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July 25, 2016

Dining Review: Cafe Orleans

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Cafe Orleans

I mentioned in a previous blog that my favorite Disneyland table service restaurant is Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square. I hadn't actually eaten there in several years, though, so I wanted to try it again to see if it was as good as I remembered.

I made a reservation just a few days in advance, and was able to get the time I wanted. As it turned out the restaurant wasn't that busy, and walk-ups were being told it was only about a 15 minute wait.

We waited 5-10 minutes after I checked in. While I was waiting I looked around the nearby Mlle. Antoinette's Parfumerie shop. I'd read a little bit on-line about this shop recently. Supposedly Lillian Disney chose the name and the crystal chandelier inside was a gift to her from Walt. The mirrors were painted with a technique called "reverse painting".

Mlle Antoinette's Parfumerie

The shop carries five perfume brands: Guerlain, Givenchy, Christian Dior, Acqua di Parma and Fendi. There are selections for men and woman, and exclusive fragrances that can only be found at Disneyland.

Mlle Antoinette's Parfumerie

It's really quite a lovely space.

Cafe Orleans has seating both inside and outside. I said we'd take first available, but I was really hoping for outside, and that's what we got. It was a very nice evening, and the dining area was mostly shaded. Though as the sun went down it descended below the level of the awning and both Lee and I had sun in our eyes for a while at the end of the meal.

Cafe Orleans Seating

The menu is the same for lunch and dinner, and offers New Orleans-inspired dishes such as gumbo, a muffuletta sandwich, and savory crepes. The famous Monte Cristo Sandwich is also available. There are two versions: the classic with ham and cheese, and a vegetarian three-cheese sandwich. I personally find these to be belly bombs, and haven't had one for years.

Cafe Orleans Lunch/Dinner Menu

Our server was on a break, and it took a few extra minutes before the server filling in for her arrived to take care of us. In addition to soft drinks we wanted to start off by sharing an order of Pomme Frites. These are garlic French fries with Parmesan cheese, served with a Cajun-spiced remoulade. I'd forgotten how large the serving was - it was plenty for four of us to share. They were just as good as I remembered, and were a big hit.

Cafe Orleans Pomme Frites

Instead of ordering an entree here, I usually order the French Onion soup and the La Salade de Maison. And that's what I did. The soup is up to $10 now, but it's still very good, and pretty filling.

Cafe Orleans French Onion soup

The salad is always nice and fresh, with goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, and candied pecans, and a raspberry vinaigrette. I find it to be a good-sized serving for $6.

Cafe Orleans La Salade de Maison

Lee ordered a cup of the Chicken Gumbo. He said it was very good. $7 for a cup or $10 for a bowl.

Cafe Orleans Chicken Gumbo

For an entree, both Lee and Kristin ordered the Braised Beef Crepe - braised beef in a Bordelaise sauce with Cremini mushrooms and pearl onions. In the past the crepes were flat, but this time they were rolled. It was a very attractive presentation. They were served over a pea puree. I was surprised that the pea puree didn't have any additional flavors or spices - it really was just pureed peas. It needed something else. Lee was disappointed in the beef - it wasn't bad, but the flavor was different than what he expected - he thought there would be more spice.

Cafe Orleans Braised Beef Crepe

Matt ordered the Chicken Gumbo Crepe - chicken, Andouille sausage, tasso ham, and Creole gumbo sauce with sauteed Cremini mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and asparagus. It was also served with pea puree. He said it was good, and I think he enjoyed it more than the others did the beef crepes. Both crepes were $20, and we all agreed that for that price the portion size was a little small.

Cafe Orleans Chicken Gumbo Crepe

For dessert we shared an order of Mickey Beignets ($9). There were five of them, and we all enjoyed them. They were warm and slightly crisp on the outside with plenty of powdered sugar and fried dough goodness! Matt and I both liked them with the raspberry sauce that came with them - Lee and Kristin tried the vanilla anglaise, also.

Cafe Orleans Mickey Beignets

I think I was the one most pleased with my meal - but I stuck to the menu items that I knew I liked. Still, I think everyone had a good experience. It's always very nice to be able to sit down for a meal after a busy day in the parks. We all especially liked the pommes frites and the beignets.

After this most recent dining experience Cafe Orleans still holds its position as my favorite table service restaurant in Disneyland. It's especially nice to be able to sit outside on a pleasant afternoon or evening and enjoy NOT being out in the crowds.







February 12, 2012

New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos of the New Orleans Bayou Bash from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 10, 2012. The Bayou Bash festivities will run over the next five weeks on February 10-12, 17-21, 24-26, and March 2-4 and March 9-11.

New Orleans Square is decked out for the Bayou Bash.

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I was pleasantly surprised to see signs with the show times.

New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12

I found the signs helpful, wonder if others did. Next step would be to have the show times printed in the times guides.

New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12

Throughout New Orleans Square there were special menu items for the event. Here are the two Cafe Orleans offerings. Fat City Snapper for $17.99, and a Banana Foster Crepe for $7.99.

New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12

A character Meet and Greet was set up in the Court of Angels.

New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12

Inside the courtyard Prince Naveen and Princess Tiana....

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As well as Chip and Dale (I am assuming they rotate and Minnie/Mickey/Goofy take a turn in here too).

New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12

There was a small stage set up along the river's edge for the shows, like last year.

New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12

Princess Tiana's Mardi Gras Celebration. Thanks to the awful lighting (the picture perfect blue sky and sun really made it tough for pictures but great to walk around!) these came out a bit dark.

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Video of the show.


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New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12


An attempt to get the proper exposure on the characters... which of course over-exposed the background.

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New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12


The outdoor vendng carts in the area received signage too.

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New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12


A face painting area set up near the fountain.

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Like last year, a merchandise cart from Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen again.

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The featured Bacon Cheddar Popcorn did not sound that good to me... anyone try it? What did you think?

New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12

The French Market has a number of offering: Creole Mustard French Style Sausage Sandwich, Mardi Gras Southern Meatloaf, Banana Foster Cheesecake and a Mardi Gras Cupcake.

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New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12

New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12

New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12

Here comes the Jazz Band procession.

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Video of their performance and procession.


New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12

New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12

New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12

New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12

The Blue Bayou is featuring Bouillabaisse for $32.99 and Fresh Fried Apple Fritters a la mode for $8.99.

New Orleans Bayou Bash - 2/10/12


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For the construction update and additional photos from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



November 10, 2009

Tiana's Showboat Jubilee

Tiana's Showboat Jubilee premiered at Disneyland on Friday, November 6. This colorful celebration features the stars of the the upcoming film The Princess and the Frog in a jazzy procession through New Orleans Square to the Mark Twain Riverboat. The show continues on board the riverboat as it steams around the Rivers of America and the live jazz band and cast perform musical numbers from the movie. There are multiple performances daily through January 3, 2010.

The procession begins towards the back of New Orleans Square (near the train station, I think), but the music doesn't actually start until they get to the terraced area in front of the French Market. Dancers carrying parasols and dressed in Mardi Gras colors lead the procession, followed by Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen, the jazz band, and more dancers who are handing out Mardi Gras beads.

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The procession makes it way to the riverboat dock where they board the Mark Twain. The boat pulls away from the dock to the festive strains of "Going Down the Bayou".

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The riverboat stops in front of New Orleans Square for a show that's about 15 minutes long. Tiana is featured in the first song: "She's Almost There".

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Louis the alligator takes center stage next and performs "When We're Human".

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The sinister Dr. Fasilier appears in a shower of sparks and a darker mood prevails in "Friends on the Other Side".

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Then it's time to "Dig a Little Deeper".

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The show ends with "Dreams Come True".

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As the riverboat moves on, there's a reprise of "Going Down the Bayou".

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Lee edited together some video I took which gives you a pretty good idea of what the show is like: (Warning - From personal experience I can tell you that a couple of the songs have serious earworm potential - listen at your own risk! :-) )


There are 20 or so guests that participate in each show aboard the riverboat. About 30 minutes before the show, costumed cast members are out in front of New Orleans Square selecting people to be a part of the show. They perform several roles: waving banners and oversized musical notes, and portraying a tamborine-playing gospel choir.

I really enjoyed this. It was energetic, colorful, and great fun to watch. It was also great to see that the guests selected to participate were really performers in the show who added something to it. It looked like something that would be a blast to do!

There were lots of guests watching the show on Friday. But it's really hard to get a spot where you can see both the procession and the show. The procession takes place on the terraced area and not down by the river (which is where the best spots for seeing the show are). So you have to pick and choose - or you do what I did, and watch the show twice - once to see the procession and once to see the show. :-) People were staking out the prime spots down by the river about 30 minutes in advance. For the show stop, the riverboat stops in the center of New Orleans Square, which is pretty much in front of Cafe Orleans.

If you have the chance, I highly recommend seeing this show!

November 8, 2009

Fun Friday at Disneyland

"Laura Gilbreath...you just returned from a long weekend at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival...what are you going to do next?"

"I'm going to Disneyland!!!" :-)

It's certainly not the first time that I've followed up a trip to Disney World with a trip to Disneyland a few days later! I wanted to see the new Tiana's Showboat Jubilee, which started on Friday. (Blog entry on that still to come.)

I arrived not long after the park opened at 9:00 - the first Jubilee wasn't until 11:15 so I some time until then. Town Square looks rather empty without the big Mickey pumpkin - but in another week it will have the Christmas tree, since the Christmas holiday celebration gets fully underway on November 13.

I went back to ride Space Mountain now that it's been un-Ghost-Galaxyed. I found it actually kind of boring without all the Ghost Galaxy signs and just the normal video display in the launch bay. (And, for my ET, yes, I did the dying goose! :-) )

After I rode Big Thunder Mountain and Haunted Mansion Holiday (no line for either one) I went to the Mark Twain Riverboat. It's all decorated for Tiana's Showboat Jubilee, but they were still doing riverboat cruises before (and between) shows. I went up on the upper deck and said good morning to the cast member there. He asked me how many were in my party, and when I said it was just me, he asked if I'd like to ride in the wheelhouse!!! In all my years of going to Disneyland I've never gotten to do that before! To get into the wheelhouse I had to climb up a short ladder - someone tall would have to watch their head. Once up there I signed the log book and Captain Daniel encourage me to take as many pictures as I wanted.

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It was really a lot of fun! I got to steer and pull the cord to ring the bell, and pull the other cord to blow the steam whistle.

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Captain Daniel was a wealth of information about Disneyland and its history and told me all kinds of interesting things. One thing I didn't know, was that four days before Disneyland opened, Walt and Lillian celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with a party in Frontierland.

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He pointed out a really great view of the castle and the Matterhorn.

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Our voyage around the Rivers of America was full of the sights of animals, a settler's cabin (he apologized that they had left the laundry out. :-) ), and even a Native American village. I managed not to steer us into the rocks, and got to ring the bell and blow the whistle twice more before we docked again.

When we docked Captain Daniel presented me with my Pilot's Certificate, and then we climbed back down to the deck.

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It was so cool!!! Definitely one of my most memorable Disneyland moments ever. Thank you, Captain Daniel, for a wonderful opportunity!

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After I saw the Jubilee I went over to DCA to see how Paradise Bay is looking now that they have started filling it with water again. There's still a long way to go before it's full - it's only up to the bottom of the platform now.

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They were working on these really interesting-looking things - I assume this is one of the water whips.

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Between the Golden Zephyr and the viewing area I could see where the water was flowing in.

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Stitch was hanging out in Sunshine Plaza and didn't have too many people around so I posed with him.

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It was a beautiful day and really not very crowded at all. They have a lot of the Christmas decorations up already even though the official holiday season doesn't start until November 13 (yes, that is in fact Friday the 13th!). I found this one Thanksgiving-themed display in the Candy Palace on Main Street, though.

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I took a stroll through Downtown Disney - they have re-opened the Taqueria at Tortilla Jo's since I was here a few weeks ago - it's very colorful. The menu isn't nearly as extensive - they no longer have the Mexicones, which were one of my favorites. The new menu is HERE.

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I really had a wonderful day - I enjoy just walking around the parks and taking pictures, especially on a day that's not very busy. But getting to be a riverboat pilot was definitely the highlight!

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August 25, 2008

Disneyland Trip Report

Thought I'd post a trip report from my day trip to Disneyland on Thursday - I went up to spend the day with my "Evil Twin" Pam and her son Mark. (No, we're not really twins, but we look like sisters - so we say we are twins separated at birth - separated by several years, different parents and birth places on opposite coasts, that is. Oh, and by the way, SHE is the "evil twin". :-) )

Left San Diego at 6:35 and had NO traffic, which really surprised me, so I was parked in the parking garage by 8:00, and back at Space Mountain by 8:15 where I met my ET and her son.

I thought the park might be fairly crowded since this is the first week that those who have the Southern California Annual Passes have been able to return to the parks since June, but the park was pretty uncrowded for the first couple of hours. We pretty much walked onto Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Haunted Mansion. We wanted to ride Indy but it was down. :-(

We also went over to Pirate's Lair, since Mark and Pam hadn't been there yet. We hung back at the entrance to Dead Man's Grotto and let everyone else go in first so that we could take our time going through there, and play with the special effects, like the chest holding Davy Jones' heart and the treasure area with Pintel and Ragetti's pop-up head and swing-down arm and eye. Mark and Pam found some things I hadn't noticed before - down at kid's eye level there is a "cursed treasure window", where you can see a box filled with gold coins until you reach in to touch it, and then it disappears. And there's another view into a different treasure chest which has a genie in a bottle. Fun stuff. :-)

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Jack Sparrow was not in his usual meet-and-greet spot, but when we left the island he was waiting to board the raft to go across.

After a late breakfast (Mickey pancakes!) at the River Belle Terrace we went over to DCA - both Mark and I really wanted to ride Toy Story Mania. He'd done the one at Walt Disney World earlier this summer. Unfortunately when we got back there the line was 70 minutes long. Why, oh why did Disney NOT make this a Fastpass attraction??? Seems like a really bad decision to me.

So we did a couple other things - Orange Stinger and Mulholland Madness, though MM went down for about 10 minutes while we were in line. I still say that's the scariest ride in the park - every time we go around one of those 180 degree turns I have visions of the car flying off the track. <shudder>

We'd gotten Fastpasses for Grizzly River Run and Soarin' on the way in, and it was time to use those. Mark got pretty drenched on GRR - he was sitting right by one of the openings in the raft. Pam and I were in the middle and not quite so wet, but we were both glad we had quick-drying shorts on!!! (I always feel sorry for the people who wear blue jeans and ride GRR - they end up having to walk around in wet jeans for the rest of the day!) The Fastpass line for Soarin' was all the way up the ramp almost to the building entrance, so even with the FP we had a 15-20 minute wait. The standby time was posted at 35 minutes - I'm not sure I believe that.

For "lunch" we had ice cream from Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream - yummy. Mark was pretty tired (they had had a long day the day before, plus early entry already) so we went back to their hotel, the Howard Johnson's Anaheim.

I'd read a lot of good reports on this hotel, but I'd never been there...I'm happy to say that it seems to be just as nice as they say. The room was on the order of a Walt Disney World moderate, I would say - except that not many moderate rooms have a view of fireworks, and a number of the HoJo rooms can see the Disneyland fireworks - including their room. Earlier this summer the hotel opened a new water park area called Castaway Cove - it has a number of water features including a spiraling water slide. Mark had a lot of fun there, and the water seemed to revive him.

We went back to DCA later in the afternoon. At the information booth at the front of the park I asked the wait time for Toy Story Mania - still 60 minutes. So we went to Monsters, Inc. instead, which had only a 5 minute wait. I pointed out the Attention All Monster Passengers sign, which I think is really funny, but most people seem to miss it. And we also took a look at the Harryhausen's menu that is posted on the wall - how does some Yukitori or Ice Scream sound to you???

We got about 3/4 of the way through the ride when it stopped. And after a couple of minutes the lights came on. And then we were told that there had been an automatic shutdown of the ride due to proximity sensors on the cars (people weren't loading/unloading fast enough, apparently), and they walked us out of the ride. Which was kind of interesting for me, but I felt bad for Mark and Pam since this was their first time on the ride. No "sorry for the inconvenience, here's a Fastpass for you", either - just a "try back later" attitude. (If you're counting, that's three rides so far that had problems...and they'd had an issue with Space Mountain the day before.)

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By the time we got out of there the Pixar Play Parade had started...but we were hoping to get around it to get back to Toy Story Mania, thinking the line might be a little shorter. The parade seems to be back to its original version - the stilt-walking chefs and bungee-jumping rats in the Ratatouille segment are back, as are the twirling acrobatic cowboys on the Toy Story float. When we were there a few weeks ago I saw that the "bug's life" float was back to its original configuration with the flower swinging bugs in the center - that was taken out of service not long after the parade started because one of the swings broke during the parade. Hopefully the original parade has been running all summer - I haven't seen the full parade since early May, when it was still missing the more acrobatic elements.

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It took a while to make it back to Toy Story Mania, and the line was down to 45 minutes by then. The CM told us we'd picked a good time - that once the parade ended it would be over an hour again. The line kept moving well, and we were on the ride in a little less than 45 minutes.

Man, that ride is a lot of fun!!! Mark and I rode together and he beat me by a substantial margin (31,000 points), but he was nice and didn't gloat *too* much. :-) He noticed that at the end when your scores come up, if you keep shooting, it shows up on the screen as confetti.

We had dinner at the Farmer's Market - they still have the California Wrap on the menu from the Food and Wine Festival. (Other restaurants that have kept the F&W menu items are Pacific Wharf Cafe and Award Wieners.) The wrap seemed smaller to me, though. For $7.99 it wasn't very much food. I really wanted to eat at the Pacific Wharf Cafe, but as usual the line was ridiculously long, and it's always very slow moving. (And they also replaced my favorite salad - the Nicoise - with the F&W festival Mandarin Chicken Salad. Which is good, but the Nicoise was better!)

I needed to get on the road after that, since I had to drive home and go to work the next day. Pam and Mark walked me to the tram, and we said goodbye, though I'll see them in San Diego, too.

Other random observations from the day...

  • I saw the new Mark VII Monorail Blue go by a number of times - but never when I had my camera out, of course. It looks very swoopy and modern.
  • The weather was GREAT - a summer day in southern California just doesn't get any better! It really wasn't too hot at all.
  • The parks were not as crowded as I expected - though Pam told me DL was really busy when they went back after I left. Soarin' never had more than a 45 minute standby wait posted - and it's usually an hour - same for Grizzly River Run. I think Toy Story Mania is pulling a lot of people back to Paradise Pier and off the other big rides.

And a few things Lee and I noticed on our visit several weeks ago:

  • Award Wieners has a new seating area - they took out the outdoor section of the Muppets Inc. queue and put in tables and chairs. Still left the Muppet stuff there, though. It looks like there's quite a bit of shade there.
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  • The parking lot trams have a new seat - it's more of a rubberized surface than the slick fiberglass, and not so slippery.
  • As I mentioned in my Toy Story Mania blog entry there are two new food stands on the Boardwalk - Hot Dog Hut serves (surprise!) hot dogs, chips, and drinks, and Don Toma's offers turkey legs, chimichangas, and drinks.
  • The Snow White 75th anniversary exhibit has been removed from the Animation Building, and the animation screens have returned to running the various clips from classic animated movies. I missed those during the Snow White exhibit.

Thanks to Mark and Pam for sharing some of their vacation with me - I had a great day.

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About New Orleans Square

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in the New Orleans Square category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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