Very Disappointed in Disneyland restaurants

3TinksAndAnEeyore

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 23, 2007
I agree that if you care that much about the food you eat at a theme park, then it is too bad you didn't go to Napa Rose. Really excellent food, setting and dining experience. It's a must do on every trip we do there.
:thumbsup2

Napa Rose is an amazing food experience if you're looking for this type of meal (with apologies to Sherry and the other "plain food folks" ;)).
 

Disney-Kim

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 17, 1999
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.
I think that because there is so much emphasis on food at WDW that we are sort of doing the same for DLR....

at WDW we love to do TS restaurants and booking the ADR's are part of the fun. There are so many FUN restaurants at WDW...and yes the food isn't fantastic...but it is really the experience...

so I find myself looking for those same experiences at DL...I will be booking some ADR's on Sunday (my 60 mark):goodvibes:goodvibes
just part of the planning FUN ;)
 

blackjackdelta

<font color=darkorchid>Uncle had an "in" with Walt
Joined
Jul 23, 2005
I sometimes think that DLR is a theme park and it serves typical theme park type food. I am luckeyto have had the chance to eat a different places all over the world and at fancy places and scummy places. When people compare the $$ that the food costs vs Bob's Big Boy (or In and Out)or what ever, it will never equal up. I dislike Hungrey Bear, could never get a reasonable tasting hamburger, love PWC, simple fresh food.

We never budget food other than a total expense for the trip because we never know what we will eat other than a dole whip or pomme frittes. I hate to see people shy away from trying something because someone states the food was horrible(base on those personal tastes.)

Jack
 

Funball

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 25, 2010
i love the alfredo lasanga, OMG what a great idea, the meatball sandwhich with extra marina, man my mouth is watering.
Aww carlos!! I love you already!! I LOVED the Alfred lasagna also!!!!! they don’t have it anymore… FAIL!!!! But the grilled veggie Panini was soo good, I have a photo I will send it to you in a pm so your mouth can water.. shoot in hungry now! :cool1:

I have to add that Disneyland food is still way better than some of the food I've had at other theme parks - for the same price. Six Flags is just as pricey, and the food isn't nearly as good - in my opinion of course ... I know everyone has different tastes. :) Not everything is spectacular but there are things that I just absolutely love and I can't say that about any other theme park I've visited (Various 6 Flags, Universal Studios, Sea World, Great America, Raging Waters, etc.)
Mm yes, got to AGREE with this—I have never had very much luck with getting better food at other amusement parks either. i have to say the two Mexican restaurants DL has is far better then the one that Knott’s has—in my opinion though. But umm hands down, DCA has the best food EVER! The BEST bread soup bowls, the best burgers, the best everything! :cool1:

I am a self professed foodie snob, so yes, I agree with you, I think that most of the sit down food is horrible. Goofy's Kitchen was one of the worst breakfasts I've ever had. I prefer to eat from the stands - I kind of like the veggie gumbo, and or the Bengal BBQ. I think the best sit down food is the Mexican place inside the park, but even that is so so.
Eh! The gumbo at royal street veranda was not that great the day I had it. but then again I have had the soup bowls from pacific warf, and so maybe I am spoiled , cause those are MUCH better.. also umm suggestion, try the rancho Cucamonga Cocina at pacific wharf the Mexican dishes are dangerously yummy!! And thanks to all the reviews I know where I won’t be eating at Disneyland or in the hotels..well besides Napa rose, cause if I could afford it I be all over that menu! Lol oh and I am a foodie snob also… ;)




FYI..this was my lunch at the wine country trattoria a few weeks ago. the grilled veggie panini paired with a prosecco! THIS WAS GOOD!!
 

HydroGuy

A Pirate's Life For Me
Joined
Jun 5, 2005
so I find myself looking for those same experiences at DL...I will be booking some ADR's on Sunday (my 60 mark):goodvibes:goodvibes
just part of the planning FUN ;)
Hopefully you will not get too frustrated with this as DLR just does not lend itself to that as well WDW - even if it had better restaurants.

FWIW I wrote up some of thoughts here "From DLR to WDW and Back Again: My Challenge With WDW Dining Philosophy at DLR" - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2449979
 

egritz

Never too old for Disney!
Joined
Dec 26, 2008
I haven't been very impressed with Sit-Down Dining at either WDW or DL. And in WDW we did go to some nice restaurants in various parks & resorts.

When in DL, we usually stay on Harbour at the Ramada Maingate & will go to Tony Roma's at least twice as their food is MUCH cheaper than the restaurants inside DL and so much better. Typical chain restaurant food, but much better, IMO, than anything inside DL (I can't stand Blue Bayou, yuck). Also if time & aching muscles permit we will try to hit Mimi's for breakfast on a day that we aren't going to the park for opening.
 

HydroGuy

A Pirate's Life For Me
Joined
Jun 5, 2005
I like the overall quantity and diversity of dining options at WDW much better than DLR. However, the overall food quality at both is fine - IMO. Obviously everyone is different - but I am consistently satisfied with the food quality at both resorts. What I find lacking at DLR is the theming you get at many of the WDW restaurants.

Are the food prices high? Yes, they are more expensive. Same thing as at professional sports stadiums and arenas, ski locations, and other theme parks.

If you are really looking to follow a budget then DLR offers better (closer) options offsite. In the past we always tried to budget and not eat very much inside DLR. This is the Disneyland vet's mentaility - namely, that sitting down to eat at DLR is a waste of time and money.

My visits to WDW taught me that the overall Disney experience can be enhanced by dining at Disney - especially the table service places. So I have left my DLR mentality far behind. This trip in a couple weeks we are going overboard with Disney dining. I hope to hit at least eight places at DLR - only two of which we have eaten at before. :)
 
  • heatherleigh

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 29, 2007
    I sometimes think that DLR is a theme park and it servers typical theme park type food. I am luckeyto have had the chance to eat a different places all over the world and at fancy places and scummy places. When people compare the $$ that the food costs vs Bob's Big Boy (or In and Out)or what ever, it will never equal up. I dislike Hungrey Bear, could never get a reasonable tasting hamburger, love PWC, simple fresh food.
    This is true. I am guilty of basing many of my choices on the bad reviews I've read here on the DIS. Blue Bayou and Ariel's Grotto are two off the top of my head. Who knows, maybe we will give them a chance on our next trip. My daughter is really into princesses, and I've read some good reviews on BB as well.

    Hungry Bear is just plain awful, which I know from experience. I'm not picky, and we wound up throwing all our untouched food in the garbage.
     

    Funball

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 25, 2010
    y anyone eats at hungrybear is beyond me! lol..

    i have never eaten at Areils i have no need to i don't have kids, BUT i have heard that it 's good the price is reasonable for a 3 course meal, but i also heard bad things about it too..

    i heard bad things about UVA, but i ate there and i loved the french onion soup.
     

    AmyPond

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 18, 2010
    I haven't been to Hungry Bear in a few years. I do remember enjoying my burgers there in the past. I wonder if they are different now. I think it's going to be closed while we're there anyway.
     

    goingquackers

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2005
    I am was not concerned about the selection as much as the quality of food and the care the chefs take it preparing it.

    I am surprised at you guys. “its theme park food” is not acceptable..lol, they are charging a lot of money for the food they offer. A $35-$40 meal at Disneyland should be the same quality as a $15 meal in the real world, but sadly it is not.

    Theme park food doesn’t have to be bad. A few examples I can think of are Dollywood and silver dollar city. Even WDW is able to provide good quality (not quantity) food.

    I have to add, the Mexican counter service in DCA got it right! Big thumbs down to the WOC dinning at Wine Country…It was the absolute worst food I tasted. It’s almost as if they were trying to create bad food on purpose.
     
  • Sherry E

    Currently tag-less...
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2008
    I am was not concerned about the selection as much as the quality of food and the care the chefs take it preparing it.

    I am surprised at you guys. “its theme park food” is not acceptable..lol, they are charging a lot of money for the food they offer. A $35-$40 meal at Disneyland should be the same quality as a $15 meal in the real world, but sadly it is not.

    Theme park food doesn’t have to be bad. A few examples I can think of are Dollywood and silver dollar city. Even WDW is able to provide good quality (not quantity) food.

    I have to add, the Mexican counter service in DCA got it right! Big thumbs down to the WOC dinning at Wine Country…It was the absolute worst food I tasted. It’s almost as if they were trying to create bad food on purpose.
    ...Yet, at the same time, there are other folks who don't like the Mexican eateries in DLR because they feel it is bland and generic and an insult to authentic Mexican cooking (you are referring to Cocina Cucamonga, I think).:rotfl2: I've never eaten at CC or at RDZ in DL because I don't like Mexican food to begin with, so I couldn't compare. But to each his own.

    I don't personally think the DLR food is "good for theme park food." I think it's good all the way around, period. The things I eat are good...to me. I'm satisfied with what I eat at DLR.

    I'm curious to know - if you can remember, what did you order/eat at each place? Or even some of the places (I know your trip was long)? I wonder if you ate any of the dishes that are otherwise considered pretty popular among our DIS-ers here or if you had other things that aren't commonly talked about.
     

    AmyPond

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 18, 2010
    I am was not concerned about the selection as much as the quality of food and the care the chefs take it preparing it.

    I am surprised at you guys. “its theme park food” is not acceptable..lol, they are charging a lot of money for the food they offer. A $35-$40 meal at Disneyland should be the same quality as a $15 meal in the real world, but sadly it is not.

    Theme park food doesn’t have to be bad. A few examples I can think of are Dollywood and silver dollar city. Even WDW is able to provide good quality (not quantity) food.

    I have to add, the Mexican counter service in DCA got it right! Big thumbs down to the WOC dinning at Wine Country…It was the absolute worst food I tasted. It’s almost as if they were trying to create bad food on purpose.
    It's really subjective, I think.

    I, personally, didn't think the quality of food at WDW was any better than Disneyland. Counter service was about the same, if not worse for me, than Disneyland.

    Can't really compare the Table Service places since we don't waste our time with that much at either park. I do think the WORST meal I've had on Disney property was at WDW. (Coral Reef, if anyone is interested.) Can't say I've had any experiences at Disneyland that are equal to the terribleness of that meal.
     

    Judy from Boise

    Watch out – might take away your
    Joined
    Aug 24, 1999
    I like the overall quantity and diversity of dining options at WDW much better than DLR. However, the overall food quality at both is fine - IMO. Obviously everyone is different - but I am consistently satisfied with the food quality at both resorts. What I find lacking at DLR is the theming you get at many of the WDW restaurants.

    Are the food prices high? Yes, they are more expensive. Same thing as at professional sports stadiums and arenas, ski locations, and other theme parks.

    If you are really looking to follow a budget then DLR offers better (closer) options offsite. In the past we always tried to budget and not eat very much inside DLR. This is the Disneyland vet's mentaility - namely, that sitting down to eat at DLR is a waste of time and money.

    My visits to WDW taught me that the overall Disney experience can be enhanced by dining at Disney - especially the table service places. So I have left my DLR mentality far behind. This trip in a couple weeks we are going overboard with Disney dining. I hope to hit at least eight places at DLR - only two of which we have eaten at before. :)
    looking forward to your report!
     

    disneychrista

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 26, 2002
    I have to agree with Hungry Bear...the last time I hate there was 1999, and at the time I swore it would be the last time and it has been. Now I do still go there but only to use the rest rooms.
     

    Funball

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 25, 2010
    I am was not concerned about the selection as much as the quality of food and the care the chefs take it preparing it.

    I am surprised at you guys. “its theme park food” is not acceptable..lol, they are charging a lot of money for the food they offer. A $35-$40 meal at Disneyland should be the same quality as a $15 meal in the real world, but sadly it is not.

    Theme park food doesn’t have to be bad. A few examples I can think of are Dollywood and silver dollar city. Even WDW is able to provide good quality (not quantity) food.

    I have to add, the Mexican counter service in DCA got it right! Big thumbs down to the WOC dinning at Wine Country…It was the absolute worst food I tasted. It’s almost as if they were trying to create bad food on purpose.



    …well ok but not evreryone has been to WDW, well at least I haven’t so I really can’t compare the two as far as food. But in that case, I can compare DLR and DCA, and to me DCA has the best tasting food. DLR has the best tasting snacks, an more pretzel stands, CC is better then RDZ….etc.. I am a long time cheerleader for Wine country Tratt., never have I had bad service or food. You might of just had a off day. :)
     

    disneymom23

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 3, 2008
    Can't really compare the Table Service places since we don't waste our time with that much at either park. I do think the WORST meal I've had on Disney property was at WDW. (Coral Reef, if anyone is interested.) Can't say I've had any experiences at Disneyland that are equal to the terribleness of that meal.
    We had a horrible meal at Coral Reef as well. We've only been to WDW once, 4 years ago but I still remember what a waste of money that meal was. We are happy with the food at DL. We keep going back to the same places, so we must be OK with them. :lmao:
     

    AmyPond

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 18, 2010
    We had a horrible meal at Coral Reef as well. We've only been to WDW once, 4 years ago but I still remember what a waste of money that meal was. We are happy with the food at DL. We keep going back to the same places, so we must be OK with them. :lmao:
    I'm glad we weren't the only ones! Everyone seems to rave about that place so we were looking forward to it. But even with our lunch ADR we ended up having to wait 30 minutes. We were seated by the tank which was nice for a view. But it meant kids kept coming over to our table to look at fish. Their parents were no where in sight. One kid was climbing on the ledge and he ended up kicking me in the back! I ordered a salad but I didn't like the dressing. Oh, and the server dropped half of it on the floor/our table before giving it to me (he had to go back and get a new salad.) My husband didn't like his food either.

    The creme brulee was good though. :thumbsup2
     

    carolinamama

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2010
    I've never eaten at Coral Reef in WDW, but I've always avoided it because I've always read HORRIBLE reviews!!

    But we did eat at Hungry Bear twice - I didn't know about the animosity for that place!! I got the chicken Caesar both times, and it was okay. DH's burger tasted fine. I liked that they did have a healthy kid's pack there, too. Overall, our experience there was about the same as it was at any of the other CS places in DLR.

    To me, the biggest difference I saw with WDW vs DLR COUNTER service was that DLR did seem to have options other than burger and fries. Last summer, we made it our mission at WDW to not eat burger and fries on that trip, and we made it all the way to the last day. At DLR, this was much easier and much tastier to do. And my DD is very picky and doesn't eat burgers, so the aforementioned meal (I think it was called a Power Pack) was great for her - Goldfish, yogurt, string cheese and something else I don't remember, but she actually would eat. Even at TS with Ariel's Grotto, the kid's meals were served with a heaping portion of grapes, and I loved that.

    A few people have mentioned that they go to the parks for the attractions, not the food. Well, so do we. But with WDW, it's just a different mindset, and it's hard to shake everything off when going to DLR. When we go to WDW, we stay on property, and Disney shuttles us to and from the airport. We are stuck on property, in our case anywhere from 5 - 7 days straight. You can't really walk off property and actually get to anything in any reasonable way. You are stuck eating their food 24/7 unless you have a car, get groceries delivered or take a taxi. That automatically makes it more than 'theme park food' - it's what I'm eating whether I'm in a park or not; it's more of a resort setting. With the advent of WDW's dining plan several years ago and the necessity of having ADRs for every TS meal, well, you end up planning your days around where you have ADRs that day. ADR at Le Cellier for lunch? Well, you're at Epcot that day. ADR for Liberty Tree Tavern? Then you're at the Magic Kingdom. The food at WDW thus becomes part of the whole Disney experience. And unless you just don't care about food and do nothing but eat CS meals your entire stay, well, it's a big deal.

    So when WDW vets come to DLR, we may know in our heads that it's a totally different experience and we shouldn't compare. We stayed at GCH, and we really didn't feel like driving anywhere to eat on our park days. The restaurants on the other side of Harbor right near the gates weren't up our alley (I don't like Mimi's, for example). So we did want to have a few TS meals during our stay. I did find the food, on the whole, to be better than average. Just like how you can't compare Disney hotels to outside hotels of the same price, you can't compare Disney restaurants to outside restaurants of the same price. I walk in knowing full well how this system works and what prices to expect. But yes, dining was still important to me, even though I knew it wasn't the same ballgame as to my typical experience. When it comes to TS, I never consider it just to be 'theme park food.'
     

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