forgettable to me, but they were that: standard. Standardly delicious, but still standard.

Creme Brulee

If you’d like to see a photo of the pirate ship dessert — along with great pics of some other signature Blue Bayou desserts and the fabulous monte cristo sandwich — check out this Daveland Blog post!

Overall

The atmosphere of this place is outstanding. Head in, get a table by the water, and you’ll be practically as steeped in Disneyland history as you can get. I can highly recommend Blue Bayou to any and all — especially if you can snag a lunch reservation and order that monte cristo.

For dinner, we were a little discouraged by the food quality, but, like I said, this was only one visit. I’ve read and heard many positive Blue Bayou reviews, so take my apathetic one with a grain of salt. Overall, this is must-do on your Disneyland trip.

And I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve been here! What did you order? Any suggestions or favorite items? Let me know in the comments below!

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32 Comments

  1. John says:

    I went here in 2007 with my cousin and we loved it. We had an ADR for lunch and got a table by the water. The salmon and gumbo were both delicious and the atmosphere was out of this world. I agree that this place is a must-do while at DisneyLand. Can’t wait to be back at Disney World in 2 weeks.

  2. marci says:

    so glad to hear you LOVED the gumbo! I ate at BB last october and my friend and I both agreed the gumbo was killer!!!! But some of my disney online friends don’t agree with me and thought the gumbo was gross. I thought it was excellent along with that salad! I had crab cakes for my entree which I thought were good and moist. I am so glad we went to BB, despite the bad reviews I sometimes heard about it. Maybe because I wasn’t expecting much when I went into it, but I thought it was all around a great meal!

  3. James says:

    Aww… My heart goes out to you. There’s nothing worse than anticipating eating something special and then finding out it is gone. Your excitement over the pirate ship dessert was contagious, and then the letdown just as crushing for me as it was for you. But thanks to your experience, I will tone down my expectations a little bit for the day when I make it out to Disneyland and eat at the Blue Bayou myself.

  4. robin says:

    i, too, was thoroughly disappointed in my meal at the blue bayou (BB) this past june. for YEARS, i longed to go to this restaurant (YEARS!) i don’t know why it was so amped up in my mind, but i was expecting super gourmet.

    i ordered the monte cristo with the salad. i had the monte cristo back in dec 2009 at cafe orleans & LOVED it. of course, i thought it would be a winner at BB too. anyway, the salad was tasty, nothing special as you mentioned, but tasty. my entree came out shortly after the salad. (they run a tight ship there at BB. we had a party of 40 & they had us all served within minutes.) i was expecting my monte cristo to be light & crisp, just as i had remembered it at cafe orleans. unfortunately, it was soggy & heavily laden with oil. I WAS SO DISAPPOINTED. boooooooooooooo!

    the side of potatoes was actually pretty good though. i would’ve gladly eaten another helping of them.

    all in all, i would say the best part of my meal at the BB were the dinner rolls — they were simple & warm. yum. also, the waitstaff is very attentive & great. however, i won’t be going back anytime soon for their food. definitely not. i’ll take cafe orleans (where everything is a good $10-15 cheaper) over BB any day.

  5. Hazel Crowther says:

    Thankyou so much for the memories of this wonderful resturant that my Husband and I went to on our wedding anniversary 30 years ago! Don’t actually remember the food but the atmosphere was one of the best experinces of my life. We’re from the Uk and hope to visit again soon to see how everything has changed after all this time. I enjoy reading your blog on twitter.
    Regards Hazel.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I’m a DLR local and have Been going to Blue Bayou since I was a kid. It’s pretty much always been about the atmosphere. I’ve never found the food to be anything special. Of course, I’ve never had that Pirate Ship Cookie. At this point I would usually rather go to Cafe Orleans for a Monte cristo and pomme frites.

  7. Kelly says:

    When we went out to DL, we skipped Blue Bayou. I couldn’t justify spending those prices… I ate at the equivalent in Disneyland Paris back in 1999, and while I remember the atmosphere being neat, I wasn’t drawn in by the atmosphere enough to balance out the extra cost.

    It’s like eating at the Castle in WDW. Food is mediocre for the price you pay…but you’re eating in the castle (or in this case, the Pirates of the Caribbean.) I think you have to ask, what’s it worth to you?

  8. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for reviewing Blue Bayou! We were planning our meals last night and Blue Bayou was on the list for dinner for our first night (looking forward to the Café Orleans review as that will be dinner on our final night!). A question – do you (or any of you awesome DFB fans) know what the current split plate charge is? I’ve seen $4-5 & $12. I’m not crazy about the menu, and between the bread and the gumbo, I’ll be pretty much set! Thanks for any help you can provide!

  9. Scott says:

    I have to disagree on the gumbo; when I went it wasn’t very good and tasted like it had chili powder in it. But I’m also from New Orleans, so I’m a bit of a gumbo snob. Everything else at Blue Bayou was pretty good.

  10. Keith says:

    I have always loved Blue Bayou, it was always our first stop on each Disneyland trip. Fantastic atmosphere, just can’t be beat.

    However, since they opened Café Orleans next door, I have stopped going to Blue Bayou. I think the food is better, and the cost is considerably less. I miss the great atmosphere in the restaurant, but in the end, I have a better experience next door. A combination of the Pommes Frites and Monte Cristo cannot be beat at any Disney restaurant, anywhere.

  11. AJ says:

    John — Thanks for your review! Any dining arrangements planned for WDW in two weeks?

    Marci — Yep, I agree that the gumbo is fantastic! Great review!

    James — Ha ha! Thanks for your sympathy. After the so-so meal we’d had, I was hoping to salvage the meal with that dessert, but it was not to be. Just so you know, Big Thunder Ranch has a GIANT cookie/ice cream dessert that filled the need later in the week ;-)

    robin — Oh, poor you! High hopes dashed when it comes to food are just a bummer. :-( I’m glad we also ate at Cafe Orleans, though, and we’ll be booking several meals there on our next trip. Gumbo, Frites, Monte Cristo, Mickey Beignets. That’s my mantra!

    Hazel — Thanks for your kind comment! I’m so glad I could re-awaken memories :-) The atmosphere at this restaurant is fantastic. Congratulations on all of your wonderful years of marriage!

    Jennifer — Yep — that’s where I am too, at this point. Too bad, though; the atmosphere is very cool. Maybe not worth the prices too many times in a row, though. Where else do you like to eat in Disneyland? Any tried and true favorites?

    Kelly — That’s why I recommend going at least once. If you’re a Disney history fan like me, it’s really fun to eat in places like the castle and Blue Bayou. But, like any other restaurant, if the food doesn’t match up to the experience, people probably won’t come back too many times.

    Sarah — I’m not sure! I’ll open that up to my twitter and facebook folks to see if we can find an answer.

    Scott — I’ll defer to your gumbo taste! We loved it, but we don’t eat all that much gumbo. When it comes to Buffalo chicken wings I can be a bit on the snobby side, so I get where you’re coming from and appreciate your review! ;-)

    Keith — I agree; I’m going to be hard pressed to match the Pommes Frites – Monte Cristo – Mickey Beignets of Cafe Orleans.

  12. Jessica says:

    I absolutely LOVE Blue Bayou, it’s like this relaxing, dark, & quiet respite from the crazy crowds & sun outside. I basically only go to Disneyland during the summer so Blue Bayou’s environment is very appreciated. The food is great & I love when I get a table next to the water.

    OH, side bar, during the re-opening of PotC a couple years ago Blue Bayou had a special menu & themded desserts. They let me keep the actual plastic menu w/art from the PotC movie on the back. It’s hanging in my “Disney room” now.

  13. Lura says:

    I’ve been to BB twice, and underwhelmed by the food both times. Even remembering that its theme park pricing, it just doesn’t feel worth the money. A great experience once (sitting inside the Pirates ride is so cool!) but definitely no need to go more than once.

  14. Watch Me Eat says:

    Cool! It’s like Epcot’s Mexican restaurant, only pirate themed!

  15. Jason says:

    I had an apathetic experience with the meal too but that was because my trip to DL was impromptu and thus i couldn’t make ADRs. And when i did go there to make reservations, all we could do was a late lunch. I wasn’t very hungry that day and didn’t enjoy the jambalaya as much as i had been enjoying the gumbo from nearby Royal St Veranda. That said, the ambience is top notch and almost unparalleled. That’s part of why i like eating at Epcot’s Mexico, even if the food isn’t always grand. And it’s the type of experience that I love at Disney. I know the theming wouldn’t necessarily carry over to Florida properly but i’d still love it they did something similiar (perhaps with island-themed food instead)

  16. Rachel says:

    the entire time i was like “WHY HAVENT YOU ORDERED THE MONTE CRISTO!” LOL but that steak looks DELISH!

  17. justin says:

    the unfortunate thing about the blue bayou is that while i love the restaurant’s atmosphere, the management has decided to run the place like it is a banquet kitchen. rather than getting a robust menu with a wide array of options, you get to pick from a limited amount of entrees and appetizers that are easy to prepare and are most likely mostly prepared on an on-going basis to cut time (ie they know they’ll get x number of orders for the chicken in this timeframe, so they have them already cooking). alas, you wind up with a bland set of offerings that look like they should be served at a high school reunion at a marriott somewhere, rather than at a fine dining restaurant. then the servers whisk out the food to you, covered by those little tin things that you only see when food is pre-made (on cruiseships, banquets, etc) and at hotel room service. while the atmosphere is great, the food and service is second-rate, at best.

  18. Ruth says:

    I recently went to Disneyland.. yesturday infact. My mom and I went to Blue Bayou it was really nothing new to us. The service was really good specially because my mom knows Chef Moises, unfortunatly he wasnt there that day. But andyways the food was delicious as well. My mom ordered the Tesora Island Chicken and the salad and I ordered the ribs and the gumbo both very good. the only upset i had was that my dessert was totally diffrent from other times insted of getting the trio creeme brulee i got one i was very upset but managed to finish the whole thing. I rate Blue Bayou a 9/10.

  19. AJ says:

    Justin — I agree 100%. Thank you so much for your comment!

    Ruth — Thanks for the rating! I wonder how often the desserts change out…

  20. Marie says:

    I am from Louisiana and it breaks my heart every time I see a cup of gumbo with an island of converted rice floating on top. With all the wonderful rice varieties being grown in Louisiana, and around the world, it’s a crying shame to be served processed brown rice. I know you can do better, Disney chefs!

  21. Melissa says:

    I too have been disappointed with their menu. They recently stopped serving the steak during the day. Be warned that if you want steak you need to make reservations after 5 p.m . I made the mistake of making a reservation before 5 p m. and planned to have the steak they could not serve it to us until later. This was on my Birthday and it was slightly busy due to Super Bowl Sunday. We were promised priority seating and that didn’t happen, finally after about 30 minutes they got back to us. We did talk to a manager about the service and he did try to make it right. Overall the food was good, but not knowing that they had changed the serving times of the food was my main issue. I would give them a 7/10 for this run. I hope that when we go again it will be a better experience.

  22. AJ says:

    Marie — Thanks for your review!

    Melissa — Thanks for the review. I’m so surprised they wouldn’t cook you up a steak! Usually Disney restaurants are so good about things like that… Weird!

  23. Melissa says:

    AJ, I was surprised they wouldn’t just do it either, but lesson learned. If you want the Fillet Mignon you have to make dinner; not lunch reservations. Here is to hoping that the experience will be better next year on my birthday.

  24. Sheryl says:

    My daughter and I went there on New Years Day for dinner. She had the Tesoro Chicken and was very pleased. I had the Cajon-spiced Salmon which was excellent! The salad is good, but, yes, nothing special. I tasted my daughter’s gumbo and had forgotten how delicious it is – next time gumbo! Though pricey, the atmosphere for Disney fans is well worth it. We go whenever we make a trip to Disneyland.

  25. AJ says:

    Melissa — Hoping for the better experience on your birthday, too! Fingers crossed :-)

    Sheryl — Thanks for the review! Agreed 100% that the atmosphere is ideal here.

  26. samantha says:

    we eat here every year and unfortunately the menu and quality of the food has diminished since 2005 :( in 2005 they had the molasses brinned pork chop and it was amazing everyone in my family chose different dishes and all of them were amazing the salad was a wedge style and was really good and the gumbo was just as amazing they had a delicious shrimp and crab cake appetizers and the creme burlee trio fantastic!!!!!!!! now they have no appetizers barely any dessert and the only thing on the menu that taste good any more is the potatoes its the only thing that hasnt changed all though the gumbo is okay it is nothing campared to what it used to be :( which is sad the only thing that keeps this place going any more is the atmosphere the bayou sounds are lovely

  27. AJ says:

    Samantha — I agree with you on the quality of the meal. The atmosphere is amazing, but I wish the food was as outstanding.

  28. samantha says:

    ya i wish they would bring back some of the older great tasting dishes i was shocked when they stopped selling the flying dutchman cookie boat i kno i saw one of those at every table and with the members in my family we always had at least two on to of the tortuga trio cream brulee now they only offer the van one :( the appetizers were just as good even know the quality of the food has diminished ive noticed that the wait staff has even gotten worse … last time we went and keep in mind we go to disneyland at least 3-4 times a year and a big fam vaca too the waitress we had was standing against the wall ignoring all her tables we had the bus boy taking care of us he had to bring us more rolls and refills and even help us get our food giant fail on the waitresses part after we finished the meal the bf called the bus boy over to our table and thanked him for doing someone elses job and gave him ten bucks he deserved a tip we also left 4 bucks on the table for the server who never served us this not being enough for her she fallowed us out of the resturaunt out into new orleans square and gave us our money back !!! that was the rudest thing i have ever seen in my life i had to complain to the gm but honestly who does that !!!!

  29. Hilary says:

    I just discovered this site and am so happy I did – thanks for the great reviews and photos!

    Though I’m a pretty experienced foodie in addition to being a big Disney fan, I actually had the opposite experience to yours (and every other commenter it seems) when I went to BB for lunch over Thanksgiving Weekend. My previous visit had left me underwhelmed, so I expected it would be an average meal in a charming setting, but was pleasantly surprised to find my short ribs were delicious! My husband ordered the strip loin and it wasn’t bad either, but the short ribs really stood out and came in a very generous portion size (relative to the size of that filet in your photo). The only complaint I have about the meal is that it definitely felt like they were trying to get us in and out quickly, but that’s understandable given the demand. I’m going back for dinner later this month so we’ll see if it was just a fluke, but if you haven’t tried the short ribs yet, please do and let us know what you think! : )

    Also, another cool thing about the BB dining area is that you can see the servers enter/exit a back entrance to Club 33 (in the white balcony above the restrooms – I think they may share the same kitchen?) and if the door opens wide enough, you catch a glimpse of the decor inside. : )

  30. G Boyer says:

    I had the boneless ribs which were excellent. The gumbo soup was also delicious. We left no room for desert so didnt get to try those. Interestingly, the prices have gone up considerably. My wife, 10 year old son and I managed to spend $140 including tip.

  31. AJ says:

    Samantha — Wow!! Thanks for sharing the story!!

    Hilary — Welcome to DFB!!! I’m so glad you had a great visit! Let me know how it goes for dinner! :-)

    G Boyer — Thanks for the corroboration with Hilary on those ribs! I gotta get ‘em!

  32. Dena W says:

    Have to completely disagree with you on the Tesoro Chicken! We eat at Blue Bayou every chance we get (premium passholders so we are there a lot!) and my husband and I get it every single time. We think it is yummy!!! Our 5-year-old daughter raves about the macaroni and cheese! Our daughter and I always start with the salad, husband always gets the gumbo.

    And its dark because its part of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride – can’t exactly have bright lights in there as the boats are floating by. We actually think it adds to the ambiance.

    Can’t say about the desserts – always too full! And alot of times we leave there for reserved seats for Fantasia where they, by the way, give each of you a huge platter of desserts and hot cocoa!

    Only thing that would make the dinner better would be if we could order a glass of wine – but that’s Disneyland for you. Want wine? Just have to wander across to DCA

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