6 reasons why Disneyland quick service food kicks Walt Disney World’s quick service food to the curb

disneyland diningThere are so many awesome things about Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Regardless of which resort you grew up on, visit both Disney coasts.

I’m a WDW girl, only recently making my fourth visit to Disneyland, and I tend to prefer some attractions at the World because it’s what I remember as a child. However, the World has a lot to catch up in terms of quick service dining.

Disneyland has WDW beat here.

When you’re eating quick service at WDW, you usually have a few food options throughout all four parks that vary little. Pizza, burgers, chicken fingers, various sandwiches and salads. The only spot offering more variety in quick service dining is World Showcase at Epcot.

Now I’m not saying that quick service dining hasn’t improved at Walt Disney World, now with healthier options and vegetarian choices. But, as I’ve said, they’re lightyears behind in comparison to their pals on the West Coast.

So, why is Disneyland quick service dining SO much better?

  1. Fresher Ingredients
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    Jolly Holiday Salad at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

    I mean, just look at this salad at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland. The basil vinaigrette was the perfect addition to this sweet salad. I felt that whenever I ordered any kind of fruits or vegetables at quick service restaurants at the Disneyland Resort, they tasted way fresher than those at WDW. This salad was filled with mixed greens, tomatoes, dried cranberries, spiced pecans and feta.

  2. Better themes
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Churro cone and Dinoco cup at the Cozy Cone Motel in Disney California Adventure

First of all, Cars Land at Disney California Adventure is one of the best-themed areas of any theme park I’ve ever visited. The Imagineers really brought their A game with this expansion.

The Cozy Cone Motel, based on Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel in Cars, feels like you actually stepped into the movie. The office. The lawn decorations. The occasional pal from Radiator Springs (the cars drive up and park here at various times). And, most importantly, the cones. Pop Cones (popcorn), Chili Cone Carne (chili served in a cone), ice cream cones, cones filled with pretzel bites, and, my personal favorite, the churro bites cone (pictured above). Plus, these souvenir Dinoco cups are too cute to even be real.

3. More healthy options 

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Photo from Disney.com

Though I have never eaten particularly healthy (why can’t I have fried chicken and cupcakes at every meal), I’ve been trying to recently. I felt like there were more options for healthy eating at DLR, especially beyond a salad. I love a salad as much as the next twently-something white girl, but they can get old. Fast.

The Paradise Garden Grill at Disney California Adventure, for example, serves kabobs, a great low-carb and low calorie meal.

Of course, Disneyland is in California, so they tend to make better decisions about preparing food than those of us in the South. But…

4. Plenty of not-so-healthy treats, too

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Matterhorn Macaroon at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

When you’re on vacation, dessert is mandatory. Though I enjoy the quick service desserts at WDW, there aren’t a ton of options. Sure, there are macaroons in France at Epcot and Dole Whips (my forever favorite) at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, but quick service restaurants tend to offer cookies, carrot cake, and chocolate cake. There is some variance, but not a ton. This macaroon, however, was one of the best I’ve had. It was huge (I wrapped some up and saved it for later) and represented one of my favorite Disneyland attractions, the Matterhorn Bobsleds.

5. Better creativity and quality 

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Fried green tomato sammy at the Hungry Bear Restaurant

A fried green tomato sandwich with mango slaw, remoulade, heirloom tomatoes and havarti cheese on multigrain bread — are you kidding me? These ingredients are more along the lines of an episode of Top Chef rather than a counter service restaurant in a theme park. This dish is original, and the ingredients were high-quality.

Who knew I had to go to all the way to California to get this Southern-inspired sammy? The FGT sandwich is available at the Hungry Bear Restaurant in the Critter Country area of Disneyland.

6. More options overall

Chicken tacos at Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill at Disney California Adventure
Chicken tacos at Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill at Disney California Adventure

These chicken tacos were fresh, yummy, and incredibly filling. Also, they were served on a real plate with guac at no extra charge!

Something I especially enjoyed is that I could get these tacos with a side of rice and beans, just rice, just beans, just roasted vegetables (pictured), roasted veggies with rice, and roasted vegetables with beans. WDW will usually let you sub out fries for carrot sticks or apple slices, but that’s about it. I enjoyed having more options. P.S. The roasted veggies were great!

Note: I think WDW and Disneyland are evenly matched as far as table service. Both are outstanding.

In summary: Disneyland quick service is like eating at Epcot throughout your entire trip, but somehow, with more options. Now, get your tail to Disneyland and eat every thing.

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Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Merchandise, plus my Disneyland haul

The limited-edition Disneyland Diamond Anniversary merchandise is beautiful, and a good bit of the merchandise is only available in the parks. It makes me feel like this:

Shut-Up-And-Take-My-Money-1024x1280However, you can purchase some of the Diamond merchandise, including the limited-edition Alex and Ani bracelets, via the online Disney Store. See it all here.

What did I bring home from my recent Disneyland trip?

IMG_7320I snagged this Disneyland mug (with the cutest D-shaped handle) and the Disneyland forever Alex and Ani bracelet.

Mug: Available via Ebay

Bracelet: Avaialble via Disney Store for $49.95

Photo via Disney Parks blog
Photo via Disney Parks blog

The Disneyland Decades collection celebrates different decades of the park. I purchased the 1965-1974 baseball tee for my husband (pictured above).

I can’t find the baseball tee online, but here’s the mug on Ebay.

Photo via Disney Style Blog
Photo via Disney Style Blog

I had to grab a pair of the Disney Diamond Anniversary ears as soon as I entered the park. How else could I celebrate appropriately?

11907179_10204701573271800_8754856599285930960_nP.S. — Check out the Disneyland Snapchat filters. So fun!

Ears available via Ebay.

281c014e214d43f5de4ce7766e32ba64The anniversary-edition popcorn buckets were precious, so one of those came home, too. I like to use my popcorn buckets as piggy banks (for the Disney fund, of course).

Available via Ebay.

11887832_10204701547351152_5017061429739030262_nThough it’s not a Diamond-exlusive item, the souvenir cups in Cars Land are perfectly themed. Available in red, green, and blue, I opted for the blue because of the T-rex. The cups are just under $12 in the park and include a drink with your purchase. They do not include free refills.

Available via Ebay.

To Disneyland I Go: Try new things

I’m on my way to Disneyland for the dazzling Diamond Celebration! This will be my fourth visit to the Happiest Place on Earth, and my first time staying on property. Below I’ve listed some new things I’m trying during the trip. Be sure to follow along on Instagram, @tarabullburton.

  World of Color Dining Package: I’ve never seen WOC (I know this is different from the regular WOC , but I’m still excited). We are dining at Wine Country Trattatoria, and then we will have reserved viewing for WOC. I love dining packages that incorporate a nighttime show.

  
Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps Tour: We’ll get to go behind the scenes to discover Walt’s inspiration for Disneyland! I’ll provide a full review when I return.

  
Storyteller’s Cafe Critter Breakfast: Ive eaten at Storyteller’s before, but I’ve never been to Chip n’ Dale’s Critter Breakfast. We will see Chip, Dale, and other critters, such as Rafiki and Meeko. 

The best Disney/Universal crossover tees on a budget

I love wearing graphic tees to the parks, as I’ve mentioned before. I’ve especially grown to love crossover tees, featuring two or more characters/movies/fandoms in one shirt. Crossover tees featuring something from the Disney Universe and the Universal Universe are especially cool because it’s a nuance you rarely see. Crossover memorabilia always reminds me of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Featuring Looney Tunes and Disney characters, the film is arguable the first feature-length crossover movie with widespread popularity.

Check out these unique tees below. P.S. – They’re all $20 or less

Bunch of Bad Apples

Teefury.com
Teefury.com

HURRY — The price is for today only.

Website: TeeFury

Price: $11

Crossover: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Disney) and the Minions/Despicable Me (Universal)

Related Attractions: Seven Dwarves Mine Train (Magic Kingdom), Snow White’s Scary Adventure (Disneyland), Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem (Universal Orlando, Universal Studios Hollywood)

Jurassic Toy

Teefury.com
Teefury.com

Website: TeeFury

Price: $20

Crossover: Toy Story (Disney/Pixar) and Jurassic Park (Universal)

Related Attractions: Toy Story Midway Mania (Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s California Adventure) and Jurassic Park River Adventure (Universal Orlando)/Jurassic Park the Ride (Universal Studios Hollywood)

Hatboxbusters

TeePublic.com
TeePublic.com

Website: TeePublic

Price: $20

Crossover: The Haunted Mansion (Disney) and Ghostbusters (Theme park rights may still belong to Universal, though the film rights belong to Sony)

Related Attractions: The Haunted Mansion (Disneyland) — Only the Disneyland location currently features the Hatbox Ghost. Unfortunately there is no current Ghostbusters attraction at Universal. There used to be an awesome Ghostbusters show at Universal Orlando, since replaced by Twister: Ride it Out. With the upcoming new Ghostbusters movie, if Universal truly still has the theme park rights to Ghostbusters (there are conflicting reports), it could become a more relevant attraction. It could at least be a fun addition to Halloween Horror Nights.

A.T.

TeePublic.com
TeePublic.com

Website: TeePublic

Price: $20

Crossover: Star Wars (Disney) and E.T. (Universal)

Related Attractions: Star Tours (Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disneyland) and the E.T. Adventure (Universal Orlando)

The Haunted Sewer: Quick Sludge

TeePublic.com
TeePublic.com

Website: TeePublic

Price: $20

Crossover: The Haunted Mansion (Disney) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Nickelodeon – Partnership with Universal)

Related Attractions:The Haunted Mansion (Magic Kingdom, Disneyland). There is currently no Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles attraction or any Nickelodeon attraction at Universal. You can purchase Nickelodeon merchandise and see Nickelodeon characters, such as Spongebob Squarepants, in the parks. You can meet the turtles at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Florida, where you can combine your stay with theme park packages at Legoland, SeaWorld and Universal Orlando.  Once upon a time, you could meet the turtles at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, turtle van and all!

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https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2733/4533517028_5052788115_b.jpg