Adults at Disney

Festival of Holidays

Festival of Holidays is back at California Adventure, and last week Brianna and I ate our way through a whole bunch of it. We will be discussing the Festival in detail on next week’s podcast, but for now, here are some of my preliminary thoughts.

In general, the Festival is much more appealing to me personally than last year’s. There are more food choices that aren’t quite as adventurous as last year, and the drink options seem to be much better (read stronger, and real alcohol) than the previous Festival. I actually bought the AP Sip and Savor pass this year because I am planning on trying way more items than I did last year. Here’s what I’ve had so far:

This is the pomegranate margarita. I actually bought this at Bayside Brews, but they also have a version at one of the Festival booths. It was yummy, and strong, and didn’t taste like a pre-made margarita, so win.

We sampled both offerings the Winter Sliderland booth. This is the turkey with cranberry sauce and stuffing, and it tasted like Thanksgiving on a bun. I am not a huge fan of Thanksgiving turkey, but it was so moist and flavorful. This was Brianna’s fave.

I preferred the ham slider with pineapple relish. This was available last year and I loved it then and I love it now. The ham is so yummy, and the combo of the ham with pineapple is delish.

This might be my favorite new offering this year, the pomegranate mule. It was ah-mazing. Seriously, such a yummy cocktail, and it tasted strong, so bonus. The rosemary is the perfect addition.

We of course tried the mac and cheese from the Holiday Duets booth, and it was just okay. It was a little bland and needed some salt for sure. It would have been vastly improved with a kick of spice like jalapeno, or just something a little more flavorful. But I do think this is a bigger portion than last year so that’s good.

The mac and cheese, pomegranate mule, and these adorable cookies are all at the Holiday Duets booth. I mainly got these cookies because they are so stinking cute, but they also tasted yummy!

And we obviously had to try the mimosa flight from the Making Spirits Bright booth. They were all delicious, but my favorite was the white cranberry. I would drink that all day ery day.

I still have quite a few items to try before the Festival ends. Have you checked out the Festival yet? What should I try next?

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Take a Look at The Fifth Rooftop Bar and Lounge in Anaheim

On Wednesday night, I was invited to attend the grand opening press event for the newest in Anaheim entertainment, the Fifth Rooftop Bar and Lounge, which is atop the Grand Legacy Hotel (where Matt and I will be staying next month for my birthday trip to Disneyland). The Fifth is the only rooftop bar in Anaheim, which is crazy because it is definitely an awesome place to have a rooftop bar, as you have amazing views of the Disney parks. That is the main selling point of the Fifth, the incredible views, but they also have some tasty beverages and small bites.

Here is their menu of specialty cocktails…

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…and their champagne cocktails. Any bar that has a separate menu for champagne cocktails is okay by me!

the fifth oc

My Disney bestie Brianna accompanied me to the event and she sampled the That Old Rye. I am not a whisky/bourbon girl so it didn’t sound appealing to me, but Brianna liked it (though apparently it was a little sweet for her liking). I had the Champina, which tasted like a pina coloda with champagne in it. And yes, it was as delicious as it sounds. The only problem is I could have easily had ten of them before realizing I was all of the sudden drunk. I didn’t actually do that…this time.

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While we enjoyed our cocktails, we took in the amazing view of both Disneyland and California Adventure. There is a glass wall up around the edge of the bar so the views are pretty unobstructed.

the fifth oc

the fifth oc

The Fifth also offers some small bites to snack on. We tried the tater tots, and they were pretty yummy.

the fifth oc

The main event of the evening was the Disneyland Forever fireworks viewing. The Fifth has an amazing view of the show. Honestly, I don’t even think you get a view like this if you are at one of the hotels on Disney property.

the fifth oc

the fifth oc

The only downside to watching the fireworks from the bar is that you don’t get the music (though they did have a DJ playing it at the event, I’m not sure if that is a nightly occurrence). But you get to enjoy a cocktail while you watch, so that definitely makes up for the lack of music (in my mind).

In general, I was very impressed with the ambiance of the bar, and the cocktails and food that we tried. The main downside for me was that there were quite a few kids in the lounge area. I understand the clientele for a hotel in the Disneyland area is going to be families, but for me, if I am going to be hanging out at a place that brands itself as a bar, I’m expecting to be able to enjoy some adult conversation. The Fifth has some large lawn type games set up, which would totally be fun to play as an adult with friends, but with kids around, they were the ones playing them, and rather loudly. The service was also a little bit on the slow side, though I think that is to be expected at any new bar or restaurant. Everyone on staff was very friendly and helpful when you were talking to them and ordering.

Since we already have plans to stay at the Grand Legacy in July, we will definitely be making a trip up to the Fifth again. I’m hoping they will have tightened up on service at that point, but really we will be going there for the drinks and the fireworks. At this time, it looks as if the Fifth is only going to be open to hotel guests staying at the Grand Legacy, though that could definitely change as the bar becomes more popular. I will be sure to include my thoughts on my second trip to the bar in July!

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Restaurant Review: Hearthstone Lounge at Disney’s Grand Californian

Hey y’all! I hope if you have only learned one thing about me it is that I love Disney and drinking. I guess that’s sort of two things, but you know what I mean. So I obviously seriously love drinking at Disneyland. It’s interesting as someone who grew up going to Disneyland because before California Adventure opened, there was no opportunity to drink in the park. And since Downtown Disney is also relatively new (not really, but in terms of my youth), there was no booze in your Disneyland trip unless you were going to one of the hotel restaurants or bars. So to now have plenty of opportunities to imbibe while at Disney is awesome, to say the least.

I digress. One of my favorite places to drink at Disney is Hearthstone Lounge at the Grand Californian. I love this place because they have great drinks, some yummy appetizers, and lovely air-conditioned seating. During the summer in particular, Hearthstone is a great place to relax in the middle of the day when the heat is at its peak. There is lots of seating, I have never had a problem getting a table, and it is nice and cool. It is also one of the few places you can find a TV at the resort, so if there is a big game on, you can head to Hearthstone to check the score. And now for the goods! Here are just some of the delicious offerings from Hearthstone…




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What’s in My Disneyland Bag?

This post contains affiliate links.

Hello Disney friends! Tomorrow I am going to be embarking on my annual Disneyland field trip, just me, a couple of teachers and 150 of the best students at our junior high. Since the majority of my trips to Disneyland are with Squirt for just a few hours, prepping my bag for this all day excursion is a little bit different than my norm. But I am certainly no stranger to all day trips to the Happiest Place on Earth so I figured I would take this opportunity to show you what goes inside my bag for an all day trip with no kiddlet in tow.





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2016 Food and Wine Festival at California Adventure

At the beginning of April, Disney resurrected the Food and Wine Festival at California Adventure. The last time they held the festival was five or six years ago, and I honestly didn’t even know about it. Since I wasn’t super into food or wine at that time (and there was no Instagram), I probably didn’t even realize it was happening. But as soon as I heard about this year’s festival, I was all about it. Yummy food, wine tasting, and Disney? Hells to the yes. So I signed up for a beverage seminar, grabbed my DBFF (Disney Best Friend Forever) and headed down to California Adventure.

disney food and wine




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Restaurant Review: Napa Rose

If you are at all hungry, you might want to avoid this post. Instead of doing Christmas presents for each other, the hubs and I decided to put present money into a really awesome date night out. After checking out the plethora of fancy restaurants in LA, I stumbled upon the duh choice: Napa Rose. It’s delicious, it’s Disney, and it’s on my 30 by 40 list. Bingo! I made our reservation toward the end of December and the first available date that worked with our crazy schedules happened to be Valentine’s Day weekend. We’re not big on V-Day, but it worked out to be a nice weekend to go. So we sent Squirt off to Grandma’s and headed down to the OC. We got there a little early, but the hostess informed us we could go get a cocktail on the patio. I had never noticed the patio before, even though you can see it from California Adventure. It has a fire pit and quite a few seats and there is a server stationed out there. Apparently it is open seating so you can go enjoy a drink there even if you aren’t eating in the restaurant. We will definitely be hitting up the patio in the future, especially during the summer.

Anyway, we were shown to our table pretty quickly and our waitress came over and explained the concept of the menu, which changes on a regular basis depending on seasonal offerings. We were pretty entranced by the menu as everything sounded delicious.

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The hubs finally decided on the filet, which he was kind enough to give me a bite of. It practically melted in my mouth…

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I went with the pork, for two reasons: one, I like pork. And two, it came with a bacon tater tot. We joked that the next time we were going to have a date night we were going to order a dozen tots and a bottle of wine. And if they would let me, I totally would.

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We also shared a side of the truffle mac n cheese, for obvious reasons. It was as delicious as you would expect.

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The one thing I wasn’t 150% impressed with was the dessert menu. I was in for the splurge so I was hoping for something really decadent and everything was pretty light. We ordered this apple pecan goodness and it was tasty, but not the best dessert I’ve ever had. I prefer chocolate. Always.
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Everything at Napa Rose is pretty flawless, from the service and the drinks, to the amazing food. We are clearly not going to be eating there on a regular basis given the hefty price tag, but it was a pretty awesome choice for a special date night out. I would highly, highly recommend eating there at least once if you can. It is worth the splurge!

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Why You Should Watch World of Color from Cove Bar

One of the items on my Disneyland summer bucket list was to watch World of Color from the Cove Bar, located at the top of Paradise Pier.  I had been to the bar before and it’s got a great view no matter what time of day, and I figured it would be an interesting view for the show.  I was totally right (don’t you love it when that happens).  So this is why (and how) you should watch World of Color from the bar.

First, it is important to know that the bar stops seating at 8:15 pm–if you are not seated IN THE BAR by then, you will not be let in.  We got in line at about 7:20 and were in in plenty of time.  I would recommend being in line by 7:30 just to be safe.  Even if you do have to hang out for a while before the show starts, you get to enjoy these awesome views…

Obviously one of the main benefits of watching from the bar is that you get to enjoy a drink while you watch (and maybe one or two while you wait).  This is the special Diamond Celebration Glowtini.

The bar also offers a couple of tasty appetizers (I will be going back to try those lobster nachos)…

They also have a full bar and a good beer selection…

One of the fun parts of sitting on the bar patio is watching California Screamin’…

Here’s what the bar itself looks like…

We ordered the spinach artichoke dip and it was delicious.  It tasted like it was made with cream cheese in it and it was super creamy and yummy.

Once the show begins, if you are not seated near the water side of the patio (which we weren’t), you are able to get up and move around.  The table closest to the show was wide open so we were able to grab seats and enjoy the show.  I was a little worried that the sightlines wouldn’t be great, but you could see pretty much everything really well.

I would say watching World of Color from Cove Bar exceeded my expectations.  While there was a wait, it was certainly not any worse than any other line for a ride or wait for a show.  By the time we were seated, it was about an hour before showtime, which was the perfect amount to enjoy a drink and an appetizer.  Getting a great spot for the best view was certainly easier than I thought it would be (the bar in general was much less crowded than I expected).  Overall, I loved it, and I will definitely do it again!


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