If you can imagine picking up a pizza and a package of Mickey Mouse corn-on-the-cob holders inside Disneyland's It's a Small World ride, you'll have a pretty good idea of dinner at Mickey's Kitchen. The new Disney-owned restaurant inside a Disney store at Montclair Plaza, (714) 624-8111, is something of a suburban Toontown. Near the front is Winnie-the-Pooh country, with a separate yogurt bar; off in a corner is a replica of Tony's Italian restaurant, the setting for the love scene in "Lady and the Tramp." Sing-along videos of Disney hits constantly play on a big-screen TV (the words and a bouncing mouse head appear as subtitles).
You order at a counter that looks like a jazzed-up McDonald's. Here, the uninitiated stare at the menu
for long periods of time. Should it be a Goofy Burger? A Supercalifragi-Chicken Salad? Piglet Corkscrew Fries? Mouseketeer Meals (choose from Huey, Dewey or Louie) come with a prize. If you're confused, a helpful employee will greet you ("Hi! Welcome to Mickey's Kitchen!") and tell you that a P and J Handwich stands for peanut butter and jelly. (Disneyland may be the happiest place on earth, but Mickey's Kitchen must be the friendliest--relentlessly so.)
And how does Disney food taste? A lot like the burgers you get outside Space Mountain--in other words, food only a kid could love. But as one Mickey's Kitchen worker confided, "Everyone who comes here is a kid, really."