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  • [Fun] Best Themed Eating Place on Property?

    Well, the title says it all. Let's face it, at the end of the day, Disneyland's food is still just amusement park food. It's not going to be at the level of a five star restaurant (at least in my opinion.) But I don't go to Disney restaurants for high quality food. I go for the ambiance and fun themes.

    Just for some fun and no controversy, what do you think is the best themed place to eat anywhere on property? Feel free t omention as many as you'd like.

    I know the favorite answer is probably going to be Blue Bayou, for obvious reasons, but I won't pick that.

    For me, I'm quite fond of Rancho del Zocalo, and French Market Cafe.
    I find that while I'm eating I'm still able to enjoy the atmosphere of the park in each. In Zocalo I can sit and watch the Big THunder trains go by while I eat, and I love the train stopping by the French Market every so often, not to mention if there's a band playing while I dine. It just makes the amusement park food experience a lot more enjoyable.

    Please, share your opinions and why.

    Remember, no right or wrong answers.
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  • #2
    Food quality aside, I'd say:

    Blue Bayou
    Cafe Orleans
    French Market
    Plaza Inn
    Rancho del Zocalo
    Hungry Bear (very subtle theme, but the ambiance is nice on the deck along the river)

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    • #3
      If we're talking strictly themeing then the winner is Blue Bayou in my book, hands down. It helps that I also really enjoy the food there. It's the standard answer like you said, so I'll go ahead and choose a different one..

      ..which is going to be hard because it comes right down to Rancho del Zocalo and Red Rose Tavern for me. Rancho for that lovely ambiance in Frontierland with Big Thunder going by and Red Rose I feel does a really great job too especially if you get there early morning or later in the evening. As much as I love Rancho (they're basically on the same level), I am going to give it to Red Rose because it's impossible to ignore the special place in my heart it holds between my fiancee' and I. It's kind of cheating since I'm creating my own sense of ambiance and giving it to the area but there is no way for me to ignore it.
      First of all, the name's not "Zippy"! As a matter of fact, I don't believe I've ever met another bot named Zippy, so one can only assume that you came up with "Zippy" in reference to my speed, which may be technically accurate, but lacks a certain creativity!

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      • #4
        I am only going to rate them on theming:

        #1 -- Blue Bayou
        Blue Bayou wins without a single doubt. A dark, bayou swamp at night with an Orleans plantation style kitchen/patio across the way. Just beautiful. The sounds of the frogs croaking and crickets plus the water splashing and shooting stars above. It's just done all so well.

        #2 -- Hungry Bear
        The Hungry Bear is so relaxing on a warm summer evening as you watch the train and ships and canoes go by. Hearing the waterfalls in the distance and birds and such only adds to it.

        #3 -- Golden Horseshoe
        I love this place. It's perfect on rainy days or hot days or just when you want to get away. It seems to be hidden and rarely is crowded even on packed days. I love going upstairs and sitting above the stage like I am in a saloon in the old west in 1880. It's even more fun if you happen to be in there when they put on the show.

        #4 -- Rancho del Zocalo
        I love this place so much and it was hard to rank it #4. I honestly could easily flip-flop #2 thru 4 to be honest. The Spanish architecture is so calming with the blur tile, adobe archways, tile roofing and iron gates and lighting. Plus, you get to enjoy watching Big Thunder in the distance!! I love hearing the train go by as it re-enters the station or hearing the distant whistles and track creaks! Plus, birds are everywhere and always add to the calming effect with their little tweets.

        #5 -- Plaza Inn
        Haven't been here in ages, maybe 13 years now. But I grew up going there all the time and still love sitting on the patio on warm summer nights and just enjoying the lights. I used to love sitting outside and eating during the MSEP in the 80s and 90s. In winter it was always nice to be inside where it is nice n cozy. I need to re-visit soon!


        HONORABLE MENTION
        Tropical Hideaway. I haven't been yet, but I love tropical stuff and am obsessed with Hawaiian and Polynesian culture. I think Tropical Hideaway will probably replace Plaza Inn at #5.




        .

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        • #5
          Rancho del Zocalo or Plaza Inn
          I find the meal ambiance and filling.......at a value
          Food
          experience is enjoyable.
          Cafe Orleans is also my list
          Soaring like an EAGLE !

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          • #6
            River Belle Terrace and Blue Bayou

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            • #7
              Really can't top Blue Bayou for theming, it's not even a contest really. Tropical Hideaway is a now close second.

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              • #8
                I do really like Tropical Hideaway, as well. My only complaint is I don’t like their food selection (not the point of this thread), but we brought our food there and got a table right by Rosita and watched the boats go by. So much better than the Aladdin thing they had there for far too long.
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                • #9
                  These restaurants though not intentionally built for themeing nonetheless have been built in locations which give them great themed views: The Jolly Holiday Bakery, Plaza Inn and Flo's.
                  The Blue Bayou definitely is the best themed restaurant.
                  I am old. But still love Disneyland.

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                  • #10
                    Blue Bayou theme is top notch but their food is second rate.

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                    • #11
                      It's heartwarming to see all the love for Rancho del Zocalo. This was a location I didn't come to appreciate until I was older, but now it is my favorite and most frequent destination. I probably wouldn't rank it as high if I didn't enjoy the food more than any other location in the park (I am half Mexican, after all), but there is no beating the theming. Any restaurant that lets you sit next to another well-themed ride and watch as you eat your meal (Blue Bayou/Hungry Bear) instantly win points.

                      As echoed above, I love the architecture, the lighting, the music, and the integration with the rest of the land. I love that I can sit quasi-inside and enjoy star lanterns or quasi-outside with heat lamps to keep me warm when I need them. It's not a spectacular theming experience (e.g. Blue Bayou), but it's nice to see it's not as underrated as I think it is.

                      Blue Bayou is arguably better themed, but I want to add a caveat. Much of that theming is more piggybacking off of Pirates of the Caribbean rather than the restaurant's own theming. Where to draw the line is indiscernible, so of course Blue Bayou does have an excellent theme. If we're talking just a restaurant as a stand alone entity, I might have to go with Cafe Orleans or Golden Horseshoe, which are both great in their own right.

                      The final answer? Disneyland has some excellently themed restaurants. We all win! Unless we go to Alien Pizza Planet, in which case nobody wins.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WaltDisney'sAlec View Post

                        The final answer? Disneyland has some excellently themed restaurants. We all win! Unless we go to Alien Pizza Planet, in which case nobody wins.
                        I AGREE....... We all WIN ,
                        Disneyland has some excellently themed restaurants!
                        Only thing that good about ,Alien Pizza Planet.....is the convenience of a restroom near by

                        Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                        • #13
                          Other than Blue Bayou (of course), I would vote Carthay Circle. It’s a different kind of theming (understated) but beautifully done.

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                          • #14
                            Blue Bayou, of course. But I also like Flo's V-8 Care. That place has really grown on me. I also really enjoy Lamplight Lounge, has great views in my opinion.

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                            • #15
                              I really wish this was one area where DLR would up its game to WDW level. A few highly themed in-park restaurants with quality character meals would be so great.
                              DLR just has nothing like Cinderella’s Royal Table, or Tusker House at Animal Kingdom or even non character highly themed restaurants like Sci-fi dine in or 50’s Prime-Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios. Not to mention all the incredible dining options at EPCOT.
                              I do want to try Flos V8 Cafe next time. Looks like a cool experience.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by PCA Mickey View Post
                                I really wish this was one area where DLR would up its game to WDW level. A few highly themed in-park restaurants with quality character meals would be so great.
                                DLR just has nothing like Cinderella’s Royal Table, or Tusker House at Animal Kingdom or even non character highly themed restaurants like Sci-fi dine in or 50’s Prime-Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios. Not to mention all the incredible dining options at EPCOT.
                                I do want to try Flos V8 Cafe next time. Looks like a cool experience.
                                I agree. When I go to WDW, I find myself planning my meals and looking forward to the restaurants almost as much as the attractions.
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                                • #17
                                  My favorites were Big Thunder Ranch BBQ and Village Haus when it was Pinocchio themed. Now I'll have to settle for Plaza Inn. Hungry Bear is my favorite view, but a view is not a theme.

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                                  • #18
                                    Storytellers Café at the
                                    Grand Californian Hotel
                                    To me ,have a great theme
                                    Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                                    • #19
                                      I think it's weird nobody has yet mentioned Trader Sam's. It's by far the most thematically immersive dining/drinking place on property so long as you sit inside.

                                      Carthay Circle Restaurant is also extremely immersive. It's easy to forget you are in a theme park while dining there. Ditto for Club 33 but it's so exclusive that it hardly counts.

                                      Many other restaurants have nice themes but still retain that theme park feel: Blue Bayou, Rancho del Zocalo, Red Rose Taverne, Flo's, Plaza Inn, Lamplight Lounge, etc.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by mandelbrot View Post
                                        I think it's weird nobody has yet mentioned Trader Sam's. It's by far the most thematically immersive dining/drinking place on property so long as you sit inside.

                                        Carthay Circle Restaurant is also extremely immersive. It's easy to forget you are in a theme park while dining there. Ditto for Club 33 but it's so exclusive that it hardly counts.

                                        Many other restaurants have nice themes but still retain that theme park feel: Blue Bayou, Rancho del Zocalo, Red Rose Taverne, Flo's, Plaza Inn, Lamplight Lounge, etc.
                                        Yes, Trader Sams is amazing. I have to admit, in my mind I was only going through the restaurants inside the theme parks, but anything on Disneyland property is fair game. My only complaint with Trader Sams is its so small that it’s hard to get a table at times. Of course, it is a bar and technically not a restaurant, so their focus is a bit different.
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