Friday, December 30, 2011

Disneyland Trip Recap Part 7: Mailboxes

Before we continue, PLEASE read this blog post and let me know your thoughts. I would love some feedback!  Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled trip recap in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

I don't know about you guys, but when I am at a Disney park, I don't bring a lot of mail with me.  I might send a postcard from my hotel, but does anyone really bring mail with them into Epcot or DCA? 

Well I guess SOMEONE might since Disneyland inexplicably features real, randomly placed mailboxes in the actual parks.  I am guessing there is some kind of antiquated law that requires mailboxes every X number of yards or something in Anaheim so that Disney had to comply by putting mailboxes in the park. 

As expected they are fairly well-themed and not very noticeable unless you're looking for them.  Wouldn't it be cool to be the mailman for that area though?!  "Um ma'am, where is your park ticket?"  "Oh I don't have one, I'm just here to collect the mail and squeeze in a ride on Space Mountain."   LOL

Next time I'll be sure to post some of my correspondence from here!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Flashback Friday / Disney and Broadway

This post isn't what you think.  Yeah, I saw the Lion King and Beauty and the Beast on Broadway ages ago.  No, I have zero interest in seeing Mary Poppins despite living 15 minutes from midtown New York. 


I DID have ridiculously sweet seats at Book of Mormon the Monday after Christmas.  Which was HILARIOUS.  You have to be okay with lots of naughty language and irreverence (actually you have to find irreverence hilarious).  But I am and I do, so I really enjoyed the show.  It helped that the actors were INSANELY talented and extremely well cast (original casts are almost always the best no?). 

I won't ruin it for you, but Disney did play a part.  There is even a hint of Spaceship Earth and Cinderella's Castle (albeit with turrets that are the wrong color - I assume for legal reasons since the rest of the show was just perfect).  One of the characters even sings a song about Orlando!

I couldn't find the whole song on Youtube but here is part of the reprise within another song.  Start at 2:40 for the Orlando part. 

Focused on the Magic

Disneyland Trip Recap Part 6: Carnation Cafe

We interrupt this post for a brief request: please please read this post and let me know your opinions.  I am seeking input on a change I am considering making!

One of the main goals of my DL trip was to try the various offers AJ talks about on the Disney Food Blog.  I REALLY wanted to try the Cinnamon Bun French Toast and Oscar's Choice from Carnation Cafe. 

I first had a breakfast ADR at the cafe to try the French Toast.  It was raining but only lightly.  The cafe feels a bit crowded with so many table umbrellas but I appreciated that they provided a virtual ceiling from the rain.  While I waited for my meal to arrive, I sipped a mocha, which I am a huge fan of (it's also delicious from the bakery if you are willing to wait on a line). 

Then the french toast arrived and it was exactly how AJ said it would be.  It was also HEAVENLY.  SOOOOOOO delicious there are not words.  You must try this immediately.  I have a high tolerance for sweets so I guess some of you may think it is too sweet if you're not a sugar fan.  But you guys are crazy. 

A day or two later I decided to see if I could score another ADR at the cafe to try out Oscar's Choice.  I called the evening before and got a reservation for 10am the next day.  It was better weather this time and I ordered another yummy mocha while I waited.

Oscar's Choice was . . . meh.  I mean, there's nothing really special about it.  It's eggs, a croissant, breakfast potatoes, and some fruit and bacon/sausage.  It wasn't BAD.  It was nice-tasting.  In fact, I'm not a big potatoes girl (I'll eat them but I won't gravitate towards them) and these potatoes were pretty good - I ate all of them.   But it didn't blow my mind like the french toast had.  It was pretty much just your normal American-type breakfast.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Disneyland Trip Recap Part 5: Cafe Orleans

Hi guys!  This is a recap of my very first full trip to Disneyland!  I was SOOOO excited to try out these yummy items - I hope you like them too!  

I'm linking this post to the delightful Disney Day by Day's Favorite Food Friday Blog Hop so please check them out AND click on the button at the bottom of this post!

Although I didn't get to try out the Blue Bayou this trip, I did get to hit up some of the other restaurants on my list of things to try.  The first one I scheduled was lunch at Cafe Orleans. 

Since I didn't get the Blue Bayou ADR, I knew this was the second best option to try their famed Monte Cristo sandwich.  I also knew I had to try the pomme frites and beignets after AJ raved about them on the Disney Food Blog.

You may have seen my brief reviews of the food from my Wordless Wednesday posts.  In sum:

The pomme frites were okay but too cold which made them taste overly salty and garlicky.  If they had been hot they would have been perfect.

The Monte Cristo was AMAZING.  I was actually sad that I didn't have room to eat the entire sandwich.  I had my doubts about the jelly w/ the meat and the powdered sugar, but OH MY GOD you guys.  Even if you are a finicky eater, you are doing yourself a grave disservice by not ordering and trying this insane deliciousness. 

The beignets were as meh as fried dough can be (which is still not that meh.  Kind of like being the shortest person on a NBA team).  I was expecting them to be hotter and lighter and puffier.  They weren't BAD.  But they fell flat after the incredible sandwich I just ate.  Plus the vanilla sauce was too vanilla-y.  I know that sounds weird but it was.  It overpowered the dough.  The jelly dipping sauce was better, but not as incredible as I think this dish could be.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!

Welcome to another Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop! 
Thanks to Focused on the Magic and the Info Mouse for hosting! 

Before we continue, PLEASE read this blog post and let me know your thoughts.  I would love some feedback!
Okay now on to our regularly scheduled blog hop :) 

 How about a Dole Whip from the original location? 
You guys, I'm telling you now - Dole Whips taste even MORE delicious when sipped inside the original Tiki Room while enjoying the show!
Now hop on to the next stops!
Focused on the Magic

Monday, December 26, 2011

Disneyland Trip Recap Part 4: The Adventure Continues!

We interrupt this post for a brief request: please please read this post and let me know your opinions.  I am seeking input on a change I am considering making!

When I arrived at Disneyland and had checked in at our hotel, I headed straight to the park.  After noticing the filming of the Christmas parade, I had to decide what I was going to do while I waited for my sister to arrive.  Since it was fairly early in the morning and most of the crowds were waiting for the parade to start, I decided to hop on the new Star Tours.

I had ridden the old Star Tours in Disney World dozens of times, but I hadn't been down there since the new one was installed.  I was REALLY excited to try it.  I tried to avoid spoilers when I could.  And in the end . . .


The 3D effects are the best I have EVER seen.  The variations in the storyline were equally amazing.  And I think, after riding it about 5 different times over the course of the trip (and taking a bunch of pictures of the queue), I managed to get ALL of the different choices (not all of the different combinations of course).  These are the ones I saw.  Did I miss anything?

     A) Darth Vader tries to arrest us
     B) An Imperial probe droid detects the rebel on our ship

    A) Hoth
    B) Podrace
    C) Wookie planet

    A) Yoda
    B) Leia
    C) Akbar

   A) Underwater with Jar Jar Binks (one of my favorite endings - the 3D here is INCREDIBLE)
   B) Corusant the City Planet
   C) Death Star/asteroid field.

I definitely wasn't expecting to get ALL of the options but I'm pretty thrilled that I did!  Now I can't wait to try them out in WDW!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Requesting Input From My Fabulous Followers


    I've been mulling this over for some time and today I realized, why don't I ask you guys for your thoughts (please post your opinions on the comments)!  Something that bugs me a little is how childless, single (not just unmarried, but totally uncoupled) Disney fans are severely underrepresented in the Disney community.  I've often felt ignored and a few times even ostracized as a solo Disney fan.  

   As a result I am considering shifting the focus of my blog slightly to talk about this subject a little more.  Honestly, I don't expect the content to change all that much, but I might change the name of the blog and you might see a few more posts featuring solo/semi-solo trips.  

    I want to emphasize that I would hope to include and connect with ALL kinds of Disney fans via this blog.  I just want other solo Disney fans (if there are any) to know that I am out here too.  It would be like the solo version of your Disney Mom blogs (which I still very much enjoy following!).  

   What do you think?  Would you stop reading?  Do you think this would be interesting to others?  To you?  I'm still mulling it over and I'm not sure I'll even do it but your opinions would be GREATLY appreciated.  Please post them in the comments!

- V

Disneyland Trip Recap Part 3: The Disappointments

Although I had an absolutely AMAZING time at Disneyland, I did have a few disappointments on the trip.  The point of this trip was to try EVERYTHING I possibly could so that I don't have to keep going back (Disneyland is expensive yo!) to get everything done.  Yes I know this is folly.  Disney constantly brings new things into their parks.  It's like sweeping the beach, I'll never get it done.  But in my head it worked.  I did manage to get almost everything done.  I felt very accomplished.  But there were a few things I still missed and now I will HAVE to go back.

1) The Blue Bayou

My plan was to get an ADR at the Blue Bayou so I could have the beignets and Monte Cristo sandwich there.  I checked the menu ahead of time and knew that they only served the MC at lunch.  I emailed my travel agent a few more than 60 days ahead of time so he had a heads up.  And then . . .

I get an email from my agent saying that they were closing Pirates AND the Blue Bayou prior to my trip!  SO SAD!  Thankfully I had hit up Pirates on my first half-day trip years ago, so I already had that under my belt.  But now I will HAVE to go back to DL to eat at the BB.  Ah well.

2) Small World

On my first half-day trip some years ago, we didn't make it to Small World.  I thought it was okay because I've done Small World at Disney World dozens of times.  But then, I learned how Disneyland's Small World is different.  It's the original!  It goes outside!  The facade is different!  And then I KNEW I had to go on this first REAL trip.  And then . . .

As we turned the corner to head back towards the ride, we saw the sign that it was closed.  Still hopeful, we sought out a Cast Member to see if the closing was just temporary but no.  It was closed for the duration.  And now I will HAVE to go back to DL to ride the original Small World.  Ah well.

Sad closed Small World view from the DL Railroad

3)  Christmas Decorations

The plan was, for this first REAL trip, to try out Disneyland "original flavor".  I figured the first trip should be experienced as Disneyland is without the extras.  Kind of like eating your first Mickey Waffle before trying out the chocolate Mickey Waffle.  You need a basis for comparison of the variations available.  I planned a trip in early November, aiming to catch the park after the Halloween decorations came down but before the Christmas decorations went up.  And then . . .

Well, you saw my first post about the Christmas parade filming.  It was cool to see and the decorations were pretty, but it wasn't my plan.  So now I will HAVE to go back to DL to see what the parks are like without the holiday decor. 

New Orleans Square Christmas Decor:

4)  Grizzly River Run

This was perhaps the most tragic disappointment of all.  On my first half-day trip years ago, the goal was to try all the rides that Disneyland has that Disney World does not.  (This explains my initial peace with missing Disneyland's Small World.)  Grizzly River Run was on that to-do list. 

But we saw a bunch of kids coming off the ride completely and utterly soaked straight through, and it was cold (February in LA is still February), and we were driving home that day.  So we vetoed the ride.  But I knew I would have to get a room at the Grand Californian so I could get soaked on GRR and then hop straight back to my room to dry off and change and head back into the parks.  

And that was the plan on this trip!  I had my room at the Grand Californian for the second night, so I waited around for DCA to open up so I could book it to the GRR first thing.  And then . . .

So now I will HAVE to go back to DL to fully execute my GRR/GC plan!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!

My computer had a nasty nasty virus so I missed last week but I am back for another Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!
Thanks again to Focused on the Magic and the Info Mouse for hosting!

ALSO, please please read this post and let me know your opinions.  I am seeking input on a change I am considering making!

I promised dizzneemomma some gluten-free food pics this week so here we have a Matterhorn Macaroon from Disneyland. 

That's white chocolate and coconut (that's gluten free right?). 
I loved it more than I expected to (not a white chocolate fan normally). Enjoy!

Now hop on to the next stops!

Focused on the Magic

Monday, December 19, 2011

Vintage Photo Alert! - Flashback Friday

Welcome to another Flashback Friday!  Thanks to Deb from Focused on the Magic for hosting!

Here is a photo from 1990 of my dad and a cast member acting silly at the Neverland club.  My sister and I would always spend an evening at the Neverland club and looked forward to it every trip (I think my parents did too lol).  I *think* the basket is supposed to simulate pixie dust? 

Focused on the Magic

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fastpass to History! Vintage Disney Tickets

Hi guys, I'm linking up with the fabulous Frontierland Station for the Fastpass to History blog hop!

My mom was cleaning out our attic and came across these!  They each had 1 day left so I brought them to the ticketing station in front of Animal Kingdom where I traded them in for 4, individual, 1-day passes.   A part of me WAS sad to see them go though. 


So cool right?

From 1995!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!!

I'm back for another Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop!
Thanks again to Focused on the Magic and the Info Mouse for hosting!

Given the shortage of comments on my post last week (Hi Deb, Dizneemomma,
Diane, and Manda!  Thanks for commenting!), I take it we are not fans of the savory as much as we enjoy the sweet?  Try on these Mickey beignets for size then, from Cafe Orleans!

They weren't as puffy as I had expected and the vanilla sauce was too vanilla-y (I know, but it's true).  I think they also suffered, slightly, from the same issue as the fries - not hot enough!  But whatever, fried sweet dough is NEVER a bad thing right?  

Plus I may be biased as I was pretty full from the cheesy garlic fries and Monte Cristo (to be featured in an upcoming post).  Yes, my lunch that day was completely fried.  Why are you making that face? ;)

Now hop on to the next stops!

Focused on the Magic

Monday, December 5, 2011

Don't Tell Him Carlos!

Where in the LAND could this be?
Post in the comments!