Very Disappointed in Disneyland restaurants

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by goingquackers, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. blackjackdelta

    blackjackdelta <font color=darkorchid>Uncle had an "in" with Walt

    Jul 23, 2005
    I also go with the european eating experiences, but you have missed 3 of the best for the resort. The whole family really likes TP for the fastfood.

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  3. arilvdc

    arilvdc Mouseketeer

    Oct 18, 2004
    I've been to disneyland more times than I can count, and while there are some very yummy options here, both my boyfriend and I agree that WDW has the edge when it comes to TS dining- good food is everywhere! We really miss the food over there when we go to DL now. However, we love that DL's CS is not all bacon double cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets like WDW. Unless you're in Epcot, CS in WDW is very much the same wherever you go. For our trip in August we've booked deluxe dining so we don't have to eat CS.

    For the record, we don't really like the Blue Bayou's food, and we liked Coral Reef. Our favorite TS in DL is Cafe Orleans and in WDW we liked them all. :rotfl:
  4. Mary09

    Mary09 Mouseketeer

    Jun 7, 2010
    I always thought both DL and WDW had pretty bad food and we tend to suffer it rather than look forward to it. We usually pack a bar or two for b'fast and a snack, have some park junk for lunch and snacks, and go offsite for dinner, often late at night.

    I just got back from 5 days in DL and we tried some of the food stuff recommended here and were pleasantly surprised, though. Pommes frites, corn dogs, Dole Whips, lobster nachos. All were not bad for theme park food, though I wouldn't count the days til I can get them again either. My daughter even commented on how we were trying more park fare than usual. And our travel companions learned to ask me at meal times "Did you read any good recommendations for this area?" LOL! So thanks for the recommendations, DISers!
  5. azdisneylover

    azdisneylover DIS Veteran

    Jul 23, 2008
    When I go to Disneyland, I want to try things I haven't tried there, and usually that means, 9 times out of 10, something that isn't good for you, but tastes good! LOL I know if I looked, I can find healthy alternatives (veggies, fresh fruits, salads, etc) for the fried foods that are served, plus, I can bring in an assortment of snacks too. When I am at Disneyland, I want to try the latest, or seasonal goodie that someone on the boards has posted (Cheshire cat tail looks and sounds yummy and is on my list for my next visit as well as the freshly made candy canes, and peppermint ice cream in the waffle cone dipped in chocolate with the red and green sprinkles). :santa:
    I know the cost of food is a bit higher, but I know my other senses are enjoying a feast as well. The surroundings in which the food is eaten makes the dining more enjoyable. Having a drink of cold water with a magic straw that turns from pink to purple makes my water tastes better! Same with eating out of a plate that is in the shape of Mickey's head, or wiping my mouth on a napkin that says Disneyland.
    I do not remember anything I have eaten at Disneyland that was bad. I have been very fortunate everything has been sprinkled with magical pixie dust and tasted very yummy. :rotfl2:
    One thing I will add is when we go on vacation, like to Disneyland, I will try to make sure we do eat some healthy foods, but this is time to try all the cookies, treats, cotton candy, you name it, that we do not have on a regular basis at home. We get our fill of it, and when we get home, we look forward to getting back to our routine (well, I would like to have a chocolate covered pretzel daily!). :rotfl2:
  6. Funball

    Funball DIS Veteran

    May 25, 2010

    no they across the street from dLR totally accessible by car! they have there own parking lots..! :thumbsup2
  7. KrazyKat4DIS

    KrazyKat4DIS Mouseketeer

    Mar 10, 2009
    I have to agree that with those that also aren't huge fans of the food at DLR, at least in terms of meals. I think DLR sure knows how to do junk food though (the yummy pineapple spears are delicious too, and not junk food, so besides that). I have to admit, DBF and I have really given up on finding delicious meals and we just snack throughout the day. I think the snacks are delicious, albeit terrible for the hips...:rotfl::rotfl:
  8. mmlover74

    mmlover74 Mouseketeer

    Mar 20, 2009
    Don't worry Jack. I'll be back and eat there. More trips I will go.
  9. longtimedisneylurker

    longtimedisneylurker DIS Veteran

    Apr 20, 2010
    Count us in as snackers too. We eat fairly healthily at home, but when we're at Disney it's like we're on a mission to find all the treats. I'm always wandering through the candy shops and bakeries looking for a little something, and DH and DS8 and DS10 perk up near the churro, popcorn, and corndog carts. Kettle corn from the cart in downtown Disney or sourdough bread from DCA are great snacks to share. And I don't know why I'm willing to pay such ridiculously high prices for ice cream at Disney when I can get a whole carton of it at the grocery store for the same price. Bengal Barbecue is yummy, but I would only classify that as a snack as well. We're often way more pleased with the snacks than the meals we end up with. When it does come to mealtime, we tend to be most comfortable returning to the same places: Pizza Port for pasta and salad, Carnation Cafe for lunch or dinner, Jazz Kitchen for lunch, and Pacific Wharf Cafe for breakfast. We also like French Market occasionally because, while sometimes salty, the food there isn't all fried and doesn't feel too heavy. We like Storyteller's Cafe for Thanksgiving dinner but don't eat there any other time. I know there are other restaurants in the parks, but we've either tried them and found them mediocre or haven't bothered because we thought that they offered such uninspiring choices.
  10. SunnieRN

    SunnieRN DIS Veteran

    Aug 14, 2005
    Fantastic post and sums up the experience well!

    My first meal at Disneyland was at Aunt Jemimas Kitchen, and I had a Mickey Mouse pancake!:love: My second meal was a tuna fish sandwhich we bought from a boat in Fantasyland and we ate it at a table overlooking skull rock!

    Disneyland food has always been about the experience. It has been five LONG years since I have been there, my last visit occuring over the 50th birthday and staying up all night inside DCA to be in the first five hundred people to get into Disneyland July 17th!

    Have always loved Monte Cristos at BB. Loved listening to Rod playing the piano as I drank a coke. Loved the CS in the GCH, cant remember the name right now, but they had the BEST sandwhiches!! Went to Carnation Cafe numerous times, YUM!! And the plaza had a wrap, with turkey, in the 70's that was HUGE and SO good!! My brother was a teenager and could never get full, but 1/2 of one filled him up!!!

    In 2005 I wnt to the Fantasmic dessert buffet twice. Once on the balcony, and once on the riverside/ The night on the balcony was on my birthday and I also ate at Napa Rose that night. I couldn't decide what to have, so the group of us all decided to get two appetizers each, instead of a main course and then we shared. It was by far, the best meal I have ever eaten.

    Reading this thread has made me homesick and I am in the process of planning a DL trip for next Spring.

    As for WDW, I have gone on trips for 7 to 16 days. I have been there four times now. I have two young grandsons who are just now two and four. TS is not a common occurance. I can honestly say that the choices for CS there are numerous!! On the 16 day trip, I didn't eat a burger or hot dog even once. I am looking forward to exp;oring DL again and I am so happy Bengal BBQ is still there!
  11. JB2K

    JB2K DIS Veteran

    Jan 17, 2008
    Having been a veteran of both WDW and DL, here's my take:

    I agree with one of the PPs - you have a super-sized number of non-Disney dining options within a stone's throw (actually, a very short walk) of the DL gates. In fact, during my handful of trips to Anaheim, I always found myself taking my main meals off-site at the end of the day.

    As for WDW - even though it's classed as a resort, I liken it to more of a small self-contained city which is basically cut-off from the outside world. Dining off-site is not as logistically feasable as it is inside DL plus Disney has more room/facilties to try many different concepts, there. DL simply doesn't have the room to spread its' wings (which is why WDW was planned, to begin with).

    As overall quality goes - I haven't been to DLR since 2004, so perhaps quality may well be on the decline, there. We have to remember that California is the epicenter of the bad economy. But in two recent trips to WDW (2008/2009), I didn't experience anything "stellar" there, either (and times are tough in Central Florida, as well).

    My take on this? Those who are most critical of DL tend to be those who have been to WDW many, many, many times (and are from a part of the country who calls WDW "their very own") and probably can easily overlook the fact that food quality isn't all that great there, either.

    And, as a PP said - in California, most tend to overlook the food experience at DL in favor of easy access in and out of the parks.
  12. tholczer

    tholczer Mouseketeer

    Jan 21, 2008
    I agree with you that the food at DL is pretty horrid. But I thought the WDW food was pretty bad, too. Defintely cafeteria style.

    A couple places we've found over the years that aren't terrible:

    Pacific Wharf - chowder isn't half bad. Bread is fabulous. I always get the Shrimp Louie salad in the bread bowl. Really tasty and lots of shrimp.

    LaBrea Bakery - they are well known in Los Angeles for their pastries. The re-heated food on the sit-down side isn't fabulous, but it is pretty tasty and isn't so much like cafeteria food.

    Rain Forest Cafe - again, not fabulous, but the burgers are WAY better than anything in the theme parks. My husband got steak and shrimp last time and said it was pretty good.

    Bengal BBQ - people often complain about how little you get for your $, but I disagree. For seven bucks, you can get four skewars of just BBQ'd chicken or steak. Besides, I'd rather pay more for good food anyway. This is one of our favorite places. The veggies are always cooked perfectly.

    Rancho del Zocalo - Mexican food in Disneyland, next to BTMRR.

    Plaza Inn - actually has pretty good fried chicken.

    That isn't going to get you through ten days for sure. But for a three or four day trip, it should cover.

  13. Amy&Dan

    Amy&Dan DIS Veteran

    Feb 19, 2004
    I love WDW for full serve meals (Boma, The Wave, Yachtsmen, Tokyo Dining, San Angel, Kona Cafe Sci Fi are all favorites of mine for a nice meal). But I think WDW dining has gone downhill. Less options, standardized menus and the DDP is probably to blame although the savings it gives me is nice. So even though I think WDW ts is a bit above DL's, its not what it used to be by any means. And I have to confess I am not a foodie! I like a nice steak and I love to try ethnic cuisines and WS and WDW in general lend to that but in all, I see people gripe on the Restaurants Board about WDW food and I think "man I love that place". I am easy to please! But I did find every place had the same menu when I did the DDP back in 2009 (nine nights) and 2009 (17 nights and not that's not a typo).

    For counter service though, I think WDW is lacking. I started out doing Disneyland and I love the fact that DL counter service at many places comes on real plates and I love the bread bowl soups and salads you can get around DL and DCA. I miss those a LOT at WDW and am thrilled many people think those fixins bars at Cosmic Rays and Pecos Bills are heaven on earth but I'll take my bread bowl with clam chowder any day over those! Again, I am not gourmet, I just love the variety DL cs has and other than Epcot, don't find that in my 13 trips to WDW compared to my 12 trips to DL.

    I also think the atmospheres of the various cs places in DL cannot be matched except maybe in Epcot at the World Showcase. I love the Pacific Wharf area at DCA and the Riverbelle Terrace with its views of the Rivers of America is a place I look forward to eating and sitting each trip. Heck if it was good enough for Walt to sit and enjoy his morning coffee, its a treat for me too!

    But yeah, a 10 day trip at DLR is not going to offer the same variety. How can it? Less resorts (by about what 17?) and half the parks.

    I do still think though that DL has some great full serve meals, Steakhouse 55, Blue Bayou, Hook's Pointe, PCH Grill are all places I have had great to excellent meals. But for ten night trips to DLR (and we have done them) we like to have a car to venture away to find some more variety for less money.
  14. Funball

    Funball DIS Veteran

    May 25, 2010

    i agree on everything you said, excpet that i think taste pilots grill has better burgers then rainforst cafe..i love the blue cheese burger. and i have never been to bengal BBQ so i will be sure to try that thanks to you! :thumbsup2
  15. prncssmel

    prncssmel Brunette Cinderella

    Feb 6, 2007
    While I think WDW has better food, I think it is mainly because there are more options. However, we have never found ourselves wanting for good food at DL. We love Blue Bayou. Hook's Pointe is fabulous. And the breakfast buffet at Storyteller's is one of my favorites anywhere. Plus, Bengal BBQ and Pacific Wharf are really good.

    OP, did you not try any restaurants at DTD or Gardenwalk? That doubles your amount of restaurants to choose from, which starts to give you a good selection. The walk up window at Tortilla Joe's is always a favorite, and DH is obsessed with Fire + Ice.

    Whether people like it or not is more of a personal taste thing. Several people have mentioned in this thread how much they hate Coral Reef, while I think Coral Reef is amazing. Not only was the food good, but we had tankside seating, personalized menus and a message from a diver - you can't get that anywhere else in the world.
  16. Katieinwonderland

    Katieinwonderland Disney bride July 2008

    Sep 23, 2008
    I'm hoping we have a better experience with Disneyland dining! We have reservations for Cafe Orleans, Carnation Cafe, Napa Rose and Ariel's Grotto for the WOC package and I can't wait to try them!

    We leave for the airport in 2 hours for our first DLR trip! :cool1::cool1::cool1:
  17. AmyPond

    AmyPond DIS Veteran

    May 18, 2010
    Have fun!!
  18. Funball

    Funball DIS Veteran

    May 25, 2010

    magic hershey and cheeto are going to miss you!!!!
  19. Funball

    Funball DIS Veteran

    May 25, 2010

    ohh two points for you!! ou like tortilla jo's!!


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