In one of my recent reviews I wrote about my amazing opportunity to indulge at the exclusive and somewhat hush-hush Club 33 located within Disneyland's New Orleans' Square. For me that opportunity was a rare expensive treat that not many Disneyland visitors will ever experience. I continue to be appreciative to KevinEats for making a bit of Disney magic come true for both Jenn and I. Thanks again Kevin!
Still as often as I do go to Disneyland I know there are plenty of other places to eat that don't require membership or involve dipping into your 401K. Maybe I'll get a beef, chicken, or vegetable skewer from Bengal BBQ. Perhaps I'll stop at the Little Red Wagon in Disneyland or Corndog Castle in California Adventure (the better of the two) for a hotdog on a stick. Cheap meats on poking devices is something Disney does well. But if you want to eat in Club 33-like history stop at the Plaza Inn for a fried chicken plate that comes with mash potatoes, corn, and can easily fill the bellies of two.
There is another place however I hesitate even mentioning for fear of making it harder to get a seat. Perhaps Disney's best secret, apart from Club 33 and the basketball court above the Matterhorn, is White Water Snacks in Disney's Grand Californian Hotel. For the hotel resident (lucky you), the hotel wanderer, or the park visitor the place is easy to miss and will require a little extra legwork to get to.
If you're coming from the hotel follow the signs to Napa Rose, walk past the hotel guest entrance to California Adventure until you hit a deadend. If the big hanging sign isn't enough of a clue for you that restaurant to the left is White Water Snacks. Now if you're coming from the park you'd need to exit Condor Flats through the hotel guest entrance and make a sharp left. The same deadend and smart ass remark regarding signage apply to you to.
Inside you can breath a sigh of relief as you take in the cafeteria meets lodge atmosphere. They've got soft serve yogurt, a slushy machine that has cherry and apple flavors, unlimited refills on fountain drinks, a glass case with pre-made sandwiches and bottled beverages, a plastic display case containing baked goods just like you'd find in the park, and even another glass deep freeze with the exact same Mickey Mouse Ice Cream sandwich you saw on Main Street. The big difference here is you can buy those things with a credit card and get a 10% discount with your Disneyland Annual Pass. A sweet deal on two counts!
The reason I come here is for the menu of hot prepared food on the menu board opposite you. On it you'll see breakfast and lunch/dinner choices of which I've only had the latter. Notice that nothing on it breaks the $10 barrier? When you've made your choice order with the cashier and wait for your food to arrive at your chosen table. It won't be hard to find one since there are always plenty. This is one of the few places on the Disney property where you won't have to knock over a child in a small stroller, or hover near someone enjoying a cheeseburger.
For this post I've combined a couple visits where I've had a total of three items. Here for your viewing and educational pleasure is my food:
Let's start off with the Shredded Beef Nachos.
These are not movie theater nachos. The chips are made in-house and not from a bag of Tostitos, the cheese is actually shredded cheddar and not from a disgusting dispenser, and the beef is not ground but actually chopped and prepared after you order. To top it all off you get slices of jalapenos and a healthy dollop of salsa, guacamole, and sour cream which rounds out this delicious mound of only slightly greasy chips. If you're hungry this can be your meal or even something to share. Either way it's a steal at $7.89 and comes in chicken as well.
Next up is the Classic French Dip.
Is this up to the standards of Phillips? Probably not. But for a Disney french dip you can do no better and no worse. Their version includes thin slices of roasted top round with a side of au jus, and served with a large amount of crispy fries or fresh fruit. The meat is in the sandwich is tender but the roll is a little generic. The au jus is perfectly serviceable albeit a little too salty. Even so the dipping of the sandwich helps tone down the salt factor so it's really not a problem unless you plan on doing au just shooters. The french dip got thumbs up from both Jenn and I at $9.29.
Finally the Char-Broiled Chicken Sandwich.
This piece of poultry is charbroiled and topped with a a nice sized ortega chile, a good portion of guacamole, and finished off with lettuce and tomato. The chicken was juicy and the ortega chile added a nice compliment to the chicken. The "guacamole" wasn't so much guacamole as it was avocado but I still appreciated it. I was also very happy to have a soft pillowy bun and not one that tasted like it came out of a plastic bag stale and lifeless. At $8.59 you also get the fries or the fruit.
White Water Snacks is a hidden gem and hideaway for those wanting to escape the Disneyland chaos. It's here you can take a break from the day, plan your next set of rides, and keep refilling that soda cup until the Mickey Mouse Club sings. I know I might kick myself later for letting you all in on my little easy to access secret but for now I'm sharing freely. Just do me a favor and keep it to close friends.
Disneyland's Grand Californian Hotel
(at the deadend past Storyteller Cafe and Napa Rose)