My First Time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland

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My first time at Carnation Cafe was not what I had planned, but it was still a wonderful experience! Amidst a torrential downpour with flash flood warnings, we had our dining reservations and we braved the weather to keep them! 

My First Time at Carnation Cafe

Carnation Cafe is a dining location I had always dreamed about going to one day. Even as a little kid visiting the park, I would see the iconic red and white striped canopies between the buildings and wished we could eat there. As a result of this dream, I made it a point to make reservations and eat there during our latest trip!

My First Time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland www.lifeinmouseyears.com #lifeinmouseyears #disneyland #carnationcafe #yum #yummy #food #desserts #disneyparks #disneydining

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Location

First, I would like to mention where this dining location is located. It is right on Main Street, U.S.A. 

As you enter Disneyland and head towards Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, halfway down the street there is a break in buildings. On the left side between the buildings is the outdoor seating, (and what used to be the only seating) for Carnation Cafe.  In the building next to the outdoor seating is where you go to start your dining experience. 

One thing I would highly recommend is to make your dining reservations 60 days in advance. This is because of how popular this dining location is. And trust me, it is very popular! Another reason to do this is, like what happened to us during our trip, a huge rainstorm hit and the outdoor seating was closed. This limited how many diners could eat during the day and it was a wait even with our reservations! Therefore, make sure to get reservations in advance!

History

Carnation Cafe Disneyland wasn’t always the way it is now. Back in July of 1955 when Disneyland opened, Carnation Cafe was called Carnation Ice Cream Parlor. It was sponsored by the Carnation Company and it offered stools at the counter where you could sit and eat your frozen treats. 

By the early ’60s, Carnation Ice Cream Parlor not only offered ice cream treats but also sandwiches and salads.

Next, in 1977, Carnation Ice Cream Parlor expanded to the courtyard area between the buildings to offer more seating. 

Unfortunately, in 1997, Carnation Ice Cream Parlor (at the time owned by Nestle) closed. However, even though Nestle pulled their sponsorship, they allowed Disney to keep using the Carnation name. Therefore in March of 1997, Carnation Cafe reopened to outdoor seating only and the building location was turned into a bakery. 

Then, in 2012, (when Jolly Holiday Bakery and Cafe opened) Carnation Cafe took the building back and expanded to have indoor and outdoor seating available.

 

Fun Fact:

Carnation Company was started near my neck of the woods, Kent, Washington,  near Seattle in the late 1890s. The first Carnation product was Carnation Evaporated Milk.  




Atmosphere

Being that it was my first time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland, I wanted to eat outside so badly. As a result of all the rain, that was not something we would get to do. This trip… although, since we were given a chance to eat indoors, we were able to take in the decorations, style and theming that Disneyland is famous for!

Carnation Cafe Disneyland is Victorian themed! From the light fixtures to the clothing of the Cast Members. The restaurant makes you feel like you have taken a step into the past. It is great! And so is the food! 

I’ll get to the food in a moment. Don’t worry!

First, check out the light fixtures. There are a few different styles around Carnation Cafe.

My First Time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland www.lifeinmouseyears.com #lifeinmouseyears #disneyland #carnationcafe #yum #yummy #food #desserts #disneyparks #disneydining
Here is one of the light fixtures.
My First Time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland www.lifeinmouseyears.com #lifeinmouseyears #disneyland #carnationcafe #yum #yummy #food #desserts #disneyparks #disneydining
Another light fixture at Carnation Cafe.
My First Time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland www.lifeinmouseyears.com #lifeinmouseyears #disneyland #carnationcafe #yum #yummy #food #desserts #disneyparks #disneydining
Another light fixture. This one is on the wall.

Next, each table has a carnation in a vase. What a nice Disney touch!

My First Time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland www.lifeinmouseyears.com #lifeinmouseyears #disneyland #carnationcafe #yum #yummy #food #desserts #disneyparks #disneydining
Carnations on the tables add a nice Disney touch.

Check out this old fashioned cabinet! I love the decor that they have here. Including the teapot!

My First Time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland www.lifeinmouseyears.com #lifeinmouseyears #disneyland #carnationcafe #yum #yummy #food #desserts #disneyparks #disneydining
The cabinet inside of Carnation Cafe.

Another thing I was able to check out during my first time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland was the Menu! Here is the decorative side of the menu.

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The front of the menu has a carnation illustrated on it.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food

Finally, as promised, we have reached our food portion of our post. To start off, this menu is inspired by Walt Disney. A lot of the dishes are based on his favorite foods. One of his favorites was Chicken Fried Chicken. Consequently, that is what I had planned on trying out during our visit. I have to say, I was not disappointed at all!! In fact, I still crave this dish all the time and I can’t wait to go back!

My First Time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland www.lifeinmouseyears.com #lifeinmouseyears #disneyland #carnationcafe #yum #yummy #food #desserts #disneyparks #disneydining
The menu of the Carnation Cafe at the time that we had gone to Disneyland.

Coffee

Being that it was raining like mad, and it was chilly, we got coffee. Latte’s to be specific. I am from the Seattle area, where coffee is our thing, but I have to say the coffee at Disneyland has always been done very well! Maybe because I am inside of Disneyland and it makes it taste better, or maybe it really is better! I just know that I have always enjoyed it. 

My First Time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland www.lifeinmouseyears.com #lifeinmouseyears #disneyland #carnationcafe #yum #yummy #food #desserts #disneyparks #disneydining
My latte at Carnation Cafe. It was a nice large cup. I love it when it is served in a huge cup. There is just something about that. 😉

 


 

 

 

Appetizer

Next, we tried the fried pickle spears. I LOVE dill pickles. Always have. I was curious about the fried pickle spears. Everyone says that they are really good. So we gave them a try. I have to say, they definitely are good! I would recommend them. And the dipping sauce that comes with them is delicious as well.

My First Time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland www.lifeinmouseyears.com #lifeinmouseyears #disneyland #carnationcafe #yum #yummy #food #desserts #disneyparks #disneydining
Fried pickle spears. They were delicious!
My First Time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland www.lifeinmouseyears.com #lifeinmouseyears #disneyland #carnationcafe #yum #yummy #food #desserts #disneyparks #disneydining
This is the dipping sauce that came with the fried pickle spears.

Main Course

They have so many tasty options to try out. Our whole group ended up getting the Chicken Fried Chicken. And we all loved it! The mashed potatoes were delicious as well. We were so ecstatic that the gravy is kosher! It is so hard to find gravy at restaurants that do not contain pork. We were so happy! And it was so tasty too! 

My First Time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland www.lifeinmouseyears.com #lifeinmouseyears #disneyland #carnationcafe #yum #yummy #food #desserts #disneyparks #disneydining
The Chicken Fried Chicken meal at Carnation Cafe.

Dessert

Finally, for my first time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland, I HAD to get a dessert. I haven’t had a banana split in for…e…ver! As a result, that is what I picked. Take a look at this banana split.

My First Time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland www.lifeinmouseyears.com #lifeinmouseyears #disneyland #carnationcafe #yum #yummy #food #desserts #disneyparks #disneydining
Banana split. Check out the Mickey sprinkles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney does not disappoint when it comes to their food and desserts. In addition to my banana split, my brother had gotten a dessert as well. I want to say it was a form of bread pudding with ice cream on top. He said it was good. 

My First Time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland www.lifeinmouseyears.com #lifeinmouseyears #disneyland #carnationcafe #yum #yummy #food #desserts #disneyparks #disneydining
If I remember right, this is a bread pudding with caramel sauce and ice cream on top.

For current food offerings at Carnation Cafe, you can find them at Disneyland’s official website here.


In Conclusion

My first time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland was one experience I will not forget. As a result of the atmosphere, food, coffee, dessert, and service, I would recommend giving this dining location a try the next time you are at Disneyland.

Questions or Comments?

Do you have any questions or comments on today’s post-My First Time at Carnation Cafe Disneyland? Feel free to leave them below! I would love to help you out. 

 

Thanks for stopping by Life in Mouse Years!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Melisa Rice 144 Articles
Melisa has had a love for Disneyland that started at a very young age. Her family traveled to Disneyland every year or two when she was growing up. As she got older, she began to read anything she could get her hands on regarding Disneyland. If you ask her anything about Disneyland, she is always willing to share her knowledge. As a former Manager of a video store, she has a wealth of knowledge about movies as well. In addition to these experiences, she also loves to take landscape photography, do crafting, bake cakes for her nieces and nephews. But most of all, she enjoys reading the Bible.

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