Three months before my mom and I spent a delightful weekend at Disneyland, our trip was still but a distant dream. All we could do was wait and prepare. Our preparations included one thing we take very seriously, food. Considering Disneyland is not a place we can go every day, it is rather important that we don’t miss out on any scrumptious morsel. By the end of the very busy week during which we bought our tickets (both to Disneyland itself and the Disneyland Resort Express bus), set up our flights, and booked a hotel room, we were already pretty familiar with the meals and treats most people ranked pretty high on their lists, in addition to having hunted these places down on the Disneyland app to get an idea of where they could be found. Maybe this kills all notions of spontaneity, but with food, you can never be too careful. Below the Duck shall rank the food we tried at Disneyland, from least best to most best! For this post, let’s start with what many people like to call “real food”.
4: Troubadour Tavern – Bratwurst Sausage and Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Baked Potato
The first place we went for a regular meal was the Troubadour Tavern, which is not terribly far from It’s a Small World (if you’re facing said ride, with Toontown being just beyond that, you go left). My mom and I shared, well, the foods listed above, which was plenty for the two of us. The bratwurst was pretty good, though the advertised sauerkraut, which I assume must be cooked into it, is not readily apparent. That’s fine by me, as I never really liked the stuff to begin with, but I’m sure my mom would have preferred more of it. The baked potato was soft and cooked well, but I didn’t really thrill to it. The cheese is more like Velveeta, and I prefer cheese that’s a bit more on the gooey side. They also have a bacon and sour cream stuffed potato, if that’s more your taste.
3: Little Red Wagon – Corn Dog
Everyone loves a good corn dog. And I don’t mean the frozen stuff. I mean a real corn dog, like the ones you get at fairs and the like. One place to find these delightful things is at the Little Red Wagon, located right in front of the Plaza Inn on Main Street. The corn dog was pretty good; there was just a bit too much batter, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on what you like. Aside from that, they’re pretty much what you’d expect from a corn dog at a theme park. The only real downside is the line moves pretty slowly, and my feet were killing me at that point. At least the pain was worth it once I got my delicious fried creation, complete with some salty potato crisps that may or may not be a good idea when one is already parched on a hot spring day.
2: French Market Restaurant – French Market Chicken and Cajun-Style Meatloaf
It was around 9 PM on Saturday night, our first night at Disneyland, when we decided to have a rather late dinner. We don’t typically eat after dark, but seeing as we were at Disneyland, of all places, we wanted to do something different. Now, New Orleans Square, our current location at the time, has three Cajun restaurants of differing price ranges. The least expensive, and the only one open at that hour (considering Blue Bayou’s need for a reservation months in advance) led us to the French Market Restaurant, which resides on the other side of the fountain near the Haunted Mansion.
While this is a cafeteria-style restaurant, you know, the ones with the trays, don’t be fooled because the food here is really good. The rolls are good. The mashed red potatoes are some of the best I’ve ever had. Meal-wise, I had the French Market Chicken, which was also delicious and well-seasoned. It’s nice and tender like rotisserie chicken, but according to the menu, it’s actually “oven roasted”. Hmm, they could’ve fooled me. Mom had the Cajun-Style Meatloaf, which she also said was good. I’ll just have to take her word for it. I’ve never been on good terms with meatloaf. If you want a place with good food, but don’t want to spend too much money, this place is a good choice. It’s also right next to New Orleans Square Station, where you can hear some very mysterious Morse code. Okay, it’s not really that mysterious. It actually just repeats a line from Walt Disney’s Opening Day Dedication, which is pretty cool.
1: Blue Bayou – Mint Juleps, Sourdough Rolls, Cheesy Potato Bread, Gumbo, Royal Street Seafood Jambalaya, Le Special de Monte Cristo Sandwich
Phew, now that was quite a list. Okay, so the Blue Bayou is kind of getting special treatment because of the scenery, not just because of the food. But there is a reason this place is impossible to get into without a reservation. Situated in beautiful New Orleans Square, if you’re not familiar with this fine establishment, let me explain. The Blue Bayou is actually inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, right near the beginning shortly after people get into their boats. Despite being inside a building, and regardless of the time of day, you feel like you’re eating outside at night, underneath the glow of colorful lanterns.
We got a reservation the required 60 days in advance, right when the restaurant opened at 11:30 AM on Sunday, which allowed us to get a seat right by the water. The first thing we tried were the mint juleps (of the non-alcoholic variety, I’ll have you know), which had been recommended to us thanks to people on Youtube. The taste is very different from anything I’ve ever had before, and thankfully, you don’t taste the mint. I think I should have taken out the lemon slice and mint leaves, though, as it tasted a bit strong after a while. I also got mine with the glowing ice cube, which is a bit of a silly thing to spend a few extra dollars on, but it looks really cool in the dark, and when you’re somewhere as amazing as Disneyland, sometimes you have to be a little silly from time to time.
After that, we got sourdough rolls and this interesting cheesy sort of potato bread, if I recall correctly. The bread was really good, and it was fun trying something different as far as the latter goes. Our meals came with gumbo, which was the best thing we had meal-wise the entire trip. It had this big clump of sticky rice in it, and it was absolutely delicious. The only problem was we were pretty darn full by the time our meals came.
Well, mom got the Monte Cristo, something she had enjoyed as a kid, and I got the jambalaya, both of which we shared. The Monte Cristo came with jam and cream, and while it was crispy enough, it had a bit too much bread for our liking, so we couldn’t really taste the sandwich’s meaty innards (turkey and ham, with Swiss cheese). Everyone says the Monte Cristo at Disneyland is delicious, but I guess they’re just not our thing. The jambalaya had shrimp, fish, and some really good, spicy sausage, along with tomato-y rice. This was pretty good, but we had eaten so much already that we didn’t get to fully enjoy it.
With our fanciest meal of the trip at a close, it was time to fish that lovely glowing cube out of my drink, that I may take it home with me and cherish it forever and ever! When a fork wasn’t doing the trick, I gave up all pretense of manners and dunked my hand right in to claim my prize.
And thus concludes the Duck’s mini tour of Disneyland meals. Next time, we shall be discussing desserts! In the meantime, why not leave a comment below and let me know, what are your favorite meals and snacks at (insert Disney Park of your choosing here)? And what about the Blue Bayou, have you ever eaten there? G’day and g’bye ‘til next post, everyone!
A Corn Duck…Think About it, Won’t You?