Special Eats and Treats for Disneyland’s 24 Hour Diamond Anniversary Celebration

Are YOU kicking off the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration by spending a FULL 24 HOURS with Mickey and the gang in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure?!

©Disney

©Disney

That’s right! The eagerly anticipated Diamond Anniversary Celebration officially begins this Friday, May 22nd, at 6 am — the same day Walt Disney World launches the “Coolest Summer Ever” with Magic Kingdom’s 24 hour day. Now, 24 hours may seem like a LOT of time… but when you see all the special treats created just for the occasion, you may find that 24 hours isn’t nearly enough!

And we would love it if YOU would help us all join in the fun! Are you attending the 24-hour celebration on either coast? If so, please feel welcome to send us any and all pictures — be they of food or just plain FUN — from your experience! Just let us know how you’d like to be credited on your pictures, and we’ll do our best to include as many as possible in our ongoing coverage this Friday! You can send pictures to us on twitter, Facebook, email us at webmaster@disneyfoodblog.com, or @ us on instagram!

And now… back to the FOOD!! Special dishes and snacks will abound in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure throughout the celebration.

World of Color Dining Packages

Don’t forget that World of Color Dining Packages are available for the new “World of Color — Celebrate!” show. Unique to the 24-hour event are 2-course, prix fixe breakfast packages available from midnight to 1:45 am on May 23rd at Ariel’s Grotto (as a non-character meal) and Wine Country Trattoria, offering reserved viewing for a special 3 am World of Color show.

Ariel's Grotto

Ariel’s Grotto

Wine Country Trattoria

Wine Country Trattoria

Though online it appears as though Dining Reservations are currently full, you never know when you might happen upon a cancellation.

Disneyland

There is a LOT of ground to cover for the all-around-the-park eats, so let’s start in Disneyland! The signature Disneyland Diamond Celebration Cupcake will be featured at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe.

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Cupcake

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Cupcake

The Diamond Anniversary Ice Cream Sandwich offers a cool twist on the celebratory treats with your choice of ice cream between two sugar cookies. Find it at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, alongside an Ice Cream Sundae served in a souvenir kitchen sink!

Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor

Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor

©Disney

©Disney

Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae from above -- faucet close up

Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae from above — faucet close up

I wonder how many people will be lining up at the Stage Door Cafe for this Mocha Chip Funnel Cake?

©Disney

©Disney

Plenty of savory dishes for longer term sustenance (you’re gonna need it!) will be [Read more…]

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…]

Dining in Disneyland: Fall Treats and Halloween Eats — Mickey Pumpkin Beignets and Skellington Popcorn

Although it still feels like Summer here in California, Fall has arrived and Disneyland is ready with some fun Fall and Halloween Treats!

The Jack Skellington Popcorn Container has returned to Disneyland just in time for Haunted Mansion Holiday; and Pumpkin Beignets are back at the Mint Julep Bar!

Let’s take a look!

Jack Skellington Popcorn Container in Disneyland

A super fun Halloween item has returned to Disneyland this season; the Jack Skellington Popcorn Coffin!

Available at the popcorn cart outside of the French Market near the Haunted Mansion Holiday, the coffin is served up overflowing with popcorn for just $12.

The reason I say “just” is the fact that you get to take home an awesome Halloween decoration to keep forever and ever!

Overflowing Popcorn Coffin

The coffin comes with a handle and snap closure making it [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Halloween Time Starts Now!

This week I lucked out and was able to attend the Disney Parks Blog Halloween Meet Up in Disneyland.

After an announcement was made on the Disney Parks Blog, 100 Annual Passholders, including me, quickly registered for themselves (and could bring one guest) to attend the “Get Spookier” meet up.

A perfect opportunity to try out this year’s Halloween costume!

Can you tell who I am???

We’ll get to the treats and eats in just a bit, but first off — the events! The evening was designed to celebrate the kick-off of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, which officially started last Friday, September 14th.  

We started off the night seated outdoors at the French Market (aka Club Skellington) for a presentation from some fabulous cast members: David Caranci, Manager of Park Enhancement; and Brian Sandahl, Senior Designer for Disney Entertainment for Creative Development. 

They each told us about their roles in preparing the park for Halloween. We learned lots of fun facts about the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay as well as park stats such as how many pumpkins are used as decor during Halloween Time. The answer? Over 1000; some real and some artificial. Including this guy:

A Few of the 1000+ Pumpkins that Adorn Disneyland During Halloween Time!

After the very informative chat with David and Brian, guests were sent off to ride the Haunted Mansion Holiday over and over again for 45 minutes. Each ride a walk on!

Although this was also spectacular (this year’s Gingerbread House is a must see, I LOVE newly added the ghost train) I was most interested in, you guessed it: the desserts!

Treats!

After our ride(s) we were treated to a [Read more…]

Disneyland Dining Options for “One More Disney Day” Event

According to the DisneyParks Blog, Disneyland is serving up fun, a midnight snack, and special eats for the One More Disney Day event!

Midnight Snack

Disneyland Park is gearing up for One More Disney Day with the announcement of the “Midnight Snack” at Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue.

Stop in 11:45 p.m. – 12:45 a.m. on February 29 (to March 1st) for yummy treats, hot beverages, Disney character meet ‘n greets, live music by Denny Moynahan, and other surprises.

Big Thunder Ranch BBQ

No need to RSVP. Guests will be admitted from 11:45 p.m. until capacity is reached. This event is extremely limited to approximately 200 guests. You’ll need park admission, and lining up for the event can be no earlier than 10 p.m.

Other Special Menu Items

The Disneyland chefs are creating exclusive menu items for this [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: More New Orleans Bayou Bash Eats!

Mardi Gras is in full swing over at Disneyland, and the park is celebrating with foods prepared especially for the New Orleans Bayou Bash. I got some great photos of some of the specialty items! Take for example, this fine cheesecake. We’ll discuss it in a bit.

Banana Foster Cheesecake

Bayou Bash Specs

A quick visit to the French Market proved to be well worth my while. I had already eaten dinner (Plaza Inn Fried Chicken trumped French Market), but I did want to visit New Orleans Square for a special Bayou Bash dessert. 

While in the French Market, I was able to check out their special menu for the event, which runs this weekend and continues March 2-4 and March 9-11.

Bayou Bash Menu Board

Eats

There were two special entrees featured on the night I was there. The Creole Mustard French Style Sausage Sandwich, which was described as Chicken-pork sausage seasoned with cognac, creole mustard, and remoulade sauce served on a brioche roll with [Read more…]

Best Places to Eat Outside at Disney World and Disneyland

While the heat can sometimes be overbearing, there are plenty of months during the year when dining outside in Orlando and Anaheim can be quite pleasant!

View From Front Patio at Epcot's Rose and Crown Restaurant

Readers and Facebook Friends chimed in on the best places to eat OUTSIDE in Disney World and Disneyland via the Disney Food Blog’s Facebook page. The top votes went to Flame Tree Barbecue, Rose & Crown, and Casey’s Corner at Walt Disney World for their outdoor ambiance. The most suggested outdoor locations at Disneyland were Cafe Orleans, Carnation Cafe, and Hungry Bear!

Walt Disney World

It can get hot in Orlando, but throughout much of the year it can be lovely to dine outside! Here are the restaurants that took the top spots for outdoor dining in Disney World:

Flame Tree Barbecue
The Animal Kingdom’s attention to detail is exemplary, so it’s no surprise that Flame Tree Barbecue was the most mentioned outdoor locale!

The best seats are found near the water overlooking the Discovery River, where a water-side pavilion provides a shady respite. Despite the beauty of this location, Lori W., Heather W., and D.J. R. warned about the “aggressive birds” looking to partake of your counter-service meal.

Your View From the Flame Tree Barbecue

John G. remarked “No seating is better than [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Celebrating Mardi Gras and Family Fun Weekends at The French Market

Celebrate Mardi Gras and Family Fun Weekends at French Market in Disneyland! Heather Sievers, our Dining in Disneyland columnist, has more!

Chip and Dale

With Disneyland’s Family Fun Weekends in full swing, it’s time for a Mardi Gras celebration.  Surprisingly, after years and years of being an annual passholder, I had never once been to The French Market.  When I eat in that area it’s usually for a Monte Cristo at Cafe Orleans.  Because of the special Mardi Gras menu, I decided to branch out and try [Read more…]

Review: Disneyland’s French Market

On a beautiful Southern California day, there’s no better way relax in the afternoon than to sit outside, listen to a jovial jazz trio, munch on some incredible eats, and “Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!” And that’s exactly what you can do if you choose to dine at Disneyland’s French Market.

Disneyland's French Market

Atmosphere
Nestled in the heart of New Orleans Square, French Market is what I like to refer to as “counter-service with style!” With an outdoor “courtyard” seating area capped on one end by the stage where jazz trios perform and on the other end by the Mint Julep Bar and delicious food served as artfully as entrees you’d get at any moderately-priced table-service restaurant, this place clearly doesn’t fit under the standard “counter-service” moniker.

Royal Street Bachelors

Mint Julep Bar

A staple in Disneyland since the opening of New Orleans Square in 1966, French Market these days works like a cafeteria inside. Guests wind their trays around the stations, past the old clock, and to the register by the doors. Entree options are limited, but offer quite a bit of freshly prepared food.

French Market Queue

French Market Clock

Once you’ve taken in all of the decor inside, it’s time to head out and dig in…

Eats
The French Market menu is more in-depth than most counter-service restaurants in Disney parks. There are some incredible choices, and we had to stand there and stare for a while before making our final decisions!

Menu -- Click for Larger Image

I finally settled on the baked four-cheese pasta and vegetable gratin (vegetarian!), with Cheddar, Gouda, Provolone, and Asiago; shiitake mushrooms; and cauliflower baked with pasta under a crumbly, buttery breadcrumb crust. This came with roasted vegetables and cheddar cornbread. My husband had the Roast Beef Royale with Cognac Peppercorn Jus, smashed potatoes, vegetables, and cheddar cornbread.

(See? I told you this isn’t your normal counter-service.)

Both entrees were HUGE and ab-so-lute-ly delicious. The creamy, decadence of the four-cheese pasta made me feel like I should have spent $40 for the meal at least. It was delectable and so rich that there was no way I could possibly have finished it. And while my husband is a roast beef fan in general, he pronounced this the best he’d had in quite some time.

I’ve got on my calendar a post titled “Disney World vs. Disneyland: Counter-Service,” which seems to be a no-brainer at this point. But wait until you SEE these entrees…

Four Chees Pasta and Vegetable Gratin with Vegetables and Cornbread

Roast Beef Royale with Smashed Potatoes, Vegetables, and Cheddar Cornbread

Can you believe — NO paper plates?

And the cornbread — throughout Disneyland — is just incredible. Disneyland cornbread has always gone down in history, and still does.

Cheddar Cornbread

And, of course, there are other options along the line as well, including some delicious desserts, fresh salads and fruit, and some healthy chicken-and-rice kids’ meals.

Fresh Fruit

Salads

Dixieland Cajun Chicken Salad Entree

Kids Meals

Desserts

Of course, we had to try the famous Disneyland non-alcoholic Mint Julep as well! I’ll admit: not my favorite thing in the world, but I don’t tend to like sweet OR minty drinks, so…

Mint Julep

Overall
Disneyland’s French Market is always one of the park’s most oft-recommended counter-service eateries, and it’s clear why it’s stayed at the top of so many lists. The absolutely incredible food coupled with the relaxed atmosphere of the outdoor seating and entertainment makes this spot an oasis in the park.

That said, I suggest that you don’t try to navigate this place during mealtimes on crowded days! A relaxing atmosphere can quickly become hectic when you’ve got hundreds of park guests eyeing your hard-won table! Of course, this is a standard suggestion in any theme park — eat at weird times and you’re all set!

What are your thoughts and/or menu suggestions from French Market? Do you think it deserves its great reputation? Let us know in the comments section below!

Disneyland’s Mint Julep Recipe

This post was promised in the Disney Food Blog July Newsletter, and I’m excited to finally be publishing it!

If you’ve ever been to Disneyland, you know all about the famous alcohol-free (natch!) Mint Julep that can be found at Blue Bayou, Cafe Orleans, and the French Market. This refreshing, mint-y, lime-y, ice-y treat is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of cult favorite, but no matter what, you’ve gotta at least try it!

Disneyland Mint Julep

Enjoy it on the Cafe Orleans patio along with some of those delicious Pommes Frites, or grab one at the Mint Julep Bar at the French Market — where you can also get some great sweet snacks — and sit back and relax while listening to the [Read more…]