Please give a warm MiceChat welcome to our newest columnist, Steven Johnson, who is a proud value traveler. He has to be, he’s a starving student! There’s a lot we all can learn from Steven, and we welcome your tips as well in the comments below. Let’s help our fellow readers get the most value out of their Disney vacations. Today, the French Market!
It’s no question the Disneyland Resort is the Happiest Place on Earth. You wouldn’t be going there and you wouldn’t be on MiceChat if you didn’t know that to be true. One gamble, however, is deciding how to spend your money once you’re inside the main gates. The expenses don’t stop with the cost of your ticket; once you add in food, merchandise, PhotoPass, and other pieces of the magic, a day at the parks can be very expensive, which can put you in a crunch without knowing the quality of your purchase.
That’s where I come in. As a Disneyland Resort addict on a tight budget, I know firsthand how important it is to stretch a dollar and make the most of the magic, without overdrafting your debit account. I present to you Broke in Disneyland: my tips for the best values at the Disneyland Resort.
My Disneyland French Market Review highlights some of the great dishes you can enjoy, for a good price, right here in New Orleans Square.
For around $15 a head, you can choose from a wide selection of delicious southern cooking, including soups & sandwiches as well as heartier entrees like chicken with mashed potatoes. In the past few months I’ve gone several times, ordering the French Quarter Chicken, Muffuletta Sandwich, and Market French Dip, as well as sampled my friends’ Jambalaya and Red Beans & Rice when they weren’t looking.
The French Market is such a great value because the portions of food are all huge, guaranteed to fill your stomach and make you re-think that Space Mountain FastPass in an hour. More importantly, too, is how the French Market contributes to the overall story and immersive atmosphere of Disneyland and New Orleans Square. When you’re stepping back in time to an exciting world, you want the experience to reflect that. Enjoying a meal here makes you forget that you are in southern California less than a mile from the Santa Ana Freeway. The excellence of the ambience and food make the French Market worth the investment for a magical dining experience like this.
If the price tag still seems like a little much, here are some more tips on how to stretch your dining budget while enjoying the French Market experience:
For the low-maintenance guests, a great strategy is to skip lunch then head over to the French Market for a midday meal – it’s big enough to keep you full for the rest of the night!
Another good money-saving tip is to split a meal between two; the sandwiches are already cut in halves so it’s no hassle to share. Of course you can also share the soups and salads, but do so at your own health risk!
The kids’ meals are also great options if you’re looking for a snack or lighter meal, and each one comes with seasonal fruit & vegetables. Even these are pretty unique for the Disneyland Resort, with offerings like Campanelle Pasta and Chicken Bread with Rice.
The French Market does not offer free soft-drink refills, so if you’re cheap (like me) my advice is to bring your own can or bottle of soda with you, and to just ask for a cup of ice. May not be much, but if you eat out at the Resort a lot or are coming with a family, that money saved goes a long way!
Have you ever been to the French Market? What are your favorite shareable dishes or money-saving tips when dining here?