Bowl of Chili on a table

Walt Disney’s Original Family Chili Recipe

It’s one of park goer’s favorite dishes at Disneyland; and there’s quite a bit of history behind it. Chili (family style) was always one of Walt Disney’s favorite meals. Comfort food you could say. He loved the stuff. After a hard days work in Disneyland he used to head to Carnation Cafe off Main Street U.S.A. and grab a bowl of his families famous chili. 

In memory of Walt and his love for chili, guests can still grab a bowl of it at Carnation Cafe in Disneyland Park. But not everyone gets the chance to go everyday to enjoy it. So we’ve brought the recipe to you from the folks at Guest Relations where you can request recipes from your favorite restaurants inside the parks.

A few notes about the actual recipe before getting into it. First, don’t let the preparation time scare you. 12 hours of if is just beans soaking overnight. 4 is the simmering of the beans and the rest is cooking time. It’s really not that hard.

We’ve cooked this up about 10-12 times now because we love it so much! You’ll notice in our notes that we have a way of making it a bit more zesty. If you don’t want to take the time to add all those ingredients but you do like the chili a bit spicier, just add in a tiny bit of cayenne pepper or cut up a chili pepper and add it in. 

We are big fans of sour cream and cheese with our chili. Be sure to have these on hand if you like the combination too.

Lastly, if you love our Disney recipes, please share them! We have lots more coming so be sure to follow us via our newsletter or on Facebook.

Bowl of Chili on a table

Walt Disney's Original Family Chili Recipe

svg%3EDean Chapman
Chili the way Walt Disney used to make it - Family Style!
4.22 from 19 votes
Prep Time 17 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 23 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 506 kcal


  • Boiling Pot
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups
  • Cutting Knife


  • 2 lbs coarse ground beef
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tsp chili powder (depending on taste)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 large can solid pack tomatoes
  • 2 lbs dry pink beans
  • Salt


  • Soak beans overnight in cold water. Drain, add water to cover (2 inches over beans), and simmer with onions until tender (about 4 hours). Meanwhile, prepare sauce by browning meat and minced garlic in oil. Add remaining ingredients, and simmer for 1 hour. When beans are tender, add sauce to beans and simmer for 12 hour.


For Extra Zest
Add a pinch of the following spices:
  • 1 little yellow Mexican chili pepper
  • Coriander seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Chili seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Fennel seeds
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Dry ginger
Keyword chili, walt disney