How to eat at Disneyland on a Budget.

How to eat at Disneyland on a Budget.

We look at how to eat at Disneyland on a budget of $30 for the day.   2 Meals and a snack! **UPDATED for 2017!**

 

Theme Parks, are notorious for charging a lot for their food, after all, they have a captive audience.  On top of the price of admission, you have to worry about how your going to eat for the day at the park.  If you are willing to sacrifice your time and leave the resorts it often sucks up a couple hours of the time that you already paid for.  You also probably thought of packing food for your trip the night before but then never really got around to it in all your excitement.  Sometimes when you go in a group or a class field trip, it is required you have money for food. In past years our article has included 3 meals but as meal prices have gone up and noting that a lot of people eat breakfast before entering Disneyland we decided to make it 2 meals and a snack .  You can definitely eat 3 meals for just under $30 if you eat burgers and hot dogs all day but we wanted to add a variety to your meal choices. Continue Reading…

Is Mickey’s Halloween Party worth the extra admission?

Is Mickey’s Halloween Party worth the extra admission?

Short answer…yes it is!

 

I have been a witness to several heated discussions on why one would fork out the price of admission (which this year is from $79 – $99  depending on date and time of purchase) for Mickey’s Halloween Party.  It is steeply priced and isn’t even a “whole” day at Disneyland and is not included as a part of your annual pass or your regular ticket price.  I am going to tell you why it is worth it.

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Cafe Orleans is a Great Alternative to The Blue Bayou

Cafe Orleans is a Great Alternative to The Blue Bayou

You and your family have met the challenge of finding a parking space, walked sometimes very far to get to a Disney Tram or Bus, waited in line to get on the transportation that will take you to The Happiest Place on Earth, exited Disney Transportation where you wait in another line to get your bags checked and to go through a metal detector, wait in another line to enter the Park, then wait in line for the rope to drop signaling the opening of Disneyland for the day.  You have been trampled on, nailed in the heels by someones stroller, ran into by guests that are so excited to be there that they are too busy looking at the buildings than to pay attention to your personal space and you end up for the first few hours waiting in lines for a few moments of joy where you can sit in an attraction and not have to think about anything.  By the time lunch rolls around you are ready for a nap but since you paid an arm and a leg to get in, a nap will not be happening today.  What you need is a nice lunch and a rest.  A great place to take this rest?  Cafe Orleans, where you can sit, relax and feel civilized again. Continue Reading…

Beyond Disneyland: Discovery Cube Orange County Science Center

Beyond Disneyland: Discovery Cube Orange County Science Center

Disneyland Resort is the ultimate destination for many families, but what do you do for the younger set.  The little ones that need to run around, touch and feel things.  The kids who don’t meet many of the height requirements and don’t have the attention span to stand in an hour line for Peter Pans Flight, when the ride only lasts 3 minutes? Continue Reading…

How YOU Can Help Keep Disneyland Safe and Secure

How YOU Can Help Keep Disneyland Safe and Secure

The state of the world, it seems, is to be in chaos.  Disneyland Resort and all other Theme Parks are a great escape from reality, but it doesn’t mean that you should take that for granted.  Disney Theme Parks have always had security in place for lost children, people who have had too much to drink, petty theft and the normal goings on in its “small city”.  Events over the last couple of decades and especially ones of recent have added to the security measures implemented at the Disney Resorts worldwide along with other theme parks such as Continue Reading…

Experiencing Star Wars Season of the Force at Disneyland

Experiencing Star Wars Season of the Force at Disneyland

The Force is definitely strong with this one

Excited for the new Star Wars land but can’t wait until the “guesstimate” dates of 2019-2020 for the opening? Disneyland has several Star Wars offerings ready for you right now to go and enjoy.

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Top 5 Tips For Booking your Disneyland Trip with Toddlers

Top 5 Tips For Booking your Disneyland Trip with Toddlers

Visiting Disneyland Resort with kids between the ages of 2-5 is exciting and challenging.  They generally are not light enough to carry through a line, they do not have patience to wait in too long of a line, they may or may not need a nap, many are scared of automatic flushing toilets, they do not always eat enough to warrant buying them a $5.99 childs meal and they easily get over stimulated with all the loud music, tons of people and things to do not to mention they may be scared of the dark, scared of the characters and scared of the fireworks.  Hearing all of this one might think it is not worth bringing them to Disneyland.  After all, I have seen many children more happy to feed the ducks then to ride the attractions.  A lot of parents are completely unprepared for the challenges that are coming their way by bringing a child in this age group but if you do a little extra planning you can have a smoother more successful trip. Continue Reading…

How to Save Money at Disneyland – The Snack Bag

How to Save Money at Disneyland – The Snack Bag

The price of a ticket into Disneyland is astronomically high.  For those who save up all year (and some save up many years) the tickets, airfare, and hotel can quickly eat up your budget.  Then when you get into the theme parks you will find food prices have soared over recent years.  A single churro now costs $4.50! A Dole Juice bar is $4.19! And a Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream bar is $4.49! You can often buy a whole box of these items for less money.  We are going to help you save some money on snacks for your next trip to Disneyland.

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The Paradise Garden Grill and Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta offer a nice change to the parks.

The Paradise Garden Grill and Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta offer a nice change to the parks.

The Paradise Pier eats are an upgrade from its original conception.

 

Disneyland Resort, unlike its sister Resort of Walt Disney World, hasn’t exactly been known for its food.  For years the menus consisted of hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets.  I remember sometime in the 1980’s they added pizza to their menu’s and as a child, my mind was blown.  Fast forward to the late 1990’s and not much had changed with the exception of some stellar add ons such as the smoked turkey leg, Churros, and the clam chowder in a bread bowl, the overall menus still were full of hamburgers and hot dogs. Continue Reading…

More Disneyland Ghost Stories!

More Disneyland Ghost Stories!

We share some never before heard Disneyland Ghost stories from Cast Members!

 

After hours many things happen at the Disneyland Resort.  It is a small city, and even though there are people working within its walls 24/7 there are still many corners of the resort that you can be alone and feel isolated for long stretches of time.  During those lonely quiet hours is when the beings that seek isolation come out to play.  Whether it be the feral cats, the cast members that prefer to work alone or the spirits of the departed, you are never really alone at the Happiest Place on Earth.  Here are some more Disneyland Resort Cast Member accounts of the unexplained. Continue Reading…

Disneyland Ghost Stories!

Disneyland Ghost Stories!

Spooky Accounts from Disneyland Cast Members that worked in “Haunted” Locations. 

 

Disneyland seems to have several ghosts haunting it, at least so the Cast Members claim.  A magical place that brings strong emotions to many, it is not surprising that many of its guests and cast members can’t seem to let it go after they leave this life.  Here are a few of the stories directly from the people who spend the most time there, during the wee hours of the night they witness first hand the Ghosts of Disneyland. Continue Reading…

The Pacific Wharf in Disney’s California Adventure has GREAT options for food!

The Pacific Wharf in Disney’s California Adventure has GREAT options for food!

The Pacific Wharf in DCA is the place to eat when you and your family can’t decide on just one thing.  The Pacific Wharf gives you awesome options!

 

What Disney’s California Adventure lacks it attractions it makes up for in food.  Disney’s California Adventure or DCA  for short(check out our Disney lingo article here), is slowly gaining more attractions but since the beginning the food quality has been the main attraction.  Sure you can still get a hamburger or hot dog but you’re more likely to find more specialized food.  One of two “food malls” is Pacific Wharf toward the back of the park.  Nestled between CarsLand and Paradise Bay, Pacific Wharf would be considered to be the San Francisco area of the specific representations of California. Continue Reading…

Decoding Disney Speak: Disneyland Resort Edition

Decoding Disney Speak: Disneyland Resort Edition

Decoding Disney Speak:  Get in the know with some abbreviations and terms used by Cast Members and Disneyland Resort Enthusiast!

 

People who visit Disney Theme Parks and Cast Members a like, have their own certain lingo. If you are a new comber, some of their conversations can be hard to follow if you are not in the know. We will share with you some of the most common abbreviations and lingo used so you can decode conversations , articles and blogs that use it heavily. Continue Reading…

Top 10 Disneyland Rules to Follow

Top 10 Disneyland Rules to Follow

Disneyland Rules: IT DOES! And they have them too for your safety and enjoyment!

 

As former Disneyland Cast Members and now Annual Passholders we have had to enforce rules and follow rules.  Sometimes being told rules when you are struggling to keep your family together and its 90 degrees and crowded can be a hard pill to swallow but when you understand the rules before you go, you can have a smoother, more pleasant experience.  Lets take a look at the Top 10 Disneyland Rules that you may be asked to follow: Continue Reading…

When to Book a Vacation Home vs a Hotel

When to Book a Vacation Home vs a Hotel

A hotel isn’t the only option out there for your family Disneyland Vacation.  We look at a Vacation Rental vs a Hotel.

 

Families are often on a budget when it comes to vacationing, especially if the family is large.  We are going to take you through the Pros and Cons of renting a vacation home versus a hotel.

The three different ways to stay and play at the Disneyland Resort are: Continue Reading…

The Village Haus brings the perfect Bavarian atmosphere to Fantasyland

The Village Haus brings the perfect Bavarian atmosphere to Fantasyland

When I think of fun places to eat at Disneyland, the Village Haus is at the top of my list.  Its not for the food, which seems to mostly standard theme park food.  They have pizza and french fries for the kids ( you can literally get a kids meal consisting of pizza, french fries and a drink) and for the adults they have pizza, flatbread, hamburgers and instead of a regular hot dog you can get a chicken sausage sandwich on a pretzel bun with sauerkraut that goes along with the bavarian theme.  Nothing to write home about but just good old theme park food. Continue Reading…

8 Places to Beat the Heat at Disney’s California Adventure

8 Places to Beat the Heat at Disney’s California Adventure

Beat the Summer Heat at California Adventure!

 

If you haven’t done so, check out Part 1 on beating the heat at Disneyland.

There are not a lot of places to keep cool at Disney’s California Adventure.  The park is relatively new and the trees that they do have, have not reached maturity.  Remember, this theme park used to be the parking lot for Disneyland just a short 15 years ago.  That being said, there are still a few places to hide out during the height of the heat.  Here are our recommendations: Continue Reading…

Zankou Chicken awarded ‘Best of’ many times for a reason.

Zankou Chicken awarded ‘Best of’ many times for a reason.

Zankou Chicken has been awarded so many times because it has mastered its flavors and has a magical garlic sauce that is often imitated but NEVER duplicated.

 

I was working at TDA (Team Disney Anaheim), the place you go when you want to hire into Disneyland and then when you are hired, subsequently are trained at. I had just finished training a group of new cast members and was doing some of the computer work when I smelled what can only be described as manna from heaven.

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17 Places to Beat the Heat at Disneyland!

17 Places to Beat the Heat at Disneyland!

Beat the Summer Heat at Disneyland!

 

Disneyland Resort on average is always warm and sunny, but what about those days that are so hot you feel like you are melting?  With all the cement and all the people crowding in the park during the summer, Disneyland and California Adventure can often feel much hotter than it does outside of the resort.  The method we like to use is stay cool until the sun goes down and then go crazy.  With a little bit of know how you can easily navigate yourself through the day.

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Goofy’s Kitchen: You Literally Dine with Character!

Goofy’s Kitchen: You Literally Dine with Character!

At Goofy’s Kitchen, you can experience the magic of meeting your favorite Disney character, without the long lines, while you eat!

 

There’s something pretty fantastic about not having to pay to go into Disneyland but still being able to absorb some Disney Magic.  For those that plan their vacation to the Disneyland Resort but don’t have admission for every day that they are there, or those that live in Southern California and don’t want to commit to a full day in the parks, there is an alternative: the Resort Hotels (specifically Goofy’s Kitchen). Continue Reading…

Knafeh Cafe is Yet Another Beautiful Jewel in Anaheim’s Little Arabia.

Knafeh Cafe is Yet Another Beautiful Jewel in Anaheim’s Little Arabia.

The Knafeh Cafe brings a traditional Middle Eastern pastry to Anaheim’s Little Arabia and it is heavenly!

 

We are in Anaheim quite a bit but never really ventured anywhere past Harbor Blvd. (a.k.a Disneyland).  We had lived in Anaheim for about 4 years and worked at Disneyland for nearly 15 years, and it wasn’t until now that we wanted to explore more of its surroundings, hence the beginnings of Disney Food and Beyond!  On one of our exploration days we wanted something different for coffee other than Starbucks and something sweet for a little snack.  We googled coffee in Anaheim and at the top of our Yelp list there was the Knafeh Cafe.  With just over 100 reviews it has a 4.5 Yelp rating which is very high (5 being the highest).  We headed out and found the Knafeh cafe in a small strip mall about 15 minutes west of Disneyland on Ball Rd.  This is another jewel and a must visit of Anaheim’s “Little Arabia”.  We had no idea what a treat we were in for. Continue Reading…

Healthy Junk will make you eat more Vegan than you ever thought you would!

Healthy Junk will make you eat more Vegan than you ever thought you would!

Seriously!  Healthy Junk makes me crave Vegan food!

 

We were in Anaheim one day and found ourselves looking for somewhere to have lunch.  We were looking for something that felt light because we had been inundated with heavy meals.  We decided to Yelp and my husband found the restaurant called “Healthy Junk”.  It had high ratings but I was skeptical because it was Vegan.  I have nothing against Vegans but I do have to say I have tried Vegan food in the past and it has been, well……gross.  I told my husband I would try it but I was definitely not going to get a “burger” because I am so over “meatless” burgers.  They almost always tasted like mushrooms or carrots and never tasted or had the texture of anything remotely like beef.

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The Cozy Cone Motel is the Perfect Place for Snacking!

The Cozy Cone Motel is the Perfect Place for Snacking!

The Cozy Cone Motel, or corrected by my son who loves Car’s its name should be “Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel” is another beautiful, just like the cartoon, Carsland recreation turned into a Disney Restaurant.  It’s easy to pass by it, thinking that it is just an atmosphere location because there is the main registration office that you cannot enter but just look from the outside.  It is used as a back drop for Lightning McQueen and Mater for photo ops.

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Sleeping at Disneyland during their 24 hour Celebration (60th Anniversary)

Sleeping at Disneyland during their 24 hour Celebration (60th Anniversary)

Have you been at Disneyland since early this morning planning on going and doing everything until tomorrow morning?  Help is here because even the best of us need a little power nap to get us through to the next big thing.  Although under normal circumstances sleeping is prohibited at Disneyland, when there is a 24 hour event Disney is a little more lenient than normal about catching some zzzzzz’s.

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Inside Scoop and Timetable of events for Disneyland 24 hr. Celebration.

Inside Scoop and Timetable of events for Disneyland 24 hr. Celebration.

We have more inside scoop, rumors and a timetable for the people who want to camp out tonight!

Our insider was able to preview the Matterhorn Bobsleds update yesterday and here is our Insiders review:

  ” The changes are pretty awesome.  As you go up the lift you hear the Snowman and see him climbing next to you.  Then you hear him stalk you around the first dark corner.  When you come to see him he looks more ferocious than before and he’s looking like he’s ready to attack. 

Next you stumble into his treasure room which has old bobsleds, a skyway gondola and even a basketball. That’s great that Disney Imagineers are tipping their hats to the retired bobsleds and the old Skyway attraction and winking at us with the inclusion of the basketball because of the long rumored “basketball court” hidden inside the Matterhorn.  I use the term basketball court very loosely I have seen it and it’s all your interpretation of what it is you are actually seeing.  Again you twist and turn and encounter the Snowman where he looks ready to lunge from inside the ice wall.”

A great update to a classic attraction.  The new Snowman might be a little more frightening to the little ones than the previous one so “be advised”

Check out the Full point of view video of the ride from Inside the Magic here.

On Main Street the Emporium windows are being redone in a new way.  They will be done in a shadow box style with animated elements and some projections.  The tentative plan is its to be unveiled in phases with Peter Pan and Cinderella in May (rumored to be during the 24 hour event), Frozen and Princess and the Frog in July and Toy Story and Aladdin in August!

24 hour celebration timeline:

Here is the current timetable for those of you who are queuing up tonight for the event:

Parking:  

Pumba Lot (Clementine and Disney Way) will open at 10 pm tonight May 21st.

Mickey and Friends Parking structure will open at 4 AM and Toy Story Lot (Harbor Blvd.) will open at 5 AM on May 22.

Pre Opening Que:

Guest may bring blankets, chairs, tents and Sleeeping Bags but these items need to be returned to their cars and hotel rooms by 2 AM

All guests in line will be moved through Security checkpoints to the resort esplanade, where they will receive a commemorative keepsake while supplies last.

Opening Celebration 

At 4 AM, guests who choose to begin their day at Disneyland park will be escorted into Main Street to prepare for the opening celebration moment which will take place inside Disneyland at approximately 6 AM.

Guests who chose to begin their day at California Adventure will be escorted into Buena Vista Street at 5:30 AM.

Follow us on facebook for extra tips and tricks throughout today!

Exclusive: Review of Disneyland 60th New Fireworks and Parade Shows!

Exclusive: Review of Disneyland 60th New Fireworks and Parade Shows!

 

We have some exclusive Disneyland 60th Anniversary Celebration Reviews and a couple Disneyland rumors so lets get to it!  

 

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Al Amir Bakery in “Little Arabia” serves up AMAZING flatbread pizzas!

Al Amir Bakery in “Little Arabia” serves up AMAZING flatbread pizzas!

Al Amir Bakery in Little Arabia = flatbread heaven!

 

We were looking for something to eat and googled ” best food in Anaheim” and Al Amir Bakery kept showing up at the top of the list.  I looked on yelp to find that they had over 200 reviews and were still able to maintain a 4.5 rating ( 5 being the best).  With such a high rating and several glowing reviews we were on our way.  About 10 minutes from the Disneyland Resort in the “Little Arabia” part of Anaheim Al Amir is a gem especially if you are on a budget.  Starving college students, people on lunch hour, families with lots of little children gather here to eat up Lebanese style pizzas also known as flatbreads.  The names of the pizzas may look intimidating but they all have great descriptions underneath and numbers next to them so if you are like me you can say ” I will have the #3, #7 and the #5” and they know exactly which flatbreads those are.

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Review: The Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney Anahiem is fun and atmospheric with great food!

Review: The Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney Anahiem is fun and atmospheric with great food!

Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen is a satellite restaurant of the very famous Brennans Restaurant in New Orleans, LA.  If you’ve heard of Brennans but you are not sure why or what makes it famous its because the now classic Banana’s Foster dessert was born there.  We jumped at the chance of trying this dessert first hand from the restaurant that originated it and since we weren’t able to make it to New Orleans the next best thing to being there was to go to Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney, Anaheim California!

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Northgate Mexican Market in Anaheim, CA will make you skip the restaurant for your meal.

Northgate Mexican Market in Anaheim, CA will make you skip the restaurant for your meal.

Working at Disneyland for many years, we have had the opportunity to eat at almost all the Disneyland Resort Restaurants and all of the “backstage” cast member restaurants.  After awhile you have experienced all those menus have to offer and when we got burnt out of bringing Lean Cuisines and Hot Pockets we started looking for something else.  One of our good friends, Marc used to stop at the market and bring in the most amazing fresh corn tortillas, queso fresco (fresh milky white cheese) and Carnitas (shredded chunks of pork).  Then he would pull out a small container of green salsa and invite us to join him for some dinner.  If I hadn’t seen the packaging  I would have thought all of these ingredients were homemade. Continue Reading…

Disneyland Apps – Our top 3 FREE apps you need to download to make your trip a more magical experience!

Disneyland Apps – Our top 3 FREE apps you need to download to make your trip a more magical experience!

There are a lot of different apps out there that will help you navigate your way through a Disney park like a Jedi.  We are taking a look at three really good free apps out there for The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim CA.  These mobile apps will make you a more efficient guest of the park by helping you avoid long unbearable lines with wait time info, park hours, show times, and other info all at your finger tips.   All of them have user based wait time system which means you can contribute to the numbers via your mobile phone.

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Review: Sarkis Pastry in Anaheim CA is a sweet treasure.

Review: Sarkis Pastry in Anaheim CA is a sweet treasure.

If you drive down Ball Rd in Anaheim going West past the Disneyland Resort  a couple minutes you will find the Anaheim that people live in.  The part of Anaheim that has nothing to do with Disneyland except for the fact that many of the residents work at the Resort.  You will find the Anaheim that has grocery stores, 99 cent stores and lots of local food coming from  the diverse array of people that live in the area. About a 6-8 minute drive from Disneyland on Ball there is a non descript strip mall that holds 2 of Anaheim’s local treasures.  One of those treasures is Sarkis Pastry.

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Review: Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel may be the most magical bar you will ever go to.

Review:  Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel may be the most magical bar you will ever go to.

This is a bar that also serves bar food, that being said, it is the most magical bar you will ever go to.  We decided that we needed to take our toddler out and about for a few hours to get some lunch and run his energy out so we thought that Trader Sam’s would be a fun place to go.  It has all of the Disney Magic without having to pay to get into Disneyland, just enough for a short outing.  We had never been here before and saw that families would come here to eat but when we walked into Trader Sam’s the seating made it seem like it was just the bar section of a restaurant.  They had plenty of seating on the patio but the whole reason of coming was to see the cool things that happen inside Trader Sam’s and to sit amongst the decorations.

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REVIEW: One of THE BEST Mexican Food places near Disneyland: Los Sanchez!

REVIEW: One of THE BEST Mexican Food places near Disneyland: Los Sanchez!

Being raised just outside of Seattle in a small town my exposure to Mexican food pretty much consisted of Taco Bell and Enchiladas from the school cafeteria. When I moved to Southern California that changed quickly. There was a whole world of Mexican Food beyond ground beef tacos and beef and bean burritos. Did I know what good Mexican food tasted like? Not exactly, but everyone in Southern California has an opinion and a lot of them lead to the same places.

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REVIEW: Mr. Katsu in Fullerton, CA is one of the most yummy and unique places to eat!

REVIEW: Mr. Katsu in Fullerton, CA is one of the most yummy and unique places to eat!

We are always on the look out for something new and inventive to eat.  Yes, we are a part of the millions that cycle through the same 7-10 home cooked meals  because we know how to prepare the meals without looking at a recipe.  When we have a chance to eat out we are looking for something awesome that we have never tried before or is too intense to make at home.  Mr Katsu falls into the something awesome we have never tried before.  It has been on our list of “must visit” for a couple months now and we finally had the chance to try it out.

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REVIEW: Papa Hassan’s Grill is the perfect introduction to Anaheim’s Little Arabia.

REVIEW: Papa Hassan’s Grill is the perfect introduction to Anaheim’s Little Arabia.

We found Papa Hassan’s Grill after reading an article in the OC weekly blog spot entitled “10 Essential Anaheim Restaurants”. After reading the article I quickly went to Yelp and saw that out of 233 reviews they still had a 4.5 rating ( the highest you can get is 5, which almost never happens because there are always haters). Within a week we were feeling like some healthy Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food and we decided we would try Papa Hassan’s Grill. Now coming from a small town near Seattle I wasn’t exposed to ANY Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food and when I first came to Southern California I was a little intimidated by any restaurant that had food with names that I didn’t know and couldn’t pronounce. I was scared to think maybe I would order something that was completely horrible because I didn’t know what it was. Consider Papa Hassan’s Grill a nice middle ground of what is familiar with some items I had never tried before. There is definitely enough variety on their menu that will please everyone in the family from the most timid eater the the boldest.

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M & M Doughnuts

M & M Doughnuts

There are only 2 words that describe why you would want to make a side trip to M& M Doughnuts, Blueberry Doughnut.  Having been featured on a Food Network Program, the line at M&M Doughnuts have been known to reach up to 2 hours.  The Doughnut Shop is in the parking lot of a Food 4 Less Grocery Store and across the same parking lot from a Taco Bell.  It is just far enough down Katella that you are away from the sparkling tourist area that surrounds the Disneyland Resort but really it is only a 2 minute drive from Disneyland.  Go during the “off” hours for little to no wait which is generally after 9 am when most people are already at work.  It tends to be busier during the late night hours when college kids and Disneyland Cast Members are milling about the city looking for dinner and dessert options.

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Flo’s V8 Cafe

Flo’s V8 Cafe

When we first visited Flo’s V8 Cafe it was for the Cast Preview of Carsland.  We had seen Cars when it came out in the theater but couldn’t really remember the details of the movie but when we stepped into Carsland the night of the preview I instantly remembered.  CarsLand was a PERFECT match to the Cars movie.  I felt totally immersed and that was a first for me in Disney’s California Adventure.  The centerpiece to CarsLand is Flo’s V8 Cafe.  The blue and pink neon, the doo wap “Life could be a Dream” song, and the 1950’s Diner look was all Imagineering perfection.

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The Plaza Inn

The Plaza Inn

When we used to work for Disney their is a break area for the cast members near the back of the Plaza Inn. Often times when you were sitting there you could smell the wonderful aroma of fried chicken coming from Plaza Inn while they are making it fresh. It was enough to drive you crazy when you were eating a tuna fish sandwich wishing you weren’t working so you could go “onstage” and chow down on a Fried Chicken Dinner with the rest of the Disneyland Guests.

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The La Palma Chicken Pie Shop

The La Palma Chicken Pie Shop

We had heard about the La Palma Chicken Pie Shop for ages. A lot of our fellow Disney Cast Members had eaten here but it always seemed like it was on our list of things to do that we never got to. Finally one night we were trying to decide where to eat and we REMEMBERED! We hopped in the car and headed to Anaheim to go have ourselves some chicken pot pie!! You can’t miss the shop when you are driving down Euclid in Anaheim as they have a very neon sign that says Chicken Pie Shop that lights up the night sky with turquoise. When we entered it was like walking into a mix of the Twilight Zone and the X Files.

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The Snowflake Factory

The Snowflake Factory

After leaving our employment with the Mouse, my family and I moved to the Seattle area for a couple years. While we were there we kept in touch with our Disney friends through Facebook. Our friend Matt would put up these insane pictures of mounds of what looked similar to shave ice but with all these toppings on top of it. Interesting toppings like popping boba (little spheres that pop in you mouth with fruit juice inside), fruit jellies ( a lot like little pieces of jello jigglers) and sweet red beans.

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Flappy Jacks Pancake House (Route 66)

Flappy Jacks Pancake House (Route 66)

The locals know where to go! Flappy Jacks Pancake House is a staple on Route 66 in Glendora, CA with a newer location in Orange , about 20 minutes from the Disneyland Resort. It is everything you expect and imagine a Route 66 diner to be. There is almost always a line out the door during the breakfast hours. When you walk in the decor is 1950’s dedicated murals on the wall and pictures of Bel Air’s with headlights that light up. The waitstaff is friendly, it feels like it is something right out of Radiator Springs. Its exciting to be there and they serve up THE best breakfast in town.

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Cortina’s Italian Market

Cortina’s Italian Market

The first time we had Cortinas we were working at The Happiest Place on Earth. It was a rare pot luck day and one of our amazing co workers, Chuck had brought in a tray of Deli sandwiches. I wasn’t a fan of “store bought” deli sandwiches because I hadn’t ever had one that tasted particularly good. The bread was usually stale or soggy and the meat was usually just standard deli meat you can buy from an already sealed package that may have been sitting in the refrigerator section for days if not weeks. I was hungry and didn’t have much time before I needed to be “on stage” so I grabbed a half of a sandwich and quickly took a bite. The sandwich literally stopped me in my tracks.

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Red Rockets Pizza Port

Red Rockets Pizza Port
When Red Rocket’s Pizza Port first opened back in 1998 they had a cast preview where we got to try it out before it opened.  It was a new concept for Disneyland to have an open kitchen where the guests could see the food being made fresh.   There was no hiding what was going into the food or what was being done to the food.  It was one of the first “open kitchen” concepts I had ever run across and since then many restaurants have followed suit.  The food was also unlike any theme park food I had experienced at the time.  The food was very fresh.

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