There is a lot of food that West Coast Disney fans would LOVE to see come to Disneyland (can the West Coast just borrow Epcot for like, a week please?).
But Disney World foodies, be prepared to have some major FOMO when you take a look at some of the incredible food Disneyland has to offer! Both West Coast parks have some pretty spectacular food items that Disney World could only DREAM of serving up. Well…consider this your opportunity to dream away, and maybe one day our dreams will come true! 😉
Fried Chicken at Plaza Inn
If there’s one quick-service meal that Disneyland has a monopoly over, it’s the Fried Chicken from Plaza Inn. Plaza Inn is a sit-down character buffet breakfast in the morning, but for lunch and dinner it switches over to a counter service location that serves up one of Disneyland’s most beloved entrees.
You can smell this dish from a mile away and it has been a long-standing favorite for Disneyland enthusiasts. Just look at it in all its glory:
This iconic dish is a healthy (meaning: LARGE) serving of crispy fried chicken, mashed potatoes, seasoned veggies, and a biscuit. If you haven’t tried Disneyland’s fried chicken yet, MAKE IT A PRIORITY next time you go! You won’t be disappointed. You can grab a plateful of heaven, aka Plaza Inn Fried Chicken, for $18.49.
We’ve been raving about the fried chicken for YEARS! Read more about this iconic quick service dish here.
Corn Dogs and Cheese Sticks
Okay, remember when we said Disneyland has a monopoly on fried chicken? Well it turns out there are some other quick-service meals that the West Coast has MASTERED, and it’s time they share with Disney World! Behold: the hand-dipped corn dog.
Yes, something SO simple can really be life-changing. If you even remotely enjoy a good corn dog, one bite of these will ruin all others for you. The batter is slightly sweet and super crispy on the outside, and warm and moist with a juicy dog on the inside. Plus, it’s MASSIVE.
Now, in Disney World, The Fantasy Faire Food Truck that made an appearance at Disney Springs a few years back served up what they claim to be a Disneyland Hand-Dipped Corn Dog (spoiler alert — they were VERY good, but not the exact same!). Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom also had a pretty close version for a while, but it’s since been replaced by a longer, skinnier dog.
This simple dish always steals the show when you visit Disneyland, and West Coast fans will move heaven and Earth to get ahold of one. There are a few places throughout the resort you can pick up one of these beauties: Little Red Wagon (aka “the corn dog cart”, right by Plaza Inn), Stage Door Cafe in Frontierland, and at the Corn Dog Castle in Disney California Adventure!
But Disneyland doesn’t leave vegetarians out of the mix on the dipped goodness. Their incredible Hand-Dipped Cheese Sticks are a thing of beauty as well!
This is basically a big ol’ hunk of cheddar cheese, dipped into the same corn dog batter, and fried up so that the cheese gets all gooey inside! It’s absolute indulgence!
Now this one you can ONLY find at Corn Dog Castle in Disney California Adventure, so know before you go!
Disneyland is representing pretty strong in the sweets department as well. Between their out-of-this-world churros and, of course, those specialty Mickey beignets at the Mint Julep Bar, it was hard to choose which sweet treat we would want to steal and bring over to Disney World! We decided on one of our faves: the funnel cake.
Disneyland funnel cakes are anything but boring. They’re usually LOADED with toppings! Like the corndog, there are a few places you can grab this delicious dessert: Stage Door Cafe and Hungry Bear Restaurant are our go-to’s.
And if we could have it our way, the FIRST funnel cake we would dig into when we get through the gates would have to be the to-die-for Apple Pie Funnel Cake.
The funnel cakes are always HUGE and crisp, but then they’re topped with warm apple pie filling, streusel crumbs, caramel, and whipped cream. This seasonal specialty comes and goes from the Hungry Bear menu and was most recently seen this past Halloween season.
Whenever it does pop up we make sure to grab it because we never know when it might vanish again! So hopefully it finds its way to Disney World soon so East Coast Disney fans can get in on this sweet, sweet treasure.
Meat and Veggie Skewers at Bengal Barbecue
If you’re on the hunt for a smaller-portioned lunch that packs in a ton of flavor, head over to Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland. Right across the way from Indiana Jones Adventure and Jungle Cruise, this is a great pit-stop as you trek across the park.
You smell Bengal Barbecue long before you see it. Why? Their menu is loaded with delicious grilled meat skewers! They also occasionally have a seasonal item or two to indulge in.
The meats are wonderful, but the standout menu item for us has got to be their Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus, called the Safari Skewer.
Look, we’re the first ones to say that calories don’t count when you’re in a Disney park, but we will gladly eat all of our veggies if they come lightly charred and wrapped in bacon!
What better to wash this all down than with Bengal Barbecue’s signature Jungle Julep! This fruity slush combines pineapple, grape, lemon, and orange into one mega fruity and refreshing drink. Plus it’s VERY pretty!
Loaded Baked Potatoes at Troubadour Tavern
We’re heading into Fantasyland next for some loaded baked potatoes from Troubadour Tavern!
If you’ve frequented Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in the past, you may remember a similar menu item at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments and Liberty Square Market in Liberty Square. Unfortunately, these have disappeared, but they’re still going strong at Disneyland!
These are massive soft baked potatoes loaded with all the goodies you’d expect — bacon, butter, cheese, chives, and sour cream. BUT you can also get more unique stuffed potatoes like the BBQ Chicken Stuffed Potato!
All Things LOBSTER at Harbour Galley
Wait a minute, are we in Disneyland or New England? Did you know that you can get a Lobster Roll in the Happiest Place on Earth? Harbour Galley is nestled between Critter Country and New Orleans Square, right across from the Haunted Mansion exit.
You can find a variety of East Coast-inspired dishes, like Clam Chowder and even a Shrimp Salad, but today, we’re talking all things lobster.
Their menu regularly includes both Lobster Rolls and Lobster Mac and Cheese (YUM), and they’ve even served up specialty lobster dishes like this Lobster Pot Pie Soup!
If you’re a fan of lobster (or really, seafood in general) this out of the way spot is serving up some real gems.
Fritters from Royal Street Veranda
Travel deeper into New Orleans Square and you’ll happen upon Royal Street Veranda. This is one of the places in Disneyland where you can get a cup of their delicious Gumbo!
But what we would REALLY love to see come to Disney World are their fritters! These bite-size marvels are seasonal offerings and typically switch up several times throughout the year.
We’ve seen the full range of fritters, from savory to sweet, including the most recent Berry Cheesecake Fritter!
We’re down with anything they want to fry up in fritter form! Just about every variety we’ve tried has been FANTASTIC.
Loaded Onion Rings from Hungry Bear
Up next is Hungry Bear Restaurant. This dining location used to be considered a ‘dead end’ in the park, but is now connected to one of the entrances to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, so it gets much more foot traffic than it used to!
Loaded fries seem to be a dime a dozen these days. But loaded onion rings? Sign us up!
These gorgeous rings are fried up fresh then covered in a creamy cheese sauce, bacon, green onions, and a cilantro-lime crema. These need to hop on a flight to Disney World STAT. They’re crunchy, they’re flavorful…they are HEAVENLY.
All the goodies (and Loaded Dole Whip) from Tropical Hideaway
Our last stop in Disneyland Park is Tropical Hideaway! This counter service location opened up last year just outside the Enchanted Tiki Room.
Tropical Hideaway’s claim to fame, however, is their specialty Dole Whips and LOADED Dole Whips. As in love as we are with the Dole Whip Floats from Magic Kingdom, some of these loaded Dole Whips at Disneyland could give that Kakamora Float a run for its money!
Recently we’ve tried the Twisted Ambush Loaded Dole Whip topped with fruit, crystalized hibiscus, and more…
…as well as the specialty Indiana Jones Adventure Loaded Dole Whip!
While there’s no shortage of Dole Whip specialties on both coasts, we would love to see Disney World incorporate some of Tropical Hideaway’s unique menu items!
Cheese Fries and BBQ Crunch Dog at Award Wieners
We’re hopping over to Disney California Adventure and straight to Award Wieners!
Hot dog lovers will be in heaven when you check out the wide variety of dishes to choose from!
Two items, in particular, have stolen our hearts. First up: the Filmstrip Fries with Beer Cheese!
You guys know we are SERIOUS about our cheese here at DFB — so much so that we made our own cheese crawl for Disney World! If this item were to find its way to the East Coast, it would surely join ranks with our other beloved cheese dishes. If JUST cheese won’t do, they often have a limited time flavor of loaded filmstrip fries on the menu as well!
The other must-have dish from Award Wieners is that yummy BBQ Crunch Dog.
This tasty dog (cheddar sausage, actually!) is loaded with sweet barbecue sauce, cheese, and fried onion strings on a toasty potato bun.
Bread Bowls at Pacific Wharf Cafe
Pacific Wharf Cafe is known as the go-to destination in California Adventure if you want your meal served in a fresh-baked bread bowl. From soups to salads, you can get just about anything in their sourdough bowls, which are made right there (the smell inside is AMAZING, by the way).
But what could possibly make freshly baked sourdough bread even BETTER? Mac and cheese, that’s what!
This menu item was an on-again, off-again Secret Menu item at Pacific Wharf Cafe, but as long as the Mac and Cheese is on the kids’ menu, you can have them throw some in a bread bowl for ya. It seems as though it has now made its way as a regular menu item for adults, too! The secret’s out!
And when you’re ready for dessert, Pacific Wharf Cafe serves up some seriously incredible bread pudding. They switch up quite frequently, so we’ve had the pleasure of trying MANY Bread Puddings over the years. Let’s take a trip down memory lane looking at some of our favorite bread puddings! There was, of course, the Oreo Cheesecake Bread Pudding…
…there was the Apple Fritter Bread Pudding…
…and who could forget the stunner that was the Lemon-Blueberry Bread Pudding…
…they even had a lovely Rainbow Bread Pudding last year for Gay Days!
We think we’ve made our case. These are usually served warm and we’ve enjoyed them ALL! Disney World, get hold of these Bread Puddings ASAP!
Bacon Mac n Cheese Cone at Cozy Cone Motel
Now we’re heading to Carsland for one of California Adventure’s most iconic counter service meals. Cozy Cone Motel serves up a variety of food items, and, not surprisingly, they’ve committed hard to the cone-shaped theming, even in the food!
Anytime you combine bacon with mac & cheese is a good idea, but serving it in a portable, EDIBLE container? Ever BETTER. Disney World has seen a few food-in-cones pop up over the years, and — for those of you die-hard Disney food historians — the bacon mac and cheese cone actually DEBUTED in Disney World way back when; but these fun items usually don’t stick around long on menus on the East coast. So let’s hop on this and make it stick in Disney World!
Our last food item that we’re including in our list isn’t exactly a counter service meal. Then again, anything can count as your meal in Disneyland. It’s the Happiest Place on Earth, after all, so if you want those beignets to count as your dinner then good on you! 🙂
So we’re keeping it simple, straight, and to the point here: California Adventure serves CARAMEL CORN. While you can get some legit caramel corn at Karamell-Küche in Epcot, THIS is basically DISNEY popcorn…coated in caramel. So if you’re a Disney popcorn devotee, then it’s a must- must- must-try. Next time you’re in California Adventure, head to the popcorn stand near Elias & Co. and Carthay Circle and order up a serving!
Well, that’s our food tour of delicious eats we loooove in Disneyland. While Disney World is always on the cutting edge of theme park snacks, there’s still TONS of edible magic happening in Walt’s original park! We’d love to see some of these goodies make a trip to the East Coast to see how they’d fare!
Learn how to make one of Disneyland’s most iconic table service dishes at home with two recipes here!
Check out more Disneyland Food Reviews Here!!
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What’s your favorite snack from Disneyland? Let us know in the comments!