It’s no small challenge to eat your way through a Disney park. I’ve accepted food challenges before and lived to tell the tale. I forgot, though, that this isn’t fantasy food—it’s real, it’s filling, and it took a co-worker and I two days to eat even this much. If you are preparing a trip to Disneyland Resorts, perhaps this will get you a little more ready with some tips about the food you will encounter along the path of princesses and evil queens!
Since we started at lunchtime we immediately dug into food at The Hungry Bear in Critter Country.
This is where they were featuring a new seasonal menu item, the Pulled Pork Hot Dog. Yep, two of your junk food favorites on one delicious lobster roll, topped with BBQ sauce, citrus coleslaw, fried jalapenos, cilantro, and served with a side of your choice: onion rings or sweet potato fries.
We added our Disney expert’s favorite, the signature Chili Cheeseburger, which is a third of a pound of Angus chuck topped with home-style chili, cheese and a hand-battered onion ring.
Next it was on to a churro, heavily doused with cinnamon sugar and a kid-favorite throughout the park. My co-worker ordered two but I over-ruled him in true Disney queen fashion—after finishing off the above, one bite of the churro was all I could take. I was already wimping out on the challenge.
That snack held us until the heat drove us to think about cool drinks. The first one we encountered was the Boysen Apple Freeze, which tasted like the best cold apple cider ever, with a shot of boysenberry.
We substituted standing in line at The Nightmare Before Christmas ride rather than eating dinner, but the soup in bread bowls was a popular choice of people to eat while waiting in line, and looked delicious. Throughout the park we saw other healthier options such as pineapple or watermelon wedges, and maybe not-so-healthy cookies, pretzels and baked goods, many of them sporting Mickey ears. Oh, for an unlimited budget and extendable stomach.
Still, we packed in plenty for one short afternoon. The next day, it was game on.
We started with the twists—a pumpkin and a chocolate (there was also a cherry), and a second Boysen Apple Freeze. At the same counter was a cheese and garlic bread that was pretty tempting, but we had to pick our poison, so to speak.
We legally cut in line at the Dole Whip stand, choosing to enter via the Tiki Room, where we got quick access to a Dole Whip Float AND saw the fun and colorful show. The float is definitely the way to go. It’s made with pineapple juice and Dole whip, topped with a maraschino cherry, and the trick is to let the whip melt enough to stir it in and have a frothy drink that balances out the sweet just enough.
By lunch time we wandered over to California Adventure to check out Flo’s Café, trying the Coke®-infused BBQ ribs with mashed potatoes and coleslaw. We wandered back to the Corn Dog Castle later that night, irresistibly drawn to the idea of a hot link corn dog. Hint: order the large Coke. It’s spicier than you might think.
We really wanted Mickey Mouse Beignets and Mint Julips from the Café Orleans, but the line was a perpetual deterrent.
So, instead, we sipped on an icy cherry lemonade in a Chernabog (from the movie “Fantasia”) souvenir cup, one of their Halloween specials.
Oh, and there was that stop at Clarabelle’s for a double dip of ice cream in a chocolate dipped waffle cone. But since we didn’t take a picture before taking a bite off the top, that doesn’t count, right?
Did I mention the bucket of popcorn, sold for the season in a Zero doghouse, complete with light-up nose? Or the 60th anniversary cupcake, with a choice of flavors that included orange, Bavarian cream, and chocolate, with enough icing to make it shareable?
It’s enough to make you take a bite out of the apple . . .