The fun is underway with Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort – Haunted Mansion Holiday, Dia de los Muertos and the Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree – all running through October 31, with festive food a big part of the fun through November 2.
Let’s start with the squiggly, wiggly zinfandel spaghetti with roasted golden beets, pine nuts and golden raisins at Storytellers Café at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. It looks a little fiendish, but the pasta gets its “seasonal” color from wine and it’s only available the week of Halloween.
Head to Disneyland park, where Café Orleans is featuring devilishly delicious braised short ribs with purple mashed potatoes, sautéed baby carrots, red wine mushroom sauce and fried shoestring onions. Nearby, Blue Bayou serves a hearty Creole-brined, bone-in pork chop with roasted garlic Boursin mashed potatoes, sautéed baby spinach, Champagne pear coulis and tomato relish.
Bewitching quick bites include pork tamales at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante (in honor of Dia de los Muertos), and a blue cheese and onion marmalade burger at Hungry Bear Restaurant. Head to Village Haus Restaurant for Fire-Breathing Dragon Flatbread with buffalo chicken, serrano chile slices and chipotle aioli (definitely a treat, if you love hot stuff). A little more subdued is the “Munster” chicken sausage sandwich with onions, red bell peppers, mushrooms, Muenster cheese and chicken sausage on a baguette with a side of roasted purple potatoes.
At French Market Restaurant, try the traditional shrimp po boy with deep-fried popcorn shrimp, lettuce, tomato, vinegar dressing and Cajun remoulade sauce on a toasted potato roll. Tomorrowland Terrace has a “Monsters U” cheeseburger with special sauce, lettuce, tomato, pickles and grilled onion – with a side of fries covered in Parmesan Ranch “Ooze.” Or check out the mac & cheese pizza at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port – yes, it’s pizza crust with mac ‘n cheese topped with mozzarella and Romano cheeses and seasoned bread crumbs.
Disney California Adventure park has some haunting hits as well: a burger or grilled chicken at Taste Pilots’ Grill topped with a “cobweb” of Swiss cheese, grilled onions and mushrooms, and the Anti-Vampire Chicken Pizza at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta with roasted garlic sauce, marinated chicken, smoked Gouda, roasted red peppers and a tomato-spicy harissa drizzle.