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Jul 20, 2009 11:38 AM

Better food at Disneyland or California ADventure?

I can't use the free birthday pass for both, I have to pick one. Yes, food IS a factor.

Balancing rides and food, which would you go to?

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  1. I'd do Disneyland, myself, though I like the food better at CA Adventure. But you can upgrade your free birthday ticket to a Park Hopper which will let you do both parks if you pay the difference ($25). You can also apply it to an annual pass (takes $69 off the cost). Just tell the person at the window when you go to get your ticket.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      You can also get a $99 3fer ticket. It is a 3 day park hopper ticket that must be used within 45 days. So you pay the $30 difference and enjoy three days over the next month and a half.

      My favorite place is the Cafe Orleans. They have the Monte Cristo Sandwich and other french inspired food. Make reservations as the wait if you don't have one ranges from hours to not even being able to wait, 714-781-DINE. You can even make same day reservations or for a couple of hours later! I also suggest the french onion soup.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. My sister introduced me to the Dole Whip float recently...and I can't believe that I've been going there for so long without having one. Truly a great treat on a warm afternoon!
        I'm a fan of the corn dogs at the Little Red Wagon towards the latter end of Main Street as you enter the Park.
        During the cold months, I enjoy the clam chowder in the sourdough bread bowl.
        If you do end up at DCA, try the blueberry cumble shake at San Andreas Shakes/'s close to the water play area next to the entrance The Bug's Life attraction.

        1. Get the Corn Dog just off Main St. The best corn dog in the world, as large as "a baby's arm holding an apple"

          1. I give DL the edge. If you are there on a long hot summer day, take advantage of the sit down places for a break and rest. It's a good idea to go mid afternoon when it's hot and the crowds are light. You don't have to order a full meal at each one. Only a few are slow full service, many of the sitdown places are fast serve.

            Disneyland has better dining sit down with entertainment or atmosphere, for fast serve places French Market which has the stage at the outdoor patio, or Rancho del Zocalo which has a lovely patio, or Golden Horseshoe with something greasy if your BD falls when the Billy's are playing (you can carry food in from outside). They've changed out the menu at Harbour Galley if you can grab a seat adjacent to the water.

            There's also Blue Bayou which is slow full service and pricy, but I don't think there's a minimum, you could just have an an app, dessert and coffee (it would be nice if you did this midafternoon when it's hot).

            The two sides are similar on street food, with the exception of the Dole Whip and the skewers (the latter good but not great). They both have turkey legs, churros, and corndogs.

            Booze points to the DCA side, but not the premade there booze in them? The wine tasting is better than you would imagine, there is the beer truck, and if your birthday is on the right day, the full bar at Avalon Cove is great! As far as food, there is the quite good Wine Co. Trattoria for full serve sitdown with alcohol. For faster service probably the revised Cocina Cucamona or go into the Whitewater Grill via the side gate into the Grand Californian (better than anything in the park).

            As far as attractions,

            Electrical Parade (DCA) or Fantasmic (DL)?
            Aladdin (DCA) or Billy Hill & the Hillbillies (DL)?Soarin over Cal, Ca Screamin, Tower of Terror, Grizzly River Rapids (DCA) or
            Space Mountain, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mtn, Indy (DL?)
            Drawn to Animation (DCA) or Innoventions (DL)?
            Zoetrope (DCA) or Peter Pan (DL)?

            Before making a final decision, check the official Disneyland schedules to see if you luck out and have a "Billy Hill Day"...if so that would tip it to the DL side for me!

            Website with mostly up to date menus with prices

            1. re: mlgb

              I wouldn't suggest Blue Bayou for any meal. It's overpriced and not really all that great. I've been there three times, and was really only impressed with the special birthday desserts that come out of the kitchen. They're decorated/garnished quite well with chocolate impressions of Mickey Mouse and the Sorcerer's Hat from Fantasia. The taste of the desserts was just okay.

              1. re: attran99

                I agree about Blue Bayou. I went to Disneyland in April, and couldn't even choke down my lukewarm, bland jambalaya.

                I would suggest picking up sandwiches at La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney (I like the ham and guyere one) for lunch, snacking, and doing dinner in the bar area of the Napa Rose in the Grand Californian hotel (casual attire is okay). As far as snacks go, I'd go for DCA, just because of the beer, margaritas, and wine tasting (albeit overpriced).

                1. re: BruinGal

                  They have never been able to get the food out hot at BB on a consistent basis (I think the combination of a cold dining room and location of kitchen too far away). That's why they carry the food down in those oldschool domed serving dishes (and then the waitstaff take the lids off, get distracted and viola, cold food).

                  I recommended an appetizer (they have cold ones) and a dessert. It's about the atmosphere there, not the food.

                  I wouldn't bother with those LaBrea sandwiches. We did that once and they were overpriced and under good.

                  If you want mostly bread you'd be better off going to the bakery inside DCA or the locations around NO Square that serve the sourdough bowls.

                  1. re: mlgb

                    The sandwiches are overpriced, but so is basically all the food at the park. They're okay when it gets hot out (I prefer cold foods in that weather), made with fairly decent ingredients, and best of all, you can get them to go, stash them in your bag, and eat them while waiting in a long line somewhere- multitasking! There's also usually short lines, which may be helpful.

            2. pasta place in Tomorrowland = Pizza Port

            3. I went to Disneyland last week for my free birthday admission, more for the rides than the food, though.

              Disneyland does have the Blue Bayou, which I've not yet been to, because you need to make reservations early, usually before 10AM, to get a spot. The place is known for their Monte Cristo sandwich. The French Market restaurant next door is pretty good and also has the Monte Cristo sandwich. I ordered ratatouille there for the first time.

              Their infamous corndogs used to be at both places, but someone reported that the corndog castle in California Adventures is closed down due to some major renovations going on right now. The corndog cart is still open at Disneyland.

              I like the Dole Pineapple whip float at the stand next to the Tiki Room. Probably the best dessert drink in the park. The Golden Horseshoe has the strawberry funnel cakes, and some decent mozzarella sticks.

              When I last went to California Adventures, I went during the beer & wine festival, so I sampled quite a bit of alcohol and the food demo samples. I didn't really try much of the stuff there except for the corndog, which I got the sausage version that Disneyland doesn't seem to have.

              8 Replies
              1. re: Wonginator

                I think the place next to BB with the Monte Cristo is Cafe Orleans, not French Market......

                1. re: asimen

                  Correct. French Market or French Marketplace is the one closer to the train station, facing Haunted Mansion, where the NO style bands play at lunch. It has a buffet style setup. They've recently updated the menu,. Cafe Orleans takes too long unless you need to have a Monte Cristo, I wouldn't go there. It's basically the same food as at Blue Bayou, without the atmosphere.

                  1. re: asimen

                    Yeah, you're right, it's Cafe Orleans I was thinking of. I got the locations mixed up, as I remember that it was directly across from Blue Bayou and is a sit-down restaurant, not a buffet-style restaurant.

                    They also serve mint juleps, and there is a mint julep bar on the backside of the building, for those who just want to get the drink and not dine there.

                    1. re: Wonginator

                      Note that they're not REAL mint juleps, they are mint-flavoured sodas.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        But there's actual mint juleps at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney.

                        Also, the mint juleps in Disneyland are more like mint-flavored lemonade- they aren't carbonated.

                        1. re: BruinGal

                          Most people are not going to take the time out of their day to go to Ralph Brennans for a mint julep.

                          Those Disney ones aren't very good, too sweet.

                          1. re: mlgb

                            Actually, I was thinking more of a drink at the bar (I can't recall if they have one). Ralph Brennan's also has a takeout area which has fairly good beignets. It's also located close to the monorail stop, which makes it a good option if it gets crowded or you just want a break.

                            The Disney version may be an acquired taste, though. It's about as sweet as any other soda fountain drink.

                  2. re: Wonginator

                    You can also call in your reservation for Blue Bayou (and other locations in the resort, i.e. Ariel's Grotto in DCA, several restaurants in Downtown Disney) to Disney Dining, 714-781-DINE

                  3. Balancing food, ride & hours, I'd pick D'land. It's not crazy busy first thing in the morning.

                    My favourites would be Pizza Port & the NO Square area.

                    1. I reviewed both last year and Disney California Adventure had better food options. However, I really wouldn't make a choice based on food as it's just not great at either park. Also, California Adventure is under massive construction and some things are no longer there.