The Best and Most Economical Ways to Eat in Disneyland!

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In just a few days, our family will be celebrating our first annual Glen & Helen Reynolds Family Reunion. This first reunion of our family that begins with my husband and I and includes our children and grandchildren will hopefully be the start of a bi-annual event that will keep our family ties strong as our family grows and spreads out. Since Madalynn is the one who got this event to be in the works over 2 years ago, it is, of course, happening at Disneyland. You will be hearing all about it and how we planned it and made it happen soon. But, I wanted to kick start the event by talking about food.
I'm sure you know that going to a Disney Park is not an inexpensive event. Food will be a major part of the cost. But, you need to eat and you need energy to do all of that walking around the Park. So, it is a really good idea to plan ahead. It is especially a good idea to plan ahead when you have many children to feed. Since I have 10 going on 11 grandchildren, I decided to do some research into the most economical ways to eat in Disneyland.
Bring Things Into the Park:
The folks at Disney are very nice about allowing food to be brought into the park. You can bring in a small ice chest of about 24 inches and your own water. They also have places to fill your water or you can get complimentary cups of water at the restaurants. Water flavoring packs are wonderful to add some variety to your water. Also, we are bringing in snacks for everyone that are Disney themed so that when the kids want the pricey snack in the Park that they see, we will have a nice replacement for them. But, that will be the topic of an upcoming post.
Alicia and her family are able to go to Disneyland fairly often and she has told me that they try to bring one meal into the park with them and then eat one meal in the park. She has taken in homemade Lunchables or Burritos. One idea I've had it to take in my Yeti, filled with soup. The Yeti keeps things nice and hot all day. Since we are going in February, warm soup might really hit the spot. Sandwiches would be easy to pack as well. Strollers really come in handy for carrying your ice chest and other supplies. Whatever you bring, you are sure to save a bunch of money.
What to Purchase In the Park:
I feel like if you are staying anywhere besides a Disney Resort Hotel, it isn't very convenient and is time consuming to leave the park to eat and then to come back in. Besides, there are some fun themed restaurants with good food to eat that adds to the whole Disney experience. So, eating at least one meal in the park is worth a small splurge. But, I understand that budgets may be really tight. I've been there! So, I went through all of the menus of the places to eat in Disneyland, (you can do that on the app, but I've done it for you) and used some of my personal experience to make you a printable list of the best ideas for eating on a strict budget! I am going to post the list here, but also add a pdf for you to print it if you want it handy for reference in Disneyland. Sometimes there are places where splitting a meal is a great thing to do and there are some other tips, so watch for those!

Have You Heard? These are the Best and Most Economical Places to Eat in Disneyland!
Within Disneyland Park:
  • Bengal Barbecue-This is more of a snack place found in Adventureland across from the Indiana Jones ride. But, if you arent super hungry, you can get meat and vegetable skewers here to keep the hunger cravings down for a low price. For Example: 2 Kinds of Beef Skewers available at $5.49 each. A Chicken Skewer for $4.99. The vegetable skewer, which is particularly hardy with more items on the skewer that the meat ones, $4.49.
  • French Market Restaurant-This is one of my husband favorite places to eat because the portions are large, so sharing a meal is an option. Plus there are more options for different kids meals than there are in some other restaurants. The French Market is found in New Orleans Square, off of Main Street. May husbands favorite item is the Beef Stew in a Bread Bowl for $11.49. Kids can choose from Chicken and Rice for $7.99 or Pasta with Marinara Sauce for $6.99. The location of the French Market is great. You can look out and see the river and the ships, plus, there is often a New Orleans Band playing here.
  • Harbour Gallery-Right across from the Haunted Mansion is this little place that sells Lobster Rolls and Chowder in Bread Bowls ($11.49). The soup is totally shareable because the bread bowl is so filling! Not a lot of places to sit though, so stake out a place quickly!
  • Jolly Holiday Bakery-On Main Street as it reaches New Orleans Square; this Bakery is great for breakfast or lunch. Try to go at off times because the line can get long. If you got up early to enter the park when it opened and therefore ate an early breakfast at your hotel, then while Jolly Holiday is still serving breakfast sandwiches, pick one up for an early lunch! Their breakfast sandwiches can be purchased for right around $5.99! Lunch time sandwiches are about $10.99. Of course, if you have small kids, you can split the lunch sandwiches with them, making the price very reasonable. Also, check out Jolly Holidays soups! Tomato soup with a bread stick is just $5.99, as well as Turkey Pot Pie Soup that comes with a stick of pie crust! Dont forget the delicious Matterhorn Macaroon for dessert for just $2.99.
  • Red Rose Tavern-At the back of Fantasyland you will find this Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant. Maddy and I fell in love with it when we were there a couple of years ago. My favorite dish there is the Beef Poutine for $10.99. I liked it so well that I made my own copycat recipe for it on the blog. It is a large portion, so definitely shareable. There are smaller portions called Chip Dishes on the menu such as Pizza for $6.99, a Burger for $7.99 and Chicken Nuggets for $7.99. There is a convenient water refill station in Red Rose as well.

Within California Adventure:
  • Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta-The pasta dishes in this restaurant look totally splitable for kids. The Spaghetti and Meatballs is only $10.99 which is very affordable if split between the little ones.
  • Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill-One of our favorite places in California Adventures! Lots of shareable foods like their Street Tacos at $12.99. And, a toddler meal of Arroz con Pollo for $4.49 sounds like something any kid would love!
  • Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Caf-This is another place that serves Breakfast Sandwiches that would make a really great late morning lunch! They run from $4.99-$5.99 each.
  • Pacific Wharf Caf-They sell Sour Dough Rounds for $5.99 here. If you bring your own soup into the park in a Yeti that keeps it hot, just get a Sour Dough Round, hollow it out and pour in your soup! Save a few bucks and it will be delicious! They also have a Turkey Pesto Club Sandwich for $9.99 or a kids Turkey Sandwich for $7.99. (Remember, the kids meals come with other things like a fruit and milk.)
  • Smokejumpers Grill-I think that this is one of the best deals in the park! You can get burgers and sandwiches here that are great, but for a smokin deal, (pun intended), check out the Extra Supplies! There is Bison-Black Bean Chili served with a corn muffin and cilantro cream for just $6.49. Or, go with that same Chili served over Cheese Fries for $7.99! Kids can get a Chicken Skewer or a Burger for $7.99, or just get them the chili for less!
My printable file is a lot cuter than that version, so click the button to get it!
I hope these dining ideas help you stay on your budget! Spoiler-We made the Mickey Mouse Waffles for our first morning in our Vrbo house! If you are in a hotel, eat there! Save those inexpensive Disney breakfast sandwiches for an early lunch as I suggested in the list!
Okay! There will be a lot more Disney to come soon! Talk to you then!

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