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Old 5 Jul 22, 06:54 PM  
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liz-paul
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Disneyland questions (mainly food based!)

Hi folks!

First off can anyone tell me if there is anything more to Downtown Disney than a collection of restaurants? We arrive in Anaheim the night before our 2 Disney days and I can't decide if I should book a meal in Downtown Disney or not? Is there anything much to do or see? I'm fairly happy to just wing it and book either cheesecake factory or PF changs a couple of days before, but don't know if we'll regret that and would be better off booking something in Downtown Disney. As we only have 2 days in Disney we probably won't have another chance to visit DD.

Secondly, any recommendations for food or drink places within Disney that we really should try (QS type places as I don't want to make reservations) either because the food is good, the theming is cool, it's a quiet and comfortable spot etc etc. I don't want to be tied to reservations as we have so little time, but I'd like to make a list of places that we might try on the day.

Re the above - is there anywhere that requires reservations that you would really recommend, and why? I am a very flexible person and will happily drift from my plans if someone can persaude me otherwise! I def don't want to book lunch reservations but I could be persauded to book a dinner one on one evening in the parks.

And lastly, any gluten free eaters want to give me their recommendations? Disneyland doesn't seem to be just as good as Disney world but I have found a few places/meals that will cater for me in the parks.

N.B. I am trying to get a reservation for Oga's cantina but so far no luck.
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Old 5 Jul 22, 07:45 PM  
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Willeve
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Following with interest, we’re in exactly the same boat, 2 days in Disney, thinking Downtown the night we arrive.
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Old 5 Jul 22, 07:52 PM  
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Bad Pink Tink
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Originally Posted by liz-paul View Post
Hi folks!

First off can anyone tell me if there is anything more to Downtown Disney than a collection of restaurants? We arrive in Anaheim the night before our 2 Disney days and I can't decide if I should book a meal in Downtown Disney or not? Is there anything much to do or see? I'm fairly happy to just wing it and book either cheesecake factory or PF changs a couple of days before, but don't know if we'll regret that and would be better off booking something in Downtown Disney. As we only have 2 days in Disney we probably won't have another chance to visit DD.
Im just back from Disneyland. Other than the restaurants, theres a large World of Disney, a Disney Homewares shop, a Disney dress shop, Marcelines Disney Snacks, Disney Wonderground Gallery, Sephora, Pele Soccer Shop, Pandora Jewelry, Sunglass Hut, Curl Surf clothes, The Lego Store and Star Wars Trading Post shop. At the moment there is also a small The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure Exhibit until September 5

Originally Posted by liz-paul View Post
Secondly, any recommendations for food or drink places within Disney that we really should try (QS type places as I don't want to make reservations) either because the food is good, the theming is cool, it's a quiet and comfortable spot etc etc. I don't want to be tied to reservations as we have so little time, but I'd like to make a list of places that we might try on the day.
Last week the quick service places I ate at were
  1. Red Rose Tavern in Fantasyland - Tomato and Mozzarella Flatbread, Grey Stuff, Cold Brew Coffee
  2. Docking Bay 7 in Galaxys Edge - Pasta with Braised Beef, Vintian Mineral Mousse
  3. Pym Test Kitchen in Avengers Campus - Not so Little Chicken Sandwich
  4. Paradise Garden Grill in California Adventures Park - BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich
  5. Jolly Holiday Bakery on Main Street - breakfast yoghurt parfait and coffee

On my January trip I ate at
  1. Galaxys Edge - Ronto Wrap
  2. Edelweiss Snacks - Chimichanga and Corn on The Cob
  3. Little Red Wagon Cart - Corn Dog
  4. Docking Bay 7 in Galaxys Edge - Endorian Fried Chicken Tip-Yip

Originally Posted by liz-paul View Post
Re the above - is there anywhere that requires reservations that you would really recommend, and why? I am a very flexible person and will happily drift from my plans if someone can persaude me otherwise! I def don't want to book lunch reservations but I could be persauded to book a dinner one on one evening in the parks.
Yes but you need to book at 60 days at 2pm UK time, as restaurant reservations are booking out fast.

Blue Bayou is a unique to Disneyland experience but its not for everyones taste. Its a restaurant located in Pirates of The Caribbean ride and the menu is Cajan / Creole / Louisiana style food. Its also pricey, but for the unique experience its worth it to me. You can book just the meal or you can upgrade for the Fantasmic dining package, which gets you access to the front waterside viewing area.

Cafe Orleans has similar style food, but is a bit cheaper.

Carnation Cafe on Main Street or Riverbelle Terrace are mid price popular places.

If you want to do fine dining, Carthy Circle in California Adventures or Napa Rose in Grand California Hotel.
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Old 5 Jul 22, 07:57 PM  
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Bad Pink Tink
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For Downtown Disney I recommend making a reservation as it can get very busy.

Downtown Disney places I have eaten at
  1. Ralph Brennans Jaz Kitchen - evening reservation
  2. Tortilla Joes - evening reservation
  3. La Brea Bakery - breakfast reservation

There are also walk up places where you can get limited take out / quick service , both Ralph Brennans Jaz Kitchen and La Brea Bakery have this option but lines can get long.

Some places have a walk up wait list, but again you could be waiting 30 or 40 minutes for a table, depending on the day and time of day.
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Old 5 Jul 22, 08:20 PM  
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liz-paul
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Thanks tink!

Are there any bars in downtown Disney that we could just show up to for a couple of drinks in the evening? It's so hard to tell from looking online.

Have found a place on the website this evening to search all restaurants across disney at the same time and I was shocked at how few options were left already (I think we're about 6 weeks out) so I may well simply be forced to eat off-site and QS. Which isn't a problem anyway!
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Old 5 Jul 22, 08:41 PM  
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Bad Pink Tink
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Originally Posted by liz-paul View Post
Thanks tink!

Are there any bars in downtown Disney that we could just show up to for a couple of drinks in the evening? It's so hard to tell from looking online.

Have found a place on the website this evening to search all restaurants across disney at the same time and I was shocked at how few options were left already (I think we're about 6 weeks out) so I may well simply be forced to eat off-site and QS. Which isn't a problem anyway!
Im not surprised reservations are hard to find. I booked mine at exactly 2pm UK time 60 days in advance and a few hours later many places were already booked up.

If there is something you really want , there are two options, keep checking every day at random times and check the day before, as when people cancel the reservations go back into the pot.

Most of the places in Downtown Disney you either need a reservation or you take a chance with the walk up wait list line. Its not like a high street area where you can just walk into a bar and get a drink.

Uva Bar, Ballast Point, Black Tap or Taquería and Tortilla Jo's are the places for getting a drink, but they are more restaurants that serve alcohol than bars. You can go to any of them and just order drinks but you will have to wait for a table.

Hearthstone Lounge in Grand California Hotel is a normal hotel bar, so you can just walk in and order a drink. You can also go to Craftsman Grill in Grand California Hotel but you need a reservation, Im not sure if they do walk ups.
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Old 6 Jul 22, 10:38 AM  
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liz-paul
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I think we'll just stick with a go with the flow approach and hope for the best. We're happy anough to eat QS in the parks, eat offsite (there are plenty of places around) and maybe even look for last minute reservations/walk ups at the time. Luckily we don't have any must do things for Disney! Although my youngest has said he might want to build a droid (an eyewatering $99.99 plus tax upwards, but still less eye watering than the build your own lightsaber at $219.99 plus tax! ) and I think that needs to be prebooked too!
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Old 6 Jul 22, 10:51 AM  
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Bad Pink Tink
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Originally Posted by liz-paul View Post
I think we'll just stick with a go with the flow approach and hope for the best. We're happy anough to eat QS in the parks, eat offsite (there are plenty of places around) and maybe even look for last minute reservations/walk ups at the time. Luckily we don't have any must do things for Disney! Although my youngest has said he might want to build a droid (an eyewatering $99.99 plus tax upwards, but still less eye watering than the build your own lightsaber at $219.99 plus tax! ) and I think that needs to be prebooked too!
Some people say you dont need reservations but so much has changed since Christmas, there are so many more domestic and local people going to Disneyland now and their focus is more on going for a meal and a few rides and just spending the afternoon or evening in the parks. The crowd patterns have really changed so much since the before Covid times. Ive now been twice in 2022, so I can very recent experience in the parks

If you want a cheaper option to build a lightsaber, go to Star Traders in Tomorrowland. There is a build your own Lightsaber station there , its not the high quality collectors item from Galaxys Edge but its a much better option for families You dont have to book a reservation, you can just walk into the shop.

I would also advise to use the App and mobile order. I had food at about 11.05 am at Red Rose Tavern. They switch from breakfast to lunch at 11am. The walk up queue was out the door, but I sat at table outside, used mobile order and walked straight in to collect my food.

I did the same at Pyms Test Kitchen in Avengers Campus. The walk up line was huge, but there was no one doing mobile order I walked right in and collected my food with no wait.
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Old 6 Jul 22, 10:59 AM  
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Originally Posted by liz-paul View Post
I think we'll just stick with a go with the flow approach and hope for the best. We're happy anough to eat QS in the parks, eat offsite (there are plenty of places around) and maybe even look for last minute reservations/walk ups at the time. Luckily we don't have any must do things for Disney! Although my youngest has said he might want to build a droid (an eyewatering $99.99 plus tax upwards, but still less eye watering than the build your own lightsaber at $219.99 plus tax! ) and I think that needs to be prebooked too!
Going with the flow is my motto - after all you are in laid back California !

You can always look and book at last minute via opentable (we did that in June) other times walk up, join a virtual line and get a text when your table is ready. The option are plentiful. We dont do counter service ever so like full table service and in all. my trips I have never encountered an issue with going with the flow - your plans sound ideal to me
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Old 6 Jul 22, 01:03 PM  
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Malificent
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Just wanted to add to Tink’s recommendation on the mobile ordering. We found using that great. We often saw huge walk up lines at the counter and we just sailed on by and collected.

We ate at:
Pyms
Ronto roasters
Casey’s
Tomorrowland (not sure if the name)

All mobile ordering worked brill.
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