How to Find Character Meets at Disney

How to Find Characters at Disney

Chances are if you’ve ever visited a Disney destination, then meeting your favorite Disney characters is a must. Today I’m going to discuss how to find character meets at Disney. Since Disney is always switching things up, this post won’t simply be a list of who and where to find them. This is a how to find character meets at Disney. That’s right, I’m going to share with you how to find the current meets for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani and more! Let’s get going then!

How to Find Characters at Disney

Walt Disney World

Let’s start with the biggest Disney destination, Walt Disney World. With four major theme parks, two water parks, resorts, and a giant shopping center, Walt Disney World is huge! That means there’s no shortage of character meets there.

Walt Disney World Website

When looking to find Disney character meets at Walt Disney World, the first thing you need to do is check out their website before you travel. Did you know you can even schedule fastpasses for some character meet and greets?That means if you plan to stay as an on-site guest, you’ll want to check out these options before your 60 day FastPass booking date. If you are staying off-site, make sure to book your FastPasses 30 days prior to travel.

How to Find Characters at Disney

To find character experiences available, you can simply head over to Walt Disney World’s website. To start, hover over the Things To Do tab and click on Character Experiences. This will take you to a large list of all the character-based experiences available for that day.

How to Find Characters at Disney

You’ll then need to filter the experiences to only show character experiences for which you can meet and interact with them. You’ll need to update the calendar date so that you’re looking at character experiences available for your travel dates. Once you’ve done that, you can scroll through and explore which characters are available to meet.

If you click on a specific meet experience, you can also view what times they’re available and if they are eligible to be booked as a fastpass experience. You can even click on Show In My Plans located below the available times so that you can add them directly to your itinerary! I do this for all of my clients and it’s a great way to ensure character meets won’t be forgotten once at the theme parks. But what about if you’re already at the park you ask?

My Disney Experience App

If you’re already in a park and want to see what’s available, you can use the My Disney Experience app to find them! Simply open your app and click on the map at the top. You’ll then want to click on the top filter (usually loads with wait times first). Select Characters. This will load character experiences available, but you’re not quite done. Next, you’ll want to click the filter and select the specific park you’re in so that it will load everything near you.

How to Find Characters at Disney

As you can see in my screenshot, my app is currently showing Characters experiences and has 1 filter for the Magic Kingdom. There are so many characters to meet at Magic Kingdom! But what about character dining?

Let’s talk about character dining next!

Character Dining

If you’re looking to dine with characters, then this is how it’s done! Under the Things to Do tab, select All Restaurants under Dining. This will load a list of Walt Disney World restaurants for you. Once this list is loaded, you’ll need to once again use the filter option to select Character Dining and be sure to update the calendar for your travel date. That’s it! So easy and there’s so many options to choose from! The Garden Grill, 1900 Park Fare, Ohana, and Cinderella’s Royal Table are some of our very favorite character dining locations. What’s your favorite character dining location?

How to Find Characters at Disney

But what about Disneyland for our west coast fans? Next, let’s head to Disneyland so I can tell you how to find characters at Disney land too!

Disneyland

Exciting news, as finding character experiences at Disneyland is exactly the same as Walt Disney World! Simply head over to the website, click on Things To Do, and filter by Character Experiences and your travel date. It really is that easy! What’s more, the app works the same too!! But what about international Disney parks you ask?

How to Find Characters at Disneyland

International Parks

This same search and filter method works for all the Disney parks destinations! Simply direct your browser to the Disney park website of your choice and follow the steps I’ve provided above for Walt Disney World to find characters within all the Disney parks around the world! You can find the website for all of the Disney parks here. This search method even works for guests visiting Disney’s Aulani, a resort and spa in Hawaii! Just load the Aulani page and hover over Activities to click on Character Experiences.

How to Find Characters at Disney Parks

But Meredith, you’re forgetting the Disney Cruise Line, you say. Let’s set sail next and discover how to find character meets at Disney aboard the Disney cruise ships!

Disney Cruise Line

Although this same search gameplan works mostly the same for Disney Cruise Line, there are some differences. The first and major difference is once you’re on the Disney Cruise Line website and loaded the Character Experiences page under the Our Ships tab, you’ll want to go ahead and filter the list by the specific ship you’ll be sailing on since some characters are available only on certain ships.

Disney Cruise Line Characters

The second difference is that DCL features several character meets that require tickets to be requested ahead of time. This includes meeting the Princesses, the Frozen sisters, the Star Wars and Marvel characters (for those sailing on these select themed sailings), and the Disney Junior characters. You can secure tickets for these meets once your booking window opens. It’s good to know that you must be paid in full to be able to login and book onboard activities. It’s also good to know that these experiences book fully super fast and you’ll want to be ready to book them as soon as your window opens. If you’re unable to secure tickets for a meet you’d like to experience, don’t worry! You can always head over to guest services once onboard and request tickets and in most cases, they have more available for guests at that time.

How to Find Characters at Disney

Character Dining Onboard

Disney Cruise Line features a very special meet and greet onboard called the Royal Court, Royal Tea. This exclusive tea party is an additional charge and functions more like character dining does at Disney parks. We’ve been fortunate enough to experience this (thanks Mom & Dad!) and enjoyed it very much! Not only do the princesses come out and sing, dance, and interact with guests, but they bring each child a special gift!

Disney Cruise Line also offers a Disney Junior Character Breakfast for sailing of 6 or more nights. Tickets can be obtained for free by clicking on book onboard activities once you’re logged into your account, paid in full, and your booking window is open. This is a special character breakfast that has special breakfast foods located at Animator’s Palette and features favorite Disney Junior Characters. They’ve just recently added Vampirina and Fancy Nancy to the lineup!

Moana

Additionally, you can meet exclusive characters during special events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Each event has its own exclusive characters and you can find information about these character meets once you’re at the event via the printed times guide available when you enter. In some cases Disney will list exclusive characters on their website, but that’s not always the case. Checking your times guide is the best way to ensure you find all these exclusive characters. We were able to meet Moana this year at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party because she isn’t available during regular operating hours at Walt Disney World.

Now that you know how to find characters at Disney, be sure to check out these other great posts to help you prepare for your trip! You won’t want to miss our Ultimate Disney Packing List! Be sure browse our posts about Walt Disney World and Disneyland too!

Ultimate Disney Packing Guide

Ultimate Disney Packing Guide

Ultimate Disney Packing Guide

Packing for a trip to Disney can be overwhelming. It’s so easy to forget things that you need and over pack with things you won’t end up using. We have compiled a list of the basics to get you started packing for your next Disney vacation. This list is going to cover the broad categories, and we will assume that you are going to pack basic things like underwear, socks and deodorant. Please don’t forget the deodorant!

First of all, if you are anything like me you will WAY over pack. Live and learn that if you forget it, it’s okay! Chances are your Disney resort gift shop will have it. The gift shops are stocked with essentials. If the resort gift shop doesn’t have what you need, you can always drive to one of the convenient Walmart stores in the area, or even have items delivered. If you are missing some baby essentials, hit the parks. The baby care stations in the Disney theme parks have diapers, wipes, baby food and even children’s medication for sale.

If you are flying to Disney, you will need to make sure you keep your MagicBands in your carry on luggage. You will need them if utilizing Disney’s Magical Express.

Ultimate Disney Packing Guide

Let’s get started packing! Here is our Disney packing list:

Packing List

Clothing
Seasonally appropriate clothing
Raincoat/Poncho
Light Jacket
At least 2 pairs of shoes
Flip flops/sandals for pool
Swimsuit
Socks

Ultimate Disney Packing Guide

Park Bag
Snacks
Gum
Water bottles
Water flavoring drops
Sunscreen
Sunglasses and/or hat
Small first aid kit
Moleskin/blister blockers
Medication (as needed)
Wet wipes/baby wipes
Hand sanitizer
Feminine products
Personal fan mister
Glow sticks

ultimate disney packing guide

Other Items for the Park
Stroller and rain cover
Camera bag
Backpack/Purse
Ziploc or dry bags for electronics, in case of rain or wet rides

Electronics
Camera and/or video camera
Smartphone with My Disney Experience app downloaded
Portable chargers and cords
Batteries and SD card for camera

ultimate disney packing guide

Personal Items
Travel documents (hotel confirmation, rental car confirmation, etc).
Driver’s License/ID Card
Membership card (DVC, Visa, etc.)
MagicBands/Park Tickets
Wallet/Purse
Spending Money

We have our packing list available as a free download for you!

ultimate disney packing guide

As you pack, please remember our ultimate Disney packing guide is not all inclusive. If you are taking several electronic devices, check out Meredith’s tips on keeping your devices charged on the go. As always, please review the park rules for Walt Disney World to make sure you aren’t packing a restricted item! Have we left off anything from our list that you think is essential? Let’s chat in the comments! ~Amy ºoº

How to Handle Grief on a Disney Vacation

Have you ever been on a magical vacation and received not so great news? Did you receive bad news before said vacation and decide to travel anyway? It happens more often than we think. This is a personal story from our very own Meredith about her real life situation. Read her take on how she handles grief on a Disney vacation.

How to Handle Grief on a Disney Vacation

To begin, I never set out to write this as a blog post. I just needed to edit my travel photos from a year ago and couldn’t bring myself to do it. I just sat down, and something compelled me to login here and write. You see, most of what we write here on The Mouse and the Monorail is informational or instructional in some way because we love to help you all get the most out of your Disney vacations.

However, this post is going to be different. Let’s talk about something entirely different. Let’s break the blog post mold today. Don’t worry, it’ll be okay. Buckle up, this may be a bit heavy both with subject matter and number of photos. You’ve been warned.

grief

Grief is Part of Life

We’ve all heard of the story of little Lane Graves and how a family vacation changed that family forever. Just the other day I read of another family who had a Make A Wish trip and lost their sweet little girl on their day at Walt Disney World. How magical and incredibly sad all at once! My heart goes out to all those who’ve experienced some sort of loss while vacationing.Sidenote: Did you know they’ve erected a memorial for Lane? Note to self: visit at the Grand Floridian next time I’m there.

Okay, so it’s not what you were expecting on a happy and fun blog about all things Disney, right? The thing is, though, life still happens regardless of when and where you are. It often happens in the moments you weren’t expecting. While many people see Disney parks as the happiest and most magical places on earth, there are many others out there who have experienced sadness there as well. Here I am trying my best to not cry with one of my favorite Princesses, Tiana.

Unexpected News on a Disney Vacation

My experience is a little more drawn out than most. You see, it all started last summer when Sarah, Amy, and I decided we’d like to plan a Mouse and Monorail squad trip to Walt Disney World. It coincided with training Amy and I were doing and was a perfect time to have fun on a ladies only getaway. I couldn’t wait to go and come back to share all the wonderful things we got to experience. We were going to report on how amazing it is to travel sans kids. We were going to cover Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and talk about experiencing a passholder preview. I even happily snapped photos of the poinsettias and giant Christmas tree Disney had on display as they were my grandmother’s favorites during Christmastime.

It’s Not Always Magical

But then, like a Disney villain coming to pop our overpriced Mickey balloons on Main Street, life came knocking. Three out of the seven of us got calls during that week that our grandmothers weren’t doing well. Sarah and Jennifer are cousins, and I’m glad they had each other when finding out their news. My call came later in the week, during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. How am I supposed to enjoy myself here at the Magic Kingdom and celebrate Christmas when my elderly grandmother is being admitted to the hospital?

Coping with Grief on Vacation

I managed. That’s the short version of the story. In my own head though? I was a mess! The party was still nice and I would definitely attend it again. I was glad, though, that we were heading home the next day. Things didn’t get better for my grandmother, and she remained in the hospital before passing away on November 19, 2017. We attended the November 9th party and she was gone in ten days. Everything stopped for me. That’s it, I thought. No more grandparents left. It’s a hard pill to swallow if you’ve lived to be 36 years old with at least one living grandparent. Unfortunately, Sarah and Jennifer were in for a similar fate as they too lost their grandmother in the coming days.

The Magic of Friendship

What I didn’t expect out of this trip was that I found a group of ladies that were there for me at just the right time. I couldn’t have asked for better women to be surrounded by during this time, even after we were back at home in various parts of the country. Not only had we all met in a single location and enjoyed a wonderful trip, we had gained true friends. To my squad ladies specifically, you will never know how much your kind words meant and still mean to me. I’m forever grateful.

Meredith’s Background

As an aside, before setting out to become a Disney blogger and travel agent, I was a photographer specializing in portraiture, but loved photographing anything and everything. I even went crazy one year and completed a full 365 day photo blog project with a friend. I still love photography and very much enjoy photographing my travels and experiences. I’ll be sharing more over our on Instagram account if you’d like to follow along.

Animal Kingdom is going to have an INCREDIBLE summer!Usually returning home from Disney means time to have fun editing all the photos. This time, however, I just couldn’t bring myself to even look at how happy I was. I didn’t want to revisit it because I knew it would stir emotions in me. I didn’t want to revisit the sadness. Even if I did get them edited, I didn’t want to share them because it would look like I was happy to everyone when, really, I was hurting. Insert more life stuff happening and it soon became a matter of time as well. I had so many things going on, I just couldn’t squeeze it in.

Sailing Away with Disney Cruise Line

Fast forward to April, and I set sail with my family and extended families (both sides!) on the Disney Fantasy. We enjoyed the Western Caribbean itinerary and loved our Star Wars Day at Sea.Upon returning home, it was back to normal life. I was already so far behind with editing the squad trip photos that I didn’t edit the cruise photos either. Don’t get me wrong, I shared some. The cruise was a much needed break from reality and was a wonderful way to have my own moment to say goodbye to my grandmother. She was fortunate enough to be able to sail with us in 2016 and made our Castaway Cay day quite memorable.

It was bittersweet for me revisiting Disney’s magical island. I cried on my own and had a moment to reflect on all that we were able to do with her. I also grieved the fact that my uncle wasn’t with us. He passed before we set sail and making the phone call to remove him from the reservation was rough! That said, I’m so grateful to have had that cruise with my family, including my Aunt who still came along with us despite her loss.

What’s So Special About Disney Anyway?

Traveling with loved ones is something that I hope all of you are fortunate enough to experience. For a long time, I didn’t want to edit the photos because I didn’t want to feel those emotions again. In short, I didn’t want to end up crying at my desk. Last night, I sat down and began to finally cull through the thousands of photos I shot. What I found was all the joy I felt while experiencing it all. It’s okay to be happy in the moment! What’s more is that it’s okay to be happy remembering those happy moments too!To those who say to “put your phones down and just enjoy the moment” are oversimplifying things. While I agree we should live in the moment with those that we’re with, we should also take care to capture the moments we don’t ever want to forget. If that means having the phone up because it’s also conveniently a camera, then so be it! Record and capture it all! I promise you’ll want to look back on that experience one day.

grief

After editing a half days’ worth of photos and enjoying all that we did just on the first day, I took a break. I began to browse through the past vacations we’ve taken through the years. My grandmother went with us on many of those trips and I’m so thankful we were able to experience those moments with her. I’ll always cherish this photo of her and my oldest daughter enjoying the soon to be extinct Illuminations show at Epcot. There are many more of her enjoying all that Disney had to offer back then. Each one of them a snippet of time that I hold I precious. 

Why We Go Back to Disney

Many people ask why we love to go back to Disney time and time again. It’s so absurd to them to be the first in line at rope drop only to wait hours and hours for a ride later. Why on earth would we want to go see the same show over and over again? That’s okay though. I get it. Disney is not for everybody.Revisiting Disney destinations time and time again means holding on to the magic with your loved ones for as long as you can. It means squeezing every bit of baby, toddler, preschooler, elementary school, middle, high school, college, and every moment in between with our babies. It also means being able to reflect on past visits with those that are no longer with us. Somehow, it allows us to enjoy the current visit knowing that they’re there with you in your heart because you’re been there together before. We go back to hold those memories precious and near to our hearts. My grandmother had the most wonderful times at Walt Disney World and on the Disney Dream with us and those times will be near and dear to our hearts always.

It’s always going to be a bit sad, but we can make the best of those moments too! So next time I’m revisiting Disney without my Grandmother, I’ll be looking for all the little things she used to love and point out. Her favorite were always the flowers, and every time I snap another flower photo at Disney, I’ll have her with me. I’ll choose to let it make me happy to remember her and have her with me in that way. We carry our loved ones with us always and Disney can help us recall some of the happiest times together. I will always cherish the moments I’m able to travel with my loved ones! ~Meredith º0º

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!

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!

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!

 

Downtown Disney Splitsville Review

Splitsville in Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney has recently opened their doors to the public. Splitsville is not only a luxury bowling alley, but a restaurant as well! Bowl, eat, or do both at the same time! Here is all you need to know about Splitsville in Downtown Disney!

The Atmosphere

The construction of Splitsville was longer than anticipated, but I certainly love everything about this place! The second floor was not open to the public due to construction when Splitsville opened, but less than 2 weeks later the second floor is alive and well and welcoming guests with not only it’s very own bar, but it’s very own bowling lanes! The decor has a high end 50’s diner feel to it. No matter where you choose to dine or bowl, both upstairs and downstairs are aesthetically pleasing. 

Fun fact: The murals in ALL the Splitsville’s across the nation are painted by the same artist BY HAND!

The Food

Splitsville has a wide variety of different foods  sure to please even the pickiest palate. They have items ranging from salads, to steak and mushrooms, even sushi, and many more options. My friends and I decided to try out Splitsville for the first time and surprisingly the food was amazing! In my opinion the food was way overpriced, but for the ambience of the whole restaurant and the unlimited refills are what make it all worthwhile. Annual Passholders also get 10% off on food, which is definitely a nice passholder perk. 

This sushi roll was called the Ninja Crunch roll, and it was priced at $17. If your looking for a little spice to your sushi, this roll is for you!

This entree is the Steak and Mushrooms and it’s priced at $30. My friend thought the mushrooms and sauce was excellent but felt the meat wasn’t the right cut of beef for this type of meal.

This is the Southern Goddess priced at $21. This salad was definitely able to feed more than one person because it’s that big! For the price of this salad, you sure do get a lot. This vote was unanimous that this was the best item we ordered!

The Bowling

Feeling like bowling on an ordinary day in Downtown Disney? Splitsville’s got you covered! Not only does Splitsville have 21 lanes available for bowling, but each lane is accompanied by their very own server for your enjoyment!

Splitsville definitely has such a fun and unique vibe. It’s definitely worth a visit if you are in the Downtown Disney area! Have you visited Splitsville? Is it on your “to do” list for your next Disneyland vacation? Let’s chat in the comments!

Special thanks to Disneyland contributor, Ashlee, for such a fun 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!

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!

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!