When it comes to food, everybody has their own taste. As an Annual Passholder for the Disneyland Resort, there are times we’ll make a trip simply to shop, walk around the park and have a nice dinner.
The following list is my top 5 places to eat inside the park in no particular order. Before you scold me for not mentioning Dole Whips or Turkey Legs, these are my favorite places to have a meal. We will have many more food posts including posts for snacks and deserts.
Leave a comment below to let us know which of these you have tried and which restaurant you think deserves to be in the top 5!
1. Big Thunder Ranch BBQ
Seated outdoors on picnic style benches towards the far side of Frontierland, The Big Thunder Ranch BBQ is one of my favorite places to dine while at the Disneyland Park. Depending on how hungry you are, the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ is a bit pricey but offers an “all you care to enjoy” menu which includes BBQ chicken, ribs, baked beans, coleslaw and some of the best corn bread I’ve ever had.
The pricing varies between lunch and dinner as dinner offers a few more menu options. Regardless of what time of day you go, there is a flat fee for all guests and the servers will bring you more of any item until you’ve had enough.
The Big Thunder Ranch BBQ also offers entertainment. Typically a trio featuring a guitarist, pianist and vocalist, and sometimes a solo act, the Country Western music styling is a great accompaniment to a relaxing outdoor meal in the Southern California weather.
2. Corn Dog Cart
If you’re in the market for a quick and inexpensive bite to eat, Disneyland has one of the best corn dogs around. Served out of a vintage red wagon, the crispy corn bread surrounds a delicious hot dog.
If you’re looking for variety, you won’t find it here. Your only options at this location are a corn dog, or you can make it a combo with a drink and your choice of sliced apples or chips.
Located at the end of Main Street, you definitely won’t miss this old school red wagon…and if you do, just look for the long line of people who are not waiting to get on a ride.
The corn dog cart is a walk-up eatery and offers no seating other than the adjacent benches. The infamous Disneyland corn dogs are affordable and a must try food for anyone visiting the park.
3. The Blue Bayou
This one is a given and should be on all lists of places to eat at Disneyland. The food is good but it’s the atmosphere most people enjoy at The Blue Bayou.
Located indoors, and visible from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, this restaurant makes diners feel as if they are eating right off the waterfront in the New Orleans French Quarter at night regardless of what time it is outside. The faux swamp trees and building facade create a relaxing and romantic environment for patrons to enjoy a Cajun meal.
Illuminated only by dim lights and lanterns, The Blue Bayou will let you escape into a whole new world to the sound of crickets chirping and frogs croaking.
Whether you are looking for something reasonably priced like the Jambalaya, or the fan-favorite Monte Cristo sandwich (a battered and deep friend ham and cheese sandwich topped with powdered sugar and served with fruit), or wanting to go all out with a $50 Surf & Turf plate, The Blue Bayou is something that should be experienced by everyone once.
It is highly recommended that you call ahead and make reservations, especially on a busy day. The entrance to The Blue Bayou is located in New Orleans Square right next to the exit of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
4. Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port
Located in Tomorrowland and adjacent to the Space Mountain entrance, Redd Rocket’s Pizza Port is an indoor cafeteria-style restaurant that allows you to grab a tray, choose from pre-made menu items and pay on the way to the seating area.
Serving a variety of pizzas, pastas and salads, Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port is a quick and inexpensive way to rest your legs from a day of walking and have a hot meal.
5. Cafe Orleans
So, you’ve read this far and the Monte Cristo sandwich is still on your mind but you don’t want something as fancy and time consuming as The Blue Bayou. For that very reason, I am adding Cafe Orleans to the list.
I’ve had my experience at the Blue Bayou and sometimes I just want to sit down and enjoy something a bit simpler. Cafe Orleans has a pretty diverse menu and allows diners to enjoy the Monte Cristo in a more relaxed setting (and is the only other restaurant in the park that serves them).
Also known for the garlic and Parmesan French Fries and Mint Julep with free refills, Cafe Orleans has generic sandwiches and salads that should accommodate any family or group.
During busier park days, Cafe Orleans may yield a 30 minute, or longer, wait. The establishment offers both indoors and covered outdoor seating and is in a pretty busy area where you can often here Dixieland or Pirate bands.
You can make reservations for certain restaurants by calling (714) 781-DINE. Most park restaurants offer discounts Annual Passholders.