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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 than waiting in line and then wandering around with a heavy tray of food, 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.
Making reservations is never more important than when visiting during a busier time like spring break, summer or holiday time. You can book your reservations for Disneyland table service restaurants 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 our favorite and 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
Located right on historic Main Street U.S.A., the Carnation Café offers both patio and indoor seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They take reservations and walk-ins, and if there’s a wait, they will give you a buzzer so you can enjoy your time elsewhere while you wait for your table. Take in the activity of Main Street while relaxing and letting your server take care of you. This Disneyland table service restaurant is the lowest priced restaurant of them all. Your busy kids may enjoy coloring while they wait for their own Mickey Check do-it-yourself PB&J on Fish-shaped bread. There are a number of burgers and sandwiches (and some of Walt’s favorite American comfort foods dishes like meatloaf) to satisfy your taste buds as well. If it is available, ask to sit in the gazebo on the patio for a special experience.
Get a Dinner Package
Have your dining reservation do double duty. There are prix fixe dining packages that come with vouchers for preferred viewing for shows such as Fantasmic! or even parade-viewing packages during Mickey’s Halloween party.
Sometimes a dining reservation does double duty. There are prix fixe dining packages that come with vouchers for preferred viewing for shows such as Fantasmic! or even parade-viewing packages during Mickey’s Halloween party. The Fantasmic! dining packages include a voucher for a reserved section that is more central than the viewing sections for free FASTPASS holders or standby viewers. 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. River Belle Terrace also offers an upgraded reservation for the 8:00 p.m. seating that allows you to enjoy your meal while watching the first showing of Fantasmic!, but most packages give you a voucher for the viewing area. Show times may vary per season.
Blue Bayou diners have the unique view of Pirates of the Caribbean boats and scenery. This is the priciest of the Disneyland table service restaurants, but also the most special experience. Blue Bayou is perfect for celebrating a special occasion whether you go for the Fantasmic! package or a regular meal. The atmosphere is always a romantic 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! We recently dined at Blue Bayou and the bone-in rib-eye was mouth-watering tender and delicious. The whole meal was phenomenal, and it was magical to sit on the edge of the water as the Pirates of the Caribbean boats sailed past.
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 vs. Fantasmic! packages. The menu at regular times is the same, but you are not tied to a package. Another tip for saving money AND getting a reserved Fantasmic! voucher is to get a Fantasmic! on-the-go package through Hungry Bear Restaurant. It is not a Disneyland table service restaurant, but you’ll make a reservation either for 3:00 p.m. through 6:45 p.m. (to receive a voucher for the first performance of Fantasmic! that evening) or for 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (to receive a voucher for that night's second show).
Best Dining for People-Watching
At Café Orleans, you can get Cajon-Creole Cuisine for a lot less money than at Blue Bayou. The Monte Cristo sandwich is the house specialty, and there are a number of other tasty New Orleans dishes on their menu. Save some room for their famous Mickey-shaped beignets for dessert. The patio location is perfectly set up for people watching in New Orleans Square and the Rivers of America.
The Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience
There is a new Disneyland table service option, but it is not really a restaurant. The Tomorrowland Lounge offers a fireworks viewing location from the Tomorrowland Expo Center — that deck above Star Wars Launch Bay. You’ll be given a boxed treat with fruits, cheese, sweets and a choice of hot or cold non-alcoholic beverages. You can charge your phone, play games and kick back in the futuristic retro lounge (sounds like an oxymoron, right?) while you enjoy the fireworks if they occur that night. The lounge is open from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and you’ll need an advance reservation.
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 to our day and helps us make sure we all get a proper meal (which leads to better energy and moods for everyone). Be sure to check out our favorite table service restaurants at California Adventure if you are you planning to visit that park as well, because they have some unique dining experiences you don’t want to miss (including several Paint the Night parade dining packages during Pixar Fest).
What if we have special circumstances?
If you have food allergies or have special dietary needs, you can note them when you book the reservation. 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 call three days ahead to order a themed and personalized birthday cake to be brought to your table, but allow seven days’ notice for special dietary cakes.
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 can be harder to get a reservation than the other Disneyland table service restaurants, usually booking up a few weeks out even in the quieter seasons. The 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 in to 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. 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 on days like Thanksgiving or New Year’s Eve.