I’ll admit that I rarely take the opportunity to try any of the various seasonal food and beverage options that the Disneyland Resort brings out at different times of the year. But I was determined to shake up my eating habits at the Resort and try a few new themed food offerings this Halloween Time!
I had the chance to try six items (one other I wanted to try sold out before I got to review it as some things can run out before the month is over!) and I thought I would share my responses to them while there is still time for you to go give them a taste yourself.
The first item on my must-try list was the Bacon Cheddar Ale soup in a bread bowl at the Pacific Wharf Café in Disney California Adventure. This item was sampled in a tiny size at the Food & Wine Festival held earlier this year. I didn’t try it then but I’d heard good things from those who had, so when I got the opportunity to try a full sized dish of it, I couldn’t wait!
It lived up fully to my expectations! This gloriously filling soup was plenty cheesy with bits of bacon to add to the savory flavor. RUN, do not walk to try this soup while it’s still available for this limited Halloween Time!
The next item I tried, I had very high hopes for. The seasonal Vanilla and Orange Soft-Serve Ice Cream being served at the Paradise Pier Ice Cream Company in Disney California Adventure certainly sounded like it could be the West Coast answer to the glorious Citrus Swirl found at the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort.
When I previously tried the chocolate soft serve ice cream there, I was seriously underwhelmed by the lack of chocolate-y flavor to it. This time, the faux-orange-y flavor completely overwhelmed the vanilla flavor it was mixed with, proving to be a disappointment in both taste and texture in comparison to the simply perfect Citrus Swirl. Guess I still have cause to return to the Magic Kingdom for one of my all-time favorite desserts! Skip this wannabe and go for the real deal instead!
My next adventure was to stop at the new table service version of the River Belle Terrace at New Orleans Square at Disneyland. There was no signage nor menu listing for the item I wanted to try – the Loaded Bites – but there was no issue with ordering it.
I was very excited to try this tasty mix of tater tots loaded with brisket beef, cheese and spicy bbq sauce!
So how did it turn out?
I will preface this by saying that I don’t generally care for hot or spicy dishes. But fortunately, while there was certainly a kick to the sauce, there was not too much heat (though I did drink quite a bit of water simultaneously to eating this).
The result was DEEEELICIOUS! Absolutely loved this dish! And while I suppose it is technically a side dish for two people to share, it worked for me as an entrée/main dish unto itself and frankly, I wouldn’t have wanted to share a bite anyway! Another do-not-miss dish for Halloween Time!
Next it was time to try another sweet treat – the new butterscotch-flavored beignets, also being served in New Orleans Square.
Again, I will preface this with a note that I’m not a big fan of beignets – I generally prefer straight-up donuts, while beignets are a lighter, hollow pastry treat, fluffy and open inside almost like a croissant.
So what did I think of these?
Not bad! They’re each close to the size of a donut, which I wasn’t quite expecting when I ordered, so I wasn’t sure I could finish my bag of three in one sitting (not that I was forced to, but…). However, because they were lighter than a donut, I did actually finish all three.
Having previously tried the beloved beignets at Port Orleans French Quarter at the Walt Disney World Resort, I didn’t think these butterscotch ones tasted too much different than the regular ones, though I could taste the suggestion of that flavor. But this may have been because my bag really didn’t have much powdered sugar in it, which is where the flavor comes from (the beignets themselves are regular ones – not baked with butterscotch). So while they had a sweet, lightly pleasant butterscotch aftertaste, it wasn’t overwhelming if you’re not a big butterscotch fan.
The joy was in enjoying warm, fresh pastries in New Orleans Square that are happily Mickey Mouse-shaped.
Still, not being a beignet connoisseur, I’d likely opt for other desserts rather than these unless I was with someone who wanted to share them.
Mousertainment Tip: If you are sharing these, you might want to try the six-pack of beignets available at the French Market. However, if you’re on your own, slip around the corner to the Mint Julep Bar and grab a three-pack to munch on!
Speaking of the French Market, there was a seasonal treat I wanted to try there, too!
The Nightmare Before Christmas seems to infest several corners of New Orleans Square especially around Halloween Time. There’s of course the Haunted Mansion Holiday. Jack and Sally can be found greeting guests near the shops carrying their merchandise. And then there was this deadly-looking creation – the Cookies & Cream Mousse Coffin Cake:
As you can see from the picture on the smaller plate above, this is not a large dessert. However, I think it’s just the right size for what it is.
I found this a more mild sweet treat than the beignets, which is probably due to the cookies and cream filling atop a chocolate bottom layer. There are Oreo cookies crumbled on the very top along with sugary icing. The cookies add a fun texture and additional “cookie” flavor to the cookies and cream inside. But being a big chocolate fan, I think I would have loved this far more if it had been all chocolate. As is, it was a fine indulgence, not too sweet (to me, though I have a pretty high sugary tolerance), but nothing I feel the need to go back for again.
I’ll admit that after trying three sweet options that didn’t really rock my world, I was about to give up when I stumbled upon the “holiday brownie” at Jolly Holiday Bakery on Main Street, U.S.A.
Now, there is nothing about this decadence that actually seems Halloween-themed to me, however, it was said that this Chocolate Mousse Brownie is a seasonal item, too. So I decided to give it a try…
And we have a WINNER!
Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate, this unassuming cupcake-shaped brownie is rich, moist and absolutely delicious! The chocolate “drops” on top are the mousse, with pieces of white and milk chocolate tucked into them. The base is a chocolate-chip-filled brownie (no nuts, just chocolate). This was fantastic! A definite recommend for the chocolate lovers in your group.
So this means the score is two savory items and one sweet item for the win and two okay sweet items and one sweet item fail.
But really, I’d be absolutely thrilled if both savory items made it onto the permanent menu at their locations! (Confession: I’ve gone back again to have both of these dishes a second time!)
Have you tried any of the seasonal food or beverage items this Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort? What was your favorite?
Update 10/24/16: Despite being told earlier in the week that the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street in Disneyland was sold out of this special item for the season, by the weekend they had received another shipment so I was able to try having a treat in the special Poison Apple Stein!
While you can order various items in this container at different locations in the park, including a beverage or fruit, I went for the ice cream sundae. This was the most expensive option but I felt the combination of the food provided and the really nice heavy quality of the stein made it an acceptable splurge.
There were three different flavor ice cream combinations available to choose from and I picked the most chocolate-y one that included two chocolate chip cookies! It was a quite decent sundae and the plastic cup it was in could be removed so you didn’t get your ice cream dripping on the stein. This was a fun Halloween treat plus souvenir combination!