Friday, August 24, 2012

Disney Countdown Calendar

For the first time ever, my daughter and I made a Disney Countdown Calendar.  Now, we frequent Disneyland so there's really no need to make a calendar for each visit but this time it's different.  We're going to Walt Disney World!!!!



It will be her first time to WDW so to help get her excited for the trip, we made a "30 Days to Disney" calendar.  

I made the Mickey cutouts and letters from my Cricut machine and used the Mickey Font cartridge.  We made 30 black Mickey's and then red and yellow Mickeys to paste on top of the black ones.  Each day she can rip off the yellow or red Mickeys until the calendar blacks out to 1 day left.  

I let her paste the Mickeys and add glitter dots.  For the numbers, I lightly wrote 1-30 on the Mickeys then let her write over them with a pen to practice her number writing skills.


This morning I told her it was time to rip off her first Mickey and get the 30 day countdown started.  She said, "NO!!!  Don't touch it!  It's beautiful."  So much for the countdown part of it!  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cozy Cones: Churro Bites


Over at the new Cars Land in California Adventure is the Cozy Cone Motel, home to 5 Cozy Cones that feature unique snacks and beverages.



Cozy Cone 1 features Churro Bites - a new snack favorite!



For $4.99, you get a cone filled with small pieces of churros, perfect for sharing or in the case of my daughter, perfect for hogging!  Included with the bites are a chocolate dipping sauce (not pictured).  If you love the regular churros, you'll LOVE these!  








Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Spicy Sausage Dog

Between the Enchanted Tiki Room exit and Aladdin's Oasis in Adventureland is a snack cart that features a new snack: The Spicy Sausage Dog!


The Spicy Sausage Dog is served in a pretzel bun, very similar to the one found at Pinocchio's Village Haus.  It comes with a bag of chips and is prce at $7.75.  Personally, that's a lot for a snack, so I would really consider this a lunch item found at a snack cart.


My husband enjoyed the sausage and said it was not overly spicy but had just enough kick to it to not be called "mild".  He enjoyed the pretzel bread and thought it was a good pairing to the sausage.

Have you tried this?  Have you seen this item at another location?  Let me know in the Comments section!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Awesomeness that is the Cream Cheese Pretzel

Disneyland has their staple snacks throughout the park: popcorn, churros, ice cream, and pretzels.  But there is one very special pretzel that is only offered at one known location that has my tongue wagging.

The Cream Cheese Pretzel!

Available at the Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner on Main Street, you can find this sweet treat.  The pretzel bread covered in light Parmesan cheese is warm and filled with a sweet cream cheese and is heavenly!  They fill it with the right amount of cream cheese so it's not overly flowing with it.  

I have yet to spot this treat at any other location.  It fetches for $3.49 and Annual Passholder discounts apply.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Kid Meals: The Plaza Inn

After visiting Disneyland countless times in my life, can you believe I've never had lunch or dinner at The Plaza Inn on Main Street?  I've been there for Minnie and Friends Breakfast several times but somehow I missed the fact that they have the world's best fried chicken during lunch and dinner.

During my first visit for dinner, I really wanted to try the fried chicken AND the penne pasta but I didn't want to stuff myself with two complete meals.  The answer?  Order the kid meals!

Fried Chicken
The kid's meal comes with one small drumstick, green beans, mashed potatoes, fruit, a biscuit and choice of milk, juice or a small water bottle for $6.99.



Not pictured here is the small bag of apple slices that came with the meal.

The drumstick was the perfect sampling I needed to determine this was the best fried chicken I've ever had in my life!  The crust was crunchy with flavor and the meat was juicy inside.


The mashed potatoes was on the dry side for my personal taste but after I put in some butter, it tasted just fine.

The biscuit was also on the dry side but that's probably because I chose not to have gravy.  I'm just not a gravy person so I don't know if biscuits and gravy are meant to have dry biscuits because the gravy is supposed to soak it.

Penne Pasta
Next, I tried the kid's penne pasta that included an Italian bread stick, fruit (apple slices), and choice of milk, juice or small water bottle for $6.49.


For pasta sauce, you have your choice or red or white sauce.  I chose white and it included chicken.  You can also add cheese to your pasta.  Next time I'll skip this since they added way too much dry cheese for my liking.

The overall flavor was really good.  Nothing outstanding like the fried chicken, but still good.  Since my daughter loves pasta, this would be an excellent choice for her.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Top 5 Tips for Disneyland Newbies


Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Peach. Enjoy the ride as we share our Top 5 Tips for Disney Newbies

Is it your first time going to Disneyland?  Has it been several years since your last visit?  Are you a WDW guru and finally making your way to Anaheim?  Here are my Top 5 Tips for Disneyland Newbies:

1. 3 Days is Perfect.  
I think it's important to schedule at least a 3 day park visit for the Disneyland Resort.  This gives you one full day for each park (Disneyland and California Adventure) and then a third to visit either of the parks to catch everything you may have missed or explore Downtown Disney.  Even as a veteran Disneyland guest where I've done everything dozens of times, I like to make 3 day trips to ensure I always catch my favorite shows and not feel rushed to do it all.  Yes, Disneyland is smaller than WDW, but there's a lot of see and do so don't underestimate the square footage.

2. Stay at a Good Neighbor Hotel
Unlike the Walt Disney World resort where staying at a Disney-owned hotel is worth it and more convenient, that's not the same case at Disneyland (the ONLY exception is the Disney Grand Californian Resort since there's a private entrance to California Adventure BUT you pay BIG bucks to stay there).  Disneyland is located on Harbor Blvd, and right across the street are several non-Disney hotels.  The walking distance to the park gates are shorter at these hotels than if you stay at the Disneyland Hotel or Disney-owned Paradise Pier.  The surrounding hotels are known as Disney Good Neighbor Hotels and most are significantly cheaper than a Disney hotel.  I personally recommend the Best Western Park Place Inn or Carousel Inn as they are right by the crosswalk on Harbor Blvd and have excellent accommodations.

3. Travel in the Off Season
I often hear people complain that they don't like going to Disneyland because it's "too crowded".  If you're looking to avoid big crowds, travel during these times:
-First week of January
-First 2 weeks of February (before President's Day week)
-First 2 weeks of May (Spring Break is over and everyone is back to school)
-First week of June (kids are still in school)
-October (except Halloween day)
-Week after Thanksgiving (everyone's back to work and school)
-The week before Christmas

If possible, avoid March and April since those are Spring Break months and obviously stay away from July and August.

4. Use FASTPASS and Park Hop
If waiting in long lines isn't your thing, take advantage of Disney's free FASTPASS system.  Select attractions at each park have a FASTPASS distribution center where you stick your park ticket in it and receive a time window to return to a shorter line.  In most cases, you can only receive one FASTPASS at a time.  While you wait for your return time, you can enjoy other attractions, eat a meal or if there's time, watch a show.  I recommend getting a FASTPASS first thing in the morning. 

In my last 2 visits to WDW, park hopping was not very convenient.  In order to park hop, you need to a) drive to the other park or b) take one of Disney's buses or water taxis.  So paying extra money for a park hopper ticket was not worth it for my family.  At Disneyland, park hopping is ridiculously easy and convenient.  The two parks are literally across from each other and takes just a minute or two.  While waiting for FASTPASS return times, we'd sometimes go to the other park and return when it was our time to get in line.  Prior to Cars Land opening at California Adventure, the park would open later and close earlier than Disneyland so naturally all the DCA guests would hop over to Disneyland.  Now that California Adventure has Cars Land, it's unknown if the park will close at the same hour as Disneyland as each season goes by.  Currently, they close at the same hour, but it may change as we enter fall.  Visit Disneyland.com for current hours.

5. Make Dining Reservations
Celebrating something special?  Every time you go on Pirates of the Caribbean, do you see the Blue Bayou and try to eat dinner there only to get turned away because they're booked?  I can't tell you how many times I've been asked, "How do you get to eat inside Pirates of the Caribbean?  Every time I go they're packed!"  

The answer?  Make a dining reservation!  You can make them 60 days in advance for all table-service restaurants.  Be sure to let the Cast Member know that you're celebrating something special.  In most cases, you'll get a free dessert.
Disneyland Dining: 714-781-3463, option 4

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Disney in Our Blood.


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stopalong the way and want to reboard:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 2012: Monthly Disneyland Photo Scavenger Hunt List

The August Scavenger Hunt list is here!

This month's hunt has a snap shot of the item you're tasked to find in each land. Once you find it, snap a photo with it as proof that you found it.  Don't forget to click the image to enlarge and print.
 


CLICK TO SAVE AND PRINT


Need to find the rules to the Photo Scavenger Hunt? Visit the tab at the top of this blog for a printable Rules page.

Print out your list and go hunting for the items on your next Disneyland/California Adventure visit. If you’re stuck on something, let me know and I’ll be happy to provide a clue.

Good luck and have fun!
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