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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Inside Disney’s Splash Mountain Restaurant

Everybody loves Disney Parks eating places with crossover enchantment. Be Our Visitor Restaurant is certainly one of Walt Disney World’s hottest eating choices as a result of it enables you to dine contained in the Magnificence and the Beast citadel. Similar goes for Cinderella’s Royal Desk.

Then there are eating places within sights, most famously Blue Bayou. That restaurant is an extension of Pirates of the Caribbean at each Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland. (The identical thought goes by the identify Captain Jack’s at Disneyland Paris.) It’s moody and atmospheric and seamlessly blends with the opening scene of the boat trip.

Mixing these two forms of eating places within the coolest approach potential is Grandma Sara’s Kitchen, which is principally Splash Mountain: The Restaurant. That is an extension of the favored attraction, introducing new characters in the identical “universe” of the favored boat trip. It’s one of many coolest and best-themed Disney eating places wherever–let’s have a look!

For starters, some background. Grandma Sara’s Kitchen is a counter service restaurant in Tokyo Disneyland’s Critter Nation serving a menu of consolation meals based mostly on favorites from the American South.

It seems that Grandma Sara is meticulous, and her restaurant is an extremely partaking, multi-level surroundings and many nice decor. From a design perspective, it’s interwoven with Splash Mountain as it’s actually inside Chickapin Hill, and thematically parallels the attraction.

Observe that Disney has closed Splash Mountain at each Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and is within the midst of reimagining the rides as Tiana’s Bayou Journey. The brand new trip will decide up this story after the ultimate kiss, and be a part of Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical journey as they put together for his or her first-ever Mardi Gras efficiency. Tiana’s Bayou Journey is predicted to open in mid-2024 at Magic Kingdom, and later within the yr at Disneyland.

Up to now, Tokyo Disney Resort has not revealed any plans to undertake the reimagining. That’s as a result of Disney doesn’t personal the parks in Japan–they’re owned by Oriental Land Firm. It’s extremely unlikely that Tokyo Disneyland’s incarnation of the attraction, or something in its quasi Splash Mountain land, will probably be redone. We cowl the the reason why in our Tokyo Disneyland Considers Splash Mountain Overhaul publish.

Suffice to say, the perfect model of Splash Mountain seemingly received’t obtain the overhaul. By extension, that signifies that Grandma Sara’s Kitchen is probably going protected, too.

Whereas Tiana’s Bayou Journey most likely received’t be cloned at Tokyo Disneyland, we want the alternative would occur and Grandma Sara’s Kitchen could be cloned at Disneyland. This might sound far-fetched and unlikely to happen–and we definitely would guess towards it taking place, as Grandma Sara’s Kitchen options zero film IP and could be costly to duplicate. However hear us out.

Disney already transformed French Market into Tiana’s Palace, which is now the perfect counter service restaurant at Disneyland. They presumably opted to rework this New Orleans Sq. eatery as a substitute of Hungry Bear Restaurant as a result of it was cheaper and quicker. So if Disney wouldn’t make investments the cash and permit Imagineering to rework Hungry Bear into what may’ve been a highly-lucrative princess character meal, there’s subsequent to no likelihood they’ll flip it into Grandma Sara’s. However they need to.

For one factor, Critter Nation was already the smallest land at Disneyland earlier than. When Tiana’s Bayou Journey opens, it’ll be small and unfocused. Turning Hungry Bear Restaurant right into a model of Grandma Sara’s, and weaving the woodland critters (which can stay within the new trip) along with the unique Tiana’s Meals storyline may make the land extra cohesive.

It may really feel like an space that flows collectively, reasonably than a random nook with Winnie the Pooh, Princess and the Frog, and a nondescript bear restaurant. Additionally, it could simply be actually cool to increase the Grandma Sara’s Kitchen Universe, kinda just like the MCU or Society of Explorers and Adventurers!

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Maybe down the highway, Tiana’s Bayou Journey will show extremely common and Disney will wish to “plus” Hungry Bear Restaurant and switch it into extra of an Imagineered restaurant that ties into the attraction. Even when that does occur, it’ll essentially differ considerably from Grandma Sara’s Kitchen.

It definitely received’t be as built-in into the trip, nor will or not it’s as lavishly themed. The rationale for it is because Critter Nation itself, one of many first main additions to Tokyo Disneyland after it opened, is all principally an outgrowth of Splash Mountain’s Chickapin Hill.

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It’s the authentic single-attraction Disney theme park land (Beaver Brothers Explorer Canoes don’t actually matter), and each Grandma Sara’s and Rackety’s Raccoon Saloon are extensions of Splash Mountain. Actually.

Grandma Sara’s is a part of the identical construction, whereas Hungry Bear Restaurant at Disneyland is a principally open-air venue throughout the walkway from the mountain, en path to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

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Apparently, the way in which Grandma Sara’s is an extension of Splash Mountain solely in tone and elegance and never in characters. Not one of the characters in Grandma Sara’s are from Music of the South, although they do carefully resemble the “Brer” critters present in Splash Mountain and Music of the South. They’re authentic critters.

I believe it’s fairly cool that the Imagineers created new characters particularly for this theme park restaurant–making these the primary “in-universe” characters solely for Splash Mountain.

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Critter County is extremely contoured in design, with tons of meandering paths and steps. That is additionally evident all through the multi-story Grandma Sara’s, in addition to its indoor and outside seating areas.

This isn’t simply within the stairs going from the primary flooring to the second, but additionally within the nooks, crannies, and varied little areas which can be separated by small steps up or down, or in any other case separated from the remainder of the restaurant.

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This makes for a very cool restaurant to discover, and regardless of being one of many largest and hottest (there’s usually a line out the door at lunch) eating places at Tokyo Disneyland, it feels intimate.

There are a variety of little rooms and alcoves that seat solely a handful of individuals, however but are extremely detailed areas of Grandma Sara’s home. Clearly, the core design bears a putting resemblance to Splash Mountain, nevertheless it’s the little lived-in decor that basically promote the surroundings. It feels prefer it’s inhabited by the Brer critters.

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I actually want I knew extra concerning the backstory right here. It’s known as Grandma Sara’s Kitchen, nevertheless it seems to be her complete home, which is inhabited by she and her household, and likewise varied “Brer Buddies.”

Then there’s the query of what, precisely, Grandma Sara is. I imply, we all know she’s a grandma–I imply what kind of animal.

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I all the time assumed she is an opossum, however the Tokyo Disneyland web site claims she’s a muskrat. Both muskrat look dramatically completely different in Japan, or that’s a celebration foul on the a part of Google Translate.

And for those who’ve ever needed to know what Sarah and I do for leisure, it’s ponder the questions of the day…such because the variations between opossum and muskrats and what muskrat “means” to the Japanese. Ah, the rousing lifetime of a Disney blogger.

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Right here’s one of many many work of Grandma Sara and her different Brer Buddies that strains the wall.

Now, let’s check out what Grandma Sara is cooking up in her kitchen…

Grandma Sara’s all the time has Particular Units for the assorted holidays.

Above are a few current meals we had at Grandma Sara’s Kitchen that characteristic Tokyo Disney eating mainstays: Mickey eggs and bone-in sausage. These are two “how did they try this?!” meals served at Tokyo Disneyland. (That’s a rhetorical query–we undoubtedly don’t want the solutions.)

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That is the Doria (I’ve had it in each seafood and hen varieties), which is principally a Japanese spin on creamy, rice casserole.

That is very typical of what’s served at Grandma Sara’s: American consolation meals with Japanese twist. Normally, that twist is “extra creaminess, sauce, and cheese!”

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Right here’s the Crab Cream Croquette of Omelet, which is all issues the identify states. It’s a creamy, crab omelet on a mattress of rice that I’ve discovered to be surprisingly good consolation meals.

It was additionally fairly filling, and undoubtedly one thing I’d order once more.

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That is the Hamburger Steak, one other glorious dish. It’s basically a Japanese spin on meatloaf, topped with wild mushrooms. I’m not an enormous meatloaf fan (the meat–everybody is aware of the band guidelines), however this had a definite taste someplace between meatloaf and burger. The sauce that topped it and the wonderful mushrooms have been a pleasant contact.

Dishes like this are why we all the time suggest folks dine at Grandma Sara’s. Nicely, this and the theme. Together with Casbah Meals Court docket at Tokyo DisneySea, this the one restaurant at which we’ve dined in Tokyo Disneyland on each journey. I additionally just like the fascinating twist on down residence cooking, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly not the perfect (or most likely even prime 5) at Tokyo Disneyland when it comes to meals.

General, Grandma Sara’s is certainly one of my absolute favourite eating places at Tokyo Disneyland, and it’s nearly totally due to the theme. That is essentially the most richly themed restaurant at Tokyo Disneyland, by a large margin. Queen of Hearts Banquet Corridor typically garners extra consideration due to its affiliation with Alice in Wonderland, a film with an enormous fan-following, however Grandma Sara’s is so a lot better.

As a fan of the theme parks extra so than the films, I actually respect what Tokyo Disneyland did with Splash Mountain. Though all situated round Chickapin Hill and that includes among the similar Brer critters, there’s a lot extra to this Splash Mountain space. Tokyo Disneyland basically created a complete fictional universe and animals particularly for the attraction and its Critter Nation that deviate so removed from the unique supply materials that it’s principally one thing completely completely different and new.

Planning a visit to Tokyo Disney Resort? For complete recommendation, the perfect place to start out is our Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea Journey Planning Information! For extra specifics, our TDR Lodge Rankings & Evaluations web page covers lodging. Our Restaurant Evaluations element the place to dine & snack. To economize on tickets or decide which sort to purchase, learn our Suggestions for Saving Cash publish. Our What to Pack for Disney publish takes a singular have a look at intelligent gadgets to take. Venturing elsewhere in Japan? Seek the advice of our Final Information to Kyoto, Japan and Metropolis Information to Tokyo, Japan.


Do you want the thought of a Splash Mountain restaurant? Does Grandma Sara’s Kitchen look good to you? Have you ever dined right here? When you’re a daily, any favourite season to go? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Any questions? Listening to your suggestions–even if you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!

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