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!

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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.  

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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. 

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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:

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 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
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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
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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
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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

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa being reimagined

Disney's "newest" hotel will soon again be Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa! Originally added to the resort in 2001, the hotel is currently undergoing renovations on all its rooms and pool. Even with its renovations the hotel received its 16th AAA four diamond award this year.

The room renovations bring fresh and arts and crafts together like never before. From the ceiling to the floor and everything in between, the rooms take an a much needed transformation. All will feature a new hardwood flooring at the entrance that transitions into bright-toned carpet (it's really soft!)

The new renovated bedrooms at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. 

The new renovated bedrooms at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. 

The bathrooms and vanities are receiving an update as well as the beds and walls.  The latter will feature California-inspired art work and wall headboards inlayed with some of your favorite Disney characters. Be on the lookout for some hidden Mickeys too!

Be very excited about the update and be sure to book your rooms early for Summer 2017 vacations. Also, be sure to read Disney's website about the renovations. They may have closures during your visit that you'll want to be aware of.

New Beauty and Beast inspired restaurant opens at Disneyland

Starting Feb 24th the Village Haus restaurant located in Fantasyland will re-open as the newly-inspired Red Rose Taverne. This Beauty and Beast restaurant will feature some delicious menu items including a 1/3 pound Angus beef patty, slow-cooked beef, Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato and horseradish aioli on a toasted roll called the Beast's Burger. 

Red Rose Taverne menu

The menu also features an Enchanted Cauliflower Sandwich - A grilled cauliflower steak, spicy lime aioli, tempura-battered green beans, lettuce and tomato on a toasted roll.

To help wash it all down you can get a mug of Gaston's Famous Brew - Apple-mango punch topped with passion fruit foam.

And to top all that off you can enjoy the Grey Stuff for dessert. We hear it's delicious!

Red Rose Taverne Disneyland

Be sure to stop by soon because this restaurant is a limited-engagement only!

As to images © Disney

Summer of Hero's plus Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission Breakout!

Disney California Adventure Park at Disneyland Resort will soon be the destination for adventure, intrigue and triumph as recruits from around the world – like you – join forces with legendary Super Heroes in an ever-expanding universe of stories that will grow even bigger over time. This summer, the action starts with the May 27 grand opening of the thrilling, rocking attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

Summer of Hero's

This new adventure blasts you straight into the “Guardians of the Galaxy” story for the first time ever, alongside characters from the blockbuster films and comics. As you help Rocket bust his pals out of the Collector’s Fortress, you'll experience randomized ride experiences complete with all-new visual and audio effects and music inspired by the popular film soundtracks. You will never know which adventure you'll get!

This summer you'll also be able to enjoy the new Summer of Hero's celebration from May 27th, to Sept 10th. 

Summer of Heroes will launch these new, year-round experiences:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! – You may run into the Guardians of the Galaxy on their way to the Milano, with Star-Lord firing up his old-school boom box to get the party started. Gamora may prefer to stand back and observe, but everyone else is bound to get in the groove and show off their moves during this awesome rock ‘n’ roll bash!
  • Super Hero Encounters – For the first time, citizens of Earth will come face-to-face with Groot, one of the Guardians of the Galaxy! You can also step up to meet the First Avenger, Captain America, along with everyone’s favorite web slinger, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

And for a limited time, you can step up to the challenge with new adventures during Summer of Heroes:

  • Avengers Training Initiative – Black Widow and Hawkeye assemble young recruits for a series of tests to see if they have what it takes to join the ranks of the Avengers.
  • Heroic Encounter: Black Widow – Black Widow will arrive on the scene several times throughout the day in an armored Avengers vehicle for her heroic encounter with park Guests.
  • Grab a Piece (or Bite) of the Action – Special themed merchandise and food will be available throughout Hollywood Land.

Don't miss out on this heroic celebration, book your tickets and packages now!

Disney's Newest Vacation Club Opens

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is the latest Disney Vacation Club property. Offering the widest range of accommodations found at Walt Disney World Resort, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins features 220 modern, nature-inspired vacation homes, including one-and two-bedroom Villas and three-bedroom Grand Villas, which sleep up to 12

Copper Creek Villas Disney World

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins also includes 26 all-new private, luxurious waterfront Cabins, which sleep up to eight Guests.

Beginning March 21, 2017, you can book Copper Creek Villas & Cabins as rentals when they are not in use by Disney Vacation Club Members. Please note there may be limited availability for the cabins.

In addition to Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, the recently opened Geyser Point Bar & Grill offers picturesque views of Bay Lake, as well as explorer-worthy feasts and trails-end spirits in an open-air lounge. Roaring Fork, the resort’s original quick-service restaurant, will reopen later this year with a refreshed look and expanded outdoor seating.

Later this summer, you can enjoy the laid-back relaxation of the new Boulder Ridge Cove Pool, part of Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. This modern-day swimmin’ hole features a zero-depth entry.

Copper Creek Villas

Those in search of extra pampering will want to stop by the all-new Salon by the Springs (formerly Trout Pass Pool Bar) for pool-side manicures, pedicures and hair services scheduled to open this summer. A brand-new sports court, BBQ pavilions and a refurbished fire pit and movie area also join the lineup of resort amenities slated to open in the summer.

The resort, which is the latest Disney Vacation Club property, has a scheduled opening date July 17.

As to images: ©Disney

4 things you didn't know you could do at Disneyland

Most visitors of the Disneyland Resort stick to the map. They don't do anything out of the ordinary. There are, however, several things you can experience at both parks that typically aren't well known. Here is our top 4 things you didn't know you could do at Disneyland:

1. Steer the Mark Twain Riverboat

Mark Twain photo

When the boat comes back into action Summer 2017 be sure to stop by in the early morning hours and ask a Cast Member if you can ride with the captain. They can escort a group of 3 to the top of the boat where you will get to blow the whistle, ring the bell, and turn the captains wheel all while enjoying the best view from up top!

2. Ride in the Lilly Belle train car

Lilly Belle Disneyland

The Lilly Belle is named after Walt's wife Lilian. The train car was made to carry Walt's personal guests around the park in comfort. After his passing it was just used for family and then a time after that for Club 33 members only. However, now anyone can ride in the car upon request and availability. It's not always on the tracks everyday so check back each morning. It's one fancy ride!

3. Do a tender ride on the Disneyland trains

Disneyland Train

Even cooler (in our opinion) is riding on a train right behind the conductor. This is called a tender ride and it can accommodate 2 people full circle (meaning you can't get on or off at any other station but Main Street). The ride is very unique in that you get to watch the conductor "drive" the train while he or she explains how everything works. Be prepared to arrive first thing in the morning. These tender rides get hot because you're right behind the engine. If it's too hot in the day they won't take any guests. 

4. Watch people get soaked on Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain photo

This one is for those people who love to see people have a lot of fun or become miserable (depending on your attitude). Splash Mountain is known for that really big drop but typically the boats are out of sight for the splashing...or so you thought. If you walk past the Splash Mountain attraction on your left you'll come to a food stand that serves fruit, pickles, and drinks. If you walk to the stand then turn left you'll see a set of small stairs. Go up then and look through the trees down. You'll see where all the boats from Splash Mountain make their loop around as they come out of the tunnel. This is one of the best places to watch giant waves go over the boat and soak people. It's pretty funny to watch. ;)

3 things you have to eat at the Disneyland Resort

We like to keep the amount of thing you must try to a minimum because we know how hard it is to get things done around a busy park schedule. Being the foodie that we are we've been able to eat at a lot of places. Here are our top 3 things you have to eat at the Disneyland Resort:

1. Twice cooked Vietnamese Tacos

Carthay Circle Restaurant photo

They are as amazing as they sound and rarely purchase because of the location they are served at. You can find these delicious mouth-watering tacos at Carthay Circle Lounge in DCA park. No reservations are needed to dine at the lounge and families are welcome. Go in, sit down, look over the small menu but really you know exactly what you're going to order. You get 4 tacos and 0 regrets.

2. 24 layer chocolate cake

Easily the best dessert at the parks, this chocolate delicatessen will humble your tastebuds and keep you coming back for more and more and more. With 24 layers of chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, and nutella (yes you heard correctly) you'll want to order a tall glass of milk with this baby. Also bring some friends because it's very rich and quite a big slice of cake. Head over to Disneyland Hotel's Steakhouse 55 lounge and order this chocolate monster. 

3. French toast banana foster

This may be the best way to start your day. A big chunk of french toast drizzled with caramel sauce and bananas. It's very rich and very filling. Not to be shared with anyone else but yourself, you can find this hot thang at Flo's V8 Cafe in DCA park. Enjoy!

Fastpass: Use it or wait in line like everyone else

Fastpass is such a vital part of Disneyland trips now with higher and higher crowds each year. If you think you can just go stand in line and not worry about it you're really costing yourself some valuable time. If you know how Fastpass works already, great! Keep using it and use all that extra time to experience more! If you've never used it or don't have a good grasp on it, read on!

Haunted Mansion Fastpass

A Fastpass holds your place in line while you go do other things until your return time at which point you skip the main long line and zip to the front of the attraction in another line. Let's say the main line for Indiana Jones is 60 minutes long; that's 40 minutes longer then you're willing to wait. So you go get a Fastpass near the ride entrance. Your Fastpass tells you to return between 11:30am - 12:30pm. You look at your watch and it's 10:30am. You have 1 hour to kill before you can return to the ride. So you head off and ride Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. Before you know it it's 11:30am and Indiana is calling your name! Head back and enter through the marked Fastpass line. Before you know it you're on the ride and hangin with Indy! Woohoo! 

In the hour that you were gone riding 2 other attractions other people stood in the Indy line just for that one ride. Let's say overall it took them 1 hour to do that one ride. We'll in 1 hour and 20 minutes you did 3. Now if they go off and do the 2 other attractions you did in the mean time and it takes them 1 hour they've now spent 2 hours doing 3 attractions that took you only 1 hour and 20 minutes. You saved 40 minutes! Way to go!

A few things to remember about Fastpass:

1. EVERY valid ticket comes with Fastpass service for FREE. It's not a service you have to buy or purchase separately. Don't get scammed by someone selling Fastpass service. 

2. Not all attractions offer it. It's mainly used for the bigger rides, however, there are exceptions like Goofy's Sky School and Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters.

3. You can only have 1 Fastpass at a time unless you've gotten one for Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters. In this case you can carry 2 at a time, one for this attraction and any other Fastpass attraction. Note that shows like World of Color and Frozen DO NOT count against your Fastpasses. Check your current Fastpass to see when another one will be come available. 

4. Waiting in line is for line waiters. You can get soooo much more done by using your Fastpass service. If you have questions about it ask a Cast Member.