Just back. SO fun but DL food sucks!!

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by julsmom, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. ArchOwl

    ArchOwl The Highly Educated Owl

    Jan 24, 2011
    Reservations are a good idea for table service and eating in the off times is a great idea for counter service places like Flo's. :thumbsup2
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  3. disneegrl4eva

    disneegrl4eva <font color=darkcoral>now we just need a secret ha

    Jan 18, 2004
    I only started going back to HB after they changed their menus...I hadnt been there for a long time because of how bad the burgers were...but now...its a definite go to place every time...the burgers were so fresh and yummy I could really use one right now...popcorn::

    Me too rmom...and disneyismyheart..not true at all...in fact one of my favs at the wdw parks is Flame Tree at AK and its a CS...and i even ate mexican there and I never eat mexican at the parks and it was a CS and good too...oh and Pecos Bills with their bar fixins is waaaaaaaaay better imo than Taste Pilots...
  4. gokdog

    gokdog Mouseketeer

    May 31, 2011
    I think I like many other previous posters have found my fav's at the Disneyland Resort.

    Cafe Orleans is really good

    Storytellers is solid, if unspectacular

    and my favorite bargain place in DCA is the Boardwalk Pizza area

    Now that being said, our entire family loved the food last year at WDW, certainly it was varied and different, catching the themes of the resorts and locations very well, and certainly eating with the free dining plan also did make the food taste better :)
  5. smiley_face2

    smiley_face2 DIS veteran

    Mar 26, 2002
    don't understand why you chose mostly counter service in that case? counter service is always going to be more generic tasting and cheaper. Although the Plaza Inn is counter service and it is by no means bland or meh. Did you try Blue Bayou, Cafe New Orleans, Carnation Cafe, The Big thunder Ranch Barbecue, even French Market counter service? Also Rancho Del Zocollo. and in DCA, how about Ariels Grotto, or the new Carthay Circle Theater restaurant. Wine Country Trattoria, The Cove Bar, even Flo's and on the Pacific Wharf both Lucky Fortune Cookery and the clam chowder bread bowls from the Pacific wharf cafe. In the hotels there is Storytellers, and of course Napa Rose. Steakhouse 55 is amazing, even their lounge is excellent. The new Trader Sams is soooo good! what about Catal's, or Tortilla Joes, or Ralph Brennans? all very excellent places to eat. Did you try any of these?
  6. BarbLM

    BarbLM Earning My Ears

    Aug 29, 2012
    I have to say I totally agree, DL food was bland! All the sit down resteraunt tasted or should I say lack of taste the same. For the amount of money we paid, I expected so much more.
  7. julsmom

    julsmom DIS Veteran

    Apr 17, 2006
    The counter service is the bulk area of the issue of course. I did not try those other than Flo's & the bread bowls. I was trying to avoid a large bill for every meal. I usually make lunches something quicker. And I want to spend more of my time taking in the rides, etc. :cool1:
    I've been to WDW much more than DL & the DL food doesn't even come close. Even if its 'counter service' it should still be better. It even crossed my mind "maybe there's a reason it's so bland". Like everyone's dietary issues nowadays.
  8. disneyismyheart247

    disneyismyheart247 Living the California and Disney Dream

    Feb 24, 2012
    Well no wonder you didn't like the food. You missed out on all the popular eateries at the park. The restaurants the previous poster mentioned are all amazing. Seems you didn't know where to eat. Where exactly did you eat?
  9. princesscinderella

    princesscinderella Mouseketeer

    May 27, 2011
    We are WDW vets going multiple times a year and we only do table service when we go to the parks because all the counter service options in our opinion are not great. Magic kingdom is the worst, Epcot is the best due to the different countries kiosks. We loved all the food we had at DL and more than half of it was counter service. We had awesome corn dogs, great pizza and pasta at paradise grill, flos was great for breakfast and dinner. Plaza inn's chicken dinner is delicious. For table service we had carthay circle and cafe Orleans and they were both excellent. I found it nice to just eat when we felt like it than be tied down to ADRs like we are at WDW. DL wins park the dining contest in our family's opinion.
  10. Mary09

    Mary09 Mouseketeer

    Jun 7, 2010
    If counter service food at a venue is disappointing, it wouldn't encourage me to take the time and expense to try their sit-down options. It's not hard to make tasty counter service food.
  11. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

    Jun 5, 2005
    Dining is not DLR's strong point but it is really improving. WDW has lots more variety and theming. But there is good food at DLR.

    Some people swear by Bengal BBQ and some in this thread mentioned it but we avoid it. We also avoid Hungry Bear. Places I think WDW visitors should pay more attention to are:


    Cafe Orleans (TS)
    Big Thunder Ranch BBQ (TS)
    Plaza Inn (Buffeteria but surprisingly good)
    Redd Rockett's Pizza Port (CS - decent)
    Rancho Del Zocala (CS - decent)

    We often eat at Blue Bayou because of the atmosphere and while the food is good it is priced pretty high.


    Wine Country Trattoria (TS)
    Ariel's Grotto (TS - pretty good)
    Pacific Wharf Cafe (CS - good)
    Paradise Garden Grill (CS - decent)

    We will be trying CCR and Flo's on our trip next week.


    Tortilla Jo's


    Storytellers (TS - decent)

    Have not had a chance to try Napa Rose or Steakhouse 55. One of these days we will get over there. :)
  12. JadeDarkstar

    JadeDarkstar Dis Veteran Pirate dragon mom

    Jun 2, 2007
    had no bad food at all
    fav places we ate at this trip was tasty pilots the ribs are to die for. My son wanted them too so we ate there twice

    golden horse shoe and stage door cafe best place i can get what we like and not pay over 25.

    we ate at rfc and had good food with left overs for a day of lunchs.
    then we also had plaza inn chr meal food was good as norm there.

    I didnt like flos food it didnt appeal to me or my fam at all we did stop for water three times tho.

    I hope you have better luck with food next time. Just have to find some good things and try not be to picky as far as ive noticed most all i got was seasoned fine for us
  13. 2boysmom1998

    2boysmom1998 Mouseketeer

    Aug 26, 2011
    I'm sorry. I love the food at DL. When we were there in June we ate at The Blue Bayou which was OUTSTANDING (expensive but wonderful!) We also ate a Flo's and we all liked it. The atmosphere of Flo's is great.

    In 2011 we had the WOC picnic lunch and that wasn't very good. But everything else we've had there has been great! The cookies, the ice cream, pretzels, Red's Apple Freeze at the Cozy Cone was super delish.

    I think DL has much better food than WDW. But, it's been 10 years since I've been to WDW. We are going again in June of 2013 so, I will compare then.
  14. samsonpete

    samsonpete Earning My Ears

    Aug 15, 2008
    Maybe I went to Disney world with too high of expectations, because I've always heard the food is so much better than Disneyland, but I was really not that impressed with any of the food there in our 12 day vacation! It has taken awhile to find the best restaurants in Disneyland, but we definitely have our favorites now!
  15. rsleleux

    rsleleux DIS Veteran

    Aug 20, 2010
    Whether I am going to DLR or WDW, I always do my research and I plan which restaurants I want to try! I have been to both DLR and WDW and I had great experiences at both! I prefer not to eat a lot of counter services but I don't like many counter service options at any park (sea world, legoland, sixflags). There is so much information available and especially on the DIS to get a good idea of what restaurants/counterservices get high marks! I didn't eat at any of the places that the OP tried, so I am not saying those places are good. I'm just noting that there are good food options available! We ate at Cafe Orleans, Ariel's Grotto, Goofys Kitchen, Rancho del Zocalo, Catal in DTD and all were delicious! on our upcoming visit we will try Flos, Storytellers, Blue Bayou, Pacific Wharf Cafe and still doing research for one final place on a Fantasmic night! It is hard to completely avoid counter services because sometimes time is an issue as well as money! I do my research and have to plan even more so when I am going to WDW, but I think it helps to do research before hitting the parks! So thank you OP for posting your dislike of the places you tried, it helps others to note it when planning theirs!
  16. nunzia

    nunzia You can't top pigs with pigs, but you CAN top Toys

    Oct 19, 2007
    Wow..I've found the food choices really improving lately. Some of the places you didn't like I've had much different experiences at. River Belle I have gotten wonderful carved meat sandwiches, love Taste Pilots ribs, Pacific Wharf bread bowls, Paradise grill kebobs and pasta have been very good, Hungry Bear fried green tomato sandwich, baked potatoes good, Plaza Inn chicken great. Flos was good, Mexican places in both parks good, I'm sorry you had a bad experience but I have really seen them making efforts to mix up their menues and offer much more fresh and flavorful options.
  17. MillauFr

    MillauFr Buzz & Woody

    Aug 5, 2011
    Agree %100 with the OP. Food at DL is just plain blah. The only meal we like inside the park is Napa Rose. I wish they would just let outside contractors run all of the restaurants. It would be a big improvements if Wolfgang Puck, Michael Mina, Bobby Flay, Alice Waters, etc. were running all of the restaurans. Heck even if they just let In&Out run the burger stands I would be happy. I just can't take bland food.

    We just got back from a Disney cruise and the food there wasn't much better. I had to bring a bottle of chili sauce to the meals just to give them some zip.
  18. KateDrake

    KateDrake DIS Veteran

    Sep 26, 2011
    I have to agree with several of the previous posters that you just had a run of bad luck! You seriously picked all of my LEAST favorite restaurants at DLR. I hope you'll give it another chance and maybe do a little more research so you can find some better options.

    I was actually just talking to my mom about this the other day. I grew up doing the one-day Disney trip as part of a yearly visit to family in SoCal, and we always thought the food was horrible. But now I realize it was because we didn't know where to go. There have also been a ton of improvements over the last few years, making me think about trying places I had completely written off. Village Haus, for example, is somewhere I never planned to go again, but with the new menu, I might try it again. Ditto for Hungry Bear. We avoided it for years until our last trip, and it was great!

    As for the WDW vs. DLR debate, I think there are some great options at both. We did WDW on free dining a little while back, and it was fun to try all the table service restaurants, but I had to do a lot of planning beforehand to find places that would be good. While there were some really good meals, nothing stood out as GREAT, but it's theme park food, what can you expect????
  19. LisainCalifornia

    LisainCalifornia DIS Veteran

    Oct 10, 2007
    This is how I feel as well. I tend to have "nostagic" favorites of my food at Disneyland, but it isn't because it is the best food ever--it is more like eating my mom's pot roast. You know there is probably much better out there, but something about eating certain things at Disneyland brings back a sensory memory for me and that is why I like it. For example, I know that the ice cream at Gibson Girl is just Dryers, but for some reason there is something about the chocolate chip waffle cone with a scoop of mint chip ice cream--enjoyed while relaxing on Main Street (preferably at night while waiting for fireworks!) that makes it the best tasting thing ever. Same with some of the candies at Candy Palace. I love the s'mores chocolate candy from there--but I wouldn't love it as much if I ate it at home. At home I like Sees candy.

    The loaded baked potato soup from Carnation Cafe (I personally think Carnation Cafe is the best sit down restaurant in Disneyland, so it if you haven't tried it you should!) is not something I would ordinarily eat at home (it is really rich!), but at Disneyland it instantly brings back a sensory memory of warmth and comfort. Mix that with a sighting of Oscar (the lovely owner who has worked there for 55 years--the longest working cast member at Disneyland!) and you have a recipe for Disneyland bliss!

    Riverbelle Terrace is terrible--no argument there.

    We live in the Bay Area and are spoiled by so many good restaurants near us, so it would be safe to say that I don't go to Disneyland for the food. The thing is finding things that are special to you there that you do like that you can enjoy as part of your disneyland experience. It is what it is--sort of like glorified theme park food---and just keep it in perspective of that. Many of the restaurants DO serve exactly the same thing, and it can get old.

    We are going in December, and I have my favorites that I look forward to at Holiday time. Peppermint ice cream, hot chocolate, and gingerbread cookies--oh my!:goodvibes
  20. MillauFr

    MillauFr Buzz & Woody

    Aug 5, 2011
    Agreed. I think we just get spoiled living in Seattle with the food. If you live in a place where Red Lobster is fine dining than the food at DL probably looks good.
  21. ethanwa

    ethanwa Disney Superfan

    Jan 13, 2011
    HUGE Disney fan and geek here. I agree. I actually think both WDW and DL food is pretty bad. There are a few good spots, mostly sit-down places (Ariel's Grotto I like), but I agree with you on a whole. I personally find WDW to be worse.

    I even ate at Carthay Circle on Wednesday at DCA, which is supposedly one of the nicer places to eat at the DL resort, and I was not impressed with the food.

    Couldn't agree more! I am from Seattle as well.


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