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Disneyland Article
Secret To Getting The Best Seat At Blue Bayou
Julie Tremaine
Every Disneyland fan has their favorite restaurant, but if you were to poll a group of them, Blue Bayou would almost certainly be at the top of the list. The restaurant isn’t just a dining experience; it’s inside Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square and part of the attraction itself.

The tables just on the edge of the water are, by far, the best tables in the house. From there, you can see boats of riders floating through the bayou scene of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Not only do you get to watch the boats — and, if you’re so inclined, wave to riders — but you feel the most immersed in the ride in those seats. There’s no way to request them specifically through the Disneyland app or website, but there is a way to get them, if you know the trick.

You can eat at Blue Bayou one of two ways: with a reservation or by taking your chances and asking to join the walk-up list at the park. Reservations are hard to come by but not impossible if you keep checking availability, especially closer to your date, as you might catch a cancellation. Walk-ups depend on how busy the restaurant is that day. On a Saturday, you might not get in; on a Tuesday, your chances are better.

Once you check in at the restaurant, you’ll automatically be put in the queue until your table is ready. Here’s where the secret comes in. There are actually two queues. One is the regular standby queue. And one is the “water queue,” which puts you in the line for tables by the water. I learned this the last time I went to the restaurant, at the end of April. We were sitting down at a nice table with a decent view, but I saw a couple getting up from a waterfront table.

“Could we wait and sit at that one?” I asked the cast member seating us.

“It’s spoken for,” she said, “but next time, ask for the water queue.”

She went on to explain that on busier days, the restaurant implements a separate list for waterside tables. The wait is usually longer, but if you don’t mind waiting, you can get one of the most coveted seats, with the best experience inside.

The restaurant serves Creole-inspired food. The interior of the restaurant is dim and serene, with decor evoking a sunset meal in the courtyard of a Southern mansion. When Blue Bayou opened March 18, 1967, the same day Pirates opened, it made history as the first-ever restaurant inside a ride anywhere in the world. The ride and its restaurant were among the last projects Walt Disney personally oversaw, though they opened after his death in December 1966. Walt Disney World doesn’t have anything like it, but there are other restaurants inside rides at Disney parks around the world.

Legend has it that Disney’s original vision for Blue Bayou was for the restaurant to include a pirate-themed stage show as part of the experience, according to Mental Floss. “Had Disney kept the original plans, however, the eating experience wouldn’t have been so serene,” Stacy Conradt wrote. “While guests dined on Creole cuisine, pirates would amaze and entertain them. After giving it a dress rehearsal, Walt told his executives that ‘in this restaurant, the food is going to be the show, along with the atmosphere.’”

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