The Ultimate Guide to Pixar Fest at Disney California Adventure

 

Pixar Fest has officially started at the Disneyland Resort! The theme of this event is “Celebrating Friendship and Beyond!”

Ultimate Guide to Pixar Fest at Disney California Adventure

Both parks each have their own wonderful offerings to keep you entertained all day! This post will specifically talk about all the great things for Pixar Fest at Disney California Adventure. There is A LOT that’s being offered at this great event, so let’s get started!

Pixar Fest Food

No celebration is complete without themed food! There is a ton of food offered throughout the park! Each location that has a specialty item will have a sign and price of what’s specifically sold there!

Whatever you’re craving I guarantee there’s something to satisfy your appetite! Sweet, savory, spicy, salty, sugary, you name it, it’s there! The spicy corn dog and churro I had were among the highlights of the day! If you’re looking for something a bit more substantial, Carthay Circle and Wine Country Trattoria both offer Paint the Night Dining Packages!

Paint the Night Parade

As I just mentioned, both Carthay Circle and Wine Country Trattoria both offer a variety of dining packages. Both packages provide your meal along with a ticket to get you into your reserved seating area.Here’s the breakdown of the packages:

  • Carthay Circle- 4-course meal and one voucher for guaranteed seating in the viewing area next to the restaurant. $99 per adult/$45 per child
  • Wine Country Trattoria- 3-course lunch or dinner meal and one voucher for reserved parade viewing area.
    • Lunch package: $38 per adult/$21 per child
    • Dinner package: $49 per adult/$25 per child

Luckily, you don’t need to do a dining package to see the parade! There’s plenty of seating along the parade route! When Paint the Night first came to the Disneyland Resort it premiered in Disneyland. 

There were some changes made to the parade for it to work in DCA. Unfortunately, the Frozen float, which was my favorite, was removed. There will be a new float featuring The Incredibles which will premiere in June! Overall, the parade is great and is a must-see during Pixar Fest! Check the show guide when you arrive to see what time the parade will begin!

Character Meet & Greets

If you want to meet some of your favorite Pixar characters, make sure you head to Paradise Gardens! Pixar Pals is where you’ll have the chance to meet Mike and Sulley, Dug and Russell, Flik and Atta and more! Head on over to Cars Land as well for some very cute Toy Story themed cars you can take pictures with!

Annual Passholder Corner & Merchandise

Annual Passholders unite! There is a special corner for AP’s on the far side of Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta near the Silly Symphony Swings. The AP corner has an exclusive photo opportunity, two decals so you can keep one and give one to your friend, a charging station for your phone, and more!Additionally, there is merchandise exclusive to AP’s such as a t-shirt, tumbler, and button-up camp shirt. Don’t forget you can also get AP embroidery on your hats! You can find AP merchandise at Kingswell Camera Shop and the newly opened Knick Knacks located across from the Cove Bar! Lastly, Little Green Men refillable souvenir popcorn buckets will be coming at the end of April!

Merchandise

That’s right a NEW shop has opened up on the soon to be Pixar Pier! Knick Knacks is located across from the Cove Bar (soon to be Lamplight Lounge). All your Pixar merchandise needs can be found here! Since it is a new store, be aware that it does get pretty crowded in there!

Other shops and carts throughout the park carry the basic event merchandise such as shirts, ears, mugs, friendship bracelet/charms, etc. There’s also a limited release Pixar Fest pin, so make sure you get yours right away! There’s also plenty of really cute souvenir items such as mugs, sippers, popcorn buckets, and straws! The Sulley popcorn buckets are probably my favorite! It’s fun walking around the parks and seeing people with Sulley hanging around their neck and having a Mike sipper to go along with it!

Pixar Shorts Film Festival

I saved the best for last! Aside from food of course! The Sunset Showcase Theater is showing 3D versions of some of Pixar’s short films! I thought this was such a cool idea and a great place to go when you want to get out of the heat! The Pixar shorts that are showing until May 7 are For the Birds, Lava, and Piper. I speculate they will change them after May 7, but that’s not confirmed. I highly recommend heading over there and checking this experience out!As you can see, there is PLENTY to do during Pixar Fest! Grab a map and a show guide on your way in or download the Disneyland app to schedule your day!Pixar Fest has begun! Both Disneyland and California Adventure have incredible offerings during this special event. From characters to parades to merchandise and more, we've got you covered! Check out our Ultimate Guide to Pixar Fest at Disney California Adventure! #pixarfest #pixar #californiaadventure #disneyland #disneylandpixarfest #disneycaliforniaadventure #disneypixar

If you get the chance to go to Pixar Fest let us know what you think! For an overview of what is being offered at Disneyland for Pixar Fest click here!

Many thanks to Amanda W. for this fun and super informative post! We’d like to invite you to follow along with our contributors, Amanda and Ashlee, in their new blogging venture, The Adventureland Girls! You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram!

Disneyland Dole Whip Donut Review

Disneyland Dole Whip Donut

Have you ever wondered what a pineapple donut might taste like? That’s not something I’ve asked myself! Apparently, enough people have wondered since Disneyland recently came out with a Dole Whip Donut! Since this treat is only around for a short while, your trusty Disneyland contributors, Ashlee and I, made sure to check it out! I actually had no intention of trying it, but my mom (who lives in North Carolina) wanted to know how it tasted, so I had to try it!

Disneyland Dole Whip Donut

Amidst the hype of Pixar Fest, Ashlee and I made our way to the Cappuccino Cart near the castle to find the donut! Naturally, a line was already forming just 15 minutes after the park opened. Luckily, we were able to nab one of these treats! Here is our review of the Disneyland Dole Whip Donut.

Amanda’s Review

I am not a fan of Dole Whips OR donuts, so right away I had written off this snack. What I did like about it initially was how aesthetically pleasing it was! Great for those Instagram pictures, if you’re into that. I went into the whole experience not expecting to like this donut at all. Let me tell you; it was actually really good! The donut was super fresh, the meringue wasn’t overly sweet, and the pineapple jelly filling was the best part! Lesson learned; don’t judge a book by its cover! I give this treat a 4 out of 5-star rating! One star down because it was kind of messy and sticky but an excellent treat in the end!

Ashlee’s Review

Unlike Amanda, I happen to LOVE Dole Whips AND donuts! I was curious about trying it, but my inner photographer also wanted lots of pictures of it! I was a little skeptical that it might look better than it tastes, but I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to food! After a mini photoshoot with the donut, I was ready to try it! Let’s just say I was not disappointed! It was absolutely delicious! I concur with Amanda it was a little too sticky for me, but the flavors were amazing! 4 out of 5 stars for me too!

Overall Thoughts

The consensus between us was two thumbs up! Disneyland has a new sweet treat! Curious about the Disneyland Dole Whip Donut? So were we! We tried it to see if it was as great as everyone says it is. Come read our review and try the Disneyland Dole Whip Donut for yourself for a limited time! #disneyland #dolewhip #dolewhipdonut #sweettreats #dessert #donut #doughnutThis limited time donut was definitely worth trying! It’s unfortunate that it won’t be something permanent, but hopefully it will make a comeback!

Many thanks to Amanda W. for this fun post! We’d like to invite you to follow along with our contributors, Amanda and Ashlee, in their new blogging venture, The Adventureland Girls! You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram!

Rey Joins Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland

Star Wars at Disneyland

For those of you who have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens or Star Wars: The Last Jedi you might be familiar with one of the newest characters, Rey. Rey at DisneylandWe first saw her join the “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” stage show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in WDW. I know when I visited Hollywood Studios I was thrilled to see Rey in this show! She’s my favorite character!

Rey Joins Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland

You can imagine my excitement when Disney announced Rey will be joining the Star Wars Launch Bay in Disneyland this May! The Launch Bay currently features Kylo Ren, Darth Vader and Chewbacca. Don’t get too excited you #Reylo fans. The light side and dark side are separated.Rey at DisneylandUntil Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is completed you’ll need to continue to go to Tomorrowland for all your Star Wars needs. What will this mean for the Launch Bay once Galaxy’s Edge is open? Until then, enjoy these awesome Meet and Greets! Rey at DisneylandKeep your eyes open as you’re walking throughout Tomorrowland. If you’re lucky you may even spot Stormtroopers patrolling the area! I’ll be sure to report back once Rey has actually come to the park! How do you feel about Rey joining the Launch Bay?

Thanks to our contributor, Amanda W., for this informative post!

 

Disney California Adventure Lunar New Year Celebration

Disneyland's Chinese New Year

If you’re looking to celebrate Disneyland’s Chinese New Year, then read on! For a limited time at Disney California Adventure, celebrate the Year of the Dog at the Lunar Year Celebration!

Disney California Adventure Chinese New Year

Since Pluto is my favorite character, this was one event I did not want to miss! Although this event has been at DCA in past years, this was the first year I attended.  The Lunar New Year celebration has so much to offer for everyone!

Food

This celebration offers a great variety of food! I wish I could have tried everything! There are three marketplaces you can visit, Korea, Vietnam, and China! I was only able to taste some of the offerings at the China marketplace. I tried the Three Cup Chicken, Pork Soup Dumplings with Black Vinegar and Ginger, and Passion Fruit Green Iced Tea with Lychee Popping Pearls which is a non-alcoholic drink. For a full list of the menus click here!

Character Greetings

The character greetings are probably my second favorite part of this whole celebration! Not just because Pluto is one of the main characters you can meet, but because you also have the opportunity to meet Mulan and Mushu! The line for the character greeting does get lengthy and the characters do rotate. In addition to Mulan, Mushu, and Pluto you can also meet Mickey and Minnie! The characters do roam around the celebration area so keep an eye out for them!

Activities/Shows

Make sure you grab a show guide when you walk into DCA. There’s so many shows and activities you won’t want to miss! Annual Passholders have a special corner amidst the celebration! You can get a special button (while supplies last), take advantage of the exclusive photo op, and leave a wish on the New Year Wishing Wall! Everyone can enjoy the other activities such as calligraphy and other crafts! There’s also so many shows to see like Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession and Hurry Home, a show that happens nightly with the first performance of World of Color.

Merchandise

No event is complete without themed merchandise! Pluto Shirt celebrating Chinese New YearThere is a cart located next to the marketplaces that is selling various items. A limited release Year of the Dog t-shirt featuring Pluto just arrived! Other items include a thin hoodie, key chains, ears, plush toys and more!

I hope you have the opportunity to visit this event while it’s still here! For a full detailed overview of the Lunar New Year Celebration click here!

Thanks to our Disneyland contributor, Amanda W., for this exciting post!

Disneyland Cafe Orleans Restaurant Review

Cafe Orleans

New Orleans Square in Disneyland is home to many great eateries. One of these amazing places to eat is Café Orleans! I recently dined here after discovering their menu had been changed. I noticed some really great items and insisted I try them out.

Café Orleans Restaurant Review

Café Orleans is a table service restaurant so it is recommended that you make reservations at least 60 days in advance. However, on occasion walk ins are accepted. I went to the restaurant before it opened and asked if they were taking reservations only that day and they advised to come by right when they opened. It never hurts to ask if walk ins are accepted!

Atmosphere

Located between Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, Café Orleans offers guests both indoor and outdoor seating. Truthfully, I never knew there was indoor seating because I’ve always been seated outside! The patio seating offers a great view of the Rivers of America and other local attractions. Also, if you’re really into people watching this is the place for you! Keep your eyes peeled because if you’re lucky you may catch Princess Tiana walking by or even Doctor Facilier! They’ve been known to stop and chat with guests as they eat their meals!

Starters

I absolutely love Disney’s gumbo and I’m very happy that Café Orleans serves it! There are two items I would HIGHLY recommend to start your meal with. First, the gumbo, which you may have to ask your server if it is the seasonal soup. Second, the pommes frites, which are French fries but have parmesan, garlic, and parsley with an amazing dipping sauce!

Tip: Ask for extra sauce, they don’t give you enough!

Also, if you are a fan of mint juleps this is the place to get them! Instead of paying for one mint julep, as you would at the Mint Julep Bar, you can get as many refills as you like! Even though the mint julep is grouped with the fountain beverages it does not cost the same, currently, they are $5.00!

Tip: When you’re ready to leave ask for a to-go cup to maximize those refills!

Entrees

The two entrees we tried that were new to the menu were the Steak and Potatoes and Lobster Cobb Salad. The steak and potatoes included a chef’s choice house-rubbed steak, garlic-mashed potatoes, and seasonal vegetables paired with a beer-molasses sauce. Fair warning, when I got this the vegetables were Brussel sprouts! I personally like Brussel sprouts, but don’t hesitate to ask your server what the seasonal vegetables are before you order! The lobster cobb salad included mixed greens, roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bacon, and lobster with an avocado vinaigrette. If you don’t like cold lobster, I would steer clear of the salad! Both dishes were delicious and I would recommend!

Dessert

Without a doubt, hands down, the must-try item on the dessert menu are the Mickey-shaped beignets! Who doesn’t want to be covered in powdered sugar after eating a delicious beignet?? If beignets aren’t your thing, don’t worry, there’s also bread pudding and coconut cake. If you’d rather have a coffee to end your meal they also offer a variety of coffees.

Tip: The Mint Julep Bar sells mint juleps and beignets in 3 or 6-packs. This is where you’ll find your seasonal beignets as well!

Cafe Orleans

Thanks to our contributor, Amanda W., for this delicious review!

Holidays at Disneyland Resort

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Disneyland Resort! If Christmas is your favorite holiday or if you’ve never been to the Disneyland Resort for the holidays, I suggest you make your way to The Merriest Place on Earth!

Holidays at Disneyland

Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure, Downtown Disney and the hotels are all decked out for the holiday season! There is so much to do and see and eat! You won’t want to miss it!Holidays at Disneyland

Parade and Shows

There are so many great shows in both Disneyland and DCA! Festival of Holidays has all types of festive bands performing at various times throughout the park! Over in the Paradise Gardens make sure to check out Disney ¡Viva Navidad! where the Three Caballeros host a fun street party! Be on the lookout for Mickey and Minnie to make an appearance too! World of Color has also changed for the holidays. World of Color-Season of Light can be seen daily with multiple shows on the weekends! You’ll need to get your show ticket though to ensure you’ll see the show! Make sure to pick up a show guide when you enter the park to know the exact times and locations of everything!

Over in Disneyland, you won’t want to miss the nighttime fireworks show! When the sun goes down Aurora’s castle is beautifully lit! Grab a blanket and a holiday-inspired drink and save your spot for the fireworks! “Believe…in Holiday Magic” starts at 8:45 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Friday-Sunday at 9:30 p.m. weather permitting! Remember this bonus tip from The Mouse and the Monorail: Take pictures WHILE you record a video on your iPhone by using that magic little button on the left-hand side of your iPhone screen! One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade! This is such a fun and festive parade! This show features Mickey and Friends on various holiday inspired floats. Snowmen, reindeer, princes and princesses, and so much more can also be seen! Keep your eyes peeled and your cameras ready because Santa makes an appearance as well!

Food

Being the foodie that I am I always look forward to themed foods! I’ve only tried a couple items so far, but if you’re a peppermint lover, this is the season for you! For a list of the locations selling holiday goodies  click here! and for a complete list of all the goodies click here!
Also make sure you check out the Festival of Holidays happening in DCA! Grab a Festival Guide and visit each of the marketplace booths! For more information on Festival of Holidays click here!Holidays at Disneyland Treats

Characters, Decorations, and SANTA!

From the moment you arrive at the Disneyland Resort, there are so many beautiful decorations! You won’t want to miss capturing these moments. Whether you go to Disneyland or DCA, you’ll be surrounded by wreaths, Christmas trees, and your favorite characters in their holiday best! If you’re lucky, you’ll catch all the Mickey and Friends gang together and be able to get pictures with them all individually! My friend and I happened to be in the right place at the right time and were able to escort Pluto, our favorite character, to his photo spot! Even more importantly, both parks have the opportunity for you to meet Santa! Again, check the show guide with times and locations to meet your favorite characters and Santa!

Merchandise

‘Tis the season of giving and what better gift to give than holiday Disney merchandise! This year’s holiday merchandise is absolutely spectacular! I spoiled myself this year and both merchandise in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland! Holiday Decor at DLCheck out the Shop Parks app because some WDW merchandise is available to ship! Also, if you’re an AP, you can utilize your discount too! Next time you’re at the parks take a minute to walk through the shops and check out the holiday apparel, snacks, pins, kitchenware and more! Also, check out the Festival of Holidays merchandise booths with specialized merchandise for this event!

Thank you Disneyland contributor,  Amanda,  for all this fantastic holiday information!

Halloween Time at Disney’s California Adventure

Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort this year was truly memorable! For the first time, BOTH parks were included in the festivities! Although Disneyland had some great Halloween decorations and fun, this post will focus on all the new things featured at Disney’s California Adventure!

Halloween Time at Disney’s California Adventure

Halloween isn’t particularly my favorite holiday, but Disney has a way of making this spooky time of year extremely fun! Let’s talk about all the magical things that came to DCA this Halloween season!Halloween Time in Disney's California Adventure

Decorations

From the moment you approach the turnstiles you’re faced with a giant Oogie Boogie atop the DCA entrance overlooking incoming guests! Walking down Buena Vista Street light posts are decorated with purple banners. Carthay Circle’s bell tower is coiled with spooky black bats, and there’s a statue of the Headless Horseman that’s particularly creepy at night!Halloween Time in Disney's California AdventureKeep your eyes peeled because you might spot some of your favorite characters dressed in their Halloween best!Halloween Time in Disney's California Adventure

Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters after Dark

So you rescued the Guardians of the Galaxy from the grip of The Collector, but there’s one small problem. You left Groot behind! The Collector’s Fortress is also in a state of emergency as all the monsters have been let loose! Help Rocket go back to rescue Groot! This experience is completely different from what the ride is like during the day. I personally liked this theme over the regular attraction! If you have the chance, check it out before it’s gone for the year!Halloween Time in Disney's California Adventure

Cars Land

The most significant changes of the season are at Cars Land! Radiator Springs has completely transformed! Take a picture with your favorite costumed Car! Visit the Cozy Cone Motel for a variety of Halloween inspired treats including my favorite, the Spoke-y Cone Macaron! Make sure to ride Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween and Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree!  As unbelievable as all the decorations are in the daytime you have to go back at night to see everything lit up and looking especially spooky!Halloween Time in Disney's California Adventure

More Information

Disney California Adventure is experiencing Halloween for the first time ever! Want to know what to expect? Read our best tips to know before you go! Halloween at Disney's California Adventure is going to be a spook-tacular time! #halloween #travel #dca #disneyFinally, If you’d like to read about my favorite Halloween time treats check out my last blog! If you’d like to hear about all the Halloween time fun at both Disneyland and DCA listen to Podcast Episode 95! I’ve really enjoyed Halloween time at the Disneyland Resort this year! I can’t wait to see what Christmas will bring! Stay tuned to find out!

Must Have Halloween Treats at Disneyland

Now that Halloween time is in full swing, I can share with you the best Halloween treats at Disneyland! In just the few weeks these special foods have been available, I’ve created a list of my top favorites.

Must Have Halloween Treats at Disneyland

Nearly every dining location has some special Halloween treat, so there’s a lot to choose from.Halloween Time at Disneyland is so much fun! One of the best parts is the food! Check out our list of the best Halloween treats at Disneyland so you'll know before you go!

Pumpkin Spice Brittle

If you’re a fan of peanut brittle and pumpkin seeds, then this is the treat to you! Each 6 oz. bag is available in Disneyland and DCA, and annual pass discounts are available! This is a great treat on the go or to take home as a souvenir to enjoy later!

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Milkshake

I found out about this treat through a post on Instagram and instantly knew I had to try it! Because my friend likes caramel, I had extra added to the shake. Regardless, this is a sweet treat for all pumpkin spice and caramel lovers alike! You can find this shake at Ghirardelli and annual pass discounts are accepted!

Pumpkin Spice Churro

Pumpkin spice churros are a great Halloween treat at DisneylandIn case you haven’t caught on, I love pumpkin spice and apparently so does Disney! There are definitely a large number of pumpkin or pumpkin spice flavored treats! Disney churros are already the best, so you can imagine how delicious these pumpkin spice ones taste! These can be found at the Cozy Cone Motel along with many other amazing goodies! Unfortunately, annual pass discounts are not accepted at the Cozy Cone Motel.

Campfire S’mores Funnel Cake

Smore's Funnel Cake is a delicious Halloween treat at Disneyland.You didn’t think everything would be centered about pumpkin did you? This delicious funnel cake combines the best aspects of S’mores and a traditional funnel cake! It’s great for sharing with your family and friends! You can find this funnel cake at the Stage Door Café! Annual pass discounts are accepted at this location!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Halloween treats at Disneyland include pumpkin cheesecake.This is my last pumpkin item, I promise! I thought this would be my number 1 item as this has been my favorite treat in prior years! My favorite dessert is cheesecake so naturally pumpkin cheesecake is my go-to! I found this cheesecake at the Jolly Holiday Bakery, but it is available around both parks! Also, annual pass discounts are accepted!

Spider Silk Ice Cream Sandwich

Spider Ice Cream is a cool Halloween treat at Disneyland.This was very tough decision between the top 2 treats! This ice cream sandwich is composed of a black macaron with charcoal-tart cherry spun ice cream topped with popping candy and raspberry sauce! It was almost too pretty to eat! This delicious treat can be found at Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream; which is where you can also find the Kitchen Sink sundaes referenced in my Ice Cream blog! Annual pass discounts are not accepted here!

Spoke-y Cone Macaron

Drumroll please, my favorite treat of the season can be found at the Cozy Cone Motel! The Spoke-y Cone Macaron is filled with marshmallow buttercream and candy corn. I was afraid it was going to be too sweet, but after my second one, I was sold! This was definitely number one! I highly recommend you try this macaron! As mentioned, Cozy Cone Motel does not have annual pass discounts.

Although, this is a very small taste of the food offerings at the Disneyland Resort. I hope this helps guide you if you are unsure of what to try! I have not been able to try any of the savory treats, but some of the items on my radar were the “Ghost”-ly Pepper Nachos, Bison Blue Cheeseburger, and Dragon’s Breath Tacos! Click here for a full list of the Halloween foods offered at the Disneyland Resort! I hope you’ve enjoyed this list and have the chance to try some of these items on your next visit!

Disneyland Pin Trading Tips and Ideas

Did you know Disney parks are not all rides and shows and meeting Mickey? As you’ve gone throughout the parks, ever notice cast members wearing lanyards and sporting a variety of pins on them? Pins have always been a part of the Disney parks, but pin trading didn’t become popular until 1999. Pin trading is one of my favorite things to do when I visit Disneyland, but I love that I can also trade when I visit Walt Disney World! Here’s some things you need to know if you’ve considered pin trading on your Disney trip!Pin trading can be so much fun! We've got tips on what it is, how to do it, and what you need to get started. Make this part of your next Disney vacation fun!

Disneyland Pin Trading Tips and Ideas

First, for those of you who may have never heard of pin trading, or have been curious about it, there are some etiquette guidelines you should know! Guests can trade up to two Disney pins per cast member; this includes pin boards as well! Pins should be in good condition and able to be traded. You can’t trade a pin that is already on the cast member’s lanyard or board! For a full list of pin trading etiquette click here.Disneyland Pin Trading Tips

How to Get Started

Next, you may be wondering where do you begin? Many of Disney’s stores offer pin starter packs, some with lanyards and some without! If you’d like to choose your lanyard, I would suggest a pin starter pack that doesn’t include a lanyard. There are stores solely dedicated to pin trading where you can purchase just about any pin you want! Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, Attractions, Villains, Tsum Tsum, you name it, Disney has it!

The Pins

Also, not all pins have to be traded! In addition to trading, I like collecting pins such as Limited Edition (LE) or mystery pins that I can purchase in the stores. Each month new pins are released that are a part of specific sets. Pins are also released for different events or seasons, such as Mickey’s Halloween Party or the return of Fantasmic! However, if you’re not looking for super fancy pins, the walls are lined with other less expensive options!Disneyland Pin Trading Tips

Ready to Trade

Finally, you have your pins, you have your lanyard, and you’re ready to go! Now the fun can begin! As you go throughout your day in the parks, keep an eye out for cast members with lanyards! Or if you’re doing your souvenir shopping some registers might have a pin board behind the counter, simply ask the cast members to show you the pins so you can trade. In addition to the parks, the hotels and Downtown Disney offer locations to trade as well.Disneyland Pin Trading Tips

Quick Tips

  • Cast Members may have some pins put on backward; these are “mystery trades.”
  • Some cast members may ask you Disney trivia before you trade just for added fun!
  • Certain stores may have pins displayed in boxes which you may not readily see, so when in doubt just ask a cast member if they have any pins for trading!

Disneyland Pin Trading TipsYou can trade with other guests in the parks, though they don’t have to trade with you! But it’s great to see what pins everyone else has in their collections! As your collection grows, you can purchase pin books to store and display all your pins! Most importantly, HAVE FUN!

Thanks to Disneyland contributor, Amanda, for this post and accompanying photos!

Mickey’s Halloween Party in Disneyland

With fall just around the corner, there are some things you can always count on. Leaves are changing color, pumpkin spice flavored EVERYTHING is hitting the stores, Halloween costumes are starting to appear, and, of course, Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland! Believe it or not, kids are not the only ones who can enjoy this event! I’ve attended the Halloween Party for the past few years with just my friends, no kids, and had a great time! Let me tell you about the party and why adult-only trips are definitely an option!

Mickey’s Halloween Party in Disneyland

Each year I’ve attended Mickey’s Halloween Party something new is added to make the experience even better! Dressing up, trick-or-treating, themed food, fireworks, parades, character meet and greets, what more do I need to say?? Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland is available for select nights starting September 20 to October 31. Click here for a full list of dates and prices! While there are many great perks about the Halloween Party, these are my best tips to help you maximize you experience.Mickey's Halloween Party in Disneyland

Costumes & Candy

What better way to feel like a kid again than trick-or-treating!? Not only are you already in a costume but you can have bountiful amounts of candy too! Even if you aren’t a big candy person, each treat trail includes a healthy alternative such as apple slices, carrots, goldfish, yogurt covered fruit, etc. It’s fun to coordinate costumes with friends or do something solo. Whether you buy a costume or Disney bound and make your own, just remember to have fun with it! Make sure you follow the costume guidelines so you don’t waste precious park time having to change!Mickey's Halloween Party in DisneylandPro Tip: Bring your own bag for candy! Disneyland provides you a small bag for free, but you WILL fill it up! I suggest buying a larger bag to hold all your candy!

Character Greetings

Remember as a kid when you’d wait in line to get Mickey’s autograph?? Who am I kidding I still do that! Mickey’s Halloween Party gives you the opportunity to meet so many characters in their Halloween inspired costumes! What’s even better is the chance to meet a variety of villains! Admission to this event gives you access to meet and greet some of the best villains including ones you may not see in the park throughout the day! If you’re dressed as your favorite character, what a great memory to have a picture with them!Mickey's Halloween Party in DisneylandPro Tip: If you arrive at the party when it begins, I would suggest meeting the villains that are in front of the Railroad station first before lines get too long later in the evening!

Fireworks/Parade

What I love most about the fireworks and parade is that they are exclusive to Mickey’s Halloween Party! I think it’s an added bonus to everything else that comes with your admission. This will be the second year that the Frightfully Fun Parade will premiere at the Halloween Party. I was able to see it last year and thought it was one of the best parades I’ve seen at Disneyland! It was so unique to see a parade dedicated to villains!Mickey's Halloween Party in DisneylandPro Tip: If you want to have a good seat for the fireworks and/or parade, you may want to plan that ahead of time so you can save a seat for a good view!

What’s new?

For the first time ever your ticket to Mickey’s Halloween Party grants you admission into Disney’s California Adventure 3 hours before the start of the party! This will also be the first year DCA is decorating for Halloween so if you arrive a little early to the parks, go check out the new decorations!Halloween at Disneyland is a frightfully good time! Read our best tips for attending Mickey's Halloween Party in Disneyland before you go! We'll tell you what to expect and whether or not it's worth it to attend.

I hope reading this has made you just as excited for Mickey’s Halloween Party as I am!

Thanks to Disneyland contributor, Amanda, for this post and photos!

Fantasmic Dining Package at Disneyland

I recently saw the newly re-imagined Fantasmic! as a part of my River Belle Terrace dining package. As promised in my last post, I want to give my thoughts on my experience. Read on for what to expect from a Fantasmic dining package at Disneyland.

Fantasmic Disney Package at Disneyland

First, it’s important to note that Disneyland is currently offering two Dinner packages. One package exists for River Belle Terrace and Blue Bayou, and one is an On-The-Go package at Hungry Bear Restaurant. Packages vary from $29.99 to $65.00 for adults and $19.99 to $25.00 for children. Each package includes a special menu and admission to a reserved viewing area for Fantasmic! Because I have never eaten at River Belle Terrace, I decided to choose their dining package. Reservations are encouraged and can be made 60 days in advance!Fantasmic at Disneyland Dining Package

Dining Experience

Dining is an experience unto itself. Each guest receives a 3-course dinner which includes a starter, entrée and dessert. Seating is available inside and outside. For an additional $15, guests can upgrade to premium 8:00 p.m. seating and watch the first performance of Fantasmic! from your seat on the outside patio! For guests who may not want to stand or sit on the ground during the show, this option may be good for you! Pro tip: Make upgrades to a dining reservations by calling ahead or by upgrading at the restaurant. Fantasmic at Disneyland Dining Package

The Food

Next, the River Belle Terrace offers a variety of BBQ inspired entrees. Starters include either a soup or salad. Entrees varied from Fried Chicken Sandwich, BBQ Pork Spareribs, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Beef Brisket Sandwich, and more! I went with the Pork Spareribs which comes with their signature baked beans and a choice of side. Sides include Tangy Coleslaw, Seasoned Tater Bites, Potato Salad, or Seasonal Vegetables!Fantasmic at Disneyland Dining PackageFor dessert, I chose the Maleficent Dragon. It was a Crunchy Milk Chocolate Base and a Spiced Dark Chocolate-Blackberry Ganache Center with Caramel Mousse and Orange-Vanilla Sauce! The other dessert option was fresh Strawberry Shortcake. When the guests are finished, cast members hand out tickets for reserved seating for the show. Overall, I am glad I tried this dining experience. It may not be my favorite restaurant in the park, but the food is definitely worth trying!

Fantasmic! 2.0

Furthermore, if you don’t do a dining package you still have the opportunity to watch Fantasmic! FastPass distributions are located at the FastPass machines along the Rivers of America adjacent to Frontier Landing. FastPass tickets reflect show time, return time, and where to return for show seating. Show times are at 9:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The entire show lasts 27 minutes! Fantasmic! is back at Disneyland, and it's better than ever! Find out why we think you should book at Fantasmic! dining package on your next trip.

What’s New

Fantasmic! is my favorite show at the Disneyland Resort, and I was very eager to see it return with some new enhancements! First of all, the most notable change to the show included new costumes for the dancing monkeys and a Lion King overlay! Rapunzel and Flynn Rider now appear in the Princess sequence. Another important change is to the Columbia. Peter Pan is now Captain Jack Sparrow and a Pirates themed sequence! The new enhancements also included more water projections, more pyrotechnics, and a new soundtrack!Fantasmic at Disneyland Dining PackageI was pleasantly surprised with the new changes. Visitors to the Disneyland resort will definitely want to add this show to their must-see list!

Thanks to Disneyland contributor, Amanda, for this great post and accompanying photos!

Blue Bayou Disneyland Restaurant Review

One of my all-time favorite restaurants at the Disneyland Resort is the Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square! There’s so much to love about this restaurant! Blue Bayou is a Table Service restaurant with Cajun/Creole-inspired food. Both lunch and dinner are offered and reservations, which can be made 60 days in advance, are highly recommended. On occasion, walk ins are accepted, but I would not rely on that.

Blue Bayou Disneyland Restaurant Review

I have tried both the lunch and dinner menus and personally enjoy the dinner menu more! The lunch menu is a little cheaper and does include their well-known Monte Cristo sandwich! For my Blue Bayou Disneyland restaurant review, I’m going to speak specifically to the dinner menu.Wondering where to eat in Disneyland? Give Blue Bayou a try. Read our restaurant review to know what to expect and what to eat. We make great recommendations, but the fun you have is all up to you!

Location

First of all, where is the Blue Bayou? For those of you who may not know, it is located within the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction! The location of the restaurant is a big appeal to those who dine there. When you check in for your reservation, you can request a table by the water. You’ll be provided with an additional wait time to be seated at those tables, usually 15-30 minutes depending on how busy the restaurant is that day. The water side tables allow you to watch riders go by on their boats and have a closer look at the attraction. The restaurant gives its guests the feel of an evening in New Orleans with colorful lanterns strewn overhead and candle lights at each table! After you’ve taken in the beautiful decorations around you, it’s time to decide what to eat!Disneyland Restaurant Review Blue Bayou

Appetizers

Whether you’re in the mood for steak, chicken, seafood or a vegetarian option, Blue Bayou has it all for you! Before you begin eating, you’re provided with a complimentary basket of bread and butter. Each entree comes with a choice of Blue Bayou House Salad with your choice of Ranch or Sherry vinaigrette, or a cup of their signature New Orleans Gumbo. For an additional charge, you can upgrade to their Louisiana-spiced Shrimp. I would highly recommend the Gumbo! You don’t have to eat at the Blue Bayou to try it. Visit the Royal Street Veranda, a Quick Service location, to try the Gumbo in a delicious sourdough bread bowl!

Entrees and Desserts

My usual choice is the Surf & Turf, which my friend ordered, so I decided to go with the Pan-seared Salmon. The Surf & Turf includes a petite Lobster Tail and Broiled Filet Mignon served with Blue Bayou Au Gratin Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables and Béarnaise sauce. The Pan-seared Salmon is served with Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes, Arugula, crispy Onions, Sautéed Spinach, and Blood Orange Beurre Blanc.Blue Bayou Disneyland Restaurant ReviewAdditionally, other entrees include Bone-In Rib-Eye, Citrus-marinated Chicken Breast, Royal Street Seafood Jambalaya, and Portobello Mushroom and Louisiana Popcorn Rice. There are also options for kids, so don’t think this restaurant is limited to just adults! Hopefully after your meal you’ve saved room for dessert! We decided to try the Crème Brulee which was to die for! Overall, the Blue Bayou has yet to disappoint. The wait staff is amazing and friendly, the experience is as unforgettable as the food!

Dining Packages

Finally, with the reopening of “Fantasmic!” this summer, the Disneyland Resort brought back its dining packages to both the Blue Bayou and River Belle Terrace. As mentioned in a previous post, The Main Street Electrical Parade offered a dining package through the Blue Bayou. The same package is being offered for Fantasmic! The package includes a 3-course meal for a flat price of $65.00 per adult and $25.00 per child (ages 3-9) and admission to a reserved viewing area for one of the two Fantasmic! shows that evening. I plan on trying to dining package at the River Belle Terrace later in the summer. Come back to hear how my Fantasmic! dining package experience was!

Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

Disney’s summer celebrations kicked off Memorial Day weekend, and Disney’s California Adventure got quite the treat with the grand opening of a brand new ride! On January 2, 2017, Tower of Terror had its final checkout in order to make way for Disney’s newest attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Many fans had mixed emotions about the loss of TOT. I had the pleasure of experiencing this new attraction on opening weekend and will tell you all about it!Ready to ride the newest rides at Disney's California Adventure? Read our best tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout before you go!

Out With the Old, In With the New

After 5 long months, the highly anticipated ride was ready for the public! During the long wait, the hotel began to take the shape of the Collector’s fortress from Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s definitely an eye catching design! While you wait for this thrilling attraction, the ride queue comes to life with all sorts of different, unique plants and designs that’ll surely leave you in high expectations for the ride! As you approach the entry way to what used to be a hotel lobby, you are blown away by the transformation that has taken place! From the moment you walk in, you’re surrounded by glass cases with various items The Collector has collected. As you walk through the line, you enter the Collector’s private office where a very realistic animatronic Rocket explains what to expect on the ride.Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

Mission: BREAKOUT!

Without giving too much away, the premise of the ride is to help Rocket as he tries to free the Guardians who were captured by Taneleer Tivan a.k.a. The Collector. Riders enter a gantry lift that takes them up and drops them down Tivan’s fortress. If you think you know what’s going to happen next, you’re wrong! The ride includes 6 different variations so each time you ride could be different from the last! If you’re anything like me, you’ll be determined to ride all 6 variations! Let me give you some tips if you’re planning to visit this ride in the coming months!Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

Due to the popularity of Guardians of the Galaxy, the opening of this ride definitely meant LARGE crowds. I would highly suggest arriving at least an hour before the park even opens. Once my friend and I entered the park, we divided and conquered. I stayed in the standby line while my friend went to the FastPass line. Because the park hadn’t opened yet, the standby line was queued in the Hyperion Theater courtyard while the FastPass line was queued backstage. Once the park opened at 9:00 a.m., lines started moving and boy did the wait time increase! By the time my friend and I made it to the actual ride to stand in the outside queue, the wait time hit 300 minutes. After about an hour we finally made it on the ride.Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

My Reaction

We had no idea what to expect, aside from lots of drops. From start to finish the ride keeps you on the edge of your seat! You truly don’t know what you’ll see or when you’ll drop next! So, which did I like better? TOT or Guardians? Well, Guardians did a great job with both the interior and exterior décor, as well as creating a completely different experience for this ride. But, I am a die hard Tower of Terror fan and that ride will always hold a special place in my heart.Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

Summer of Heroes

Now if you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, “this ride isn’t for me.” That’s okay! The opening of this ride coincides with California Adventure’s “Summer of Heroes” where you can meet some of your favorite Marvel characters such as Black Widow or Captain American or even have a dance party with Star-Lord and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy! Best Tips for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BreakoutDon’t forget to check out all the new food and merchandise options available in the Hollywood Backlot in DCA! Where will you go first this summer?

Thanks to Disneyland contributor Amanda for this photos and accompanying photos!