Mousertainment Miscellanea – I Didn’t Know That! #4 – Disney Parks Food Hacks and Secret Menu Items

Although food is certainly something I enjoy year-round in the parks, there’s something so satisfying about trying a new treat in the summer. So lately I’ve been ticking off my “want to try it” list with some off-the-menu choices. And while park regulars are often aware of these tips and tricks, not everyone is, so I thought I’d share a few!

Food hacks

Did you know at Disney Parks that you don’t have to order everything exactly as it is on the menu? Well, of course, at most places you go to eat, if you say “hold this” or “put this on the side”, they’ll try to accommodate you. Disney Parks are the same and will frequently go a step further to make sure to help you especially if you have food allergies or sensitivities.

If you’re not sure about the ingredients of a meal or if it’s appropriate for your dietary needs – ask! If the server doesn’t know, they can often bring a chef out from the kitchen to talk with you to see if there is a way to specially prepare something safe for you to eat. Many park restaurants also have specific “allergy menus” you can request to see to alert you to what is best for your specific needs.

But there’s another way to order something differently – especially at counter service/quick service locations. Did you know that you could order some food without a side (like chips or fruit) and that can save you money on your total? Want that corn dog but don’t need the bag of chips?  Ask to get it without the side! Alternately, there are some places where you can order JUST a side!

For example, I LOVE the pomme frites at Disneyland and discovered that the pomme frites at the Red Rose Taverne can be ordered separately on the side – not just with a main dish! So if I’m not up for the full Beast’s Burger meal on any given day, I can still go in and enjoy the side dish!

Pomme frites at the Red Rose Taverne.

These options are not noted on the menu, but they can be done – and it doesn’t hurt to ask!

But then there are…

Secret Menu Items Continue reading

Performers Spotlight: Dapper Ken and Dapper Wesley and Dapper David and Bonus Dapper Frank @ The Dapper Dans of Disneyland

“Laughter on the levee, no one’s heart is heavy…”

In this patriotic week, I realized that I am long overdue to spotlight several of our bass-singing Dapper Dans of Disneyland – those staples of Main Street, U.S.A.!

These talented low-vocal red-and-white-costumed fellows provide much of the levity and comedy in the Dapper Dan routines, so I wanted to give a quick shout-out to a few more of these talented guys!

First up is Dapper Ken – Ken is a jovial gentleman for whom Dappering seems to be not just second nature, but first! Some people just seem so right in their roles and Ken is one of them! He’s got a lovely warm voice and an equally warm personality to go with it – with just a hint (okay, maybe more than a hint) of mischief in his eyes as well. He’s particularly fun to watch during the Halloween Dapper sets.  I always wind up grinning when Ken is performing!

Dapper Ken

Next up is Dapper Wesley – Wesley is simply the one of the most perfect period performers at the park! He is the epitome of mid-century middle America and every time I watch him I keep thinking it’s like he stepped right out of “Leave it To Beaver” or a Jimmy Stewart film and into 1955 Disneyland Park. Watching Wesley is a total time warp for me and a great atmospheric addition whenever he’s there.

Dapper Wesley

On certain occasions, Wesley has also been known to sing baritone – such as one day when he was found in that blue-striped role while another bass, Dapper Frank (a returned but still rare to spot longtime Dapper Dan), was in red! Continue reading

Disney California Adventure Summer of Heroes 2017 – Extras

I should have known that just because I thought I covered everything new being offered for the Summer of Heroes at Disney California Adventure in last week’s feature that I wasn’t done!

Sure enough – they have already plussed up the event and updated it, so today I’m going to give you a quick rundown on the changes and additions!

First of all, I did take a peek into the Sunset Showcase Theater (the former Muppets/now movie previews theater) and they are indeed showing an unadvertised clip show of all the Marvel movies to date leading into the next one – Thor: Ragnarok. It is similar to the Path of the Jedi clip show playing in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park except, as with many of the movie previews they’ve done at the Sunset Showcase Theater, there are movie costumes to go see as well!

Costumes for Black Widow, Captain America, Thor and Hawkeye.

As a bit of a costume and prop nerd, I really enjoy these displays, whether they are at the park, at the D23 Expo (this year’s Expo is coming up soon!), or at the El Capitan Theatre.

Some new shows for the season are already being tweaked as I went back to see the Avengers Training Initiative again and they’d cut an entire segment (with power crystals) out of it. Not sure if that’s a permanent cut or not, but it did help the show run faster.

Avengers Training Initiative with S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Black Widow and Hawkeye.

The park also continues to add to the Marvel offerings, seemingly in a testing phase to see what resonates most with the crowd. The results will likely ultimately be seen in the anticipated Marvel Land that’s been rumored for Disney California Adventure.

In this case, the newest additions include a Meet & Greet with Gamora in front of the Guardians attraction in Hollywood Land: Continue reading

Disney California Adventure Summer of Heroes 2017

Disney California Adventure finally became a full day park for me when The Mad T Party arrived (although it was almost there with ElecTRONica). However, the influx of all the wonderful new entertainment options for the Summer of Heroes has finally brought me another excuse to want to spend many hours in this park instead of Disneyland Park!

I had a busy day recently checking out most of the new sights and even a few of the new bites! So after that, here are my thoughts…

Hero Action Center quiz area.

I first started off in the Hollywood Backlot where I wanted to take the quiz at the Hero Action Center to find out which super hero I’m most like! Similar to all those social media quizzes, I picked the answers on the provided tablets that I most closely related to and wound up with Thor! (Now, while that may be pretty accurate, for the record, I’m still #TeamLoki!) After your identity is selected, a Cast Member gives you a sticker representing your super hero as well as a free comic book. I took the sticker, but skipped the comic as I didn’t want to carry it around all day. Still, freebies at the park always equal awesome!

Next, I noticed there was some kind of Super Hero Showcase going on in the Sunset Showcase Theater. Honestly, I’m not sure what’s in there, but I’m guessing it’s the Marvel equivalent of the Path of the Jedi clip show that started in Tomorrowland for the Season of the Force. I skipped that one, too, since I’ve already seen the movies and I’d rather spend my time at the parks doing unique park things.

Black Widow and her S.H.I.E.L.D. transport!

As I was leaving the Hollywood Backlot area, I found Black Widow was out at the end of her “Heroic Encounter” before she headed back to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, so I took a quick pic while she was there. But I still wanted to see the entire Encounter later that day. Continue reading

Happy Father’s Day to Disney Dads Everywhere!

The Disney Parks are filled with Disney Dads – from those pushing the strollers to those up on the stage.

To celebrate Father’s Day, I thought I’d point out a couple of places you can spot some Disney Dads at the Disneyland Resort!

I think it would be incredible to start with Disney California Adventure – where you can spot super dad Mr. Incredible along with the rest of his family in the Pixar Play Parade!

You’re incredible!

There are two different places in Paradise Pier where you may notice images of Princess Ariel’s father – at his namesake King Triton’s Carousel or inside the The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction. And if and when Paint the Night returns, you can see Triton at the head of The Little Mermaid float in that parade as well!

Heading over to the Hyperion Theater, Elsa and Anna’s father appears in Frozen – Live at the Hyperion.

Elsa and her father in Frozen – Live at the Hyperion.

And at Turtle Talk with Crush in the Animation Academy, you can visit with the awesome sea turtle Crush and his son Squirt along with fellow father and son duo, Marlin and Nemo. Some of these Finding Nemo characters can also be found at the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attraction in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park. Continue reading

Show Spotlight: Summer of Heroes Hollywood Backlot DJ Dance Party

Is this the Eye of Agamotto watching?!

aka: The Dance Party That Shall Not Be Named!

For the Disney California Adventure Summer of Heroes, many locals were anticipating the return of a themed nighttime dance party for the park – preferably with a live band.

However, the promoted Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance-Off! turned out to be a daily audience participation show stop ala DJ’s Dance ‘n Drive.

But oddly stealthily, Disney California Adventure actually has added a nighttime DJ dance party – only it’s not on the published schedule nor is it advertised anywhere! Instead you just have to sort of stumble upon it or follow the pop music issuing from the former Diamond Mad T Party dance stage in Hollywood Land.

Here you will find the as yet unnamed Hollywood Backlot DJ dance party! Currently only temporarily scheduled for the next week or two, it is likely to be extended throughout the summer if perceived as successful. Continue reading

Sherlocked USA 2017 – The Convention

Look for me at 221B Baker Street!

Last weekend, instead of braving the Memorial Day weekend crowds at the parks, I was fortunate enough to attend a different gathering of fans thanks to a new convention that came to town – Sherlocked USA!

Previously only held in Europe, Sherlocked is the official convention of the hit British television series, Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. And while neither of these actors were in attendance at this particular event, there was no lack of popular guests to meet nor things to do and see!

Guests Mark Gatiss and Una Stubbs being interviewed by Tony Lee.

Some of the headlining guests included co-creators Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss (also one of the stars of the show as Mycroft Holmes), producer Sue Vertue, the utterly adored Andrew Scott (Moriarty), the utterly adorable Una Stubbs (Mrs. Hudson), along with guest stars including Alastair Petrie and Louis Moffat, plus production guests and more. Continue reading