There is something special about eating at Disneyland table service restaurants in the park. Getting to sit down, rest tired legs and let somebody else serve you food is so much more dignified (and relaxing) than waiting in line, wandering around with a heavy tray of food and looking for a free table with a bunch of hungry tadpoles hopping after you. That’s why I always try to make a reservation for at least one meal at one of the best Disneyland table service restaurants during each visit. A sit-down restaurant meal is a great way to break up your day, fuel up and stay in the parks longer.
Making reservations is the most important, especially when visiting during a busier time, such as spring break, summer, fall break or holiday time. You can book your reservations for Disneyland table service restaurants online through Disney Dining Reservations up to 60 days prior to the first day of your stay. Guests staying on property at the Disneyland Resort can make preferred access reservations for participating restaurants. In case you are new to table service restaurants at Disneyland, here’s our guide to the best Disneyland table service restaurants in the park.
Best Disneyland Table Service Restaurants
How should you choose? We suggest looking at the menus online before you reserve to find a Disneyland table service restaurant with foods that interest your family, taking cost and budget into consideration.
Dine on Main Street at Carnation Café
Located right on historic Main Street U.S.A., the Carnation Café offers both patio and indoor seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This location takes reservations, but you can also join the walk-up list through the Disneyland app. Take in the activity of Main Street while relaxing and letting your server take care of you. This Disneyland table-service restaurant is the most affordable option of them all.
At breakfast, enjoy Mickey-shaped waffles, buttermilk pancakes, a breakfast skillet or a breakfast sandwich. You can ask for gluten-free options as well (as shown).
At lunch or dinner try favorites such as fried pickles, burgers and other specialties. Your busy kids may enjoy their own Mickey Check do-it-yourself PB&J on Fish-shaped bread. They can also enjoy other kid favorites such as mac and cheese, a hamburger and chicken fried chicken. If it is available, ask to sit in the gazebo on the patio for a special experience.
Café Orleans in New Orleans Square
One of our favorite Disneyland table-service restaurants is Café Orleans. There, you can get cajun-creole cuisine fusion for a lot less money than at the Blue Bayou restaurant. It's in the middle price-wise of the Disneyland table-service restaurants.
The Monte Cristo sandwich with pommes frites is the house specialty, and there are a number of other tasty New Orleans dishes on their menu. The pommes frites with remoulade sauce are so worth it! You can only get them as a side to other dishes and cannot order them on their own though. However, you can substitute them for other sides. If you are not feeling a fully fried meal, the roasted chicken is tasty too. (But I still substitute sides to get the pommes frites because they are everything.)
The menu changes seasonally, and the kids' menu is great. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas. The patio location is perfectly set up for people watching in New Orleans Square and the Rivers of America. If you are a fan of the mint julep drink, this is the best place to get it because it is refillable. (Blue Bayou also offers refillable mint julep.)
The most expensive dining location, but also the most special, is Blue Bayou. If you have ever ridden Pirates of the Caribbean and noticed people dining in perpetual twilight on a patio under colorful lanterns, this is that location. The food is good, and you can add on a Fantasmic! dining package. We cover that in our Disneyland dining packages post, but we will say that Fantasmic! dining packages are the most worthwhile of all the packages. Blue Bayou's prix fixe package offers the very best viewing location for the show.
This is a great place to celebrate a special occasion. It's one of only two Disneyland Park locations that serve alcoholic drinks. (The other is Oga's Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.) You can enjoy wine, specialty beers and a signature Hurricane cocktail. You can also enjoy refillable non-alcoholic mint julep, a seasonal mint julep and Louisiana lemonade. Spring for a glow cube in this dark restaurant to set a relaxing mood, especially for the tadpoles.
The atmosphere is always that of an elegant, candlelit evening on the Bayou no matter what time of day you come to dine. In fact, it is so dark in there that the menus have their own built-in lights! It is magical to sit on the edge of the water as the Pirates of the Caribbean boats sail past.
The menu changes seasonally, but we find that the steak is always delicious. This location also has a Monte Cristo sandwich, but there are no pommes frites (as with Café Orleans).
River Bell Terrace
The final Disneyland table-service restaurant is River Bell Terrace. Sometimes it offers breakfast, but it always offers lunch and dinner. We love the southern breakfast food at River Belle Terrace (when available). However, we prefer the food at the other three table-service dining locations for lunch and dinner. If you dine here, definitely get the seasonal money bread for dessert.
The food has a southern flair. The restaurant offers indoor (air-conditioned) and outdoor (awesome views of Rivers of America) dining areas. The food is priced similarly to Café Orleans.
This location does have Fantasmic! dining packages, which can make dining here more worth it. You can upgrade with your server for the standard package that gives you a voucher for a separate viewing area that is front and center for the show. There is also a Premium package that allows you to stay at your table to watch the show. Book your reservations for 7:15 p.m. to get this package.
The Fantasmic! dining packages include a voucher for a reserved section at the front of the viewing area and are more centered than the standby viewing sections. There are two table Disneyland service restaurants that include show packages — Blue Bayou and River Belle Terrace — both located near Rivers of America and New Orleans Square. You can upgrade your dining reservation with your server to get a standard package, which gives you a voucher for a preferred viewing area.
River Belle Terrace also offers an upgraded premium reservation for the 7:15 p.m. seating that allows you to enjoy your meal while watching the first showing of Fantasmic! in your seat.
You don’t have to purchase a Fantasmic! three-course package to dine at Blue Bayou or River Belle Terrace. Both of these Disneyland table service restaurants are open for lunch and dinner. In fact, you can save money by getting regular reservations, instead of the Fantasmic! packages.
Another tip for saving money AND time is to get the Fantasmic! on-the-go package through Hungry Bear Restaurant. It is not a Disneyland table service restaurant, but you’ll make a reservation to pick up food and receive a voucher for a performance of Fantasmic! that evening.
Other Dining Locations
Of course, these are not the only places we like to eat at Disneyland. There are many Disneyland quick service restaurants, as well as Disney California Adventure quick service restaurants that we often visit while in the parks. Planning ahead for meals means less to worry about and fewer decisions to make in the park. Having reservations helps create a structure for our day and make sure we all get a proper meal (which leads to higher energy levels and lifted moods for everyone). Be sure to check out our favorite table service restaurants at California Adventure if you are planning to visit that park as well because they have some unique dining experiences you don’t want to miss.
Tips for Making Disneyland Dining Reservations
Here are some reservation tips:
- Book 60 days out, usually at 6 a.m. PT.
- Keep checking as things could open up as people cancel, especially as the date approaches.
- Make sure your theme park reservation matches your dining reservations.
- Be sure to cancel or modify if you can't make it. Otherwise, you'll incur a charge.
- Modify party size to find a reservation that works (you can add a person or subtract people when you check in).
- Look up reservations for each time of day. Sometimes there are no reservations available for the "dinner" category, but when you check each specific time, you'll find something available during dinner hours.
- Try the walk-up list in the Disneyland app when in the park. Type in the restaurant name and tap the button. We've had pretty good luck finding a table that way. You must be in the restaurant's vicinity for it to work though.
What if we have special circumstances?
If you have food allergies or special dietary needs, you can note them when you book the reservation and check in. You may receive a special menu from which to order and maybe even a visit from the chef. If you are celebrating a special occasion, be sure to let them know. You can add a cake to be brought to your table when you make your reservation.
How early do you have to make reservations for the best Disneyland table service restaurants?
If you know when you are visiting, it’s best to book as early as possible, although it is not as critical as it is when booking dining at Disney World. Blue Bayou is one place you want to book 60 days out. It can be harder to get a reservation there than at the other Disneyland table service restaurants. Fantasmic! dining packages also book up early.
When we know we are going to be visiting during a busy time, we like to make advance reservations at some of the table service restaurants to make the trip more special, and definitely more relaxing. You can sometimes get into some table service restaurants without a reservation, but it’s not guaranteed. It doesn’t hurt to ask when you are in the park! Disney Dining Reservations open up 60 days in advance at 6 a.m. If you will be visiting Disneyland over a major holiday, book as soon as the reservations open for some special holiday meals in the park or at other restaurants throughout the resort, specifically on days like Thanksgiving or New Year’s Eve.
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