Disney Holidays

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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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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Holiday Highlights from Years Past

Hello friends! The holidays are clearly upon us and I don’t know about you, but my social media feed is full of all kinds of crafts, recipes and projects all themed around Christmas and Thanksgiving. I figured today I would share some of my favorite holiday themed posts from past years with you so you have them all in one convenient spot. I will have some new holiday posts coming your way soon, including a look at the new holiday offerings at Disneyland, but these will hopefully tide you over until they are ready!

I can never pass up the opportunity for themed Minnie ears. Last year I made these Christmas ears and I still love them. I’m sure I will make a new pair this year, but I am still in love with this pair too.


I am no longer a teacher, as you know, but my hubs still is, as are many of my close friends. For their sake, and for the sake of all of the teachers out there, please read this post and take heed! This is what teachers really want for the holidays.


No holiday (no day?) is complete without a festive cocktail. Last year I made these tasty drinks, and completed them with some simple DIY stir sticks.


Another highlight of the holidays is all the baked yumminess. These festive cookies are so easy to make!

Christmas Cookies

The holidays at Disneyland always bring something new to the table, but a lot of the traditions return year after year. Here is my list from last year of my top ten favorite things about the holidays at Disneyland.


Holiday photos are a must when you have little ones, but as you can probably imagine, wrangling a wiggly baby or toddler into a cute pose is not always easy. Here are some tips for a successful at home photo shoot with your kiddlet.


One of my favorite parts of the holidays at California Adventure is the decorations in Cars Land. Cars Land has such amazing theme-ing as it is, and it is pretty spectacular what they come up with for holiday decorations.


And if you missed it, make sure you check out my post from last week highlighting my favorite holiday cards for 2016!

I’m still having trouble believing it is actually the holidays already. Are you ready for the holiday season?

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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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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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Disney Top Ten: Holiday Time Edition

The holiday season officially comes to an end (in Disney terms anyway) on January 6th.  I’m always a little bit sad to see the holiday goodies and decor packed up and stored away for another year, but it also just makes me that much more excited for the next year to come.  Here are some of my favorite things (in no particular order) about the holidays at the Disneyland Resort, and what I will miss the most!


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