Thursday, February 28, 2019

Best of the Food and Wine Festival 2019

It's that time of year again. Time for the Food and Wine Festival in California Adventure! Its delicious, its fun, its a tiny bit expensive, and we love it! Beginning Friday March 1, you can sample foods from fourteen different stands, see seminars and celebrity chefs, attend Jr Chef with the kids, and even attend a special "Dinner with the Disney Chefs" on March 28 ( for $225 per person, make your reservations now!).

Don't forget to budget for the super cute merch they put out every year. These were our absolute favorite the first time we went to Food and Wine.

Sunday mornings from 11-1, you can attend Sweet Sundays. This amazing event begins with a dessert making demonstration and ends with a brunch buffet! As always, reservations fill up wuickly so be sure to check in on Disneyland's official website for abailability. Check out the celebrity chef line-up here:

  • March 10: Jean-Marc Viallet (Executive Pastry Chef of the Disneyland Resort!)
  • March 24: Matt Lewis (from Baked NY and Tokyo, and Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)
  • April 7: Emily Ellyn (from Food Network Star and Cutthroat Kitchen)
  • April 21: Keegan Gerard (from Food Network Challenge)

If you haven't been to the Food and Wine Festival before, your options are to go up to each booth and order any item individually or you can purchase a Sip and Savor pass which, for $54, will give you 8 coupons that you can redeem at any booth. If you're planning on trying out lots of different items during your vacation, or if you're local and are going to come back and taste different foods a few different time, then the pass does offer a bit of a discount. If you're like us, and are going to pick just one food/drink to try, then it doesn't offer any benefit. So make the best choice for you!

As we mentioned before, there are 14 booths with multiple offerings this year. Just too much to list here! You'd be reading (and getting super hungry) all day. So we've done the hard work for you and picked our top ten choices based on the menu offerings this year. (Pics courtesy of the Disney Parks Blog. For a full listing, click here). 

  1. At Uncork California, the Mimosa Flight is calling our name! Try a trio of amazing mimosas: hibiscus, tropical, and mixed berry.
  2. At California Craft Brews, the Pepperoni Pizza Eggrolls are looking pretty good, especially with marinara and pesto dipping sauces.
  3. At Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit, this Cauliflower Ceviche with Chile Corn Crumble and Tortilla Strips is looking like the best vegan meal we've ever had.
  4. At I<3 Artichokes, watch for this Artichoke Toast with California Olive Tapenade. We're bummed that the artichoke cake pop isn't making its triumphant return, but this looks like a fantastic second choice.
  5. At Garlic Kissed, the Black Garlic Soy-braised Pork Belly Banh Mi is looking irresistible!
  6. While we're still at Garlic Kissed, the Mickey shaped Chocolate Crunch Cake is looking like the most beautiful, Instagrammable item on the whole festival menu!
  7. At Golden Dreams, the Deconstructed Teriyaki Chicken Musubi with Pineapple Relish is our "must try" item. 
  8. Stay at Golden Dreams a little longer and get the kids the Yippee! Mickey’s Cotton Candy Soda.
  9. At LA Style, you'll want to try the Asian-style Beef Barbacoa Taco with Pickled Ginger.
  10. At Paradise Garden Grill, the Black Forest Parfait is calling us so loudly, we can hear it at home, 400 miles away!

What looks best to you? Which will you be trying on your visit? We'll be sure to share more pics and info when we visit the Food and Wine Festival in April.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

What to Do When the Castle is Closed

When you think of Disneyland, the first thing you think of is that epic view of the castle, and how amazing the pic of your group standing in front of it will turn out. Not just me, right? Well, due to all of the huge changes they made to the castle four years ago for the 60th Diamond anniversary, there are a lot of repairs to be made to the roof and the castle is now CLOSED and won't reopen until "spring" (so unfairly vague!). Yikes!!!

Last time they renovated the castle, they covered it with a giant tarp with a picture of the castle on it. Anyone remember this craziness?

So far, its just a a gate blocking the way, but I'm assuming they won't want guests to see the construction so the tarp will be back soon.

So what do we do while the castle is blocked off? Where will we take our perfect group pics, propose to our girlfriends, and watch fireworks??? Never worry - Dole Whip A Day is here to help!

What About the Fireworks???

You know what they say...the show must go on! Starting January 18, the new nightly show "Mickey's Mix Magic" will begin, with our without the castle in the background, so no worries. Although, keep in mind this is being described as a projection show "enhanced with fireworks." So there's much more  focus on the projections surrounding you, rather than the fireworks overhead.

Top 5 Places (Other Than the Castle) for Amazing Pics

Nothing replaces the magic of Disneyland's castle, but these places will be perfect substitutes until March....or April....maybe May....sometime in the Spring!

Small World - Beautiful from the side or head on, there are plenty of spots at Small World to snag your perfect pic. We suggest taking the left side of the line and getting a pic before boarding (not the second before you board - don't hold up the line!).

Partners Statue - There is no more iconic duo than Walt and Mickey, so why not get a pic right in front of their amazing statue at the end of Main Street. If you go from the same angle we did in the pic below, you won't even be able to tell that the castle isn't in its usual full glory.

Storytellers Statue - This counterpart to the Partners statue over at California Adventure is maybe not as iconic of a Disney Park location but you're right on the level of Walt and Mickey and able to interact with them, which we really love.

Mickey Flowers - Always in bloom and always beautiful, you're bound to get a perfect shot here. We recommend not doing it first thing in the morning when there's a huge rush of people trying to squeeze in for their pic. You'll have better luck in the afternoon!

Pixar Pier - Any spot along the waterfront is going to be beautiful, but we recommend this shot below, in front of the Pixar Pal Around (or Mickey's Funwheel if you're not on board with the name change) just when the lights are first coming on.