Thursday, May 25, 2017

Here Comes Summer! (Disneyland 2017)

Summer is here, and with it comes new changes and updates for the Disneyland Resort. We've gathered them up into one convenient place for you all! Check it all out below.

Let's Start over at California Adventure...

Photo Credit: Tiffany Dixon

Summer of Heroes

With the opening of Mission Breakout and the very start of what will most likely be a Marvel expansion to DCA, they've amped up the super heroes in HollywoodLand! Here's what you can find all summer long.

  • Hero Training
    • If you or your kids love doing the Jedi Training over in Tomorrowland, this is for you! Hawkeye and Black Widow lead the training of new heroes (ages 4-12). Its located on the stage across from Mike and Sulley to the Rescue, but don't forget to sign up at the kiosk nearby in the morning, as training times will surely fill up quickly. 
  • Character Meet and Greets
    • Along with the usual Spider Man and Captain America, Black Widow will be "working a secret mission" where she'll gather guests to see their best super hero poses. There'll be sure to be some amazing pics from this one!
  • Dance Off

    • What's Guardians of the Galaxy without fantastic music and a dance off with Star Lord himself? Star Lord and Gamora will be coming out near the new Mission Breakout ride to lead a dance off and we couldn't be more excited to try it (and most likely embarrass ourselves)! 
  • Food!
    • According to the Disney Parks Blog, there will be LOTS of new things to taste this summer. You can check out the complete list here, but we've listed our favorites and "must try" items below. (Images thanks to the Disney Parks Blog)
      • Savory Strength Falafel Pita (Chickpea Fritters with spinach, cucumber mint slaw and spiced yogurt sauce)
      • Obviously Nachos (Fried blue corn tortillas with red pepper cheese sauce, mojo-marinated chicken, chipotle crèma and green onions...vegetarian version also available)
      • The Most Dangerous Tacos in the Galaxy (Barbacoa beef tacos with green onion slaw, purple cabbage, pickled onions, habanero salsa and green tortillas...vegetarian version also available)

Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout

We know emotions run high about this one. We all loved Tower of Terror! But we gotta tell you...we've heard reviews and even watched it on YouTube (see below, for those who love spoilers!) and the new ride looks fantastic. Its a great update using incredibly popular characters, but at its core its the same thrills of the original.

You enter and go through the Tivan Collection, where there are all kinds of Marvel artifacts to look through. In the old library of the original Tower of Terror, an impressive Rocket Raccoon animatronic greets you and explains the mission that lies ahead. Then you board your elevator to find a new spin on the amazing lifts and drops we all remember and love. Check out the ride through (WARNING!!! EXTREME SPOILERS!!!)

And now over to Disneyland Park

Reopenings! (TBD)

We'll make this one short and quick. Everything's coming back this summer! Yay!!! But we don't know when. Boo!!! The Disneyland Railroad, Mark Twain, Sailing Ship Columbia, Tom Sawyer's Island (Pirate's Lair, whatever) are all coming back and as soon as we have a finalized date, we'll be sure to share it with you.

The Triumphant Return of Fantasmic

Also in "summer" (ugh, so vague) will be the return of Fantasmic, for its 25th year! They've announced a couple of updates, but I'm sure there will be more details as we get closer. So far, here's what we know...
  • Updated projection screens (I'm sure lots of technology has changed since 1992 so it should look amazing)
  • Aladdin scene added, complete with flying carpet (perfect for anyone who misses that Aladdin live show over in DCA)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean takeover of the Peter Pan scene (Peter Pan was the best scene. We're hoping Pirates can fill these big shoes!)
Extended Electrical Parade

The Main Street Electrical Parade's run has been extended through August 20! Go see the extreme nostalgia while you can. 

What are you most looking forward to this summer? Be sure to give us a shout on Facebook if you're in the parks and see something you want to share

Monday, May 15, 2017

We Made Dole Whip!

There are tons of DIY Dole Whip recipes all over the internet, and we've tried them before. But nothing is quite like the real deal. That why we were super stoked to make Dole Whip with the mix direct from Dole! Available on Amazon, this is the actual mix they make the good stuff from.

According to the package, this makes 89 servings of Dole Whip! Fantastic!!! Except we don't have a professional grade soft serve machine to pour the whole bag into...we actually don't have a soft serve maker at all. So first we did some internet sleuthing to see how other people made smaller amounts. The best recipe we found for our 2 Quart KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker:

8 oz. Dole Whip Mix
2 Cups Cold Water

That's it!! This couldn't be easier. We measured out the mix, whisked it together, then set it in the ice cream maker for 30 minutes. We let it sit in the freezer for a while because it still wasn't quite frozen enough.

Since we don't have a soft serve machine, it ended up having much more of the look of ice cream (scooped into bowls and everything), but man oh man was it the perfect flavor and even the texture wasn't far off.

If you love Dole Whip as much as we do and need to fill a craving at home, this is the stuff for you!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Learn from Our Disney Mistakes Vol. 2

We consider ourselves to pretty much be experts on all things Disneyland, but as we've shared before,  sometimes things can still surprise us when they don't go as planned. We had three surprising situations come up on our trip to the Happiest Place on Earth last month and we wanted to share them with you so you don't make the same mistakes we did.

Magic Morning is NOT Always Inlcuded

We always look at ticket prices online (Disneyland's website or the app) when we're planning a trip,  and when you're looking at 3-5 day tickets it says Magic Morning early admission is included. Hooray! I love a morning with fewer people in the park. (Its the best time to get on Peter Pan!)

What it DOESN'T say is that this is an online/phone order exclusive! If you look at prices online and then decide to purchase in person at the ticket booths, you will not get Magic Morning! We found that out the hard way. Luckily an amazing Cast Member took pity on us when he saw how shocked we were and added Magic Morning to our tickets. If for some reason (like wanting to pay with more than one gift card), you can't buy tickets online but want Magic Morning, buy your tickets over the phone. They'll be waiting for you at the ticket booths when you get to the parks (or they can ship it to you if you have enough time) and you'll still get your extra hour in the park.

Timing for Electrical Parade Meals

We were a really big group this trip, so we thought, "Wouldn't it be great if all 10 of us didn't have to sit and wait for Electrical Parade seats?!?" So of course we went for one of the parade meal packages. We went online and reserved a dinner at Aladdin's Oasis with Electrical Parade seating. We went to check in at our assigned time. The Cast Member looked at our group (complete with kids ages 1, 4, and 6) and very cautiously asked us (as if she's been asking people all day and not gotten great responses) if we realized that or seats would be for the second showing of the parade at 10:30...what??? We couldn't believe our error and didn't remember there being any kind of notice on the dining reservations site about parade times. The CM explained that lunch is for the first show, and dinner is for the second show. She very graciously cancelled our reservation at no charge and advised us to look online right away to check for reservations the next day. Of course we did, and were luck enough that it all worked out. But the website doesn't explain the timing, and only gives you your parade time AFTER you've made your reservation. (Btw, our lunch was delicious!)

Reserved Seating Location

Electrical Parade dinner/seating saga Part 2 - ready? The seats are terrible. Now, I don't know off hand where they seat you if you do the premium meal at the Blue Bayou. But I'll tell you about the seating for Aladdin. It's directly across from Small World (which I personally love for the first parade because that's right at the start), but its behind the reserved VIP seats, behind a fence, and behind some bushes. Meaning you need to stand to see, if you have kids in a stroller, they can't stay in it and be able to see the parade, and you still need to get there at least 40 minutes early if you want the front of that section. So after paying quite a bit for your meal, you're still not guaranteed to be able to see since tall adults may be standing in front of you. We ended up not even going into the reserved section and found front row seats ourselves!

To Sum It Up

Learn from our mistakes so you can have an amazing trip! 

Have any advice or tips from things you've learned on your Disney vacations? Share with us in the comments below.