Your Favorite Theme Park Foods to Recreate Now

Your Favorite Theme Park Foods to Recreate Now

By Rachael Medina
August 16, 2020

Funnel cakes, corn dogs, and Monte Cristo sandwiches—does anything conjure up as many memories as theme park foods do? From going to water parks with all of your best friends on a class field trip to visiting Disneyland for the very first time, each amusement park memory is inextricably tied to its smells and tastes, so eating these foods can easily transport you back to your favorite places. 

The Golden State's Best Amusement Park Foods

Though you may not be able to visit your go-to amusement parks regularly, you can bring the fun times to you with these mouthwatering recipes from your favorite theme park restaurants, snack stands, and food carts. 

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Disneyland Food

With so many unique Disneyland restaurants—and so many things to eat and drink throughout the resort—choosing a favorite food can seem impossible. Between Disney’s turkey legs, churros, and Dole Whips, there are hundreds of foods to consider and dishes to make. If you’ve already cooked up our makeshift magical recipes, try your hand at the oddly satisfying Monte Cristo sandwich from Disneyland’s Blue Bayou; with a polarizing palate, you’ll likely either love it or hate it.

The Best Food at Disneyland: The Monte Cristo Sandwich

Get a taste of "the happiest place on earth" by crafting Disneyland's beloved Monte Cristo sandwich at home.

Serves 8

Ingredients

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups flour

2 eggs

1 ½ cups milk

16 slices of thick white bread

16 slices Swiss cheese

16 slices turkey

16 slices ham

½ cup vegetable oil (for frying)

Powdered sugar (to taste)

Raspberry sauce or jam

Directions

  • Sift salt, sugar, baking powder, and flour into a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Once fully combined, slowly pour into the dry ingredients. 
  • Mix until smooth—there shouldn’t be any clumps—making sure the runny consistency is intact. Add a splash of milk, if needed. 
  • To assemble the sandwiches, lay out the slices of bread, topping each piece first with a slice of Swiss cheese, then a slice of turkey, then a slice of ham. Once the ingredients have been allocated, press the halves together and secure each corner with a toothpick.
  • Pour oil into a frying pan, and heat oil to 350 degrees.
  • Dunk the sandwich into the mixed batter until coated, and fry in the heated oil until golden brown.
  • Remove from heat and drain on paper towels. Remove all toothpicks before plating.
  • Transfer sandwiches to plates, cut in half diagonally, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve with raspberry sauce or jam.


Pro tip:
Finish the meal with some Disneyland churros, and you’ll swear you’re dining at one of the best theme park restaurants. 

 

Six Flags Food

Funnel cake is one of those theme park foods that just screams fun, but Six Flags’ funnel cakes stand above the rest, leaving lasting memories of wandering around the parks. If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying this iconic dish yet, it’s a fried-batter dessert that looks like a tasty woven doily. It’s light, fluffy, and covered in powdered sugar—basically, it’s everything you’re looking for in a sweet treat. Trust us, if you’re going to make any recipe on this list, it ought to be this food from Six Flags Great America. 

Six Flags-esque Funnel Cake

For the ultimate sweet treat, try your hand at making Six Flags' funnel cake and reminisce about your last visit.

Serves 12

Ingredients

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour, sifted 

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups milk

1 quart vegetable oil (for frying)

¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  • Combine salt, sugar, baking powder, and half of the flour in a bowl. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, and milk until combined. Then, slowly add in the flour mixture.
  • Continue incorporating the other half of the flour until reaching the desired consistency, making sure it is thin and will easily run through a funnel. 
  • Heat the oil to 365 degrees in an eight-inch skillet.
  • Once the oil is hot enough, fill a funnel with the mixture, making sure to cover the bottom with your finger. 
  • Move the funnel over the oil and carefully release the batter into the pan while moving in a circular motion.
  • Fry until golden brown, then flip with tongs and a spatula to cook the other side. Leave for about one minute.
  • Take out of oil, and place on paper towels to wick some of the oil. 
  • Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with sifted confectioners’ sugar, and top with your favorite ingredients.


Pro tip:
Add crushed Oreo cookies, whipped cream, and soft-serve to recreate the sundae funnel cake from Six Flags, or go a bit simpler with strawberry and chocolate syrups—no matter how you top it, this theme park food is a winner. 

 

Knott’s Berry Farm Food 

When it comes to Knott’s Berry Farm, there are nearly too many delicious foods to count. With options ranging from hot dogs and churros to raspberry shortbread cookies and pretzels, there are endless ways to indulge. But when it comes to family meals, Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant is unlike any other, so load up your plate and get ready for seconds. 

Make Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner At Home

Recreate the famous fried chicken plate from Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant to enjoy a comforting meal.

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 cups cold water

6 tablespoons kosher salt (or 3 tablespoons table salt)

3 pounds of chicken, separated into pieces 

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 quart vegetable oil (for frying)

Directions

  • Pour cold water and salt into a resealable bag, and stir or shake to mix. Add chicken, seal, and leave in the refrigerator for one to two hours. 
  • Heat oil in a large frying pan until it comes to a boil.
  • Remove chicken from brine, rinse, and pat dry.
  • Dredge chicken in flour and carefully place in the oil, making sure to avoid overcrowding the pot.
  • Cover and fry until golden brown (about 45 minutes).
  • Remove from oil, and drain on a paper towel–lined plate.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes and gravy, whole-kernel corn, and biscuits. 


Pro tip:
Pair the biscuits with boysenberry jam, and follow up your dinner with a chocolate bundt cake for an authentic Knott’s experience.

 

Legoland Food 

The best food at Legoland is a hotly debated topic, but one thing is clear: Legoland’s apple fries are good enough to get kids to eat fruit. Whether you’ve got an insatiable sweet tooth or you’re looking for a fun activity to fill your afternoon, you might be able to whip up a batch of these treats without going to the grocery store. 

Legoland Apple Fries

After devouring a homemade version of Legoland's apple fries, you'll wonder how fruit can taste so good. Photo courtesy of Legoland.

Serves 8

Ingredients

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Vegetable oil (for frying)

8 Granny Smith apples

1 cup cornstarch

1 can whipped cream

Directions

  • Combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
  • Pour vegetable oil into a deep pot, and heat oil to 300 degrees.
  • Peel and core the apples, then cut them into half-inch-wide sticks to resemble fries.
  • Once cut, fully coat apples in cornstarch and shake off any excess.
  • In four batches, fry the sliced apples over medium heat until soft (about 2 minutes), then remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon.
  • Set on a cooling rack atop a baking sheet, spreading them into a single layer to cool.
  • Allow oil to return to 300 degrees before repeating the process with the remaining batches. 
  • Once all the batches have been completed, increase the oil temperature to 375 degrees.
  • When the oil reaches 375 degrees, fry the slices again in six batches, allowing them to get crispy (about a minute and a half).
  • Once lightly golden, remove slices from oil and drain on paper towels. Toss slices in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until coated.
  • Serve warm with whipped cream.


Rachael Medina

Rachael Medina

Rachael Medina is the staff writer and content manager for California.com. She was born and raised just outside the Mojave Desert in Southern California and moved to the redwood forests of Humboldt C…

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1 comment


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  • ZaintSee | Aug, 16

    Thanks for sharing those recipes🙏. I've been craving for these foods since quarantine started. Reply

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