Season’s Treatings – Christmas Treats at the Disneyland Resort 2017

I was tempted to call this Season’s Treatings feature the “Pastry Edition” as all but one of the new items that I’ve tried during Christmas Time at the Disneyland Resort involved pastries!

Let me start with the first one I tried – which was definitely a favorite!

Cinnamon Roll Apple Strudel Sundae!

Available at Clarabelle’s Handscooped Ice Cream on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure, the Cinnamon Roll Apple Strudel Sundae was the first new item to call my name!

Fortunately, it’s been a warm month, so the weather was just right for this cold treat!

Now, those of you who have read some of my food features previously will know that when it comes to dessert, if it’s not chocolate, it’s not very likely to appeal to me. That said, I do also have a great weakness for cinnamon desserts, so this one, although SUPER sweet (as in, prepare for a sugar rush upon eating it) was an absolute winner!

This unique mixture of actual tart apple slices mixed with cinnamon ice cream and whipped cream atop a gooey cinnamon roll was absolutely terrific! (There may also have been some caramel drizzled upon it, but the two strongest tastes were apple and cinnamon.) I really enjoyed this one.

Unfortunately, the other options struggled a little bit in comparison to that one… Continue reading

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Cast Members Making Magic – Water Paintings and Leaf Pictures

In this week of celebrating what we are thankful for, my thoughts turn once again to the many amazing Disney Cast Members who manage to make magic for their guests in different kinds of ways all year long – day and night.

In a previous feature, I’ve noted how you can thank them in return. Please take a little time out of your visit to find a reason to do so.

For today, I would like to spotlight a couple of magical artistic moments I experienced recently at the Disneyland Resort that brightened my day with their unexpected appearances!

I’ve been fortunate enough to watch talented members of the Disney parks custodial team create Disney character water paintings with their mops and buckets, and recently I had a wonderful Cast Member at Disneyland Park create one just for me when he saw me wearing clothes featuring my favorite character!

A custodial Cast Member making character art especially for me!

The final result:

Cheshire Cat water painting.

It completely made my night when that lovely Cast Member did this!

Then, not long ago, I was at Disney California Adventure and found another custodial Cast Member creating art in a different way – he was making Mickey Mouse icons out of fallen leaves!

This was both a surprising, happy bit of Disney magic and art as well as a wonderful celebration of the fall season. And since I’m not quite ready to get fully into Christmas mode just yet, I wanted to share these lovely creations with you. Continue reading

Thor: Ragnarok Preview and Character Meet & Greet at Disney California Adventure

Thor finds himself in a bit of a predicament that may seem familiar to those who have seen Thor: Ragnarok.

Disney California Adventure has become THE place to go to get your Marvel fix. From my current favorite show, the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!, to character Meet & Greets to movie previews, you can find it all in Hollywood Land. Oh, and there’s also that little E-ticket attraction called Mission: BREAKOUT!

But for today’s feature, let’s talk Thor: Ragnarok!

Since mid-October, the Sunset Showcase Theater in the Hollywood Backlot has been running a preview for the latest Marvel blockbuster – Thor: Ragnarok. And as has become the norm, the lobby area of the theater contains props and costumes from the film.

Display of Thor: Ragnarok costumes at the Sunset Showcase Theater in Disney California Adventure.

There are also themed snacks and drinks to be found at Award Weiners (my personal opinion: avoid the “Lightning Pop” drink!).

But the complete and utter win of this entire promotion belongs squarely to the brother gods of Asgard who have deigned to visit our humble planet and grace us with their presence. And lo, it is a glorious presence indeed! Continue reading

Other Disneyland Resort Halloween Time Updates 2017

All Hallow’s Eve greetings from the Carthay Circle restaurant!

Over the past few weeks, we’ve taken a look at some newer entertainment (The SCAREolers) and characters in costumes found during this Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort. For today though, I’d just like to wander through the resort and point out some other highlights that I’ve enjoyed this season…

Disneyland Park

At Disneyland Park this month, I’ve been happy to see some of the Halloween standards such as the Dapper Dans singing Halloween sets:

And taking time to visit my favorite Halloween décor in the park – the Halloween Tree lit in honor of Ray Bradbury’s classic tale:

The Halloween Tree!

But as I’ve noted before, it was at Disney California Adventure that everything new was happening! Continue reading

Character Spotlight: Disney California Adventure Halloween Time Update October 2017

Last week we took a look at some of the fun character shenanigans going on for Halloween Time at Disneyland Park. This week it’s time to turn our attention to Disney California Adventure!

The Disneyland Resort has gone all out this year to make Disney California Adventure the new destination for park fans for Halloween Time. And nowhere is this more evident than in Cars Land, where all of the Cars characters have been given new Halloween costumes to wear!

From a Vampire Tow Mater to a Super Hero Lightning McQueen:

Everyone is dressed up for the festivities. And I mean everyone!

Check out Red the Fire Truck dressed as a cute clown:

And the town’s newest visitor, Cruz Ramirez, looks like she would be right at home with the Pirates of New Orleans Square!

Ahoy there, Cruz!

But I was most charmed by the new costumes worn by the Fab Five characters on Buena Vista Street… Continue reading

Season’s Treatings – A September Epic Disney Food Fail

I was really excited to head into Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, not just for the decorations and other seasonal entertainment (to be discussed in a future post), but okay yes, for the seasonal – especially themed – food!

Unfortunately, in my two recent visits, I disappointingly experienced more epic misses than hits. But sometimes it’s just as important to know what to skip as what to get, so I’m sharing my opinions (personal and subjective as always) with you here today.

First off, did you know that some resort restaurants have offerings that change monthly? Sometimes even I find it hard to keep up with knowing everything that’s going on and I go there really regularly. But I just found out a few days ago that the monthly gourmet hot dog at Whitewater Snacks at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel was mini hot dog nachos and I just had to get over there to try them!

Now, I’ll preface this by saying: I have never tried a Disneyland corn dog. *Waits for the gasps to quiet.* Further blasphemy – I’ve never tried the jumbo turkey leg or a Dole Whip for that matter. Sorry, I’m a Citrus Swirl fan forever. One of these days I need to do a food crawl of just these classic items I’ve never tried though.

I think it’s because the full sized corn dogs are just intimidating looking and while I love a good hot dog, I’m not really a corn dog fan. But mini-corn dogs with select toppings? That I would try.

On the day I went over to Whitewater Snacks, it was about lunchtime and I was told by the Cast Member that it would be a 45-minute wait for this dish since it was so popular. And indeed, while I was ordering, they cut off all orders for it for the day. But I got mine in.

After waiting, my food was delivered to me. But unlike the mini-corn dog dish I’d seen pictures of and other people around me were enjoying, what I got was this:

What was supposed to be mini-corn dog nachos (aka mini-corn dog bites with toppings).

And while a corn dog fan might have found this plateful enticing, I couldn’t even look at it, it was so totally unappealing to me. Fail. I literally picked it right up and brought it back to the cashier. I pointed out that this was not the dish I’d ordered and waited for. The cashier (and my server) both apologized profusely and said they’d run out of the mini-corn dogs and had to try making this. Yeah, I wasn’t going to eat that – although honestly it was probably a great deal for what I’d paid for a smaller dish. I was quickly given a refund, however.

Problem is, I was really hungry as I’d waited so long for this dish! My friend split their lunch – a sandwich – with me, but I needed to find food fast. My friend had a craving for dessert after their meal, so we headed into Disney California Adventure as I wanted to try one of the Halloween Time desserts. Continue reading

Mousertainment Music: The Songs of the Disney Parks Attractions

Recently, the Disney world lost not only one of its longtime talented artists, but one of its most memorable park music contributors as well. X Atencio passed on September 10, 2017 at the age of 98. He was remarkable not only for being a Disney animator on works ranging from Fantasia to Mary Poppins, but for creating two of the most beloved Disney Parks attraction songs ever.

Sing along with me – “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!”

Or perhaps you prefer – “Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize!”

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X Atencio’s tribute window on Main Street U.S.A.

Yes, X was the man responsible for the classic songs we all love in both the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction as well as the Haunted Mansion. He also contributed lyrics for “Bear Band Serenade” in Country Bear Jamboree (still to this day a favorite show/attraction thanks to the humor and great songs, especially the one that tickles my funny bone the most: “All the Guys That Turn Me On Turn Me Down”).

While I have previously discussed some of the wonderful atmospheric music you will hear played throughout the Disney resorts, in X’s memory, I thought it might be nice to take a virtual stroll through the parks and commemorate some of the terrific, catchy music you will hear inside many of the most popular attractions.

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The Sherman Brothers’ tribute window on Main Street U.S.A.

Let’s start with the big ones: in my opinion, the only equally iconic attraction music contributions comparable to X’s creations were clearly those of the inimitable Sherman Brothers. Thanks to them we not only have the earworm of “It’s a Small World After All” playing at most Disney Parks worldwide, but also its just as easy to get stuck in your head “The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room” counterpart.  Happily Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom still celebrates that “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” shining at the end of every day at the Carousel of Progress. And for the moment at least, Figment still shares “One Little Spark” in Journey Into Imagination With Figment at EPCOT. Continue reading