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Help! Disneyland For a Day ...

My wife and I have never been to DL, despite living in LA for a few years, so we've decided we are going to drive down to Anaheim after work on Friday, stay for the evening, get up, and head to the main park for a full day of ... well, whatever.

(On a side note, let me be completely honest that I am absolutely TERRIFIED of DL on a Saturday)

Needless to say, I'm all about the food, no matter where I go. So, I figured you all would be the perfect resource to help me in fulfilling my gustatory addictions. I've done some searching, and there doesn't seem to be a dedicated thread to Disney and Disney area food, so perhaps this could be it.

For us, personally, we'll be having dinner Friday evening, and then 3 meals on Saturday (just going to drive back home Saturday evening). Friday night dinner is at Sonic. No "Ifs", "Ands", or "Buts". I don't care how cheesy/chainy it is, we're from the South and haven't had Sonic in AGES, and I'm craving me some Tater-Tots and a Cherry Lime-Aid.

Sonic, my friends (TM John McCain), is NOT negotiable ;-)

That being said, who's to say we can't have TWO dinners? Not me, and I'm getting the waistline to prove it!

So what say you great and mighty CH'ers? I'm obviously willing to drive, so what's in the area?

And, for purposes of posterity, what are YOUR Disney food recommendations?

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  1. I'm hoping you're getting some good replies for the Saturday dinner....I'm still looking for suggestions in Anaheim for a nice dinner...so far I've gotten the message that Napa Rose is good, but it might be a bit above my price level.

    As for Disney itself, make sure you have a corn dog.

    5 Replies
    1. re: janetofreno

      Update: Janet and I were in Disneyland last week for our free birthday trip, which was a lot of fun; highly recommended to go on your birthday, particularly if your birthday is on a a weekday in February during a recession (no lines, just enough people, many also wearing 'Its my birthday' button, to make the place truly feel happy). However, I saw *no* corn dogs. I think it must be a CA Adventure thing only; believe me, Janet was looking for them :-)

      The food summary:

      We had decent pastries and coffee at La Brea bakery in downtown Disney for breakfast (since Disneyland didn't open till ten that day, it was a good way to start the day);

      I had jambalaya at the restaurant at New Orleans square while listening to the almost-too-laid back jazz trio (verdict: other than overcooked chunks of chicken that tasted as though they had been tossed on top after the jambalaya was cooked, it was surprisingly tasty, with a decent level of heat for a cool day. Pricey, but that's Disneyland. Janet had clam chowder, which I thought was ok (and also warming on a cold day). We ate lunch on the early side, and the lack of crowds while we enjoyed the music and the view of Tom Sawyer's Island (which they now call something else not nearly as interesting-sounding), was lovely.

      For an afternoon snack we grabbed some freshly popped popcorn from one of the carts. If you see it being popped in front of you, that is when to get some: very good.

      After exhausting ourselves pretending to be much younger than our birthday age in the (cough cough) mid fifties somewhere, we enjoyed dinner at Napa Rose. I am going to try and post on that seperately at some point, but bottom line, it was good, (particularly the lamb) with excellent service and a very nice wine list. It also wasn't quite as pricey as we had anticipated, (though yes, it certainly is pricey) thanks to a downright bargain choice from among the wines, and the fact that as soon as the server saw our "It's my birthday" buttons, dessert was comped. Nice.

      1. re: susancinsf

        The corn dog cart is off of Main Street on the northeast side next to Plaza Inn. Also, you can usually enter CA if you tell them that you just want to go in for a corn dog, and leave your id or credit card, not sure which they ask for, and go in just for the corn dogs and leave. It's a nice thing, works for the main park as well, for only about an hour or 2 though.

        1. re: justagthing

          hmm....my guess then would be either that it wasn't out that day, or that its hours are limited: we walked by there several times, no cart. However, we didn't walk by there at lunch hour...

          I'd be surprised if they let you go into CA just to get a corn dog when you are already on the birthday (one park only) free ride, I'd consider that above and beyond!

          1. re: susancinsf

            "Little Red Wagon" is usually open every day from 11 to 8 pm minimum. It's a bit bigger than the typical cart, did you actually see the wagon? It's set back a bit from the street (on the right hand side just before Plaza Inn). I think the wagon is always there, not really mobile. There are slow days when Disney decides ad hoc to not open some venues, but I'd be surprised if Red Wagon was closed unless it was broken. Maybe next time.
            Happy Birthday!

          2. re: justagthing

            My understanding is that this policy was changed sometime late last year. It used to be so that you could shop for an hour, and if you weren't back in time, your credit card would be charged for the full price of a ticket.

      2. I'd hit Napa Rose for a dinner, and it's conveniently part of DL at the Grand California Hotel.

        I know some people like it, but I've had a couple of really mediocre meals at Catal, so I wouldn't recommend it personally.

        In the park, the Blue Bayou is decent enough. People recommend the Monte Cristo at BB. When I was a kid though, I LOVED the place across the pathway, I *think* it's Country Kitchen or Cafe Orleans (?), from BB that has clam chowder in bread bowl (maybe too heavy this time of year :) If you want pulled pork, try French Market in Orleans Square

        The Plaza Inn has decent fried chicken

        On Main St, there's the corn dog place and the bakery that has great cookies and macaroons

        Grab breakfast at La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney

        If for some reason you wander off park, there's Lee's Sandwiches on Harbor near Ball Rd.

        Overall, I love Disneyland, partly nostalgia partly due to its indefatigable happiness. I don't go there for the food; I go there to feel warm and gooey inside. So don't go with incredibly high expectations culinarily speaking, just be prepared to deal with lines, inconsiderate people, and in your face silliness and Disney. It's fun esp when you go with the right attitude! [I always hate when people go and bitch about the volume of children or the lines or lack of healthy food choices... it's a theme park.]

        17 Replies
        1. re: Emme

          I second the rec's for La Brea Bakery (right in between the two parks, where the tram drops you off); Plaza Inn for fried chicken. Also the French Market & Cafe Orleans are better than average, if a bit pricey for what it is. I haven't tried it, but the Bengal BBQ actually looks and smells OK.

          Disneyland is not really a chow destination, though.

          1. re: Emme

            Thanks Emme, that's a really helpful post.

            I'd read Napa on a few other threads; I'm not sure how much I'm into spending all day at a park only to head to Napa Rose -- if for no other reason than I imagine I'll be pretty gross after a day at the park, and sans shower/hotel, I'm not sure how I'd pull it off.

            La Brea Bakery is a great idea, and I'm sure that's what we'll do for breakfast.

            I also KNOW we'll get a corn dog, since we've both been craving them and were disappointed in the ones we tried at the fair.

            I read somewhere on here that the Pommes Frites at Cafe Orleans (which, from what I've gathered, is the place across from Blue Bayou) are tasty, so I'm sure I'll try those ... and maybe the Monte Cristo too.

            Lastly ... I couldn't agree with you more about expectations (in terms of food) and being irritated with those who fail to understand this is a MECCA for kids. I've never understood why people who can't deal with kids - from the well-behaved to the bratty - would EVER go to a theme park.

            1. re: a213b

              Either Café Orleans (if in the mood for outdoor) or Blue Bayou (if in the mood to flee the sunshine for an hour) are my go-to options for in-the-park dining. Make sure to call Disney Dining at 714-781-3463 ahead of time for a priority seating for either of these places. However, sometimes when lunch rolls around I want to leave the crowds behind entirely, and that’s when I head to Uva, the outdoor tapas bar connected with Catal in Downtown Disney. I agree with Emme that Catal was not great, but Uva’s a whole differrent deal, and more than once some tasty small plates, relative quiet, and a cold beer there has really hit the spot for me. You can reenter the park from there via the Downtown Disney monorail station; it’s right around the corner.

              1. re: a213b

                honestly, they tolerate a pretty lax appearance at napa rose, for the very reason that it is the best dining option next to a theme park - they know they'll have clientele that want really good food after a day in the sun and crowds... don't worry about that, but if you feel self-conscious i completely understand.

                1. re: a213b

                  I think the Blue Bayou only serves the Monte Cristo at lunch, just FYI. Check first, if you were thinking of having it for dinner. I would never drop in there without calling first, unless it was pretty slow and I wasn't set on eating there. Sometimes they absolutely do allow drop-in seating, but sometimes not. If they have space, another idea is to get dessert/coffee at the BB. Fun ambiance!

                2. re: Emme

                  I third Napa Rose. Awesome food, and if you're into wine, the one of the best sommeliers in the country makes his home there!
                  For a more casual spot, my husband and I like Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen at Downtown Disney. For lunch, I suggest the Bacon Bleu Cheese Burger...it's made with filet (which is a waste because I can't taste the difference), but is cooked and seasoned to perfection (medium rare, of course). For dinner, I'm partial to the NY Strip...it's enormous, but, again, seasoned and cooked very well...and with a demi-glace, there's no need for steak sauce...if they have the tomato bisque, please try it...one of the best tomatoe bisques I've ever had.
                  I would stay away from Naples and Tortilla Joe's...not great food and not so great service.
                  If you're in the Park, I would suggest the Trattoria inside California Adventure. Good Italian food without having to leave the premises.
                  Have a great time!

                  1. re: attran99

                    attran, what is the dress code at Napa Rose? Like I mentioned in an earlier post, my concerns there lie in the fact that I plan on, most likely, wearing shorts and a polo to the park ... and I can't imagine that would be appropriate for NR, right?

                    1. re: a213b

                      You could get away with khakis and polo shirts. My friend went two weeks ago for a company dinner and he didn't have to dress out of his comfort zone.

                      1. re: a213b

                        It's in a resort hotel...so I believe that while not encouraged, it's acceptable. Another poster said that he went in w/shorts & had no problem. We've been w/jeans (fairly casual, but nice), and did not feel out of place.

                        1. re: OCAnn

                          Maybe what I will do, then, is pack any easily accessible pair of nice jeans or pants in the car and do a quick change before heading to NR ... possibly to sit at the bar as per the below poster's advice.

                          1. re: a213b

                            Don't worry about it. You can wear decent jeans and a polo shirt and not be out of place at all. None of the Disneyland-owned restaurants, save Club 33, have a dress code.

                      2. re: attran99

                        I fourth Napa Rose!

                        You can also - if you like - grab a seat in the lounge by the fireplace and have the full menu.... it's very relaxed and yet elegant and any dress is acceptable.... if you ask and there is room... you can ALSO choose to eat at the garde manger....I loved it.. I got to chat with the chef and the sous as they worked...get a few tastes of things unique ....and watching that dance is always fun to me.

                        as far as INSIDE the park..... everyone's mentioned the corn dogs.....but man.... Bengal BBQ...... bacon wrapped asparagus..... is the yum.

                        don't bother with with gumbo (it tastes of powdered mix- gak) or Orleans Cafe'

                        Brennan's Jazz Kitchen is hit or miss but the bartenders ROCK and if you order right your meal will be great.....the jazz band is always good as well.

                        HOB makes a killer burger and has great music...what's to hate about that?

                        All the restaurants at DCA have gone far down hill.....I've heard the spot above the winery is still good.....the street level menu is very less than.

                        The "wine ride" on the pier is always nice to do.....sit on the pier at sunset with a nice tall glass of whet yer whistle and watch the rollercoaster launches......( I'm on vod-cation!")

                        I'll also give a nod to the smoked carpaccio at Catal if it's there....and to the garlic fries at UVA Bar for a happy hour nosh. (if you ask nicely they may even give you a bit o truffle oil to put on them..... it's been a while ... but I bet it can happen)

                        above all.... enjoy your trip!!!!! xoxoo

                        1. re: missliisa

                          Just a note that the bar behind Ariel's Grotto (I assume that's what you mean by the watch the rollercoaster launch?) has restricted hours during the remodel of DCA. Otherwise your recommendations are spot on (love those asparagus skewers, but the others at that place are just... meh. Salty.)

                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                            missliisa, the spot above the winery is closed (aka the Vineyard Room).

                            I was even a bit disappointed in the underseasoned chicken sandwich at White Water Snacks yesterday, but the fries have stepped up a notch. They're now shoestring with some skin on, and crispy.

                            Napa Rose still good, I can report.

                      3. re: Emme

                        A comment on Napa Rose -- the restaurant and hotel and very pretty, but it is way overpriced. The service is weird (formal, almost robot-like), and the food was so-so. It all seemed so scripted and not well-scripted, either. We spent a lot and didn't get any bang for our mega-buck.

                        1. re: Golem

                          LOL. One doesn't usually use the words "bang for the buck" and "Disney" on the same page. If you're thinking about how much it's costing you, you aren't going to enjoy it. Best to stop at McD's on the way over (or Sonic).

                      4. I haven't been to Disneyland for a long time, but I used to love getting the smoked turkey leg.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: spkspk

                          We were there in June and that's what I had for lunch one day!

                        2. It's ok to admit you're really heading to Blizzcon...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: creamfinger

                            LOL!!!111one oneone....... :::geek out:::

                          2. SONIC....stay away from the extra long coney....huge disappointment. One of the worst dogs I've ever had.


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: monku

                              monk, I appreciate the head's up.

                              We both grew up with Sonic, and at this point are pretty well dialed-in to the menu and what we want.

                              I couldn't agree with you more though; I'm not going anywhere near that coney.

                            2. Before you hit the park on Sat, go to: Jagerhaus 2525 E Ball Rd @ the 57
                              www.jagerhaus.net (714) 520-9500 It's well worth the option of moving away from the park in the morning, or for a break in the afternoon, or for dinner. I've only had the breakfasts. Can't seem to get away from the Schwaben omelet served with the ever so fabulous plum jam. And, the german pancakes are nearly worth a golden plate to be served upon. Have fun :)

                              1. Friday Night is a good night to go to Disneyland, it's usually only season pass holders that day meaning the line shouldn't be too bad. I do recommend the famous Little Red Wagon corn dog on Main Street which is amazing when hot and fresh (I recommend going when there's a long line which sounds crazy but that's the only time they start frying it fresh otherwise you get like one that's been under the heat lamp for an hour).

                                Sonic is a pretty awesome place to eat at while the food isn't the best I enjoy eating there nonetheless. Let's see though, Sonic is in fullerton but i don't think there's much I can think of around there.

                                You can hit up the Little Gaza area around Anaheim and get some great Schwarma or falafel (Zankou Chicken is a good chain around there which I haven't had the chance to go).
                                Oh and here's a post of a fellow chowhounder whose blog I follow religiously, he went to Catal here which is in Downtown Disney http://www.kevineats.com/2007/03/cata...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: digkv

                                  Oh, but there IS the Disney Character Warehouse Outlet store directly across the street from the Sonic. Who can resist sipping on a cherry limeade slush and perusing souvenirs at half or 1/3 the price?

                                2. I don't believe there is fried chicken at Disneyland anymore. In an effort to be healthier, I know they've eliminated it from the French Market Cafe.

                                  I recommend Cafe Orleans which is around the corner. They also offer the monte cristo, the ratatouille was good and the garlic fries were awesome.

                                  Ate at Blue Bayou last year and it was horrid! Border on the point of inedible and very, very expensive.

                                  Around the corner from french Market Cafe, the Mint Julep bar has a great circle puff pastry coated in sugar that makes a great snack.

                                  The waffle ice cream cones are huge and so good! My favorite snack is popcorn.

                                  I've also gotten a salad at the mexican restaurant (can't remember the name) there and it was good.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: LisaN

                                    Fried chicken dinners are always available at the Plaza Inn at the end of Main Street, U.S.A.

                                    I like Marri's on Katella and Walnut for Italian-American food.

                                    1. re: LisaN

                                      Lisa, thanks for the tips.

                                      I am all over the garlic fries, the puff pastry, and the waffle cone.

                                      Mmmmmmmm ... waffle cones ...

                                      1. re: LisaN

                                        I was @ D'land a couple weeks ago (I have an annual pass) and they still had fried chicken @ the Plaza Inn.

                                        Yes, Blue Bayou is expensive, but for us it's worth a nice getaway from the heat & crowds.

                                        I too like Cafe Orleans; and while some don't, I like Pizza Port too (but not for the pizza).

                                        If you do a search on Disneyland, there are 2-3 threads about which are to-have and which are avoids.

                                        1. re: LisaN

                                          Oh, yes. Rancho del Zocalo. That salad IS pretty large, and their meals are fairly decent. Free ice water at that location, too (you may be soft drink'ed out by that point anyway).

                                        2. I just got back from DL yesterday. On tuesday my sister and I sat at the bar at Napa Rose and had a great time. It definately felt more casual sitting at the bar. We asked the bartender to reccomend a couple of appatizers. He did, with wine parings to go with them. Apparently all servers there are required to take at least the level one somellier exam. The food and wine were wonderful, and we didn't break the bank. I was particularly happy that he was modest with his wine reccomendations as far as price goes. We had seared scallops with a lobster sauce paired with a Sonama sauvignon blanc. Next was a risotto with "5 to 7" types of wild mushrooms in a rich beef stock paired with Mac Murray pinot noir. Delicious and rich. We loved the pinot and ordered a full glass with a pizette with onions, proscuitto, and brie cheese. We probably went a little overboard at this point. We were already full after the first two apps.

                                          On another note, I also never miss getting a Dole pineapple whip in Adventureland. They are sooo good. why can't I find these outside of Disneyland?

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Rizza

                                            Ask and you shall receive Tutu's Ice Cream in Simi Valley has dole whip

                                            1. re: Rizza

                                              I know my wife DEFINITELY wants to try the Dole Whip, as it sounds pretty tasty.

                                              If we love it, we're close enough where Simi is doable for one, but thankfully far enough where it'll be a treat and not an every day occurrence.

                                              1. re: a213b

                                                RE: Dole Whip/ Yes, they're unique and have a great taste. But, for fun, ask to see the ingredients list. My daughter couldn't have any dairy and we wanted to make sure.well, there's nothing natural in the Dole whip. I actually think that Dole spelled sideways may be DOW! ( as in Dow chemicals)

                                                1. re: scambi

                                                  I wasn't so thrilled with my dole whip either..... I'd save my Ice cream calories and have a sundae on main Street at the ice cream parlour ...

                                                  1. re: scambi

                                                    Scary. I guess it's a good thing I only eat it once a year. I do love it though.

                                              2. I remember having yummy fried chicken. I guess that would be the Plaza Inn. I would eat at the restaurant inside Pirates of the Caribean, I've wanted to since I was a kid. As for breakfast, what about the place in the park that has Mickey shaped pancakes? That's very Disneyland-ish. There are so many restaurants in Downtown Disney, most (all?) of the the generic corporate kind, that I would stick to classic places located in the park. I'm sure Napa Rose is good, but wouldn't you rather get a brat next to the Matterhorn? (No matter how bad?) Also, if I was going to Sonic, I would get the Frito Burrito. Just sayin'. Also tots.

                                                1. I just went to Disneyland yesterday!!!! I was so bummed that I forgot to make a reservation at the Blue Bayou.... It's so wonderful in there... It;s in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and no matter what time you go, it's always a beautiful romantic evening dinning under lanterns, glowing fireflies set the mood.... Ask for a waterside table. ... ... Also it's one of the only table service venues... Order the Monte Christo and the ribs!!!

                                                  1. Disneyland is not really a "foodie" place. They have huge central kitchens with outdated "buffet" food. That being said - there are options:

                                                    2 recs for Ice Cream - There is a little shop next to the lockers on Main Street. They make ice cream sandwiches using fresh cookies. Best dessert value in the park and a small line compared to the busier places across the street. Check out their hours as they close early.

                                                    Also - Across from the Riverboat there is a nice place to sit down for ice cream. There is a "country" band called billy hill and the hillbillies that is fun to watch for awhile. Seating can be tough on a hot day, but there is good turnover at the end of each show.

                                                    Around the corner from there, across from the Jungle cruise are decent Chicken skewers. One of the few non-fried things to eat.

                                                    If you get to California Adventure you can actually have a real drink - either pre-mixed margaritas or Karl Strauss beer on tap. There is also the Mission Tortilla factory that gives you a free fresh tortilla at the end(or a full bag of tortilla's on your birthday), right near the Margarita Stand.

                                                    Other than that, there are the usual burgers, pizza, hot dogs. The large outdoor place in Tomorrowland has sandwiches and fresh fruit. I could go on and on since I've spent too many hours there.

                                                    Crowd advice - take full advantage of the fast passes - so many people stand in hours long lines for no reason - particularly splash mountain and Thunder Mountain. Remember you can use any pass you get ANYTIME after you are allowed to enter, you don't have to return at the allotted time. You should always get passes when they available and hold them, that way you can avoid some of the long walks back and forth. I never wait in a long line, even on the busiest days.

                                                    Those are all the "secrets" I'm giving away.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: dclay

                                                      "Remember you can use any pass you get ANYTIME after you are allowed to enter, you don't have to return at the allotted time. "

                                                      Did not know that, so thanks. Would always toss them after the alloted time.

                                                      Have passes but rarely eat there. When I do, usually end up at Pizza Port, but primarily because it has sure hit kids' food (pizza, spaghetti, etc). Food's average. Sourdough bread soup & sandwich place on the Wharf in California Adventure was pretty decent.

                                                      1. re: dclay

                                                        Actually, besides the wine tasting, pre-mixed margaritas and beer truck, there's a full bar at Disney's California Adventure. It's behind Ariel's Grotto, overlooking the lagoon and the launching pad for California Screamin'. And the California restaurant on the main floor of the Wine Country Trattoria (I'm sorry, I've forgotten the name) is actually not half bad.

                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                          Yes, I completely forgot about that bar. Having eaten the "princess" meal at Ariel's grotto, that bar was a saviour, considering the quality of the food.

                                                      2. Got back last night and thought I would post a quick report.

                                                        Friday night we (as mentioned) hit Sonic. Man, that place was HOPPING! I completely devoured a Sonic Burger and side of tots, and gulped down a large cherry lime-aid to go along with it. Ahhhhh, satisfaction.

                                                        My wife tried the strawberry lime-aid for the first time, and to me, it didn't come close to comparing to the cherry -- oh, also, I have them add extra cherry syrup to my lime-aid to make it even more super-delicious.

                                                        Disneyland ...

                                                        1) We took our time, and upon arriving popped in to La Brea Bakery (the quick line, not the sit down area) to scope it out. As it was already 11:15, we decided nothing there seemed really appetizing, and preferred instead to get inside the park and stop by ...

                                                        2) The Red Wagon -- the unequivocable winner of our Disney foray. There was, like digkv suggested, a long line, which made it even all the more tasty.

                                                        THESE are what corndogs are supposed to be. In fact, so much so that I was joking with my wife singing the In-n-Out song but replacing "burger" with "corndog". Fresh, hot, with a perfect cornmeal crust -- nice and firm (not greasy soggy), a few places with crispy bits where the fryer had really gotten some thin strands of the batter and fried them up nice and crunchy. Mmmmmmmmmmm ...

                                                        My only disappointment was that, like the fair, there's nowhere inside Disney that makes a freshly squeezed lemonade to accompany my corndog.

                                                        3) Dole Whip -- This was not for me, at all. I'm not sure what it's supposed to be, but I literally ate a bite, said it was nasty, and then tried another just to make sure.

                                                        Yup, these (to me) are just not good at all. I think someone else mentioned it, but it seemed to be a bland, weird texture, and completely artificial. On the other hand, while my wife didn't love it, she did keep eating it and said it grew on her more as she ate more.

                                                        4) The Pommes Frites at Orleans Cafe -- I really, REALLY wanted to try these. However, despite it being 2:00, I couldn't make it happen. Why? Well, I told the host that I only wanted an order of Pommes Frites, and that I'd be more than happy to order them as a carry-out item in order to avoid taking a table.

                                                        His response, "We don't do to go orders". Fine, ok. "How long is the wait," I asked, to which he responded 15 minutes. "Great, we'll wait then."

                                                        To which he then responded, "But we do ask each of our guests to order an entree".

                                                        Argh! The lack of flexibility or willingness to compromise was somewhat irritating, especially for a place that basically proclaims itself the "Happiest Place on Earth", and that is so customer-service centric. C'est la vie ...

                                                        5) Churro from a cart -- this tasted like what I suspect it was, a mass-produced, frozen and then re-heated churro. I'm not saying it wasn't good, just that it was just like one you'd expect to get at a sports arena or other Aramark run entity.

                                                        6) Popcorn -- the bag we got was actually really tasty. Fresh with just the right amount of salt and a touch of butter ... surprisingly good, and a perfect light snack.

                                                        7) Ice cream in a Waffle Cone -- we, unfortunately, didn't see the later posts that indicated we should get ice cream from the location next to the lockers (which we got). Instead, we got one from the main parlour on Main St. that has a guy making fresh waffle cones to, I'm sure, entice passers-by to come in.

                                                        My cone was not fresh, despite the huge lines -- it wasn't hot & crisp, but rather room-temperature and slightly rubbery. The scoop of chocolate was fine; similar to what you'd get from any of a number of makers at your local grocery store.

                                                        8) Mickey Cookie from La Brea Bakery -- we stopped by here on our way out of the park, and I felt like I just HAD to get one of these. What did I learn?

                                                        Don't. This might have been the worst cookie I've ever tried. EVER. I tasted one bite (one ear), and my wife the other (the other ear) while we were in line to pay, and we both agreed it was truly awful. Thankfully, when it came time to pay, I mentioned this to the cashier and he said not to worry about it ... and even threw it away for us.

                                                        We actually ended up finishing the park more quickly than we thought, and thus found ourselves leaving before dinnertime, so there are still plenty of other places to try or our next trip(s).

                                                        All-in-all, I would agree with others; DL is not a particularly Chow'ish destination, but then again, that's not why one goes, is it? We had a ton of fun, and at the very least (in terms of food) had the best corn dog we've had since we've been in LA.

                                                        Oh ... and we managed to hit up Sonic again on the way home. Mmmmmmmm.

                                                        12 Replies
                                                        1. re: a213b

                                                          Thanks for the re-hash. Tips to take with me on my upcoming trips. But, if anything, got me curious to try Sonic again. Only tried it once in San Antonio, but can't remember anything except being asked if we wanted our tots "spicy."

                                                          1. re: pharmnerd

                                                            pham, I don't want you to get the wrong idea and think that Sonic is going to be this amazing culinary experience, because it is not.

                                                            It IS just a chain, but (to me) it is certainly better than the McDonalds/BKs/CJ/etc of the world. But it is kind of cool in that it is a carhop, and they have that style of menu. Plus, for my wife and I, there is a bit of home-sickness/nostalgia that goes along with eating there ...

                                                            That being said, I would still very much encourage you to hit it up, although with the caveat that I wouldn't make a special trip to the area just for it. Enjoy!

                                                            1. re: a213b

                                                              Hey, a213b,
                                                              We've gotten along pretty well so far. You asked about Disneyland, I told you about the pancakes, we had some good laughs....I would say that we are almost BFF's. But if you ever, EVER, say anything about my beloved CJ's again, well, you can just kiss all that goodbye. Just a warning, a213b.

                                                              1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                schrute, this made me LOL.

                                                                Along with your username, you seem like a pretty cool guy (gal?). Plus, I have a secret food confession to make ... I like CJ's $6 burger as a 1x or 2x a year gorge treat.

                                                                So, still BFFs? ;-)

                                                                1. re: a213b

                                                                  All right, a123b, you redeemed yourself. Still BFF's. Now let us never speak of this again. P.S. --gal. And yes, I AM very cool.

                                                              2. re: a213b

                                                                Will definitely "hit it up" as it's just up the 91 from me. Probably kinda misread my post. I "didn't remember anything" only b/c I was hungry & tired after 2 rounds of golf, not that I didn't like the grub.

                                                                1. re: a213b

                                                                  I agree - Sonic isn't the best food but it's always fun to go to the carhop. They have really great shakes and smoothies. Try the limeaid or the cherry limeaid - they are really good!

                                                              3. re: a213b

                                                                I wish I'd remembered to tell you to get the macaroons from the bakery on the left side of Main Street, U.S.A (as you head toward the castle) -- they are the best macaroons ever.

                                                                1. re: Das Ubergeek


                                                                  It's all good Das. Like I said, that will just have to go on the list of places/things to try next

                                                                2. re: a213b

                                                                  Wait, you ate twice at Sonic, twice stood in line at La Brea Bakery, and then had churros, popcorn, an ice cream cone (it's Dreyer's, you know) ? So really, all you tried at Disneyland that was remotely recommended was the corndog and the Dole Whip. Now I don't know if that's enough to complain about how un-Chowish a place is. Most important, though, even though you ate like 6-year olds, is that you had fun.

                                                                  Just to sum up, for next time, please try some of the following rec's...

                                                                  Some of the more typical junky type snacks that we typically enjoy at Disney include the Rice Krispy Treats, Mickey Mouse pretzels (especially the jalapeno one), fudge or caramel apples from the candy shop, the turkey leg, Bengal BBQ skewers, vanilla-flavored lemonade (available near Big Thunder Mtn), the fried stuff from the Golden Horseshoe, and the cinnamon sugar tortilla chips. Yes we also enjoy the corndogs and Dole Whip, but the churros are just awful (and I don't think anyone recommended them). There are healthier snacks at the various fruit carts.

                                                                  For real food, a number of places were recommended including the broasted chicken (aka fried chicken) at Plaza Inn, which is quite good. They've updated the menu at the French Marketplace, and it's pretty good for a buffeteria. Also Rancho del Zocalo which is the Mexican place in Frontierland has a good chicken Caesar salad. Most people like the sourdough bread bowl soups that can be found across from Blue Bayou and at Pacific Wharf in DCA. Blue Bayou is expensive for what you get, but it was better on the last visit than previously. I would never waste time in the La Brea Bakery line again, it's just as overpriced as Disneyland and the food isn't much better. If you're going outside of the park and want some quick lunch items, the Whitewater Cafe inside the Grand California Hotel has good hot sandwiches (made to order) and a nice selection of premade desserts (I think these are made in the hotel).

                                                                  1. re: mlgb

                                                                    "Wait, you ate twice at Sonic...."

                                                                    LOL. That's what I thought too. Obviously, D'land was an excuse to go to Sonic.

                                                                    1. re: mlgb

                                                                      LOL, you "caught" me mlgb and OCAnn.

                                                                      Although, I will say in my defense I intended to hit more of the restaurant fare, but we ended up getting there later than we intended (and we both HAD to have the corndogs since everyone says they are so good), which knocked out a "sit-down" for lunch, and then my wife and I were both ready to bolt at 6:30, hence we missed the opportunity for a "sit-down" dinner.

                                                                      The fried chicken smell from Plaza DID smell delicious as we were walking out though, and I've got a ton of places still on the list for the times when we go back.

                                                                      But yeah, you guys got me ... as far as I was concerned Sonic was the reason *I* was headed down to there ... despite whatever my beautiful wife may think otherwise ;-)

                                                                  2. Find a member of Club 33 and have them try to get you in

                                                                    1. I like going to Catal when I'm being a kid at Disneyland..


                                                                      1. We were at Disneyland last Friday 10/10. Some notes from that trip:

                                                                        Had to try a Dole whip after reading all the comments here. It was kinda like a soft-serve pineapple ice cream / frozen yogurt. It was good, but not too pineapple-y tasting.

                                                                        For lunch, shared a few skewers at the Bengal's BBQ. They were good, but pricey. One skewer, consisting of 3 smallish pieces of meat, plus sauce and a green onion, was approximately $3.50. The chicken was very good, the beef was tough, and the bacon-wrapped asparagus was also good. We saw other folks enjoying grilled veggie skewers, which also looked good. I could have eaten about 3 or 4 chicken skewers, plus veggie, but my friend and I shared one chicken, one beef and one asparagus, so we were still hungry after that. The 3 skewers, plus one drink, was $15.

                                                                        We picked up a pickle and a container of trail mix to snack on and had a hot dog / chips at California Adventures a little while later. Was pleasantly surprised to see all the healthier choices around, lots of fresh fruits, etc.

                                                                        Had decided in advance to have a splurge dinner and had made reservations at Napa Rose. That was just the thing after being on our feet all day. Dinner was over 2 hours and was so rejuventating, we went back to the park afterwards! My friend and I both had the chef's tasting menu - it changes every Friday. The menu was based on fall seasonal tastes. First, we had an amuse bouche of persimmon puree with goat cheese and candied orange peel. The next course was seared sea bass on heirloom tomato. Next was veal tenderloin with a mixed salad in a potato cup. The main course was quail in a delicious sauce of figs, mushrooms and onions served with potatoes with bacon, cheese and chiles. Dessert was quince crisp with date ice cream. I had never had quince before, it was like a corss between apple and pear, very good! Service was excellent and we really enjoyed ourselves. To those who asked about how to dress there, not to worry. I was in jeans, t-shirt and sneakers, and that was fine. We also saw folks dressed up too. I would love to return, this is a fabulous place for a special occasion. Our server told us that if we ever wanted to return just to have dinner there (and not go to the park) the thing to do is to valet park at the hotel and they would validate for 5 hours of parking, so that sounds like the way to go!

                                                                        Had to buy some fudge later, of course!

                                                                        Had a fun day!

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Michelle

                                                                          Yum. Thak you for the report. I will have to go with the tasting menu next time. How much was it? And did you have wine pairings?

                                                                          1. re: Rizza

                                                                            Hi Rizza,

                                                                            The tasting menu was $85 per person. Wine pairings were available, but we did not have them as we don't drink alcohol. Their iced tea was fab, though!

                                                                            One thing at Disneyland I forgot to mention. We spent a lot of time in the morning in Tomorrowland and all we could smell was the bacon they were cooking at Tomorrowland Terrace for the burgers, I guess. The lovely smell of bacon was in the air and we wanted some so bad! Guess that had something to do with one of our choices at Bengal's BBQ - bacon wrapped asparagus!

                                                                            1. re: Michelle

                                                                              Thanks. I will keep it in mind for next time. We were happy with our choice last week to sit at the bar and keep the tab low.

                                                                        2. I was at Napa Rose last night at the Chefs Counter with my wife and we had a superlative set of dishes. Their scallops, diver caught, were fantastic. Last time there we had porterhouse pork loin and it was wonderful. Last night we had the lamb, a single frenched chop, that again was excellent. We had a bottle of Murphy-Goode zin that hit the spot. So Napa Rose is the single top level, if pricy, choice for those in DisneyLand, in my opinion.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: EclecticEater

                                                                            The diver scallop and the lamb and two of my favorite things at Napa Rose. If you ever see a venison dish, don't pass it up.

                                                                            Just so folks know, there is a multi-course Vintner's menu which can be ordered at the table. You can order one Vintner's menu, share the app and dessert, and perhaps fill in with a second entree and side, keeping the cost down to fairly reasonable levels. The food is on the rich side, so no need to over-order.

                                                                          2. Just for the record - - Sonic rocks. I'm with you on that one. And yes, I go for the tots and cherry limeaid.

                                                                            My Valentine's dinner last year was SO terrible (Cellar in Fullerton) that we had an infinitely better meal at Sonic 15 mintes later.