Before you head out to the resort parks, come up with a budget you are comfortable with. Knowing where you are financially is a huge step in finding the right dining services that are right for you.
My suggestion is small meals/snacks and 1 large meal. Large meals will slow you down if you want to take in a full day of the parks. Not to mention large meals can be torture on those fast rides so beware.
Visit the Disney resort website for all great options in and out of the parks. You also have the option to select eating options based on price per person.
Disneyland Resort Dining
Some of our favorite places to eat in Disneyland are:
Plaza Inn - this is where we enjoy minnie's breakfast, a character dining experience. This can be a heavy meal so take things slow as you are fueled for the day.
Bengal BBQ - We each get a skewer and share a large soda. They also had a fabulous jalapeno and cheese pretzel that wasn't spicy. Its great for a light meal/snack.
Royal Street Veranda - they have amazing gumbo and clam chowder in bread bowls. We tend to get 1 per 2 people since it can be filling.
Tropical Imports - found next to the jungle cruise it is a great place to pick up fresh fruit. Its nice to grab a fresh apple to snack during the day
Tiki Juice Bar - I try to save this for an evening treat but they have the most amazing dole whip float. A dole whip is a pineapple ice cream of sorts in pineapple juice. Absolutely yummy. Arrive 20 minutes early for the tiki rom and enjoy a whip or my favorite a dole whip float.
My favorite places to eat in California Adventure are:
Cocina Cucamonga - the mexican food is great and with large portions it is easy to share for lunch or have your own for dinner.
There are carts with turkey legs we always hit up once. We share 1 large turkey leg and 1 large drink and we are set.
Ariels Grotto - soak up the fun with princesses and lunch at ariels grotto.
And the one place we can never go without is Goofy's Kitchen in Disneyland hotel. The food is fabulous, the characters are wonderful, and the most amazing memories have come from dining at Goofy's Kitchen. Our first dining experience at Goofy's Kitchen including my then 7yr old son totally twitterpated by Snow White and a sword fight with Goofy and Captain Hook tableside. Our most recent laugh was my son then 15 (last year) put in the corner for time out by chip because he was wearing a hat.
No matter your preference or budget, there are plenty of options to suit your dining needs.
To help with our vacation budget and pay off as much as possible prior to arriving on our Disney vacation, we purchase our Disney tickets in advanced. There are several places to make your purchase - Disney.com, Disney store, or my personal favorite getawaytoday.com. On getawaytoday.com we can get a 5 day hopper for only $195 which is a $45 savings over gate prices. For our family of 3 that saves us $135 that we can use towards a very memorable character dinner at Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland hotel.
You can also pre-purchase character dinners at the Disneyland resort, Pirates dinner adventure outside of the Disney resort, and other park tickets such as Universal Studios and SeaWorld. I love finding ways to save so we splurge in other areas.
Many of these you can use will call so you never have to worry about forgetting your tickets. Ask about will call prior to purchasing if this is important to your trip so there are no misunderstandings.
Until recently I never thought much about child safety when visiting a large park such as Disneyland. When my son was young, he was the only child in the group so there were 20 eyes on him. Now as we visit the park we have 3 young children and my son is part of those 20 eyes. It is now important we have child safety products for the young members of our group. A great place I have found that provides all our needs is My Precious Kid. They have products for child ID bracelets (medical and non-medical), safety harnesses, lost child tattoos, and more.
Check out these products for your next Disney trip (or anywhere for that matter)
While at Disneyland resort, if your child gets lost here is where you will find your child safely
The end of Main Street, U.S.A., next to First Aid.
Disney's California Adventure Park
Next to the Mission Tortilla Factory in the Pacific Wharf.
Downtown Disney District
There is no Baby Center in the Downtown Disney District. Lost children found in the Downtown Disney District are taken to the Lost Children location inside Disneyland Park.
When traveling with a group that includes teenagers who wish to explore the park without adults, always have a meeting point and time. Make sure your teenager knows exactly where the meet up point is and provide them with a park map so they can find their way around. If your group does not have cell phones, long range walkie talkies work well. The rule in our family is all group members stay in the same park. There is no park hopping and we all meet for meals. Our meeting place is in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle since it is the most recognizable attraction and the first you see as you walk into the park. Being a central location is an added plus.
My first and favorite hidden mickey is in the haunted mansion. If you don't know where it is, you will just have to keep your eyes open!
I love cake pops. They are so incredibly simply and so yummy. What makes them better is when someone can add a Disney spin on them like Bakerella has!
You can find her amazing creations on DisneyFamily.com
She has created - Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pooh, Mrs. Potts, and so much more!
See all her Disney inspired recipes at http://family.go.com/disney/pkg-disney-recipes/pkg-bakerella-recipes/
You can also visit her blog for more creations at http://www.bakerella.com/ (she also has an amazing book!)
*photo shared from DisneyFamily.com and not owned by this blog
I grew up in Southern California which made Disneyland very accessible to my family. It was not uncommon to find us visiting upwards of four times a year. It was home to us. It was the familiar place where we played and laughed no matter our age. It was a magical place where all our dreams would come true.
We moved from California in 1992 when I was only 17 but Disneyland never left our hearts. We all try to make the trip back once a year to rediscover our love and share with the new members of our family.
We have added spouses and children to our lives. As our children grow and one soon to be an adult I reflect on the years of past while at the Magic Kingdom.
Last year we visited for the very first time during Halloween. In all the years of living just an hour away we never visited during any holiday. The decorations were amazing and we were able to see the park with new eyes.
This year we are returning for the Christmas season. We will again see a new Magic Kingdom with all new surprises and wonder. Because of this I have decided to start this blog and share what we have learned, fun tips, and more!