Disney Booze

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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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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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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Disneyland Food and Drink Checklist

We all know one of the best parts about visiting the Disneyland Resort is the noms. There is so much delicious food at the parks and the hotels that it is hard to decide what to try first.  So I, being the selfless giver that I am, have decided to take on a challenge of sorts. I am going to be sampling some of the most popular foods (and drinks!) available to guests at the Disneyland Resort (both theme parks and hotels). Some of these are items I have already had, but many are not. I put together this list by going through the menus of all the different restaurants and seeing what looked good. I also thought about some of the most popular Disney food items (Dole Whips, pretzels, etc.) and added them as well. I am going to be bringing my list along with me when I go on my trips and will eventually sample every item listed (so long as they remain available, as Disneyland is ever-changing). I’ll offer you my thoughts on the items as time rolls along, and then when I have completed my task, I will offer you my favorites.

Here a peek at the list I will be using to guide my task…

If you want to get crazy with me, feel free to download my printable Food and Drink brochure! I printed mine out on cardstock (make sure you use two sided printing) and folded it to make a cute little brochure that will be easy to stash in the diaper bag or in my back pack.  By the time you read this, I will have already crossed a couple of items off of the list! Follow me on Instagram, @adisneymomblog, for updated pics and check back often over the next couple of months for updates!

You can click here to download the brochure! 




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Mickey’s Halloween Party

Alright, so if you read my previous post, you know that I got some not so great news as I was leaving Mickey’s Halloween Party, which was a total bummer because up until that point, I had a total blast.  I had never been to the Halloween Party before, and I kind of expected it to be lame, or at the very least, overpriced.  But I had a great experience, and overall a really fun day at the parks.  So we’re going to focus on the positive and talk about the awesome things you can experience at Mickey’s Halloween Party!

My Disney bestie Brianna and I arrived at the parks around 1:30.  Normally you are only permitted entry to Disneyland three hours before the party, but since B and I are both passholders, we wanted to get down there early to spend some time in California Adventure (and since it was a weekday, we needed to get there before rush hour to avoid massive amounts of traffic).  We headed into DCA first, since we knew we would be spending the bulk of our time in Disneyland.  The school district where we work has a random two days off in October so we got to go to the parks on a Monday, which meant it wasn’t super crowded, and we were able to meet up with a couple of other friends who were also visiting.  One of the main reasons we wanted to go to DCA was to check out the Halloween drink special, the Poison Apple-tini.  It was delicious and came with this super cool light up ice cube.

As soon as we entered Disneyland, we headed straight for Space Mountain, which has its own Halloween overlay, Ghost Galaxy. I rarely get the chance to ride Space Mountain, so this was a highlight for me, especially since the line was so short.

 

We decided to watch the fireworks, which meant by default we watched Paint the Night.  I still really love the parade so it was cool to see it again.  I had never seen the Halloween fireworks before and I really enjoyed them (though B was not a fan of the remixed music).

 

One of the things I was most looking forward to was the Cadaver Dans and they were just as amazing as I had hoped.  I loved their Halloween medley, floating across the Rivers of America.

We closed out the night stopping along at the numerous candy stations throughout the park.  Originally we thought we might skip the trick or treating, but what’s Halloween without some candy?  The stations were a lot less crowded at the end of the night and we scored a decent amount of loot!

I’m not sure I will go to another Halloween Party until Squirt is old enough to be able to go and appreciate it, but as a first-timer, I really enjoyed myself.  There were some amazing costumes, lots of fun entertainment, cool characters out and about, and candy!  It was also really nice to see the park not packed with people since the crowds have been a little daunting lately.  If I do decide to not renew my pass in the future, I would definitely use the Halloween Party as one of my annual trips.  For the price of admission, you get a lot of park time, plus the added perks.  Overall, it was a great night!


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Restaurant Review: Tortilla Joe’s

After running the Disneyland 10k, the hubs and I were obviously hungry and very obviously in need of a drink.  So we headed to one of our favorite restaurants at Downtown Disney, Tortilla Joe’s.  Tortilla Joe’s is a great place to step away from the park madness for a bit and enjoy some yummy food and drinks.  We stop here often during football season to check in on the latest games (we usually sit at the bar).  The bar there is more low key than some of the other DTD restaurants and we don’t usually have a problem finding a seat.  Here’s a look at what makes Tortilla Joe’s so yummy!


There are two different sections of Tortilla Joe’s, inside and the outdoor patio.  Each has their own bar and the seating at regular tables is handled separately (so if you know you want to sit outside, head directly to the hostess at the patio).  We have actually never eaten inside the restaurant, we always sit on the patio or at the outdoor bar.

Of course, you can’t go to a Mexican restaurant without getting at least one margarita.  On our last trip I tried the Pineapple Cilantro Margarita and it was amazing.  Not something that sounds super appealing, but the combo was very refreshing and a perfect summer treat.

We also tried a new food dish on our last visit, the shrimp skewers, and they were delicious.  The corn was tasty, the shrimp was really fresh, and it made for the perfect post-run appetizer.

We also shared one of our favorite Tortilla Joe’s dishes, the chicken nachos.  I think we can all agree the key to good nachos is plenty of cheese, and these babies certainly aren’t lacking in that department.  Seriously, my mouth is watering just looking at this picture.  So yummy.

The one downside to Tortilla Joe’s is that it is on the pricey side, though in comparison to the other restaurants at Downtown Disney, it is pretty average.  The portions are big though, so you can definitely share entrees and be plenty satisfied, especially with chips and salsa as a precursor to your meal.  I recommend sitting out on the patio and enjoying a margarita when you visit, and if you do stop by Tortilla Joe’s, look for me at the bar, you might see me there!


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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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