If you’ve thought about booking a reservation for an extravagant meal at Disneyland, Blue Bayou is probably on your radar. Chances are, you’ve found yourself on Pirates of the Caribbean wondering what that amazing smell is coming from the restaurant just off the water. If you’ve glanced at the menu outside only to balk at the meal prices and wonder if it’s truly worth it, let us reassure you: it is.
Listen, y'all, if you're looking for a meal with the most ambience and charm in the Disneyland Resort, Blue Bayou is it. Even if you ate nothing and sat at a table for 45 minutes you'd have a great time - the subtle music piping through the speakers, the atmosphere of being in the back yard of a Louisiana mansion, and the sight of boats filled with Pirates of the Caribbean riders drifting slowly by makes this restaurant unique above pretty much all others in the resort.
Definitely make reservations for your lunch or dinner at Blue Bayou as soon as possible, as they fill up fast. If you don’t manage to get one that you want, you can always visit the check-in counter in front of the restaurant and ask if they have any availability that day - you never know when someone might miss their reservation.
If you’re stuck on whether you should pick lunch or dinner, there are a few things to consider. On one hand, it’s fun to have lunch in complete darkness (and enjoy the air conditioning on a hot day), to emerge into the bright sunshine of a Southern California day. The lunch menu is also usually a bit cheaper, though it offers fewer choices.
On the other hand, you want to make sure you’re REALLY hungry when your reservation time comes around, since the portions are pretty large and you want to get your money's worth. In this respect, dinner is sometimes a better option, as you’ll have enough time between breakfast and afternoon snacks to get truly starving.
Blue Bayou offers a Fantasmic! Dining package, which involves a flat fee of $69 per adult for dinner. With dinner, which is a 3 course meal (appetizer, entree and dessert), you’ll receive a pass for reserved dining at a specific showing of Fantasmic!
The reserved area is right in front of the stage (making the Blue Bayou package the best of the multiple Fantasmic! Packages available), but it’s usually pretty likely you’ll be able to find a decent Fantasmic! Viewing spot on your own - without even a Fastpass - and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to enjoy a great dinner at Blue Bayou for less than $69 a person.
Blue Bayou recently changed their menu - which is a TRAVESTY because my meal of choice was always gumbo to start, followed by jambalaya which is NO LONGER AVAILABLE - and the famous Monte Cristo sandwich is now only available for lunch.
However, you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. The portions are large enough that you’re going to be way too full by the time you leave, and the food feels fancy enough for the rather large pricetag.
We highly recommend the gumbo as your starter, because let’s be real, you can get a salad freaking anywhere. And no, the gumbo is not the same as the gumbo available in bread bowls just outside - it’s totally different and still amazing.
WAYS TO MAKE IT EVEN BETTER
Remember, when you’re checking in, you can ask for a table by the water (or the tree, or wherever you fancy). Sometimes you have to wait a little longer to have a specific table, but we think it’s totally worth it - sitting by the door or the kitchen can really detract from the ambiance.
You can get a special drink with a glow cube, which is fun but kindof distracting since the restaurant is so dark.
If you feel like photographing your experience, bring a camera that can handle low-light situations - flash photos are pretty much your only option otherwise, and they nearly always look horrible (plus, again, the flashing light really detracts from the Blue Bayou ambiance).
So yeah, Blue Bayou might be way more expensive than other food options in Disneyland, but when it comes down to charm (and isn't that why you're in Disneyland and not Six Flags?) it cannot be beat. And the amazing food is a great plus!