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

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

Beauty and the Beast Limited Time Offerings at the Disneyland Resort

Stained glass decoration at the Red Rose Taverne.

As I mentioned last month, I was very much looking forward to checking out some of the new Beauty and the Beast promotions happening at the Disneyland Resort starting this month. Now that I’ve had time to visit some of them (and a few more than once!), I thought I’d share some details on what you may find there!

Enchanted Rose at the Red Rose Taverne – it glows!

Definitely my favorite temporary addition – one that I wish would become permanent – is the overlay of the Village Haus counter service restaurant into the Beauty and the Beast-themed Red Rose Taverne. Not only is the theming overlay wonderful – as the original Pinocchio-themed decorations and artwork have been covered up or replaced by tributes to Belle, Beast and Gaston – but the food is a massive improvement as well!

I have now eaten there three times and despite my wanting to try multiple options there (the beef poutine and the grey stuff cupcake are still of interest!), I keep returning for the wonderful Beast’s Burger with pommes frites! Continue reading

Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival 2017 – Entertainment

Welcome to the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival 2017!

This year’s expanded Food & Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure brings back both the culinary demonstrations and the popular (and still pricey) food and drink booths from last year’s event but adds several more of these along the parade route down Paradise Pier.

Sadly, the prices kept me away from sampling these offerings once again this year. I simply cannot justify $6 for a spoonful of soup in a mini bread bowl (bread roll?), when I can pay $11 for an entire cup of soup with a full loaf of bread just down the way at Pacific Wharf Café – so in fact, that’s exactly what I had!  Although I was disappointed that the seasonal Loaded Baked Potato soup there yesterday was much saltier than I remembered from previous meals.

But very happily, the entertainment for the Festival has been greatly enhanced as well and will definitely be bringing me back regularly for the rest of this event, which runs March 10-April 16, 2017!

For the run of the Festival, there will be two stages with all day and into the evening performances. First is the Paradise Park stage – an elevated platform right in front of World of Color. This is for the bigger shows and I’m absolutely thrilled that one of the regular bands performing here is a Disneyland Resort favorite: TOMASINA!

TOMASINA playing at Paradise Park during the day.

Yes, Tomasina is bringing her wild and crazy rock and pop show to Disney California Adventure this season!

TOMASINA playing at Paradise Park in the evening.

Following are TOMASINA’s currently scheduled dates and show times (as always, subject to change): Continue reading

Season’s Treatings – Main Street Electrical Parade Themed Treats at the Disneyland Resort

The bottom level of this case in Marceline’s Confectionery in Downtown Disney displays some of the Main Street Electrical Parade sweets available including marshmallow wands, cake pops and a rice crispy treat.

The bottom level of this case in Marceline’s Confectionery in Downtown Disney displays some of the Main Street Electrical Parade themed sweets available including marshmallow wands, cake pops and a rice crispy treat.

Both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts have become wonderful places for limited-time meals, snacks and desserts. I was crazy about some of the Halloween Time food offerings last year! So I was excited to hear about some special themed treats to celebrate the limited return to Disneyland Park of the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade (a show which I will be featuring here next week)!

In general, when it comes to desserts, there had better be a lot of chocolate involved or I’m not likely to be very tempted. However, the sheer cuteness factor of some of these goodies encouraged me to step out of my normal chocolate-only taste zone and here were my impressions…

The first thing I simply had to try was the Cheshire Cat shortbread cookie! Granted, there was just a nominal amount of white chocolate involved here, but… Cheshire Cat!

Cheshire Cat cookie.

Cheshire Cat cookie.

This actually is a layered item with a round sugar-striped cookie ring atop a layer of strawberry marmalade atop another cookie with a white chocolate Cheshire Cat piece at the center of it all.

Here is a sideways view to see the levels of this:

img_3799-sm-wm

The whole effect reminded me of one of the Queen of Hearts’ stolen tarts and despite the lack of serious chocolate, I liked this one as a light sugary treat and thought it was a good-sized cookie snack! The cookie itself was fresh and just soft enough for me, as I don’t care for too-hard crunchy cookies. Recommended especially for berry-flavor-lovers and Wonderland fans!

Next, I had to go with a slightly more chocolate-y offering – the Peanut Butter & Jelly Éclair! Continue reading

The Princess and The Super Hero – Limited Time Events at the Disneyland Resort in 2017

The Princess and the Super Hero are coming soon – no, I’m not talking about runDisney marathons!

I’d actually originally planned to write something Valentine-themed this week, however, such major news was released over the past few days for the Disneyland Resort that I had to switch gears and address it all!

The resort announced two major themed initiatives for spring and summer 2017 – one at Disneyland Park and one at Disney California Adventure.

First, let’s look at what’s coming to Disneyland Park very soon!

While no specific dates were announced for these opportunities, with the new live action Beauty and the Beast movie coming out in March, I think it’s safe to say most of these will be happening any day now!

First, the Village Haus counter service restaurant in Fantasyland will be getting a Beauty and the Beast French-inspired eatery overlay to temporarily transform into the Red Rose Taverne! I can’t wait to sample some of the new food offerings – including hopefully a West Coast version of “The Grey Stuff” cupcake! While this location won’t quite match Walt Disney World’s Be Our Guest restaurant, it will be something with presumably a few less antlers than Gaston’s Tavern at the Magic Kingdom. Then again… given the word that they will be theming the venue into different rooms, perhaps one may carry Gaston’s decorating touches after all!

This is good because… Gaston will return to the area as a roaming character! Most recently brought in to occasionally wander Fantasyland last year, he was still a pretty rare character to find. He never stopped to have a line for photos, you just had to be lucky and timely to ask for a quick pic as he walked around. Although if you flattered his ego, he might pause to pose for you!

Gaston strikes a pose in Fantasyland!

Gaston strikes a pose in Fantasyland!

I still prefer his dedicated Meet & Greet at the Magic Kingdom in Florida, but I’m happy to see Gaston wherever he is! Continue reading