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Dining in Disneyland: Celebrating Mardi Gras and Family Fun Weekends at The French Market

Celebrate Mardi Gras and Family Fun Weekends at French Market in Disneyland! Heather Sievers, our Dining in Disneyland columnist, has more!

Chip and Dale

With Disneyland’s Family Fun Weekends in full swing, it’s time for a Mardi Gras celebration.  Surprisingly, after years and years of being an annual passholder, I had never once been to The French Market.  When I eat in that area it’s usually for a Monte Cristo at Cafe Orleans.  Because of the special Mardi Gras menu, I decided to branch out and try something new.

French Market Entrance

French Market Food Pick Up

The fun thing about today’s lunch was that it was sans kids, with a friend. Therefore, no kids’ meals to deal with and we could try some things without listening to complaints that they didn’t have corn dogs at this establishment.

French Market Menu

Mardi Gras Family Fun Weekends Menu

The French Market is counter service restaurant, but with their festive dinnerware, lovely seating area, and busers to clean up after you, you’d never know it. There’s even live jazz music performed by the Royal Street Bachelors. The entrees are French Creole inspired. And although we didn’t try them, the dessert choices are aplenty.

French Market Outdoor Seating

The Royal Street Bachelors Jazz Band

After paying for our feast we sat down at a lovely spot with a view of the Mardi Gras festivities that were happening at the waterfront of the Rivers of America.  We saw a King Mickey and Minnie pass us by with their court Jester, Goofy; and also Donald accompanied by a festive marching band.

We ordered three entrees, the Muffaletta Po Boy Sandwich, the Four Cheese Pasta & Vegetable Gratin, & the Dixieland Cajun Chicken Salad.

Our favorite by far was the Four Cheese Pasta & Vegetable Gratin.  A creamy dream combination of cheeses that includes cheddar, smoked gouda, provelone, and asiago.  Mixed in are small bits of Shiitake Mushrooms and cauliflower, which I was worried about at first as I’m not a big fan of either.  Neither ingredient was too strong in flavor; I really did not notice them at all.  The dish is topped with bread crumbs and oven baked, then served with a side of fresh veggies and delicious cheddar corn bread.

Four Cheese Pasta & Vegetable Gratin

The next best dish?  The Dixieland Cajun Chicken Salad.  I love when I find a good salad at the parks and this one might just be my new favorite.  The salad is made up of arugula and frisee topped with Cajun (not at all too spicy) chicken breast, roasted corn, avocado, peppers, onions, black eyed peas & tomato.  The vinaigrette dressing is the perfect topper to this dish, which is also served with a mini loaf of cheddar cornbread.

I really loved the combination of veggies in this salad and the chicken was very fresh, not at all too chewy, which I sometimes notice in salads that contain chicken.  Everything about this dish was crisp and fresh.

Dixieland Cajun Chicken Salad

Speaking of cheddar cornbread, it alone is worth a trip to The French Market just to try it!  Moist and delicious, it’s served up warm.  The condiment bar even has butter and honey to make your corn bread experience even more fantastic.

Cheddar Cornbread

Our third dish was from the special Mardi Gras Family Fun Weekends Menu: the Muffaletta Po Boy Sandwich.  The sandwich was good, but a bit much for me.  Lots of meat and lots of bread.  I actually took off the top layer of bread and tried it open faced.  The meat combination was ham, turkey & salami with provolone and a traditional olive spread.   A little on the salty side, this was not my favorite dish.  I really didn’t eat much of it.  I do think, though, that if you enjoy olives and ham, this is the sandwich for you.  My favorite part of this meal was the yummy side of grapes that was served with it!

Muffaletta Po Boy Sandwich

While we didn’t try the desserts at French Market, they were plentiful.

Cheesecake and Chocolate Cake

Fresh Berries

The French Market also had a special Mardi Gras Mickey Brioche in celebration of Family Fun Weekends.  Super cute and colorful, the Mickey shaped sweet bread was covered in green, gold and purple sugar crystals.  A very fun snack!  I actually took this one home to share with my boys.  It was an instant hit; soft and spongy and not too sweet, this brioche is definitely worth a try.

Mardi Gras Mickey Brioche

Even Cuter Out of the Package

Mickey Brioche Cross Section

While we were there, we also decided that we should have a mint julep.  Bad idea.  In all of my years at Disneyland I’d never tried one. I’ve seen people drinking them — they’re so pretty!  That lovely green hue with the pretty lemon and cherry spear garnish?  It looks heavenly.  Well, unless you like to drink mouthwash, stay away.  I had one sip and decided to stick with my water.

Mint Julep

Overall, I am extremely happy I’ve found a yummy new place to eat.  I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on The French Market all of these years.  Can’t wait to go back for more of that corn bread!

Disneyland’s Family Fun Weekends
Want to check out the festivities and menu at Disneyland’s Mardi Gras Family Fun Weekend?  Head over to Disneyland this weekend, February 25-27 & again next weekend March 4-6.  In addition to special food and the Jambalaya Jazz Cavalcade,  Princess Tiana has a waterfront Mardi Gras Celebration featuring Prince Naveen, Louis and colorful dancers.

Princess Tiana's Mardi Gras Celebration

You can also shop at the Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen cart for beignet mix and French Market Coffee from New Orleans.

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen Food Cart

Photo opps with specially dressed characters are available in the beautifully decorated (I’ve never seen more beads in my life!) Court of Angels.

Courtyard Decor

We ran into Chip and Dale (see pic above)!

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7 Comments

  1. Maseca says:

    I’m with you on the mint julep. My husband loves them, but I think they’re terrible. Blargh.

    The veggie gratin looks tasty, might have to try that one next time we’re in the Park for lunch!

  2. AJ says:

    Maseca — Agreed! I wasn’t the biggest fan of the mint julep, either! I think you either love ‘em or hate ‘em! I had the gratin when I was last in the park and it was awesome!

  3. Meg says:

    The weird thing about the mint julep is that if you get them from the Mint Julep bar, I swear they taste different (and better). The ones from the French Market just don’t taste the same – it’s the weirdest thing (my husband and family agree with me as well).

    That’s awesome that they brought in themed food for the Mardi Gras event. I love muffalettas, but they usually tend to be bready from what I’ve had before.

    Hands down the best dish at the French Market is the Roast Beef Royale. When we were last at Disneyland 2 years ago, 4 of us ordered it and thought it was amazing. The beef was really tender and the mashed potatoes were really creamy. That’s the first place we’re eating at on our next trip in April!

  4. Lillian C. says:

    Definitely need to try the Mardi Gras Mickey Brioche this weekend. I hope to be there on Saturday. So happy DLR is including new temporary food items for these events. I agree with Heather I really like the four cheese pasta. YUM

  5. Gabriella says:

    We discovered this hidden gem on a recent trip to Disneyland too and we loved the grilled salmon with corn bread! Yum!

  6. Heather says:

    Have to tell you that the items offered at DL claiming to be Creole or Cajun seem to consistently be a little bit off the mark from the food you actually find in New Orleans, my hometown. In case you are wondering Creole refers to the urban food found in the city that is a combination of French, Spanish, and African influences. Cajun is the country food and where you find a lot of the fried/boiled items. Things like fried catfish and shrimp boil are considered Cajun–alligator and boudin sausage go on that list as well! To even be considered in the right genre all of the foods in either classification would need to be local to the area, so the salmon dish on the menu always cracks me up!

    The muffuletta doesn’t have turkey on it–and would never be called a po’boy. Mostly because both of those titles refer to the type of bread they are on. Muffulettas go on muffuletta bread and po’boy bread is what you’d get a hero or sub on in other parts of the country. Traditionally a muffuletta is ham, salami, mortadella and maybe capicola–along with provolone and olive salad. So it would probably be saltier than the one served at DL.

    The term po’boy comes from the idea that even po’boys could afford this inexpensive sandwich, and the original was french fries and gravy on french bread. It was created in the 1930s during the Great Depression.

    Thanks for the review! I’m thinking we’ll be skipping all of the dining in this area on our trip to DL, except maybe a visit to Blue Bayou for the ambiance!

  7. Heather says:

    @Meg I’ll take your word for it, but I don’t think I’ll be buying a mint julep ever again : )

    @Lillian The brioche is so cute and a fun snack. The pasta, YUM!

    @Heather So interesting! I’d love to visit New Orleans some day and try out the real deal!

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