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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Dining at Disneyland

Our first night in Disneyland, we caught up with Shawna and Sherman for dinner at Rancho del Zocalo. They are now serving very nice fish tacos that are highly reminiscent of Pescado's before they were bought by Una Mas. Yummy.

Then we had breakfast at Carnation Cafe. Though their crossaintwich is an old favorite, Oscar's Choice was very nice with yummy breakfast potatoes. It's always a joy watching all of Main Street walk by while sipping coffee.

On Tuesday we were very disappointed to find that the Blue Bayou had changed their reservation policy. In the past, you could only get same day reservatons, or stand in the stand-by line. They've recently implemented 714-781-DINE. Now, all tables are reserved and can be reserved up to 60 days in advance. They were at that point booked through the next 2 days. For Rick and I, this was no biggie. We'll be back some other time, better informed. But for the woman in front of Rick in line, she was very sad because she'd waited five years to come back. I'm really not a fan of this new policy. It's akin to having a fast pass line (that you can get fast passes to 60 days in advance) but having no standby line. It's a shame really. We popped in later in the day to see if this was really the case and was told again, "No, there is no stand-by line anymore." So I decided it was time to pop into City Hall, just to express how this may make perfect sense from a restauranteur perspective, but from a guest experience perspective, it's a very bad idea. The desk clerk was concerned and called the manager of the Blue Bayou, finding instead his boss. Daniel and Thomas came and spoke with us after ten minutes and we spent nearly an hour talking about this, plus menu design, park history, and so on. (We both think his idea of Apple Slaw on the Monte Cristo is brilliant.) Anyway, he convinced us to accept a 11:30 reservation for Wednesday, and we accepted, even though that was the farthest thing from our objective. He also said that the current policy will come up for review next year and that he'll take our perspective into consideration.

So, we had a nice lunch at the Blue Bayou before heading home, complete with Monte Cristo and Roasted Pork Loin. For anyone who says the food prices at Disneyland are outrageous, they clearly aren't from around here, or they don't eat out much. For such a nice meal with perfect wait staff and unbeathable ambiance, it would cost far more elsewhere. And after the 15% AP discount, it's a heck of a bargain.

So, the new number for Disney Dining reservations is 714-781-DINE. Use it, and I highly recommend taking a leisurely lunch at the Blue Bayou at your first opportunity. It's a huge part of the Disneyland Magic.

Other treats from our trip included fresh made caramel apples, dark chocolate Rocky Road (also fresh made on Main Street), and a yummy churro. Disney food has definitely come up in the world. I'd also heartily recommend the salads at Pizza Port.


  • No stand-by for Blue Bayou? That sucks. I really love dining there (I celebrated my birthday there specially 'cause I'd never been before) and I think to take away from the park's magic to have to reserve in advance is wrong. There still should be some space for people who come that day without preknowledge so that they can share in the magic. Thanks for taking the time to express this view and I will do the same should I visit Disneyland this year.

    By Blogger Zhaneel, at 4:12 PM  

  • Today I thought of you because I had a monte cristo panini. What the heck is that? You may well ask. Its the same but nit deep fried. A lot less decadant but still quite good. I was able to eat the whole thing which is 4x more than I can say for any monte cristo I have ever had.

    By Blogger vile, at 12:58 AM  

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