Our Disney Dining Experience

While preparing to go on this six-day trip to visit Disneyland Resort I read the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2010 edition. It was the second most useful item I brought with me, the first being a stroller to help out when Ruth got tired of walking or wanted to take a nap!

Given I read this book in-depth before our departure, I did not have the highest expectations in terms of what would become “Our Disney Dining Experience”. The book said that there was not much to choose from that was very close to Disneyland, and had ratings for the things inside Disneyland as well. Nevertheless, there were surprising moments throughout our trip that I wanted to highlight.

The food that I will feature is presented in chronological order in terms of when we ate it during the trip. First up is the smoked turkey leg, offered inside Disneyland for $8.

While it may seem pricey, as you can tell it is quite large and more than enough for dinner. While a bit salty, it was still juicy and definitely a tummy-filler. It was the only thing I had for my dinner and it kept me full much past breakfast the next day!

We also experienced Ariel’s Grotto for lunch for what Disney calls a “Character Dining” experience. It is basically a meal, where for a set price per adult and child you are guaranteed to see a number of Disney characters. In this case, five ‘princesses’: Ariel, Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Belle, Snow White and Jasmine. The appetizer presentation included quite a variety including antipasto, salad, and fruit jello. You could choose from a variety of entrees. Dinah and I had Cioppino, which included pretty good lobster, scallops, shrimp, fish and spicy chorizo. With a good-sized piece of crusty bread to soak it all in, I was quite full. Ruth had chicken kabobs with rice and a side of fruit. And yet, after all that we were still presented with a dessert platter. That shell to the right is made of milk chocolate, but was quite realistic as a seashell. The small cheesecake cups were a refreshing touch but the chocolate brownies were too much. Needless to say, we did end up taking much of the dessert dish back to the hotel.

By our third day Dinah and I were desperate for some rice. Thankfully Mimi’s Cafe was the closest restaurant to our hotel. I realize now that it is a restaurant chain but I was happy to be able to get some rice into me. The surprise was one of their starters, the crab fritters. While I could do without the bed of french fries they come on, the crab fritters were tasty, not too oily, and just the right texture. If I didn’t have my rice and baked salmon enroute, I could have easily had a couple more orders (sans french fries) as my dinner instead.

We also went to Award Wiener’s for a quick dinner on the go before watching the World of Colour water and light show. It was reasonably priced (as far as Disneyland goes) and pretty tasty as well. I had a regular hot dog, but here’s a shot of the chilli dog, which Dinah had never tried before and said she enjoyed.

For our last dinner at Disneyland, we went to Downtown Disney. At Napels Restaurant & Pizzeria I shared what was probably one of the tastiest pizzas I’ve had.

We ordered a large 1/2 Americana, 1/2 Pancetta E Ananas. The ingredients were fresh, the cheese was excellent and the thin crust a compliment to the pizza sauce. I kept the head shot of Ruth so that you can imagine how large a large pizza really is – can you imagine there is also a family size? We had leftovers that became our lunch for the next day.

Finally, our last supper before returning home was the biggest surprise of the trip. In LAX, near gate 24 there were only three food options: Burger King, Wolfgang Puck, and L.A. Roadhouse-Route 66. We decided on L.A. Roadhouse-Route 66 and I ordered the hot wings. For $12.99 I had big expectations, and I got big wings.

MEATY – larger than my previously mentioned Costco wings. They had the hot sauce on the side, but I think I actually like it a bit better that way. These were perfectly cooked wings, with just enough juiciness. You could tell that they use good quality oil, or change it frequently. By adding my own amount of sauce when I wanted, my chicken kept its crispiness and I controlled the heat.

There you go, six days – six dining experiences. My tummy just grumbled thinking about the chicken wings again!

Naples Ristorante E Pizzeria (Downtown Disney) on Urbanspoon

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