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Disneyland

dining

The Disneyland Resort offers a variety of options for dining in the parks, hotels and Downtown Disney. Disney has three major classification for dining: Character Dining, Table Serve Dining and Quick Serve Dining. Character Dining is unique dining experiences with specific characters that mingle among the guests and provide photo opportunities. These are the most popular dining experiences for young kids. Table Serve Dining is sit-down restaurants. Quick Serve Dining is counter-serve restaurants.

There is a Dining Plan for the Disneyland Resort, but it does not offer a huge amount of savings like the Dining Plans at Walt Disney World. We recommend making Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR) for table serve dining and character dining experiences. These can be made 60 days in advance.

We have rated and reviewed each dining restaurant from the perspective of parents with young children. We take into consideration variety of kid's menu, healthy food options, service, cleanliness, atmosphere, and overall enjoyment by children.

Preschoolears does not review bars and lounges, or pool side dining.

B=Breakfast is served
L=Lunch is served
D=Dinner is served
S=Snacks
SF means the area in the line or dining is stroller friendly.

Quick links: California Adventure, Character Dining, Downtown Disney, Resort Dining

Disneyland

Disneyland Plaza Inn

Main Street

Jolly Holiday Bakery (B,L,S)
 
Bakery and restaurant that serves sandwiches, salads, sweet treats, and coffee. Great options for kids and adults, and seating is outside along Main Street which is lovely. Popular spot so lines can get long. Highly recommended. SF
Carnation Cafe (B,L,D)
 
Small table serve restaurant in the middle of Main Street, serves American-style favorites. Family-friendly. Reservations recommended.
Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor (S)
 
Dreyer's Ice Cream served in many different varieties including waffle cones dipped in chocolate and sundaes; very popular and can attract long lines. SF
Market House (B,S)
 
Coffee shop that serves Starbucks Coffee, as well as pastries and bakery treats. Newly renovated with more space for guests.
Plaza Inn (B,L,D)
 
Breakfast is a Character Meal with Minnie & Friends; buffet style serving that offers a very wide variety which is appealing to young children; lunch and dinner do not have characters. Reservations recommended.
Refreshment Corner (L,D,S)
 
Hosted by Coca-Cola; Serves only hot dogs, fries and soda. Has a lovely place to sit and eat where a band or piano will be played. Also is located next to the candy store. SF

Fantasyland

Edelweiss Snacks (S)
 
Primarily serves hot snacks like turkey legs, chimichangas and corn of the cob. Also serves some frozen drinks. Menu does not usually appeal to young children. SF
Troubadour Tavern (L)
 
Quick-serve dining with a medieval themed menu. SF
Village Haus Restaurant (L,D)
 
Menu includes hamburgers, flatbread pizza, hot dogs and fries. Basic fare with not the most healthy options for kids but parents will enjoy the flatbread pizzas. SF

Frontierland

Big Thunder Ranch BBQ (L,D)
 
Family-style dining with a barbecue menu. If your young children enjoy barbecue chicken and corn-on-the-cob, they will love this restaurant with the western theme. Dining is outside. Reservations recommended. SF
The Golden Horseshoe (L,D,S)
 
Counter-serve dining with a simple menu for the show. Menu is mostly fast-food style but also has ice cream and sundaes that are fun to have during the great show. SF
Rancho del Zocalo (L,D)
 
Counter-serve dining with a south-of-the-border menu. Kids menu has tacos and quesadilla. Has a wonderful outside eating area with Mexican lanterns and blooming flowers. SF
River Belle Terrace (B,L,D)
 
Counter-serve restaurant that serves original Mickey Mouse pancakes for breakfast. Menu has lots of options for adults and seating area overlooks the Rivers of America. Kids options can be limited.
Stage Door Cafe (L,D)
 
Counter-serve restaurant with mostly fried food on the menu. Located close to Rivers of America if you need a quick bite before Fantasmic!. SF

Adventureland

Bengal Barbecue (L,D)
 
Counter-service restaurant that mainly serves meat and veggies on skewers. Menu might not appeal to young children.
Tiki Juice Bar (S)
 
Home of the popular Dole Whip and Dole Whip Float. Serves the best desserts at the park! Located next to the Enchanted Tiki Room. SF
Tropical Imports (S)
 
This is simply a fruit and beverage stand, but if you are looking for a healthy snack for your kiddos, this is a nice stop. SF

Critter Country

Disneyland Hungry Bear Restaurant

Harbour Galley (L,D)
 
Counter-serve restaurant that serves chowder, soups and salads. SF
Hungry Bear Restaurant (L,D)
 
Counter-serve restaurant that serves classic American food like cheeseburger and fries as well as their signature Fried Green Tomato Sandwich. Kid's menu is lacking. Atmosphere is very busy and crowded but overlooks the water. SF

New Orleans Square

Blue Bayou (L,D)
 
Table-serve restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Quiet and relaxing atmosphere which is not always best with small children. Menu more appealing to older school-age kids rather than preschoolers. Reservations recommended.
Cafe Orleans (L,D)
 
Table-serve restaurant whose menu is New Orleans inspired. Outside dining on New Orleans Square. Kids menu simple and includes mac-n-cheese. Reservations recommended.
French Market Restaurant (L,D)
 
Counter-serve restaurant with outdoor dining that sometimes includes jazz music and entertainment. Menu can change but includes some good kid's variety. SF
Royal Street Veranda (L)
 
Counter-serve restaurant that mainly serves soups including chowder and gumbo. SF

Tomorrowland

Disneyland Tomorrowland Terrace

Redd Rockett's Pizza Port (L,D)
 
Counter-serve restaurant with a menu of pizza, pasta and salad. Good variety for kids to choose from and atmosphere is space themed. Popular with families. SF
Tomorrowland Terrace (L,D)
 
Counter-serve restaurant with a menu that includes cheeseburgers, fries, salads, and sandwiches. Kids menu is basic but popular. Seating area overlooks stage for Jedi Training and other performances. Busy and crowded area. SF
Ears Tip To avoid the heaviest traffic for counter-serve, consider eating lunch and dinner a little early so young kids don't wait in long lines and have hunger meltdowns. Consider this idea as well for reservations at table serves to give you more flexibility in choices.

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California Adventure

Buena Vista Street

Carthay Circle Restaurant (L,D)
Clarabelle's Hand Scooped Ice Cream (S)
Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe (L,D,S)
 
Soups and sandwiches as well as Starbucks coffee. Lacks a kid's menu. Ample seating. SF

Hollywood Land

Award Weiners (L)
Fairfax Market (S)
 
Offers fresh fruit, healthy snacks and drinks
Schmoozies (S)
 
Delicious fruit smoothies kids will enjoy. They are large so they may want to split with a sibling or adult. Only open certain hours of the day.
Studio Catering Co. (L)
 
New cart style quick-serve with sandwiches and salads. May not have anything that appeals to young kids.

Paradise Pier

California Adventure Boardwalk Pizza

Ariel's Grotto (B,L,D)
 
Breakfast and lunch are character dining with the Disney Princesses, hosted by Ariel. Princesses include Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Belle and Cinderella. Food is quite good and offers good variety for children. Lots of photo opts but meal can feel rushed with characters going in and out. Reservations recommended. Stairs make this restaurant not stroller friendly, and Cast Members are sometimes unfriendly.
Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta (L,D)
 
A new counter-service restaurant at the pier that serves gourmet pizzas and pastas. Lots of variety and plenty of dining space. Good options on the kids menu including spaghetti with turkey meatballs. SF
Corn Dog Castle (L,S)
 
Great corn dogs! Favorite spot at the park!
Paradise Garden Grill (L,D)
 
Counter-serve with mediterranean menu items. Unique offerings on kids menu including chicken skewers which might appeal to the school-age crowd. SF
Paradise Pier Ice Cream (S)
 
Soft-serve ice cream that kiddos love! SF

Pacific Wharf

Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill (L,D)
 
Counter-serve restaurant that serves Mexican food. Has good variety and shares large dining area with other counter-serves. Has wide-variety in menu but kid and toddler menu is a little lacking although kids will enjoy what they serve. SF
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate (S)
 
Desserts and treats of ice cream cones and sundaes; delicious desserts
Lucky Fortune Cookery (L,D)
 
Counter-serve restaurant with asian menu. Food is lacking in flavor and kid's menu has only one option. May be a good restaurant to skip. SF
Pacific Wharf Cafe (B,L,D,S)
 
Counter-serve dining with sandwiches, salads and soups that are amazing! Watch for long lines as this is a popular stop. Salads and soups are served in signature Boudin sourdough bread bowls. Kid's menu is sandwich or macaroni, but school age kids can easily split a regular item. SF
Wine Country Trattoria (L,D)
 
Table serve restaurant that is a fusion of Napa Valley and Mediterranean. Also features the World of Color dining package that is a separate reservation. Kids menu includes fish, chicken or choose-your-own pasta which is a great choice for picky-eaters. Service is very poor which takes away from dining, and dining can take a long time which is hard for little kids. Lunch and Dinner available. Reservations recommended.

Condor Flats

Taste Pilot's Grill (L,D,S)
 
Counter-serve restaurant with custom-style burgers as well as chicken sandwiches, ribs and fries. Good variety on kid's menu and spacious dining area. This is a popular location. SF

Cars Land

California Adventure Cozy Cone

 

Cozy Cone Motel (L,D,S)
 
Mainly serves snacks and desserts although one cone serves chicken dishes. Long lines are abundant. SF
Fillmore's Taste-In (S)
 
Healthy snacks and drinks. Great selection and a cute location. SF
Flo's V8 Cafe (B,L,D)
 
Quick-serve dining that offers delicious choices although service is very slow which is hard for kids. Kids menu has healthy choices. Staff is very friendly and helpful. Seating is mainly outside so you can watch Cars Land walkers by. SF

Quick links: Disneyland, California Adventure,Character Dining, Resort Dining

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Character Dining

Disneyland Goofy's Kitchen

Ariel's Grotto (B,L,D)
 
Have breakfast, lunch or dinner with Ariel and other Disney princesses! Besides Ariel, other princesses include Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, and Cinderella. This is a great way to get a one-on-one with your favorite princess. Service is lacking at this experience.
Disney's PCH Grill (B)
 
Located in Paradise Pier, this dining features Mickey and Friends, which can include Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, Donald and Minnie but characters are subject to change. Great relaxed atmosphere.
Goofy's Kitchen (B,L,D)
 
Located at the Disneyland Hotel, this character dining experience is a favorite. Characters include Goofy and many other characters that change frequently, from Chip & Dale to Mulan to Rafiki. Buffet includes a kid section as well as an adult section. Fun place to meet characters. Highly recommended.
Plaza Inn (B)
 
This breakfast is located inside the park and is hosted by Minnie & Friends. Characters vary each time but can include Winnie the Pooh & friends, the Fairy Godmother, Chip & Dale, Captain Hook, and of course Minnie Mouse. Crowded seating but a fun dining with characters.
Storytellers Cafe (B)
 
Beautiful atmosphere at the Grand California. This breakfast is hosted by Chip & Dale, and includes additional unique characters like Brer Fox and Koda from "Brother Bear". Great food and a nice setting for meeting characters. Staff are very friendly and engaging with kids.

Downtown Disney District

The Downtown Disney District is an area of shops and restaurants that is free for all visitors. It stays open much later than the parks. It is considered more of a nightlife venue than a kid-friendly location.

Downtown Disney La Brea Bakery

Catal Restaurant (B,L,D)
 
Mediterranean menu with a kids menu that has standard kids fare (mac n cheese, hot dog, hamburger) but the atmosphere and bar may not be appealing to the younger crowd.
Earl of Sandwich
 
Known for some of the best sandwiches, they serve their sandwiches hot. Expect a line to order and get your food. There really isn't a kids menu so younger kids who aren't bit sandwich fans might not enjoy this one.
ESPN Zone (L,D)
 
Sports-themed restaurant/bar with traditional American menu including ribs, chicken, and pasta as well as cheeseburger and fries. Kids menu includes mac-n-cheese, hamburger and PB&J. Atmosphere may be loud but it will be perfect for kids to be noisy. Sports games may be too hard for preschoolers. School-age kids who love sports may enjoy this location.
Haagen-Dazs (S)
 
Serves ice cream scoops, sundaes and smoothies. Long lines make this a crowded stop but maybe not the best place for ice cream. Staff not always friendly. Location is quite small so this is not stroller friendly.
House of Blues (L,D)
 
House of Blues is known for the music performances that are featured at their locations. Menu includes everything from steaks and ribs, to sandwiches and burgers. Kids menu is sparse and is mainly standard fare of mac n cheese, pizza and grilled cheese. The dark atmosphere may not be appealing to young children.
Jamba Juice (S)
 
Mainly serves fruit smoothies. Since the smoothies are rather large, they are great for young kids to share. SF
La Brea Bakery & Cafe (B,L,D,S)
 
A sandwich/bread shop that is a quick, counter serve as well as a table serve restaurant - you choose what you would like. Offers pastries, coffee and treats as well as salads, sandwiches, and breakfast fare in the morning. Indoor and outdoor dining, but can be crowded and have lines to order during meal times.
Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria (L,D)
 
Traditional Italian fare of pasta and pizza, but on the pricier side and some dishes are mediocre. Kids menu is pasta and pizza, but a little pricey considering how much young kids eat. The outdoor dining has a nice seating area.
Napolini (L,D)
 
Fast-serve Italian food - salads, sandwiches and pizza - that is connected with Naples Ristorante. Long lines make this inconvenient and the fare is lower quality.
Rainforest Cafe (B,L,D)
 
Rainforest theme restaurant that is geared toward the family crowd. Atmosphere is noisy and busy with animal noises, animatronic animals and storm/jungle simulation going on constantly. Kids menu has lots of variety. Usually a fun place for kids to visit although can be distracting and overwhelming.
Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen (B,L,D)
 
New Orleans theme menu with live jazz music in the evenings. Usual crowd is more adult and kids menu is standard fare. Bar and live music may be overwhelming and unappealing for young children.
Tortilla Jo's (L,D)
 
Mexican style restaurant with a wide variety of items on lunch and dinner menu, although a bit pricey. Kids menu will be appealing to youngsters as it includes quesadilla, tacos and burritos. Large dining area attracts crowds. There is some outdoor dining. Good atmosphere for families.
Tortilla Jo's Taqueria(L,D)
 
Fast serve fare from Tortilla Jo's. Mediocre fare and seating outside in Downtown Disney is not always great for young kids.
Wetzel's Pretzels (S)
 
Serve fresh, hot pretzels in a variety of flavors. If you are visiting Disneyland, get a Mickey pretzel in the park instead as it is more fun. If you need a quick snack for kiddos, this is a nice light treat. SF

Resort Dining

Grand Californian

Napa Rose (D)
 
Fine dining restaurant at Grand California that serves an American and California inspired menu. Kids menu includes chicken, salmon and tenderloin, as well as special themed dessert boxes. This is a five-star restaurant whose atmosphere may not be appealing to young children. The typical dining crowd may not be as tolerant of young children as well.
Storytellers Cafe (B,L,D)
 
Character breakfast is buffet and includes characters like Chip n Dale, Koda and Kenai, and Brer Rabbit & Fox. Lunch and dinner are buffet or menu. Food is excellent and wide variety of options for children. Atmosphere is friendly and decor is warm and beautiful. Staff is very friendly and helpful. Reservations recommended. Stroller parking outside of restaurant.
White Water Snacks (L,S)
 
Mainly quick grab snacks but also deli sandwiches, fries, grilled chicken, hot dogs and drinks. A great place to grab snacks and treats for the kiddos to take back to your room or grab to take into the park. Can get long lines at meal times. Small space inside can make strollers difficult.

Disneyland Hotel

The Coffee House (B,L,S)
 
Coffee house that also serves quick sandwiches,snacks, pastries and drinks.
Goofy's Kitchen (B,L,D)
 
Character dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner with Goofy and friends (characters can vary). Loud and energetic atmosphere that appeals to most young children. Buffet dining that has adult items as well as wacky kid items like PB&J pizza. This is a young kids favorite! Lots of photo opportunities including a family photo in the beginning. Reservations recommended. Stroller parking outside of restaurant.
Steakhouse 55 (B,D)
 
Fine steakhouse dining that includes dinner and now a new breakfast menu. If parents would like to have a fine dining experience and still have appealing food for the kiddos, this is a good option although the atmosphere might not be appealing for youngsters. Breakfast menu for kids includes Mickey pancakes and scrambled eggs. Reservations recommended. Menus available online.
Tangoroa Terrace (L,D,S)
 
New casual dining counter-serve at Disneyland Hotel that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as quick snacks. Outdoor eating areas. Lacks a little Disney "magic" but might be good for a quick, simple bite to eat for kiddos. SF

Paradise Pier

Disney's PCH Grill (B,D)
 
Character breakfast with Mickey & Friends with a surfing theme. Buffet dining which is appealing to the younger crowd. Dinner is non-character but has a very kid-friendly buffet menu including make-your-own pizza. Reservations recommended. Stroller parking outside restaurant.

Quick links: Disneyland, California Adventure, Character Dining, Downtown Disney, Resort Dining

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Last Updated November 2012