A Guide to Pixar Fest at Disneyland

Pixar Fest is in full swing at the Disneyland Resort! Check out everything you need to know about this awesome event!

A Guide to Pixar Fest at Disneyland

Pixar Fest is all about Celebrating Friendship and Beyond! Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are participating in fun-filled Pixar inspired foods and wonderful offerings to keep you entertained all day. This post will be mainly focusing on all things Disneyland related for Pixar Fest, so let’s dive right in!

Sugar, Sweets, and Treats Oh My!

What day isn’t complete without food?! There’s A TON of options for you to choose from! If you’re just feeling popcorn with a drink, Sulley from Monsters Inc. popcorn buckets are for you. They even have a matching Mike sipper to go along with it! Whatever you’re feeling that day, I guarantee there’s going to be something that entices you! There’s everything from sweet to salty to everything in between. Personally, I absolutely recommend the little green alien macarons from Pizza Planet (formerly known as Pizza Port) and my all time favorite Salted Caramel Pecan Sundae located on Main Street!

If you’re looking for a table service meal, Disney’s got you covered. At Carnation Cafe on Main Street, you have the opportunity to bring out your inner Carl Fredricksen from UP and enjoy a T.V. dinner inspired dish. If you’re looking for a dining package for the Pixar Play parade, Disneyland also has that too!

The Pixar Day parade dining package at Plaza Inn (right outside of Tomorrowland) offers a picnic-inspired meal that includes a chicken breast and a leg, watermelon salad, and much more. You’ll be provided with an exclusive FastPass that’ll grant you access to a special viewing area! Download the Disneyland app for a list of full menu items.

Pixar Play Parade

The Pixar Play Parade is a must-see! Some of you might remember when it used to run in DCA. There have been some changes, and new float has been added! Make sure you grab your seat early because this is one show you won’t want to miss! Warning: there is water that gets shot into the audience. I wasn’t totally prepared for that, but overall, this parade is so much fun and the music is very catchy!

Annual Passholder Exclusive Items

You heard it here first! Pixar Fest not only has sights and sounds for everyone, but Annual Passholders have exclusive merchandise! Check out Disneyana where you can find all things Annual Passholder related. That includes exclusive Pixar Fest shirts, mugs, and more! Make sure after grabbing all your AP merch that you head over to Disney’s California Adventure for an exclusive AP corner right across from the Silly Symphony Swings! Lastly for AP’s, refillable souvenir popcorn buckets will be coming at the end of April for all you’re popcorn loving times at Disneyland!

Merchandise

Looking for some sweet Pixar Fest merchandise? Disneyland’s Main Street Emporium has you covered! You can find everything there! Although fair warning, the Emporium does get crowded fast. Select stores throughout the park offer Pixar Fest merchandise like the Little Green Men store in Tomorrowland! For all you pin traders, there’s also a limited release Pixar Fest pin, so make sure you get yours right away!

During Pixar Fest, you’ll never get bored! Grab a map and a show guide on your way in or download the Disneyland app to schedule your day or let your conscience be your guide… to food! Food is always the way to go!  If you get the chance to go to Pixar Fest, let us know what you think of everything! For an overview of what is being offered at all things Disney’s California Adventure for Pixar Fest click here!

Many thanks to Ashlee F. 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!

Valentine’s Day at Disneyland

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! If you’re a Disney lover just like me, Disneyland is the perfect place to celebrate!

Valentine’s Day at Disneyland Resort

There’s plenty of romantic and fun-filled adventures to share at the Disneyland Resort with your special someone and I’d like to share them with you! Here are 5 things to do if you are spending Valentine’s Day at Disneyland!Valentines Day at Disneyland

A Romantic Boat Ride!

What better way to spend a day with that special someone than taking a ride on The Mark Twain! This unique ride offers the sights and sounds around the Rivers of America! The Mark Twain is a perfect place to just relax and talk to that special someone. If you and your significant other are keen on nostalgia, a ride or two on the Mark Twain is just for you!

See a Show!

Perhaps you and your significant other are more laid back and enjoy the theater. Who needs Broadway when you can see Frozen at the Hyperion Theater in DCA?!? This show immerses you in the town of Arendelle where Princess Anna and Queen Elsa live. This jaw dropping live performance is packed with songs from the actual film, and is a perfect place to sit down and experience the show with your significant other!

Have a Nice Meal!

Feeling hungry during your Valentine’s day at Disneyland? Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure (DCA) offer numerous varieties of food and places to choose from that will please any palate.  If you’re looking to have a table service dinner, I would recommend booking your reservation as soon as the 60-day mark is available! My favorites include Blue Bayou and Café Orleans in Disneyland and Lucky Fortune Cookery located in DCA! Don’t forget the hotels have restaurants too!

Watch the Fireworks!

Your day is coming to a close, but it’s not over yet! You and that special someone are looking for something to end the night with, what do you do? Watch the fireworks, of course! Fireworks are a great opportunity to close out your night, and celebrate your spark as a couple! If you aren’t a fan of fireworks, Disneyland offers Fantasmic! on the Rivers of America and DCA offers World of Color at Paradise Pier! (soon to be Pixar Pier!)

Memorialize the Day!

You’ve just spent an amazing day with your significant other at The Happiest Place on Earth! There is no better way to remember the day than by taking a picture in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle! This is great way to utilize PhotoPass if you have it as a part of your Annual Pass or MaxPass for the day!

Of course there’s many other things you and your significant other can do together for Valentines Day at the Disneyland Resort. These were just a few suggestions! Let us know how you celebrate your Valentine’s Day at the Disneyland Resort!

Many thanks to our newest Disneyland contributor, Ashlee, for these romantic ideas!

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!

DIY Lilo Costume for Halloween

DIY Lilo Costume
DIY Lilo Costume

How will you pick out the perfect costume for all the fun Halloween activities this month? Are you trick-or-treating or going to a fall festival? What about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disney World or Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disneyland? Here’s Beth from Paper Angels Vlog to tell you all about how you too can make this simply adorable costume!

DIY Lilo Costume for Halloween

DIY Lilo Costume

If you are looking for an easy and cheap DIY costume, then this post is for you. This DIY Lilo costume costs under $10 and is super cute.

Supplies Needed

You will need a red shirt, two yards of flannel fabric, elastic, and a headband. Don’t forget to grab your scissors and glue gun too.

DIY Lilo Costume

Instructions

First, make the leaf templates. You will need two. One bigger template for the skirt and one small template for the headpiece, bracelets, and anklets. I made mine out of cardboard. You can get the exact measurements by using a ruler, but I just held it up to my little Lilo to make sure it was the length I needed.

DIY Lilo Costume

Next, fold your fabric in half. Trace your leaf template up against the folded side. This is so two leaves are attached. The exact amount you will need for the skirt depends on the size of the person the costume is intended for. I ended up with approximately 60 small leaf cutouts and 20 big cutouts. Then, start cutting. When you are finished your leaves should look like this. Measure how much elastic you will need for the waist, wrists, and ankles. I just hot glued my elastic, but you could sew them.

You will be tying your leaf cutouts around the elastic. The big leaves go around the waist elastic for the skirt. The small leaves are for the bracelets and anklets. Make sure you cover the entire area. You don’t want any of the white elastic showing. Save some small leaves for your headband too.

DIY Lilo Costume

Bonus Tips

Make the leaf templates bigger than you think you will need. It’s better to be too big than too small. If you run out of elastic, you could use ponytail holders. Make sure they aren’t too tight on the wrist though.

DIY Lilo Costume

The most time consuming part is the cutting. Try not to do the cutting all at once so it doesn’t seem so bad.Try it all on, add in your red shirt, and that’s it. You now have all the accessories you need for the perfect Lilo hula skirt costume. Grab Stitch and have fun trick-or-treating!

Thanks to our contributor, Beth from Paper Angels Vlog, for this awesome DIY post and photos!

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!

Why You Should Visit Disney World Solo

Why You Should Visit Disney World Solo

Have you ever been on a vacation with a lot of people? Does it seem like you never get to do what you want? Have you wanted to just slow down and really soak in your surroundings? I recently discovered just how awesome planning to visit Disney World solo can be.How to Visit Disney World Solo

Why You Should Visit Disney World Solo

It’s not as crazy as it sounds. In fact, it can be a great experience. Read on for what I consider the top 3 reasons to visit Disney World solo.If you're planning a trip to Disney, consider a day alone. Why? A visit to Disney by yourself might be a refreshing new way to see an old favorite. Read our best reasons why you should visit Disney World solo, and start planning your trip today!

Your Pace, Your Way

When going on vacation with a large group, the individual can become lost. The hustle and bustle of trying to get everything possible done can become hectic. One can miss the small details that add to the magic of Disney. I recently went on a trip with nine others. I rarely had a chance to stop and smell the roses until I had my solo day. As I wandered around Epcot, I was able to really take in every country in the World Showcase. I was able to take my time through the gardens of each country and have the most delicious lunch in the France pavilion. I was able to do all of this with no one pushing me to move along or hurry up. There was no schedule to keep up with, and no one else’s desires to appease.How to Visit Disney World Solo

Timing is Everything

Doing a solo day can give one the freedom to be spontaneous. Not worrying about a schedule can create incredible freedom. We’re always on the run. Work, school, children, families. We don’t often have the luxury of seeing something we want to do and then to be able to do it. Having a solo day at Disney can give one this luxury. Take your time. Watch that drum show in Japan. Meander through each country’s gift shops. Being brave enough to do anything alone can be rewarding to one’s soul. Also, one doesn’t have to worry about the dreaded, “What do you want to eat?” question. If you see something you’d like to try, go for it! Have lunch in France. Try some sweets in Norway or alcoholic chocolates in Germany. You’ll have no one questioning your decisions.How to Visit Disney World Solo

Finding Happiness in Solitude

Most people allow their happiness to depend on others. Either they have children and put their happiness and wants before their own, or they simply don’t know how to be happy alone. Getting out of one’s comfort zone can be scary, but so very rewarding. Getting out to explore on our own can teach us so much about ourselves. It can be lonely at times, so remember to take pictures so that you can share your experience with your friends and family.How to Visit Disney World Solo

Disney Magic

Being single and childless doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the magic of Disney. Do you want to experience the awesomeness of Disney, but don’t have anyone to go with you? No worries! The cast members and most people at Disney are wonderful and they will help make your trip memorable. Never be afraid to do something alone. Don’t wait on somebody else to make your dreams come true. Go for it! You’ll be surprised what you may learn about yourself!

Thanks to our contributor, Noelle, for this post!

Restaurant Review: The Polite Pig

The Polite Pig

 

 

I am one of the biggest BBQ fans there is. I mean, I LOVE it! When I heard about this new BBQ joint called The Polite Pig in Disney Springs, I knew I had to try it.The Polite Pig

Where is The Polite Pig?

The Polite Pig is a quick service restaurant located near the Lime Garage at Disney Springs. If the lime garage isn’t available for you or you arrive at a different location at Disney Springs, you can find the Polite Pig near the Welcome Center in Town Center. It was busy when we walked up, with a moderate line, but we didn’t wait very long.

Ordering

While waiting in line, you’ll be teased with the delicious food to come!  I will say that this restaurant is a meat lover’s dream come true. You can watch them as they chop and weigh the meat for perfect portion sizes.  The Polite PigWe also were greeted in line by a manager who offered us drinks while we waited.This was a fantastic gesture, though we didn’t wait in line long enough to drink our drinks.

Ordering was quick and simple. You place your order and they give you a number to put on your table. Considering how busy they were, there was plenty of seating inside and outside. The Polite PigDrinks

Alcoholic

The Polite Pig offers an array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. From beers on draft to original cocktails, you are sure to find the perfect concoction to wet your whistle. They have beers available on tap that are brewed especially for, and are only available at this Disney Springs location.  If beer isn’t your thing, let me suggest the Tequila and Grapefruit cocktail that is also on tap. I was intrigued when I saw this and decided this was a must try. It is unique and refreshing. I didn’t know how well tequila and grapefruit would pair, but it was absolutely delicious.  The Polite Pig

Non-Alcoholic

Any good southern BBQ must be accompanied by some delicious sweet tea. Considering Walt Disney World is technically located in “the South,” you’d think that most places at Walt Disney World would offer up the southern favorite. Unfortunately that isn’t the case and you can only find this drink in a few locations. (No mango, strawberry, whatever-infusions. You can find those around too. I’m strictly referring to tea brewed with lots of sugar). So for those who can’t go without a little sweet tea while on vacation, the Polite Pig is a great place to try! They’ve also got your standard soda fountain fare also.The Polite PigIf one drink is not enough for you, don’t worry about getting back into line again. The Polite Pig has servers going around to tables taking extra orders. This makes everything about this quick service restaurant even more convenient and customer friendly.

The Polite Pig also offers an extensive Bourbon Bar. With something around 50 different types of Bourbon. A connoisseur is sure to be in Bourbon heaven. Main Course

Pulled Pork

After ordering and finding a table, we were told about the Sauce Bar. This is an awesome idea, catering to people with different BBQ Sauce tastes. Choose from Thomas’s Southern Gold, Spiced Vinegar, Lil John’s Signature Black Pepper, Layla’s Sweet Sauce, and BBQ Ranch. The Polite Pig has a sauce for everyone.The Polite PigThe Southern Pig is a beautifully crafted pulled pork sandwich topped with apple slaw, mustard and mayo. I can attest that this is one of the best pulled pork sandwiches I have ever had. It was tender and very messy. While I wasn’t able to finish the whole sandwich, I really wanted to. The Polite Pig

More Than Just Pulled Pork

Our group can also attest to the delicious Brisket sandwich, the Chicken Salad sandwich, and the Kid’s Chicken Tenders. I will give forewarning though. If your children love Ranch with their Tenders, the only Ranch available here is the BBQ Ranch, which the kiddos weren’t a big fan of.The Polite PigIf you’re not a big fan of pork or chicken, The Polite Pig also offers Salmon in a salad or in a sandwich. I think anyone in a group could find something to suit their lifestyle in this varying menu. The Polite Pig

Market Sides

While the star of this show should be the meat, I must say that the Market Sides won me over big time. Our group had the Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Smoked Corn, and the Sweet Potato Tots.The Polite PigEach and everyone of them had our tastes buds dancing in pleasure, but my favorite were the Sweet Potato Tots. These were so crispy and packed with flavor, I had someone stealing them off of my plate! I don’t fault her though; I wouldn’t have been able to help myself either.The Polite Pig

Next Time

I plan to return to The Polite Pig in September and am looking forward to trying other things on their menu. They offer some delicious sounding salads and appetizers. From the BBQ Cracklins with Spiced Vinegar, to the Hop Shop Pretzels with Beer Cheese Fondue and IPA Mustard, my taste buds are already watering with anticipation.  And just maybe, next time I’ll save room for the intriguing Orange Blossom Honey Cake… Though I may just have to get that one to go!The Polite PigThanks for reading and be sure to check out all our posts from Disney Springs here! And thanks to Noelle for this fantastic review of the Polite Pig at Disney Springs. 

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!

Must Try Ice Cream Locations at Disneyland

Must Try Ice Cream Locations at Disneyland Resort

Planning a visit to the Disneyland Resort this summer? Brace yourself for the Southern California heat! What better to cool you down on a hot summer day than with a big scoop of ice cream! Between Disneyland and California Adventure, there are a number of places you can get this tasty treat! These locations are some of my favorites, and I hope they’ll be yours too!Need a cool down treat while visiting Disneyland? Check out our post for the top 5 must try ice cream locations in Disneyland. Enjoy your next sweet treat armed with the knowledge from our list!

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop

Is your inner chocolate lover calling? Here at Ghirardelli’s, you can get more than just a free chocolate sample when you walk in! When I first visited, I thought I would be entering a chocolate shop. Little did I know the amazing ice cream options that awaited me! If you have time to sit and relax I would suggest one of their banana splits or sundaes! I had their World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae which just looks too beautiful to eat, but nonetheless, it was gone in minutes! Feel free to take a milkshake or even just a scoop of ice cream on the go! Portion sizes are huge so you can definitely share, and you can substitute any of the ice creams if the one listed isn’t quite what you wanted!Must Try Ice Cream Locations at Disneyland Resort

Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream

Whether you’re just walking into California Adventure or about to head out, make sure you stop at Clarabelle’s on Buena Vista Street! Here is where you can get the beloved “Kitchen Sink!” At first glance, you may think it doesn’t look like a lot of ice cream, but it is more than enough and is great to share with your friends and family! There’s a variety of sundaes, such as, Mint Chocolate Chip, Strawberry, Mocha Almond Fudge, and more which you can have in a “Kitchen Sink” or not! I tried my first “Kitchen Sink” and went with the Strawberry Sundae! To my friend’s dismay I ended up eating most of it, but I highly recommend trying one! In addition to these amazing sundaes you can get hand-dipped ice cream bars, just choose your flavor, chocolate coating, and topping!Must Try Ice Cream Locations at Disneyland Resort

Cozy Cone Motel

In a previous post about Cars Land, I mentioned the Cozy Cone Motel which has a variety of different on the go snacks. My personal favorite is the soft-serve cone at Cozy Cone 2! As much as I love a good sundae or a big scoop of ice cream, a simple chocolate and vanilla swirl soft-serve is the way to go sometimes! Perfect when you need to get to your FastPass return or to have with you when you stand in line!Must Try Ice Cream Locations at Disneyland Resort

Tiki Juice Bar

Making your way over to Disneyland? No trip is complete without a Dole Whip soft-serve at the Tiki Juice Bar! Has the heat got you down? Just need a few minutes to rest? Grab yourself a Dole Whip and head inside the Tiki Room! Nothing beats a great show, air conditioning, and a delicious treat to cool you down!Must Try Ice Cream Locations at Disneyland Resort

Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar

Last, but certainly not least, is the iconic Mickey Ice Cream Bar! Must Try Ice Cream Locations at Disneyland ResortWhether you’re in California Adventure or Disneyland, make sure you stop at any ice cream cart and grab yourself one! Although there are many other tasty ice cream treats in the Disneyland Resort, these are my recommendations! What’s your favorite ice cream treat?

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