Where to Eat: Lunch at Disneyland's 'Star Wars'-themed Galactic Grill

December 7, 2015, 8:09 PM · It's a busy December at the Disneyland Resort, as the typical holiday crowds mash up with fans lured to the park by its year-long 60th anniversary Diamond Celebration. But that's not all. Because no park can be too crowded, apparently, Disneyland also has rolled out its Star Wars-themed "Season of the Force" in Tomorrowland, in advance of the new movie's opening next week.

Matthew Gottula covered "Season of the Force" for us on opening night, but this weekend my family and I visited for lunch at "Galactic Grill," the rethemed Tomorrowland Terrace restaurant.

Galactic Grill

Star Wars references abound on the menu, to which Disney has added several new items. (The menu isn't the only place to see Star Wars references here, either. I got a kick out of noticing that the cast member at the counter was wearing a nametag declaring her hometown as "Mustafar.")

Galactic Grill menu

The references and puns continue on the kids' and dessert menu, too. Why is the kids' burger called the "Han" burger? Well, in addition to that obvious pun, without cheese and condiments, it's being served "solo." Get it?

Galactic Grill kids and dessert menu

We didn't. Instead, we opted for the top two new sandwiches on the grown-up menu, as well as the top item on the kids' menu. Plus a couple of desserts, too.

Season of the Force lunch
From top left, clockwise, Darth by Chocolate ($5.99), the First Order burger ($11.49, with fries), the Jedi Order Chicken Sandwich ($10.49, with fries), the Jawa Turkey Sand-Wich ($6.99, with carrots and apples) and the BB-8 Droid crisped rice treat ($4.99).

Frankly, all of this reminded me more of Disney World food than anything I've been accustomed to eating at Disneyland. The sandwiches came wrapped in lined foil, with buns so soggy they stuck to the wrappers and tore when we opened them. The turkey sandwich came wrapped in plastic, as if it had been sitting in 10-year-old me's Star Wars lunchbox all morning.

There's a hint of interesting flavor in the First Order burger and Jedi Order chicken sandwich, but neither I nor my kids cared to try more than a bite of each. The First Order burger aims for Latin flavor, with a blend of chorizo and beef in the patty, with fried cherry peppers and a spicy lime aioli dressing the burger. The Jedi Order chicken sandwich goes more for an Asian-inspired taste, seasoned with Chinese Five Spice powder and adorned with fried green beans, pickled red onions, and wasabi mayo.

In both cases, those soggy buns just serve to mute the flavors of the sandwich, leaving all of us to just shrug, put them down, and await our turn with the "Darth by Chocolate."

A parfait of chocolate ganache and red velvet cake, adorned with a Darth Vader chocolate cut-out, the Darth by Chocolate is sweet and simple. And it's more satisfying than the cloying BB-8, where the icing helps cut the sweetness of the crisped rice, which should tell you all you need to know.

That left me to finish the kid-sized turkey sandwich, which, despite the "Bantha Blue Milk" coloring, tasted exactly like the mass-produced turkey-and-lettuce sandwich on supermarket white bread that I expected it to be.

All in all, if you're looking to mix things up by trying something off of one of Disneyland's seasonal menus, head over to Disney California Adventure and try one of the Viva Navidad entrees at the Paradise Garden Grill instead. I had the Sopes de Barbacoa, and thoroughly enjoyed the spicy shredded beef atop the fried cornmeal patties and chorizo beans. (Served on a real plate with actual serving ware, too!) Now that is a Disneyland meal.

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Replies (11)

December 7, 2015 at 9:52 PM · Didn't the parks trade head honchos??? Is this why Disneyland may be seeing the beginning of crummy food? When I was in WDW in October, I could tell there was a marked difference in the quality of food and that was great but NOT if the quality of food begins to go to pot on the West Coast. Thank you for the review.
December 7, 2015 at 10:34 PM · "...tasted exactly like the mass-produced turkey-and-lettuce sandwich on supermarket white bread that I expected it to be". LOL.

Is it airport food or the gold standard of theme park entertainment? That's a blind taste test I would like to see.

December 8, 2015 at 3:32 AM · Jiko, Sanaa, Flying Fish, Victoria and Alberts, etc., etc. Enough said.
December 8, 2015 at 4:35 AM · They got me at "Cheese-3PO." XD
December 8, 2015 at 7:00 AM · While at DHS this weekend I was able to try some of the items over there and I can't imagine that food at Disneyland is markedly worse.
December 8, 2015 at 11:30 AM · "Jiko, Sanaa, Flying Fish, Victoria and Alberts, etc., etc. Enough said."
Um, those are all high end restaurants and I'm happy they are great. But it's possible to make great quick service food, too, which DL has been far better at doing than WDW so I hope it's not slipping.
December 8, 2015 at 11:42 AM · The First Order burger will have its revenge by turning your poop green.

Looking at the picture, that is some scary looking food.

December 9, 2015 at 3:30 AM · Seriously? Ok, WDW counter service with great food: Flame Tree BBQ, Columbia Harber House, Yorkshire Country Fish Shop, Landscape of Flavors, Katsura Grill, etc.
December 9, 2015 at 4:22 PM · Four theme parks and you can only name five decent counter service restaurants?

DLR has dominated the CS options for a while and I hope this is not a sign of things to come.

December 9, 2015 at 4:38 PM · Rather than turning this into a DL vs WDW section, can we just agree that both have "good" food and "meh" food?
December 12, 2015 at 5:14 AM · I'm heading to DLR soon and are delighted by comments describing DLR CS as being exceptional. However, I've only noted WDW examples. What are the great CS options there? Corn dogs at the Red Wagon (WDW has this at Disney Springs), fried chicken (see WDW's chicken at theTune In Lounge) at the Plaza, and...? Hook a foodie up.

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