Character Spotlight: Disneyland Park Halloween Time Update October 2017

Since there is a lot to cover for character updates during the Halloween Time season at the Disneyland Resort, I’m going to separate this into multiple reports. Today’s will cover the characters you may encounter at Disneyland Park, while next week we’ll take a look at some of the fun costume changes that have appeared for characters at Disney California Adventure.

Meeting on Main Street in their familiar garb from the past few Halloween Time celebrations are the Fab Five of course.

Here’s Mickey! But don’t get spooked by his costume – he’s still the same lovable mouse as always!

Cruella De Vil is out in Town Square as usual, but lately I’ve spotted the Queen of Hearts there, too! Happily, I actually found her listed on the Disneyland app so I knew when to look for her!

Her Majesty, the Queen of Hearts!

In other locations, the popular Meet & Greet area for Jack & Sally (The Nightmare Before Christmas) in the Sky Room between the shops in New Orleans Square has reopened for the Halloween season. Be prepared for long lines for this duo! Continue reading

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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

Character Spotlight: Disneyland Resort Update August 2017

Once again I’ve been noticing some different characters out and about around the Disneyland Resort, so I thought I’d share a few pictures!

At Disneyland Park, Fantasyland of late has proven to be a wonderland of characters, literally – none of whom are listed on the daily Entertainment Times Guide nor the Disneyland app. It’s just a matter of being lucky enough to stumble upon them at the right time!

I’d heard repeated rumors – yet constantly missed – seeing multiple Alice in Wonderland characters roaming the area near the Mad Tea Party attraction lately until I FINALLY achieved a major character goal which was to meet the Tweedles!

TWEEDLES!!!

Yes! Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee have been repeatedly out interacting with guests. They don’t always stop for photos, so you may have to catch them on the move, but when I recently saw them, they were not only posing for pictures but they stopped in the middle of the walkway by the attraction and had a “dance-off” with guests! It was fantastic to see the characters playing with the guests this way!

Tweedles at play with guests!

Having had a fair amount of playtime over the years with always fun Chip ‘n Dale, there is absolutely a difference between characters who appear together rather than characters who appear more often individually. There’s just an extra level of mischief and cooperation with two characters rather than one. And getting to see both Tweedles cavorting in the park completely made my day!

But they were not the only ones in the area at that time. I also saw the Queen of Hearts: Continue reading

One Hour at D23 Expo 2017 – Part One: Costume Displays

I hadn’t actually planned on going to the D23 Expo this year. I’d been priced out of being able to afford tickets, so I’d made alternate plans for last weekend including going to see a band gig at a concert in the park one night and seeing other favorite performers throughout the day and evening at the Disneyland Resort. But then thanks to a friend, I wound up unexpectedly getting a ticket for Sunday. I knew I needed to head over to the park that day around 12-ish, but I figured I might be able to squeeze in an hour or so on the Expo show floor, so I said yes, please, and thank you!

I knew from previous years that the earlier you arrived in the morning, the longer the wait to get in as it takes a while for the crowd and security to start flowing once the doors open. So I got there when I could and it took me “only” about an hour and a half wait in the line to get inside the convention center (as opposed to the two to three hour wait other friends reported who arrived earlier than I had).

The line outside the convention center. I know it just looks like a crowd, but it was a constantly twisting and turning line!

Once inside, sure enough, I was going to have just one hour to see whatever I could see before I had to leave. So this meant I couldn’t stand in line to get inside two of the most popular areas – neither the Parks & Resorts Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area:

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge display area. This contained models and props from the new Star Wars lands at Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Nor the Walt Disney Archives’ Pirates display:

The Walt Disney Archives “Pirates Life For Me” showcase.

Instead, I had to wander the Expo floor and see what I could see! Fortunately this included a couple of great costume displays, which I will share with you today. Next week, I’ll share some pictures of other things I spotted while I was there!

First I walked right into some live action Disney princess and villains costumes. Continue reading

Show Spotlight: Main Street Electrical Parade Returns to Disneyland Park

The Main Street Electrical Parade returns home to Disneyland Park for a limited time!

The Main Street Electrical Parade returns home to Disneyland Park for a limited time!

What is the Main Street Electrical Parade?

Goofy rides the train!

Goofy rides the train!

This endearing, enduring parade has once again crossed the country back from the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort where it ran as their nightly Disney’s Electrical Parade for the past several years.

Once again home at Disneyland Park for a limited time before it “glows away forever” (for real this time… we think), this spectacle of color, lights and music was the inspiration and precursor to the (hopefully returning later this year) Paint the Night parade.

The performance features massive floats themed variously to classic Disney animated movies including Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella and Pete’s Dragon, along with brightly lit individual characters all moving to the familiar strains of the “Baroque Hoedown”.

Each main massive float features matching characters (Alice atop a mushroom, Cinderella in her pumpkin coach, Pete atop Elliott the dragon, etc.) and many are also accompanied by smaller themed floats as well.

Tinker Bell in the Peter Pan segment of the parade.

Tinker Bell in the Peter Pan segment of the parade.

Who are the performers? 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