Top 3 Restaurants for Kids in Disneyland

Visiting Disneyland can certainly make you feel like a kid again! But what about if you’re visiting with…you know…real, live, actual kids?

We talk a lot about good options for grown ups, but today, I thought we could hit up our very favorite spots in Disneyland for when you have some small fry with you (which, for many of us, is most of the time!). So let’s tick off the Top 3 Restaurants for Kids in Disneyland.

Grab your Mickey Ears, and let’s go!

Goofy’s Kitchen

If you have a small child in tow on your Disneyland trip, a character meal is practically a requirement.

After all, most kiddos love meeting larger than life characters. But kids and adults alike can agree that long lines in the hot sun don’t make for magical memories. So our first suggestion is that you book your advance dining reservation asap for Goofy’s Kitchen.

The Entrance to Goofy's Kitchen

The Entrance to Goofy’s Kitchen

Why? Because we think the food is better here than at many other character meals.

Located in Disneyland Hotel, choose from brunch or dinner character dining at this popular spot. And the characters are especially fun at Goofy’s. Because in addition to Goofy, you just never know you might drop by!

Of course, you can totally expect to see the man himself.

Chef Goofy at Goofy's Kitchen

Chef Goofy at Goofy’s Kitchen

But you might just see a prince or a princess as well! And MANY other friends!

Aladdin and Jasmine at Goofy's Kitchen

Aladdin and Jasmine at Goofy’s Kitchen

Parents will appreciate the terrific seating options here. Sure, there’s no monorail whizzing above your head like you’ll find at Chef Mickey’s. But there are tables located both inside the sunny dining room and outside on a shaded patio. Ahhhh…how I love California.

One Room of Goofy's Kitchen Restaurant

Goofy’s Kitchen Seating — Inside

Outdoor Seating at Goofy's! Love It!

Outdoor Seating at Goofy’s! Love It!

And even though the characters are fun and the atmosphere is adequate, the eats are [Read more…]

Guest Review: Seasonal Snickerdoodle Cookie Bake at Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch BBQ

Welcome guest author Kelli Shiroma with a review of the Snickerdoodle Cookie Bake. Stop by Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch BBQ for this delicious, seasonal treat when it’s on the menu!

Located in between Fantasyland and Frontierland, close to the popular “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad” ride is Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. A popular destination for families and for those with hearty appetites, Big Thunder Ranch BBQ continuously attracts crowds throughout the day with its enticing all-you-can-eat lunch and dinner menus.

Big Thunder Ranch BBQ.

However, upon my most recent visit to Big Thunder Ranch BBQ in the Spring, I had a delightful, dessert-only experience. So, if you had a light lunch and are looking to satisfy a craving for something sweet … this hidden gem might provide the perfect solution.

As Heather mentioned in her review last year of the S’mores Bake, guests can definitely dine at Big Thunder Ranch BBQ only for dessert. Thus, I followed her advice one sunny Tuesday afternoon and came to the BBQ joint after an early, light lunch. It was about 11:30 a.m. and Big Thunder Ranch BBQ was just opening for the day.

At the 11:30 a.m. opening on this Tuesday, Big Thunder Ranch BBQ was calm and uncrowded.

Upon arrival, I checked in and told the cheerful hostess that I just wanted dessert. Since I was there alone for my dessert experience, I was assured that [Read more…]

Guest Review: Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch BBQ

Let’s give a welcoming “Howdy” to guest author Victoria Kabakian. Today, she is sharing a review of Big Thunder Ranch BBQ in Disneyland. Now, let’s get to the grub!

There’s only one place that can marry an unequivocal love for Disneyland with the perfect bucket of stick-to-your-ribs, you’ll-need-to-floss-afterwards barbecue, and that’s none other than Big Thunder Ranch BBQ.

During a recent visit to the park, we had to take an unplanned detour through Fantasyland to get here, due to the current refurbishment at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Even with the added obstacle, it was worth the frantic pace required to make it in time for our advance dining reservation.

Entrance to Big Thunder Ranch

Atmosphere

Perhaps it’s because nearby Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was closed at the time, but our visit to Big Thunder Ranch BBQ was a quiet escape from the typical crowds at Disneyland.

The moment we saw the wooden archway welcoming us to Big Thunder Mountain Ranch, “Home of the Happiest Horses on Earth,” we felt like we had entered another world.

Rows of Picnic Tables

We had a somewhat late afternoon reservation at 1:30PM, and the space wasn’t overly crowded at that time. When we checked in for our ADR, we were asked if we minded sharing a table with others or if we preferred our own table. Since they had the space to accommodate us, we opted for our own table and were then handed a buzzer to alert us when the table was ready.

Picnic Tables Surrounding the Stage

Wooden picnic tables covered with red-white-and-blue plastic tablecloths and shaded with canopies are lined up in concentric semi-circles around the focal point of an elevated stage featuring live entertainment.

Live Entertainment

With short sets and frequent breaks in between songs, a piano player, acoustic guitarist, and singer take the stage with down-home ranch-style entertainment. This is just a sliver of the fun that is to be had during a meal at Big Thunder Ranch BBQ.

Fun Sign Near the Restrooms

Even a trip to the bathroom feels like an adventure in time and space (especially when you get lost following simple directions) with playful signs for “100% Splinter Free” bath tissue, and Cowboys and Cowgirls entrances for his and hers facilities.

“Cowgirls” Sign for the Ladies Restroom

Once we finished our *ahem* business and headed to our own private picnic table (no sharing required, thank you very much), the laid back country vibe of the space continued with a stack of bright Mickey Mouse-red dishes and a bucket of utensils, napkins, and wet-wipes for inevitably sticky fingers.

Help Yourselves!

Eats

The menu at Big Thunder Ranch BBQ differs only slightly [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Cookie Decorating at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree

We just told you about the awesome new S’mores Bake in Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland, and now we’ve got another awesome treat to share!

The Jingle Jangle Jamboree is proving to be a super fun, and not to mention, delicious place to spend some time.  We’ve already shared the amazing Monte Cristo Bites, and now we’re back to tempt you more because it’s cookie decorating time!

Cookie Decorating!

For just $6.00, you can choose one of three different sugar cookie kits to decorate.  Options include a Mickey Gingerbread Man, Santa’s Stocking, and a Snow Mickey.

Jingle Jangle Jamboree Menu

The kit includes the cookie of your choice (we went with Mickey); 3 cups of colored frosting in green, red & white; mini M&M’s; a cup of red, green & white nonpareils; white crystal sugar sprinkles; and a spreading stick.

Unveiling Our Cookie Decorating Kit

I was quite impressed with the amount of supplies that came with the kit. The portions were [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 24, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade at Enchanted Grove in Magic Kingdom

It’s been a sizzling hot week, so we hope you’re keeping cool! Maybe you have access to some delicious strawberry lemonade like the one to the right (in the Magic Kingdom). We’re counting down the days until we get our next fix of that stuff!

There’s lot of fun Disney food news this week as well as some awesome articles in the round-up, so let’s get started…

Disney Food News

Let’s review the latest news from this past week!

New Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide Just Around the Corner…

Just eeking out the final updates to the brand new Mini-Guide e-Book! (Thankfully, one of our fabulous columnists is in Disney World this week and has agreed to do a little extra recon for us!)

As you know, our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book covers a wealth of information about Disney World food. But after hitting 250 pages, we reserved some of the more detailed info for our upcoming series of Mini-Guides.

The first in the series will be the Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, and it will be debuting very soon.

Detailed reviews, photos, prices, and snack-credit-worthiness of over 70 snacks in the Magic Kingdom are packed into this Mini-Guide, but, as always, we’ve included a few extras and bonus items as well!

We’ll have more information for you very soon; we can’t wait to hear what you think!

Here we go…On to the Round-Up!

Meet the World in Progressland shares the fabulous views seen only from Club 33!

Disney Contemporary Fan Site compares the Grand Floridian’s Citricos with the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill. Which would you choose?

DisneyTouristBlog reviews Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. Yee-Haw!

Main Street Gazette shares with us a canyon skillet at Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Kokocooks takes us along on their cupcake crawl in Disney World — inspired by our DFB challenge!

Disney Contests and Sweepstakes gives us the scoop on the Rainforest Cafe Orlando’s summer photo contest. Good luck!

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 17, 2011

2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Event Banner

We’re so excited about the response to our 2011 WDW Foodie Fest Snack Attack event. Tickets sold out within just a couple of hours on Friday!

For those who won’t be able to join us, we’d love to see you at the other WDW Foodie Fest events. You can check out the Schedule of Events here!

Disney Food News

Check out some of the latest news in the Disney food world!

New Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide Just Around the Corner…

Yep, we’re finishing up the final edits on our brand new Mini-Guide e-Book!

As you know, our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book covers a wealth of information about Disney World food. But after hitting 250 pages, we reserved some of the more detailed info for our upcoming series of Mini-Guides.

The first in the series will be the Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, and it will be debuting very soon.

Detailed reviews, photos, prices, and snack-credit-worthiness of over 70 snacks in the Magic Kingdom are packed into this Mini-Guide, but, as always, we’ve included a few extras and bonus items as well!

We’ll have more information for you very soon; we can’t wait to hear what you think!

Let’s go…On to the Round-Up!

WDW for Grownups checks out some Disney dining discounts!

Disney Tourist Blog reviews Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue in Disneyland Resort.

DisneyContemporary.com looks back at the Contemporary Resort’s Fiesta Fun Center.

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World looks at tuna-inspired dishes.

Main Street Gazette tours the Magic Kingdom restaurant signs that beckon us to dine.

Hoperatives reviews the brew pub, Big River Grille and Brewing Works at the Boardwalk resort. Find your “better beer”!

DLP.info shows updates us on construction at Colonel Hathi’s Pizza Outpost in Disneyland Paris.

4Parks1Blog.com reviews Kouzzina at the Boardwalk resort.