Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Devouring Disney Delectables

Disneyland Resort 
1313 Harbor Blvd. 
Anaheim, CA 92802

This post will be a little different than our usual restaurant reviews. Somehow I got suckered into going to Disneyland last week, and while I'm not really into amusement parks, I decided to make our trip more about the food, than the rides, crowds, and lines. I know, big shock.

As you can see from this picture, Disneyland was not crowded on the day we were here. No ride had a wait of more than 20 minutes, and you could actually walk right down Main Street and not bump into all the tourists craning their necks to take it all in.

It was family day at the Magic Kingdom, and since Katie has two relatives working for Disney, they could get the ten of us in the parks for free. Thanks go out to Emily and Bridget for getting all of us in. This would be Katie's nephew, Andrew's first time here. Even though he's only 19 months old, it was pretty cool watching him take in everything. With such a large group we were moving through both California Adventure and Disneyland at the speed of a glacier, but that gave us plenty of time to stop and get food. I had a list of things I had wanted to try on this day, many of which I have never tried before, so let's see if the food could take my mind off of my aching feet.

This first stop at Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe was less about food, than it was to get everyone some coffee. They sell Starbucks at this California Adventure quick service restaurant, and that is the fuel that definitely makes Katie's family get moving in the morning. Not a coffee drinker, I tried their Signature Cinnamon Roll ($5.29) while waiting for their caffeinated concoctions to be ready. This cinnamon roll was topped with cream cheese frosting. It really reminded me of the Pillsbury ones that you get in the tube in the dairy department. That's not a bad thing, because I love those, it's just what this reminded me of. It could have been heated a bit more, but a decent cinnamon nonetheless.

Our only other food stop at California Adventure was a snack at Award Wieners. We were waiting for the rest of our group to get out of the Frozen attraction, and it had been at least an hour since my cinnamon roll, so I snuck over to order this Barbecue Hot Link ($8.19). This was one of six varieties of hot dogs that they serve here. This hot link was topped with barbecue sauce and grilled onions, and came with a bag of Lay's potato chips. The hot link had a good meatiness to it, but was not really too spicy. The barbecue sauce was okay, and the grilled onions were not even detectable. A very average hot dog, that did its job by satisfying me until lunch time.

I was pretty stoked that when lunchtime rolled around, that everyone wanted to eat at the Plaza Inn, which is located right at the end of Main Street and at the entrance to Tomorrowland. Plaza Inn is probably most known for their character buffet breakfast, where guests can enjoy all you can eat breakfast, while Disney characters make the rounds to all the tables. I was excited to eat here because I had heard good things about their fried chicken, which we will get to in a moment. Plaza Inn is a cafeteria style restaurant. You pick up your tray at the front, then select your plates you want, and seat yourself. No free refills here, as they have a very strict policy, so plan accordingly. Here's a quick glance at the Penne Pasta with Marinara ($13.99) and the Penne Pasta with Chicken Pesto Alfredo Sauce ($13.99). I did not get a chance to try either of these, they looked a little on the boring side to me, but no complaints from anyone that had these. The House Salads ($4.39) looked like it featured fresh produce, and Katie enjoyed the one that she got.

Here's the reason I was so excited to come to the Plaza Inn, the Fried Chicken ($15.99). You get three pieces of chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, and a biscuit. It might be heresy to say this, but this might be better fried chicken than what you can get at that amusement park on Beach Boulevard. This fried chicken had a nice and flavorful breading, while the meat inside was moist and tender. What clinches this as one of the better fried chickens is that it was not greasy at all. Really impressive. The sides were okay. The mashed potatoes were a little on the dry side, and while the gravy added moisture, it did not add too much in the way of flavor. Green beans are not my favorite, but Katie liked them. The biscuit was pretty middle of the road as well, but the chicken is the real star here.

Since Katie and I had split our lunch, we decided to splurge on dessert with this Triple Layer Cake ($5.39). Should have opted for an extra piece of chicken. Not that this was a bad slice of cake, it was pretty good, but it looked so much better, and was kind of a letdown. I thought it would have had more of a peanut butter flavor to it. A good looking cake, but it could have been more moist.

I was at a recent food event, and was discussing this post with people, and they made me feel like such a lackadaisical foodie for not ever having a Pineapple Dole Whip ($3.79), or a Dole Whip Float ($5.19). Well I'm not that lazy food guy anymore. I once was a Dole Whip virgin, but not anymore. I had the straight Dole Whip, which is soft serve pineapple ice cream. I liked that the pineapple was not overly abundant here, but hid around the background. I did get a little tired of this near the end, and ended up throwing away my last few bites. Much more to my liking was the float version of this. They use pineapple juice, and top it with the same pineapple soft serve. This helped break up the soft serve flavor a bit for me. I can't say I'm overly in love with this, but I'd get it again on one of the hotter days at Disneyland.

Getting off of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride was the perfect time to head over to the French Market, and their Mint Julep Bar. This is a walk up window right next to the French Market, which specializes in drinks, and these Mickey-Shaped Beignets ($7.19 for a six pack). I was a little disappointed with these beignets. They had plenty of sugar on them, but the inside was way too airy, with not much going on. I would have liked these more if they were more dense. They were freshly made, and came out warm though. Not awful, but they did not quell my desire for a good beignet.

We were on our way out of Disneyland when we stopped for our last item on my Disney foods bucket list, a Corn Dog ($7.69) from the Little Red Wagon, which is right next to the Plaza Inn, on Main Street. These corn dogs, which are also available at the Corn Dog Castle at California Adventure., are hand dipped, and served hot. They have a very thick batter, which encases the hot dog, and makes it take a backseat to the crunchy corn batter. I'd like this a little more with a thicker, more prominent hot dog, but this is still one of the best corn dogs I have had. A great way to end our Disney day.

Even though I was less than thrilled about spending the day at Disneyland, I ended up having a really good eating day here. I remember when I was growing up, taking annual trips to Disneyland, and the food was overpriced and not very good. I was happy to see that this has definitely changed. They have really stepped up their food game at the park, and I did not think the prices were totally out of control, the way admission prices have skyrocketed. There is still plenty more that I would want to eat here on future visits. I hear good things about the food at Cathay Circle, I still have yet to have a sandwich from the Downtown Disney location of Earl of Sandwich, and of course Napa Rose is on my list as one of the most praised restaurants in OC. Maybe this will become one of our families traditions, and we can explore more of the food of Disneyland next year.

For more information about dining options at the Disneyland Resort, check out their website here: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/


  1. How DARE you throw any Dole whip away! Duc would have dumpster-dived to lick every bit of it, haha.

  2. Minerva - Duc may dumpster dive behind me anytime he likes. I was pretty full by that time of the afternoon, and knew I had a corn dog and beignets to eat. I hate disappointing you, so I'll try to do better next time. Thanks for taking the time to read the blog.

  3. That fried chicken at Plaza is amazing! I am with you & to have never had Dole Whip?? Wow!! We have been to all of the restaurants you mention at the end and some of our favorites are listed there...You guys need to come do adult Disneyland with us soon & I know you will have a blast...food, drinks and rides!! Trust me:) Great article!

  4. Daniele - Sounds like a plan. I know, I feel so bad about the Dole Whip, but I also have never even been to the Tiki Room either. Yes, I am a mess when it comes to experiencing Disney stuff. Thanks for taking the time to comment on the blog.