Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween Time at Disneyland

 Well, Halloween is over but here is some of the seasonal fun and treats enjoyed this season.
The flowers in front of the train station are always a beautiful welcome. 
 The giant Mickey pumpkin is a great photo op. 
 All the orange and yellow really pops in the hub. This is a good spot to get a picture of the castle in the background even if it does already have snow on it the week before Halloween. Christmas and winter holidays will be in full swing before you know it.
 I love all the pumpkins and flowers surrounding Walt and Mickey's statue.

And now on to the treats.
 There are several different caramel apples available year round at Candy Palace on Main Street and Pooh's Corner in Critter Country in Disneyland and Trolley Treats in Disney's California Adventure, but this one of course is only around for Halloween Time.
 I love candy corn so this apple covered in caramel, chocolate, and candy corn was incredible.
 I enjoyed this caramel apple funnel cake at Hungry Bear Restaurant. The funnel cake was topped with powdered sugar, cinnamon apples, whipped topping shaped like Mickey, caramel, and some sort of cinnamon sugar crumble topping. It was delicious and huge. I shared it with a couple of friends and we still didn't finish it. 
 The are lots of pumpkin treats offered around the resort, but I only tried a couple. First was this piece of pumpkin fudge. It doesn't look like much, but it was SO good. It was hard to stop eating it. I don't think I've ever bought any of the other fudge at Disneyland, but I heard about how good this one was and decided to give it a try. I'll be checking to see if this is still around on my next visit. 
 I stopped by Maurice's Treats to check out the pumpkin twist. I heard good things about this as well, so I was excited to try it. 
 These are all the different twists in their display case. I believe they are chocolate, strawberry, garlic, and the seasonal pumpkin.
The flaky pastry is filled with pumpkin and a little bit of spice and sprinkled with sugar. It's really good.  I would have to say that this was my favorite snack of the season. 
 Over in California Adventure, I headed over to Schmoozies! to try their caramel apple smoothie. 
 I didn't have enough of an appetite to try the pumpkin muffin. Oh well. 
I wasn't too sure about what the smoothie would taste like, but I really enjoyed it. A sweet, refreshing, cool drink while walking around the parks on an 85 degree day was perfect. 
These Mickey Halloween bat cookies are always good. It is a shortbread cookie topped with chocolate and decorated to look like a Mickey bat. They are not only delicious, but cute and quite big. 

Those were all the seasonal items I was able to enjoy this Halloween Time. There were even more that I didn't get to. Maybe next year! I'll leave you with some more of the holiday decorations around the park.
 Near the Rancho Del Zocalo Restaurant in Frontierland is a Dia de Los Muertos display. 
 Here is a little more information about this holiday from the Disney Parks Blog.
I took another picture when I was passing by at dusk. 
 Across the way is the Halloween tree. I love it's orange glow at night. 
 I stopped by the Haunted Mansion Holiday, but it was broken down at the time. I've already ridden it a couple this season, but looking forward to riding it again until January.
This was my last picture of the Mickey pumpkin until next year. Soon the giant Christmas tree will take it's spot.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Raising Money for CHOC

Next month, I will be participating in the Children's Hospital of Orange County's annual Walk in the Park at Disneyland. The CHOC Walk is a 5K walk to raise funds for the medical care of children at the non-profit hospital.
CHOC is known for being one of the best places to provide healthcare to children no matter what their family's ability to pay is. I have a friend whose son is treated at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He has a genetic mutation that causes him to have seizures and has to often be rushed there for treatment. 
Even though this fundraiser is for the Orange County location, I felt compelled to join a team and help raise funds so that more kids can receive quality care. I would love if you can help me in my fundraising efforts. My goal is to raise $100. As little as a $5 donation can make a difference. Here is the link to my fundraising page. I would truly appreciate any help you can give. I'm looking forward to the CHOC Walk on October 12th. Thanks for your support!

Monday, September 1, 2014

IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party in Epcot

 Hello everyone! I've been away for a while, but now I'm back! I figured I would pick up where I left off with more from my trip to Walt Disney World. 
We decided to do the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party in Epcot. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is a fireworks show in the World Showcase Lagoon. There is a section on the edge of the lagoon near the entrance to the World Showcase that is reserved just for the party. Throw in a bunch of desserts and sparkling wine. I'm in!
Unfortunately, I forgot my camera in the hotel that afternoon, so I don't have very many pictures to show. But here are a couple I snagged from my friends. 

Above is a plate with (starting at the top center and going clockwise) baklava from Morocco, chocolate Grand Marnier pot de crème from France, shortbread cookie from the United Kingdom, and tiramisu from Italy.
Here you can see along with desserts above, there was also platters of fresh fruit. As you can tell, we didn't eat too much fruit because we were getting our fill of all the other desserts.
Not pictured, was a station with glazed donuts flambéed and served with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, almonds, and whipped cream from America. Another station had churros flambéed with Kahlua and served with coffee ice cream, chocolate sauce, almonds, and whipped cream from Mexico. There was also a cart with frozen treats sold around the parks such as the Mickey premium ice cream bars, Mickey ice cream sandwiches, and strawberry fruit bars. For the sparkling wines, there was prosecco from Italy and brut champagne from France.
I really enjoyed everything since I have a huge sweet tooth, but my favorites were the chocolate pot de creme, baklava, and the desserts with ice cream. Both the prosecco and champagne were good. I thought the prosecco was a little too sweet with all the desserts, so I enjoyed more of the brut champagne. There was also coffee, tea, hot chocolate packets, and water for non-alcoholic beverages. 
The fireworks show was pretty awesome as well. Disney always has the best fireworks. It was so nice to have an unobstructed view. When we left, we saw the large crowd of people around the lagoon and were thankful that we avoided the throng by spending extra on the party. The cost is $49 per person and you must make reservations ahead of time. The party is only offered Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. This site has pictures and video along with a review to give you a better idea of what it is like.
We had such a great time that it was one of the highlights of our trip. I would highly recommend doing this if you love desserts.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

So, this post has nothing to do with food, but I thought I'd tell you about my experience of being one of the firsts to experience a new attraction while I visited the Magic Kingdom. 
Shortly before my trip to Walt Disney World, it was announced that the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction would open on May 28th. I was excited, but a little bummed that the 28th would be the day we left Orlando and probably wouldn't be able to ride it. I kept hoping that it might be open early for guests or at least passholders. In the days leading up to the trip, I was looking for information on a passholder preview like they have had for new or refurbished Disneyland attractions. I couldn't find anything, but I still kept hope alive.
We arrived for our first day in the WDW parks on the same day as the 24-hour Rock Your Disney Side event. We began our day wandering around the Magic Kingdom. We walked around New Fantasyland and saw people riding the Mine Train ride. I already had it in my head that it must be cast member previews or something of that sort and kept walking. We came around to the side where the line started and my friend asked if maybe the ride was open. I said it might be some kind of special preview, but we could ask and find out. It looked like people were just walking up and getting in line. As we walked up, we realized that it was in fact OPEN!!! We quickly hopped in line, and then we saw that a cast member was holding a sign stating that the wait time was 120 minutes. That's a long time to spend in line, but it was a new attraction so probably worth it, right?
I was just excited that we would actually get to ride it. While waiting in line, it seemed to keep moving and we overheard someone saying that they had already been on the ride and that the wait time was incorrect. They had only waited about 15 to 20 minutes. Great news!
 There was barely time to check out the interactive queue. 
This is a game that looks like a river with jewels floating down. There are trays on the side that you have to place them in by matching the right color and shape. 
When you enter the mine, there are barrels full of more jewels and gems. They project an image on the ceiling.
If you spin the barrels fast enough, the corresponding dwarf appears on the ceiling.
If you spin all 7 barrels at the same time, Snow White appears on the ceiling as well. It definitely made waiting in line a lot of fun. Soon we were riding on the mine train.
I thought the ride so much fun. As always, I loved all the details that the imagineers incorporate in the attraction. The ride is very smooth and the new audio-animatronics are awesome. 
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a must when you visit the Magic Kingdom!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Croissant Donut in Epcot

Hello all! I had such a great time on my vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando. There is so much to see, do, and eat! Our time was limited, but we managed to do quite a bit. Since today was (or still is for a little longer), National Donut Day, I'll share something that can be found in Epcot.
Epcot is one of the 4 WDW theme parks. This park has 2 main areas which are Future World and World Showcase. We spent a lot of time in World Showcase. There you can travel to 11 different countries and experience a bit of their cultures and cuisine. It is FOODIE HEAVEN! 
Before embarking on my WDW trip, I did a little reading on some of the different foods offered there. One of the things I really wanted to try was the croissant donut. I've heard so much about the Cronut craze, but never got the chance to try one. I couldn't pass it up while I was there. 
As you enter World Showcase there is an area called Showcase Plaza. This is where you find Refreshment Port which sells croissant donuts as well as chicken nuggets with fries, soft-serve ice cream, and a variety of beverages. 

 The croissant donut looks just like a big donut that is covered in cinnamon and sugar.
After biting in to it, you can see all the layers of dough like a croissant, but it is fried and coated like a donut. It's the best of both worlds. It was a very enjoyable snack for $4.49. Not bad. If only I didn't have to travel so far to get another one.

Monday, May 19, 2014

I'm Going To Disney World!

Since I was a little kid, I've always wanted to go to Walt Disney World. I used to watch the Disney channel and see some of the attractions that they would feature between shows. As an adult, there have been even more things that I've heard about or seen on the internet that have made me want to travel to the other Happiest Place On Earth. Now, my dream is coming true! I've got my pass and I'm (almost) ready to go.
So, have you been to Disney World? If so, what advice would you give to another first-timer? What was your favorite part of the trip? What was your favorite food or restaurant? If not, what would you want to see, do, or eat? Comment below.
I'm sure I'll have lots to post when I get back.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Classic Disneyland Treat: Dole Whip

One of my all-time favorite things to eat a Disneyland is the Dole Whip. I know I'm not alone since there is usually a very long line of people waiting in Adventureland for the delicious pineapple soft-serve.

Dole Whip is dished up at the Tiki Juice Bar, right at the entrance to Adventureland in front of the Enchanted Tiki Room. 
I love all the tiki decor there. The show inside the Tiki Room is cute. I think everyone should go to see it at least once. On a hot day, this is a nice, cool respite from the heat.
Here is the menu at the juice bar. 

This is the Dole Whip. It tastes like a pineapple-flavored sorbet. From what I understand, it is dairy-free and vegan.
While this is my favorite, I've also enjoyed the Dole Whip Float. The float is a cup of pineapple juice with this soft-serve floating on top. I like that the float comes with a little umbrella and cherry on top. You can see a picture here.
Coming here makes me miss Hawaii a little bit, but I get over it quickly because I'm at Disneyland. Aloha!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

National Grilled Cheese Day at The Melt

Yesterday was National Grilled Cheese Day! Did you have a grilled cheese sammie to celebrate? I got mine from the opening celebration of The Melt at the Americana at Brand in Glendale. 
 It was such a nice day to walk around the Americana, but I was on a mission to get some free grilled cheese.
 You can find The Melt's newest location on Brand Blvd. at the Americana. They have several locations across California.
 I like their logo. You can't miss the big, bright orange circle.
 Here's what it looks like inside. They also have a small patio in the front to sit outside and enjoy your meal.
 This is another glimpse of the inside. This wall tells you all about the food you are getting. Sounds good to me.
 Here is the menu. If this is too difficult to see, check out their website here.
 I thought their soda fountain was really cool. I've never seen one like this before. It pours out Boylan Bottling Co. cane cola, root beer, and lemon lime. They also have iced tea and filtered water to choose from.
 This is a peek behind the counter. They were busy grilling and serving up tons of sammies for the long line of grilled cheese fans waiting outside.
 Finally, I was able to sit down and dig in. 
I was given the classic melt with tomato basil soup along with a pickle. The classic consists of aged cheddar on artisan white bread. As you can see, there is lots of cheese on there. I thought it was all really good. 
I will be back to try some of their other melts for sure.