A few Disneyland tips!

>> August 26, 2009

Ok, so I hadn't really mentioned it, but we are actually planning another trip to Disneyland in September, for Peter and Quinn's birthdays! Anyway, someone just requested my eating tips at Disney, so I figured I should confess about our upcoming trip. :-)

Hopefully I am back to full energy by then! This is perfect timing for me to review my "food ideas" for our trip as well!

Breakfast: We always eat breakfast in our room, (quickly as we like to be there when the gates open, it always the best time of day to be there!).

  • You can bring groceries with you or have the delivered (if you need a lot) from Vons (safeway) or albertsons. There are also little gift shops/convenience type stores around (depending upon where you stay) to grab a few things. Bring/Buy Cereal, granola bars, bagels etc. and then buy some milk would be the easiest thing!

  • Now if that doesn't work for you can grab a muffin and drink (milk/coffee) on the way to disneyland at Mimis (assuming you stay along Harbor). La Brea Cafe in DTD (really close to the park entrances) also has a quick service area where you can grab something to eat and go.

  • You can grab a sandwich at McDonalds (also along the way from HOJO) or stop and eat at IHOP, McDonalds and Mimis. You get a free breakfast entree for signing up to be a member of Mimi's e-club. I would pick the anaheim location if you plan on using it there, I honestly don't know if it makes a difference. I also don't know if you can use more than one Q at a time (if multiple family members join). I am guessing not...but you can always eat breakfast there more than once and save some money each time.

  • Park dining is expensive, so besides timing, I also try and save money on breakfast by not eating in the park. There are places open in the park, along with a bakery on mainstreet to grab a fun sweet something if you want to go that route.

  • Character Breakfasts: Character dining is expensive, although breakfasts would be the cheaper route depending upon the location you go to. If you really want to do this, are splurging or have vouchers included in your package; I would stretch this into a Brunch/early lunch by going as late as possible. (call and ask about the latest reservation times). That way you have a few early hours in the park and use this meal as a break.

Lunches/Dinners: We almost always eat in the park. Sometimes we have grabbed Mimi's to go on our way back to our room for a break. It's on the way back to the HOJO.

  • Sharing food is always a good option, especially at cafeteria locations, where you can see the portion sizes up front (Pizza Port is one). Although I can say the portions are usually pretty generous no matter what.

  • I have also done the kids meal route. (Peter of course can't... he needs more food). However, I find its just enough not to overeat, besides we always budget for snacks!

  • If you have a little one (toddler), they also sell toddler meals for like $3, but its truly for toddlers... We sometimes grab it for Quinn.

  • Taste Testers Pilot in DCA has a nice self serve condiment bar, so if you like your burger loaded up, this is a good place to make it your way!

  • Pacific Wharf Cafe also in DCA has huge bread bowls full of soup and salad. Its definitely a place to fill up!

  • If you are in DCA, the tortilla factory and bread bakery tours are worth bopping into for a snack (they are very short) and you get a sample on your way out. Plus if you are visiting for your b-day (and are wearing your b-day button), then the tortilla place usually gives you an ENTIRE package of tortillas!

  • Here is one website that has menus uploaded for the different places. What is also nice, is they have upload dates so you know how recent they are. Its a good way to get an idea about food types and prices.

  • Downtown Disney: We don't generally eat there, but we usually stay the HOJO which is going the wrong direction for us. We have enjoyed ESPN zone and Rain Forest Cafe, both can be expensive. We are also members of the Rainforest Cafe safari club, so we get a tiny discount on eating there... its still too expensive for my blood! There is also a pretzel place and jamba juice for a quick bite among other places.

Snacks... Always leave room for snacks at Disney.

Also there is a service called Ridemax that helps people plan out their trip and maximize their ride time. It sounds interesting, but costs money, so not something I would generally do. Plus we go fairly regularly so we have the ropes down. If you aren't a regular and want help that is one way to go.

I would however recommend spending a bit of time on the Disboards to see what disney fans have to say instead. I like to bop in and see what is happening. More specifically check out the "Fast Pass at DLR" section in this thread (near the top). There are a couple links there that explain Fast Passes and how to maximize their usage! I think that would be a better way to go vs. RideMax.

Ok. Any other questions? Sorry my blog seems a little rambling, but I wanted to get my ideas up quick this morning, while I felt good enough to do so!

Oh and here are some of my previous posts about our disneyland experiences: Click Me!! :-)


Teresa August 26, 2009 at 9:53 AM  

Thank you KC!! You are awesome!! That is sooo helpful. One other question. When you upgrade your tickets to annaul passes how much more is it? Also I am pretty sure you can get a discount at Rain Forest Cafe if you belong to Costco.Yup Just checked you can get a free kids meal.Thanks again!!

kc August 26, 2009 at 11:17 AM  

Hi Teresa!

Good to know about Costco. I actually had traded for a few free rain forest cafe kids meal certs and tried to combine that with my safari club discount, but they wouldn't let me :( I wonder if they would with the costco freebie? Its a fun place to eat, but I still think its high priced! If we do go though i will save my certs (they have no expiration date) and just use my costco card instead.

The Deluxe passport is $289, so you pay the difference between yours tickets and the AP. The premium is $429 with free parking and no blackout days, but that is too rich for us. We upgraded to the Deluxe last Sept (expires 9/28), so we used it in April and will again for this trip. It was definitely worth the $80 we paid in Sept last year to upgrade. Even one more trip would justify it in our case.

Oh and where did you find the costco discount for the rainforest cafe.. I haven't seen that before!


Teresa August 26, 2009 at 12:44 PM  

Congratulations on being preggo! That is exciting! I am not sure how much I paid for the tickets alone cuz I went through Coscto for the whole thing. Tickets and hotel. But that is good to know how much the annual pass is.
With Coscto and rainforest cafe if u show your card you can get the free kids meal which will be helpful to us with a 2 year old and a 4 year old. When I got my tickets in the mail there was a list of places to eat where if you use your coscto card you can get discounts or in the case of rainforest a free kids meal. I hope that makes sense. Trying to type and kids are going crazy. Sorry so long.

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