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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.
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Here for the Snacks

My partner in Disney crime and I just completed a triumphant return to adult Disney-ing after a year and a half absence. Everything (with the exception perhaps of mobile ordering on all the food) is fabulous as always, from the rides to the characters to the snacks. Snacking in particular is something we're very good at when at Disneyland, and it always amazes me just how many options one has when considering food in the parks. Because it's on my mind and because the topics on this blog are entirely up to me, I've put Disney dining into the following buckets:

Level 1 = Bring all your food in with you, in the form of sandwiches, granola bars, and carrot sticks packed into various plastic containers. I see these people sitting at tables as I eat my beignets, passing homemade pasta salad between them, and it makes me a little sad. That they aren't eating the beignets. It's really half the fun, the snacking. Maybe even 60% of it.

Level 2 = Bring almost all your food in with you, but eat one meal a day in the park. This is what my family used to do when we were kids, at least from what I can remember. As much as I wanted to eat the park food, I do remember feeling bad that we spent ALL the money my parents handed us one night to go get our dinners, knowing that it was probably more than they wanted to spend on a single meal. Note that at this level you're still not eating the beignets.

Level 3 = Eat meals only in the park but don't buy any snacks. This approach is purely functional, the kind that says "we have to eat to sustain ourselves but do not need any extra treats or sweets." This is a very sad and beignet-less way to go through life.

Level 4 = Eat some meals and snacks in the park and supplement with snacks brought from home. I appreciate the effort of those at this level to experience some of what the park has to offer in the way of food, including beignets, but to also implement some sort of budget cap. Still, it must be said, if something is worth doing, it's worth doing right. Plus, if you give a mouse a beignet, he's going to want a mint julep. I'm sure you see where this is going.

Level 5 = Eat all meals in the park and get a snack every hour. This is the level where the beignets and mint juleps are followed by churros which are followed by a corn dog which is followed by ice cream sundaes which are followed by shawarma falafel wraps which are followed by more churros which are followed by Dole Whips which are followed by more ice cream which are followed by burgers and fries which are followed by a cheese-filled pretzel which is followed by more churros which are followed by all the candy you get at the Oogie Boogie Bash. It goes without saying that this adds hundreds of dollars to your trip and leaves you comfortable in nothing but sweat pants, but I'm convinced there's no better way to go.

"I can't think of anything I didn't eat," is the last thing spoken between us before we left the park on Day 3, and surely there isn't a truer measure of success. Until next time, Disney. Long live Level 5!