Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Dodger Dog of Theme Parks

One of my top ten, all-time favorite smells has to be the sweet fragrance of a Disneyland churro. Admittedly, some nostalgic bias taints my preference for the Spanish pastry. Growing up just twenty minutes from the House of Mouse, I spent many birthdays and summers clinging to Mickey with a churro in hand. What the Dodger Dog does for a trip to Dodger stadium, a churro does for a day at Disneyland. Having logged a number of hours in the office, I decided to venture outside for some field research at “the happiest place on earth.” Two days and seven churros later, I felt it my duty to report on the wining and dining experience.

Making the right food choices at the Disney parks depends on two factors: time and money. For example, those traveling in packs (otherwise known as families) might enjoy a more casual lunch or dinner after a chaotic day with the young ones—saving cash and energy. The twelve and under crowd will love the tropical atmosphere at the Rainforest Cafe, although it might not offer the quiet respite parents seek. With its dim candle lighting, great seafood, and echoing screams of thrill seekers nearby, the Blue Bayou charms couples looking for a romantic getaway (make reservations early in the day to ensure a table). The Wine Country Trattoria also provides a grown-up experience in the otherwise kid friendly environment. The Mission Tortilla Factory in California Adventure bakes fresh tortillas on the spot, in addition to handing out free samples. For dessert, some of my personal favorites come from the Baker’s Field CafĂ©. Their diverse menu runs the gamut from light cream puffs to rich chocolate brownies. Lastly, before you wave goodbye to your favorite cartoon hero, be sure to grab a churro or two.
—Jeremy Millington