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Dining in Disneyland: Will Run for Food — Star Tours 5K and Breakfast at Tangaroa Terrace

Dining in Disneyland columnist Heather Sievers shares a photo tour of her Disneyland Star Tours 5K route and brings us along to breakfast at Tangaroa Terrace after the race!

When, several months ago, I signed my family up for the Disneyland “Star Tours” Family Fun Run 5K, I didn’t really think that we’d actually be running.  I thought it might be a fast walking, behind the scenes look at Disneyland & California Adventure’s backstage areas.  You know, fast enough to burn a few calories, but slow enough to take photos?

An Early Morning Welcome

So, when my husband decided that the four of us were going to kick it into high gear and run, I got a little nervous — nervous that I was going to miss something cool as we jetted (exaggeration) through the course.  At least I knew that I was running for rewards: a cool medal and some fun snacks, followed by my first breakfast at Tangaroa Terrace.

The Starting Line and Star Tours 5K

Our journey started early at the tram roundabout near the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.  A jedi master stood at the start line and wished us well, sending us off to the tunes of the cheery Cantina Scene music.

The Starting Line

We couldn’t run yet as the crowds of people still had to disperse.  Instead of taking the tram route, we were lead into the backstage gate on the left where we got a great look at the fabrication shop.  We saw several attraction pieces getting mini makeovers.

Roger Rabbit Cartoon Spin Cars Get a Makeover

Dumbo & an Autopia Car Get Some Tender Lovin' Care

I really wished that I could have nosed around for a bit, but we had to keep moving; and at this point, my husband decided there was enough room to kick it into high gear.

We ran past the Sign Shop and the Staff Shop before entering into Critter Country.

Sign Shop

Staff Shop

Entering Critter Country

We then passed the Haunted Mansion and were led through a backstage tunnel that took us by the back of the Storybook Canal (we saw where the boats sleep!) as well as the Roundhouse Facility where they work on the trains and monorail. They even had one of the trains out to greet us.

Passing the Haunted Mansion

Backstage Tunnel

The Backside of the Storybook Canal

Roundhouse Facility

The Train Was Out to Greet Us!

The route continued on past the train tracks and the “Agrifuture” sign and we were then running through Fantasyland.

Agrifuture

It was pretty amazing to see the rides completely empty.

The Empty Teacups Looked So Pretty

I made my family stop to take a photo in front of the castle, and I’m so glad I did. I’ve never seen a photo in front of the castle with no one else in the background. It was like we had the whole place to ourselves.

Our Family Photo with an Empty Castle!

After passing the castle, we jogged down Main Street USA and then exited the park where we were guided to another backstage area.  We passed by the Cast Member News Stand where we hit Mile 2, and then filed into a tunnel that led to California Adventure’s backstage.

Cast Member News Stand

Mile 2

Backlot Blvd.

Here we got to see a dissected Heimlich from his “Chew Chew Train” as well as the backside of Carsland and the Carsland Team Imagineering Office.

Disected Heimlich

The Backside of Carsland

Carsland Imagineering

We also saw pieces of California Screamin’, empty concession carts, and the Fire Department (excuse the blurry photo, I was running!).

Pieces of California Screamin'

Empty Concession Stands

California Adventure Fire Department

After passing the Fire Department, we were led right onto Paradise Pier. We followed it along past the Silly Symphony Swings where we caught a glimpse of the Mile 3 marker and the Finish Line.

Mile 3

Here, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, & Donald cheered everyone on while dressed in their finest Jedi costumes.

Our Finish Line Congrats!

As soon as we crossed the finish line, volunteers gave us our Starspeeder medals and we were directed to the post-race “snack” area in front of Grizzly River Run.

Starspeeder 5K Finisher Medals

There were several tables lining the “road.”  Banana-filled tables, Cliff Bar-filled tables, and tables with bottled water.

Volunteers Passing Out Bananas

Chocolate Chip Mini Cliff Bars

Cool Mint Chocolate Mini Cliff Bars

Water Table

Race Treats

We grabbed some snacks (the cool mint chocolate Cliff Bars were really tasty) and posed for a family photo with our medals.

Our Medals!

After eating a banana and “dropping our debris,” we exited next to Soarin’ Over California into Downtown Disney where we continued on to the main event: Breakfast.

A Place to Drop Your Debris...

Breakfast at Tangaroa Terrace

A counter service eatery located in the Disneyland Hotel right next to the Monorail Pool, I’d visited Tangaroa Terrace a few times for lunch.  Since we we still had to check out of our room at the Disneyland Hotel, this was the perfect place to grab breakfast before heading out.

Tangaroa Terrace

Tangaroa Terrace Menu Board

We started off at the self order kiosk (see our past review for kiosk details) where we decided to share a variety of menu items.

Breakfast Menu Items

Side Menu Items

All meals are made to order at Tangaroa, so after placing our order we chose a nice table outside (the indoor seating is pretty limited and the ambiance outside is quite nice).  You are given a number to put on your table and your food is brought out to you.  So I guess this is actually a counter/table service meal…

Outdoor Tangaroa Terrace Seating

I chose the French Toast, which was really tasty.  Topped with warm banana caramel sauce (pretty much banana tasting syrup), sliced bananas, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar, the meal was more like dessert than breakfast.

I loved the fact that the toast was more on the crisp side and not soggy at all.  The French Toast also came with a side of bacon.  Although I donated my side of bacon to my oldest son, the bacon lover, I can assure you that every piece was eaten, so it must have been good.

French Toast with Banana Caramel Sauce

We also ordered the Breakfast Wrap, which consisted of scrambled eggs, ham, avocado, and shredded cheese in a whole wheat wrap.  Another great choice, the wrap was a hit.

I have a huge pet peeve with soggy breakfast food, and the wrap was perfectly cooked.  The outside was actually a little crisp, which made biting into it really nice. The different textures of the crisp wrap and the soft, but not soggy, insides was a great combination.

The Breakfast Wrap came with a side of roasted potatoes that were also a nice accompaniment.

Breakfast Wrap

My oldest son went for the Kid’s French Toast, which was sprinkled with powdered sugar, served with bacon and fresh fruit (grapes).

This is a smaller portioned “kid” version of the entree as it does not come with the banana caramel sauce or sliced bananas.  My son did try the “adult” version and preferred his “normal” French Toast.

Kid's French Toast

For our youngest, we actually ordered the Adult Breakfast Platter thinking that we’d “share” some of his meal.  For only $1 more, you actually get quite a bit more food than the “kid” version.

The Breakfast Platter comes with scrambled eggs, bacon, roasted potatoes, and a biscuit.  All items were your standard breakfast fare and cooked to perfection.

Breakfast Platter

Just for kicks, we decided to get an order of the Grilled Cinnamon Spiced Oatmeal Cakes.  These are served with Island Fruit Compote topped with plain Greek Yogurt.

My husband did not like these at all, my kids wouldn’t even try them, and I thought they were so-so.  The texture was a little bit funky to me and the “spice” taste was pretty overpowering.  I felt like I was eating Christmas.  Sort of a potpourri sachet type of flavor… I did enjoy the Island Fruit Compote though.

Grilled Cinnamon Spiced Oatmeal Cakes

There was only one breakfast meal that we did not try — the Egg White Vegetable & Tofu Bake, which appeared to be a pretty healthy alternative to my dessert … I mean French Toast breakfast.  The Tofu Bake includes silken tofu, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions & cheese topped with a sauteed mushroom tomato vinaigrette, and is served with fresh fruit.  A great vegetarian option.

Looking to grab a quick breakfast bite?  Tangaroa Terrace also has whole fresh fruits, yogurt parfaits, individual boxes of dry cereal, and lots of baked goods to choose from.

Fresh Fruit

Yogurt Parfait

Dry Cereal

Freshly Baked Muffins (several flavors available)

Overall

Overall, I really enjoyed breakfast at Tangaroa Terrace.  The food was excellent, the ambiance was relaxing, it was clean, and we experienced excellent service.  If you’re looking for a quiet breakfast before heading into the parks for the day, I say take a little visit to Tangaroa Terrace.

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8 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    Love it! And AJ, if you need any backstage coverage of the January WDW Marathon events, I’m your girl! I’m running the half and a leg of the Chip N’Dale Marathon relay…not really sure what I was thinking there!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I did the Disneyland Half Marathon the next day and also have lots of blurry pictures of the parks and backstage areas! LOL

  3. Shayne says:

    “I felt like I was eating Christmas. Sort of a potpourri sachet type of flavor… ”

    LOL, what a great description! Thanks for the review of both the 5K and the breakfast. I’m glad you tried the oatmeal cakes; those caught my eye on the menu and I’m glad to know that I’d be better off going with the french toast, which was the other thing that appealed to me right away. :D The tofu thing actually sounds pretty good, too.

  4. Jenn says:

    Hmmm!! I ate breakfast at Tangaroa the day before the 5k and my breakfast burrito looks TOTALLY different! This looks more like a shell-ish type of tortilla and maybe grilled/toasted? Mine was just a plain old wheat tortilla that wasn’t crisp at all and got soggy towards the end. This one looks SO much better! I did enjoy it though, but think they should have used bacon instead of ham. The textures in the wrap were too similar. The crispy bacon would have been a nice difference.

  5. Theresa Sheingold says:

    Thanks for that post! I’m really looking forward to the Halloween 5K during the Wine and Dine Weekend! My first one! It’s going to be a crazy busy weekend! I just can’t wait!

  6. Jenn says:

    Congrats on the run! That yogurt parfait looks amazing… yeah, I’m odd.. that’s the one thing that calls to me..

  7. Kathy N says:

    We just returned from a trip to DL and ate our meals at Tangaroa Terrace. I found myself here via a google search for the recipe of the Grilled Cinnamon-Spiced Oatmeal Cakes. I absolutely loved them and so did my husband. They were not taste-less nor over spiced. They are oats without the heavy flour, grilled to perfection. Consider a granola of sorts without all the sugar and flour and sweet stuff. Allow your taste buds to enjoy the added natural flavors of a plain yogurt topping and a wonderful grilled compote of natural fruit.
    These were one of the healthiest items on the menu and these oatmeal cakes were far from bland. If you prefer the overly sweetened breakfast items with loads of sugar and flour over a healthier choice, then you probably won’t like these.

    Now….. where’s that recipe!? ;)

  8. AJ says:

    Kathy N — Ha ha! Welcome to the Disney Food Blog! Thank you for your suggestions; great things to think about for sure. Remembering them, I didn’t like the mouth-feel more than anything, but I think I was expecting more of a British “flapjack” and didn’t expect them to fall apart so quickly. We’ll work on getting that recipe for you!! :-) I hope you’ll join us over here on the Disney Food Blog again sometime. ;-)

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