California Adventure

Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout

Well Disney loving friends, Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout (formerly Tower of Terror) has been open for almost a month now and I still have only been on it one time. Not exactly a toddler friendly ride, so my chances to experience it have been limited. However, that one time was pretty effing awesome. This post is going to take you through the highlights of the exterior and interior lines of the ride and I am going to talk about the ride itself, so if you haven’t been on it yet and you want to be surprised, come back and read this post later (but like stick around and read some other stuff while you’re here, won’t ya?).

Okay, so other than the (ugly) glaring new facade of the ride, the outside line area is pretty similar to what it was before. There is new music piping through the speakers, however it is not (sadly) the GoG soundtrack, it’s just the instrumentals. This was a conversation Brianna and I had several times while waiting in line and after the ride: why are we not getting to listen to one of the best movie soundtracks ever while we wait in line for an hour and a half? I’m guessing the answer to that question is simple: royalties. I imagine Disney wasn’t willing to fork over the cash for the rights to the songs, so instead we get boring background music.

As soon as you step up to the doors of the ride, the changes hit you in the face. The whole concept of the ride is that the tower is now home to Tivan’s collection (hence the large gold statue at the entrance, btw, how freakin’ cool for Benicio Del Toro). The interior part of the line is filled with all kinds of cool displays.

These cool (and hard to photograph) cube thingys hang from the ceiling and a huge screen occupies the majority of the back wall of the room. The screen shows a message from Tivan, interrupted by a message from Gamora and Quill, which basically sets up the premise of the ride (breaking out!).

 

My biggest complaint about all the new stuff in the interior is that you don’t spend much time in this section, so you don’t get to see everything and take it all in, and you don’t get to see the full video. I also hate spending an hour waiting in line outside only to be inside for three minutes. Kind of a bummer (though I think this is a fire/safety precaution). I wanted to have more time to look at everything in the space, which I guess will happen as I ride the ride more.

Just like before, riders are led into the “library”, which is now supposed to be Tivan’s office. Instead of our favorite Twilight Zone video, we now are privy to Rocket’s plan for breakout, and we get an animatronic Rocket too.

My favorite part of the interior line space was seeing Harold! Harold used to reside in the Matterhorn, but got demoted for a newer, younger model. So now old Harold lives in the tower, which I think is awesome. Not much has changed in this portion of the ride line, other than the addition of the yeti.

And then we get to the ride itself. Guys, I loved it. It tells a story, incorporates humor and good music, and still has all the thrills of the original. Plus, Chris Pratt. The drops are not the same as they were before (and I’m interested to ride it more and see if the drops are now randomized, which ToT at Disney World has always had, but we never did). I laughed, I screamed, my stomach felt like it flew out of my body…it was everything I could have asked for. I was not as attached to the original ToT as some so I wasn’t totally depressed with this change (though I am scared of what else we will lose as Hollywood Land becomes Marvel Land…bye bye Monsters Inc :(), and I have to say, I think the new ride is an awesome addition to DCA. I don’t love the way the tower itself looks as a backdrop in the park, but the ride is amazing, and I didn’t see a single person exiting the ride without a huge smile on their face. So I think it’s a hit.

Have you been on Mission Breakout yet? What did you think?

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DCA Food and Wine Festival Highlights Part Two

So the 2017 Food and Wine Festival is quickly coming to an end (sob!) and I am so sad to see it go! I have tried lots of yummy food and drinks at the festival this year, and I kind of wish we had access to all this yumminess all year long. But alas, these goodies will be leaving us shortly (April 16th) and then it will be time to countdown until next year’s festival. I made a lot of progress on my food and drink checklist in the past two weeks so of course I have to share all the goodness with all of you. If you missed part one of the highlight reel, you might want to check that out first. Get ready to get hungry!

Okay, so this is the real highlight for me: the French Onion Mac and Cheese from the Onion Lair. OMG. Probably one of the best mac and cheese dishes I have ever tasted. So flavorful and cheesy and amazing. Also from the Onion Lair is the Chocolate and Raspberry Feuillete Tart. It was a tasty pastry, but it wasn’t anything super fantastic. It kind of tasted like a fancy Pop Tart.

On my one trip to the festival sans Squirt, I took full advantage of being childless for the day and imbibed in all the wine. On the left is the Mimosa Flight from Uncork CA. I liked all of the different flavors, but my favorite was the apricot. It was a surprising choice, but it was yummy. I wish they had included a berry flavored mimosa to balance out the flavors, but the ones they included were all good. On the right is the Sangria Flight, and again, they were all tasty. I loved the peach, but the white sangria was also super good.

These are two items that were on the menu last year, and were definitely highlights of the festival. The Maple Bacon Whoopie Pie was just as delicious this year as it was last year, and I’m glad I got it again. The Smoked Bacon Mac and Cheese was good, but it wasn’t as good as the French Onion Mac. It needed salt and maybe some variation in the cheese flavors in order to make it awesome.

I didn’t actually eat this Garlic Rosemary Ice Cream, but my Disney bestie Brianna did. I did sample a bite, and it was not my thing, but Brianna really liked it. I want my ice cream to be sweet, not savory, so this is not an item I would order on my own. Glad I tried it though, because it was definitely interesting!

At the Paradise Garden Grill, we ordered the Pretzel with Beer Mustard and the Beer Braised Pork Tacos. The pretzel tasted like a pretty average pretzel, and while I liked the mustard, I prefer my pretzels with cheese. If it had come with beer cheese, it would have been bomb!

The tacos were amazing. The pork was really tender and the apple slaw on top was the perfect complement. I had been craving good tacos for a couple days when I had these and they really hit the spot.

I have a couple more items on my list that I really want to try before the festival is over, but if I don’t get the chance, I am overall really pleased with everything I sampled this year. There wasn’t anything I ate or drank that I just straight up didn’t like. There were definitely some items I loved more than others (woot woot mac and cheese), but everything was good and I would eat most of the items again if I could.

Have you been to the Food and Wine Festival this year? What was your favorite food or drink item?

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California Adventure Food and Wine Festival Highlights Part One

Hello friends! Despite the fact that I have been battling this nasty cold/cough/sore throat for what seems like forever, I have managed to make it to the Food and Wine Festival at California Adventure twice now. BUT I have yet to drink any wine!!! WTF. Also, I am way behind on my checklist. I have a full day trip planned for next week, so I am planning on getting myself a wee bit tipsy imbibing on all the drinks on my checklist, but for today, I have a few food highlights, plus some AP info to share with you.

This year, I decided to buy the AP Sip and Savor pass. I did not get it last year as it seemed like it wasn’t worth the price. However, this year, you get eight food items (no alcohol) for $45, which works out to be about $5.50 per food item. Most of the main food samplers are $6-$9 so this is a good deal. But I am being careful to only use my tabs for the items over $5.50 (some of the desserts are less than that) and pay cash for anything that is under that cost. The bonus is that each time you use a tab at a booth, you get a different AP button (I think they are leftover from previous AP days).

The first two items I tried were the Chicken Teriyaki Slider and the Pineapple Strawberry Float, both from LA Style. The float was super yummy and refreshing, which was awesome as it has been so warm lately. It does have boba in it, which is not my fave, but the flavors were good. I also enjoyed the slider. The pineapplely salsa on it was tasty and I was a fan of the teriyaki sauce. Pineapple and teriyaki is one of my favorite flavor combinations so I was all about it.

The next thing I tried was the Vanilla Bean Creme Fraiche Panna Cotta from Olive Us. This was pretty tasty, though the texture was not my favorite. The cookie was really yummy, so of course Squirt ate most of mine.

This is the Baked Ham and Swiss Croque Monsieur from Nuts About Cheese. Super yummy! I mean, you can’t really go wrong with bread, ham and cheese. This might be my favorite item so far.

Finally, I sampled the Sweet Corn Nuggets with Beef Chili from Off the Cob. I’m not a huge sour cream fan, so I could have done without the sauce on top, but in general, I liked this one. The corn nuggets were good. but the chili was pretty average. It did have a little spice to it, which I enjoyed with the sweetness of the corn.

I still have a lot of food items to try at the Food and Wine Festival, along with lots and lots of yummy drinks! Have you been to the festival yet? What do you think I need to try?

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Let’s Get Prepped for the 2017 Food and Wine Festival

The 2017 Food and Wine Festival begins today at California Adventure, and I am so excited! I had a blast at last year’s festival, and from the looks of things, this year is going to be even better. I decided to do a couple of different things this year to make sure I am ready to fully embrace the festival. One was creating a pair of wine-themed ears and the second was creating a printable checklist of the tastiest sounding food and drink item offerings. Both of which I am going to share with you!

First, the ears. I found this fabric months ago at JoAnn and have been holding onto it, just waiting for the festival. I used the same method on these ears as I did in this tutorial here. I used a rhinestone trim for some extra sparkle and I am so loving how these guys came out!

The second thing I decided to make was a food and drink checklist. Last year I enjoyed hopping around to the different booths and trying random items, but I think I missed out on a lot of goodies because I didn’t have a clear plan of attack. So this year I created a list with both food and drinks to try and what booths I can find them at. This is a fraction of what is available at the festival, I just picked the yummies that sounded most appealing to me personally. There is a good chance I will try some additional items, but these are the ones I want to make sure I don’t miss. This is the list I came up with:

2017 food and wine festival checklist

If you would like to download the checklist and print one for yourself, click this link! I am going to be checking out the festival on Sunday, so make sure you are tuned in to my Instagram to see what delicious offerings I sample this weekend. And make sure you come back soon to get the full rundown from this yea’rs festival. Are you planning on attending the Food and Wine Festival? What do you most want to try?

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Festival of Holidays at California Adventure

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it is officially time for the holidays. Of course, it has been holiday time at Disneyland for almost a month now, but the Christmas season is really going to kick into full gear now that it is (almost) December. This year at California Adventure, there is a new celebration, the Festival of Holidays. In a nutshell, the festival is about celebrating all of the winter holidays from around the world and showcasing their different traditions. There is music, crafts, photo opps, and most importantly, food. So much food. Festival of Holidays is making good use of the Food and Wine Festival booths and serving up traditional holiday food and cocktails from all over the world. I have been able to explore the festival a couple of times in the past month, and I have really enjoyed all aspects of it so far. I hope this continues to be a holiday tradition because there is so much to do and see (and eat) that I don’t think I am going to be able to get it all in in one year. But here are some of the highlights so far!




The Festival can be found pretty easily once you walk into California Adventure. The main pathway through the park (that leads down to the pier) is lined with multiple stands like this one that have maps and info on them. You can also grab a Festival guide at the park entrances.

These booths are set up in multiple locations throughout the park, though the majority of them are stationed along the main thoroughfare. Each booth has its own theme (this is where the guide comes in handy). Most of them feature two or three food items and a specialty drink or two.

festival of holidays

There are so many different food offerings throughout the festival that I haven’t been able to try yet, but the ones I have sampled have been pretty good. I will say that the portions seem to be smaller and the prices slightly higher than they were at the Food and Wine Festival last year (and no AP discounts available), but so far everything has been tasty. This is the Brisket Potato Crouquette from the Nosh and Nibbles booth.

festival of holidays

My favorite savory item so far was the Southern Mac N Cheese (it’s supposed to have a jalepeno cornbread topping but they were out…sadface). This was super tasty, but this small portion was $7. To put it in perspective, I ate this, then went to the Corndog Castle and got a full size meal for the same price. Also, this is a cranberry cider that I was excited to try, until I watched them pour a Mike’s Hard Lemonade cranberry spritzer straight from the bottle into the cup. Wah wah. But despite all that, I would eat the mac n cheese again.

festival of holidays

Probably the best item I have eaten so far was this Praline Bourbon whoopie pie from the Winter Sliderland booth. So effing good. Definitely going to be getting another one of these before the season is over!

festival of holidays

This Kalua Pork Slider was also from the Winter Sliderland booth (duh) and was again very tasty, if not a super satisfying portion size. The pork and slaw were a good combo of flavor and texture.

festival of holidays

This is truly a super small sampling of the offerings available at the Festival of Holidays (you can visit the Disney Parks Blog for the full list if you’re interested). I am going to be making a few more trip to the parks before the holidays are over so stayed tuned to my Instagram account to see more yummy offerings!

In addition to the yummy food, Festival of Holidays also includes several live music performances throughout the day, which you should definitely look into (the schedule varies day to day). Viva Navidad is also a part of the festival, and it’s your first chance to meet Princess Elena of Avalor! There is so much to see, I really encourage you to experience it for yourself!




Have you been able to check out the Festival of Holidays? Are there any food items I must try before the end of the season? Let me know!

 

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World of Color Dessert Party

This past weekend my Disney bestie Brianna and I headed down for a day at the parks to experience all the holiday time offerings. We spent most of the day eating and drinking (all the makings of a great day at Disneyland!) but we had to pace ourselves throughout the day to save room for the main event, the World of Color Dessert Party. The WOC party debuted about six months ago, likely to replace the Fantasmic Dessert Party (which will hopefully be back when the show returns since I never got to do it!). It was by far the best view I have ever had for WOC and the food was pretty good too! I would definitely consider doing it again when the original WOC returns (right now is the holiday special, Season of Light) and I really wish I would have done it during the 60th version because the view can’t be beat! Here are some of the highlights of the World of Color Dessert Party:




This is the menu that is on the table when you arrive at your seats. When you are checked in you are given the choice of a low table in the front row or a high top, cocktail table in the back row. I recommend choosing the high top table because there is a section of people in front of the dessert party area so you could have your view blocked if you are sitting at a low table (especially if you have kids). The high tops also come with super comfy director’s chairs.

world of color

As soon as you are seated, a server brings over a bread basket and your dessert plate. It took a few minutes to get our drinks, but it was pretty good champagne, so I was happy! There is also a WOC specialty cocktail and plenty of non-alcoholic drink options.

world of color

world of color

world of color

By the time the show started I was super full! My advice if you have plans for the dessert party is to eat a really light dinner because there is a lot of yummy treats! Brianna and I actually ended up getting a to go box for about half of what we were given on our plates because we just couldn’t finish.

Right now, World of Color is running a new holiday themed show called Season of Light. It was cute and had lots of fun moments, but it definitely isn’t as good as the regular version.

world of color

One of the coolest holiday parts of the show was this Christmas tree, made totally of water and colored lights.

world of color

But as cool as the tree was, the princess section of the show was my favorite (duh).

world of color

Overall, the World of Color Dessert Party was a really cool experience, and definitely one that I would do again. It’s pricey (shocker) at $75 per person, but considering the amount of food you get, and the free booze, plus the amazing view, I actually think it’s worth it. This would be a great thing to do for a date night or special occasion.




Have you done a Disneyland or Disney World dessert party before? What did you think?

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Halloween Food List Check In 

It’s hard to believe, but the month of October is almost halfway over! Seriously, where has the time gone?!?! A few weeks ago I devised a checklist of all of the Halloween Time sweets and treats I wanted to try this fall at the Disneyland Resort. I have been making pretty good headway, but I do still have a few items to squeeze in before the end of the month. Guess I am going to have to make some special trips to the park (aw shucks!). Today I want to focus on the goodies I have been able to try so far and give you some of my thoughts!




First is the maple creme brulee from Jolly Holiday at Disneyland. This is one of my favorite things I have eaten at Disneyland ever. I am a big fan of anything maple flavored, and you can’t really go wrong with creme brulee. I would eat this all the time if it became a regular fixture at the park.

The caramel apple smoothie from Schmoozies at California Adventure was also super tasty. Even though this is a fall flavor, given that it is a frozen smoothie, it is great for a So Cal “fall” day (aka when it’s still 80 degrees in October).

This sweet treat wasn’t on my original list, but I couldn’t pass up a poison apple cake pop. It was yummy, but I really wanted it for the cuteness factor.

This is the pumpkin twist, which is available at Maurice’s Treats at Disneyland or at Cozy Cone at DCA. This one was just okay. I liked that it had a good dash of cinnamon to complement the pumpkin, but it would have been better if it were served heated.

You can’t go wrong with just about anything at Carthay Circle, and that certainly goes for the poison appletini. I actually had one of these last year so it was kind of cheating putting it on my list again, but I will drink one of these bad boys every Halloween if I can. It’s super tasty, and you get to keep the awesome poison apple ice cube!

This is the spider parfait from Pizza Port at Disneyland. It’s got a layer of chocolate, then a layer of orange, then a layer of chocolate. The orange is a little fake tasting, but the chocolate is really yummy. I don’t know that I love the combo, but it’s an okay dessert.

The supernova pizza special from Pizza Port turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I had no idea what was on the seasonal pizza until I saw it, and honestly even then I wasn’t totally sure what it was all about. This pizza has a garlicky sauce, Canadian bacon, a ranch type drizzle, and fried pickles. Yeah, you read that right, fried pickles. Fried pickles are one of my all-time favorite foods. You put them on pizza, and I am a happy camper. I wasn’t expecting this to be as good as it was, and I would definitely eat this again.





I am hoping it starts to get a little cooler during the next two weeks so that I am actually in the mood to try all the soups on the list. Have you eaten anything tasty at Disneyland or Disney World this fall season? What would you most like to try?


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