A Touch of Disney Ticketed Experience

I just learned that Disneyland Park in Anaheim announced – A Touch of Disney, a new ticketed experience within select outdoor areas of Disney California Adventure Park. Disney fans can purchase tickets on March 4, 2021 to be one of the first to enter this new reopening beginning March 18, 2021. Tickets are available on Thursdays through Mondays from 12 pm to 8 pm.

Tickets are $75 for ages 3+ and over. Guests must be purchased in advance, and online for a specific date (subject to availability). Limit 8 tickets per person, per experience date.

A Touch of Disney ticket includes:

  • Parking for the experience at the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure beginning at 11:30 a.m.
  • Guests will undergo temperature screenings at the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure prior to going through security check. Based on guidance from health authorities, anyone displaying a temperature of 100.4 F or above will be directed to an additional location for rescreening. A Guest with a temperature of 100.4 F or above—in addition to everyone in the Guest’s traveling party—will not be allowed entry.
  • A $25 A Touch of Disney Dining Card redeemable for food and nonalcoholic beverages at select dining locations within the Disneyland Resort (subject to restrictions including not being valid for alcohol purchases)*
  • Unlimited digital downloads of Disney PhotoPass photos captured during day of the experience. Disney PhotoPass is subject to the Disney PhotoPass terms and expiration policy. Online registration required.
  • The Hotels of the Disneyland Resort remain closed and will reopen at a later date.
  • Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park remain closed and will reopen at a later date, pending state and local government approvals.
  • Upon reopening, certain parks, hotels, restaurants, attractions, experiences and other offerings will be modified or unavailable, will have limited capacity and will be subject to limited availability or even closure, and park admission and offerings are not guaranteed.  View important details.

Dates, ticket availability and prices for the A Touch of Disney experience will be released on a rolling basis until the experience ends. Please keep checking back for the most up-to-date details. This will be a limited-time experience.

Note: there will be no admission tickets available for purchase at the Main Entrance Ticket Booth.

*A Touch of Disney Dining Cards are not refundable or redeemable for cash unless required by law. May not be used towards the purchase of alcohol or any merchandise items, services, admission tickets, or gift cards. For additional terms and conditions visit disneyterms.com/atouchofdisney.

Downtown Disney District Reopens

The Downtown Disney District, including Buena Vista Street, is open with select retail and dining locations. Ongoing updates on additional restaurant and food and beverage location openings can be viewed here.

Everyone must wear a mask

To reopen, Disney has implemented new health and safety measures based on guidance from health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and appropriate government agencies.

Soon a limited-time, ticketed experience will be opening at Disney California Adventure Park, focusing on the world-class food and beverage. Also, 1,000 Cast Members are being rehired.

Right now you can enter and explore without a timed ticket.

Good signage for parking and entering Downtown Disney District

There are 6 key things to expect when visiting the Downtown Disney District:

  • Park at the Simba Lot only right now. There are cones and closures clearly defined for guests to enter the Downtown Disney District. Parking is $10 per car. There is no refund or validation.
  • Guests receive a temperature screening prior to entry and walk through a tent with two sniffing dogs with their handlers, before a bag check and walking through a metal detector.
  • Face coverings are required for guests ages 2 and older. There is a vending machine that sells masks for $2 for those without one.
Forget your mask? No worries they have a vending machine with $2 masks
  • Physical distancing measures, including physically-distanced queues and seating, and physical barriers at select locations.
Benches are marked with safe distance seating
  • Temporary operations modifications, including reduced hours at select locations and the suspension of entertainment offerings and high-touch interactive areas.
The park has hand washing stations and hand sanitizer machines

An increased focus on cleaning and sanitation, including the addition of hand-washing stations and hand sanitizers are located in key areas. The day I visited there seemed to be more Disney cast members than guests, as the district was getting ready to reopen more outdoor dining venues.

Disney “Cast Members” are keeping the parks clean

The Downtown Disney District has begun a phased reopening, including an expansion onto Disney California Adventure’s Buena Vista Street. The brand new Star Wars Trading Post was a popular store that had a line of fans to enter. The stores are allowing a certain number of people inside, and have a social distance line and umbrella to keep guests safe and comfortable.

New Star Wars store in Downtown Disney

There is no entrance fee of ticket to stroll into Disney CA Adventure along some of Los Angeles’ most popular neighborhoods. Many of designs are inspired from where a young Walt Disney lived and worked after arriving in Southern California in 1923. Find the plaque next to Walt Disney and his friend Mickey Mouse statue that states, “It was July 1923. I packed all of my worldly goods – a pair of trousers, a checkered coat, a lot of drawing materials and the last of the fairy tale reels we had made – in a kind of frayed cardboard suitcase. And with that wonderful audacity of youth, I went to Hollywood, arriving there with just $40. It was a big day the day I got on that Santa Fe California Limited. I was just free and happy!”

Walt Disney’s dream came true
  • Downtown Disney District, including Buena Vista Street, parts of Hollywood Land and Grizzly Peak are open as of February 4, 2021. Certain retail and dining locations are also reopening. View Open Dining Locations for ongoing updates.
  • Starting Friday, Feb. 5, guests can once again make a reservation at Carthay Circle Lounge – Alfresco Dining, with its seasonal menu and unique dining environment on Buena Vista Street. Also beginning Feb. 5, mobile app order offers a contactless way to order corn dogs and soft drinks at Award Wieners, or bacon cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, onion rings, waffle fries, kids’ meals, and vanilla and chocolate shakes at  Smokejumpers Grill. Guests should place their mobile order once they are already on Buena Vista Street.
The park is reopening slowly and safely

Hours: I recommend arriving early when it opens at 10 a.m., before the lunch hour. Weekdays aren’t as crowded as weekends. During the week, it closes down by 8 p.m., and on the weekend at 9 p.m. Visiting Downtown Disney District awakens your senses. Listening to Disney music plays throughout the open areas, while smelling the pleasing aromas of creative Disney snacks, and colorful and appealing window displays and beautiful floral gardens.

Disneyland is not open yet, hopefully soon

Leaving Disney’s California Adventure to walk back through Downtown Disney District back to my car, I was drawn to the entrance of Disneyland. It was sad to see the gates all closed, yet the slope below the Train Depot continues to have a floral design of Mickey Mouse, giving hope that one day soon it will reopen safely again.

Hopefully Disneyland Hotels will open in 2021

The Hotels of the Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Park and all of Disney California Adventure Park remain closed and will reopen at a later date, pending state and local government approvals. I’ve heard possibly the theme parks will partially open more areas by March, 2021.

So Cal Family Destinations Status

Considering the constantly changing Coronavirus situation and in an abundance of caution, the following theme parks and family destinations have made changes and some are temporarily closing:

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LEGOLAND® California temporarily closed its theme park, water park and SEA LIFE® aquarium on Saturday, March 14 through March 31, 2020. However, the LEGOLAND® Hotel will remain open during this time. Spokesperson for LEGOLAND California Resort stated “The health and safety of our guests and our staff is always our top priority and we are continuing to implement preventive measures in line with the recommendations of the CDC guidelines. Employees will continue to work on site as scheduled. For guests wanting more information, please visit: LEGOLAND.com/covid-19/.”

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UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

Out of an abundance of caution and in response to the guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health, Universal Studios Hollywood has temporarily closed the park from Saturday, March 14 through March 31. They will continue to monitor the situation. Universal CityWalk will remain open. They have created flexible programs for guests who have purchased tickets. Guests with specific questions can call this number for more information: 1-866-258-6546. What if you have a ticket for a date when the theme park is closed? Can you get a refund? Tickets purchased for park visits during the anticipated closure period, from March 14 through March 31, will be automatically extended for use through December 18, 2020. If you cannot visit during this time, you can apply the value of a wholly unused ticket toward a new purchase.
What if you have an Annual or Season Pass? Annual or Season passes will be extended by the number of days our theme park is closed (for those who purchased Annual Passes using FlexPay, additional information will be forthcoming). Existing benefits and restrictions will continue to apply.

Disneyland and California Adventure

Disney closed Disneyland and California Adventure in Anaheim, on Saturday, March 14 through the end of the month, because of the coronavirus outbreak. “While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, after carefully reviewing the guidelines of the Governor of California’s executive order and in the best interest of our guests and employees,”  a spokesperson for Disneyland Resort said in a statement.Hotels at Disneyland Resort will remain open until Monday, March 16, “to give guests the ability to make necessary travel arrangements,” the statement said. “We will monitor the ongoing situation and follow the advice and guidance of federal and state officials and health agencies. Disney will continue to pay cast members during this time,” the statement said. For questions and concerns call (714)520-5050.

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Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens is a place of reflection and nature. We hope you will find peace here amid all the troubling news around coronavirus (COVID-19). In response to this serious crisis, Descanso has decided to operate as an outdoor-only venue until the situation is safe again. This means the Boddy House and Sturt Haaga Gallery will be closed through April. All indoor programming and events will be canceled or re-imagined as outdoor events. At Descanso Gardens, the health and safety of our visitors, staff, volunteers, and members are our highest priority. We will continue to act and respond based on the advice of government officials, public health authorities, and medical professionals, as well as, continue to implement increased safety and cleaning measures. The following programs are being postponed or reimagined for outdoor spaces. Please visit descansogardens.org/updates for the latest information.

If you have already purchased tickets for general admission or to a special event, Descanso Gardens is happy to refund them. Please call (818) 949-4200.
For updates on the Gardens and programming, please check descansogardens.org/update
To support emergency response to coronavirus (COVID-19), the Getty Center and Villa are closed from Saturday, March 14, 2020, until further notice. Learn more » public events are canceled or postponed, as a precautionary measure. A list of cancelled events can be found here.  If you have already reserved tickets for any of these events, you will receive a separate notification via email with additional information related to your reservation. General inquiries: visitorservices@getty.edu.

 

Los Angeles ZOO

As of March 13, the Los Angeles Zoo will be closed through March 31, 2020 to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Based upon this morning’s directive from Mayor Eric Garcetti to limit visitors to 50 at a time at public facilities, and with the health and safety of our community foremost in our mind, the Los Angeles Zoo will close to the public, effective Friday, March 13 through March 31, 2020. Zoo employees will continue to report to work as normal, in order to care for our animals and facility. At this time, we do not have any indication that this virus is of immediate concern to any of our zoo animals. Our animal health experts on staff are in communication with public health officials, along with local and national veterinary networks, to stay up-to-date on animals in human care and any potential risks. This page will be updated as new information becomes available. If you have purchased general admission tickets, your tickets are valid for one year from the date of purchase, and you are welcome to use them any time within that year.

 

2020 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival

Now through April 21, 2020 visitors at Disney California Adventure can enjoy the best of California in food and wine with a purchase of a Sip and Savor Pass. Explore your way through a variety of creative fare and beverages, classes, tastings and dinners.

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FESTIVAL MERCHANDISE: Stores and kiosks offer food theme related attire, cooking accessories, drink bottles and cookbooks.

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CULINARY EXPERIENCES: At Hollywood Backlot Stage kids ages 3 to 11 have the opportunity to whip up creative treats and stir up some fun with Chef Goofy. On the weekends Top Chefs including Brian Malarkey from Herb & Wood, and Cathay Circle Restaurant – Chef de Cuisine Alex Flores will lead outdoor culinary demonstrations and cooking exhibitions. Other visiting chefs include Nyesha Arrington, Richard Blais, Jet Tila, Amy Benson.

MEET A FARMER: Also on weekends, guests can meet farmers, ranchers and growers who grow the food we eat. They will provide guests a mini cooking demonstration using their own ingredients.

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FESTIVAL MARKETPLACE KIOSKS: Purchase a Sip and Savor Pass with 8 food tabs for $56, including tax. Passes are available at the Sip and Savor Cart, Seaside Souvenirs, Elias & Co., Kingswell Camera Shop, Rushin’ River Outfitters, Studio Store and each Festival Marketplace. The cleverly named eateries include Nuts About Cheese, One in a Melon, Peppers Cali-Ente, LA Style, Avocado Time, Off the Cob, I ❤️Artichokes, Cluck -A-Doodle-Moo, Berry Patch and Garlic Kissed.

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UNCORK CALIFORNIA: Enjoy flights and cheese plates on the Sonoma Terrace at Golden Vine Winery. During the weekends beer, wine and mixology classes and tasting seminars are $25 per guest 21+. Over at Carthay Circle they are offering Winemaker Receptions for $100 per person. Starting at 7 pm, enjoy an intimate evening tasting a variety of wine and hors d’ oeuvres. Tom Johnson from Skywalker Vineyard will pour end enlighten ticket holders on Friday, March 20. Ashley Parker Snider from Fess Parker Winery will be pouring on March 27, and Jonathan Emmerich of Silverado Vineyards will pour on April 10.

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On Wednesdays and Thursdays starting at 1:30 pm, journey backstage into a kitchen to learn about the the sweet and savory secret stories behind the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival.

 

What’s new at Disneyland Resort in 2020

Disneyland Resort in Anaheim is kicking off 2020 with exciting new experiences and special vacation values. For a limited time, park tickets and three hotels in Southern California are offering a Special Ticket Offer for Southern California Residents.

Southern California residents can redeem their tickets on any three separate days through May 21, 2020. Disneyland Resort theme park tickets start at $67 per day with the purchase of a three-day, one-park per day ticket. Park Hopper options also are available. Eligible guests may purchase up to five tickets per person, per day, and prices are the same for adults and children. This special ticket also includes one Magic Morning, which gives admission to select attractions on select days at Disneyland park one hour before the park opens to the general public. These special tickets may be purchased at https://disneyland.disney.go.com/3-day-southern-california-ticket-offer/  or through a travel agent. For families visiting from outside of Southern California, there is a Special Ticket Offer for Kids Everywhere. 

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Guests may use their park admission to enjoy thrilling and distinctly Disney experiences including the Lunar New Year through February 9, 2020. This multicultural festively decorated celebration includes Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession, live holiday entertainment, Sip & Savor Pass with Festival marketplaces, special appearances by Mickey and Minnie dressed in colorful costumes, innovative menus celebrating Asian delights, commemorative clothing, merchandise and souvenirs, kid-friendly crafts and activities.

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The groundbreaking new Disney attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, opened on Friday, Jan. 17 adding immersive adventures to guests inside the largest theme 14-acre expansion land Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge that opened in May 2019.

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Guests join the climactic battle between the Resistance and the First Order in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and take control of the most famous ship in the galaxy aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and encounter some of their favorite Star Wars characters, including the resourceful and loyal astromech droid R2-D2.

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While exploring this expansive new land, visitors can also sample galactic food and drink, and enter an intriguing collection of merchant shops.

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Disneyland Resort will debut its all-new “Magic Happens” parade at Disneyland Park on Feb. 28, 2020. The daytime spectacular celebrates the magic of so many Disney stories. This new parade, led by Mickey Mouse and his pals, celebrates the magic from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios films with stunning floats, colorful costumes and an energetic musical score of beloved Disney tunes. Highlights include “The Sword in the Stone,” “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty,” “Frozen 2,” “Moana,” “The Princess and the Frog,” as well as Disney and Pixar’s “Coco.”

More to come later in 2020 at both Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure theme parks.

Lunar New Year So Cal Celebrations

Were you born during the years 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007? Those years and 2019 are The Year of the Pig. In terms of yin and yang, the Pig is yin. In the Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth.

Here are some fun spots to celebrate your wealth this Lunar New Year:

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Universal Studios Hollywood ushers in the “Year of the Pig” with festive decorations, specialty dishes and live entertainment at the movie-based theme park. Walk under a curtain of customary red Chinese lanterns, and write and hang a wish at the stunning plum blossom Wishing Trees. Guests will discover which of the 12 zodiac animal signs they fall under, accompanied by their symbolic attributes. Beloved global pop icon Hello Kitty is celebrating, as is DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda masters Po and Tigress. They encourage young guests to come up onstage to perform. A Mandarin-speaking Transformer’s MEGATRON welcomes guests into a special Lunar New Year pavilion, and foodie Mr. Ping talks to guests about healthy food choices, and serves noodles, dumplings and bao at his nearby food cart. This special event inside Universal Studios is now through Monday, February 18, 2019.

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Year of the Pig at Disneyland – Disney California Adventure Park will observe Lunar New Year daily through Sunday, Feb. 17. Guests can enjoy a multicultural menu of traditional treats and drinks with the 2019 Lunar New Year Sip and Savor Pass. The celebrations will also include live entertainment and musical performances such as the updated Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession. Visit the arts and crafts area for beautiful décor ideas and shop themed merchandise for the whole family. 1313 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, (714)781-4636.

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TAO Hollywood Special Lunar New Year Dinner – Chef/Partner Ralph Scamardella and his culinary team, comprised of Executive Chef Yoshi Kojima (formerly of Morimoto, Oahu and Jai by Wolfgang Puck) prepare a special menu on Feb. 5 to usher in good fortune, happiness, wealth and longevity for the new year. Start with fluffy sesame scallion bread cut in fours and topped with juicy, thin-glazed pork belly and roasted sesame dipping sauce. The next course includes three red-colored soup dumplings filled with spicy pork. Kojima used beet juice to give the dumplings their red color, which signifies happiness and good fortune in Chinese culture. Each was then topped with thinly shaved black truffle, adding a slightly garlicky flavor to the dish. Cantonese pork belly with chow fun noodles was served next to represent longevity. The combination was a winner – the caramelized pork was tender, and the noodles featured a tangy and pleasing blood orange essence. Finish with one of the most beautiful desserts, a cheesecake shaped as a mandarin orange. Presented on a chocolate mochi cake, the sweet treat also included little chocolate beads for a nice crunch. This Year of the Pig four-course, prix-fixe meal is $85 per person. An à la carte menu will also be available. TAO is open daily from 6 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Friday. It’s open from 5 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, from 5 to 11 p.m. on Sunday and from 6 to 11 p.m. on Monday. $$$ 6421 Selma Ave., (323)593-7888.

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On February 22 beginning at 6:30 p.m. WP24 by Wolfgang Puck at The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles will host a sky-high night market dinner to celebrate The Year of the Pig. Wolfgang Puck draws upon Chinese traditions with a specialty cocktail served alongside a rotation of celebrated dishes presented throughout live cooking stations. Experiences will include a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, Chinese calligraphy tutorials, a red envelope giveaway, and lion dance performances. The lively street market atmosphere will feature seven live culinary stations offering savory Steamed Bao Buns with Pork Belly, Jian Bing with Scallops, Whole Roasted Peking Duck with Red Cooked Golden Pineapple. For dessert, Wolfgang Puck’s signature Mochi Waffle Dessert topped with Harry’s Berries Strawberries and Milk Tea Ice Cream. Tea experts from Art of Tea will share the history of a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony while calligraphy specialists will showcase the artistic expression of human language. Lion dancers will combine fundamental Chinese martial arts into a fluid routine to offer good fortune. Each guest will be issued a customary red envelope giveaway. Reservations can be made online and by calling 213-743-8824; tickets available for $65 per person not including tax or gratuity.

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Chinese New Year at Barton G. LA – Starting on Feb. 5 for one week during the Lunar New Year, the whimsical culinary destination offers a multi-sensory dining experience with over-the-top comfort food creations from around the globe. Celebrate Chinese New Year with a crispy Maine two pound lobster special for two. What makes this dish unique are four-foot chopsticks. Eating Lobster on the holiday is known to symbolize a prosperous year of wealth ahead. This one-of-a-kind dish includes Chinese fried rice, housemade Lap Cheong sausage, and shiso chili vinegar.  861 N. La Cienega Blvd. (310)388-1888.

Valentine’s Day Fun at Disneyland

Now through February 18, 2019 Disneyland is decorated festively to celebrate Mickey and Minnie’s romance during Valentine’s month. Bring your loved one to celebrate “Love in the Air.”

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Entering, guests will notice the famous Mickey Mouse pink floral design on the grassy slope below the Disney Railroad station.

Inside the Disneyland Park entrance is a “sweethearts” photo opportunity featuring a Valentine from Minnie Mouse at the Town Square on Main Street U.S.A. The street storefronts and lamp posts are decorated in red with white polka dot banners, colorful hearts and flags.

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Guests can ride in festively heart decorated historic motor cars to the Neo-romantic Sleeping Beauty Castle. Design inspirations for this centerpiece of the park include both Bavarian Neuschwanstein and French Chateau de Chenonceau castles. On January 29, the castle is closed for paint and repair enhancements. It will be dazzling soon.

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Throughout Valentine’s month, visitors can purchase a Minnie’s Valentine’s Day Surprise Scavenger Hunt game board for $6.99 plus tax. Have fun using your investigative skills in search for secret valentines that Minnie has hidden around Disneyland park. There are hints for each location, such as “You can pull my heartstrings in Frontierland” and “Let’s share a treat at the Candy Palace.” Place a corresponding sticker on the colorful heart to reveal a secret message for Mickey and friends. When you find all the valentines, take it to Disney Showcase by February 28, 2019 for a special surprise. One game board per prize. Boards and stickers available while supplies last. Purchase a Minnie valentine game board with stickers at Bonanza Outfitters, The Briar Patch, Disney Showcase, Disneyana, Emporium, Little Green Men Store Command and Pieces of Eight.

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Valentine food options include caramel apples, rice crispy treats and adorable Toontown sundaes. The new Tropical Hideaway offers open-air dining next to the famous Jungle Cruise waterfront and Enchanted Tiki Room. At sundown, it’s a romantic ambiance to sit and share one of the new Dole Whips. Besides pineapple, they now also offer orange and raspberry whips. Sit with a loved one next to one of the flickering torch lights and share a Loaded Whip – Orange and Pineapple swirl with exotic fruit (mango, pineapple, toasted coconut) with crystalized hibiscus and chocolate Pocky cookie sticks.

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During the evening various designs are projected on the facade of “it’s a small world” and Main Street U.S.A., that will leave guests swooning.

This review was featured in JustLuxe on February 2, 2019.

Sip & Savor during the Lunar New Year at Disney’s California Adventure

This Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure Park is a multi-sensory celebration now through Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. Guests have the opportunity to purchase a 2019 Year of the Pig Sip and Savor Pass. It costs $36 for annual passholders, and $39 for non-passholders. The big laminated card is attached to a lanyard to wear it around your neck. Also attached to the card are six tags that one tears off when ordering multicultural menu items of traditional treats and drinks. Here are 6 dining carts around the park to use your pass. Guests may purchase a la carte too.

1. At the Red Dragon Spice Traders select Firecracker Three Cup Chicken, Steamed Short Rib Shumai and a Purple Yam Macaron with Creme Fraiche. At this stand they are serving Raspberry Lychee Chia Tea.

2. Over at the Paradise Garden Grill select a Vegan Orange Tempeh, Korean Grilled Chicken and a Banh Mi grilled pork belly sandwich on a crispy baguette. For a sweet treat they are offering Mango Mousse.

IMG_93673. Prosperity Bao & Buns they are offering Mickey Chinese Hot Dog Buns, Char Siu Pork Bao, and a Mango-Pineappe Pastry.

4. Longevity Noodle Co has a variety of Asian dishes that includes Pan-fried Wheat Noodles with Chicken Meatballs, Cabbage Salad and Apple-Ginger sauce. Order the Vegetable Egg Roll and Chilled Sesame-Garlic Noodles. Finish with an Egg Tart and Orchid Spitz garnished with Rose Popping Petals.

5. Lucky 8 Lantern has Crispy Shrimp Fried Rice, Stir-fried Vegetables & Pineapple with Soy Protein, Mandarin Orange-Green Tea Tart and a Vietnamese Iced Coffee. The alcohol drink is a Lucky Buddha Beer with (4.8% ABV).

6. At a nearby food cart you can enjoy Gochujang Chicken Wings and mini almond cookies.

While walking through Disney’s California Adventure, be sure to watch the enhanced Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession. Mulan and her dragon friend Mushu along with beautiful Chinese umbrella and ribbon dancers, drummers, and dragon dancers entertain the crowd. The Three Little Pigs are the guests of honor to kick off The Year of The Pig.

IMG_9402Mulan is also available for meet and greet photo opportunities in the Paradise Gardens Park.

IMG_9346There are tables for young guests to receive a complimentary face painting, and make their own Chinese lantern.IMG_9369

This special Lunar New Year is until February 17, 2019. Go to Disneyland

Disney Festival of Holidays Sip and Savor Pass 2018

There are so many fun holiday and seasonal culinary treats at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. Just walking through the parks will appeal to all of your senses in the merriment of decorations, colors and gourmet delights available until January 6, 2019.

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It’s a foodie paradise at Disney California Adventure Park, especially when guests purchase a Sip and Savor Pass for $54. Your pass includes a commemorative credential passport with 8 tasting coupons that can be redeemed at a multitude of food and beverage (excluding alcohol) carts located throughout the park.

Annual Disney Passholders get a reduced price, plus special Passholder lanyard and buttons upon passport coupon redemption. Just show your valid Annual Pass and photo ID upon purchase.

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  • A Twist on Tradition offers celebrating Navidad and Christmas delights.
  • Blissfully Braised offers savory items include slow-cooked, savory dishes.IMG_6084
  • Brews & Bites celebrates Navidad and offers a frosty beer tasting flight at an additional fee.
  • Favorite Things are some of the most comforting, yummy dishes.
  • Grandma’s Recipes traditional recipes with a twist, such as warm beef pot roast in a potato bread roll sliced, traditional candied yams that are as good as grandma’s recipe and a gingerbread dessert shaped as Mickey Mouse. This cart offers a tasting flight too.IMG_6127-2
  • Holiday Duets are perfect pairings.
  • Merry Mashups is a fusion of seasonal favorites.
  • Spicy Celebrations celebrates the flavors of Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Navidad with a touch of heat.IMG_6126-3
  • Visions of Sugarplums offers sweet treats.
  • Winter Sliderland has miniature holiday feasts and sliders for bite-size cravings.
  • Winter Wonders offers cozy dishes to warm your senses.
  • Paradise Garden Grill offers VIVA NAVIDAD dishes such as Vegan Chile Rellenos, Torta al Pastor, Housemade Pozole, Street-style Tacos and Burritos.

The Sip and Savor Pass is available for sale at Festival Merchandise Carts, Seaside Souvenirs (in Paradise Gardens Park), Holidays Central (near The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure), Kingswell Camera Shop and Rushin’ River Outfitters until January 8, 2019 during Disney Festival of Holidays. Items may also be purchased a la carte.

Entertainment throughout the park includes the Mariachi Divas, Phat Cat Swingers, Disney Viva Navidad!, Blue-3 Dance Company, The Sound and Mostly Kosher. Be sure to see the mischievous Holiday Toy Drummers march to their own merry beat.

 

Disney’s Halloween Time Culinary Delights

Now through Oct. 31, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure offer a culinary crawl of spooky food options. The talented Disneyland chefs are cooking up a Haunted Firehouse chicken sandwich at the Carnation Café on Main Street; an Enchanted Black Rose mousse at the Red Rose Tavern in Fantasyland; and a Mansion Spider bundt cake at the French Market Restaurant in New Orleans Square.

Ask for a food guide when entering both parks for a description and location of each edible delight. Here are my 10 favorites treats I discovered at both parks on the opening day of Halloween Time:

  1. I loved how colorful and flavorful the Spider Parfait was that I found at Alien Pizza Planet and Galactic Grill. Throughout both parks are a fun souvenir to enjoy while at the parks and at home – a poison green apple mug.
  2. Near Frontierland the cotton candy stands offer Candy Corn colored cotton candy. Also in this area at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurant they sell Frozen Abuelita Horchata. They also sell Orange Sugar Skull Pot de Cremes.

3. Make a reservation for a special dinner on one of Mickey’s Halloween Party nights at the Blue Bayou Restaurant.

4. At Disney California Adventure, try the Vampire Mickey sourdough loaves at Mortimer’s Market and the Pacific Wharf. They also serve Pumpkin Bread Pudding and Bacon Cheddar Ale Soup.

5. Cars Land has pumpkin spice shakes and Candy Cone Pie cream pie at Flo’s V8 Cafe. At the Cozy Cone Motel, enjoy pure comfort food by ordering the Slow Burnin’ Mac & Cheese Cone, Spooky Cone Macaron and Halloween Color Sprinkles.

6. Over in Hollywood Land Award Wieners is serving an Octoberfest Dog. They also have two unique treats – Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake Fries and a Cookies & Cream Funnel Cake Fries.

7. For those who love churros Buena Vista has a Churro Cart selling Halloween Churros. At the Golden State Churro Cart they sell S’mores Churros. Goofy’s Sky School Churro Cart sells Purple Churros and the Cozy Cone Motel sells Pumpkin Spice Churros.

8. Walking down Buena Vista Street be sure to see the store windows decorated with apparel and accessories to enhance your Halloween this year.

9. Step inside Fiddler, Fifer & Pratical Cafe for Chocolate Bat Cookies and Sleepy Hollow Cupcakes.

10. There are a creative array of Candy Apples to satisfy any sweet tooth that are festively decorated at Candy Shops throughout the resort.

To learn more about Halloween Time at both parks, go to Halloween Time. The address for Disneyland is 1313 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim.

5 Best Gingerbread Houses in SoCal

10 Disney Holiday Magic Experiences

Having just experienced Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure Holiday Magic, here are 10 activities to see and experience in both theme parks before January 7, 2017.IMG_4115California Adventure seems extra festive this year. For a second year the park is decked out for the spirit of the season with decorations offering a celebration of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Diwali.

  1. Now until Dec. 24 meet Santa at Redwood Creek. The area has been turned into a holiday wonderland filled with interactive games for families to play while exploring the meandering trails. There is also a cookie decorating kit for purchase. Visit with Santa before or after you follow the Holiday Challenge Trail map to discover your secret elf name. IMG_4010
  2. Celebrate Hanukkah listening to the lively band named Mostly Kosher. They perform near Paradise Park and the World of Color – Season of Light viewing area. This band weaves rock, hip hop, jazz and Latin rhythm to their lyrics. Nearby is the Blissfully Braised food station serving slow-cooked brisket and other delicious dishes. Throughout the park are festive food offerings at various marketplaces. Brews & Bites, Classic Crocks & Casseroles, Winter Sliderland  and Making Spirits Bright offer joyous toasts and delicious dishes.
  3. Visit Disney Viva Navidad! Festive food offerings include Torta Al Pastor, Elote – Street-style corn, Paleta, Jamica, Horchata Agua Fresca, Chicharrons, Street-style tacos, Chicken Mole, Pozole and Burritos. Meet, greet and take a photo with Elena of Avalor.

  4. When visiting “a bugs land” be sure to see a special preview of Disney Pixar’s newest movie Coco at the Bug’s Life Theater in Disney California Adventure Park. It’s an interactive experience with 3-D glasses and guests will feel the special effects in the movie. Before the movie begins, there is a display of movie memorabilia.

  5. After getting a free Peppermint Bark chocolate at Ghirardelli and piece of Boudin sourdough bread, be sure to hear the lively a capella vocal group The Sound performing by Pacific Wharf. They celebrate Kwanzaa and Christmas with heartwarming, soulful classic holiday songs.
  6. Purchase one of the Santa Mickey souvenir ornaments filled with red seedless grapes or pineapple. It’s a fun memento to hang on your tree. Other souvenirs include festive Mickey ornaments, sweaters, necklaces and holiday gifts.
  7. Be sure to see the display window at Trolley Candy Treats of the Buena Vista Trolley traveling into a Candy mountain tunnel. Inside the store are great holiday gifts that include Gingerbread Cookie Mix and sweet treats with a holiday spin that include Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse rice crispy treats, candy apples, cake pops and cupcakes.
  8. Cars Land at Disney California Adventure offers “Seasons Speeding” and is decked out with themed holiday decorations along Route 66. From tires and hubcaps turned into trees, the Disney team turns into air filters, traffic cones and oil cans into whimsical holiday decor.

    9. Be sure to see the Gingerbread Hotel at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Located in the the soaring ceiling lobby near the magnificent Christmas tree is a Gingerbread display made with 600 pounds of gingerbread and 600 pounds of powdered sugar. It stands 7 1/2 feet-tall and 12-feet-wide.

    10. Be sure to visit Disneyland’s It’s A Small World celebrating the splendor of the season with sweet sounds for peace on Earth and sung by children’s choruses from around the world. This classic festive yuletide boat ride sails from Nov. 10, 2017 through Jan. 21, 2018.