Character Spotlight: Disneyland Park Star Wars Update May 2018

While the Pixar Fest may be getting all the advertising for the Disneyland Resort right now, as I’ve noted over the past few weeks, Marvel has been getting a lot of love at Disney California Adventure, too, thanks to the blockbuster release of Avengers: Infinity War.

But that’s not all that’s going on!

We are still a year or so away from the opening of Galaxy’s Edge (or as it’s more commonly referred to – Star Wars Land!) at Disneyland Park.  But in the meantime, Tomorrowland keeps giving us plenty of options – both new and returning – to enjoy!

Although Solo: A Star Wars Story won’t open in theaters until May 25th, as of Star Wars Day last week (May the 4th be with you!), several new offerings were added to Tomorrowland and I highly recommend using lightspeed to head over there and check them out!

First, Rey has joined the “Light Side” Meet & Greet next door to Chewbacca at the Launch Bay:

And instead of one pair of Stormtroopers roaming the area and “arresting” guests (if you’re lucky!), there are now two pair wandering about. PLUS keeping an eye on them and everyone else is Captain Phasma!

Roaming Captain Phasma is magnificent!

She was amazing and intimidating and you really have to hope she’ll pick you for a photo opportunity as it’s not guaranteed and completely up to her!

And the reason we have so many First Order Stormtroopers and their Captain out is because Anaheim has replicated the March of the First Order from Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando! Continue reading

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How to Have a Romantic Valentine’s Day at the Disney Parks & Resorts

With Valentine’s Day coming up soon, you may be thinking about how best to celebrate the day. You could always curl up at home with a good romantic Disney or Pixar film!

But perhaps you’d rather spend the day at the Disney Parks & Resorts with your loved one?

In that case, I hope you’ve gotten your dining reservations done in advance, as it is a very popular day for a special Disney meal!

While some folks will opt for a fancy table service meal for some fine dining (and there are PLENTY of choices ranging from the atmospheric Blue Bayou at Disneyland Park to the delicious Le Cellier at EPCOT), maybe you and your loved one prefer to enjoy a real Disney meal with character? In which case, there’s very little that can top the magic of dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table inside Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom – unless it’s dining at Be Our Guest in Fantasyland nearby!

Personally, I think one of the best combinations over at the Disneyland Resort is having dinner and a movie. Now, you could (for now) visit the AMC Theatres in Downtown Disney and pair that with a meal, but really my favorite way to do this is right on Main Street U.S.A.! Continue reading

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

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

The Best Laid Plans of Mousertainment…

After nearly a year of planning – including early mornings up before dawn to arrange dining and FastPass+ reservations, this week I was all set to head off to Walt Disney World for a wonderful visit… and then Hurricane Irma happened.

Suffice it to say, my long-anticipated trip got canceled and yesterday instead of enjoying all my exciting options at Epcot, I found myself sitting at home staring at a yet-to-be-unpacked suitcase. So what’s a Disney fan to do except head off to the Disneyland Resort and try to do a West Coast version of the day I’d originally envisioned?

Dining

My food plans for the day were set to be all about Canada! I had intended to try out the cheddar cheese soup and pretzel roll at the Canada booth at the Food & Wine Festival and then have dinner at Le Cellier in the Canada pavilion.  So what did I do at the Disneyland Resort instead?

I stopped by the last weekend of the Summer of Heroes event at Disney California Adventure where I found one of the themed specialty donuts called the “Local Favorite”.

It’s Canadian-adjacent. Or related. Or something. Hey, there’s maple in it!

How did this pay homage to my Epcot dining plans? Umm, hello MAPLE-filled donut (with bacon on top – oh yes!)!!!

While I’ll have to give the edge to the apple-pie-filled donut I’d tried earlier in the season, this one was a winner, too. Although I didn’t actually find much filling inside, it still had the awesome taste as if someone had mixed a pancake with a donut. And the bacon bits on top gave just a touch of salt to balance out the sweet. Yum!

Entertainment

High on my priorities list for entertainment at Epcot was to see the glorious Voices of Liberty and listen to their soaring harmonies and classic music selections. Continue reading

One Hour at D23 Expo 2017 – Part Two: Everything Else on the Expo Floor

Last week I explained that I unexpectedly wound up being able to spend one hour of one day visiting the D23 Expo 2017. While there I saw several terrific costume displays, but I also saw other wonderful random things at various booths. So today I’m going to share with you some of the other sights from my brief exploration of the Expo floor that day.

For example – a picture of Dory and Nemo created entirely out of Jelly Bellys at the candymakers’ booth!

This picture of Dory and Nemo made from Jelly Bellys was still a work in progress when I visited their booth!

I also watched folks interact with this 10 foot tall Spider-Man at the Sphero booth!

There was some beautiful artwork to be found at the Walt Disney Family Museum booth as they promoted their current exhibit featuring the tremendously talented Disney artist Eyvind Earle. Continue reading

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