What does Disneyland on a Saturday and golf have in common?
A good walk spoiled.
Why on earth would I post such a thing? It all started as a lovely morning suggestion by my guy that we head to the park just before 10am yesterday. Now usually we'd stop on the way and eat before hitting the park. We didn't. Mistake numero uno.
We got to the park, and upon arriving at the DTD tram stop, immediately perceived a HUGE crowd in the form of a pin queue running the entire length of WOD, past the end and continuing on beyond the former watch store. Not in a position to determine whether it WAS a collectors line or the line for bag check (you never know these days), we decided to head for the monorail entrance instead. On our way in that direction, we finally uncovered that it was a pin trader (shudder!) line.
We get to the other end of DTD and by this time my guy has decided it might be nice to catch a bite to eat at ESPN zone and watch more of the NFL draft. We get inside and are informed that the room they have open is full, so we'd have to sit at the bar, because the rest of ESPN zone doesn't open till later. Well, that sucked, but no worries, it was still only like 10:15. So we head over to Storyteller's, figuring a nice brunch there would be just the ticket. Well, we get there, and the place is PACKED, the entire wait area full, the walkway between the doors and the pool fence outside is also completely full of people waiting. So we're a little frustrated, because we like Storyteller's, but hey, we NEVER go into DCA, so we decide why not pop in there and dine somewhere inside. We go to the gate, and the CM won't let us use it, despite the complete lack of a line because we aren't hotel guests. Nope, we're just guests trying desperately to spend money at a restaurant, and that apparently isn't good enough.
By now, we're a little miffed. Heading back toward the tram area, we get a better look at the bag check gate. Doesn't look too bad, so we decided we might as well give in-park dining a shot since we're there. We get into DL, pick up Buzz fastpasses, and I suggest R2P2, but my guy didn't want pizza (we'd had it the other night). I point out to him that R2P2 pizza is deplorable and NOT the reason to eat there - it's the pasta you want. Ah, but he doesn't like their pasta. So we breeze by Tomorrowland Terrace, figuring we can at least pick up a quick bite there, even though it's not exactly a sit-down meal like we'd been pursuing. No dice, over half the dining area is walled off, and they have service limited to one line, two windows, and guess what... the line is long.
Well, let's hope the train and head over to New Orleans Square. We do. French Market is PACKED, line way out the door. Cafe Orleans is CLOSED. We head over to Blue Bayou. Now, mind you, it was like 10:30ish at this point, maybe 10:40. Blue Bayou isn't even open, save for the one window with a CM taking reservations for the day. We stand IN LINE for this window... and when we get up there, we're informed that they had completely filled up on ressies for THE DAY, and they weren't opening till later, so it's not like we could have stood in line for it. Someone want to explain to me why the CM allowed people to wait in line to be told they couldn't get a ressie?
By now, we're quite pissed. We were walking over the Pirates bridge and noticing the HUGE crowd in line for it - including the roped off queue on the front side, completely full. And they announce that it's broken down, so we jet out of the area before the crowd disperses, and head straight down Main Street. Carnation Cafe - PACKED. Queue full, line spilling out onto the sidewalk. We get out of the park, and the lines for DCA had died down. We were STARVING at this point, having walked so far in search of an open restaurant that didn't have an hour wait. I suggest Trattoria and we head in that direction - CLOSED. After zipping through the tortilla exhibit (thank god I could get food somewhere!), we notice that the cruddy little soup and salad place in the food court area (Cannery Row area) has a line OUT THE DOOR. Now, mind you, they have a large queue area and a teeny menu of mostly salads. My guy comments on the fact that he's never seen the Chinese place open at all, ever. He's never tried Ariel's Grotto, so he suggests going there. We walk over the bridge to Ariel's and it's CLOSED.
We finally gave up. It was not even noon yet and every restaurant worth eating at (notice that we were trying to eat at one of the nicer places, not burgers) was either PACKED or CLOSED.
There's no excuse for packed restaurants if you haven't bothered to open the other places. My take on this is here we were, ready to spend decent money on a meal, and Disney didn't want our money badly enough to provide a pleasant dining experience for us. If they had, they'd have had more restaurants open on a crowded Saturday. There is absolutely no excuse for this. Disney guests pay a premium for Disney dining in anticipation of a pleasant dining experience - not in walking for nearly two hours in search of an open place or for waiting over an hour for our shot at a tiny table in a crowded place to be rushed (excuse me, proactively bussed) through our meal. There is also no excuse for building one more dining location if they aren't going to open the ones they have - ON A SATURDAY! Like the crowds were a surprise?
You can either have high prices or long waits, not both.
So we left the park and drove to Knott's.