Personally I think a trip to Disneyland is totally worth the money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save a few bucks while you’re on vacation to make the most of your trip. That means whenever we visit Disney Parks we usually pack lunch and snacks. On our last trip we scoped out some of the best places to a eat a packed lunch in Disneyland (with kids!) to make your Disneyland vacation easier.
Before I get into it, there’s a few things you need to know about bringing your own food into the park. First of all, it’s totally allowed, but there are some rules.
Second, packing meals and snacks are a great way to save money on your trip. We use it to stretch out Disneyland food budget, which means we can eat all the churros we want guilt free.
Third, there are plenty of great places to sit down and eat in Disneyland; super handy, especially with kids.
Where Can You Sit and Eat a Packed Snack or Lunch in Disneyland?
Some places allow outside food and some don’t. Typically any outdoor seating is going to let you bring your own snacks, as well as pretty much all the quick service places. You can also snack and walk, on benches, have kids eat in the stroller, or just find a nice spot on the ground to eat.
As long as you’re not in the way or making a mess there aren’t too many rules. Of course, you can’t bring food or drinks on most rides, so keep that in mind. You should also be respectful of everyone around you!
Anyway, we did a lot of lunches and snacks at Disneyland. Here’s some of the best places we found to sit down and eat with 3 young kids in tow:
Mary Poppins Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe
Tucked in a weird spot just off Main Street, USA, the Jolly Holiday Bakery is a super cute place to stop for a coffee or snack. There isn’t a tonne of seating, but I also found that not too many people were really interested in sitting down there anyway so we never had a problem finding a spot.
I was a big fan of being able to drink coffee while the kids snacked, especially since there aren’t many convenient places to get coffee in the Disneyland park. Mary Poppins is one of my favourite movies so the atmosphere was on point too.
By the Galactic Grill
This was another one that we always seemed to find a seat at: the Galactic Grill in Tomorrowland. It’s not too far out of the way to stop at for lunch, especially if you’re coming from Fantasyland or are already in Tomorrowland. I liked that it was outside and, although there were lots of tables, we didn’t feel super crowded.
Some of the tables are also pretty far away from the food kiosk which is great if your kids (like mine) sometimes wonder why they have grapes and other kids have burgers.
The Golden Horseshoe
Conveniently located in a central spot of Frontierland, the Golden Horseshoe was by far our favourite place to stop for lunch in Disneyland. Here the kids are eating small snacks we got for them, but we also brought our own food in there too. It usually wasn’t very crowded unless there was a show on.
Sadly, the Golden Horseshoe stopped its show that had been running since 1971. However, that also means it’s probably even easier to find a table! Perfect if you need to escape the California heat into some air conditioning while you eat a packed lunch (or snack) in Disneyland.
It’s also a great place for a snack and the ice cream is delicious.
Alien Pizza Planet
Pizza Planet is a quick serve place located in Tomorrowland. It was one of my favourite stops for the ambience and retro Toy Story vibes (thankfully the twins also love Toy Story!) but the food, in my opinion, really isn’t that good. Although it’s one of the cheaper places to eat, the pizza is definitely nothing to write home about.
The seating, however, is. Since its indoors, it’s a great place to escape the sun. It’s also ideal if you want a place to grab a snack with little kids while older ones line up for Space Mountain (the entrance is nearby). Overall it was good, but definitely not the cleanest place we ate.
Waiting for the Parade
OK hear me out on this one, but I found strategically planning snack time around waiting for the parade to be a really effective to tame impatient preschoolers at Disneyland. We could find a great spot early on, and the kids would sit and eat while they waited.
We typically snacked for both lunch and dinner in the parks (then made something when we got back to the room if we were still hungry), so this usually coincided with dinner. Perfect snack time!