A Foodie's Guide to Disneyland: Christmas Edition
I recently went back to Disneyland for a short two day trip to check out the park with all of its Christmas decorations. Like many people, this is my absolute favorite time of the year! And although I didn't grow up going to the park often, one of the first times I went back to visit, as an adult, was two years ago in December. I fell in love with the ambience and all the Christmas lights, trees, holiday shows and seasonal treats. So, I was excited to get to experience it all over again this year.
I thought I would use this post to highlight some of my favorite Disneyland foods (and especially, a few holiday dishes offered only throughout this time of year). I didn't get to eat each item on my list this past visit (with only two days, it felt impossible haha). But I included foods I've eaten before and thought were delicious, goodies that I just recently tried this past trip, and treats that I haven't eaten yet, but heard are must-haves when going to the park.
I am by no means a Disneyland "expert", so please feel free to comment below and add any more items I missed (or your personal favorites)! I always love getting food recommendations and will make sure to remember your suggestions next time I visit. =)
Had to start the day off with a latte
1. Gingerbread Cookie- Jolly Holiday Bakery (Disneyland)
This was literally one of my first stops at the park. I didn't want a big breakfast (since we had a fast pass for Space Mountain early in the day ) so I thought I'd grab a coffee and a muffin or something. But I saw that they had gingerbread cookies, so I opted for one of those instead. This is a treat that Disney sells specifically during the holidays, and it did not disappoint! It was big enough to fill me up for a few hours, but not so big that I felt stuffed or overwhelmed by the ginger flavor (ginger can be overpowering at times, but the amount of the spice in this cookie was just right). It's a yummy snack - perfect for eating with a hot coco or latte.
2. Monte Cristo and Pommes Frites - Cafe Orleans (Disneyland)
Man, this is a hearty meal! I could only really eat 1/4 of the sandwich and had to share the rest haha. A monte cristo is basically a turkey, ham, and swiss sandwich fried in a (supposedly) light batter and served with berry purée. Lastly, the sandwich is dusted with powdered sugar. This is worth trying at least once- it's a delicious, unique and super famous meal at Disneyland, available year round. We ordered a side of pomme frites (french fries) and those were the perfect compliment to the sandwich. The gumbo at Cafe Orleans (we had it as an appetizer) is super tasty as well. I'd probably only get the monte cristo again with a group of people to share it with because it is soooo much food. I tend to gravitate more towards eating lighter meals, more times a day versus having one or two big/heavy meals to keep me satisfied (this way, I'm able to try more things hehe). Overall, though, this is a sandwich worth indulging in with a friend or two!
3. Candy Cane Beignets - Cafe Orleans or Mint Julep Bar (Disneyland)
Picture Taken From Here
A picture of myself indulging two years ago- I love their beignets!
This holiday take on Disney's classic beignet is a treat! Beignets are basically donut-like pastries ( a little lighter and fluffier than a normal donut) smothered in powdered sugar. The seasonal beignets are a bit different that their regular counterpart because they have tiny crushed pieces of candy cane in the powered sugar (giving the powdered sugar a slight pink tint). Pairing this dessert with a peppermint mocha (also only available during the holidays at the Mint Julep Bar) is a perfect Christmas-y combination. The beignets come in a set of either 3 or 6, so depending on how hungry you are, you can pick how many you prefer having.
4. Chili Cone Queso and Chicken Verde Cone- Cozy Cone Motel (California Adventures)
As you can probably guess by the name, the chili cone queso is an edible bread cone filled with beef chili, cheddar cheese and corn chips . The chicken verde cone consists of chicken and salsa verde topped with queso fresco in a bread cone. I believe I had the chili cone two years ago when I went to the park in December and this past trip I had the chicken verde cone. Both were delicious but I'm slightly more partial to the chicken verde cone- however, it is pretty spicy! I really enjoyed the taste of this treat, but I did need to buy a water to ease the spice. This is a good choice snack if you want something a little different than your typical amusement park food (burgers, pizza, corndogs, etc.) It's available year round and I highly recommend it if you're walking through California Adventures.
5. Christmas Yule Log - Plaza Inn Restaurant (Disneyland)
Above Two Photos Taken From Here
I actually haven't tried this disney classic yet, but it's on my list! The infamous yule log comes in two variations during the holidays: a pumpkin flavor that you can get in November, and a chocolate or coffee flavor traditionally served in December (although this year, a Mocha Yule Log with candied chestnuts was also offered at the Festival of Holidays in California Adventures- more about that below ). Essentially, the yule log is a moist sponge cake with a creamy filling separating the different layers of cake. Honestly, as a person with a huge sweet tooth, this dish is just too irresistible for me to pass up. I'm for sure getting it next time I'm at the park for the holidays and I already can't wait to check it out!
6. Nachos at Cove Bar (California Adventures)
For sure, Cove Bar is one of my favorite spots ! I really love their nachos and artichoke dip and the pretty view you have of paradise pier as you're sitting, relaxing and enjoying your meal. It's a great spot, in my opinion, to rest a bit in the midst of all the walking and ride hopping you do at Disneyland. I wanted to make sure to put the nachos on this list because I've had them on both of my last visits to the park and thought they were really delicious. They offer lobster and steak nachos (although, steak nachos are not actually on the menu- but you can still ask for them). The steak version may be a bit more filling, but both are equally delectable.
7. Holiday Carmel Apples- Marcelines Confectionery (Downtown Disney)
This is a staple treat whenever I get a chance to visit the park. I'm actually not the biggest caramel apple fan in the world, but for some reason, I really love the ones sold at Disneyland. They're the perfect combination of sour and sweet (and, are fun to look at) =). Plus, it's a dessert that can be split between 2 or even 3 people and has a shelf life of up to a week- you can easily bring one back as a souvenir for friends or loved ones. I always bring one home to share with my family. The caramel apples are especially fun to get during the holidays because they are decorated for Christmas (they offer a snowflake apple, snowman apple, and Mickey and Minnie apples with santa hats). A seasonal flavor- dark chocolate apple with peppermint crunch- is sold around this time of year, as well.
8. Festival of Holidays- any Booth! (California Adventures)
This year, California Adventure had its very first Festival of Holidays event. The festival featured music, decorations, entertainment and food celebrated all around the world during the Christmas season. It was so awesome that Disney had an internationally-focused and themed event like that, and immediately after finding out about it, I knew I had to check it out. We only had the time (and appetite) to visit one kiosk so we chose to go to the Fiesta en Familia stand. They sold both pozole and ceviche and you already know I had to check out the pozole! It's one of my favorite dishes served around this time of year (that, and tamales..YUM!). While it did not live up to my Tia's signature pozole (in Disney's defense, her recipe is super tough to beat haha) it was still pretty good. The portion of the soup was somewhat modest, esp. for the price I paid, but I think the dishes sold at these stands were intentionally small so visitors could try a bit of everything. If I had the time, I would have also loved to try the Yuletide Yummies stand (particularly, the gingerbread bundt cake and mocha yule log), the Mosaic Delights stand (which had roasted lamb, mini falafel donuts, baklava and iced Moroccan mint tea), or the Spice Salutations stand ( which sold chicken and potato curry). I'm sincerely hoping this festival turns into an annual event with a rotation in menus and stands for many years to come.
*Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup made with hominy, pork (or chicken), and garnished with shredded cabbage, chile peppers, onion, oregano, radishes, and limes.
9. Churro Funnel Cake or Pineapple Upside Down Funnel Cake- Hungry Bear Restaurant (Disneyland)
Churro Funnel Cake- Picture Taken From Here
Pineapple Upside Down Funnel Cake- Photo taken from Here
Ok, so I have to admit, I've never actually had this plate either haha I wanted to try the churro funnel cake so badly this last visit but I simply did not have the room in my stomach to indulge. But trust me, I am absolutely getting this dessert on my next visit! The pineapple upside down cake is the seasonal version of the churro funnel cake this holiday season, and it looks scrumptious. Funnel cake is a quintessential park treat and the churros at Disneyland are sooo good, I can only imagine how mouth-watering this dish is. Funnel cake is an ultimate comfort food meal - making it a perfect addition to any Disneyland trip.
10. Mickey Shaped Waffles _ Plaza Inn (Disneyland)
Picture From Here
These waffles are legit, the bomb.com. I didn't have them on my most recent trip but I had them when I went to the park for my birthday in October and they were my favorite breakfast item. The dough was just so tasty and fluffy! My two best friends and I had them at the Plaza Inn as we dined with the characters. It was a fun experience and one that I recommend at least once when visiting Disneyland. These waffles didn't even really need butter or syrup, they were delicious all on their own. They are a must have when visiting the theme park!
I hope you all enjoyed this post! Please don't forget to comment below to share your favorite disney foods- esp. the seasonal options ! =)
My boyfriend and I at the park. We headed down to so-cal with some of his family members and met up with a handful of his old coworkers from the Aulani (Disney Resort in Hawaii) who happened to be at the park the same weekend as us- so awesome =)
The palace at night- so beautiful!
Merry Christmas guys! Wishing all my family, friends, and readers a joyous, blessed and healthy holiday season !