Now that we have gone over the best budget meals, we should address value meals that can be found at table service eateries within Disneyland. While these are not bottom line budget friendly, they do offer some value to their cost. Keep in mind that sit down dining at the Disneyland Resort will hit your wallet a bit harder than outside the parks. We also recommend using Disney Dining to reserve your dining times at any of the sit down restaurants. They can be reached by phone at 714-781-DINE (3463). Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance but I have made them much sooner, even same day during less crowded days.
Main Street USA:
Carnation Cafe-This establishment has been long vaunted for its offerings, with large menu items that were tasty and not very healthy. They shut down, revamped the restaurant and reopened with indoor seating once again and a revamped menu. The new menu is not nearly as good as the old but the premiere favorite item is still available. That would be Chef Oscars Loaded potato soup. Its still delicious, but it has been downsized to a cup size. Still it is still good and if your looking for a light bite, this could be enough. It's $5.99+tax for the cup. On the current menu we feel the following items to be decent in taste and price. The Main Street Cheeseburger comes topped with cheddar cheese, tomato, red onion, Lettuce and their house sauce. It comes with fries or fruit. The burger is $11.99+tax. The second is the homemade Meatloaf. this comes topped with a ketchup glaze and a mushroom gravy, and served with mashed potatoes and edamame succotash. This is a filling and very tasty option here, and comes in at $12.49. If it's near a parade time, you could aim to sit outside and enjoy your meal while watching the parade go by. If the day is hot, the air conditioning inside is a blessing.
New Orleans Square:
Cafe Orleans-This is a fun, sit down eatery with mostly outdoor patio seating and some indoor seating. It is nice to sit on the patio to eat your meal surrounded by the atmosphere of New Orleans Square and the people walking to and fro. the menu is not huge and we have definite favorite items on it. To start with, we recommend starting with the parmesean Pommes frites (french fries). They come hot, sprinkled with garlic and parmesean, and are provided a delicious spicy Cajun dipping sauce. These will set you back $5.49+tax. I like to pair this with their wonderful French onion soup as a meal. The soup is only available in a cup for $8.99+tax. I have also paired them up with the gumbo which is the same as as what is served in the Blue Bayou and available in a cup size for $5.99+tax and a bowl for $8.99+tax.
As for main dishes, my favorite is the N'awlins
Vegetable Ragou. This is basically ratatouille, topped with corn cakes, asparagus, and grated Padano cheese. You can add Chicken or Salmon to it, but frankly it isn't necessary if you are having an appetizer of any kind. The standard rendition is $15.49+tax. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the infamous Monte Cristo Sandwich, once only available in the Blue Bayou. This is an incredibly rich sandwich, that has little resemblance to the usual Monte Cristo with a good amount of batter and the fillings. They offer two selections- the turkey, ham, and Swiss cheese standard version and the three cheese version with brie, mozzorella, and Swiss cheeses. The sandwich is deep fried and presented dusted in powdered sugar with a berry puree and usually a side of grapes.This is probably something best shared by two people along with starters, do one person is not overwhelmed by the richness of them.Each version runs $17.99+tax. If you do want this sandwich, it is a better value from here than the Blue Bayou. Of course with the Blue Bayou, you are not paying for the food, it is the atmosphere.
The Blue Bayou:The only reason to visit this restaurant is for the ambiance of eating at a faux plantation house inside the Pirates of Caribbean ride. Meals run from $25.49+tax for the Monte Cristo sandwich at lunch to $45.99+tax for their surf & turf at dinner. Appetizers are included with meals consisting of either salad or gumbo, with an upcharge option for a shrimp cocktail. No appetizers are offered for separate ordering. If you want to experience the atmosphere without the high meal cost, they offer a couple of desserts that run around $8.99 each and would allow you time to experience it. We do not recommend letting anyone know that is your plan until you sit down to order. No matter what you want to eat there, try to take the time for a water side table to really get the best of the restaurant atmosphere.
Big Thunder Ranch BBQ-While this eatery is not one of the least expensive options for sit down meals, it could be a great value as it is all you care to eat. It is an outdoor only seating arrangement on picnic tables with food served in buckets and bowls and drinks in mason glasses. They offer a western entertainment that goes along with the western theme presented here. Lunch includes tender BBQ ribs, BBQ chicken, vinegar style cole slaw, ranch beans, and corn bread. This comes in for adults $23.99 and kids 3 to 9 for $11.99. Drinks are extra.For dinner they add smoked sausage to the meat bucket and Corn cob pinwheels to the sides. The dinner pricing is $26.99 and the children's price is the same as lunch.You can request one type of meat if you have a preference and they do have a vegetarian option at both lunch and dinner. We preferred the ribs over the chicken, and ended up eating a couple of rounds of them. We feel this dining option is really only worth it if you intend to dig in to several rounds and really take advantage of the all you care to eat. Keep in mind that may cut zipping around the park to a much slower pace to digest.