So you want to see the Happiest Place on Earth?
Fabulous! Let’s talk trip planning. Planning is the most important step for keeping costs down. Over the past few weeks I have been sharing my tips to save money on a Disneyland Trip. If you missed any of these, check them out below.
Disneyland Trips 101: Food
Now let’s talk food AGAIN!
Two of our favorite places in Disneyland are the Red Rocket’s Pizza Port and Hungry Bear restaurants.
The pizza port is an easy, cafeteria style place where you can see what you get (size and quality) before you grab it. This can help picky eaters or those that might want to share. I love the fact that I can fill (and refill) my soda! It’s located in Tomorrowland near Space Mountain.
The Hungry Bear serves hamburgers and chicken sandwich type food. We love the location in Critter Country; it’s tucked out the way and has great 2-story, outdoor seating that allows you to watch the boats go by on the Rivers of America. The only bummer about this place is that it can be closed during the off season.
My brother and his girlfriend like Rancho Del Zocala. It is another cafeteria style place where you can see the food and portion sizes ahead of time and allows for soda refills.
Disney’s California Adventure
At Disney’s California Adventure (DCA) we really like the Pacific Warf Café and Taste Pilots’ Grill.
The Pacific Wharf Café serves soups and salads in HUGE bread bowls, sandwiches are also available. It is near two other restaurants Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill and Lucky Fortune Cookery. They all share the same outside seating area which might work out good for families whose food tastes vary. Plus that is where the Karl Strauss Biergarten is located! Peter is definitely a fan of eating back here!
Taste Pilots’ Grill offers BBQ ribs, YUM! Plus they have hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and salads. Their toppings and condiments are salad bar style, so you can definitely customize you own sandwich and get extra tomatoes/pickles if you want! And it’s a sentimental favorite because we won a “special” Year of a Million Dreams meal there back in 2007. We were waited on by a cast member, sat in “reserve” seating, our food was delivered to us and we were given our choice of dessert. We were shocked, but it was fun!! I miss that Disney promo!!
Another great place “almost” in DCA is White Water Snacks inside the Grand Californian hotel. The prices are reasonable and it’s another nice stop for a bite to eat. Just exit the park at the Grand hotel entrance (Near Grizzly Bear) and head to the left inside the hotel.
Gibson Girl Ice Cream from Main Street. Mickey shaped, chocolate dipped rice krispie treats, other bakery goodies. Souvenir bucket of popcorn. Churros, Mickey pretzels with cheese. Dole Whips, fresh pineapple. Hot chocolate in souvenir cups… I could go on and on….
- Many places also serve Toddler meals for $3.99 vs. $5.99 for the kid’s meals. They are significantly smaller and I have only seen Mac and cheese or chicken and rice offered. They were great when Quinn was a 2. I would hesitate to order it for him now; he just eats a lot more now.
- Check out menus at Allears HERE. It is a great way to get a feel for what is available before your trip and decide what places you might want to try!
- Character meals are quite a splurge, but can be worth a try. We really like Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel. It’s best to pre pay for your voucher online from GetAwayToday (or somewhere similar) and save a little money and tax + gratuity are included. Adults are $38, and kids are $20!
- Inside DCA there is a Tortilla factory and Sourdough Bread Bakery. Both offer very short tours with samples at the end. If you’re wearing your birthday button, then you might get a bag of tortillas from the tortilla factory! Hot, fresh bread or tortillas is a very yummy snack to hold you over as you make you way to a meal! These are located near the Pacific Warf Café.
- During the holidays, various limited time treats pop up around the Disneyland Resort including holiday themed Candy like peppermint or pumpkin fudge or fresh candy canes. My favorite is cookie decorating. I am a sucker for huge sugar cookies and lots of frosting!!
Rain Forest Café is a fun place to eat. It can be pricey. If you join their Safari Club you get discounts and priority seating (which can be very helpful during busy times). It can be loud and as a result scary for little ones….
We plan on eating at the House of Blues on this trip. Restaruant.com now sells their $25 gift certificate/coupons on their website. These great coupons are regularly $10 (for a $25 value), but watch coupons online, you can regularly get them for 70 or 80% off! Plus remember these are really only coupons and you do need to meet minimum spending limits and then pay an automatic 18% gratuity (typically check the fine print on the coupon). We scoped out the menu already and figure if we stick to a $35 (the min. to use Q) -$40 bill and we will end up paying only $20ish. Not a bad price and within our set lunch/dinner budget.
ESPN Zone could be a good break for sports junkies. My husband has watched football games on trips when necessary…. (Which for me is never, but his standards are different than mine)!
Snacks at the Marceline’s Confectionery, Jambi Juice, and Wetzel’s Pretzels are nice and quick if you are walking through, window shopping or just taking a park break!