Friday, April 21, 2006


This week we headed up to Disneyland. I was amazed to see that Disney actually let you bring in food- being sure that they would want to drag every last penny out of you. We packed up a picnic- comprised largely of Trader Joes dips, plus crudities and tortilla chips and headed up to the park. When we arrived at the gate the lady checked my picnic backpack and proclaimed that we could only enter if we promised not to use our picnic plates- food is allowed, but plates are not. The reasoning being I suppose that food is a snack and plates constitute a picnic. We faithfully promised, and entered the park. When lunch time arrived however we found Disneyland devoid of picnic tables- we knew there was new somewhere and understood it to be just to the left of the park entrance. After quite a lot of searching we found the most secluded area imaginable- more difficult to locate than the secret garden, disguised by 20 foot hedges there to stop anyone getting ideas about not eating the Disneyland food.
We had a lovely lunch, in relative peace thanks to the hedges, and later in the afternoon were made to be heartily glad of our picnic plan. We stopped at a cafe for a drink and saw the most disgusting looking food that was being served- I believe the idea behind it was Chili cheese hotdogs- they looked like a piece of cardboard, with a piece of rubber inside, covered in sludge and plastic. All for the wonderful price of $7 a hot dog!
We were not so well prepared however to avoid Disneyland prices entirely and our two evenings at the parks were spent dining in "Downtown Disney". Once I got over the price shift and just accepted it as Disneyland I was pleasantly surprised. We went first night to Cafe Uva, an open air terrace serving a range of foods which were all plesant enough, with friendly service- a nice relaxing break from our theme park day.
The next evening we dined late at night in the Jazz Cafe, a wonderful restaurant with genuine New Orleans artifacts including an outrageous beaded Piano. The service was wonderful, our dishes delightfully presented and we had a lovely relaxing time. Until that is, some of the wait staff, (presumably after a long day) came and started to play chopsticks and every other moronic tune on the piano. Not what you need after hours of being subjected to Disney music. This was an unprofessional moment that took the glamour off our evening a little.
So my advice for Disney- bring food, lots of nice healthy food. Dine out in the evening, (you'll need it after walking around Disney all day), and be prepared for high prices, that’s all you are gonna get- just deal with it.

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