On another fantastic trip to Disneyland, this one filled with wheelchairs and electric scooters rather than roller coasters, we ended up at Cafe Orleans for lunch. More upscale than your average Disneyland restaurant, Cafe Orleans is located in the heart of New Orleans Square, not far from Pirates of the Caribbean. Serving up French-influenced food, they had a good-looking menu with a couple unvegan options.
Just off of Main Street in Disneyland, there is a little cart that sells corn dogs. But these are not just any corn dogs, these are dogs of corn that personify the Disney difference. Where another theme park might be content to boil up some prepackaged corn dogs, the corn dogs of this stand are battered and boiled in-cart. Although a typical corn dog isn’t nearly enough to fill up this unvegan, I was told these were some heavy dogs and took my chances on just one.
In my most recent trip to the land of Disney, I encountered many new experiences. In one, I found myself on a train traveling through the Grand Canyon and the land of dinosaurs. In another, I found myself in a cart shooting darts at 3D plates. But despite the plates, these did not involve actual food until I ended up at the Storytellers Cafe in the Grand Californian hotel of California Adventure.
If you’ve ever ridden the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, you may have noticed the restaurant next to the beginning of the ride, where diners ignore the people in pirate boats heading towards certain pirate doom. On my last trip to the happiest place on earth, I found myself not in one of those boats, but instead as one of those bystanders in the restaurant called Blue Bayou. In a land of ceaseless twilight, Blue Bayou can be found in the French District of Disneyland and serves up New Orleans-style food.
Tuckered out after a day of rides, standing in line and more rides, the girlfriend and I headed to Downtown Disney for some fine dining. We ended up at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, a New Orleans-style restaurant. The menu was pretty pricey, even for Downtown Disney, but with my 20% discount, we figured the meal wasn’t outside our price range. We took a seat in their upper level and decided what to order. When the waiter came, I was struggling a bit.
Picture a huge grizzly bear wandering the forest and willing to take down anything that stands in the way of its food. Imagine that it stumbles upon a sleeping family out camping for the night. Each of them has bits of food in their tents and the bear can smell it. It tears apart the tents in search of the food and the family barely makes it out alive, carrying battle scars with them. That’s what I think of when I picture a hungry bear, but the folks at Disney probably weren’t thinking about that when they named the Hungry Bear Restaurant. Located in the heart of Critter Country in Disneyland, there was nothing but happiness and little chance of being mauled by a grizzly. We walked the long ramp up to the restaurant to see what the friendly Hungry Bear could offer us.
After a long day of lines, rides and shows at Disneyland, it’s a great idea to relax before making the long drive back up to Los Angeles. Enter Downtown Disney. While this area spans a huge tract of land, there’s really a surprisingly limited number of restaurant options.
Last time I went, we walked up and down the downtown for what seemed like hours before we decided on the House of Blues. They had a nice outdoor area and the weather was perfect for some outside dining. My friend’s Disney discount also applied here, and even though the prices were pretty reasonable, it made ordering all the more sweet.
Eating at Disneyland is never an easy matter. There are quite a few options, but they all seem to be painfully overpriced. Luckily, when I go to Disneyland, I do so with an employee of Disney and get to piggy pack on his discount.
Out of the convenience of its proximity to Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, we decided to eat at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port, Disney’s version of Italian. Despite the name of the place, the pizza looked like the worst they had to offer. The cheese looked like plastic and the pepperonis weren’t shaped like Mickey ears (serious disappointment). Also, it was about $7 a slice. Luckily, since Disneyland is made for children (and I have taste buds similar to an eight-year old) there were almost no vegetables to be found.