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goingquackers 07-08-2010 05:38 PM

Very Disappointed in Disneyland restaurants
Just got back Tuesday from Disneyland resort. We spent 10 nights total. 5 at the Disneyland hotel and 5 at the Californian.

I must say, we were disappointed in the food selection and quality. We ate at every sit down restaurant in the parks and 3 hotels (all but napa rose).

The food was all mass produced and tasted like it was warmed up to serve. I was expecting much more for the prices they charge. The buffets were sad. There were very few items available, and what they did have tasted bad. The only restaurant that was decent was Blue Bayou. The WOC Wine country dinner was absolutely inedible. The worst meal I ever had.
By contrast, Disney World food is of much higher quality. Still not the best, but far better than Disneyland’s offerings.

Anyone else feel the same way?

carolinamama 07-08-2010 05:43 PM

I enjoyed our lunch at Cafe Orleans, and I though our buffet dinner at Storytellers was pretty good. I was disappointed in the food at Goofy's Kitchen as compared to Chef Mickeys, but it wasn't bad. DH said the bacon there was cooked perfectly.

But I guess I didn't have very high expectations going in based on what I had heard. Like Ariel's Grotto was nearly exactly as described by other DISers, so I knew what to order and the recommendations were spot on. I knew food wasn't as big of a deal out there. So why yes, I didn't find the food as good as at WDW, I didn't think it would be, so I wasn't disappointed.

DizMe 07-08-2010 05:49 PM

There are some good choices here and there, but overall I don't think DLR is the place to go if you want great food. I've just come to accept that regardless of how much you pay, you aren't going to get a stellar meal there (with the possible exception of Napa Rose, which I've not tried because I won't spend that much on a restaurant unless it offers more than food). Since I'm not really a foodie, it's not a big deal to me. I've learned what things I really like and because I go a lot, I have a pretty wide variety of things I can choose from that I know I'll enjoy. My favorite meal is the surf and turf at Blue Bayou, but there are other less pricey options that I really like, too.

bumbershoot 07-08-2010 05:49 PM

I didn't much like Minnie's breakfast, and I don't much care for Blue Bayou's one vegetarian option, but other than that I'm good with Disneyland restaurants. Especially love dinner at PCH Grill.

So I guess I feel the opposite way. NOt that I think it's the best ever, but I'm OK giving them money. :)

DisSarahK 07-08-2010 05:51 PM

We didn't do many sit-down meals in the parks, but Minnie's was fine--nothing fancy, just standard buffet fare. We hated the food at Ariel's though and felt like it was a huge waste of money. Our lunch at Carnation Cafe was fantastic though. I just was looking at pictures of my sandwich (on a pretzel roll) the other day and remembering how good it was!

Sherry E 07-08-2010 05:52 PM

I don't feel the same way - meaning I enjoy the DLR food. But I don't have WDW to compare it to, so all I know is that I enjoy what I eat most of the time at DLR. I enjoy the sit-down restaurants. I like Carnation Cafe, Wine Country Trattoria, Storytellers Cafe, Goofy's Kitchen (which has a huge buffet, and the yes, the bacon and fruit are delicious), a few of the places in Downtown Disney, etc. Lots of people rave about Cafe Orleans and Blue Bayou.

It's just personal taste and what you're used to, really. DLR doesn't have the variety that WDW has because there is not enough room for it, but what's there is good for those of us who are used to eating it.

I know other people who grew up going to DLR and when they have ventured over to WDW, they came back saying that the food at DLR is much better. It's personal taste, expectations and perspective, I think.

Now if we were talking about the counter service places in DLR, those are sometimes questionable...but even the CS places have improved vastly from what they were like pre-1991-ish.

VictoriaAndMatt 07-08-2010 05:55 PM

All in all it is theme park food. Of course, it is Disney so everyone puts them to higher standards, but when you go to Disneyland you really aren't going for the food. Having said that half the fun for me is planning where we are going to eat before we leave, and looking at the food porn thread on here. I agree DL doesn't have much selection, but if you read all the reviews on here and do your research it's pretty easy to find something that's at least enjoyable. I love love love the Monte Cristo, gumbo, and pomme frites at Cafe Orleans. Love the baked potato soup at Carnation Cafe, and we really like Goofy's Kitchen for breakfast. Other stuff I enjoy, but I don't miss it when I'm home. Plus, there is still a lot of foods I haven't been able to try yet that I'm really looking forward to eating this next trip.

Belle Ella 07-08-2010 06:00 PM

I think a lot of what you take away depends on how high you set your expectations before going. Disney or not, it's a theme park and that's what I expect when I go. Compared to the stuff around home, it's like heaven to me. But to be fair, I don't do a lot of eating in the parks either because I'm not a big eater. Breakfast (since I usually d a character meal a day) holds me over all day since it's so much. But I'd also rather spend my money on souveniers :rotfl:

DanT 07-08-2010 06:06 PM

Disneyland food has changed a lot over the years.

Years ago the food was cooked at each establishment fresh.

Now most of it is not much more than cafeteria food.

Years ago, the food at Plaza Inn was great, they had pot roast, and many other specialities that were plentiful and tasty.

Now with trying to save money and streamline service the food has become much more bland and "cookie cutter"
Years ago Blue Bayou was a real sit down eatery. Prime rib, and many other great dishes...they had a real menu with many more food choices than they do now.
We accept Disneyland food for what it is, and if we want anything more we eat at Mimis, Cheesecake Factory etc off site.

Otherwise we just know what we will get in the parks and don't get too excited about it.

Usually in the parks we get lunch at Carnation Cafe, or breakfast at RBT, and the rest is just snacks...until we get off site to a real restaurant.
Everyone has different tastes....
Recently we have even been bringing in our lunch and snacks with us. We just find a good place to get a soda or maybe some fries to go with what we bring in with great.

disneychrista 07-08-2010 06:51 PM

I am amazed at how much emphasis people put on food when going to Disneyland (and even more at WDW). We have our favorite places to go while there (Plaza Inn, Rancho, Pacific Wharf) but our focus is the attractions, food is not.

Monkey Monkey 07-08-2010 06:58 PM

I tend to agree that I don't get really excited about dining at DLR, but I have had some good meals. I enjoy Carnation Cafe for lunch and love the Monte Cristo at Cafe Orleans. But like the PPs said, I think the emphasis is more on attractions than food, and that's where I choose to spend my time while at DLR.

Judy from Boise 07-08-2010 07:01 PM

I don't agree but I do very few TS restaurants at either place. I enjoy DLR CS better.
Now at WDw I am crazy for Boma.

Judy from Boise 07-08-2010 07:02 PM

I don't agree but I do very few TS restaurants at either place. I enjoy DLR CS better.
Now at WDw I am crazy for Boma.

lurkyloo 07-08-2010 07:08 PM


Originally Posted by goingquackers;
.We ate at every sit down restaurant in the parks and 3 hotels (all but napa rose).

Well there's your problem right there - Napa Rose is one of the best restaurants in Southern California, and I'm sorry you missed it!

That said, YES, the quality of most of the food at Disneyland is aggressively mediocre. As annual passholders, we've pretty much run out of places to eat there that aren't disappointing or overpriced. There's the Monte Cristo at Cafe Orleans, and Blue Bayou is decent but not worth what they're charging (and that goes double for Club 33!). Downtown Disney's restaurants all offer the same boring chain-restaurant-quality food, except for the occasional standout meal at Catal. Steakhouse 55 is usually decent but too expensive to do often.

Frankly, we're really excited to try the food trucks they've brought in for Glowfest because they actually have to compete in the real world! :teeth:

DizNee Luver 07-08-2010 07:09 PM

I think everyone's tastes are different.....from our stand point....having a large family & limited budget....the food at Disney is fantastic!! We have definite favorites that we have found to be good every trip: Cafe Orleans for lunch/dinner, Carnation Cafe for breakfast, Pacific Wharf for lunch/dinner & we even enjoy the burgers at Taste Pilot's Grill. It may be theme park food....but still better than McDonalds any day!!

Maybe we find it to taste good because we're at Disneyland. When we go on vacation there, we're in a different state of mind & find magic around every corner....the meals are just extras for the day.

We like the buffet at Goofy's kitchen because with 7 kids....we are able to cover all their likings!!

We've never been to WDW, but my husband would love to go....just for the food!! Maybe if we had been there before, we would find the food at DL bland or boring.....but we're simple people & not expecting 4 star restaurants.

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