4 Disneyland Restaurants That Are a Total Waste of Money

by | Jun 21, 2024 | Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland, Disneyland Parks, DLR Food

Save your hard-earned cash and skip these Disneyland restaurants.

I’ve been visiting Disneyland Resort for over 30 years, and over those many, many trips to the theme parks and Downtown Disney, it’s safe to say the food has changed pretty dramatically. Gone are the days of typical fast food fare – today, Disneyland is home to some incredible food at its many restaurants.

That being said, there are some restaurants at Disneyland Resort that simply aren’t as good as others. And when it comes to value for your money, there are quite a few restaurants at Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, and elsewhere in the resort that just aren’t worth splurging on.

So, I suggest skipping these Disneyland restaurants, all of which are a waste of money – especially when you’re on a budget.

1. Hungry Bear Restaurant

Hungry Bear Restaurant at Disneyland Park, exterior sign and umbrellas

Photo by Danny Shuster

Hungry Bear Restaurant might be a Disneyland Park staple, but I’m going to be honest: It’s the worst when it comes to food. For decades, the menu here has featured pretty simple fast food, from cheeseburgers to chicken tenders to French fries. And it’s never really been great.

While Hungry Bear Restaurant offers great scenic views of the Rivers of America (and, if you time it right on summer evenings, a backstage sneak peek of Fantasmic! and its performers), the restaurant is chaotic and crowded, features a roaming crowd of ducks who are more than happy to help themselves to your food, and doesn’t really offer anything that stands out.

For $13 – the average price of menu items here – you can absolutely find a better meal and more bang for your buck elsewhere. Other burgers and sandwiches throughout the parks offer more interesting flavor profiles and bigger portion sizes, so don’t waste your money at Hungry Bear.

I will give Hungry Bear credit, though. The specialty items Disneyland has been introducing each season can be good here! Often, though, you’ll want to check out the drinks instead of the food (like this summer’s creamy and caffeinated Pistachio Cold Brew.)

2. Alien Pizza Planet

Back in 1998, a revamped Tomorrowland debuted at Disneyland Park, and so too did a new pizza and pasta joint: Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port. 20 years later, in 2018, Redd Rockett’s transformed into Alien Pizza Planet, keeping its same menu but adding fresh Toy Story inspired theming for that year’s Pixar Fest… and Alien Pizza Planet has been a staple in the park ever since.

Today, the menu is pretty much unchanged, with a selection of pizza slices, pasta dishes, and salads available. While the prices here aren’t too high for your typical quick-service restaurant, it’s still one of the biggest wastes of money in the entire park when it comes to dining. And that’s because the food is bad.

I’ve dined at Alien Pizza Planet many, many times, and every time it’s disappointing. The food is mediocre at best, cold and soggy at worst. It’s all-around flavorless and, since the COVID-19 pandemic, the portions (and pizza slices in particular) have gotten smaller, reducing the value for the price.

Save your money and head over to Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta at California Adventure if you want a much, much better spin on Italian food.

3. Galactic Grill

Here’s another Tomorrowland quick-service restaurant you’re going to want to skip. Galactic Grill has been a staple in the center of this land for decades, and in every iteration it’s served absolutely mediocre food.

The menu at Galactic Grill is super simple and straightforward. There’s nothing fancy here – you’ll find basic cheeseburgers, fries, chicken tenders, and fish and chips. There is one specialty burger, but it’s a meat and veggie burger… and trust me, it will please neither meat eaters nor vegetarians.

Looking for something lighter or more veggie-forward? The sole salad on the menu is served right out of the fridge and is a seriously sad state of affairs. The kids’ meals aren’t great, either. The mac and cheese is as bland as can be (even my macaroni-loving toddler didn’t finish his small bowl.)

While the prices aren’t out-of-this-world, I’d still say you’re wasting your money if you dine here. With how blah the burgers and fries are here, there isn’t really anything worth your money on the menu at Galactic Grill. 

However, I will say this: If you’re looking for Star Wars themed novelty items, like a cute Grogu sipper or a talking Jabba the Hutt popcorn bucket, this is a great place to mobile order them and beat the long wait times! 

4. Napa Rose

Napa Rose dining room at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

Photo by Danny Shuster

This is a tough one for me, because Napa Rose holds a special place in my heart – I’ve long loved its incredible wine list, it’s home to unique experiences like the Chef’s Counter meal, and it’s even where I had my own wedding rehearsal dinner. But when it comes to bang for your buck, you won’t find much value at this fine Disney dining establishment.

Napa Rose is the premier restaurant at Disneyland Resort. Outside of exclusive places like Club 33 and 21 Royal, it’s both the priciest dining spot and fanciest. Here, you’ll find an amazing seasonal menu meant to be paired with California wines, in a gorgeous dining room with towering windows.

But when I say it’s expensive, I mean it. And since Disneyland Resort and its restaurants reopened post-COVID-19, the dining experience at Napa Rose has changed. Gone is the bread served at each table; that’s now an added cost. Desserts offered for guests who are celebrating special occasions like birthdays, engagements, and more are also gone (and are now an additional cost.) 

Portions have also gotten smaller – and at a fine dining restaurant where portions are already small, the price you’re paying becomes even more expensive. Ultimately, you’re really paying for the experience as a whole more than the food itself, which isn’t the best trade-off when you’re on a budget.

Unfortunately, all of these factors combined make Napa Rose one of the worst choices for guests looking to get a lot of value out of their meal. If you’re looking for a truly special dining experience, I still love Napa Rose. But when it comes to your hard-earned money, it’s tough to justify the very high price here.

For more Disneyland dining and restaurant information, keep reading: 

The Best Places to Eat on a Budget Near Disneyland

The Ultimate Guide to Character Dining at Disneyland Resort

Posts by Heather Adams

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Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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Authored by
Heather Adams

Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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