California Adventure

Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort

Well friends, it is one of my favorite times of the year at the Disneyland Resort: Halloween Time! I love Halloween Time more and more each year, and it might even be edging out Christmas as my favorite season at Disneyland. There is so much to do and see at Disneyland all year long, but the additions for Halloween are pretty awesome. These are some of the highlights of Halloween Time at Disneyland!

First, the decor. The seasonal decor is all over the park, from the front entrance to Main Street. Pay special attention to the pumpkins on the buildings along Main Street, they are all different and many of them are themed to their shops (the Elvis pumpkin over 20th Century Music is the cutest).

It wouldn’t be Disney without some super cute themed merchandise. These poison apple steins were a huge hit last year and sold out pretty quickly. This year they are all over the park at a bunch of different stands and carts. I was super excited to finally get my hands on one!

Something special for Halloween Time for this year only is Late Check-Out at Tower of Terror. Tower of Terror is going to be shutting down in January to receive a Guardians of the Galaxy re-theming (which I am eh about). So for the last couple of months of its original life, the ride is operating in total darkness and silence in the evening hours. I have to say, I went into this thinking it wouldn’t make that much of a difference, but it was super creepy! Honestly, I think the no sound aspect added more to the creep factor than the no lights, but overall, it was a really cool experience. I definitely want to try it again before the end of the season. (Note: If you want a traditional ride on Tower of Terror before it closes, make sure you go on it during the daytime hours.)

Over in Frontierland is one of my favorite parts of Halloween Time, the Dia de los Muertos celebration. I love the decor here, and there is lots of info about Day of the Dead and some fun activities like face-painting.

The Halloween Tree is a recent addition to Disneyland and you have to see it all lit up at night. The Halloween Tree was dedicated to Ray Bradbury and is strung with all kinds of lights and pumpkins. It is pretty spectacular at night.

One of the most popular features of Halloween Time is Haunted Mansion Holiday. The Nightmare Before Christmas overlay goes up in September and sticks around until the end of Christmas. It is a super fun attraction that changes a little every year. This year, in addition to the new gingerbread house (which is different every year), Sally has been added to the graveyard.

It wouldn’t be a holiday celebration without some yummy treats! The food during Halloween Time is ah-mazing. For the full details and a printable checklist, check out this post.

If you have never been to Disneyland during Halloween Time, I highly recommend making a trip. It is such a fun time of the year and there is so much to see and do (and eat)! What is your favorite part of Halloween Time?

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Printable: Halloween Sweets and Treats to Eat

It is officially Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort and I am soooooo excited. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year (even though it doesn’t really exist weather wise here in So Cal) and I especially love fall at Disneyland. The whole park is decked out for the season and there are so many fun things to see and do. I will be visiting this year’s Halloween Time celebrations over the next couple of weeks and I will be sure to report back on all the fun. In the meantime, feel free to check out last year’s take on Halloween Time and read all about my first experience at Mickey’s Halloween Party. As of right now I am not planning on attending the Halloween Party this year since it is on the pricey side, but I am super bummed about that because they added a cool new parade this year and it looks amazing. I might just convince myself to go, but we’ll see!

Of course one of the best part of any holiday season is the food, and Halloween Time is no different. There are so many delicious new treats to try, both sweet and savory, that I am honestly not sure whether I will have the time (and the stomach) to get to them all. But I am going to try my best! And you can bet I will be telling you all about them when I do so you know what the can’t miss items are (seriously people, the sacrifices I make). Because there are so many spooky eats to try, I decided to make up a cool little list to help keep me on track, and since I am nothing if not a giver, I am going to share that list with you! Make sure you scroll all the way down to get your own printable copy of the Halloween Time Sweets and Treats list! (Note: This list is based off of info from the official Disney Parks blog, however, offerings can change at anytime. This is also not the complete list of offerings, just the ones that sounded the best to me.)


As of right now, I have officially marked off three items on the list! Here’s a brief review of each! First is the orange and vanilla swirl fro yo from California Adventure. This is delicious and basically tastes like an old fashioned creamsicle. It tastes more like summer than fall to me, and I was expecting the color to be a bit more dramatic, but it was tasty nonetheless!

I also sampled the Anti-Vampire Garlic Chicken Pizza from Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta. It was just okay. Not anything to write home about and definitely not as garlicky as I would have liked. Also, not a huge fan of the crust at Boardwalk. It’s pretty bland.

The Butterscotch Beignets, available in a couple of different locations (I got mine at the Mint Julep Bar behind French Market) were delicious. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with a beignet covered in butterscotch flavored powdered sugar. They were scrumptious, and I only ate one of the three and felt satisfied, so there is enough in one order to share!

Okay, I still have a whole lot of goodness to shovel into my piehole (gracefully and like a lady, of course). Come back soon to see how everything rates on the yumminess scale! And if you would like to download and print out your own copy of the Sweet and Treats list, click this link right here!

What are you most looking forward to eating this Halloween season (at the parks or at home)? What are your favorite fall treats?

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AP Days at the Disneyland Resort

AP Days are back at the Disneyland Resort! I have to say, I was surprised to see another round of AP Days scheduled for the fall since they just had them just a few months ago, but it was a pleasant surprise so I’ll take it! Despite the fact that I spent my whole day Monday at Disneyland in order to catch the end of the 60th celebration (check out my Instagram if you want the highlights!), I packed Squirt up in the car on Tuesday morning and we headed down to be a part of the first AP Day of the fall. AP Days really start when you park at the Mickey and Friends parking structure, but only if you have three or four people in your car. There are discounts available for carpooling, along with a really cute AP button for cars with four or more people in them (at least one of whom needs to be a passholder). There is lots of info about AP Days posted around the parks, even at the tram stop on the way in. When you enter DCA, there is an informational sign letting you know where to go…

Both locations are new, as last time events were held in Stage 17 and the Blue Sky Cellar, but more on that later. We headed over to Paradise Gardens first. In this area, there is a phone charging station set up (make sure you bring your own charging cord if you plan on using it) and a little welcome area in the gazebo that had the merch on display and a photo stop. If you need to renew/upgrade your pass, they will happily take all your money at this location. You can also pick up your weekly button right outside the gazebo.

Just outside of the gazebo, you can pick up these special edition recipe cards. Both of these pumpkin goodies sound pretty good, except they made a typo on the Pumpkin Bread one. It says “raisins” when they clearly meant to put “chocolate chips”. I have collected some of these cards before, but haven’t ever actually made any of these dishes, so I’ll put them on my to do list.

In addition to the weekly pin and recipe cards, they were also handing out these activity sheets at Paradise Gardens. It has some fun little counting/scavenger hunt type games on it that would probably be really cool for elementary school age kids. I freakin love this button and I can’t wait to see the rest of the series.

The merch for AP Days can be found at the Studio Store, which is located right in front of Monsters Inc. I really like this shirt, but I am not sure I would actually wear it (I think I would like it better if it were just the front design).

This coffee tumbler definitely came home with me though. I love the colors and the design and I will use this bad boy on the reg.

The other main area for AP Days is over at Stage 12, which is the one behind the dance floor for whatever it is they replaced Mad Tea Party with. This area was kind of a bummer for a couple of reasons. One, there was a good size line to get in that was directly in the sun and had no shade whatsoever. They also didn’t allow strollers in said line so that made waiting in the heat with Squirt even more of a challenge (they didn’t let strollers into Stage 17 either, but there was never a line and there was AC inside so it wasn’t a big deal). Once into the area, it is super cramped and hard to move around. The main attraction here is the character meet and greet, which we didn’t do because after waiting in the long line outside the area, there was another long line, again outside and not shaded, to meet the actual character. Boo.

Since we had waited all that time to get in, I grabbed a complimentary water bottle and sat down with Squirt to do some coloring. While it is very nice that they set up these tables for the little ones, they took up a majority of the space inside the waiting area and made it really hard to move around.

While I will obviously be going back each week to get my new button, I don’t think we will be going back to the Stage 12 area. The only thing you can get there that you can’t at Paradise Gardens is the character photos, and frankly, Squirt hates them anyway so why bother. I don’t want to sound ungrateful because I know these AP Days are a total bonus and definitely not something Disney has to do, but I really wish they would move both areas back to their previous indoor locations. I know it’s “fall” but it’s still super hot here in So Cal and waiting outside in the sun is no bueno.

Have you attended AP Days before? What are your thoughts? I will continue to post on Instagram as I attend the upcoming weeks of AP Days so keep an eye out for the new button designs and any new info that might come our way!

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My Top Sweets at the Disneyland Resort

If you are anything like me, you have a major sweet tooth. And if you are anything like me, you find Disneyland to be the perfect place to indulge said sweet tooth. I mean, you so cannot go wrong with so many of the yummy sweets you can find in the park. These are just some of my favorites!

The Sea Salt Caramel Sundae from the Ghiradelli Soda Fountain in California Adventure. The name alone should say it all, but if you need more convincing, this decadent ice cream sundae is a caramel lover’s dream. It has swirls of caramel inside, along with some hot fudge, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and sea salt on top. My favorite thing about this sundae is the sea salt because it really holds it texture (I find a lot of the times sea salt kind of dissolves away) and gives a perfect balance to the sweetness of the sundae. Also, this bad boy is definitely big enough to share.

disneyland sweets

The Mickey Ice Cream Bar is a classic, and you can’t beat it on a hot day at the parks. It’s a simple vanilla ice cream bar, but what really makes it is the richness of the chocolate. Yummy!

disneyland sweets

These Milk Chocolate Salted Caramels are my favorite treat to take home from the parks. Anytime I am staying down in the OC overnight, I grab a bag of these guys to take back to the hotel. They are the perfect late night snack…or late afternoon snack…or breakfast.

disneyland sweets

The Maple Nut Fudge from Candy Palace on Main Street in Disneyland. Not going to lie, all the fudge is divine, but I’m a big fan of maple fudge and you can’t find it most places, so this one is my go to. Also not going to lie that I would prefer it without the nuts, but I will put up with them for maple goodness.

disneyland sweets

Some other notable favorites that aren’t pictured include the English Toffee from Candy Palace and the create-your-own ice cream bars from Clarabelle’s in California Adventure. A notable sweet treat that I think you should totally skip: churros. #Sorrynotsorry. The churros at Disneyland are fine and tasty, but they are not the best sweet (or most unique treat) you can find in the park. And to me, they taste like any other churro I have had at any other theme park or baseball stadium. There are much better ways to spend $5 on sweets, in my opinion. Also, while I do love me a Dole Whip, I cannot justify standing in line for that long for ice cream. I mean, I know it’s delicious, but I just can’t do it. More power to you if you are willing to wait!

What are your go to sweets at the Disneyland Resort? I’m always looking for excuses to buy sugar new things to try, so leave me your suggestions!

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Spotlight On: Red Car Trolley News Boys

When you think of entertainment at the Disneyland Resort, you probably think of the plethora of nighttime spectaculars, everything from Fantasmic! to World of Color to Paint the Night to the fireworks. And there is no denying the awesomeness of those shows, I love them all. But there are tons of amazing daytime entertainment options available at the Disneyland Resort as well, and sometimes they get lost in the shuffle. Today I want to share one of my favorites: the Red Car Trolley News Boys. That is obviously way too long for me to continue to type over and over, so from now on, they are the News Boys. The News Boys take their inspiration from the Disney film and Broadway show Newsies, both of which I love, and their 1920’s garb and peppy songs fit right in with the vibe of Buena Vista Street at California Adventure, which is where the show is staged. You can catch multiple performances of the show throughout the day, so make sure you check the current entertainment schedule when you get to the park. Here are just some of the reasons the News Boys are the coolest:


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Ways to Beat the Heat at the Disneyland Resort

It is officially the first day of summer, and here in So Cal that means a couple of things: school is out so the tourist destinations are packed, Disneyland is in its busiest season of the year, and it is hot–we are seriously in the middle of a brutal heat wave and it is no bueno. While I have many fond memories of summer trips to Disneyland (most importantly, my annual birthday trips), summer at the park can be very unfun if you are not prepared for the heat (and the crowds). Here are some of my tips to beat the heat when it comes to summer in the park:


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Frozen Live at the Hyperion Theater: An Honest Review

So, if you haven’t heard the latest Disneyland buzz, Frozen Live at the Hyperion Theater has officially opened. A few months ago there was lots of sadness and tears as the Aladdin live musical closed after thirteen years. The salt in the open wound of losing Aladdin was that it was to be replaced with, what else, Frozen. I have to say, when it comes to the Frozen debate, I am kind of like Switzerland. I don’t love Frozen with the same zeal as an eight year old girl, but I also don’t hate it like many of the Disney diehards. I don’t love that it is everywhere in the parks right now, but I get why it is–the people who visit Disneyland once a year (you know, the ones who make Disney the most money) want to see Frozen.

The new Frozen musical has been being hyped for the past couple of weeks now, and tons of Disney bloggers and social media peeps were invited to the premiere about two weeks ago. They, of course, all gave the show stellar reviews (from what I saw). But I decided to reserve judgement until I could see the show for myself. As you probably know, I have a background in professional theater, so I am a tough critic when it comes to live performances. And I really, really wish I could sit here and write a scathing review of Frozen Live at the Hyperion Theater….but I can’t. Were there issues? Yes. Were there parts of the show that were eh? Yes. But overall, it is a phenomenal experience. The tech and sets alone make it a worthwhile watch. So let’s break it down.


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