Disney California Adventure

Disney California Adventure’s Best Festival of Holidays Foods

by on December 7, 2017

 

Festival of Holidays is back at Disney California Adventure. We like both the volume and the quality of the entertainment options and beautiful decorations that are found throughout the park. (We especially love Viva Navidad.)  A big part of the holiday celebration at DCA is the Food & Wine-style booths set up around the park. Unfortunately the prices can be a bit high,  so in this post I will show you Disney California Adventure’s best and worst Festival of Holidays food items.

 

 

The Best of the Best

 

Beef Corn Tamale a la Plancha – with spicy rojo sauce – Spicy Celebrations booth – $7.25

I’ve had an insane amount of tamales in my life and consider them to be one of my favorite foods. So when I saw that one was being sold at Festival of Holidays I originally scoffed. The tamales found at Disneyland Resorts quick service restaurants are usually bland and dry husks that should be avoided. I was shocked when I first bit in to the Beef Corn Tamale a la Plancha and found my mouth immediately filled with flavor. The spicy rojo sauce is SO GOOD. I want to drink it. In my opinion this is the best Festival of Holidays has to offer, hands down.

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Disneyland Planning for Walt Disney World Veterans – Part 1

by on December 4, 2017

For veterans of Walt Disney World, Disneyland planning can be a bit of a challenge in that there are several unknowns. Yes, Disneyland and Walt Disney World are similar in a lot of respects, but there are enough differences that your familiarity with the east coast parks will only get you so far. The good news, however, is that Disneyland planning is actually far easier than planning an Orlando trip — the park is set up to be equally accessible to day guests and locals as people who’ve planned for months — so with just a little bit of planning, you’ll quickly find the same comfort level out west in no time. Read on for all the info you need to take your Disneyland planning from newbie to expert!

The Basics

First and foremost, some basic info to help you get oriented: there are two theme parks at Disneyland Resort, three Disney hotels (for now) and the Downtown Disney area. The theme parks are Disneyland Park, which is similar in layout and content to Magic Kingdom, and Disney’s California Adventure, which I think of as sort of a smorgasbord of attractions you’ll find spread across Disney World’s parks (like Soarin’, Toy Story Midway Mania, and Turtle Talk with Crush), plus several original attractions that only exist there. Unlike Disney World’s parks, these two parks are very close to each other, and park-hopping takes about 90 seconds, exclusive of lines at the turnstiles. Yes, really!

The three Disney hotels are:

  • Grand Californian: the nicest, closest, and most expensive Disneyland Resort. It is attached to Disney’s California Adventure and has its own dedicated entrance to the park.
  • Disneyland Hotel: the original, throwback Disneyland lodging experience, and home to Disneyland icons like Trader Sam’s. It is typically the middle tier from a pricing standpoint.
  • Paradise Pier: the most spartan, and least expensive Disney hotel at Disneyland. Least expensive does not mean inexpensive, however, as will be discussed in more detail below.

Guests of Disney hotels can enter one park an hour early each day, sort of like Extra Magic Hours at Disney World. Disneyland does not do extra hours in the evening at all. In addition to the Disney hotels, there are several non-Disney “good neighbor” hotels that are within walking distance of the parks. While these guests do not get early entry every day, they can purchase multiday tickets that allow them to enter only Disneyland Park one hour early on certain days once over the course of their trip (called “Magic Mornings,” more on that below).

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Disneyland Preview — Week of December 2

by on December 1, 2017

The holiday season marches on at Disneyland Resort. Read on to find out what to expect in this week’s Disneyland preview.

Special Events and Notes

Holiday cheer continues in full force this week at Disneyland. Of particular note at the resort right now is the Festival of Holidays at California Adventure. In addition to food and drink kiosks sprinkled throughout the parkPrincess Elena of Avalor has a special show, and Disney ¡Viva Navidad! will be taking place throughout the Festival.  Lots going on.

During the Festival, Annual Passholders are eligible to pick up a Sip & Savor Pass for $45 that is good for eight Festival food and beverage offerings (excluding alcohol). In addition to potentially saving you some money, you’ll also get a lanyard and a special AP button at each kiosk where you redeem a coupon.  Passholders can stop by the AP Corner at Sonoma Terrace for exclusive photo opportunities and a complimentary commemorative collectible art button.

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Disneyland Preview — Week of November 25

by on November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving is in the rear view mirror as we move forward through the holiday season! Read on to find out what to expect in this week’s Disneyland preview.

Special Events and Notes

Photo ©Disney

Lots of holiday touches at every turn at Disneyland! Make sure you check out the Festival of Holidays at California Adventure. In addition to food and drink kiosks sprinkled throughout the park, which are always well-received, Princess Elena of Avalor has a special show, and Disney ¡Viva Navidad! will be taking place throughout the Festival.

Over at Disneyland Park, the daytime parade has been replaced by A Christmas Fantasy Parade and Believe… In Holiday Magic takes over for the evening fireworks. Also, the holiday overlays for it’s a small world and Haunted Mansion remain in place for the season. Over at Disney’s California Adventure, a couple of Cars Land attractions get the holiday treatment for the first time this year: Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters transforms into Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl, and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree becomes Mater’s Jingle Jamboree. The resorts are all decked out with holiday decorations, including a gingerbread replica of the Grand Californian in that hotel’s lobby! Make sure you check out Rikki’s preview to learn more about what you can expect for the holidays.

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Disney California Adventure to Celebrate Lunar New Year

by on November 21, 2017

Lunar New Year

©Disney

Once again, Disney California Adventure will be offering fun Lunar New Year events in celebration of the Year of the Dog. This year’s festivities will last even longer than ever, as the celebration has been expanded to 24 days and will include incredible food, live entertainment, and more.  Plus, you’ll want to be on the lookout for Disney Characters dressed in traditional garb! During Lunar New Year, Guests will be able to stroll beneath strings of ornamental lanterns and banners wishing guests a Happy Lunar New Year in English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese, pay a visit to the Lucky Wishing Wall. and see artwork courtesy of local artisans!

This year’s event will include:

  • Hurry Home, a nighttime water show celebrating Lunar New Year Celebration on Paradise Bay. This heartwarming tale plays out across a captivating mist screen and features Mulan, Mushu and their friend, a little lantern. During the show, Guests will be able to watch the little lantern’s quest to reunite with family during their annual gathering to celebrate good fortune for the upcoming year. The story is told with 2 distinctive styles of animation, while fountains and light effects dance along to tell the tale. A moving musical score that was originally created for the opening ceremony of Shanghai Disney Resort by award-winning composer Tan Dun will also accompanies this breathtaking show.
  • Disney characters such as Mulan and Mushu, along with Mickey Mouse and his pals, all dressed up for the occasion. Goofy will even be dressed as the God of Good Fortune
  • Specialty Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese foods at Paradise Garden Grill
  • Commemorative merchandise featuring designs inspired by the different cultures of East Asia including items all the way from Shanghai Disney Resort such as traditional red envelopes for gift-giving, Mickey Mouse plush, Minnie Mouse snow globes and a limited-edition pin. There will also be items featuring special Lunar New Year designs, including adult tees and hoodies.
  • Lucky Wishing Wall – a space where you can add your own wish
  • The festive Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession. Here Guests will be able to catch a magical march honoring the Lunar New Year, family and friendship.  Mulan and Mushu welcome all to witness a spellbinding spectacle for the senses. The procession will also feature performers that will flow gracefully through the streets.

Lunar New Year will take place from January 26 through February 18.

Wine Country Trattoria – A Disneyland Dining Review

by on November 20, 2017

If you’ve been following along with my last couple of articles, you know by now that a few weeks ago I headed out to LA for a quick weekend getaway to the Disneyland Resort. While I was there I thought I would break out of my comfort zone and try some new dining locations. I had a fantastic dinner on my first evening at the Uva Bar in the Downtown Disney District,  I also enjoyed a delicious lunch at Café Orleans in Disneyland Park, and my final Disneyland Resort dining experience I have to share with you was my favorite…lunch at Wine Country Trattoria in the Disney California Adventure Park.

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Disneyland Preview — Week of November 18

by on November 17, 2017

The holidays are here, and there are a few special events as Thanksgiving ushers in some pretty large crowds this week. Read on to learn more in this week’s Disneyland preview.

Special Events and Notes

Photo: @Kenlyy1

The holidays are in full swing at Disneyland! In addition to holiday decor at every turn, the daytime parade has been replaced by A Christmas Fantasy Parade and Believe… In Holiday Magic takes over for the evening fireworks. Also, the holiday overlays for it’s a small world and Haunted Mansion remain in place for the season. Over at Disney’s California Adventure, a couple of Cars Land attractions get the holiday treatment for the first time this year: Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters transforms into Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl, and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree becomes Mater’s Jingle Jamboree. The resorts all get into the spirit as well with holiday decorations, including a gingerbread replica of the Grand Californian in that hotel’s lobby! Make sure you check out Rikki’s preview to learn more about what you can expect for the holidays.

Of particular note is the Festival of Holidays at California Adventure. In addition to food and drink kiosks sprinkled throughout the park, which are always well-received, Princess Elena of Avalor has a special show, and Disney ¡Viva Navidad! will be taking place throughout the Festival. Lots of great stuff happening this season, well worth checking out!

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Menus for the Disney Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

by on November 10, 2017

Disney Festival of Holidays

©Disney

The Disney Festival of Holidays is returning once again to Disney California Adventure and it is bringing a ton of great new food and beverage options courtesy of Festive Food Markets and Disney ¡Viva Navidad!. These booths are similar to what Guests experience during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, but these options all have a holiday flare to them.

This year, there are 12 different marketplaces during the Disney Festival of Holidays that are found throughout. In addition, there are a few other unique options for Disney ¡Viva Navidad!. Here’s a look at what you can expect!

Chips, Breads & Holiday Spreads

  • Chicken Liver Paté with cherry jam and pistachios
  • Cranberry-Pear Tart with rosemary-infused cream
  • White Chocolate-Dipped Lingonberry Speculoos Cookie
  • Chorizo Queso Fundido with house-made tortilla chips

Making Spirits Bright

  • White Cranberry, Pear and Blood Orange Mimosa Flight (Also sold individually)
  • White Wine Flight with Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand; Fess Parker Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County; and Bertenura Moscato, Italy (Kosher) (Also sold individually)
  • Red Wine Flight with Castle Rock Pinot Noir, Reserve, Russian River Valley; Joel Gott Zinfandel, California; and Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County (Also sold individually)
  • Chandon Sparkling Wine, Brut, California
  • Red & White Rotational Wine Selection

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Disneyland Preview — Week of November 11

by on November 10, 2017

Big, festive week at Disneyland!  Runners descend upon the resort for what will be the last runDisney event out west for a while, and Christmas festivities are officially underway!  Read on to learn more in this week’s Disneyland preview.

Special Events and Notes

Photo by Disney PhotoPass via (clockwise from left)
@Niekon, @Snacob95, @RaisingLasVegas, @Nate_WDW

Lots of activity this week at Disneyland! First and foremost, expect a lot of guests at the resort for Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend. The 10K is held on Saturday, and there will be a half marathon on Sunday morning to wrap up the event. The races add a wonderful energy to the resort, but they also bring a lot of people to the area, even if they aren’t hitting the attractions. Between the runners and the people there to support them, the area may feel more crowded than the crowd levels (which are based on attraction wait times) would suggest. Notably, this will be the last runDisney event at Disneyland for the foreseeable future; it was recently announced that there would not be any events in 2018 on account of the construction for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and other resort improvements.

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Disneyland Preview — Week of November 4

by on November 3, 2017

Christmas time is fast approaching at Disneyland (at least it’s starting to look that way from a decor standpoint)!  Also, we’ve got a few special events on tap this week. Read on to find out what to expect in this week’s Disneyland preview.

Special Events and Notes

 

Fun week at Disneyland, with a couple of unique experiences.  First up is Fall Dapper Day at Disneyland Park. For the uninitiated, Dapper Day is pretty much exactly what the name would suggest — a bunch of park guests, lookin’ dapper, kinda like if the Kentucky Derby were held at a theme park. It isn’t officially sanctioned by Disney and doesn’t typically add significantly to the waits (we’re predicting level 6 crowds), but it does add an interesting atmospheric to your park day. The Disneyland Hotel will be holding the Dapper Day Expo that weekend as well; check out the official site for details if you’re interested in attending the Expo.

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