Editor’s Note: River Belle Terrace no longer serves breakfast as of February 10, 2016, and is now a table service restaurant for lunch and dinner.
On a recent trip to Disneyland, we had many things to cross off of our list. But when it came time for breakfast in the Park one morning, only one stop would do — River Belle Terrace!
You’ll find this counter service spot in Frontierland along the Rivers of America. And that last bit of information is important. After all, you may come to River Belle Terrace because you’re hungry, but it has more to recommend it than the menu. Here we go!
Located in New Orleans Square, the aesthetic of River Belle Terrace is Antebellum all the way. The entrance is fashioned to look like a grand Southern mansion on a small scale.
Step inside, and you see gracious touches that echo that feeling. Arched windows allow plenty of light into the seating area, so even if you choose to dine inside, you’ll still have the sense of being in an outdoor garden setting.
Ornate ceiling medallions and flowering vines on the chandeliers fancy up the spot a bit.
And keep this in mind: it may not look all that interesting or distinguished, but River Belle Terrace deserves a pause in your Disney Day. This restaurant has been serving since Disneyland opened in 1955! As the story goes, you could find Mr. Disney enjoying breakfast here often on serene Sunday mornings.
While the indoor seating is pleasant, it’s the terrace that is truly beloved by so many. Don’t you love the old-fashioned, tasseled umbrellas? They could have updated them and used something modern, but they haven’t. And I’m so glad.
And this — this view. It’s why you come to River Belle Terrace. Eat your breakfast and watch for the Mark Twain Riverboat to paddle by. There’s nothing like this view of the Rivers of America, and if you can enjoy a classic Disneyland breakfast at the same time, it’s a win/win!
Speaking of classic Disneyland breakfasts, it seems like the right time to move on to the food. Let’s check it out.
Although River Belle Terrace offers all-day dining, it’s breakfast that we usually enjoy here. In addition to some standard offerings, you’ll find comfort food favorites like Biscuits and Gravy. But there are some really unique options, too. We’ll get to a couple of my favorites in just a moment.
Menus, for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner, offer only a few selections. But the food is hearty and interesting. (Note to self: come back for that River Belle’s Roast Beef and the Messy Mississippi BBQ Sandwich at lunch time.)
When it’s time to order, your first stop will be at the Tray Station, where you’ll go ahead and get the utensils you need.
Oddly, this station really put me off. Is it just me, or are those trays the perfect shade of “hospital mauve?” Ugh. I kind of felt like I was at a hospital cafeteria. Anyway, don’t let me bore you with my brain’s dalliances. Let’s get on with it, right?
After that, proceed along the brass railing to the ordering counter, where you’ll order your selections, cafeteria-style.
The ordering protocol at River Belle Terrace is fun for another reason: if you choose the Mickey Mouse Pancake (and really, why wouldn’t you?), you can watch it take shape right before your eyes!
I had to snap a pic of this for you. Mickey Pancakes are so popular here that they’ve streamlined the garnishing process. Cast members can just grab the fruity eyes and nose, all ready to go on toothpicks! I thought that was pretty cool.
Once you’ve ordered, you can also select from some grab and go options. You’ll pick up your cup of Yogurt for your “Build Your Own” Yogurt Parfait here as well.
When you have everything you’ve ordered and you’ve paid for your items, it’s time to check out the condiments. You’ll head to the Toppings Bar with your Yogurt to customize your Parfait if you’ve chosen one. (Or grab a bunch of free toppings to go with whatever you DID order!)
Beyond the bar, there are also lots of condiments to choose from. We found a selection of savory items, salt and pepper, and some coffee creamer here.
Further down, we found ketchup and an assortment of jams, jellies, and honey.
Dickinson’s is the brand of choice, and their variety of syrup was available in vast quantities. Ah, ya gotta love a place where you can get all the syrup you need.
I know you’re anxious to see what we chose! Drum roll…
You knew I was going for the Mickey Mouse Pancake, right? They’re the stuff that Disneyland breakfast legends are made of!
I know, I know. It doesn’t looks all that “wow”. But here’s where you must understand the power of nostalgia. They’ve been cranking these little guys out — garnished just this way — for half of forever. Honestly, it’s kind of a rite of passage, and I bet if they ever so much as change that pineapple smile, there would be riots. Riots, I tell you.
And it’s huge. That’s basically three pancakes right there.
And with our homage to the Golden Age taken care of, I turned my attention to something a bit newer that I can never, ever resist — Cinnamon Roll French Toast!
Now, this is not exactly like the Cinnamon Roll French Toast that — sigh — used to be on the menu at Carnation Cafe. (We should have a moment of silence here.) That version involved Cinnamon Rolls that had been cut into squares and deep fried before it was rolled in Cinnamon Sugar.
But this version is still pretty spectacular. Round Cinnamon Rolls are split lengthwise, battered, and grilled. They’re topped with a drizzle of Cream Cheese Icing. But I asked for extra lots. And then I asked for even more extra on the side. Yes. I’m that person. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to go to the parks with me? Luckily, I had a super-sweet cast member who was willing to indulge me.
As if that weren’t enough, the platter also comes with Scrambled Eggs and your choice of Sausage or Bacon.
Here’s what it looks like between the slices. Golden brown, delicious, and a ton of icing. It doesn’t get much better.
With that view and all of this delicious food, we’d already had an amazing Disney Day! And that was just the beginning… .
They say we should start our day off right with a good breakfast. And I think they’re right. So if you have a chance to enjoy your breakfast in a spot that was dear to Walt Disney’s heart, it’s even better!
If you’re visiting Disneyland, then it’s fair to guess that your day will be spent enjoying overstimulation of your senses to the max. Beginning your day in leisurely fashion, watching people and paddleboats pass by while enjoying a pretty delicious breakfast, can be the best way to prepare for all that is to come.
Have you enjoyed breakfast at the beautiful River Belle Terrace? Tell us what your favorites are in comments below!