Carnation Cafe: A Main Street Classic in Disneyland
Located right in the heart of Main Street U.S.A., Carnation Cafe is a charming and delicious table service restaurant serving classic American comfort food. With both indoor and outdoor seating available, it’s a great place to take a break and enjoy a meal while soaking in the nostalgic atmosphere of Disneyland’s entrance land.
Type of Food
The cuisine at Carnation Cafe is traditional American fare with dishes inspired by Walt Disney’s own favorites. You’ll find classic comfort foods like fried chicken, pot roast, burgers, mac and cheese, chili, and baked potatoes on the menu. There are also lighter options like salads, sandwiches, and a plant-based burger available. For breakfast, guests can enjoy Mickey waffles, omelets, pancakes, and other morning favorites. The food is hearty and satisfying without being too heavy or indulgent.
Some of the most popular dishes at Carnation Cafe include:
Walt’s Chili: A hearty beef chili topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives, and cornbread. Walt Disney’s personal favorite meals.
Mickey Waffles: Fluffy waffles shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head, served with maple syrup and your choice of bacon or sausage.
Baked Potato Soup: topped with Fried Potato, Bacon, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Sour Cream, and Chives.
Fried Chicken: Juicy fried chicken served with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and country gravy. Southern comfort food at its finest.
Hearty Veggie Burger: House-made Bean Patty, Vine-ripened Tomato, Chipotle Mayo and Slaw on an Artisan Bun, served with Fresh Fruit.
Spicy Chicken Sandwich: Hand-breaded Fried Chicken Breast tossed in Spicy Chile Sauce with Pepper Jack and Mustard Slaw on a Brioche Bun. (Pictured above)
Braised Short Rib: Tender braised beef short rib served with mac and cheese and seasonal veggies. A hearty, savory dish.
Peach Pie a la Mode: Warm peach pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. The perfect way to end a meal.
As a table service restaurant, prices at Carnation Cafe are a bit higher than quick service spots but very reasonable for the quality. Appetizers range from $7-$14, soups and salads are $8-$17, sandwiches are $15-$18, and entrees range from $17-$23. Desserts are around $9. Kids’ meals are $8-$10. For breakfast, expect to pay $7-$16 per entrée. Overall, it’s a good value compared to similar table service restaurants outside of the parks.
Carnation Cafe is located right on Main Street U.S.A. in Disneyland Park, nestled between Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and New Century Timepieces. There is indoor seating in the charming Victorian-style building as well as outdoor patio seating with colorful umbrellas. It’s in the heart of the action on Main Street with a view of guests strolling by and attractions like the horse-drawn trolley.
Advance reservations are available through the Disney website or mobile app. It’s highly recommended as same-day reservations can fill up rather quickly or may not be available at all.
All members of your party must be present before being seated.
If you don’t have a reservation you can add your party to the mobile walk-up list.
If you can’t make your reservation remember to cancel at least 2 hours before otherwise you can be charged up to $10 per person.
An 18% gratuity will be added to parties of 8 or more automatically.
Magic Key Holder Discounts
Magic Key holders receive a 10% discount off food and non-alcoholic beverages at Carnation Cafe. To receive the discount, Magic Key holders simply need to show their Magic Key card or have it linked in the Disneyland app. It’s a nice little perk for locals and frequent visitors.
Carnation Cafe is open from 8am to 9pm daily, with last seating at 8:45pm. It serves breakfast from park opening until 11am, lunch from 11am to 3pm, and dinner from 3pm until closing. Hours are subject to change based on park hours and seasonal schedules. During slower seasons, it may close earlier in the evening.
History of Carnation Cafe
Carnation Cafe has been a part of Disneyland since opening day in 1955. When the park first opened, it was called Carnation Ice Cream Parlor and guests could enjoy ice cream treats and soda fountain drinks. In 1997, the restaurant was renovated and expanded into a full table service cafe serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The original indoor ice cream parlor space later became Blue Ribbon Bakery.
Even after becoming a cafe, Carnation kept its name as a tribute to the Carnation Company which was Disneyland’s first corporate sponsor. Walt Disney enjoyed visiting Carnation Cafe often in the early years of the park and several menu items, including the chili, are based on his personal favorites. Over the years, Carnation Cafe has undergone several changes and expansions while staying true to its commitment to serving classic American comfort food.
The cafe has also been known for the friendly and dedicated staff, including the legendary Oscar Martinez, who worked at the cafe for over six decades, earning him the title of Disneyland’s longest-tenured employee. A window on Main Street, bearing his name, commemorates his enduring legacy. With its long history and Walt Disney’s own connection, dining at Carnation Cafe is a nostalgic tradition for many Disneyland fans.
Stepping into Carnation Cafe truly feels like stepping back in time to Main Street USA at the turn of the 20th century. The indoor seating area is decorated with warm wood accents, vintage light fixtures, and ornate wallpaper. Old photographs adorn the walls showing the restaurant in its early ice cream parlor days. The outdoor patio seating features colorful striped umbrellas that provide shade while soaking in the ambiance of Main Street.
Cast members wear old fashioned uniforms, complete with straw hats, bow ties, and suspenders. Vintage-style music plays overhead. Watch Main Street visitors stroll by in their Disney best, catch the horse-drawn trolley passing through, and you may even spot Mickey Mouse himself waving hello! The theming and charm provide a delightful environment for your meal.
Carnation Cafe at Disneyland is where classic American cuisine meets Disney magic. With a diverse menu, accommodating pricing, online reservations, and special perks for Magic Key holders, it’s a dining destination that caters to all visitors. Enjoy the inside on a hot summer day or sit outside on a nice cool day and enjoy the Main Street view.
Carnation Cafe: A Main Street Classic in Disneyland
The Final Word
Whether you're savoring the iconic Mickey-shaped Waffles for breakfast, indulging in an All-American Sundae, or enjoying one of the many other delectable offerings, Carnation Cafe is a timeless gem in the heart of the park. Explore its history, enjoy the ambiance of Main Street, and create magical dining memories during your Disneyland adventure.