Restaurant Spotlight: Blue Bayou

Argh! Methinks it’s been too long since I’ve ventured into New Orleans Square to enjoy all the piracy it has to offer!

And you can’t get much closer than actually eating a meal INSIDE the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction itself!

View from a Blue Bayou water-side table into the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction as the boats pass by.

View from a Blue Bayou water-side table into the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction as the boats pass by.

The Blue Bayou is the pearl of the entire Disneyland Resort when it comes to a themed restaurant. Nothing else compares on this coast. (At least, nothing that still exists in its original beloved form. Ahem, Club 33.) It is probably the only equivalent to eating a meal inside Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom.

Unfortunately, it’s mostly comparable food-wise too – which is to say, you’re paying a premium for the atmosphere, not necessarily for the quality of the food in general. (Although I’d say the food at Blue Bayou is better than that of Cinderella’s Royal Table – sorry, Your Highness!) However, for this unique atmosphere, it’s absolutely worth it!

The Blue Bayou lunch menu.

The Blue Bayou lunch menu.

But there are a few recommendations I’d make if you’re planning on having a meal at Blue Bayou…

Mousertainment Tip the First: Make a reservation in advance! Blue Bayou is one of the only places at the Disneyland Resort where reservations are really needed more often than not. Occasionally you can get in as a walk-up, but why risk missing out?

Mousertainment Tip the Second: Request, and be prepared to wait for, a water-side table (or at least near the water). Yes, everyone wants one. Yes, you may wait an extra hour or more to get one! But especially if this is going to be your one and only visit to one of the most magical eating locations at any Disney Resort, you really don’t want to get stuck at a table in the back by the kitchen entrance! Magic is worth waiting for!

Mousertainment Tip the Third: Consider going for lunch rather than dinner! The priority is the atmosphere, not necessarily the food, so why pay more for a higher-end meal? Plus at lunchtime you can order the Monte Cristo sandwich which is big enough to share between two people (although you might get stuck with a split-plate charge doing this) and is a legendary meal choice at the Resort. Imagine turkey, ham and cheese baked into a French Toast-like pastry roll with powdered sugar and dipping sauces. You may gain calories just thinking about it! However, if you really just want a Monte Cristo without the advance reservation – try neighboring restaurant Café Orleans instead. You can get the same sandwich even cheaper – though minus the accompanying soup or side salad and bread served at Blue Bayou.

But really, the two main things you need to know about Blue Bayou are first, the obvious: it’s INSIDE Pirates of the Caribbean!!!!! ‘Nuff said.

Inside the restaurant, facing away from the boats on the water.

Inside the restaurant, facing away from the boats on the water.

And second, it’s really, really dark inside. Like Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios dark. And just like that restaurant, having a pocket flashlight or a flashlight app really helps if you want to see the menu. Or your food. However, like that location, please consider your fellow patrons and use such a light sparingly.

Enjoy the chance to eat your meal (at any time of the day!) by lamplight.

The excellent side salad – I requested just basic lettuce and tomatoes and no other toppings.

The excellent side salad – I requested just basic lettuce and tomatoes and no other toppings.

I only took one flash photo during my recent meal there, just to illustrate the ridiculous richness that is the Monte Cristo sandwich:

The Monte Cristo sandwich in all its glory!

The Monte Cristo sandwich in all its glory!

And beyond that, I kept the flash on the camera off!

Really, whatever you opt to eat, be it lunch or dinner, the magic is the theming here. No matter what time of day it is outside, inside it’s a beautiful evening in the deep South. The crickets are chirping, the banjos are playing and the boats are leisurely drifting by at the start of their adventure.

There is simply nothing like sitting by the water in this unique setting, watching the guests pass by in the attraction, as you enjoy your meal.

It is THE restaurant that I would insist all once-in-a-lifetime or first-time-ever Disneyland Resort guests make sure they visit. Not to mention Pirates of the Caribbean fans – who can enjoy a unique perspective here outside of the boats!

The simple and stately beauty and the genius of the Imagineering of this dining experience cannot be overemphasized. It is a place that simply must be sampled at least once.

Have you eaten in the Blue Bayou restaurant? Was it a magical experience for you?

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