Last year I became a Disney Annual Passholder and those of you that follow me on Instagram have probably noticed that I’ve started visiting Disneyland…like, A LOT. Is the Disney annual pass worth it? For me, 100% – after 3 visits, it essentially pays for itself if you like to park-hop like I do. And because of all my hopping back and forth between parks, I have developed a list of favorite items that I must get every time I’m there. Everyone’s already got their Disneyland park favorites when it comes to food (corn dogs, dole whips, and can’t forget the Mickey head beignets) so I thought I’d start with my favorites in DCA instead.
Where do I start with this place! It is easily one of my favorite restaurants (in either park!) because of the view. It sits right on the water where the World of Color show takes place, with a gorgeous view of the Disney carousel and Incredicoaster rollercoaster. At golden hour the view is a dream – but we’re not here to talk about the view.
Lamplight Lounge has an amazing cocktail menu, and a really good variety of food, especially for particular diets, but the one item I can’t live without on their lunch/dinner menu is the Lobster Nachos.
These babies are loaded with all the flavors you look for in a good plate of nachos, including black beans, jalapeno, chipotle crema and both cheddar and melted cheese, plus the succulent lobster puts it over the edge. Every time we’re in town, I and my Disney crew always get a plate to share (though I’m tempted to go solo and eat the entire thing myself). They’ve added a Ghost-ly Pepper Nacho dish to their menu for the Halloween holiday that I can’t wait to try. Will you be trying these out on your next trip?
A newer offering at the same restaurant is brunch and when I went with 3 of my girlfriends in August, we had to visit for the first meal of our day. We all tried different things, and while everything was tasty, I thought my plate of French toast was over the top good.
The French toast is made on brioche, and they give you two thick slices of it, swirled with cinnamon flavor. It arrives with flavored whipped cream and macerated berries, but the almond brittle really seals the deal. I smashed the brittle up with my knife and fork and was able to mix a nice crunch into every bite.
I have gotten into Lamplight Lounge for lunch/happy hour just by waiting for a table, and I’ve never waited longer than 20 minutes, but brunch definitely requires a reservation. Be sure to make one on the app as much as 2 months in advance if you want to sample these scrumptious breakfast items.
Honestly, truly, not even kidding you guys, this is my favorite drink of all time. At home, I supplement with sparkling apple cider as a similar treat, but this apple slush is beyond good, and an amazing refresher if you’re in DCA during any of the warmer months.
Like I mentioned, it is a slushy, but with a true apple flavor which I find amazing since similar beverages are usually a bit more mellow in terms of taste. They design this slushy to look just like a beer, and it comes with a thick foam on top flavored with passionfruit, mango, and toasted marshmallow. You may be skeptical but please believe me, this is an item you won’t regret.
Bacon Scrambled Egg Cone: Cozy Cone Motel, Carsland
Again, you’re probably seeing a pattern that I have a couple favorites at the same place, and what can I say? You’re not wrong. The difference here is that I haven’t actually had this cone in a while, and can’t find the breakfast menu for the Cozy Cone Motel on Disney’s website, so it may have been a temporary offering.
In any case, they serve a breakfast cone that has all the classic breakfast plate flavors you’re looking for in a portable, fluffy cone. This is a great option if you’re hustling around the parks, or just like to eat cone-shaped things.
Why didn’t I discover Schmoozies sooner? I didn’t try this place until maybe February of this year during the Get Your Ears On (Mickey’s 90th) celebration – now, it is my favorite place to get milkshakes.
From what I know about this place, there’s always an amazing seasonal milkshake, but the one I love – that I don’t see on the menu online but I’m sure you can get at the parks – is a cookies and cream milkshake that is probably the best cookies and cream milkshake I’ve ever had. It is thick but smooth and has equal amounts of vanilla base to cookie flavor.
Right now they’re offering a Minnie Witch Shake that I believe has a mint chip blend, but I don’t doubt you can get the cookies and cream shake (probably in disguise with Mickey’s sorcerer hat or some other super cute costume for the holiday). They’ve also got a Caramel Apple Smoothie that I hear rivals the Apple Freeze but I’m not willing to cheat on my favorite drink of all time 🙂
Holiday Booths | Paradise Gardens
Every year during whatever reigning holiday there is, DCA puts on these holiday booths to offer specialty items to visitors. Hands down the best time to visit these marketplaces are during Christmas season, but you’ll also find them during the Food and Wine Festival, Lunar New Year and they may even be around other times of the year as well.
As I mentioned, the holiday booths are my favorite and last year we got a dining package that included (6) tastes for $54 dollars. This used to be an AP offering only, that I believe is now open to all attendees with the only difference being that Disney Annual Passholders can redeem an exclusive pin with each tab-transaction. With most of the food items being in that $6-9 dollar range, you don’t save too much by going with the pass unless you are sharing with someone, or visiting for multiple days during that season.
I can’t begin to guess what will be on the menu for this year, but some favorites from Christmas 2018 are listed below (and with any luck, they’ll all be coming back):
- Shrimp & Grits with Andouille Sausage
- Braised Pork Belly Adobo with Garlic Fried Rice
- Cornbread Cakes with Braised Collard Greens and Smoked Bacon Gravy
- Turkey & Stuffing Tamale with Cranberry Relish
- Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce
Well, are you hungry yet? I’m starving thinking about the Festival of Holidays offerings, myself. I hope you found something on this list totally drool-worthy, and that you get to try one of these on your next visit to Disney California Adventures.
If you’re looking for more food reviews, I would highly recommend: