Y’all, I am a huge coffee drinker. We’re talking 4+ cups a day coffee drinker. So when I’m in the Disneyland Resort running around through super long days on way-too-little sleep, I’m frequently thinking about when and where I can get my next iced americano, or at least a boring non-espresso cup of coffee to keep me going until I get some more carbs and sugar. Thankfully, there are tons of places throughout the Resort to caffeine up - maybe even some you wouldn’t expect.
I’m just gonna come right out with it and let y’all know none of us at Lost Weekenders support calorie counting in Disneyland. You’re walking at least 10 miles a day. Have the fried chicken.
We also understand not everyone abides by the same Disneyland belief system, or maybe doesn’t have the same type of flexibility when it comes to food.
I’m here to help y’all out. Let’s dive into some healthy (but still supes tasty, y’all) snacks and meals at the happiest place on earth.
Quick Tip: If you’re ever curious about diving deeper into Disney dining, you can check out the full list of restaurants and their menus for both parks here.
Oh, my beloved pickle. There’s nothing quite like one on a super hot day when you’ve been walking and sweating. They’re a good way to replenish some lost electrolytes and curb a growling stomach. If you’ve always passed by the pickle stands, I highly suggest you try one out.
2. Dole Whip
It’s just not a real Disney trip without a Dole Whip. You can find whips by the Tiki Room in Adventureland, and at the coffee shop at the Disneyland Hotel. I like a classic soft serve, but you can get it float style, swirled into a tall cup with pineapple juice. They’re dairy free and about 90 calories.
3. Skewers at Bengal BBQ
If you need a more robust snack on the go, you can’t beat Bengal BBQ. Located across from Indiana Jones in Adventureland, Bengal BBQ serves up super tasty and healthy kebabs. You can get a variety of veggies and meat, all which are marinated and grilled. I love the bacon wrapped asparagus skewer, and the Bengal beef skewer.
4. Fruit with Tajin
Pretty sure fruit is just a vehicle for Tajin. At any of the stands where you’d get a pickle, you can also pick up big slices of watermelon, packets of mango, or big pineapple skewers. Plus there’s packets of Tajin, a chili lime seasoning, which I douse any and all fruit with on a regular basis.
5. Salads at Pizza Port
Listen, I feel like Pizza Port gets a bad wrap. Like, I get it. It could use a makeover. It seems hokey. But, guys, I love pizza port. As the name suggests, they have a bunch of pizza (that’s not that great), but they also have a variety of salads ready to go. I usually go for the Asian chicken salad, but they have options for every type of discerning salad selector (a thing I just made up). I also pick up a pack of breadsticks and marinara because, carbs.
6. Spinach and tomato egg white frittata at Carnation Cafe
If you’re sad because you want the Mickey shaped thing but you don’t want waffles, fun news! They’ve created another way for you to eat Mickey’s head. The egg white frittatas at Carnation Cafe on Main Street are delicious, Mickey shaped, and healthy.
7. Chili lime corn from Edelweiss Snacks
Chili lime, yes please. When you’re done eating it on your watermelon head over to Edelweiss across from the Matterhorn and eat it on your corn.
8. Veggie Gumbo
Around the corner from the Pirates line entrance you can grab a bowl (of the bread variety if you’re into that kind of thing (I am)) of either meaty or meatless gumbo. Both are Lost Weekenders approved, and we’ve been known to cross the circus that is Main Street on a parade AND firework night to snag a bowl.
9. Spring Rolls from Carthay
These are best with a pear martini if you’re Kelsey (me), a Pim’s Punch if you’re Kat, or a gin and tonic if you’re Stephen.
10. Rice bowls at Lucky Fortune Cookery
Packed with protein and good grains, these are so so so so so good, and will keep you full for like...ever. Although no lie I can still horf a churro right after like it’s no one’s business.
These are just a few of our favorites. There’s so many options when it comes to food at Disneyland, just about everywhere you go will have healthy and tasty options.
What’s your favorite healthy Disney snack?
We’re risking a lot by telling you this. Trader Sam’s is our go-to spot for every Disneyland trip - a place we always have to visit at least once, and in an ideal world, we visit multiple times a trip. By giving out this info, it’s likely we’re making it EVEN HARDER for ourselves to find seats inside, but you know what? That’s how much we like you.
Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar is an oasis located at the Disneyland Hotel pool. If you’ve been on the Jungle Cruise ride in Disneyland, you’ve met Trader Sam: he’s at the end, offering you a special deal - two of his heads for just one of yours.
The tiki bar is like a combo of Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones and the Enchanted Tiki Room: the walls are littered with postcards addressed to ‘Sam’ - some from Dr. Jones himself, others from travelers who seem to have bartered with the trader for random objects and photos. The columns supporting the bar seem to come straight from the Enchanted Tiki Room - you might expect them to start singing at any moment.
There’s also a reason it’s called the ‘Enchanted’ Tiki Bar. Watch the lazy eyes of the tiki columns closely, pay attention whenever anyone orders a draught beer, wait to see if anyone happens to find their barstool coming closer and closer to the floor. Expect a special show any time someone orders a Shipwreck on the Rocks, an Uh-Oa, or a Krakatoa Punch (don’t worry, you’ll know when it happens).
Pro tip: Trader Sam's is all-ages until 8:00 PM - after that, it's ages 21+ only.
Trader Sam’s has one major drawback, and that is the fact that it is TINY. Given that there are only a very few tables in the bar, there’s a good chance that you will show up to find either a long awkward hovering wait ahead of you, or no chance of getting a table at all.
Luckily, there is a good amount of seating outside. Unluckily, the seating outside is not nearly as magical as the seating inside.
To maximize the chance of getting a seat inside, show up early (around when it opens). Also advisable: show up on a weekday. The worst times to go are the late afternoon through the rest of the night, and definitely once the park has closed.
While we’re on the subject, don’t be one of those people who brings a huge group to Trader Sam’s - it’s a total bummer to walk into the bar and see every seat in the room taken up by one giant group who plans on staying for a few hours. If you’re in a huge group, maybe consider picking up your drinks inside and then finding a seat outside, which is a much more functional place for group seating.
Lost Safari: this is my go-to drink and it never lets me down. (It's now off the official menu, but they can still make it).
Krakatoa Punch: comes with a glow-cube, and tastes like heaven.
Shrunken Zombie Head: Delicious and gets you boozed up in no time.
Shipwreck on the Rocks: This drink is basically just sweetened bourbon over ice. It’s amazing.
The Tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki rum: Often you’ll be asked to say the entire drink title, so don’t try to get away with just asking for a ‘tiki rum’. Creamy and cinnamon-y, this drink is Kelsey’s go-to.
The Uh-Oa: Boozy and a little too easy to drink, this delicious drink comes with four straws and a show but goes really fast!
Trader Sam's recently revamped their menu with quite a few new drinks, including the Angolada, Zambezi Sour, Pago Pago Cocktail, La Florida, and Safari Swizzle. We've sampled them all (naturally), and found that some of them, surprisingly and unfortunately, just aren't that great (though the Pago Pago is an exception and is delicious). You'll notice that some of our recommendations aren't on the menu anymore (Lost Safari, whyyyyyy) but we've been assured that the bartenders still know how to make the Old Menu drinks.
Fried green beans: ALWAYS GET THESE. Even if you’re not hungry. They are so so good.
Lettuce Wraps: The portions look small, but it takes a while to get through this delicious appetizer.
To be honest, we don’t recommend having an actual meal at Trader Sam’s (unpopular opinion?). The times we’ve ordered burgers or sandwiches, we’ve found ourselves disappointed with the portion size and price - it seems like you can get a much better bang for your buck in other locations in Disneyland. For this reason, we usually stick to appetizers (sometimes mutliple rounds of green beans because seriously, they are so. good.) and drinks.
BUY A SOUVENIR MUG. Trader Sam’s has the coolest mugs in the resort, and if you have room in your luggage, we highly recommend buying at least one. Plus, the price is usually only a few bucks more if you're adding it onto a drink.
Live Music: After dark on select evenings (usually on weekends), Trader Sam's hosts live Hawaiian-style music in the outdoor seating area. It's super relaxing and very easy to imagine you've found yourself on some island paradise, delicious tiki drink in hand.
Disneyland Hotel & Trader Sam's
If you're staying at the Disneyland Hotel you're already living the high life, but be sure to take this into account: not only can you get Trader Sam's to-go (so you can take your dranks to the pool), but most of the time, you can get poolside service while you lounge. That's right, Trader Sam's delivered. To you. At the pool. Talk about living the dream.
Ultimately, it would be pretty tough to find yourself disappointed at Trader Sam's. So if you find yourself in the Disneyland Resort looking for both a break from the crowds and a delicious alcoholic (or non-alcoholic I GUESS) beverage, give it a whirl.
One of the best parts about Disneyland is no matter how many times you’ve been, there’s always something new to do. So when Disneyland announced their new dining experience which takes place overlooking Tomorrowland, we were on board. We tried it, and I’m here to tell you all about it.
Pricing: There’s a flat fee of $45 a person with no AP discount. Under three, like everything else, is free.
Where: You wait in line at the base of the ramp at Innoventions (now Launch Bay). They give each person a wristband, then walk your party up the ramp to the top outside balcony, where you pick up your dessert box and get your seat. Your seating area is yours for the night, so you can come and go as you please.
What you get: A private dining space to kick back, with a box of desserts. You get just one box per person, but unlimited drinks. There are games and activities, and some very attentive cast members. You also get a souvenir lanyard.
And now let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Okay, here’s the thing. I think this could be super cool, I’m in love with the idea, but it’s not quite there, yet. What you get isn’t quite $45 dollars worth. However, I wouldn’t necessarily change the price since you can’t fit too many people up there, and since you get to keep your seat the whole night, there’s no turnover. I would however switch up presentation, but I’ll get into that in a bit.
The coolest part of the whole experience is you get to keep your spot and come and go as you please. You get led up the old innoventions ramp to the top balcony that overlooks Tomorrowland. The view is super cool, and I imagine would be incredible during the fireworks (they weren’t happening on this last trip). There’s also a very limited amount of seats, so you get to stretch out and get away from the crowds for a while.
You grab your dessert box, grab a drink of choice (no booze), and a cast member leads you to your seating area, which is a grouping of white couches around light-up tables. There are games spread out, some at your table, and some in common areas so if you’re a sociable person (so the opposite of me), you can play giant jenga and bond with randos (once again, could be super fun if you’re not a socially awkward human like myself).
The food, which is the main part they advertise, was dismal. They hand you a plastic box with about four reimagined Little Debbie treats, some grapes, and a scoop of pub cheese with crackers. The desserts were pretty good, not great, kind of dampened by presentation. The woman at the seating area next to us mentioned she was lactose intolerant so her box was super sad. She had rice cakes and hummus and gummy bears. That’s it.
I think this is where they could level up the most. Even if they served you your dessert selection on a fancy platter, the whole thing would feel much more tied together and special. Everything else feels so swanky and like a VIP experience, and the plastic box of semi-palatable desserts takes you out of that carefully crafted experience they’ve aced up to that point. Also like...up your game for different allergies, Disneyland. Rice cakes and gummy bears is just plain rude.
On the flip side, you get as many drinks as you want, so shove those mini water bottles all up in your purse (I did this and I have zero shame). They have a pretty solid selection of dranks, from soft drinks and waters (fizzy and flat, y’all), they also have big ole carafes of coffee, hot chocolate, and hot water with a choice of tea bags. And you can hydrate up, there’s no limit.
So would I recommend doing this? If you’re new to Disneyland, maybe hold off until they up the game a bit. It would also probably be worth it for newbies if it’s a fireworks night. If it’s not, it might be a bummer couple hours you could be experiencing the parks.
If you’re a Disneyland pro- and you don’t have any food allergies, I’d say it could be worth it? Maybe? If you like doing new things in the parks, maybe? Just have the right expectations going in and a giant tote bag to stash $45 worth of drinks.
I think it’s a super cool idea, and definitely has potential to be something really special in the park. I think it could use a little leveling up. And less pub cheese.
By now, you’ve either experienced or have heard the hype surrounding the almighty Dole Whip. This iconic treat is delicious, sweet and refreshing - and we’ve got the run-down on everything you need to know about it.
From all the hype, you’d think Dole Whip was some miraculous, addictive, sugary secret-Disney-recipe treat, but really, it’s just pineapple soft serve. There must be something secret-Disney-recipe about it though, because we’ve tried loads of ‘pineapple soft serve’ offerings from other amusement parks and nothing compares.
Dole Whip is available in Disneyland in either plain soft serve, float (soft serve plus pineapple juice), or float + booze (light or dark rum) form. The boozy version is only available from the Disneyland Hotel, and we HIGHLY recommend it; rum + dole whip is pretty much a match made in heaven.
Plus, at less than $5 and about 90 calories, the Dole Whip won’t break the bank or your waistline (not that we advocate counting calories in Disneyland, that’s a great way to have a crappy time at the Happiest Place on Earth).
Dole Whip is available at not just one but two locations in the Disneyland Resort.
At the entrance to Adventureland, right next to the entryway to the Enchanted Tiki Room, sits the Tiki Juice Bar. The main line circles around the outside of the Tiki Room garden, sometimes stretching all the way to the entrance to Aladdin’s Oasis.
There is also a line inside the Tiki Garden (often, this line is shorter) but be cool and don’t dash into the Tiki Garden just to try to get a line shortcut if you’re not going to watch the Tiki Room show - theoretically, the line inside should be for those guests waiting to see the show.
The Disneyland Hotel
Dole Whip is now also available hidden away at the coffee shop in the Disneyland Hotel, close to Goofy’s Kitchen. This is the only place you can get some rum added into your float!
The fact that the Dole Whip is probably the most popular Disney treat means that the lines can get far too long far too quickly. The best time to get in line at the Tiki Juice Bar is about 5-10 minutes before it opens (usually around 11 am). Your second best option for the Tiki Juice Bar line is just to scope it out whenever you’re walking through Adventureland.
The Disneyland Hotel, luckily, is still less popular as a destination for the Dole Whip, so the line there is almost always much shorter.
There’s never a bad time for a Dole Whip. If you happen to be in the area of either location and there’s a short line, it’s a good time to employ one of your rules of Disneyland and ‘ride now, ask questions later’. Jump on into that line and treat yourself - you will not regret it.
Dole whip rum float from Disneyland Hotel
I’m actually super hesitant to share this secret BUT this is what we’re here for, I guess. The dole whip line at the Tiki Room is a level of ridiculous I can’t contend with on most days. The most funnest of fun facts? You can get Dole Whip at the coffee shop in the Disneyland Hotel. Zero line. Also since they know what’s up, they’ll throw a shot of rum in your dole whip float. You can opt for a dark rum or coconut rum, I highly recommend going for the coconut rum option.
Twists from Maurice’s
Churros hold a very special churro shaped place in my heart, but if you’re looking for a long cylindrical snack that’s not a churro, definitely check out the twists from Maurice’s cart in Fantasyland (if you’re looking at the front of the castle, to the left). The twists are a flaky pastry twist with different fillings. They’re toasty and soft but still flaky, and laced with different fillings like chocolate or strawberry. They’re messy but who cares, go ahead and shove it right in your mouth hole with no shame.
Bratwurst from the Fantasyland Theater
If you got a corn dog sized craving but not super into the corndog line (fun fact: there’s also a shorter corn dog line one the side of the horseshoe), try out the brat from the Fantasyland Theater (across from Small World, home of Mickey and the Magical Map). It’s SO GOOD, y’all. Like a hot dog but way tastier, it comes served up on an herb roll. While you’re there, check out the other snacks, like pretzel bites and their own stash of twists like Maurice’s.
Ice cream nachos from Golden Horseshoe
Who wants regular ice cream when you could have ICE CREAM NACHOS. That’s a real thing. It’s secret menu, but they’ll know what you’re talking about. It’s an ice cream sundae with broken pieces of waffle bowl for ice cream scooping action. Try now, thank us later.
Peach tree mojito and tableside guac from Tortilla Joes
If the parks are getting too much, venture into Downtown Disney and head over to Tortilla Joes. One of our favorite midday pick-me-ups are a fail-proof combo of the tableside guac and the peach tree mojito. Don’t worry, we’ve tried all the other drinks, even the margaritas, and the peach tree is the best you’re welcome. Also all guac is good guac but tableside guac is the best of the good guac. They pull up a guac-making cart straight from the heavens and you get to customize to reach guac perfection. We also usually get a side of rice and beans to add maximum deliciousness to each scoop.
Fried green beans Trader Sam’s
No lie, the tiki drinks at Trader Sam’s in the Disneyland Hotel are some of the best. And besides Disneyland, we do our fair share of touring tiki bars so we know what’s up. If you’re snuggling up to a few rounds at Trader Sam’s, it’s probably best to get some snacks so you can go longer without making a fool out of yourself. There are lots of good options, and you almost can’t go wrong, but our ride or die are the fried green beans. They come with a sauce I don’t eat because it’s mayonnaise based and mayo is the devil condiment, but even without dipping sauce they are so good. We usually horf down at least two orders.
Neopolitan shake from Flo’s
Flo’s in Cars Land is one of our favorite lunch spots- that turkey dip don’t quit. They also have delicious milkshakes. Imagine if you will, though, not having to choose between chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry. Well, friends, at Flo’s you don’t. Opt for the neapolitan option to get all three flavors layered into one delicious shake. And definitely get them with the crushed oreos on top.
Artichoke Dip from Cove Bar
Cove Bar in California Adventure is known for their Lobster Nachos (which I’ve actually never tried), and while I’m sure those are good, the poor, delicious artichoke dip is the forgotten child. Hot and bubbly, served with thick fresh chips, you can’t go wrong. Pair it with an icy, creamy Pina Colava and you’re good to go.
Snack mix and drinks but not much else from Grand Californian bar
There’s a bar in the Grand Californian! How fun is that. What’s even more fun is they serve the same drinks from Cove Bar, so if that hour long line looks dumb to you, hop on over to the Grand Californian and drink your mai tai in peace. Also, the snack mix they plop on the table is delicious but no lie, nothing else is. Harsh, I know, but besides the drinks and snack mix, everything is inconsistent and sometimes straight up gross. But if you need a big comfy chair and a tasty drink for a while, this is the place.
Fruit with tajin
If you want a super quick snack, pickles are a pretty obvious choice. If you’re not a pickle fan (but why wouldn’t you be), everywhere that has pickles also has big watermelon spears and containers of mango with tajin, a delicious chili lime seasoning I put on just about everything I can. You can also find apples and caramel sauce and pineapple spears.
Bacon wrapped asparagus from Bengal Barbeque
First of all everything at Bengal Barbeque in Adventureland is supes tasty, but an all time favorite is the bacon wrapped asparagus kebab. One in each hand and you’re ready for that Pirates line.