Finally! A blog post over a year in the making and I am so excited. Not everyone’s best friend moves away to Southern California (insert sad face here) but when they do, you visit them as often as possible, because a) it’s your best friend, and b) it’s Southern California and c) Disneyland.
“What could be more important than a little something to eat?” –Winnie the Pooh, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
We all know that the glorious state of California has much to offer, but one of my favorite destinations is Disneyland. Now let me be clear, Disneyland is not always glamorous, and you are likely already well aware of that. I usually have to mentally prepare myself for standing in lines and being in crowds, and I strategically pick a pair of shoes that won’t kill my feet by the end of the day but will still look cute for my Instagram pictures. But there is nothing, absolutely nothing, worse than being hungry and/or hangry in Disneyland (hangry = so hungry it makes you angry, or hungry and angry at the same time).
“Take one bite and all your dreams will come true.” –Evil Queen, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
So in preparation of a fantastic Disney day, one must plan on making sure to find the time to enjoy some of the fabulous foods of Disneyland. I don’t care how short the wait time is for Space Mountain, or if there’s a parade going down Main Street, if you’ve been in the park since it opened and you start to feel hungry, you need to stop what you’re doing and eat something.
“Slimy… yet satisfying.” –Simba, The Lion King
One of my first experiences with a staple Disneyland food was the famous Dole Whip. Let me just explain one thing- I am not a fan of pineapple flavored anything (except pizza- I KNOW I’M WEIRD STOP JUDGING ME!) but the Dole Whip is so tasty! It’s light and refreshing, especially on a summer day. No part of me, the pineapple scrutinizer, understands why the Dole Whip is so good. But just imagine if you were someone who liked pineapple under normal circumstances… If you haven’t tried a Dole Whip yet, put it at the top of your priority list the next time you’re in Disneyland.
“If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff!” –Remi, Ratatouille
During the magical thing that is the holiday season in Disneyland, you are sure to find some unexpected events. Walking through Disney’s California Adventure Park, my friend and I stumbled upon Disney’s Festival of Holidays, or in other words- So. Much. Food. It was obvious that by the time we got hungry that day, there was no other choice besides experiencing what the Festival of Holidays had to offer, because “when in Rome” right? I ended up at a small pop up booth called, “Spice Salutations” and ordered a delicious curry snack while Jen found herself a sesame and duck eggroll. The Festival of Holidays also brought one of my favorite things on earth- a beer flight. And when you experience a beer flight in Disneyland, you become certain, there is a God and there is no doubt that God is good.
“I’m gonna need about five hundred of your man-catching beignets for my ball tonight.” –Charlotte, The Princess and the Frog
Upon my most recent trip to Disneyland I had been anticipating trying some new Disneyland foods. I had a dream a week or so before my trip and had to call my friend Jen to tell her about it. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: So I had a dream about beignets.
Jen: About beignets?
Me: Yeah, and you were in it.
Jen: Okay! What happened?
Me: We were in Disneyland and I wanted to get beignets and you wouldn’t let me!
Jen: What? Why wouldn’t I let you?
Me: I don’t know but I was really mad at you and now I’ve been craving beignets ever since!
Jen: I promise we can get some beignets when you come to visit and we go to Disneyland! It’s going to be my sole purpose in life now.
Me: This is why we’re friends.
Jen: Yeah we can go get the Mickey shaped ones in New Orleans Square.
Me: THEY HAVE MICKEY SHAPED ONES?!
(Does a happy dance, proceeds to crave beignets, and eventually has all dreams come true in New Orleans Square.)
“Better look first, for if one drinks much from a bottle marked ‘Poison’, it’s almost certain to disagree with you sooner or later.” –Alice, Alice in Wonderland
Another Disney treat you can get in New Orleans Square is a nice, refreshing, non-alcoholic mint julep. And when I said, “treat,” and “nice,” and “refreshing,” I am completely LYING because I can say with full confidence that it is the most revolting beverage I’ve ever experienced. I’m not even sorry to say it. If you like drinking liquefied toothpaste mixed into instant lemonade then you may have a chance at actually enjoying this drink. Please use all caution when ordering it and don’t say I didn’t warn you when you decide to toss it in the nearest trashcan.
“I eat all four food groups, and look both ways before crossing the street… and take long naps…” –Lilo, Lilo and Stitch
I have to admit, in preparation of writing this blog post, I may have focused a lot of my efforts on Disneyland desserts (and I don’t regret it). But obviously, when spending an entire day or multiple days in the parks you need something a little more nourishing. There’s nothing more delicious than a good old-fashioned corn on the cob. You can find them near Frontierland and stop by the Golden Horseshoe to take a seat and watch a show. A frozen lemonade or two is a great pair on an especially hot day.
“Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, in the most delightful way.” –Mary, Mary Poppins
Remember all those times throughout this blog where I completely fan-girled over macarons? Well buckle up because it’s happening again. The Jolly Holiday Bakery Café is home of the swoon-worthy “Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron” and yes, I’m still swooning. It’s one enormous macaron with two normal sized macarons that resemble Mickey’s ears. It’s filled with a tart raspberry cream and several fresh raspberries. I always find myself reliving one of the best days I had in Italy, in fair Verona to be more specific, whenever I find macarons here in the states.
“Why, it… it’s a very unusual cake, isn’t it?” –Flora, Sleeping Beauty
There is a euphoric moment anytime you’re in Disneyland, casually walking from one attraction to another, when suddenly the heavenly scent of churros hits you. And getting a churro in Disneyland is NOT negotiable. How does Disney do it? I swear it must be magic. Jen and I experienced this moment while walking through A Bug’s Land last December.
Me: We just cheers-ed our churros!
Jen: We should do it again so you can take a picture for your Insta!
“Well, there’s the usual things: flowers… chocolates… promises you don’t intend to keep…” –Cogsworth, Beauty and the Beast
Because Mickey shaped beignets and macarons just aren’t enough, you have to get a Mickey Premium Bar when you’re in Disneyland. It’s vanilla ice cream on a popsicle stick dipped in chocolate- and obviously Mickey shaped. Let me just tell you about the complete devastation we experienced when a Toontown cast member informed us that Disneyland was “temporarily out of Mickey Premium Bars.”
Jen: But the chocolate!
Me: But my blog!
So we settled on Mickey shaped ice cream sandwiches instead, which made for a sweet treat as we waited in line for It’s a Small World. It’s not the same as the Premium Bar, but it’s still pretty darn good!
“First, to make the magic begin, you wiggle your nose, and you tickle your chin. Now close your eyes, and cross your heart, and presto! – breakfast, a la carte.” –Thomas O’Malley, The Aristocats
We all know the lines for attractions in Disneyland can be agonizingly long, and that experience is much worse when you’re hungry. I have two favorite a la carte snacks that I have to get when I’m waiting in lines. The first is a pickle from Tropical Imports right by the entrance to the Jungle Cruise. Disney even has a new garlic infused pickle option which is just as good as the classic option. If you’re just not a pickle person you can also find tons of fresh fruit options there as well.
Traditional Disneyland popcorn is another one of my favorites. There’s a popcorn stand right by the entrance to the Haunted Mansion and it’s usually a good place to stop and get a soda too for a little caffeinated pick me up. The line for the Haunted Mansion offers many spooky details to keep you entertained while you’re waiting, but it offers very little shade, so something refreshing to drink with a salty snack is a must.
“This looks like a good spot to rustle up some grub.” –Timon, The Lion King
I’ve had a handful of sandwiches/burgers in the Disneyland parks and by far the absolute BEST is the “First Order Specialty Burger” from the Galactic Grill in Tomorrowland. It comes loaded with tons of toppings including the best part, smoked bacon mayo, and you get your choice of a yogurt or French fries for a side (but let’s be real, there’s clearly only one choice). Forgive me for this completely un-photogenic picture because I was so excited to eat this burger that I put my blogging priorities second.
“I can’t take it anymore! If I gotta choke down on one more of those moldy, disgusting crackers.” –Iago, Aladdin
No matter who you are, who you’re with, or what your purpose is in Disneyland, always remember to take care of yourself. It’s easy to lose track of time and become exhausted by all the fun there is to experience. The food of Disneyland is just as exciting as the rides and parades, so make sure to treat yourself and enjoy your day! I promise you will not be disappointed! (Unless you get that mint julep from New Orleans Square).