Disney California Eats

Eating our way through Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park

February 2, 2024

Eating our way through Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park

A few weeks ago we were in California for the return of the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. While I was unable to register for a race, I was still there to support my friends and, of course, to eat.

2024 Disneyland race medals
runDisney always has amazing finisher medals

Having never been to Disneyland in January, this was one of the coldest theme park trips I’ve experienced – 40s at night, 50s during the day. This may have affected our food choices – e.g., no Dole Whip or ice cream-topped churro funnel cake.

This trip was also relatively short so we had to forego some of our traditional favorites like Mickey ice cream bars, pretzels, and popcorn.

So before we get into the list of the many things we ate, here are the highlights of what we loved and didn’t love. And thanks to my fellow reviewers, Susie and Natalie, for their insight and dedication to “research” 🙂

Our “must-eat” list:

Outstanding dishes we would go back for again (and sometimes we did):

  • Maybe because it was so cold, maybe because it was just that dang good, we loved the Jolly Holiday Combo at the Jolly Holiday Bakery. It sounds so simple – grilled cheese sandwich with tomato basil soup – but that soup made the dish. The soup was creamy and satisfying with pops of fresh basil. It wasn’t too heavy and it didn’t taste liked it came from a can.
  • Also at Jolly Holiday Bakery, the Raspberry Rose Mickey-Shaped Macaron which lived up both in Instagrammable looks and cravable taste.
  • The Impossible Spoonful at Pym’s Test Kitchen is plant-based but you would never know it. As my friend said, “the meatball was good enough we kept going back for more.” With the arugula side salad, it was a perfect meal.
  • Jack-Jack’s Cookie Num Num is everything it promises – crispy on the edges, warm and gooey in the center. As you ride the Incredicoaster you get promising whiffs of the cookie and as you exit the ride, there’s the cart waiting for you. “It’s like your own trophy for doing the ride.”
  • The churro toffee can be found at multiple confectionaries in both parks. We got ours from Trolley Treats in California Adventure. The handmade toffee is already delicious but dipping it in white chocolate and then coating it with cinnamon sugar – amazing!
  • Always on the list are the corn dogs from Corn Dog Castle in California Adventure or Little Red Wagon in Disneyland.

Our “not so much” list:

Some things were perfect for the ‘gram but didn’t live up in flavor:

  • The Cozy Cones from the Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land appear as “must-eats” in multiple articles and blogs. And they are definitely worth a picture but lackluster in taste. They were just okay.
  • The cheese-filled pretzels from Bayside Brews in California Adventure were underwhelming and, in one case, under baked.
  • The banoffee pie from Jolly Holiday Bakery looked pretty but in the end was just a banana cream pie with some toffee bits. It was good but could have been so much more.
  • The Mickey-shaped Churro Cookie is another treat that shows up on many “must-eat” lists. It’s definitely impressive looking and great for a photo but is vastly overshadowed by the plain looking but outstanding churro toffee.

So let’s get into the details of where and what we ate:


Display at Candy Palace and Candy Kitchen

Candy Palace & Candy Kitchen

This confectionary on Main Street is great for sweet treats as well as bagged candies and snacks. I brought back freshly made bags of handmade toffee and peanut brittle as gifts and everyone loved them.

Edelweiss Snacks - Cheesy Garlic Pretzel Bread

Edelweiss Snacks

We went to this little cart in Fantasyland (right near the Matterhorn) for the Cheesy Garlic Pretzel Bread. It was as gooey as promised but the pre-made marinara sauce really let it down.

Jolly Holiday Bakery - macarons and banoffee pie

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

We went to this eatery at the end of Main Street almost daily, not only for the delicious baked goods but also, as mentioned previously, for the Jolly Holiday Combo of toasted cheese sandwich and tomato basil soup. Unfortunately we don’t have a picture of the combo.

The Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron is very popular and we were only able to get it once. You need to order early for a chance to get one. The Cherry-Vanilla Macaron is also good but just not quite at the same level.

(From top to bottom: Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron, Cherry-Vanilla Macaron, and Banoffee Pie)

Red Rose Taverne

“Try the grey stuff! It’s delicious!”

We stopped by the Red Rose Taverne in Fantasyland a couple of times for the Grey Stuff Gâteau – red velvet cake with a raspberry center on a sugar cookie covered in cookies and cream mousse.

Ronto Roasters - Ronto Wrap

Ronto Roasters

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about the Ronto Wrap. It’s not that pretty but it’s oh so tasty. I made a trip to Batuu just to get one. Delicious roast pork, grilled sausage, and tangy slaw, wrapped in Sirian bread.

Disney California Adventure Park

Bayside Brews - filled pretzels

Bayside Brews

We were looking forward to the jalapeño cheese-filled and cream cheese pretzels from this beer cart out on Pixar Pier. Unfortunately, they were underwhelming and under baked. Disappointing …

Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff

The strawberry hand pie is a solid treat. It’s nothing too fancy but it hits the spot. There are lots of other fun treats to be had at Bing Bong’s. It’s a fun place to explore.

Boudin Bakery Cart - Baymax bread

San Fransokyo Square

The Baymax and Mickey-shaped loaves at the Boudin Bakery Cart are very popular. People line up through the morning for a chance to buy one (or both). Truth be told, the traditional boule is probably a better choice to highlight the famous Boudin sourdough but the novel shapes are fun.

Corn Dog Castle - Corn Dog

Corn Dog Castle

Back in the day when someone told me that the corn dog at Disneyland was amazing, I was skeptical. But truly, it’s amazing and is always on our list of “must-haves.” You can have one made with a traditional hot dog or, if you like spicy, a hot link. I’ve had both versions and recommend them both.

Cozy Cone Motel - Cozy Cones

Cozy Cone Motel

One evening we tried both the Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese and the Chili Cone Queso Cozy Cones. They looked great but they were underwhelming. We were left wondering why they make it to so many “must eat” lists. With the proper lighting it would make a great IG pic but otherwise, we wouldn’t go back.

Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums

Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums

The namesake cookie is huge, warm, and delicious – everything you want in a giant chocolate chip cookie. Definitely large enough to share. Definitely worth getting more than once.

Lamplight Lounge - Lobster Nachos

Lamplight Lounge

Reservations at Lamplight Lounge are highly sought after and we were happy to get one. It’s a great location out on Pixar Pier and perfect for cool but sunny afternoon. Everything we had from the lobster nachos to the salmon poke, to the shrimp and grits were delicious. We would go there again but don’t have it on our “must go” list.

Lucky Fortune Cookery - Baymax Macaron

Lucky Fortune Cookery

Lest you think we are down on Instagrammable food, we are not. And as evidence, let me present the Baymax Macaron – a Baymax shaped macaron filled with chocolate-hazelnut spread and buttercream. It is quite large for a macaron and perfect for sharing (or to eat on your own with an espresso or two).

Pym's Test Kitchen - Impossible Spoonful and Choco Smash Cake

Pym’s Test Kitchen

By far this was one of our favorite places to eat, second only to Jolly Holiday over in Disneyland. The Impossible™ Spoonful made of a plant-based “meat”ball over pasta was delicious. Adding a side salad of arugula made it a complete meal.

I also loved the Choco Smash Cake. It was rich and dense and delicious. Here’s the official description – layers of brownie, white chocolate peanut butter ganache with crunch pearls, white cake, dark chocolate truffle mousse, and white chocolate caramel bavarian cream, all coated in chocolate ganache and topped with roasted peanuts.

Terran Treats - Cosmic Cream Orb

Terran Treats

Over at the Terran Treats cart we tried the Cosmic Cream Orbs – a cream puff with chocolate craquelin and filled with whipped, purple-tinted raspberry cheesecake. I am not a fan of raspberry but I didn’t taste it at all. Truth be told, I thought the filling was ube. It was good.

Trolley Treats - Mickey Churro Cookie and Churro Toffee

Trolley Treats

If you didn’t pick up on our enthusiasm for the Churro Toffee, let me say again how much we loved, loved, loved this handmade toffee, dipped in white chocolate, and coated in cinnamon sugar. Did I mention we loved it?

As for the cute Mickey-shaped Churro Cookie – we loved the look but were underwhelmed by the flavor. Maybe it wasn’t fair to try it at the same time we tried the Churro Toffee. But there it is …

And those are the highlights of our trip to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. What are your favorite eats? What did we miss? Do you agree with our must-haves and our not-so-muchs? Let me know in the comments.

Have a magical day!

You May Also Like…

Where to Eat: Kapahulu

Where to Eat: Kapahulu

Running from the Waikiki Zoo on one end, to the H-1 Freeway on the other, this one mile stretch of Kapahulu Avenue is...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *