Something that has been on Kadee and my bucket list for this blog has been a Disney Family Dining Guide. We wanted to explore Disneyland for great eating locations (& maybe locations that are not the most well known) for families. So we sadledup and went to Disneyland! It was a HOT and crowded day and we quickly realized that we were not going to be able to explore the entire park's eating establishments. So I enlisted my good friend, long-time employee of Disneyland and trusted foodie-Whitney! Below you will find a combination of Whitney's (ok most of them are Whitney's) + Kadee's and mine + our instagram friend's favorite dinning places at Disneyland.
Keep in mind we have only included food resturants that are places great for families. People who are riding rides and being busy. We didn't review any restaurants that required you to sit down and wait.
Let me also introduce Whitney to you!
"I am not one of the fortunate people who grew up going to Disneyland. I went twice when I was a kid- one I'll fated trip when I was three that was rained out and resulted in colds for the whole family and one trip as a teenager with my local choir. When my husband and I moved to Southern California almost seven years ago, you could say that we started making up for lost time. Over the last few years we’ve spent so much time at the Disneyland Resort that it seemed like we lived there. I have gotten really good at navigating all of the attractions and know all of the best places to watch the parade. I also love finding all of the best places to eat- I especially love finding places that are off the beaten path. So grab your Mickey ears and bring your stretchy pants as we journey to the happiest place on earth!!"
Disneyland Dining & Food
Plaza Inn - location Main Street USA
Best Item: Fried Chicken plate.
Main Street USA is inspired by Walt Disney’s Childhood in the early 1900’s, it’s a love letter to America and I can’t think of any other food that is more iconically American then fried Chicken. This is seriously the best fried chicken I have ever had. Plaza Inn is a great choice for dinner and the fried chicken plate is a perfect dish to share with your hunny or your friends. It comes with three huge pieces of chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and a biscuit.
**Pro tip! Get your meal about 45 minutes before the nighttime parade and get a great table outside, now you can enjoy your amazing meal while watching the parade and then the fireworks which are right after.**
Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe
Most suggested by our instagram friends was this!!
It did not disappoint, and it was HUGE! Fresh raspberries, chewy cookie and perfect filling. gah, I wish i had one with me while writing this post.
If you have a picky eater in the family, the grilled cheese at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe is known for its deliciousness too.
Tomorrowland Terrace: Veggie Wrap
The first year that I lived in Southern California my husband and I had so many friends who came to visit Disneyland (and us too!) We got really good at finding all of the unhealthy but delicious things to eat, that I wanted to find something that was both delicious and healthy. While your kids are riding Space Mountain run over to Tomorrowland Terrace and the Gallatic Grill and get yourself a Veggie Wrap stat! Its so yummy and has sun-dried tomato, black beans, cucumber, corn-tomato relish and feta cheese. Don’t get me wrong I love a great corndog but it is nice to get something healthy after a day or more of running around the parks.
**Pro tip! Every night during the Summer months Tomorrowland Terrace features several community bands that play from 7:30 pm to 11:15pm. After a long day of experiencing attractions and walking around the park it’s great to sit and relax with your family while the little ones dance on the dance floor. **
Bengal BBQ: Safari Skewer
Bengal BBQ is the perfect quick service grab and go type place. It's located right across from both the Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones and the Forbidden Eye. Everything there is great but my personal favorite is the Safari Skipper- bacon-wrapped asparagus need I say more? I discovered this place on a whim when I decided that it would be a good idea to go to Disneyland while doing a low-carb diet.
**Pro Tip: Never go to Disneyland on a low carb diet or any other diet unless it is medically prescribed- for real- leave your diet at the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.**
Dole Whip The DOLE FLOAT!
Yes, the dole whip is really popular, but have you tried the DOLE FLOAT? This drink is everything and more than the dole whip. Spring for this refreshing drink + pineapple soft serve when you visit Adventureland.
Stage Door Cafe- Handdipped corndog.
Fish and chips, funnel cakes lots of fried goodies.
New Orleans Square
Mint Julep Bar and Mickey Mouse Beignet
Treat yourself to these!!
**PROTIP: All along both parks you can find barrels of cold fruit, pickles and drinks. Did you know you can get FREE WATER? At drink stations and resturants just ask for some ice water and they'll give you a free cup (+lid and straw!) **
We sprung for the pickle. ha ha. it was so cold and refreshing to eat while waiting in line. looooved it.
Disney California Adventure
Buena Vista Street
Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge: Fried Biscuits
I love Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure. The area is themed to look like Los Angeles that Walt Disney would have seen when he first moved to California in the 1920’s. The Carthay Circle restraint is themed after the Carthay Circle theater which used to be in Los Angeles- it’s also the place that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in 1937. My favorite thing to eat there are stuffed white cheddar, jalapeños and bacon biscuits. They are served warm with this amazing Apricot-Honey Butter. The apricot honey- butter creates a perfect sweet and savory taste.
**Pro-Tip: One of the things that I love about going to any Disney theme park is the attention to detail. Even if you don’t eat at Carthay Circle restaurant make it a point to stop in and look at all of the neat historic photos and Disney memorabilia .**
Paradise Garden Grill -skewers
Before my husband and I moved to Orange County we lived in Central California which has a huge Armenian community. I grew up eating a ton of Mediterranean food- and the fact that I can find a great Mediterranean meal right before I hit up Toy Story Midway Mania is a huge win for me. Another plus to paradise garden grill is that most of the offerings are on the healthier side. I know that when most people are on vacation they don’t want to eat anything healthy- but if you are on your third day of hamburgers, chicken nuggets and corn dogs Paradise Garden is a great option. They have several different protein options -even tofu and offer lots of different dipping sauces. My favorite thing is the Lemon Oregano Chicken Skewer- it comes with a cucumber salad and your choice of Chimichurri, Chili Sauce or Tzatziki sauce. Take my word for it and GET THE TZATZIKI!
**Pro-tip :There is an amazing band stand in paradise garden that is usually featuring several great bands that play daily from 12:00pm to 6:00pm. Also if you have little ones or husbands that are not into**
Mediterranean food, Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta is right next door.
Flo’s v8 cafe - Roast Beef & Cheddar
True Story- for a long time whenever we had family come to visit we always ended up at the Jolly Holiday Bakery in Disneyland because they had amazing Roast Beef sandwiches- then one day my in laws were visiting from Washington and we went to get our usual Roast Beef Sandwiches and then were gone! No longer on the menu- I seriously thought about crying. But then we found out that they were in fact not gone but had migrated over to Carsland. Friends- if you find yourself in Carsland forget the attractions - get yourself a Roast Beef & Cheddar sandwich. Perfection from the bottom up- garlic and chive bun, tons of juicy roast beef and cheddar cheese all topped with cartelized onions and Horseradish Aioli. Seriously it is so good it will make your vegetarian cousin go carnivore.
**Pro tip- every night around Sunset all of the Neon lights will come on in Carsland in a really neat lighting ceremony. Just like the original movie Cars all of the different shops and Restaurants light up to the song “Sha-Boom” Unfortunately there is not a set time but if you make sure you are in Carsland a few minutes before sunset you can’t miss it. It truly is one of the most magical things you can experience, which is what Disney is great at creating. And hey, if you can do it with a great sandwich in your hand then that’s pretty magical too.**
ok, we said we wouldn't give you any suggestions that you couldn't do as a family....but we have one suggestion for you, that CAN be done as a family but I recommend stealing yourself away with some adults and heading to
I think the picture explains it alll.
Remember to stay hydrated (get your free ice water!) and have so much fun! If you're looking for a place to stay we have a post about the great Anaheim Hotel we stayed at right here.
Also, if you're needing some amazing necessities... check out what we used to survive our 100+ degree and extremely crowded day at the park! Could not have survived without backpacks! These huys are on salt this week!!