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Disneyland Paris: Stromboli’s Snack Cart and Sequoia Lodge’s Free Breakfast

Welcome Marc and Amy Stumbo (this is one of my favorite pics of Amy, FYI) as they take us to Disneyland Paris! Their first review includes a yummy snack as well as the daily continental breakfast offered complimentary to guests of the Sequoia Lodge. Bonjour, Marc and Amy!

Background

Amy and I both grew up with annual passes to Walt Disney World. Having grown up in the shadow of the mouse, we had many dates in the parks and we even got engaged after an amazing dinner at the California Grill (perhaps an article at a later date… very romantic if I say so myself).

Well, let it suffice to say that after we determined Paris to be the site of our honeymoon it didn’t take long for us to make reservations at nearby Disneyland Paris. Finally, as an avid Disney Food Blog reader, it only seemed fair that we use this vacation opportunity to share our dining experiences with the readers.

Disneyland Paris

Amy and I left central Paris via train and arrived at Disneyland Paris around 8 o’clock in the morning, emerging from the Marne-la-Vallee train station, bags in tow, eager to begin our Euro Disney experience.

While Paris itself is an amazing city to visit, as true Disney nerds, we were secretly looking forward to our stay at Disneyland Paris. The train station practically exits guests into the bag-check line for the parks (the train system really is convenient), and we followed the signs to our hotel to drop off our bags.

Luckily for us, the Sequoia Lodge was just past their version of a Downtown Disney and around a small Disney-created lake. We checked in at the front desk and dropped off our bags at the load area to be picked up later in the afternoon when our room was available.

More importantly, we got to pick up our park tickets, Extra Magic Hours hotel guest card, and our voucher for the daily free breakfast buffet for guests. Now, I’ll pause for a moment while you reread the previous sentence… go ahead and double-check that you really did just see the words “Disney”, “free”, and “breakfast” in the same statement. Unfortunately, our free hotel breakfast vouchers didn’t kick in until morning after our first night stay (more on the breakfast later), so we headed over to the Magic Kingdom to take advantage of their 8am – 10am extra magic hours.

Yes, that is the Disneyland Hotel. Yes, it is also the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. Yes, that is weird… but we’re in France and we don’t ask questions.

First, we should note that their version of extra magic hours refers to hotel guests being allowed access to Magic Kingdom each morning between 8am and 10am (the parks both opened at 10am each day). During extra magic hours only a handful of attractions, rides or food, in Discoveryland & Fantasyland were made available. That being said, either it was the slow season or Disneyland Paris guests really like to sleep in because the park was relatively deserted each morning.

We immediately rode Space Mountain a couple of times (similar to WDW’s version except with a Rock N’ Roller Coaster type start) and Buzz Lightyear before making our way to Fantasyland. At this point the growling in our stomachs (why did the cast member at the hotel have to mention breakfast buffet?) was slowly overriding our desire to take in the Fantasyland surroundings and attractions.

Stromboli’s Snack Cart

Finding ourselves in the queue for The Voyages of Pinocchio, we noticed cast members in the process of opening a snack booth themed as Stromboli’s Cart. Since they weren’t open yet, we decided to take in the ride and investigate later. Personally, I’m glad we came back to this cart as their breakfast snack was awesome.

Hmmm… if only I knew French to translate that sign for you.

Pretzels are clearly delicious in any language.

The Cart was typical in size for a theme park snack kiosk, but themed quite well. The cart seemed to be very specialized in their wares, but we were certainly intrigued enough in their main breakfast item: the bacon-cheese pretzel. Soak that in… and as you can see it wasn’t merely bacon & cheese flavored pretzel, it was a pretzel drowning in melted cheese sprinkled with bacon. Clearly, some genius in the food division noticed that:

a. Everyone loves soft pretzels (though not usually for breakfast)
b. Pretzels are very portable
c. Everything tastes better smothered in bacon and cheese
d. The holes in pretzels are wasting valuable food real estate
e. Covering the pretzel in bacon and cheese blurs the line between snack and breakfast enough to sell it before 9am

However they figured it out, this breakfast item had me sold at the word “bacon” so we purchased a couple. I do regret to inform you though that due to a combination of my stomach attempting to digest itself and being new to the whole ‘taking pictures of food we eat’ concept, we did not capture any shots of the actual bacon cheese pretzels we ate that morning, but rest assured that they looked as advertised.

I know… I know… even the English part says “bretzel”& the cart said “Pretzel”. We don’t ask questions. :)

Getting to the cart as it opened really paid off in the form of fresh-from-the-oven hot pretzels and warm gooey cheese, which tasted as good as what you’d imagine anything with the name “Bacon Cheese Pretzel” should taste.

The pretzel itself was soft, tender, and chewy. The cheese appeared as though they shredded real sharp cheddar cheese over the top of a par-baked pretzel before finishing it off in the oven. The bacon was a deliciously salty note to finish the experience despite being the European styled cubed cured pork rather than the traditionally American concept of bacon.

Also, considering our breakfasts in Paris the prior week consisted mostly of croissants, breads, assorted pastries and Nutella spread on anything else remotely edible, this departure towards a more American feeling breakfast item was very welcome.

The Verdict
For a couple Euro each, these breakfast snacks really hit the spot our first morning in the parks and part of me wishes they were made available to Disney guests in American parks.

I would definitely eat one again given the opportunity as the pretzel bread really filled you up while the cheese and bacon provided your taste buds with a delicious punch to start the day. On a side note, the cast member serving us from this particular cart had some difficulty in translating our request since Amy’s high school French class had the unfortunate oversight in not teaching its students the fine art of ordering pretzels covered in bacon and cheese.

He was very patient (it was his first day working there) and we worked our way through the transaction; honestly, this was the only instance over several days in which we encountered even the slightest of language barriers.

Free Sequoia Lodge Hotel Breakfast

For starters, we either forgot or didn’t realize that staying on property in Disneyland Paris included a free breakfast each morning from 7am to 11am.

Sequoia Lodge Hotel

Upon discovering this hidden gem we both immediately had visions of scrambled eggs, bacon, Mickey waffles, toast, hash browns, etc swimming through our minds. Looking back, I’m positive the front desk cast member noticed the smiles and glazed over looks we both got and snapped us out of it, but that whole moment is still a blurred memory.

Getting back to logistics, when you check into the hotel, your party is assigned a breakfast time slot (similar to the FastPass system in the parks) when your free breakfast buffet vouchers are valid. This is clearly designed to prevent the entire hotel’s worth of guests from arriving to breakfast at the same time.

It either worked magnificently, or demand wasn’t particularly high while we were visiting, as the restaurants never got packed while we ate. Thankfully, since this was our honeymoon, the nice cast member at check-in gave us a VIP breakfast pass allowing us to show up to breakfast anytime in the operating hours and still be seated.

The breakfast buffet took place in one of the hotel’s on-site restaurants, Beaver Creek and Hunter’s Grill, which had mirrored setups for breakfast so it didn’t particularly matter which location you were seated in as far as food selection went. During lunch and dinner, Beaver Creek Tavern is a buffet style restaurant while the Hunter’s Grill is a table service location. Guests arriving for breakfast were simply placed at the restaurant with available seating.

The view from our hotel room. The arrow is pointing at the restaurant.

Eats
Remember earlier when I mentioned that we had envisioned a glorious buffet station mounded high with Mickey waffles, scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, and other tasty treats? (You’re daydreaming about those Mickey waffles now, aren’t you? Understandable… I’ll give you a second to return to reality.) Well, let’s just say we were sadly mistaken. Mind you, the disappointment was not in a “the food wasn’t good” sort of way, just in a “we should have realized we were in France and the words Disney & free were involved” sort of way.

After one gets over the fact that the only hot items in the breakfast buffet were coffee and tea, the food provided for what I loosely refer to as breakfast was interesting to say the least. Many of the items such as coffee, tea, juice, croissants, mixed fruit, cereal & milk, jellies, and toast were easy enough for us to sort out.

It was the rest of the spread that might seem a little out of place for stateside tourists. The bread table had what was essentially hard dinner bread rolls, which we discovered should be paired with the assortment of deli meats (chicken and ham) and cheese (spreadable and cubed) to make little breakfast sandwiches. To be fair, we could still easily sort out these items despite feeling they belonged more at a lunch buffet than breakfast, and they did all taste quite good together. I consumed many ham and creamy cheese sandwiches with my coffee and Amy seemed quite fond of the self-service Nutella packages paired with any of the bread items.

Seriously? Well, at least it was included in the room fee. :)

It was the last section of each buffet that gave us the most pause, as it held containers of olive oil, minced garlic, and stewed tomatoes where I’m assuming one would make a form of cold French bread Bruschetta for breakfast. Perhaps this was delicious, but we stuck to the rest of the buffet items for our breakfast needs.

The Verdict
Overall, it is hard to complain about any amenity provided for free by a hotel (especially a Disney hotel) — and doubly so, considering much of the disappointment of the first meal was due to our own misguided assumptions on what they would consider breakfast.

That being said, the breakfast items found at the buffet were tasty and provided much needed energy early in the morning for marathon tours of both theme parks. Additionally, we noticed late in our stay that many of the guests were making deli meat or Nutella sandwiches at breakfast to stash away in their bags for lunch or snacks later in the day inside the parks. This seemed like a great way to stretch that breakfast food and reduce the number of impulse snack buys in the parks for anyone vacationing on a budget.

Until next time, happy eating and feel free to follow us on twitter via @PlazaAndMainSt for more Disney fun.

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8 Comments

  1. James (Disneynorth) says:

    Great review Marc. Nothing unusual about that breakfast buffet. It is a usual breakfast for most europeans. I can remember from my Europe trip years ago.

  2. I was going to say the same thing as James. That’s a standard European breakfast buffet. You have to head to England to get something hot.

  3. Kate says:

    Those pretzels look great. And I agree with the others that the breakfast is usual for Europeans. If you want a hot breakfast you can book a character breakfast at cafe mickey.

  4. JoAnn says:

    Great review and congratulations on your recent marriage. If I ever find myself back in France I will make a trip to Disneyland Paris.

  5. Chris says:

    Congrats on the honeymoon–you make a lovely couple.

    AJ, so excited to see DLP reviews. Looking forward to seeing more.

  6. Pudge the Fish says:

    My wife and I also had the good fortune to honeymoon at DLP and stay at the Newport Bay Club. We also got a good chuckle from our free daily breakfast. I vividly recall a mountain of hard boiled eggs and an abundance of meats and cheeses. Not knowing what mortadella was at the time, I was totally perplexed by the “fatty” meats. I don’t recall too many meals in the park but we did eat a few meals at Festival Disney (aka Downtown Disney) most notably a fun meal at Buffalo Bill’s dinner show with live bisons in the show.

    Best wishes for your marriage!

  7. BRiTMiCK says:

    Haha, your review of the free brekkie made me laugh. It sounds pretty standard for most brekafast buffets on the continent (not so much in the UK). But what made me smile was it sounds like you had pretty much had exactly the same conversation in reverse as my hubby and I had while we had breakfast during our recent trip to Walt Disney World. ‘What on earth’s a breakfast biscuit’ ‘why would they serve steak for breakfast’ ‘aren’t potato wedges meant to be eaten at lunch or dinner’ ‘why is the sausage round and flat’ – and made form turkey!? Guess we’re all just accustomed to what we’re used to!

    Congratulations on your marriage!

  8. Figgygirl says:

    Hi,
    I just stumbled across your review whilst browsing DLP sites. Very enjoyable reading, and congratulations on your marriage. I love the way you can add photos to these Disney Food Blogs, and I often refer people to Erin’s wonderful Inventions buffet review when they ask questions about it on the Trip Advisor Disneyland Paris and Marne La Vallee forums.

    Hotel packages in DLP do include breakfast and also park tickets for every day including arrival and departure days.

    The breakfast varies with the hotel – the Santa Fe and Cheyenne budget hotels have a more basic breakfast, but still plenty of food to keep you going, and many people do make up rolls to take into the parks along with croissants and fresh fruit. ( there are plain croissants and chocolate ones ).

    The Sequoia Lodge and Newport Bay hotels have a similar breakfast, slightly more choices than the budget hotels, with individual yoghurts instead of one large bowl.
    There are microwave ovens in all the hotel restaurants so you can make toast or hot sandwiches and bruschettas ( hence the olive oil, tomatoes, pesto etc ).
    When we last stayed in the NBC Admirals Floor, we also had a hot breakfast buffet, but I think this has now stopped.

    If you stay in the Hotel New York and Disneyland Hotels you do have hot breakfast buffet as well as cold – scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, sausages, tomatoes. ( French bacon and sausages are not like British ones though! ).

    The Disneyland Hotel does not have breakfast time tickets – you just go in when you like.
    Guests staying in Castle Club rooms in the DLH and Empire State rooms in the HNY have a separate dining room/ lounge. They also get VIP Fastpass tickets for their stay, as do guests staying in suites in the Disney hotels.

    I agree that food in American Disney resorts can be very different – we could not believe people eating huge turkey legs in the heat in the parks! Portion sizes are also much larger than in DLP.

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