Review: Taste Pilots’ Grill at Disney California Adventure Park

You’ve just finished another ride on Soarin’ Over California, and something about hang gliding over an entire state has you famished. It’s the perfect time to head to Taste Pilots’ Grill in Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort!


I was really surprised to find that this oft-maligned counter service spot was actually one of my favorite stops on a recent California Adventure visit! Maybe I’m crazy, but I really had a delicious meal here. Let’s take a look… .


At first glance, East Coasters may feel like there’s something vaguely familiar about Taste Pilots’ Grill. And then it dawns on you — the set up is vaguely reminiscent of a cross between Studio Catering Company and Backlot Express at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I don’t know. Maybe it’s all that red and yellow in the decor.

At any rate, the theme here is that you’ve wandered into a hangout for test pilots, which is conveniently located in an airplane hangar. Utilitarian touches like corrugated metal walls and exposed duct work carry across the industrial, back stage feel of the place.


There are vintage touches all around, like the chalkboard notes, which include antique planes and notes from the pilots.


Brushed aluminum chairs are lightweight and sturdy. Tables feature diagrams (blueprints?) of planes and their parts, and remind me of old dinette tables from the 1950s.


Much of the outdoor seating is covered by umbrellas for a respite from the…heat? rain? other things that don’t happen in Southern California?

Outdoor Seating

Back inside, the ordering area is the classic Disney [Read more…]

Review: Casey’s Corner

Time to sing a rousing chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” as we head over to one of the Magic Kingdom’s most beloved counter service spots, Casey’s Corner!

This has been one of my go-to hangouts for years, and I’m excited to finally be writing an actual review of it for you!


You’ll find Casey’s at the Northwest corner of Main Street — exactly where you’ll find Coke Corner in Disneyland — and the two spots are actually quite similar in appearance.

Channeling an early twentieth century baseball concession stand, you can almost hear the crack of the bat when you walk in! Really, what is there not to love about this place? It’s classic Americana and classic Disney.

Casey's Corner

Casey's Window

Cast Members dress in baseball uniforms, just like the players on the Mudville team, ready to enter the game!

Cast Members Hustle Behind the Counter

Cast Members Hustle Behind the Counter

Casey's Ordering Area

Nostalgic decor nods to Disney partner Coca-Cola in the form of vintage Tiffany hanging lights, glassware, and [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Condiments Make the World Go Round

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster knows what’s important for her family when it comes to Disney counter-service…

It’s a rare child that doesn’t feel passionate about condiments. Here are a few of the examples you might have heard from your kids… “I won’t let any type of sauce touch my food.” Or,“I’ll eat anything, as long as it’s covered in ketchup.” “Hot sauce is heavenly.” “Relish looks like alien slime.” “Plastic cheese makes everything better.” “Salsa, not ketchup.” “Mustard, not salsa.” “French fries are fine, but only if dipped in maple syrup.”

Yep, condiments are the weird and wonderful place where kiddie crazy food idiosyncrasies come out to play. Luckily, Disney has the condiment basics covered at most places.

You guys know AJ can't live without her plastic cheese

At any of the counter service restaurants where burger/dog/nugget staples are served, you’ll find traditional accompaniments like ketchup and mustard. And while they may not be out on the table, you can ask for these items at nearly all of the table service restaurants on property. But if you keep your eyes open, you’ll find many more options available.

So, if your child, or you, will ONLY eat food covered in soy sauce (hey, it happens), I’ll tell you where you’ll be able to get your fix.

Topping Bars

A few Disney counter service restaurants, such as Cosmic Ray’s and Tortuga Tavern in the Magic Kingdom, offer what Disney calls a “toppings bar.” This is code for a salad-bar-like spread of fresh fixin’ add-ons.

Tortuga Tavern toppings

Once you get your burger (at Cosmic Ray’s) or taco salad (at Tortuga Tavern), you can head over to the toppings bar to get unlimited embellishments to enhance your entree. The toppings typically include items like [Read more…]