Pandora - The World of Avatar Guide and Photo Tour

We wanted to start this post screaming how amazing Pandora - The World of Avatar is...but it wouldn't do it justice. It's easily the best land Disney has added onto their parks and is superior in Imagineering than anything else they've done. 

From the moment you walk into the land till you leave and everything in between you'll be wowed. The detail put into this land is incredible. 

Upon entering the land Cast Members will bid you farewell and a safe journey as you head to Pandora, leaving earth behind to experience one of the most unique worlds. You'll first notice that there are lots of plants and trees (fitting for Animal Kingdom), many that you don't recognize (or maybe you do from the film). Some look friendly and some look like they want to eat you. ;)

In the background of Pandora are the floating mountains and waterfalls which you will walk under as you explore the land. They really set the tone of your exploration by keeping you in your place as a somewhat lowly human being (remember the Na'vi are much bigger than us humans). On our tour with Joe Rohde, the Imagineer who designed Pandora, he pointed out the waterfalls at the very back of the mountain, the ones way up by the peaks and how they move slower than the rest of the water falls further down. While this is how it would really look to the human eye, the waterfalls are fake. He told us it's an illusion that was created a long time ago and still used today. It's cloth with a painted design on it to look like a waterfall and then ran on a rotating wheel.

The water falls around Pandora along with the plants and small lakes and streams are breathtaking. You could spend hours just walking around enjoying these (but don't because there are other things to do). Once you've experienced the entire land then come back and look more into the vegetation!

As you walk around you'll notice a lot of symbolism including images weaved from rattan and other materials. Instead of marking rides with marquees on Pandora they are marked by these symbols. Look for them as you explore around and if you see one you've come to a one of a kind experience.

One area of the land even features some native drums that when played will make some amazing and unique Na'vi sounds. Played together and you'll get one great, unique musical experience.

The first attraction we tried was the Na'vi River Journey where you'll get to experience the amazing bioluminescent forest of Pandora. We won't ruin your experience by telling you what to expect other than it's an amazing visual journey accompanied by the music of the Na'vi. This boat ride down the river can be enjoyed by all ages. Check-out our 4K ride-through if you just can't wait! The ride queue was built to hold a 90 minute line so get your Fastpass+ reservations early!

The next attraction on Pandora is Avatar Flight of Passage where you'll get to experience an incredible ride on the back of a Banshee. The technology for this attraction is incredible and cutting edge. The ride queue alone is amazing in its design and features as it tells a story of what happened and what's to come as humans and Na'vi clean up the mess made by RDA. As you walk through the queue you may notice different color hand prints, red and blue. Red hand prints are those of humans and blue hand prints are those of the Na'vi. Blue hand prints with red inside of them are Avatars. Avatar Flight of Passage does have a height requirement of 44". The ride queue was built to hold a line 6 hours long....and we think it will typically have a wait time of about 2 hours even after the opening rush cools off. Make your Fastpass+ reservations!

Trust us, this attraction is breathtaking and amazing. You'll want to come back again and again to experience it. If the lines are long it's completely worth the wait. Disney is onto something with this attraction which we believe will lead the way into better and more unique experiences and attractions.

For your Pandora dining there is a quick service dining location called Satu'li Canteen that offers some incredible dishes featuring wholesome grains, fresh vegetables and hearty proteins. It sounds really healthy (and for the most part it is) but it's also really, really good. Healthy can taste good! They also have some desserts that will have you back in line for another round like their Blueberry Mousse.

And don't miss the Pongu Pongu drink stand that serves up some of the most unique and photogenic drinks we've ever seen. Be sure to try the Night Blossom frozen drink featuring limeade and apple/pear flavors topped with boba balls. They are intense!

We could write all day about Pandora - The World of Avatar but what you really need to do is experience it for yourself. The new land at Disney's Animal Kingdom officially opens May 27th, 2017. 

To see a walkthrough of the new land check out the video below!

Fantasmic! To Return to Disneyland This Summer!

Twenty-five years ago, the Rivers of America at Disneyland® Park became the stage for the colorful tableau of Mickey Mouse’s imagination with the opening of the classic nighttime spectacular, “Fantasmic!” When it returns to Disneyland Park this summer, “Fantasmic!” will still be the treasured Disneyland Park experience Guests have loved for 25 years – complete with its original fanfare and theme song – but all taken to brilliant new heights!

Upon its return, “Fantasmic!” will feature new magic, including new mist screens that will combine with innovative, state-of-the-art projection technology for brighter and more vibrant visuals than ever before. The show will also feature new scenes inspired by Disney animated classics such as “Aladdin”; one of the dazzling new scenes finds Aladdin and Jasmine floating over a bed of fog on their flying carpet during “A Whole New World.” 

We’ll have more to share on this returning classic soon – including an opening date – so stay tuned!

Disneyland Resort Ticket Promotions

We have several Disneyland Resort ticket promotions going on right now that we though he we'd share with you to help maximize your savings for your Disneyland Resort vacation this year.

IMG_8802.JPG

Keep in mind that all promotions are while supplies last. Valid for use through 2017. 

1. Buy a 4 day Park Hopper ticket get your 5th day free - valid for both adult and child tickets you'll save over $20 per ticket with this promotion!

2. Buy a 3 or 4 day child Park Hopper ticket and receive a free child character dining meal  - the character dining meal is a $22 value per child which is an amazing deal! Be sure to book your character dining reservation after you've purchased. We recommend doing the Surfs Up breakfast with Mickey and Friends at Paradise Pier Hotel.

Disneyland Ticket promotions are a great way to get more out of your ticket purchase for your upcoming vacation. They typically offer more than a regular discount ticket offer.  

Disneyland Ticket promotions usually only run for a small amount of time and sell out quickly which is why we always suggest buying as soon as possible.

Typical Disneyland Ticket promotions run during slower times of the year including right before summer and just after school has started. Also look for great deals during January and February before Disneyland raises their ticket prices. 

 

New Tomorrowland Lounge To Debut at Disneyland® Resort

There’s a new way for you to take in the Tomorrowland skyline at Disneyland® Park, from a unique point of view! To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Space Mountain at Disneyland Resort, a new lounge experience will debut in Tomorrowland on May 26, 2017.

The new Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience features retro décor and desserts—both sweet and savory, as well as both hot and cold non-alcoholic beverages. The lounge area will be open to Guests from 8-10 p.m. If a fireworks spectacular is scheduled, you will be able to catch a glimpse right from your seat.

Skyline Lounge Disneyland

The interstellar snack box will include:

  • Mickey Cloud Cake: Cream-filled sponge cake
  • Chocolate Eclipse: Cream-filled chocolate cake drenched in chocolate
  • Coconut Comet: Coconut-strawberry iced sponge cake filled with cream
  • Planetary Pie: Mini cherry-filled pie
  • Moon Rocks: Boursin herbed cheese, cream cheese, shredded cheddar and jack cheese, chives, pimentos, bacon

Cost is $45 for ages 3 and older, tax included. Reservations are now open. Book your visit via Disneyland.com/dining or by calling 714-781-DINE.

Music List Released for Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! Attraction

Just like Star-Lord crosses the cosmos to the beat of vintage pop songs from his awesome mix tape, when you step aboard the new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure® Park you'll rise and fall to the tune of six famous pop favorites throughout your epic adventure. Each time you board a gantry lift to rescue the Guardians of the Galaxy from The Collector’s Fortress, you'll experience one of the six randomized scenarios created for the attraction. Each ride profile will utilize the attraction’s hair-raising ascend-and-drop sensation, as Rocket hotwires the lift to play one of these awesome songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s or early ‘80s:

  • “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar (1980)
  • “Give Up The Funk” by Parliament (1975)
  • “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf (1968)
  • “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5 (1969)
  • “Free Ride” by The Edgar Winters Group (1973)
  • “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley (1972)

The songs and drop sequences aren’t the only things that will vary among these randomized scenarios – each one shows a different version of the escape, with different action sequences playing out before your rising and falling gantry lift.

The multiple ride experiences are the result of extensive research, experimentation and ride testing by the creative team at Walt Disney Imagineering. The team worked from a list of nearly 100 fun, high-energy songs, narrowing the list down to the final six by testing each one in action. 

The songs enhancing the adventure of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! aren’t the only ways in which the attraction acknowledges the importance of music in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies. “Guardians of the Galaxy” film composer Tyler Bates wrote the music for The Collector’s Fortress lobby and office scenes, as well as for the attraction exit.

You can come rock to the beat of these favorites when Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! opens May 27, 2017 at Disney California Adventure Park!

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is a Parents Best Friend

What if someone told you there was a place at Disneyland where parents could take their kids and let them run around, no lines, peace and quiet, and a chance to relax? We'll there is no such place so too bad..

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail Disneyland

JK, we wouldn't do that to you. There is a place and we're going to share it with you! We love you!

The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail in Disney California Adventure Park is THE place. Located near Grizzly River Run in the Grizzly Peak area, the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is a huge outdoor activity center for kids and parents.

Walking in you'll notice you feel some serenity; peace for the first time since you came into the parks. ;) Haha. We like to pretend that this is our happy place in the parks. You may find the same after visiting it!

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail Disneyland

The nature feel of the  Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is amazing and powerful. Trees, streams, rock formations, and lots of shade. It's paradise. The best part is that your kids will enjoy it just as much as you will.

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail Disneyland

Activities range from slides for toddlers to rope swings for the bigger kids and everything in between like a rock climbing wall and a Spirit Cave.

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail Disneyland

Depending on the age of your kids you can just let them go and run around or you can walk around with them from activity to activity. There are areas that have several activities so you can pop a squat in the shade and watch them play.

The Spirit Cave that we mentioned earlier is based on the film Brother Bear and features Kenai and Koda. Upon entering the cave you can place your hand on certain areas of the cave walls to discover what your spirit animal is. 

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail Disneyland

Be sure to wander around and take a look at some of the cases of wilderness tools and maps that are features; enjoy the streams and trees and meet Russell and Doug from UP. 

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail Disneyland

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is going to be your best friend from now on when you visit the parks!

They do have somewhat limited hours, typically opening at the time the park does (not open during Extra Magic hours) and closes at dusk. Depending on the time of the year this will change. Russell and Doug can be found during certain hours of the day. Be sure to ask a Wilderness Explorer Leader upon entering for their hours.

We hope you enjoy your time at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail!

NEWS FLASH - Space Mountain Returning to Original Ride for Anniversary

Space Mountain Disneyland

On June 1, 2017, the classic Space Mountain returns to Disneyland® Park. Just days after we mark the 40th anniversary of this Tomorrowland favorite, space travelers will blast off once again for their intergalactic adventure.

A variation of a concept Walt Disney developed in the 1960s, Space Mountain first opened at Magic Kingdom® Park at Walt Disney World® Resort in 1975, and construction on Space Mountain at Disneyland® Park began soon after. The attraction went on to become a Guest favorite, seeing special themed versions such as Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Hyperspace Mountain.

Be sure to catch the original before it's gone again!

Toy Story Mania Fastpass Now Open at DCA

It's finally here! Toy Story Midway Marian Fastpass! Guests can now enjoy this super amazing service on one of DCA's most popular attractions. The new machines are located on the pier just before the entrance of the the attraction (between King Tritons Carousel and Toy Story). 

Be sure to take advantage of this on your next vacation!

IMG_8458.JPG

Main Street Electrical Parade Extended

                                                  © Tom Bricker

                                                  © Tom Bricker

The Main Street Electrical Parade at the Disneyland Resort has had its limited engagement extended. That's great news for anyone traveling beyond Spring! Guests can now enjoy the parade through August 20th, 2017.

Don't miss out on this one of a kind parade!

Award Wieners is a Winner

Award Wieners Disneyland

We used to walk past this place without giving it any thought. A hot dog at a theme park. Nothing could be more mundane when it comes to food. The crazy thing was that the place had long lines from opening till close. We couldn't ever figure out why..

Then we started hearing from friends and family that the place was really good. That they were more than just hot dogs with toppings. Still, it took us along time to make the effort to go and try it out. When we finally did we were not disappointed.

They are more than just hot dogs. Several of the dogs offered are actually very flavorful sausages. This is what we loved about them the most. The toppings are all great but the sausage was extremely delicious. Each bite bursting with flavor. The toppings were very complimentary no matter what dog we tried.

Our two favorite dogs were the BBQ Crunch Dog which has a cheddar sausage topper with BBQ sauce, cheddar jack cheese, and crispy fried onions and the Spicy City Dog which has a cheddar-jalapeno sausage topped with chipotle crema, queso fresco, and pico de gallo.

Whichever dog you end up getting, it's going to be a winner!

Tips: Be sure to get there early. The line gets long during the lunch and dinner rushes. You'll also want to have someone sit down at a table to ensure a seat. It's gets busy and the tables are few..

Ask for a side hot dog without the chips or fries if you don't care for them. They'll charge you less just for the dog.

The Best Corndog in the World

We're going to keep this short and sweet. This is the best corndog in the world. It's found at the Little Red Wagon in Disneyland at the end of Main Street USA.  

FullSizeRender.jpg

You can get one of these delicious corndog and a bag of chips or apples. You'll also want to get a lot of ketchup or mustard packets..this thing is huge! 

One hint that most people don't know is that you can order a "side" corndog which is just a corndog without the chips or apples. Benefit? It costs $3 less... 

Get there early because the line gets long and enjoy! 

Must-do's for first-timers at Disneyland

Everyone will tell you must-do things if it's your first visit a Disney theme park. Things like watching the parades, firework shows, meet the characters, etc. These are all good things to do and very basic. We think you should do them.

But what if you want to go beyond the basics? Assuming you're spending 3 days or more at the parks you'll have the opportunity to do so. Some of these are good to do if you have tired time (who ever has that?!) and some of them could be time fillers (waiting for your Fastpass return time). 

Disneyland Park

Disneyland Monorail

1. Ride the monorail. Walt loved the monorail and you can do a full loop on it from inside Disneyland Park. It offers up amazing views of the resort and some behind the scenes. Jump on next to the Finding Nemo Submarines attraction.

2. Sign your kids up for Jedi Training. If they are even a little bit into Star Wars this is a super fun activity. They'll get to face the dark side and (hopefully) defeat them. They'll also get to dress up in Jedi robes and receive a lightsaber. Pretty cool. Sign-ups are located at a kiosk outside the Star Wars Launch Bay. It's first come first serve so get there right when the park opens! If you're doing Magic Morning Early Entry that day take advantage of that and sign-up an hour before everyone else!

3. Check-out a showing of the Golden Horseshoe Revue show at the Golden Horseshoe Restaurant. The building itself is one of the few originals from opening day in 1955. It was one of Walt's favorite hang-outs. In fact, if you go upstairs, the private box on the right side of the stage was his. Now anyone can use it and enjoy a super funny, entertaining show. It's located in Frontierland.

Dole Whip Float Disneyland

4. Eat a Dole Whip. If you hate pineapple for some strange reason you should eat this anyway. This delicious soft serve ice cream is fluffy, creamy, and oh so good. The lines get long so get there early. Located at the entrance of the Enchanted Tiki Room (also a very good show).

5. When the Mark Twain re-opens in Summer 2017 you need to do a ride in the Captains wheel-room. Ask a Cast Member before the ship leaves (we ask when the park opens). Basically you and 2 others get to steer the ship around Pirates Lair and blow the boat whistle and ring the bell. It's pretty awesome!

Great Moments with Mr Lincoln Disneyland

6. Go watch Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. This was one of Walt's personal favorites and he worked very hard on it. Most people walk past this attraction or think it's too boring. Let us tell you something; it's not! It's a great show to rest your feet in and it's nice and cool inside. Plus you'll learn a lot of cool stuff!

 

Disney California Adventure Park

Grizzly Peak trail Disneyland

1. Walk the Grizzly Peak Trail. This shaded outdoors area is so cool. It's like you're in your own special place in Californian. To enter the trail look for Big Bear outside Grizzly River Run and start walking back into the ride. Don't worry, it's actually a loop that goes by several big water falls and around the attraction. Sanctuary!

2. Go play at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. It may be the greatest outdoor babysitting area ever. Take your restless kids here and let them run around and play on everything. Slides, rope bridges, tunnels, rope swings, etc. There's so much to do!

Beast's Library Disneyland

3. Check-out Sorcerers Workshop in the Animation building. Most people won't ever see this place. It's kind of a hidden gem. Once inside the Animation building if you cannot find the entrance ask a Cast Member. Be sure to stop by Beast's Library to find your inner-Disney character...

4. Dance Party with DJ. Nothing's cooler then having an official dance party with DJ in Cars Land. These are especially fun at night. His shows are put on every so many hours so be sure to check a times guide. 

Boudin Bakery Disneyland

5. Bakery Tour and free chocolate. The Boudin Bakery tour is located on the Wharf and is actually quite interesting to do. You'll learn a lot about sour dough and you'll also receive a free piece. It's really good! When you're done pop into Ghirardelli across the way for a free chocolate square!

If you need more things to do be sure to check out our Planning Guides. We have lot's of ideas! 

Fastpass+ Reservations For Pandora - The World Of Avatar

It's time. Finally. Pandora - The World of Avatar is opening May 27th and it's going to be big. Animal Kingdom will never be the same.  

Were super excited for this new, much needed edition. If you don't know much about it see our blog post here for all the information pertaining to this new land including rides and dining.

Now that the opening is less then 60 days away you need to start thinking about Fastpass+ reservations for Pandora's 2 new attractions: Na'vi River Journey and Avatar Flight of Passage. 

IMG_8399.JPG

If you're staying at a Walt Disney World property hotel you can book 60 days in advance of the first day of your arrival and all other days beyond that. So if you're arriving on Wednesday May 24th and staying through any date beyond May 27th you can now book your Pandora Fastpass+ reservations! What we're getting at is if the start of your vacation is within 60 days of today or less and your vacation includes May 27th then you can make those Pandora Fastpass+ reservations.

If you're not staying on property you'll be able to start booking 30 days prior to the start of your vacation. 

You'll want to be vigilant on these booking dates because these new rides will book out super fast just as Frozen did when it first opened. 

Na'vi River Journey is a family ride with no height restrictions. Avatar Flight of Passage does have a height requirement of 44". 

And, as a reminder, for a limited time May 27-July 4, 2017, Guests staying in select Walt Disney World Resort hotels will have the opportunity to experience Pandora – The World of Avatar with special Nightly Extra Magic Hours – from 11 p.m.- 1 a.m  

Toy Story Midway Mania Fastpass coming soon!

Disney California Adventure Park is about to receive a new Fastpass attraction. One that's long over-due in our book. Toy Story Midway Mania on the Boardwalk has long been one of the most popular attractions at DCA park. Since it's opening it consistently has had lines 40+ minutes or more.

Toy Story Fastpass Disneyland photos

That's why when we heard it was going to receive a Fastpass line we got super excited! It was announced several months ago and now it's finally starting to show. We think within the next 2 week of this articles posting it should be up and running. 

On our last visit we were able to get some photos of the Fastpass machines location. It's marked by a subtle sign and features 4 Fastpass machines colored white and peach. 

Toy Story Fastpass entrance Disneyland

At the actual attraction entrance there are a few new signs of Fastpass. First is the big sign that says "Fastpass Entrance." This is a great indication.. ;) There's also a sign right by the entrance that now digitally states the stand-by lines wait time and the Fastpass return times.

Toy Story Fastpass Disneyland

The last thing we saw that's currently in but "hidden" is what we believe to associated with the new MaxPASS system. In Florida, every Fastpass attraction has two poles at the entrance of the Fastpass line. It allows guests to scan their MagicBands for entry. With Disneyland's MaxPass system we think these two poles at the entrance of Toy Story's Fastpass line will allow guests to scan their scheduled Fastpass here.

Toy Story Fastpass Disneyland

We can't say for sure this is how it will work but it will be something along those lines. This also means that every Fastpass attraction at Disneyland will now need these poles installed.

Whatever it ends up being we're really excited for this new Fastpass attraction as well as what's in store for all Fastpass attractions!

Speaking of other Fastpass attractions (and new ones at that) the Matterhorn Bobsleds is the next Disneyland attraction receiving Fastpass. It's currently undergoing construction for this and will debut later this year! Look for a story as time gets closer!

Pirate's 50th Anniversary Party at the Disneyland Resort

Pirates of the Caribbean Disneyland photo

It's come and gone but the party still lingers in all of the true Pirates of the Caribbean fans. On March 18th, 2017 the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction celebrated its 50th anniversary with a great big pirate party. People came dressed up from all over the United States and some even from other countries. It was a site to behold!

We were surprised at how low-key Disney made this celebration, only mentioning it on a blog post once or twice before the actual celebration. However, that did not stop big crowds from coming and celebrating with them. 

Jolly Roger drink Disneyland

During the celebration New Orleans Square has some special food and merchandize available for purchase to those who were willing to wait in the lines. A soft opening on Friday March 17th proved to be more then what Disney was expecting for one item in particular. The Mint Julep Bar and Royal Street Veranda quick service bars offered a limited-edition Pirates of the Caribbean stein with a tropical drink called the Jolly Roger. On the soft-opening day the steins disappeared within an hour or less. 

When word got out about how quickly these steins went it caused a frenzy the next day. Big crowds gathered around the entrances to Adventureland and Frontierland waiting for the rest of the park to open so they could get to these two food places and get a stein. When the lands did open masses ran to get in line. It was crazy! We've never seen anything like this before at the parks. The saddest part was that there were probably 300-400 people lined up to get a stein but Disney only had about 200 left. People waited hours in line only to be turned away. 

Pirates of the Caribbean 50th shirt

Because of the craziness for the steins (which are now selling on eBay for well over $150 each) we got in line for the limited-edition tee-shirts that also sold out very quickly. We weren't disappointed either. They are awesome shirts! They had two color offerings of the same shirt. The dark red was for anyone who wanted to purchase a shirt and the light blue was for AP holders only. 

The last big merchandise item they sold were limited edition pins. The ones available to the public didn't sell out very quickly. However, the AP limited edition ones did, within hours of opening. 

Despite the chaos in the early morning the place was a lot of fun. All day long they had pirate bands playing live music and characters including Jack Sparrow made several appearances. The line for the actual ride was longer then we've ever seen it. Still, it was worth the wait (it always is). 

Lost Treasure Disneyland Beignets

One of the things we enjoyed the most that weekend was the limited-time food offerings. We had the Jolly Roger punch which we though was great. We also had the Lost Treasure Beignets sprinkled with gold dust at the Mint Julep Bar. They were amazing. They were also messy!

Royal Street Veranda Breadbowl

We were also able to try the Calypso Caribbean Chicken Stew served at Royal Street Veranda which was hearty and very tasteful! Stock full of meats and veggies in a sourdough bread bowl. It was also surprisingly spicy which was a nice touch!

French Market Disneyland photo

Over at the French Market they served a Buccaneer Pulled Pork Sandwich with jerk-spiced pork, tangy BBQ sauce, and some pineapple Caribbean slaw. It was a fantastic sandwich and had a nice bite to it.

Both food places offered a breakfast burrito which we never did get to try but sounded yummy. The churro stand in New Orleans Square also offered a special gold-dusted churro as well but we couldn't wait 15 minutes in line for it..so many regrets!

Overall it was a fantastic celebration with some amazing food and merchandize offerings! 

We're not sure when the next big celebration will be for this attraction but if Disneyland's 60th anniversary is any indication on how Disney treats 60th anniversaries then you and I are both in luck!

2017 Food and Wine Festival DCA: It's a Must!

This years Food and Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure Park is by far one of the best they've put on. The food is amazing, the drink selections are fantastic, and the desserts....so good!

2017 Food and Wine Festival California

If you've never attended a Disney Food and Wine event you may want to take your trip a bit earlier this year. Disney does food and wine like no one else. We always wish these unique events could run all year-round. This years DCA Food and Wine Festival goes from March 10th - April 16th. 

The best way to experience a Food and Wine Festival is to try EVERYTHING! That way you solidify what you like, what you don't like, and make some new food friends along the way. Or just get desserts like us... ;)

2017 Food and Wine Festival

We'll let you experience this on your own but here are some of the highlights from our "tour" of the festival going on now:

First, be sure to pick up a guide map and a tasting passport. The tasting passports are really cool to carry around and read for information on what food is offered where. They also have stamp locations for each festival booth. When you visit be sure to get that stamp in your book!

 

Food

Dole pineapple float

Our top two favorite food places were LA Style and Nuts About Cheese. LA Style serves a teriyaki slider with spicy dole pineapple jam that had us going back for seconds (maybe thirds). By far our most favorite dish at the festival this year. To accompany this dish we got the Dole Pineapple-Strawberry Float. We also had thirds of this..

2017 Food and Wine Festival

Our other food favorite was over at Nuts About Cheese where we were introduced to the Baked Ham and Swiss Cheese Croque Monsieur Roll with Smoked Pistachios. We're speechless...

Desserts

Maple Bacon Woopie Pie

Also food but definitely needs its own category. The Dole Pineapple-Strawberry Float was amazing and is loaded with tons of great ice cream. If you're looking for something sweet and salty and weird, try the Maple-Bacon Woopie Pie at Bacon Twist. It's...interesting.

 

Drinks

You can find these everywhere, especially wine. Every stand offers some wine or beer that goes with the food so no worries. They also have several drink-only stands and a Beer Garden. Get your drink on with some classic wines and some crafty beers!

Kids Crafts

For Kids

There is a kids station this year and it's pretty cool. They can sit down at tables and create their own chef hats! Nice! It's a cool way to get them excited about the festival (or just keep them busy). They also have a Jr. Chef show that goes on each day a few times. Show up early to register at Paradise Park and let your kids get hands-on with some food.

Get your stamps!

Food and Wine Passport

It's like a passport...to food heaven. You need to have it stamped at each location! Your prize? The fact that you tried all this amazing food and drink and enjoyed it all! No regrets!

 

What else you need to know

LA style

The Food and Wine Festival is in DCA Park. Stat heading towards the back of the park and you'll start running into it. All the booths are temporary and look like the featured picture here. Each booth tells you what they serve including food and drink. You can also find maps for the entire festival nearby each booth. They also have carry maps or your Passport. There are 3 booths in the Hollywood Backlot area that lots of people miss. Don't!

Be sure to bring you family and friends with you to the festival, it's always more fun with more people! Weekends are busy so it's best to visit during the week.

Have fun this year and bon appetit!

Ample Hills Creamery on the Boardwalk

Ample Hills Creamery Boardwalk

If you've never been to the Ample Hills Creamery on the Boardwalk you're missing out. If one of Walt Disney World's best ice cream parlors and a real treat with some real different flavors of ice cream. 

The first thing you'll notice when you walk in is the bright colors and fun drawings all over the shop. See if you can find all 4 theme parks represented on the walls! It's a good game to play while you're in line. 

Ample Hills Creamery

If you're in a hurry you can always grab a pint to go. They have most of their flavors available and it's just as good in the pint as it is served from the ice cream bar. Of course you will miss out on all those delicious toppings..

Ample Hills Creamery Disney World

When you see all the flavors they serve, don't panic. You can taste-test all of them before making your decision. The Cast Members don't mind. They want you to walk away happy so test away!

Ample Hills Sundae

Our favorite ice cream creation to get is the sundae. At first glance you'll notice the price..don't fret. One thing we've learned from so many visits is that the sundae can be filled with as many ice cream scoops and flavors as you want. You heard right. We typically get 4 scoops of flavors and share it with 3-4 people. The price doesn't look so bad when you know you can share it with 4 others. 

Sally Sells Seashells ice cream

One flavor that you must try is Sally Sells Seashells. It's the Boardwalk's "unique" flavor, meaning, it's only sold at this creamery and no other ones. Every Ample Hills Creamery has one of these flavors. It's pretty cool!

One thing we know for sure, you won't walk away disappointed. The ice cream's are amazing, the service is fantastic, and the servings are big. You'll go again, and again, and again....

7 Disneyland Numbers That Have Significant Meaning

Who knew that there were so many numbers at Disneyland with significant meaning?! The next time you take a ride on one of these remember what they reference! 

Star Tours photos

Flight 1401, Star Tours—The Adventures Continue
Star Tours flight 1401, you are cleared for departure!” The destinations and adventures changeevery time you experience Star Tours—The Adventures Continue, but the flight number always remains the same. The number 1401 serves as a special shout-out to Walt Disney Imagineering: 1401 is the street address where Disney theme park magic is dreamed up!

Carthay Circle photo

1901, Carthay Circle Restaurant
You may have heard of the exclusive Club 33, named for its address in New Orleans Square at Disneyland on 33 Royal Street. Did you know that Disney California Adventure also hosts a private club, located inside the Carthay Circle Theatre? 1901 ties into Disney California Adventure’s theme of celebrating Walt’s early life by taking its name from the year the master showman was born. The club itself is decorated with early pictures of Walt and Disney staff members and is described as the kind of place early Disney animators would have hung out in during their off hours.

Space Mountain photo

Space Station 77, Space Mountain
The iconic, intergalactic thrill ride Space Mountain originated at the Magic Kingdom in Florida, but the ride was so popular that its futuristic white dome now shines over Disneyland’s Tomorrowland as well. While the Magic Kingdom’s Space Mountain is referred to as “Starport Seven-Five,” in tribute to the year the attraction was installed in the park, Disneyland’s Space Mountain is called “Space Station 77,” after the year the classic “E-ticket” attraction blasted off on the west coast.

Haunted Mansion

Madame Leota’s spell book page 1313, Haunted Mansion
If Madame Leota’s spirit summoning doesn’t have you too entranced, take a peek at her spell book during her spectral séance. Looking closely, you may spy that the book is open to page 1313. While you may think the double thirteen was selected for its unlucky symbolism, the number actually has a much lighter meaning! 1313 frequently shows up on Haunted Mansion-related merchandise and art, referencing the street address of Disneyland park itself: 1313 Harbor Boulevard.

Space Mountain photo

Spaceship DL 05, Space Mountain 
Space Mountain may have first premiered at Disneyland in 1977, but it received a special refurbishment for Disneyland’s 50th anniversary in 2005 to take guests to new reaches of the galaxy. This special refurbishment is commemorated on the “spaceship” in the main queue, which is numbered DL 05, representing Disneyland 2005. Even though the “Happiest Homecoming on Earth” celebration is over, the memory of it still remains, even in the world of Tomorrow.

Finding Nemo photos

TL59 pipes, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage 
You already have a lot to find on Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage as you go on your underwater search for Nemo, but did you know that you can also make discoveries in the queue? Pipes running overhead of the attraction’s seaside queue feature printed numbers evoking an industrial aesthetic. But some of the numbers have a special meaning: “TL59” is printed along one of the pipes, referencing Tomorrowland 1959, the place and year the original attraction, Submarine Voyage, first debuted at Disneyland park.

Autopia Night

Route 55, Autopia
Disneyland’s Autopia allows guests of all ages to enjoy the thrills of driving, and the roads you explore in your friendly ride vehicle offer all sorts of silly Easter eggs. Did you spot the “Mouse Crossing” sign? Can you find the reference to Mr. Toad’s Motormania? Some of the shoutouts are less obvious, however. When your car passes a sign for Route 55, you are passing a tribute to Disneyland park itself. Fifty-five is a significant number for Disneyland, as 1955 was the year Walt Disney’s groundbreaking theme park first opened to the public

Original Story on D23

Food and Wine Festival returns to Disney California Adventure Park this Spring

The Food and Wine Festival will return this Spring, March 10th - April 16th, briging Disneyland guests flavors inspired by its own lovely state: California

If you've never experienced this Festival before you're in for a real treat! There are dozens of booths serving cuisine inspired by California and their chefs. Most booths serve 3 items including a dessert. Their serving sizes are a bit more then just samples and average about $4 each. Each entree is typically paired with a Wine as well.

There are some booths that specialize in certain things such as just desserts, wine, beer, and cheese. The foodie in you can find something that you love here. It's a fun experience to share with friends and family.

Here is a quick guide to what you can expect at this years Food and Wine Festival 2017:

IMG_7989.GIF

 Nuts About Cheese

  • Brie toast with fig and mint and roasted California almond crumble
  • Baked ham and Swiss cheese croque monsieur roll with smoked pistachios
  • Chèvre fromage blanc tartine infused with rosemary and honey, topped with toasted hazelnuts
  • Almond milk tea with pudding

Uncork California

  • White wine flight
  • Red wine flight
  • Mimosa flight

I Heart Artichokes

  • Artichoke carbonara with garlic aioli and smoked bacon
  • Grilled and chilled artichoke hearts with Romesco sauce
  • Creamy artichoke and dark chocolate cake pop
  • Orange iced tea with orange pearls

Garlic Kissed

  • Grilled beef tenderloin slider with chimichurri sauce
  • Black garlic soy-braised pork belly bao with pickled vegetables
  • Garlic-rosemary and avocado oil ice cream pop

California Craft Brews

  • Southern California flight
  • Northern California flight
IMG_7990.JPG

Olive Us

  • Chilled Cioppino soup with shrimp, crab claw and grilled olive bread
  • Warm olive focaccia with olive oil and sea salt
  • Vanilla bean crème fraîche panna cotta with Amarena cherry jus and EVOO madeleine

Bacon Twist

  • Baby iceberg and heirloom tomato wedge with peppered bacon and blue cheese dressing
  • Smoked bacon mac and cheese with barbecue-seasoned crispy onions
  • Maple-bacon Whoopie Pie
IMG_7991.JPG

Lemon Grove

  • Roasted cauliflower and Meyer lemon-infused Dannon Oikos® Greek nonfat yogurt cauliflower puree with sundried tomatoes and fried capers
  • Duck confit on potato smash with Meyer lemon preserves
  • Meyer lemon macaron with blueberry marmalade, Meyer lemon cream and blueberry dust
  • Cherry lemonade with cherry pearls

Seafood…Sustained

  • Verlasso® sustainable salmon tataki with avocado-wasabi puree and Furikake dust
  • Cage-free cream cheese deviled eggs with farm-raised smoked trout and chives
  • Passion fruit posset and coconut chia with mango compote and jelly
  • Mango agua fresca

The Onion Lair

  • French onion mac and cheese topped with parmesan crumble and chives
  • Braised Wagyu beef on creamy polenta with haricot vert and red onion salad and roasted Cipollini onion
  • Chocolate-hazelnut and raspberry Feuillete tart
  • Strawberry pineapple float with vanilla ice cream and strawberry pearls
IMG_7992.JPG

Off the Cob

  • Sweet corn nuggets with beef chili, spring onions and sour cream
  • Jackfruit carnitas banh mi nachos with cilantro crèma and “pickled” de gallo
  • Roasted sweet corn custard tart with honey tuille and smoked chili-infused chocolate sauce

Sweet & Sourdough

  • Bay shrimp Louie salad served in a mini Boudin sourdough boule
  • White cheddar lager soup topped with bacon, served in a mini Boudin sourdough boule
  • Milk chocolate sourdough bread pudding with vanilla bean sauce

LAStyle

  • Chicken Teriyaki slider with spicy Dole® pineapple jam
  • Korean barbecue beef short rib tacos with Kimchi slaw
  • Fresh strawberry compote, lemon verbena and vanilla bean shortcake parfait
  • Dole® Pineapple-strawberry Float with vanilla ice cream and strawberry pearls

Paradise Garden Grill Beer Garden

  • Beer-battered cod served with steak fries, sweet slaw and spiced remoulade
  • Potato and cheese pierogis with vegetarian sausage served with grilled Anaheim chilies, caramelized onions and sour cream
  • Beer-braised pork tacos served with pickled apple slaw, black beans and queso
  • Sausage platter trio served with braised red cabbage and warm potato salad
  • Large soft pretzel served with beer-mustard dipping sauce
  • Salted caramel budino with vanilla bean Chantilly cream
  • Bienenstich cake with honey-glazed almonds, filled with vanilla bean custard

The festival continues in the Hollywood Backlot area, featuring wine flights at Wineology, beer and beer floats at The Brewhouse and wine at the Festival Merchandise & Bottle Shop at Stage 17.

As to images: ©Disney