Best Disneyland Restaurants for First Timers

Okay. So I tried to come up with the Top Three Disneyland Restaurants for First Timers. But there was no way I could limit my picks to just three. So then, I said, hey, let’s try for the Top Five.

Even still.

So in the end, I cut myself off at Eight. :-)

Disneyland's Matterhorn

Matterhorn!

There is so much good food in Disneyland. Really, it was super hard not to just give you a list of pretty much every restaurant there, and call it a day.

But if you must narrow it down, these are the restaurants that I love. These are the spots that I’d go to every single time if I could. (And mostly, I do.)

Heading to Disneyland, or just dreaming about a pilgrimage there? Check out my picks for the places you have to visit during your very first trip. Whether you’re looking for a meal or a snack, you can’t go wrong with putting these spots on your list.

Cafe Orleans

If I could only eat at one spot in Disneyland for the rest of my life, I’m fairly sure that spot would be Cafe Orleans. Located on New Orleans Square, it’s offers some of the beautiful patio seating that Disneyland is known for.

Outdoor Patio at Cafe Orleans

Outdoor Patio at Cafe Orleans

But I’m going to be honest — Cafe Orleans claims the distinction of offering not just one or two, but three of my favorite Disneyland dishes. (And that’s pretty much all I ever eat there.) First, when you visit here, I insist you order the Pommes Frites. Tossed with Garlic and Parmesan, they’re served with a Cajun Remoulade ramekin. I also insist you order TWO remoulades. At least. Per person.

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

While I love their gumbo here as well, it’s the Monte Cristo Sandwich that I can’t live without. Pockets of bread layered with Ham, Turkey, and Swiss Cheese are lightly battered and deep-fried. Served with Berry Puree for dipping, this is pretty much something everyone should eat at least once in life.

Disneyland's Famous Monte Cristo

Monte Cristo at Cafe Orleans

Not a meat-eater? There’s also an All-Cheese Version. No. Seriously. There is.

Behold. The Three-Cheese Monte Cristo. Did I mention the Double Creme Brie?

Three-Cheese Monte Cristo at Disneyland's Cafe New Orleans

Three-Cheese Monte Cristo at Disneyland’s Cafe New Orleans

But save room for dessert — because you can’t pass on the Mickey Beignets served with Dipping Sauces.

Mickey Beignets with Sauces

Mickey Beignets with Sauces

Have this meal just once, and you can say “I’ve been to Disneyland” properly as far as I’m concerned.

Blue Bayou

But Cafe Orleans has an older, slightly more posh sister — Blue Bayou. And while I usually skip it in favor of Cafe Orleans, if you’re visiting the ‘Land for the first time, you really need to experience this place.

Because more than anything, Blue Bayou is an experience; it’s as much an attraction as a restaurant.

Blue Bayou Atmosphere

Blue Bayou Atmosphere

Because the restaurant is fashioned to look like a verandah on a river’s edge. Look below you into the water, and you see travelers, en route to explore the mysteries of the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Honestly, the food is less important here to me than the “view.” I have enjoyed the New Orleans Signature Gumbo. And in this setting, it’s even better.

New Orleans Signature Gumbo

New Orleans Signature Gumbo

And yep, to be honest, I like to order the Monte Cristo here, too!

Le Special de  Monte Cristo Sandwich

Le Special de Monte Cristo Sandwich

It’s a little fancier (and more expensive), but just as delicious.

Napa Rose

Some of my Disneyland dining choices are obviously sentimental; either I love the restaurant, the food, or both. But it’s not like they’re the tip-top of the culinary pyramid or anything. But then, there’s Napa Rose.

I Love the Napa Rose Outdoor Lounge Area

Start Your Napa Rose Adventure With a Glass of Wine on the Outside Patio

Nestled inside Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, Napa Rose stands as a testament to fine California fusion cuisine, inspired by fresh farm-to-market ingredients.

Chef Sutton's Chili Base

Chef Sutton’s Chili Base — Even Base Ingredients are Created in House From Scratch

Chef Andrew Sutton is in charge here, and his menus make use of the freshest items. Prepare to be [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 27, 2014

Wow! We have a plethora of Disney food news to highlight this week. Whether you start by digging into updates on the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival or skip ahead to read about Kouzzina’s replacement, we think you’ll find some interesting tidbits. And don’t forget to check out our photo update of the NEW Club 33 in Disneyland!

33 Mosaic

33 Mosaic

One of our favorite items — the Disneyland Dole Whip new souvenir Tiki Cup or Bowl. Happy Belated Birthday, Disneyland!

You’ll find all the news on Disney food below; happy reading!

Disney Food News

What?! There’s more!!

Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including restaurant closures, Chai Cream no longer offered at Sanaa, Napa Rose Refurbishment, Tables in Wonderland Updates, and more!

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Facebook Friend Sharon shared two great pictures from Artist Point in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. First up — Coast to Farm Pan-fired Ahi Tuna Lion and Glazed Pork Belly!

Coast to Farm Pan-fired Ahi Tuna Lion and Glazed Pork Belly

Coast to Farm Pan-fired Ahi Tuna Lion and Glazed Pork Belly

Or opt for the Seared Diver Scallops!

Seared Diver Scallops

Seared Diver Scallops

Thanks for sharing these gorgeous entrees!

DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

We’re thrilled to announce the grand launch of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book! With over 220 pages and multiple bonus items, it’s pretty substantial! And just in time to make your plans — general public booking begins on July 31st!

2014 Food and Wine Guide 3D

In honor of our grand launch, we have a discount option for DFB readers (as always!). You can get the new mini-guide for $3 off the regular price for a limited time — just use code MENUS at the check-out!

The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book

The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book features all the info you need to know before you attend the Food and Wine Festival this year, from what’s NEW this year to touring strategies — and a new section with top tips on how to use MyMagic+ at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

And with the Epcot Food & Wine festival rapidly approaching, the time is now! Booking for festival events opens July 31st at 7AM ET, and our exclusive daily schedule of events is the most efficient way to plan your festival strategy. (Did you purchase a pre-order of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival and not receive your book? Let us know at Support@DFBGuide.com!)

With a detailed schedule of seminars and events for every single day of the festival, it’s a quick, easy way to decide what activities and events you want to book! Don’t waste time flipping between web pages, PDFs, and websites — just find the date you need and we’ve got it all right there in front of you. Just like that!

Find Everything That’s Going On During Your Visit in our FULL Daily Schedule of Events!

As always, we’ve made this guide instantly downloadable for your convenience, and easily installed on your mobile devices. It’s a PDF guide with [Read more…]

Top 7 Must-Try Disneyland Frozen Treats

Summer is right around the corner!!

Top 7 Disney Frozen Treats

And when the mercury climbs, there’s no better way to cool off at Disney than with one of their top-notch frozen treats!

But how do you choose just one??? Well, let’s be honest. We don’t. We choose, you know, seven.

Today, we’re taking a look at a few of our favorites, all in the name of helping you decide! Aren’t we nice like that? I don’t know about you, but I’m already feeling refreshed!

Hand-Dipped Ice Cream Bars at Clarabelle’s

One of my favorite frozen treat genres is the ice cream bar. After all, there are several foods with sticks on this list!

But one of the best, hands down, is the Make Your Own Ice Cream Bar at Clarabelle’s in Disney California Adventure.

Choose your Bar — Vanilla, Chocolate, or Mixed Berry Sorbet. And then choose your Dip from Milk or Dark Chocolate. After that, play with toppings by adding one, or all of them! And you walk out with the ice cream bar of your dreams.

Hand Dipped Ice Cream Bar -- You Create It!

Hand Dipped Ice Cream Bar — You Create It!

The only way they could improve on the concept is by offering [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…]

Reader Question: Is Dole Whip Vegan and Gluten Free?

For guests visiting Walt Disney World or Disneyland with a special diet, the popular Dole Whip treat is now just about the perfect snack! Dole Whip’s fruit flavors are now vegan! And Dole Whip has always been gluten free.

Dole Whip fruit flavors are now vegan!

At least, they are according to the official Dole Whip Mix website – Unified Enterprises Corporation. You can now enjoy any fruit flavor of Dole Whip on your vegan and/or gluten free diet!

Taken From Website of Unified Enterprises Corp

At Disney, you’ll find pineapple Dole Whips! There’s also an option for a Dole Whip Float, which adds pineapple juice to the mix. (The vanilla flavor that has been offered at some locations is not considered vegan at this time.)

Disneyland Dole Whip Float

Dole Whip Nutritional Information

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Dole Whip

Thanks to all who have contributed their photos to the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza! Keep sending them along! This week, the Disney Food Pics of the Week feature one of my favorite indulgences — Dole Whip! Check ‘em out!

An original drawing gives a new look to an old favorite at Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom! Artist: [rich]

Dole Whip Drawing

This photo of the Dole Whip sign at Disneyland’s Tiki Juice Bar is making me thirsty! Photographer: [Read more…]

Dole Whips, Dole Whips, Everywhere…

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post has been edited and updated to reflect the current availability of Dole Whip in Disney World and Disneyland. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I am thrilled to announce that I have now (I think!) ordered Dole Whips or Dole Whip Floats at every possible Disney parks location, and I am now able to write the mother of all Dole Whip blog posts! ;-) For a primer on Dole Whips, check out this original Dole Whip post, and this post about where to get Dole Whips outside of Disney’s gates.

Now, let’s take a tour and see how Disney’s locations compare:

Aloha Isle: Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Even though the original Aloha Isle has switched locations with Sunshine Tree Terrace, it remains true that when in Disney World, this spot is synonymous with Dole Whips. There’s actually not a whole lot more you can get here, so be ready for some non-dairy cold stuff just about any way you slice it!

New Aloha Isle location

New Aloha Isle location

Aloha Isle Menu

Aloha Isle Menu

At this location, you can order a regular pineapple-flavored Dole Whip cup or a Dole Whip float (soft-serve and pineapple juice).  Or you can just cool off with a fresh, cold pineapple spear.

Disney World Aloha Isle Dole Whip Float

Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort

Just across Seven Seas Lagoon from the Magic Kingdom is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, beloved by many not only for the great food you can find at ‘Ohana and Kona Cafe, but also for being the sole Disney World Resort serving Dole Whips!

Head over to Pineapple Lanai (you’ll find it outdoors just outside Captain Cook’s in the Great Ceremonial House — the former home to Dole Whip at the Polynesian) and you’ll discover a charming outdoor covered seating area where you can enjoy your Dole Whip with a view of Cinderella Castle in the distance.

Pineapple Lanai sign

Pineapple Lanai sign

Pineapple Lanai

Pineapple Lanai

Like Aloha Isle, Pineapple Lanai serves Dole Whip cups or floats, but also has the now-unique option of swirling with vanilla soft-serve.

Pineapple and Vanilla Swirl Dole Whip

Pineapple and Vanilla Swirl Dole Whip

Pineapple Lanai typically closes one hour after the Magic Kingdom fireworks spectacular, “Wishes.”

Annual Festivals: Walt Disney World’s Epcot

If you’re attending the Flower and Garden Festival in the spring or the Food and Wine Festival in the fall, chances are you may get to enjoy a Dole Whip at Epcot! 2013 marked the first year that Dole Whip debuted in any Disney World park other than Magic Kingdom, with the appearance of Dole Whip on the menu at the Pineapple Promenade Booth during the Flower and Garden Festival.

Pineapple Promenade Booth

Pineapple Promenade Booth

Big news? Yes. Bigger news? You could also get your Dole Whip spiked with Siesta Key Spice Rum.

Dole Whip with Spiced Rum at the 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Dole Whip with Spiced Rum at the 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Pineapple soft-serve treats have continued to part of the subsequent Flower and Garden Festivals (2014 brought an option for Coconut Rum, while 2015 served up Sammy’s Beach Bar Red Head Macadamia Nut-flavored Rum).

Not to be outdone ;), the Epcot Food and Wine Festival also featured Dole Whip beginning in the fall of 2013 at the Refreshment Port. However, rather than Pineapple it was Orange-flavored Dole Whip topped with Crème de Cacao White (or served on its own) for that first year.

Orange Dole® Whip with Crème de Cacao White

Orange Dole® Whip with Crème de Cacao White

In 2014, it was the standby Pineapple (also topped with Crème de Cacao White). 2015 features the Bacardí® Coconut Rum as the enhancement.

Of course, part of the fun of the Festivals as that things change each year. We’ll see what the future holds for Dole Whip at the Epcot Festivals!

Tamu Tamu Refreshments: Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

In May of 2014, Dole Whip suddenly appeared in Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Tamu Tamu Refreshments. Under the name “Pineapple Whip soft-serve” (but still provided by Dole), the same refreshing pineapple treat is served in a cup, or served with Dark or Coconut Rum.

Pineapple soft-serve with Coconut Rum

Pineapple soft-serve with Coconut Rum

The menu at Tamu Tamu received a makeover in May of 2015…

Tamu Tamu menu

Tamu Tamu menu

… but Pineapple Whip Soft-serve survived the changes!

Tiki Juice Bar, Hosted By Dole: Disneyland’s Adventureland

In Disneyland, the Tiki Juice Bar and all things Dole Whip are lovingly woven into the original Enchanted Tiki Room attraction (also presented by Dole, incidentally) queue area, which happens to consist of a really cool “pre-show,” which I won’t spoil for you.

Tiki Juice Bar in Disneyland — Menu

The menu here is simpler than those in Disney World — pineapple spear, Dole Whip, Dole Whip Float, Pineapple Juice, Fruit Bowl. No swirls or rum or anything here. Just pineapple as far as the eye can see. Which is OK with me, as I’m a pure pineapple sort of person when it comes to my Dole Whips. And I’m going to give you two images of the Dole Whip Float I ordered, both because it’s so cool (um…umbrella and cherry?!??!?! Hello, Disney World, are you watching?!?!), and because the second will give you a better view of the Tiki Juice Bar in the background.

Disneyland Dole Whip Float

Disneyland Dole Whip With Tiki Juice Bar in Background

And The Verdict Is…

They all taste the same. Well, of course they do! They all come from a Dole Whip Mix that Disney (and you!) can get from a place called Unified Enterprises Corp. I know, it’s not-so-magical, but at least it tastes good!

But, I will say that Disneyland 100% wins out on presentation. The addition of a little umbrella and a cherry wins big, monster points in my book. I am a big fan of both little umbrellas AND cherries.

Where’s your favorite place to get a Dole Whip or a Dole Whip Float? Let us know your experiences in the comments section of this blog, or visit us on facebook or twitter to voice your opinion on the mighty Dole Whip!