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Disneyland River Belle Terrace Review: A Hidden Gem at Disneyland

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River Belle Terrace is a table service restaurant located in Disneyland’s Frontierland that specializes in Southern cuisine. 20% of our reader surveys rate River Belle Terrace as a “thumbs down,” which makes it the worst-rated table service restaurant in Disneyland (compared to 7% thumbs down for Carnation Cafe, 8% for Cafe Orleans, and 13% for Blue Bayou). It’s been a few years since we reviewed River Belle, so we thought we should return and find out if it deserves its reputation, or if its an underrated gem.

Pretty colors and nice lighting fixtures adorn the interior dining space of River Belle Terrace. The exterior patio has tables and chairs with umbrellas to block the sun. We enjoy the exterior tables for people watching and the ambiance of Rivers of America, but the inside is just fine.

River Belle Terrace is located at a transition point between Frontierland and Adventureland. We appreciate how the inside finds a way to match the theme of both lands.

Here’s a look at the menu. There’s not a lot of options right now, which is true with many current Disneyland Resort dining menus, but there is a decent variety of items.

I’ll start things off with my party’s consensus favorite entree, the Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Brisket Grilled Cheese sandwich. I dined at River Belle with my girlfriend and the Brickers from Disney Tourist Blog. We booked a reservation without doing any research beforehand so we didn’t know what to expect. When we sat down and read over the menu we feared that we had made a poor choice. “How good can a grilled cheese sandwich be?” Very good, it turns out. The Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Brisket Grilled Cheese sandwich is a pile of sinfully good comfort good. It’s heavy and not healthy in any way, but it’s fantastic.

Here’s the cross-section so you can see the layers of brisket, cheese, and fried chicken. This was worth every penny.

Next up we have the Buttermilk Fried Chicken sandwich which is served with jalapeño slaw and BBQ aioli. The fried chicken here is the same as in the previously mentioned sandwich. We enjoyed the nice little kick the jalapeño slaw provided. This was a good sandwich, but it’s hard to recommend when for only $4 more you can get the Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Brisket Grilled Cheese sandwich.

Theme park fish is always a risk, but the Open-faced Blackened Catfish did not disappoint. The candied bacon was delightful and the tartar sauce provided a nice zesty taste. It’s worth mentioning that each entree comes with baked beans and “potato bites.” The Brickers and I agreed that the beans were sickeningly sweet, but everyone loved the potato bites.

The Pimento Mac & Cheese includes smoked brisket, herb crumble, and crispy fried onions. The herb crumble and onions provided a satisfying crunch to each bite. Overall it’s good, but at $22 I’d personally have a hard time justifying getting this as a meal when there’s so many good sandwiches on the menu.

For dessert we ordered the Seasonal Monkey Bread, which was heavenly. It’s warm, gooey, and packed with pumpkin flavor. I recently reviewed this in my Disneyland Halloween food post, and I’ll repeat my warning here: Do not attempt to share this or it will lead to fights over who gets every bite. Save yourself the trouble and insist on ordering one for yourself.

We ordered three for the table and it still wasn’t enough. Note that while this is the special pumpkin flavored Halloween season version, River Belle usually has some form Monkey Bread on the menu.

Our final verdict is that River Belle Terrace doesn’t deserve its low score, and it’s definitely worth it if you’re looking for a table service dining location in Disneyland. These entrees are going to weigh you down so either arrive hungry, or dine later in the day so your energy isn’t sapped trying to digest these beasts.

What’s your thoughts about River Belle Terrace? Have you eaten there recently? Let us know in the comments.

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Guy Selga Jr.

Disneyland writer for TouringPlans.com and co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland. Also a Disneyland local and appreciator of Disney theme park history. Twitter and Instagram: @guyselga

12 thoughts on “Disneyland River Belle Terrace Review: A Hidden Gem at Disneyland

  • This was Walt Disney’s personal favorite restaurant for breakfast. Back when they cooked everything to order. All was fresh and delicious. Eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes, strawberry waffles with real whipped cream. Fresh fruit, fresh orange juice—you name it! My kids were about 10 the last time we ate there. Yummy, and not a penny more than Denny’s! But thanks to greedy cost cutting, there are no more chefs or even short order cooks.

    Disneyland has turned into exactly what Walt didn’t want. Namely, a tourist trap. Before Disneyland was even opened, he insisted there would be no gouging at Disneyland. Absolutely not! How could a family enjoy themselves knowing they were being taken advantage of? Back then, only top quality at fair prices.

    Disneyland used to be my favorite place on the entire planet. But that was long ago.

    • Now everything is prepared offsite. Forget about freshness or flavor; you’re lucky if your tater tots are even warm. McDonald’s serves better food than Disneyland nowadays. YUCK!

  • I ate here in September with my younger cousins (boys 15 and 17). The Tofu dish had great vegetables, but the tofu was very soft (I would have preferred fried or crispy tofu). For those complaining about the cost, I will note that drink refills are free. My 17-year-old cousin drank 3 Powerades and the 15-year-old drank 3 sodas, so that was $18 worth of soda each for the price of one drink. That more than offset the price difference between this and food cart snacks. Plus we got to sit down and have table service. Something to consider if you have kids and it’s a hot day.

  • I ate there with my vegetarian partner in July, and I have to say the BBQ Tofu dish was a surprise hit. We split it and a Monkey Bread, and I was shocked at how flavorful the Tofu was and the veggies in it were that perfect balance of done-enough but not-too-done. As someone who eats meat, I was very satisfied with the dish, and so was my partner!

  • My family and I were here last week and while the food was good, the time it took to get the food out made it not worth it. For our first time visiting here it will probably be my last due to nothing amazing vs the money you have to spend.

    • Makes sense. Spending a lot of valuable time doing a sit down meal is not something anyone wants to do in a theme park.

  • Did not like this restaurant at all. Will not recommend. Ridiculously high prices for bad diner food.

  • We happened to get a last minute res there last weekend (Sept. 10) and we had a GREAT meal! There weren’t many choices, as mentioned, but each of us got something different and we loved it all. My son had been looking for mac-n-cheese all trip and loved this one. My other son had the fried chicken sandwich and declared it one of the best things he at all week (high praise considering we tried Carthay Circle Lounge, too). The monkey bread (which we were stupid and shared) was gone in an instant. I would also put in a vote for the appetizers – the catfish nuggets and shrimp were amazing, as was the cheese dip with veggies and pita. The only down side for us was that it was pretty hot, even in the shade. But the view was great, the service was wonderful, and we will definitely go back!

    • Awesome! Thanks for leaving the comment.

  • Thanks for the review! I think River Belle is the only restaurant at Disneyland that offers a Disney Visa discount, so nice to hear that it’s worth a try!

    • That’s good to know. Thanks!

    • Yeah well, 2 days ago it was SHIT.
      Don’t waste your money there


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