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smsnorthup
05-20-2008, 12:48 PM
I am a WDW vet but a Disneyland novice and we'll be in California mid June and are squeezing in 2 nights at Disneyland. We'll have a Sunday and a Monday at the parks. So I was thinking of DCA on Sunday and DL on Monday. We're staying at GC. So my question is will we be ok without any dining reservations? We're not looking to do anything fancy (2 kids DD6 and DS6mo) Will we be able to eat at any table service restaurants? I must have a mexican meal somewhere in there (was thinking the DD one) but not picky about anything else. Should I reserve something or can we wing it?:confused3

TIA!!

BillyFan
05-20-2008, 12:57 PM
First off, I'd suggest starting both of your mornings off at DL and then heading over to DCA when the crowds start to get bad, by around 12 and 1. Then head back to DL in the evening. Please read Hydroguys tips on the top of the page. They will make your time in DLR much easier!
As for food, there are not nearly as many table service places as WDW. But if there is someplace you really want to eat, I'd suggest making PS. We like Cafe Orleans and Carnation Cafe in DL and Storytellers Cafe in the Grand. Other than that, there are plenty of options for CS in both parks.
I've never eaten at the Mexican place in DTD, but we really like Ranch del Z in DL.
Enjoy your trip!

Barbday62
05-20-2008, 01:00 PM
I always wing it including the wekeend before Christmas. We like to go to the PLaza on Main street (Its counter service but a nice sit down air condition area) And huge portions. The chicken is YUMMY

We have eaten at the Mexican place in Down town in Decemeber no reservations and got in no problem. This was a few years ago the same weekend as Candlelight processional. We also eat sometimes in the Mexican place in Disneyland. Thats another place you go to counters to order but they have sit down places to eat outside under the patio.

About the only place we have not tried to walk up to is Blue Bayau because it appears to always be booked, but we did walk up twice to Cafe Orleans and got in. Also Rain forest Cafe seems to be more crowded at times and once tried to go there but too long a wait so we went else where.

In WDW you must make reservations or risk no food but to us Disneyland we have not needed that as long as we stay flexible. Counter service is not bad at Disneyland and Downtown has lots of sit down restaurants.

One sit down I love to go to is the Itialian restaurant in Down town disney. I love their brick oven pizza and I have eaten there many times and never once had reservations. I once waited about a half hour but most of the time its shorter than that.

DangerMouse
05-20-2008, 01:01 PM
Yep, what Billyfan said. Hydro's tips are the best.

I highly recommend Whitewater Snacks in the GCH to grab a quick counter service meal. It's a wonderful reprieve from the hectic parks. They close at 7 pm though, so make sure you get there for an early meal. I'm not a big fan of Mexican food at DLR, a little on the bland side for my tastes. ;)

bumbershoot
05-20-2008, 01:07 PM
Just a few minutes ago I had my pick of reservations for this coming Monday (the actual holiday) for Blue Bayou, so I'm thinking it's not horribly difficult to get in to the DLR restaurants. Especially if you don't want something fancy.

FYI, many people find that spending one day at one park is somewhat limiting, since it takes only a minute to cross the esplanade from one park to the other. Any ticket over a 1-day 1-park is a hopper, so you might consider taking advantage of that!

For Mexican (or Americanized Mexican food) there's Tortilla Jo's in DTD, Rancho del Zocalo in DL, and Cucina Cucamonga in DCA.


You can always take the number for Disney Dining (714-781-3463) with you, and if you think about a place that takes reservations give 'em a quick call, see if you can get in that day, before seeing about walk-ups.

smsnorthup
05-20-2008, 01:15 PM
Thanks everyone for a quick response and great advice!! My other question is that we'll be arriving at GC on that Sunday but not until around 10am so that's why I was thinking of starting our day at CA. If DL opens at 8am, won't it already be packed? I think we will go back and forth but thought it may be a better plan (because we only have 2 park days) to start Sun at CA since we could be there closer to opening time and start Mon at 8am at DL. What do you think?

bumbershoot
05-20-2008, 01:35 PM
I was actually going to say something like that in my post, but for some reason decided not to. :)

It is best to start with DCA for that reason, but don't eliminate the idea of hopping back over during the day, or even once DCA closes.

And yes, getting to DL on that Monday before the park opens is a good idea! But again, don't eliminate the idea of hopping over to DCA if you want to.

Silly Little Pixie
05-20-2008, 05:35 PM
You've got a good plan. Check the times for fireworks (don't miss 'em!), any parades your kids might want to see, and Fantasmic if you're interested. I think you're fine winging it. We always wing it- even on holidays- unless we have a very large party or are making character breakfast ressies. It's one of the things I love about DL. I don't "have" to plan my meals unless I want to. Blue Bayou, though, I have NOT had success getting in without a PS. Which reminds me to call and make one for June...:cool2:

amyamya
05-20-2008, 06:05 PM
You can always take the number for Disney Dining (714-781-3463) with you, and if you think about a place that takes reservations give 'em a quick call, see if you can get in that day, before seeing about walk-ups.

You can also stop by City Hall and they will make PS arrangements for you.

stacymomof2
05-20-2008, 08:34 PM
There seems to be plenty of food choices at DL...I can't remember the name of the restaurant (I'm sure someone else will chime in with it!) but right across from Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square, they seemed to be pretty light as far as people sitting at the tables...but don't quote me!!

We did NOT care for the mexican rest in DL (Rancho del Zacalo, I think!), but some people do. I wished we would have had time to try Tortilla Joes at DtD, the menu looked good.

I would have to agree with starting at DCA the first day, we were done there around 5:30, and only because we saw the late show of Aladdin.

No matter what you do, you'll have a great time!

prettyprincessbelle
05-20-2008, 09:24 PM
There seems to be plenty of food choices at DL...I can't remember the name of the restaurant (I'm sure someone else will chime in with it!) but right across from Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square, they seemed to be pretty light as far as people sitting at the tables...but don't quote me!!



Cafe Orleans!

We made PS's for lunch here the day of (I believe it was Sunday) and had no problem. I called Disney Dining from the hotel on my cell. The stand by line seemed pretty long though.. If you don't have Disney Dining in your cell, I recommend putting them in there and calling even if it's a couple hours before (or if you're by the restaurant you can stop by and ask to make PS's).

dizneekrazee
05-20-2008, 09:36 PM
Our family likes Cocina Cucamonga (DCA), and Rancho Del Zocalo (DL) pretty well. We usually eat at 1 of them each trip, usually in DCA. Never eaten at Tortilla Joes in DTD, but the menu looks oh so good. My BFF has eaten there, we pretty much have the same taste, and she loved it.

I think you would be fine wingin it. Certain restaurants, like Blue Bayoum are near impossible without PS, unless of course you are ok with a 2.5 hour wait. Most other restaurants you would be fine, character dining could possibly have a long wait depending on the day. The only character breakfast we couldnt get into was Goofys this past October.

HTH!!

P.S. Prettyprincessbelle-welcome back!! How was the trip!! We want details. Oh, what did you do about the "fanny pack"?

biolabetty
05-20-2008, 09:41 PM
Cafe Orleans!

If you don't have Disney Dining in your cell, I recommend putting them in there and calling even if it's a couple hours before (or if you're by the restaurant you can stop by and ask to make PS's).

My family always laughs at me for having Disney Dining in my cell. I've used it many times while at Disneyland, so it is really convenient to have it there.

I also don't enjoy the Mexican food at DL. Tortilla Jo's is ok, not my favorite, but fine, and much better than Rancho del Zocalo. I enjoy eating at both BB and Cafe Orleans, but I never would attempt them without a PS.

DoomBugger
05-20-2008, 09:46 PM
Having the Disney dining number on the cell to use while in the park is great, we do that occasionaly.

Being that you have just two days definitely don't confine yourselves to one park per day, park hop and utilize the fast passes from both parks simultaneously. Park hopping at DLR is not a big production like in Florida, you just walk on over in a couple minutes.

I am not a fan of the Mexican-style food at the DLR but there are plenty of good alternatives.

avalon451
05-20-2008, 10:48 PM
You might want to make PS's for some sit down meals ahead of time; you can do it 60 days out. Maybe just take a guess at the times you might want... you don't have to cancel if you can't make it, and if you can, great, you'll have less waiting. Just having that option could be a good thing. BB is probably the one you'd most need to get PS's for.

I haven't tried it, but DH ate at Tortilla Jo's in DTD and was not impressed. Said it was just average... he really loves authentic chile rellenos, and he said theirs was flat and bland.

honeymom
05-20-2008, 11:15 PM
I think it is much easier to go last minute on DL dining than WDW. Also, park hopping seems to work pretty well there.

smsnorthup
05-21-2008, 06:42 AM
Cafe Orleans!

We made PS's for lunch here the day of (I believe it was Sunday) and had no problem. I called Disney Dining from the hotel on my cell. The stand by line seemed pretty long though.. If you don't have Disney Dining in your cell, I recommend putting them in there and calling even if it's a couple hours before (or if you're by the restaurant you can stop by and ask to make PS's).

Great idea to put Disney Dining on my cell!! Thank you all for the great tips!:worship: