DFB Reader Questions Answered: What’s a Great Spot for a Disneyland Date Night?

We’re opening our Disney Food Blog Reader Mailbag for another great question from you today!

And wouldn’t you know it? Romance is in the air. Our reader would like to know:

What’s a good idea for a great date night dinner in Disneyland?

What a fun question! And we definitely have some good ideas for this one. But as we all know, budgets vary. Let’s look at several options:

Special Occasion Date: Napa Rose

Looking for an extra special evening? Napa Rose wins our vote for the best dining experience in all of Disneyland.

I Love the Napa Rose Outdoor Lounge Area

I Love the Napa Rose Outdoor Lounge Area

The award-winning restaurant, located in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, offers a warm, relaxed environment. But it’s the food that we absolutely love here.

Chef Andrew Sutton creates a market-inspired menu of seasonal favorites, focusing on the bounty that California offers. And you can pair your meal with their superb list of California wines to enhance each course.

For an extra special treat, reserve the Chef’s Counter, and enjoy watching the staff as they craft your dinner before your eyes.

Veal Filet with Apricot Chutney and Summer Vegetables Entree at the Chef's Counter

Veal Filet with Apricot Chutney and Summer Vegetables Entree at the Chef’s Counter

Want a gourmet experience with a more relaxed vibe? Check out Steakhouse 55 Lounge in the Disneyland Hotel for delicious pub grub, inventive cocktails, and an atmosphere that is sheer Old Hollywood Glamour.

Under the Sea Date: Ariel’s Grotto World of Color Dinner Package

Dinner and a show? What could make for a better date?

If you’re looking for more than just dinner out, we love the World of Color Dinner Package at Ariel’s Grotto! Featuring a whimsical undersea setting and lovely views, fans of The Little Mermaid will especially like the setting.

Undersea Mosaic Mural at Ariel's Grotto

Undersea Mosaic Mural at Ariel’s Grotto

But it’s not all about classic Disney animation — we like the food, too! The three-course, prix fixe menu offers good variety — you’ll find seafood, vegetarian options, plus chicken and beef.

Lobster Tail and Tri Tip

Grilled Lobster Tail and Red Oak Smoked Honey-Whiskey Barbecue Tri-Tip

Plus — pay for dinner, and get a pass for Preferred Viewing for the amazing World of Color light and water show! And if Ariel’s Grotto doesn’t sound like your thing, you can also choose a package with dinner at Wine Country Trattoria or Carthay Circle Restaurant, both in Disney California Adventure.

Want the view without the sit-down dinner? Try Cove Bar, just upstairs from Ariel’s Grotto. It’s a great place to enjoy small plates and delicious cocktails while taking in a stunning view of Paradise Bay.

Classic Disneyland Date: Cafe Orleans

But another idea we love is an evening at Disneyland Park. After all, it’s the original Happiest Place on Earth, and a stroll around the Lands that Walt Disney himself once frequented is a fun and memorable evening.

When it’s time for dinner, grab a seat on the covered patio and enjoy some of my favorite classic dishes at Cafe Orleans.

Outdoor Patio at Cafe Orleans

Outdoor Patio at Cafe Orleans

Situated on New Orleans Square, it’s a great place to people watch as you dine on Pommes Frites, Gumbo, and Monte Cristo Sandwiches. But don’t forget to save room for some delicious Mickey Beignets!

Monte Cristo Sandwich at Cafe Orleans

Monte Cristo Sandwich at Cafe Orleans

Want to save a little dough but still have a great Disneyland date? Have an early dinner and then enjoy snacks and a stroll in the Park. We like the idea of sharing Popcorn from one of Disneyland’s amazingly detailed Popcorn Carts, featuring a cast of Roastie Toasties! Then enjoy a sweet ending from the Tiki Juice Bar. You’ll probably want to get two Dole Whip Floats, though. Nobody likes to share those. :-)

Dole Whip Float!

Dole Whip Float!

We hope we’ve given you some great ideas for a memorable date night at Disneyland. And now we want to hear from you!

What are your picks for a romantic evening? Let us know your best recommendations for a fun Disneyland Date Night in comments below!


  1. Jan says

    Napa Rose is awesome! We sat at the chef’s counter, and it was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. Unfortunately, I believe it’s closed for August (and possibly longer) for a makeover. Our favorite “splurge” restaurant at Disneyland is Steakhouse 55… preceded by a cocktail at Trader Sam’s next door :)

    Other date night favorites: Paradise Garden in DCA for a lighter dinner of skewers or salad, eaten outdoors near their music pavilion. They usually have fun live music there! A grilled cheese with soup plus a fancy dessert to share from Jolly Holiday is also a favorite… great people watching on the corner.

    Speaking of dessert, I love sharing a Ghirardelli sundae and walking around the park (or watching World of Color). In Disneyland, we’ll grab a chocolate parfait from Tomorrowland Terrace or a treat from the candy shop and make our way to It’s a Small World to watch the fireworks with the show they project onto the Small World facade. Not too crowded over there, and you can even sit down and watch.

  2. Galloping Gourmand says

    Let’s Dance at Disneyland. Date light’s a late night at Disneyland. We’re open till the clock rocks 1am Friday and Saturday nights…

    Oh, sorry. Getting carried away there. I hear Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel is quite good and sophisticated.

  3. D says

    A lot of people think that the food is expensive and overrated (which we half-agree), but my significant other and I can never resist the opportunity to have dinner at Blue Bayou. You really can’t beat the atmosphere, especially hearing the water and the crickets! Plus, it definitely is romantic — we’ve witnessed four or five proposals there already!

  4. merrinda trindle says

    My husband & I love the Blue Bayou for the food & the ambiance & the staff is fantastic. It is quiet & a romantic place to be. Also now you can get tickets for Fantasmic too! We also like Steakhouse 55 for the food. Carthay Circle has good service & food but is very noisy; not romantic! If you like Italian, like my husband, then Wine County Trattoria is the best for bothe the food & the romance especially on the patio. Ariels Grotto was ok but more for kids; not for romantics. If you want a sugar high; then get your fantasmic tickets by going to the Hungry Bear for them. I had to pull my husband down off the wall before he could watch the show though. Also the Monte Cristo sandwich at the Cafe Orleans is to die for; again just not a romantic place to eat unless you are a people watcher. That was our date week without the kids!!

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