Top 10 Disneyland Fast Food Joints

Most of the time when I visit Disney, I indulge in a mix of meals. I may book a table service advance dining reservation for one part of the day, and leave the rest to chance — looking to discover new things at the parks’ kiosks and counter service spots.

Top 10 Disneyland Fast Food Restaurants

Today, I’m counting down my favorite places in Disneyland Resort to grab a quick meal!

Disneyland is second to none (yep — even compared to Disney World) at putting together truly outstanding counter service, quick service, and fast food meals. And the one consistent theme that you’ll find in Disneyland counter service spots — a lot of the time, the food and venues feel like table service quality (right down to real plates!)

Let’s get started!

Plaza Inn

The Plaza Inn is legendary for its beautiful atmosphere. Located where Main Street and Tomorrowland intersect, this charming spot has been open forever — and it’s been pleasing guests in search of a good meal all the while.

Even Walt was a fan!

Walt Disney enjoying a cup of coffee at Plaza Inn in 1966

Walt Disney enjoying a cup of coffee at Plaza Inn in 1966

A character meal table service location for breakfast, it morphs into a counter service buffet (sans characters) for lunch and dinnertime.

The Roast Beef and Pasta dishes here are both good choices. But ask most Disneyland food fans what the must-have dish here is, and you’ll get a resounding response: the Fried Chicken! The huge — and I mean HUGE — platter comes with three pieces of Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, a Vegetable, and a Biscuit. I shared this with a friend the last time I got it, and we still couldn’t finish!

Plaza Inn Fried Chicken

Plaza Inn Fried Chicken

Incidentally, you should try and save room for dessert, too. (I know…I know.) When strawberries are in season, I’d definitely recommend the luscious Strawberry Shortcake!

Strawberry Shortcake at Plaza Inn in Disneyland

Strawberry Shortcake

But the Carrot Cake is pretty awesome, too.

Flo’s V-8 Cafe

Dining at Flo’s V-8 Cafe within Cars Land at Disney California Adventure is an immersive experience. As with the rest of the spots in this newest Disneyland Resort section, you feel like you’ve wandered right into the animation!

But step inside the enormous restaurant, and you see all kinds of kitschy fun, inspired by the roadside diners that once peppered legendary Route 66.

Flo's V-8 Cafe

Flo’s V-8 Cafe

The name of the game at Flo’s is the kind of comfort food that you’d expect to find in such spots, with spit-fired meats dominating the dinner menu. There’s also an inventive vegetarian option here — the Veggie Tater Bake!

But it’s Flo’s breakfast that we love love LOVE the most!

For a super sweet start to your day, you’ve gotta try the Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas. (Dessert for breakfast? you ask? Well, yeah; pretty much! But…bananas!!!)

Brioche French Toast with  Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas

Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas

Or, try the option that serves up a delicious Mexican food-inspired twist — the Chicken Tamale Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa Verde.

Chicken Tamale Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa Verde

Chicken Tamale Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa Verde

And be sure to stop back by later in the day for dessert — Flo’s Signature Apple-Cheddar Pie-O-Rama is spectacular!

Apple Pie at Flo's

Pie at Flo’s

Rancho del Zocalo

The beautifully themed Rancho del Zocalo, located in Disneyland Park’s Frontierland, is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach!

Gorgeous murals and lighting fixtures dominate the walls inside, while a beautiful patio covered with gauzy awnings wins our vote for best place to sit here.

Outdoor seating at Rancho del Zocalo

Outdoor seating at Rancho del Zocalo

Following the pattern of many Disneyland counter service spots, Rancho del Zocalo is counter service with the feel of a cafeteria. Guests order their main entree, and then visit stations to pick up extra courses, like salads and desserts.

The Mexican influenced menu is small, but the ingredients and preparation are always high quality, and a cut above what we think of as fast food. One of my favorite options here is the Soft Tacos Monterrey with Fajita Chicken. (You can also get them with beef.)

Soft Tacos Monterrey with Fajita Chicken

Soft Tacos Monterrey with Fajita Chicken

The addition of Peppers as well as Sour Cream and Guacamole on the side makes this a winner for me. I look forward to having it whenever I have a chance to visit Rancho del Zocalo!

Hungry Bear Restaurant

If you like eating in a treehouse, then I have just the Disneyland spot for you! Hungry Bear Restaurant in Disneyland’s Critter Country recently underwent some renovations and [Read more…]

Mickey’s Toontown “Restaurant Tour” at Disneyland!

Mickey’s Toontown is the perfect place to visit when you want to feel like a kid again. It’s easy to believe that you’ve been dropped right into a cartoon as you venture into this land based on Toontown in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Exploring Mickey’s and Minnie’s houses, and seeing all the cool detail, is one of my favorite things to do here!

And it’s great knowing that Toontown is still alive and kicking in Disneyland, since it went by the wayside to make room for New Fantasyland expansion in Walt Disney World.

But what if you’re looking for a bite to eat in the land of ‘toons? You’re in luck! There ain’t much to eat in Mickey’s Toontown, but what’s there sure is fun!

Toon Town Restaurants

Toon Town Restaurants

Among the wonky architecture and interactive attractions in Toontown, you’ll find an assortment of stands for grabbing a bite to eat between rides. And no worries about picky eaters — everything here is sure to please even the littlest members of your crew!

Let’s take a little tour of the counter services spots and see what they have to offer. Fortunately, they’re all nestled close together, similar to a food court – great for a family or group whose members all want something different for lunch!

Counter Service Eats in Disneyland’s Toontown

The first stop on Toontown’s Restaurant Row is Daisy’s Diner. Donald’s girlfriend serves up Pizza in two varieties — Cheese or Pepperoni. Pizzas are individually sized, and are pretty standard Disney pizzas. If you’ve eaten Disney counter service pizza anywhere else, you’ll know what to expect.

You can also get a limited assortment of drinks here — Soda-Pop, Milk, or Juice. The Souvenir Sipper is also available. We’ll see a pic of that in a sec. There are also a few desserts available as well.

Daisy's Diner

Daisy’s Diner

The next stop is Pluto’s Dog House. CUUUUUTE! ;-) I have serious love for that hotdog skewered on the fork above the window. Even the road signage out front lets you know what’s happening in this part of town.

Pluto's Dog House

Pluto’s Dog House

It probably won’t surprise you to find out that Pluto serves up Hot Dogs. Get a basket with a side of Apple Slices or Chips.

Pluto’s also features a few Kid’s Meal options, including a Kid’s Hot Dog or Turkey Sandwich, which both come with sides. There’s also a Toddler Meal featuring Macaroni and Cheese. Assorted desserts are available here, too.

In the drink department, Souvenir Sippers are also for sale here, along with the same beverage options that Daisy’s Diner features. However, you can also get Coffee, Hot Tea, and Hot Chocolate at Pluto’s — which are available in a Travel Mug.

Pluto's Dog House Menu

Pluto’s Dog House Menu

Our next stop is Clarabelle’s! Head to the awning with the cute cow spots if you’re looking for something a little fresher for lunch or dinner.

Clarabelle's

Clarabelle’s

Options include “Moo” Plate Specials (bahahahahahaha!), and you see the word [Read more…]

Our Favorite, Must-Eat Disney Cakes!

Editor’s Note: The Cheshire Cake Cups have been discontinued as of late Summer 2015. We’ll update you if/when they’ll return (because there will be shouts of rejoicing.)

Oooooh, we’re talkin’ CAKE TODAY!!!!!

must eat disney cake

Okay, okay — so technically, National Cake Day was yesterday, apparently. But since we had so much fun with National Pie Day last week, I thought it would be awesome to start sharing some of my favorite Disney cakes. (I’m pretty shocked I haven’t done a cake post before — so much goodness to talk about!)

So here’s the deal with cake at Disney. It can take many forms… . And we’re going to include a bunch of ‘em! In honor of National Cake Day, let’s take a look at some of our favorite entries into the category of cake!

Gourmet Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

I recently discovered Cake Nirvana at Disney. Because, in my universe, eating cake is usually a thinly-disguised, socially acceptable way to consume as much frosting as possible.

If you’re giving me a piece of cake, I’m getting a corner piece, with as many frosting roses as possible. That’s just how I roll.

So it’s always pretty great when a bakery can get on board with the “Frosting is the Whole Point!!” perspective. And Cheshire Cafe at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has done just exactly that.

With their beautifully themed Gourmet Cake Cups, you can choose from a Vanilla Cheshire Cake Cup or a Mad Hatter Mocha Cake Cup. Characters from Alice in Wonderland are silk-screened onto a sweet round of white fondant and top each of the cake cups. (Sometimes. Sometimes you don’t get the characters. But who cares.)

Themed Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

Themed Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

THIS is what you get when you order. Confetti cake. FROSTING. Confetti cake. FROSTING. Confetti cake. F R O S T I N G!!!!!!

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Yep. That’s all frosting on top. There’s no cake there my friends. And it’s glorious. Thick, bakery buttercream that’s so sugary it’ll make you sick. LOVE!

Frosting!!

Frosting!!

I know a lot of you don’t have the love affair with frosting that I do, but for those who feel the same — you’re welcome! :-D

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls

And how could we pay homage to cake without mentioning the original single serving cake? We are talking Disney Cupcakes, of course!

One of my favorites from way back at the beginning of the Cupcake Renaissance is still around and garnering rave reviews — the Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe!

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This is one monster chocolate cupcake that you must experience to believe. Well, the cake is chocolate. And so is that incredible fudgy middle. But the pile of frosting on top is pure heavenly vanilla, topped with a crown of [Read more…]

Review: Storytellers Cafe at Disneyland’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

I was recently back in Disneyland for a visit, and I couldn’t resist booking lunch at one of my favorite locations, Storytellers Cafe.

storytellers cafe

We visited anticipating a delicious and relaxing experience, as we often have at Storytellers. The fact that I had a mad craving for that Charred Nebraska Corn Chowder and had been dreaming about it was just a happy coincidence. ;-)

Won’t you join us?

Atmosphere

You’ll find Storytellers at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, which certainly lives up to its name. It is simply a gorgeous place to spend some time.

With design that typifies the American Craftsman style, you are surrounded by larger than life, simple warm accents that make grand use of natural materials, like wood and stone. You find the same style carried through Storytellers Cafe.

Fireplace and Atmosphere

Fireplace and Atmosphere

Two major design elements tend to dominate the decor of Storytellers Cafe: you’ll find murals and large paintings covering the walls. Paintings depict…storytelling, of course — featuring classic stories with California as their setting.

One of the Many Large Paintings in Storytellers Cafe

One of the Many Large Paintings in Storytellers Cafe

But you also find ample use of silhouettes in many places throughout the dining space. And check out the beautiful post and beam construction on the ceiling while you’re looking up. (Disney World fans will get a definite Wilderness Lodge vibe from this place!)

Lighting and Ceiling Detail

Lighting and Ceiling Detail

Stained glass with warm swirls of color are a hallmark of Arts and Crafts design, and the stained glass softly filters the indirect light, which provides the perfect backdrop to these working man silhouettes.

And be sure to notice the detail on the hanging lights as well! They’re really something special.

Storytelling Lighting

Storytelling Lighting

Lanterns hung from copper stands distribute light throughout the dining room, and give the sense of bringing the outdoors inside.

Lantern

Lantern

And as is often the case — don’t forget to look down! Even the carpeting conveys the theme and story of this spot with letters and more silhouettes.

Carpet

Carpet

Throughout Storytellers Cafe, the art of storytelling shares the stage with [Read more…]

Review: Tiki Juice Bar (and Dole Whip!) in Disneyland

Indulge me for a moment as we head over to Disneyland and talk Dole Whips. The refreshing, mysteriously creamy frozen pineapple soft serve is one of the treats that I enjoy at some point during every single trip to Disney, regardless of which coast I happen to be visiting.

But there’s just something even more special about it when you can score your Dole Whip fix from the Tiki Juice Bar in Disneyland.

I mean, there’s no “original” here. Dole’s partnership started with Disney after both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom were opened, and I remember the Dole logo from my earliest trips to Disney World, too.

Still, with the Tiki Juice Bar as a fixture and the fact that it’s actually part of the Enchanted Tiki Room Attraction — the original tie-in for the Disney-Dole partnership — how could you go wrong?

And if you haven’t had the pleasure of a Disneyland Dole Whip, you’re in for another surprise. Let’s take a look!

Atmosphere

The Tiki Juice Bar is an open-air, counter service kiosk, located adjacent to the Enchanted Tiki Room in Disneyland’s Adventureland. In fact, it’s part of the the Tiki Room’s pre-show. That’s one of my favorite parts of visiting!

Tiki Juice Bar

And there are some seriously fun touches here. This tiki helps to hold up the corner of the hut, fittingly. I love the little tiny guy, don’t you?

Tiki at the Tiki Juice Bar!

Look around, and you see lots of ways that the Dole logo and name are worked into the decor. This bamboo-framed print of a [Read more…]

The Story of Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port in Disneyland

For those who are new to Disney parks, everything here has a backstory. Rides, shows, and, yes, even restaurants!

Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port

Recently, one of my good friends, Eric Chu, shared the backstory of Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port with us.

For those who haven’t been there, this counter-service restaurant is located in Tomorrowland at the Disneyland resort. Basically, you climb off of Space Mountain and there you are!

But do you know WHY there’s a pizza joint in the middle of the Milky Way? Let’s find out!

The History Behind Redd Rocket’s Pizza Port in Disneyland

“The only real problem with long-term space travel is that you can’t get a decent pizza.” — Dr. Tyrone Mantanio, INSA Sector 5

A-GREED! Can you imagine traveling through space without the ability to order pizza?! I know, right? ;-D And according to the always-creative Disney imagineers, solving the problem of finding must-have food in the cosmos became a goal for scientists!

Pepperoni Pizza Slice

Redd Rockett to the rescue! He set up a [Read more…]

Review: The Golden Horseshoe in Disneyland

You want history, my fellow Disney-loving friends? Well, then, you’re going to love what we have in store for you today.

Sign

That’s right, we’re taking another trip to Disneyland for a rip-roarin’ good time at one of our favorite Old West saloons — The Golden Horseshoe!

This place has it all — Disney pedigree, a hilarious show, and signature menu items.

If you haven’t been there before, I have a feeling it will be on your Disney Bucket List once we’re finished talking about this time-honored spot in Disney’s original theme park.

Let’s check it out!

Atmosphere

Head up Main Street USA towards Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and hang a left at the hub. You’ll find The Golden Horseshoe centrally located in Frontierland, appropriately.

One of the most interesting bits of trivia about this spot is that it was one of the original fixtures when the park opened waaaaaayyy back in 1955.

In fact, Walt and his wife, Lillian, celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with a private party here just days before the park opened to the public.

Awesome Golden Horseshoe Signs

(Check out Heather’s post about a cool Limited Time Magic event earlier this year, which included a dessert with a picture from that famous night!)

The boardwalk outside touts Ice Cream Sundaes and more as you anticipate heading inside… .

Entrance

Enter into the saloon-themed counter service spot and take in all the details. The restaurant was designed by Harper Goff, and if it seems familiar, then you must be an old film buff — it’s based upon a set design that Goff used in the the 1953 western comedy musical Calamity Jane, starring Doris Day. (See? Reading DFB is not only a treat for the eyes, it’s a learning experience, too! ;-D You’re SMARTER than you were when you started reading!)

Seating and Stage Under the Rotunda

Two levels of seating provide you lots of options for taking in the show. You’ll also notice some “box seats” situated closer to the stage. Walt himself kept the one on the right for viewing the show anytime time he wanted to, as this was a favorite spot of his. The boxes are open to the public now.

Upper Level Seating on the Rotunda and Longhorns

Rich details surround you, and actually, the feeling is pretty [Read more…]