As we've discussed a time or two, there are so many delicious foods to taste at Disneyland. There are treats for every occasion, including Halloween and the holidays, but we simply can't rely on snacks and treats to keep us going all the time. We need heartier foods! And as much as we enjoy table-service restaurants (and highly recommend making reservations for one or two during your visit), we sometimes don't want to take a break from the rides, shows and parades for a full sit-down meal. Luckily, we've hopped around the parks enough to know there are plenty of hearty on-the-go Disneyland foods to keep our frog legs kicking!
Our Favorite On-the-Go Disneyland Foods
These mini meals from carts and quick-service restaurants are more than your usual pretzels and sugary snacks. They are perfect for on-the-go families with rides to catch, parades to watch and fireworks to stay in place for. You don’t want to get too hungry or you’ll stop having fun! And you don’t want to wait too long (after fireworks) or you’ll find that many restaurant choices have closed before you have taken the time to settle down and eat. So let's hop to the best on-the-go Disneyland food at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure!
Disneyland's giant smoked turkey legs are large enough to share, especially among tadpoles! They are messy, so definitely grab some extra napkins to wrap around the base and have on hand to clean up sticky fingers when done. We’ve been known to sit on a curb with a turkey leg as we wait for a parade. You can find them in Hollywood Land and at the Poultry Palace at Disney California Adventure or near the Central Plaza, Edelweiss Snacks near the Matterhorn and the Ship to Shore Marketplace by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Disneyland. Troubadour Tavern (across from “it’s a small world”) sells a sweet BBQ turkey leg.
What can I say, Disneyland fried chicken from Plaza Inn is one of my favorite foods. But did you know you can hop into the Plaza Inn and buy just one piece of chicken instead of a whole meal? They have small to-go containers at the registers. That makes it easy to take it back to your parade or fireworks location and have a small picnic while you wait. At Disney California Adventure you can get a box of drumsticks from the Poultry Palace to share as you stroll through Pixar Pier.
You might not think of chili as a walk-about food, but Disneyland has mobilized this comfort food by changing up its “container.” At the Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land, one of our must-have “meals on wheels” is Chili “Cone” Queso, which is vegetarian or beef chili served in an edible bread cone with cheese and corn chips. (They also sell bacon mac & cheese in the portable bread cone — yum!) At Disneyland’s Refreshment Corner, dig into the “Firefly” our favorite Disneyland secret menu item, which is chili in a bag with corn chips, cheese and jalapeños. It’s the perfect hearty snack you can take with you.
There's no reason to get "hangry" when there are hot dog carts around the parks. One of the cutest and newest stands by far is Angry Dogs at Pixar Pier. It has ketchup and mustard of varying degrees of hotness! Troubadour Tavern (across from “it’s a small world”) is a hidden gem where you can find bratwurst sausage in a garlic and herb brioche with bacon sauerkraut. (Check Troubador Tavern hours before making the trek there — it seems to be open on days with Mickey and the Magical Map showings.)
A corn dog is one of the best on-the-go Disneyland foods and an iconic Disneyland treat, especially from the Little Red Wagon cart on Main Street USA. Here you can add special dipping sauces or save quite a bit of money if you want to skip the chips or apples that come with it. The Stage Door Café in Frontierland also sells hand-dipped corn dogs. At Disney California Adventure you can get your corn dog fix at Corn Dog Castle. They have a hot link corn dog, original corn dog and a battered cheddar cheese stick.
Cheese Stick or Cheese Toast
If you are a vegetarian, you don’t have to miss out on the “fried corn batter on a stick” experience. As mentioned above, you can choose a fried cheese stick instead of a corn dog at Corn Dog Castle.
Speaking of cheese … the toasted cheese sandwich at Jolly Holiday Bakery is a Frog Family favorite. It is usually paired with the Tomato Basil Soup as part of the Jolly Holiday Combo on the menu, but you can order just the sandwich (more savings). It is the perfect blend of gooey cheese nestled between two pieces of crunchy toast that is not-at-all greasy, making it quite portable. OK, maybe you’ll create just a few crumbs for the birds.
Corn on the Cob
You can find corn on the cob at some hot dog or turkey carts carts in both parks. Disneyland also sells corn on the cob at Poultry Palace. You may be able to opt for butter, chili lime or even an elote (Mexican street corn) kit with mayo, seasonings and parmesan cheese at some locations.
Chimichanga and Spinach Wrap
Two foods come wrapped in a tortilla for hand-held ease. One is served hot and the other cold. With a crispy flakey outside, and a gooey filling inside of ground beef, refried beans and Mexican red sauce, the chimchanga is an on-the-go easy hot meal that can be found at some turkey leg carts. It has a mild flavor and is one of the least-messy options of the best on-the-go Disneyland foods. Another on-the-go food that comes neatly wrapped in a tortilla is the Grilled Chicken Spinach Wrap at the Stage Door Café. It’s a newer healthier choice that works well as a hand-held food that also helps you get those veggies in, which always makes this momma frog hoppy.
Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland is by far one of the best Disneyland quick-service restaurants. It serves up delicious hot skewers of beef, chicken, pork belly, vegetables or bacon-wrapped asparagus. One skewer makes a great snack, and two or three make a meal. They also offer breadsticks and spring rolls. Their veggies and hummus are fresh and help make this restaurant one of our go-to choices for quick, healthy eating at Disneyland. With mobile ordering and a number of standing and seated tables, you can fuel up quickly and be on your way.
When you don’t have time to eat, you can drink your lunch or snack after a pit stop at Schmoozies! Doing so allows you to freely hop about Hollywood Land at Disney California. Several smoothies include fruit and yogurt. You can also find fresh fruit, cheese, beef jerky and other healthy snacks at produce carts throughout the parks.
You can enjoy these foods while waiting in line, sitting on a bench or while waiting for a show. Of course we also have our favorite snacks and treats at Disneyland, so hop over to view our favorite Disneyland snacks and where to find them. If you are looking to skip the food lines, the new Disneyland Mobile Ordering Service has taken away the wait at many quick-service locations in both parks and is available at several of the quick-service restaurants mentioned above. So you may be able to take the time to sit down after all!
If you are looking to plan ahead for some more relaxing table service dining, it’s best to make a reservation through Disneyland Dining Reservations. We have found that when our meals are scheduled into our day, we take the time to sit and eat. When we haven’t planned out meal breaks, we fall back on these on-the-go Disneyland food options. Do you have any easy meals ideas for a family on the move in the parks? Share them in the comments section below.