Disneyland/California Adventure is a learning curve experience. When spending as much as $500 to $1,000 a day for a Disney parks trip you want to get up to speed quickly.
Disney Resort Anaheim Food, Drink and Fine Dining
Disneyland Resort dining can add another chunk of big bills to your vacation expenses. A meal at The Blue Bayou for three adults and a child ran us about $175. This restaurant had high quality food in a unique environment at the bayou night setting start of the ride in The Pirates of the Caribbean.
Meal entrees ran $30 to $47 and child selections from $8 to $12.
The Blue Bayou Restaurant filet mignon and lobster tail $44.99.
Disney Parks Restaurant Dining link lists all the restaurants and cafes in the Disney Resort with a description of food style and price range. You are advised to book reservations to avoid long waits for table service dining. Most of these restaurants will run $20 to $40 per person.
Most of the café dining around the parks will average about $10 to $15 per person.
One of the best value meals I had was at Flo’s V8 Café in the new Cars Land.
Flo’s V8 Café in Cars Land.
Flo’s V8 Café served a fresh carved turkey sandwich, peas and carrots, grapes and apple rings with a drink for $6.99.
California Adventure offered a dining section at Pacific Wharf with Mexican food at reasonable prices in Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill. Entrees from $10 to $13.50 with drinks around $3. Children’s taco or burrito for $6.50 includes rice, fruit cup and drink.
Pacific Wharf area of California Adventure reminded me of Monterey. This is primarily a dining area with clam chowder bowls, Mexican food and Chinese food restaurants. The roof of Wine Country Trattoria at the Golden Vine Winery is seen on the far left of the photo.
Lucky Fortune Cookery at Pacific Wharf serves Chinese food bowls at similar prices.
Wine Country Trattoria at the Golden Vine Winery served pasta dishes under $20 per plate. Our family ate at this restaurant with six adults and a child for $170. House wine by the bottle was $20 with a wide variety of wines by the glass for $8 to $15 available.
Bring Your Own Water and Food
Disney conducts a bag search for guests entering the park prior to reaching the ticket booths at the main gates. I carried my travel water bottles and some food snacks each day into the park. Unlike an airport security screening, liquids were not questioned or confiscated at the Disney security checkpoints.
One bottle of water will run $2.79 or more plus tax in the Disney park concessions. I filled our water bottles many times daily with tap water from water fountains near the bathrooms and a few other locations around the parks. I tended to drink a bottle of water per hour in the sunny days when the temperature was near 80 degrees. I saved about $20 per day on water purchases and I consumed plenty of water during our seated restaurant meals at the parks.
Mickey Mouse sourdough bread $7.50 at Pacific Wharf, Disney California Adventure.
Unless you are an avid theme park guest, then 8am to midnight is 16 hours of park time in summer season and probably four to six hours more than you will be able to handle hanging out in Disneyland and California Adventure, particularly in the summer heat. There are many other places to eat outside the Disney Resort parks.
My travel style favors hitting the parks from about 8am to noon or 1pm to get easy admission to the rides, going back to the hotel to swim, rest and hang out during the hottest part of the mid-day and return to the parks for the evening. 12 hours a day is possible in the park with breaks to eat, rest and relax away from the crowds.
Ric Garrido, writer and content owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.