The Blue Bayou facade is found in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square, mimicking quaint streets of the 19th-century city that bears its name. What makes this one of the most popular restaurants at Disney is the idyllic atmosphere of its interior, as guests step inside to an outdoor bayou. Of course, it’s all part of the Disney magic. The twinkling lights, frog croaks, and firefly blinks are all phantasmagoria, as is the nature of most things in the park. As an added dose of charm, diners can enjoy watching boats of eager adventurers from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride that float by.
Blue Bayou doesn’t stand on ambiance alone; its menu is one of the most elevated in the Disney portfolio. As for the cuisine, my wife and I both agree that it is probably our second favorite Disney restaurant. On our most recent visit, I enjoyed the bone-in rib eye. It’s a thinner cut than you’d get at most steakhouses, but the beef was still tasteful. It was paired with a scrumptious smoked gouda mac and cheese. My wife enjoyed the Blue Bayou Bouillabaisse. It was equally as delicious and filling. All entrees come with a choice of salad or soup. Prices are higher than most Disney restaurants, but you’ll leave sufficiently satiated.
This was a meal my wife and I had looked forward to for a while. We made our reservation well over a month in advance. I’d do the same if you’re considering a visit. Available times were sparse and we visited the park during one of the least busy weeks of the year.
As picturesque as the restaurant is, there are two real mood killers. It may not be a big deal some, but the lack of alcohol makes the meal feel slightly cheapened. For those who haven’t been in a while, alcohol is not served in Disneyland. California Adventure Park does, however, so it’s where I and other merry park goers like to hang out. I’m not looking to slug back a bunch of cheap beer in front of families, but I’d rather have something more dignified with a pricey steak than a soft drink. Having a decent glass of wine while staring at fake lights with animatronic Cajuns would just set the mood right. Heck, even some grape juice in a fancy glass would help.
My only other grumble is, oddly, the efficiency of the service. If you allow yourself to break away from the swampy environment and observe the working parts, you’ll notice an almost frenetic scene of hard-working staff. Every course arrives promptly. Dishes are cleared almost immediately. Drinks get topped off instantly. I presume my steak’s attenuated size is to speed up table turnover. When paying for a near fine dining experience, I want to be able to sit and enjoy it for a bit.
I should note that not every table position is equal. For our first visit years ago, my wife and I sat just next to the water, enjoying watching the boats flow by. This time, our table was farthest away right next to a service station. Not ideal, but that’s the luck of the draw. We overheard individuals actively complaining and requesting to be accommodated. The staff did their best to appease the family heads, but some were still left unsatisfied. Just know you may not get the table you want.
Don’t let my minor gripes keep you away. At the end of a long day walking the park, it was great to relax with a good meal surrounded by a touch of that classic Disney magic. Kids will love feeling like they’re part of the ride. Adults will enjoy a brief respite from the clamor outside. I know Travel Fanwife and I will be back at some point.