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I Ate My Way Through Disneyland and Didn’t Gain an Ounce

As a self-dubbed foodie, I couldn’t wait to try out the different fare during our recent Disneyland vacation.

The holiday season was in full swing at the ‘happiest place on Earth,’ so I knew there would be all kinds of mouth-watering festive offerings to indulge in.

As you’re about to see, it was quite the tasty adventure. In fact, I ate my way through Disneyland and didn’t gain an ounce.

Without further adieu, here’s the tasty highlight reel of our Disneyland vacation.

Warning: this post may not be suitable for hungry readers.

The Famous Drumstick


When in Disney, be sure to dine on a giant Turkey drumstick.

It was lunchtime when we first stepped foot in Disneyland — all of us were famished from travelling. Of course, there was no way our girls were about to sit through a sit-down meal, having just walked through the magical gates. Instead, we grabbed one of these enormous turkey drumsticks from a vendor in Fantasyland.

It was so big that all four of us were able to share just the one. The skin was crisp and perfectly seasoned, while the meat was juicy and tender — so much in fact that we needed plenty of napkins to avoid making a major mess of our clothes. I’ll admit, I felt a bit like a savage with one of these bad boys in hand, but there were tons of families doing the same thing. For a healthy, quick protein fix, these are a great, affordable option.

Fried Chicken at the Plaza Inn


The Plaza Inn is an iconic Disney landmark.

This Victorian-theme restaurant is one of the original Disneyland Park landmarks that serves hearty classic American fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Before our trip, there were a few fellow moms on social media who recommended that we visit this foodie gem for their famous fried chicken and biscuits.

I love fried chicken, but usually avoid it like the plague because of the word the F-word (fried). BUT, who is going to say no this deliciousness? The chicken even tastes better than it looks and the mashed potatoes were so creamy, just like the kind they serve at The Keg.


The famous fried chicken at The Plaza.

Between the four of us, two fried chicken meals were more than enough. VM Tip: For families with older children, simply order an extra piece of chicken to ensure you have enough. The Plaza Inn’s lunch and dinner specialties range from roast chicken and pot roast to pasta and salads with convenient cafeteria-style service. Children’s menu selections include kid-size chicken and pasta dishes.

The ornate Victorian décor offers a grand setting for any meal. However, the weather is beautiful so we dined outside on the Plaza Inn patio, which turned out to bea great spot for people watching or for viewing parades on Main Street, U.S.A.

Mickey Mouse P-Cakes at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante


The Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante is all ready for the holiday season.

We stumbled upon this hacienda when looking for a spot to stop for breakfast. This popular cafeteria-style dining destination at Disneyland offers a selection of Mexican dishes that’ll make your mouth water, such as burritos, chilaquiles, tamales, chorizo and carne asada.

If it’s traditional breakfast fare you’re craving, there’s also the option of eggs, biscuits and gravy, or my girls’ new breakfast favourite —their signature Mickey Mouse pancakes!


I think their eyes were bigger than their tiny tummies.


The famous Mickey Mouse pancake.

We loved being able to watch the kitchen prepare them right in front of us. As you can see, our little mousekateers could have shared just the one.

Holiday Sweets & Tasty Treats


Holiday-themed treats at Disneyland.

‘Tis the season for something sweet,’ especially if it’s one of these delectable delights freshly made and available only during the holidays at Disneyland. From peppermint mochas and gingerbread men to snowflake rice crispy squares and snowman-shaped shortbread cookies, there is no shortage off holiday offerings to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The Grand Californian Dining Experience: Napa Rose

Napa Rose at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif.

Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif.

During our stay at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, I had the pleasure of dining at Napa Rose — an absolutely gorgeous, award-winning restaurant and lounge that offers California-inspired cuisine in an elegant setting.

I dined on the Grilled Diver Scallops, with wine country corn, lemon marmalade, and bacon bubbles, followed by a shooter of Portobello Mushroom Bisque with brandied thyme ”froth.”

There was also the signature Pizzetta of “La Quercia” Smoked American Prosciutto going around — naturally, I had to try a slice of that.

Hand-harvested diver scallops, Napa Rose, Disney’s Grand Californian Resort

Hand-harvested diver scallops, Napa Rose, Disney’s Grand Californian

For dessert, our party tried a little bit of EVERYTHING. I wish I could tell you about each dish, but we gobbled them up before I could write down their names. The presentation of each plate was a real work of art.


Photo courtesy of Angela over at One Smiley Monkey.

Holiday Cultural Comfort Foods


Sausage and short ribs and sweet potato pie, oh my!

Over at Disney California Adventure Park, the Festive Foods Marketplace is filled with festive eats and treats inspired by holiday cultural comfort foods.

During a media party on our first night at the park, I had the chance to try a little bit of this and a little bit of that, including:

  • Braised Beef Short Rib with smashed potatoes and sauerbraten sauce
  • Vanilla Rice Pudding with apple compote and cinnamon streusel crunch
  • Brisket Potato Croquette with horseradish crème
  • Grilled Spicy Chicken Sausage with red beans and rice
  • Sweet Potato Pie with candied pecans
  • Gingerbread Bundt Cake with orange-vanilla sauce
  • Chicken Cilantro Tamale with roasted Tomatillo salsa verde

I know this seems excessive, but they were just small bites that were big on flavour and quality. When visit California Adventure Park this time of year, make sure to leave room for one of these tasty bites on the go.


As a child, the rides were the biggest draw. Now that I’m an adult, I found the food to be equalling thrilling. Just make sure not to devour a whole Mickey Mouse pancake or plate of fried chicken before going on the California Screamer or Tower of Terror — nobody else wants to see what you ate – leave that for Instagram.

When I got home I stepped on our scale, preparing for the worst. Turns out I had actually lost a few ounces.

“Wow, even the calories at Disneyland are magical,” I said to my husband, who laughed in response.

“OR, maybe it was the fact that we probably walked around 10 km a day going back and forth between both parks,” he said matter-of-factly.


There were so many other dishes and treats I didn’t get to try, but there’s always next time, right?

In addition so sharing meals, another great way for Canadian families to save on their Disneyland vacation is to take advantage of  a special discount that’s exclusive to Canadians that runs until Feb. 28, 2017.. Experience more magic for less with special savings on multi-day tickets and upgrades to Park Hopper tickets — all with Magic Morning early access (Magic Mornings are the absolute best). Save 25% on 3-Day or Longer Tickets and Enjoy More of the Disneyland Resort.

As always, I love hearing from you guys. What is your favourite thing to eat when visiting Disneyland or California Adventure Park?

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.valleymom.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/AB0_0175.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]One of Vancouver’s top Mommy Bloggers, Kristyl Clark resides in the beautiful Fraser Valley region of British Columbia, Canada surrounded by lush countryside, urban shopping centers, wineries and parks. This work-at-home mom of two little Valley girls is proving there is nothing bland about the burbs. This adventurous family seems to always be out on some sort of crazy quest, from helicopter rides and wild river rafting, to top-secret paranormal investigations and living the high-life sampling the fine wines and foods of the Fraser Valley region. Kristyl also publishes a monthly column in Black Press publications throughout Metro Vancouver titled ‘Pink Laundry’. The ValleyMom.ca blog inspires her loyal fanbase through the trials and tribulations of suburban family living, guiding readers to local hotspots and hidden gems in her Canadian backyard.[/author_info] [/author]

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