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?
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!
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
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
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!
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…
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 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
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
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