Disney Food

A week ago my wife and I went to Disneyland in Anaheim, California. A couple of years ago we spent a few days at Disneyworld in Orlando. We did not have children with us either time. Disney may be running commericals advertising how much fun they are for adults, but they’ve clearly got a long way to go.

One thing we noticed in both resorts was a definite lack of good places to eat, or rather of sufficient good places to eat. Both Disney resorts have dramatically expanded their upscale (read: better than McDonalds) dining options in the last decade or two, but they’re not close to meeting demand. In both resorts, on-season and off, we’ve noticed that you absolutely must make a reservation (which Disney calls “priority seating” to try to explain why you still have to wait 30 minutes for a table after arriving right on time for your 8:00 reservation) to have any hope of eating something better than hamburgers and fries.

Once you get seated, the food at some of the nicer places isn’t bad. It’s not Michelin three-star by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s comparable to a typical nice New York restaurant, and maybe a little cheaper. (Guests from less expensive cities or with many children in tow may feel differently.)

There are a couple of tricks and lesser known places. At Orlando, there are much better, more plentiful, and less crowded dining options at Epcot than anywhere else in the resort. The Moroccan restaurant is especially worth checking out. At Disneyland, the wine bar under Hook’s Pointe often has empty tables with no waiting. Officially they only serve appetizers, but you can usually coax them into serving the full Hook’s Pointe menu. Also at Disneyland many restaurants will happily serve you at the bar even if no tables are available. And of course at Disneyland you’re really not very far from local, non-Disney restaurants, though these do tend to run more toward the McDonald’s/Del Taco/Denny’s end of the spectrum rather than Ducasse or the Gotham. Basically you just need to make your dining and restaurant reservations as far in advance as possible.

One Response to “Disney Food”

  1. John Cowan Says:

    Our experience (from XML 2001) was that several restaurants served exactly the same menu, despite differences in decor. It was way annoying to walk all the way to a further restaurant with an enticing name just to find the same old same old.

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