Green Monorail Destinations

Green Monorail Destinations

Tips, tricks, and news updates for Disney destinations. Featured Disney products and merchandise as well!

Good Eats

Where to Find Good Coffee at Disneyland

There’s only one way to start your magic morning right at Disneyland and that’s with a steaming hot (or ice cold) cup of nature’s best creation: coffee. I know it’s a…

There’s only one way to start your magic morning right at Disneyland and that’s with a steaming hot (or ice cold) cup of nature’s best creation: coffee. I know it’s a little dramatic and downright grouchy to proclaim “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee,” but that sentiment rings true for me and many others. As a native to the Pacific Northwest and having lived in Seattle for the past 6 years, I can fairly say that I’m a coffee snob and a Caffeine Queen. I’ve made it my mission to find the best coffee in Disneyland and share it will all my fellow coffee lovers!

A Little Bit of Caffeinated Disney History: In 2013, Disney knighted Joffrey’s Coffee as the official coffee of Disney Parks and since then, the quality of drip coffee has increased substantially across Disneyland and Disney World. If you’re not in line for Starbucks, you can assume you’re drinking Joffrey’s. I happen to prefer Joffrey’s taste to Starbucks, so you can’t really go wrong!

Starbucks

Let me make me myself clear: Starbucks is never my coffee preference. I will drink it if it’s available, but it’s not my first choice. Like I said before, I live in Seattle where the coffee is good. We may have created Starbucks, but we’ve perfected the art of caffeination since then. However, I still enjoy an Iced Grande Caramel Macchiato every once in a while and I definitely don’t judge you if you love your Starbucks! If you want your Starbucks fix, there are three locations on property, two of which are under pseudonyms to blend into the Disney atmosphere.

  • Market House: Disneyland on Main Street
  • Fiddler Fifer & Practical Cafe: California Adventure on Buena Vista Street
  • Starbucks: Downtown Disney next to World of Disney

Starbucks Iced Coffee on Main Street at Disneyland | Where to Find Good Coffee at Disneyland

Jolly Holiday Bakery Disneyland

A true Disneyland classic. This where you can find light snacks, sandwiches, and the infamous Matterhorn Macaroon. They have a real cappuccino machine so you can order an espresso or a latte if you prefer something more than drip coffee. Also, I recently saw a Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake on the menu and I’m so ready for it.

Tray of Matterhorn Macaroon's from Jolly Holiday Bakery | Where to Find Good Coffee at Disneyland

Matterhorn Macaroons from Jolly Holiday

Cappuccino Cart Disneyland

If the line is too long at Starbucks then head over to the small cappuccino cart right next to the castle.  They do freshly-made lattes and mochas and you’ll find unique treats like the once trending Dole Whip Donut here as well.

Dole Whip Donut from the Cappuccino Cart in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle | Where to Find Good Coffee at Disneyland

Hungry Bear Restaurant Disneyland

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Hungry Bear serves cold brew. The coffee itself isn’t too bad, but if they’re serving a “specialty cold brew” made with honey and vanilla syrup, don’t do it! It sounds delicious, but man, it was bitter and bad. It could be that the proportions were off in my batch so I might be willing to give it another shot. Otherwise, just stick with regular coffee here. It’s hardly ever crowded and you get a beautiful view of Tom Sawyer Island with the new railroad track running right by you.

Specialty Cold Brew from Hungry Bear in front of Tom Sawyer Island | Where to Find Good Coffee at Disneyland

Cappucino Cart California Adventure

This cart is nearly identical to the one in Disneyland. There’s always some fancy treats in the display case and the line is usually pretty short. The location is perfect because it’s at the entrance of Pixar Pier. If you need coffee you won’t want to go all the way back to the park entrance to get Starbucks or Schmoozie’s.

Gourmet Cappuccino Cart near Pixar Pier in California Adventure | Where to Find Good Coffee at Disneyland

Schmoozie’s California Adventure

You know what Heaven is? Getting an iced hazelnut latte from Schmoozie’s then heading into Animation Courtyard for a midday cool-down. In my opinion, Schmoozie’s has the best coffee in all of Disneyland. The Cast Members know what they’re doing here. If you want a coffee indulgence, try the Make Mine Mocha, a frozen chocolate espresso with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Iced Hazelnut Latte from Schmoozie's at California Adventure | Where to Find Good Coffee at Disneyland

Flo’s V8 Cafe California Adventure

Schmoozie’s may have the best coffee, but Flo’s is the best place to enjoy your coffee at Disneyland. The atmosphere is adorable, the crowds are thin in the morning, you get a great view of Radiator Springs Racers and the food is fantastic. Flo’s serves regular Joffrey’s drip coffee, but for me, it’s not the quality of the coffee that makes it great, it’s the whole experience. Watching the racers zip by while guests leisurely wander the area in the warm Cali morning. *sigh* So lovely.

Coffee and Chicken Tamale Breakfast from Flo's V8 Cafe at California Adventure | Where to Find Good Coffee at Disneyland

Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Shop California Adventure

Pro Tip: Order a scoop of the Espresso Chip and a cup of drip coffee for a DIY affogato. Or, how about a hot fudge sundae and a latte before the 9:00 PM showing of World of Color? Yes, please! The yummiest place for an after dinner pick-me-up!

Ghiradelli's Chocolate Shop Factory Mural | Where to Find Good Coffee at Disneyland

Hearthstone Lounge Grand Californian Hotel

Hearthstone serves coffee all day. In the morning, it’s a full-service coffee bar complete with fresh pastries and hot cocoa. Later, it transforms into a full-service lounge and coffee bar. If you want to take a break from the parks, head into the hotel via the not-so-secret entrance from California Adventure and take a load off at this lounge. Last I visited, I had a very special caffeinated beverage called the Cold Brew XO. Joffrey’s cold brew coffee with a splash of XO Patron coffee liqueur and heavy cream. It was so good.

Cold Brew XO from Hearthstone Lounge at Grand Californian | Where to Find Good Coffee at Disneyland

The Coffee House The Disneyland Hotel 

This little nook is the perfect pit stop if you’re staying at the hotel or exploring the property. I like to enjoy my coffee on the steps of the wedding pavilion located closer to the Paradise Hotel. Picture perfect morning routine! The Coffee House is also the only place where you can find a Dole Whip with a shot of rum at Disneyland. YAS.

The Coffee House Menu at The Disneyland Hotel | Where to Find Good Coffee at Disneyland

La Brea Bakery Downtown Disney

Ever had a Nitro Brew coffee? It’s basically a cold brew on tap so the coffee comes out super smooth. La Brea Bakery serves this yummy drink and also has the option to either sit down or use their quick service line for breakfast on-the-go. It’s my first choice for a quick breakfast on my way into the parks. Freshly baked pastries, sandwiches prepared to order, and fantastic coffee!

 

La Brea Bakery Take Out Bag at Downtown Disney | Where to Find Good Coffee at Disneyland

For all you coffee lovers out there, never fear! Each of the locations I listed has decent coffee whether you’re a lover of Folger’s or a lover of French Pressed. Also, although I feel like I can survive on cold brew alone, it’s better if you hydrate and eat healthy throughout the day. Coffee will perk you up, but healthy snacks will sustain that energy. Be sure to read my guide to Energizing Disneyland Snacks to keep the magic alive throughout the day!

What’s your favorite place to grab a cup o’ joe at the parks?

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13 Places to Get Good Coffee at Disneyland

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Disneyland for Adults: The Complete Guide

Walt’s inspiration for Disneyland sparked when he was sitting on a bench watching his kids ride a carousel. He decided at that moment that his calling was to create a…

Walt’s inspiration for Disneyland sparked when he was sitting on a bench watching his kids ride a carousel. He decided at that moment that his calling was to create a park that everyone could enjoy, both kids and adults, together. Over the years, this idea has adapted with the times. We’re seeing more adults enjoying Disneyland, whether they have children or not. In doing so, Disney has responded by adding food and entertainment to keep the attendance high and their new and modern audience engaged. As a frequent guest, I can attest there are plenty of things to do at Disneyland as an adult with or without kids! I’ve highlighted food, events, trends, and entertainment that makes Disneyland great for couples, groups of friends, or solo trips.

I intended to write one post including an Ultimate Guide to Disneyland as an Adult, but it was enormous, so I’ve broken it up into four parts. Be sure to check out the other three!

Haunted Mansion Side View of Entrance at Disneyland

Attractions

Single Riders Lines: First and foremost! You can turn a 90 minute standby line into a 20 minute wait using the single rider queue. If your group doesn’t mind being separated that is. Occasionally, you’ll get lucky and board together or at least in the same car.

Rides with a Single Riders Line:

  • Matterhorn
  • Splash Mountain
  • Indiana Jones
  • Space Mountain
  • California Adventure: Radiator Springs, Grizzly River Run, Goofy’s Sky School (strange, but true)

Thrills

The Mountain Rides – Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Matterhorn: The Mountain Rides are the best thrills Disneyland has to offer. Space Mountain tends to be the most popular with the longest wait. Unless it’s the middle of summer then Splash Mountain will also be crowded. Pro Tip: If you can, try to time your ride on the Matterhorn during the fireworks. You get a view of the castle and fireworks up close and it’s a pretty cool experience. I’ve somehow managed to do this twice.

Matterhorn Mountain and Finding Nemo's Submarine Voyage Lagoon

Indiana Jones Adventure: The perfect ride for 80’s/90’s babies. It has a bit of a thrill factor and throwback to some of our favorite Harrison Ford moments. The vehicle throws you around quite a bit so if you have any chronic back pain or motion sickness, I might avoid it.

Star Tours-The Adventure Continues: Disney has been updating this ride since the new movies came out and it now features some of our favorite new lands and characters. This attraction will satisfy your Star Wars needs until the new Star Wars land, Galaxy’s Edge, opens in 2019.

Haunted Mansion: This one is somewhere between thrill and chill. It has the “spooky” factor, but it’s no Hollywood Horror Nights at Universal. It’s still an all-time favorite for most. The technology was very innovative at the time it was built and proves to be impressive today. I’m also a big fan of the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay that happens every Christmas.

Chills

About halfway through the day, I start to feel overwhelmed with crowds and heat so I seek out calming dark rides, the railroad, and log ride attractions. You gotta pace yourself a bit if you want to last until closing!

Tom Sawyer Island: This is easily one of the most beautiful and underrated areas in Disneyland. The island is hardly ever crowded and features activities or hideaways that you can explore. I like it because it’s a great place to relax. Buy a chimichanga at a nearby food cart and venture to the island for a quiet picnic!

Tom Sawyer Island and Pirate Lair surrounded by the Rivers of America at Disneyland

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln: This attraction was Walt’s pride and joy. Abraham Lincoln was one of the first Audio-Animatronics and I can only imagine the reaction it got the first time guests saw a robot stand up by itself. This show is filled with so much American and Disney history you could just burst.

The Enchanted Tiki Room: If you’re already standing in line for a Dole Whip, you might as well stick around for the Tiki Room. Another classic that has been open since day one at Disneyland. The air conditioning is welcoming and there’s never a long wait to see the show.

Coffee

The most important meal of the day! Many of us, whether we have kids or not, depend on coffee to make our day a little more magical. If you’re looking for an excellent cup of joe in the parks check out my guide to good coffee at Disneyland.

Dining

Disneyland may never accept alcohol into this park because every time they mention the concept, people lose their minds. This is due to the idea that Disney once intended Disneyland to be a “dry park.” That was a long time ago and they certainly allow alcohol at Club 33, so we may see a change in the future. Never fear! You can still walk 50 yards across the Esplanade and grab a cocktail at California Adventure if you so desire.

Insta-Snacks: It seems like every week Disney is cooking up another trendy dish for people to snatch up and post on Instagram. Many will scoff at those who #doitforthegram but I say bring it on! I love looking at pictures of food, especially when it’s Mickey shaped. Lately, the hype has been the Dole Whip donut and Disney World’s Millenial Pink Champagne and both are limited-time treats (I believe the donut is no longer available). Keep your eyes peeled for Insta-worthy snacks around Disneyland. The most common place to find beautiful treats are Jolly Holiday Bakery and the cappuccino cart.

The Dole Whip Donut - Disneyland for Adults: The Complete Guide #vacation

Blue Bayou: The coolest thing about this restaurant is that it’s located inside Pirates of the Caribbean. The “nighttime” environment is dark, moody, and incredibly romantic. However, much like Rainforest Cafe, you’re paying for the atmosphere, not the food. Unless, of course, you’re talking about the Monte Cristo. It’s the only thing worth shelling a pretty penny for.

Cafe Orleans: What this place lacks in atmosphere, it gains in food quality. The menu is absolutely incredible and catered to an adult appetite. They serve the same famous Monte Cristo as the Blue Bayou and also the infamous Mickey beignets. If you can’t get a reservation at Blue Bayou, try this one! (I like their entrees better here anyway!)

Stack of Mickey Shaped Beignets with Powdered Sugar at Carnation Cafe in Disneyland

Mickey Beignet | Cafe Orleans

Carnation Cafe: This restaurant has been around since the park’s opening in 1955. It’s lead by Chef Oscar Martinez, the longest-tenured Cast Member who just celebrated 60 years with Disneyland. If you’re a Disney nut like me, you’ll love the sentimental values of this restaurant. If you’re a foodie (also like me) you’ll love the food here. They serve comfort foods like fried pickles, baked potato soup, and Walt’s favorite meatloaf.

Fantasmic! Dining Package: If you plan on having dinner at either Blue Bayou, River Belle Terrace, or Cafe Orleans, you might as well book it with the Fantasmic! Dining Package. The package includes a 3-course meal and a reserved spot in the preferred viewing area. Unless you want to camp out for an hour, it’s difficult to find a clear viewing spot for the show so the dining package is the way to go.

Blue and Green Pirates of the Caribbean Ship at Disneyland's Fantasmic Night Show

Fantasmic! Pirates of the Caribbean Ship

Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience: For an extra price, you can indulge in some Disney snacks and watch the fireworks from a private viewing area in Tomorrowland. The reservation allows you to come and go as you please, from 8:00-10:00 at night. Great option for a group of friends!

Events & Entertainment

Disneyland After Dark: This year Disneyland launched a special-ticket event series where they keep the park open late to host a themed night-out. The first theme was Throwback Nite where guests were encouraged to wear their Dapper Day best and the second was Star Wars Nite. Each event hosts themed entertainment and photo ops. You can check out the official website here for any updates regarding upcoming events.

Late-Night Shopping: The shops on Main Street usually remain open after close for about an hour, so don’t rush out after the fireworks! It’s the perfect time to peruse the stores and collect your souvenirs. It’s also the best time to get your castle pictures since the crowds will have died down.

VIP Tours: This is a fantastic idea for big Disney fans or frequent visitors who are looking for something unique to do. The most popular tour is Walk In Walt’s Foot Steps, which takes you on a guided tour through the history of Disneyland. I hope to someday take The Grand Circle Tour which explores Walt’s love for trains and also where you’ll get to ride in the special parlor train aboard the Lily Belle.

Golden Horseshoe Review: If you’re looking for a fun date night this campy dinner show might be a good option. If your party is full of introverts you might want to try Blue Bayou though! The show involves a little bit of audience interaction, so don’t be surprised if they call you out!

Photo Shoot: I’m a big fan of perusing Disney Instagram’s before dozing off. Now that everyone has semi-pro phone cameras, a lot of Disney fans have gotten creative with their photography. There are dedicated walls and popular spots to take selfies and portraits around the parks and it’s a fun way to pass the time. For inspiration, Disney Style explored some fantastic places to take your Disneyland photos.

My generation was born in the height of Disney’s second golden era with classics like Beauty & the Beast, Toy Story, Lion King, and so on. It makes our heart melt when we hear the sweeping orchestration I Can Go the Distance or watch Ariel and Prince Eric dance together in Fantasmic. More grown-ups are visiting without children and those with children are enjoying the parks more than ever. Disney seems to have taken advantage of this and as time progresses, so will the parks. I’m interested to see what they will add to spark the interest of future generations!

Also, if you’re looking for tips for visiting Disney World in Florida as an adult, head over to Lissy Through the Looking Glass for Disney for Adults -7 Things to Try if Thrill Rides Aren’t Your Thing.

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Disneyland for Adults: The Complete Guide

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Energizing Disneyland Snacks That Won’t Give You a Food Coma

By the time you’ve rope dropped Space Mountain, ran to Matterhorn, and hiked Main Street, you’re gonna feel a little cranky. In the past few weeks, I’ve been exploring ways…

By the time you’ve rope dropped Space Mountain, ran to Matterhorn, and hiked Main Street, you’re gonna feel a little cranky. In the past few weeks, I’ve been exploring ways to decrease the stress-level that goes into a Disney vacation. I’ve written two posts explaining ways to alleviate stress on vacation and my favorite place to recharge: Animation Courtyard. But, there’s another incredibly important way to keep your energy up and the magic going. Snacks. Oh yes, I’m getting to the good stuff now. You don’t want to poop out before lunch and there are plenty of snacks at Disneyland that will lift your energy. I also want to preface that I’m not a huge health nut. I take care of myself, but I will also indulge in marshmallow Tigger Tails, thank you very much. So, I’ve compiled a list of some healthy and semi-healthy Disney treats that will keep you active in the parks. If you want to last until the fireworks, heed my advice!

Water: I can’t stress how important this “snack” is. If you’re feeling especially low on fuel, it’s more than likely you’re dehydrated. It’s good to drink plain water, but it’s also imperative to drink electrolytes. One essential I pack in my Disney bag are the Propel electrolyte packets. They’re travel-sized so you can easily add them to a water bottle. I mention this tip a lot because it’s crucial!

Fruit, Veggie, and Beverage Stand at Mortimer's Market in Disneyland's California Adventure

Fresh Fruits and Veggies: Disney has made an effort to add healthier snacks to their quick service carts and restaurants. There are few dedicated fruit and veggie kiosks and carts located throughout the parks. Notably, Mortimer’s Market at California Adventure, Filmore’s Taste-In in Cars Land, the “flower” cart on Main Street, and the large marketplace near Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland. Bengal Barbecue is also where you can grab a Tiger Tail, a doughy and cheesy breadstick snack!

Wooden Box of Red and Green Apples at Mortimer's Market in Disneyland's California Adventure

Corn on the Cob: Another healthy snack is the fresh grilled corn served with or without butter. They’re usually sold alongside the turkey legs and chimichangas. While all three are excellent snack choices,  the turkey and chimichangas generally produce a food coma. Grilled corn is sold across from Big Thunder Mountain, Edelweiss Snacks in Fantasyland, and various other food carts throughout both parks. Last year, they even had a deep fried cilantro-lime corn cob at Paradise Grill. Hopefully, they’ll bring this one back!

Disneyland Corn on the Cob, Turkey Leg, and Chimichanga Sign - Disney Snacks

Dole Whip Float: A Dole Whip is lighter and fresher than ice cream, but still has a good kick of sugar and citrus to boost your energy. Make it a float and the pineapple juice will quench your thirst and pump you up! Make it a double with a shot of rum at The Coffee House in The Disneyland Hotel. (The rum is more of a “winding down” snack, but I thought ya’ll need to know this important tip.)

Dole Whip Float with a Cocktail Umbrella at Disneyland

Salad in a Bread Bowl: The salads at Pacific wharf are enormous so I don’t know if I can consider them “snacks.” They’re good for sharing though and fairly healthy. Fun Fact: All the sourdough bread served in the parks comes from the Boudin Bakery in California Adventure. They make so much bread that they donate the leftovers to groceries stores throughout Anaheim.

Salad in a Bread Bowl at the Pacific Wharf Cafe at Disneyland's California Adventure

Mint Julep: Sometimes a midday cocktail will suck the energy out of me, so I’ll opt for something without alcohol. The classic non-alcoholic Mint Julep is a great alternative to a refreshing drink. It’s a bright and citrusy lemonade with a splash of fresh mint. The drink is sold at the Mint Julep Bar towards the train station in New Orleans. You can also pick up some of the infamous Mickey Beignets at this window.

Mint Julep Drink with a Lemon Wedge in front of New Orleans Fountain in Disneyland

Edamame: Lucky Fortune Cookery in Pacific Wharf has a wide variety of meals and snacks that aren’t deep-fried or loaded with carbs. The Asian Rice Bowls come packed with rice, veggies, protein and your choice of sauce. I hear the coconut curry is the sauce to try! As for a pick-me-up, the fresh edamame is boiled and lightly salted to satisfy your salty cravings.

Frozen Banana: A giant banana saturated with chocolate and hazelnuts, frozen to perfection. Ok, so the banana is no longer a healthy snack once dunked in sugar, but the treat is quite filling and at least it’s not as heavy as say, a churro. The fact that it’s frozen keeps the chocolate from melting away in your hands, so you can nibble on it while waiting in line at the Jungle Cruise. Which, by the way, is always the hottest and most crowded cue in the park.

Frozen Chocolate Banana at Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride in Disney World

Fresh Smoothie: Schmoozie’s is my favorite place to get iced coffees, but they also serve killer smoothies (hence the name). They are blended to serve and comparable to the smoothies served at Jamba Juice.

Schmoozie's Sign at Disneyland's California Adventure

Pineapple Spears: I know I mentioned fresh fruits and veggies, but these pineapple spears deserve their own special attention. If you’ve already had two Dole Whips and you want something citrusy to wake you up these little babies are extremely fresh and sweet. Just to die for.

Fresh Fruit and Veggies in Ice at Mortimer's Market in Disneyland

Iced Coffee: I saved the best for last. I will not and cannot start my Disney day without a cup of coffee and when it’s hot enough to melt your Dole Whip mid-bite, you’ll want an iced coffee. I dMy favorite places to get coffee at Disneyland: On my last visit, I was struggling to find a definitive list or guide to finding a good cup of coffee at Disneyland. So, as someone who can survive on cold brew alone, I made it my mission to find the best places to grab coffee in the parks and share this vital information with everyone else! You can find my full guide to good coffee here!

Starbucks Iced Coffee on Main Street at Disneyland

Redd’s Apple Freeze: This is Disneyland’s answer to Disney World’s Le Fou’s Brew. The Apple Freeze is sold at the Cozy Cone in Cars Land and consists of frozen apple juice, a touch of marshmallow, and topped with passion fruit-mango foam. You can also try Cozy Cone’s Fuelin’ Groovy Pomegranate Limeade, topped with a lemon-lime foam. Both drinks are refreshing with less processed sugar than soda.

Cars Land Cozy Cone Queso Motel at Disneyland's California Adventure

Disneyland has really stepped up their food game in the last 10-15 years. Everywhere you turn you’ll see a different Toy Story cake pop or cookie or macaron. All of them gorgeous and tantalizing. I’m not saying you should avoid these treats. My usual goal is to see how many Dole Whips I can stuff down before my trip ends. However, there are plenty of other options that will feed your cravings and also perk you up. I’m going to emphasize one more time that the most important thing you can do is to keep hydrated. You will feel so much better if you’re drinking enough water and electrolytes. Despite the snacks you choose, it’s important to take care of yourself throughout your vacation. Don’t want to burn out early and miss out on the magic!

What’s your favorite pick-me-up at the parks? Comment below!

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Energizing and Healthy Disneyland Snacks

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Snack Guide: 13 Popular Treats at Pixar Fest in Disneyland

If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff. -Remy  Pixar Fest is easily one of the best Disney Festivals I’ve yet to experience. I…

If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff. -Remy 

Pixar Fest is easily one of the best Disney Festivals I’ve yet to experience. I don’t say this lightly. Dear Lawd, the food was good. Disney, in general, has really stepped up their game on the food quality and it seems like every month they’re coming up with new creations. To get the most out of Pixar Fest, head to the Paradise Garden Grill, which is to the right of the Goofy’s Sky School in California Adventure. This is where they feature a lot of the unique food, a special character spot, and a Pixar themed band. There’s a picture of the full menu below as well.

After the first week of the festival, I wrote a little guide to entertainment and shows available during the festival, which you can read here. But now, I’m ready to cover the really serious stuff. Let’s talk sweets. My title says top 13 snacks, but there are loads more than I mentioned here.  Pixar Fest runs now through September 2018.

Lots-O-Straw-Bear-Y Funnel Cake (Hungry Bear Restaurant-Disneyland): Layers of strawberries, blueberries, strawberry butter and pink sugary crumbles. This was really good, but honestly, the best part was the fried dough (duh!). I could only get through half of it, so try to share! They have another version called Jessie’s Berry Jubilee Funnel Cake served at the Stagedoor Cafe next to Hoop-de-Doo review. That one has oreo crumbles and creme anglaise, dusted with gold sugars.

Lots-O Strawberry & Blueberry Funnel Cake with a Disneyland/Pixar Fest Park Map

Tres Leches Parfait (Paradise Garden Grill-California Adventure): If you’re one for rich desserts, this is the one to try! I had already eaten breakfast, so I didn’t think I’d get through all of it, but oh man, this is an amazing treat. It’s vanilla cake layered with a caramel cream and dark rum. Basically a caramel tiramisu. I will never stop dreaming about this treat.

Tres Leches Coco Parfait Dessert at Disneyland's Pixar Fest

Spicy Corn Dog (Corn Dog Castle-California Adventure): Let me try to paint a picture for you: This was a spicy hot link sausage, with a layer of pepper jack cheese, and then a cajun chicken sausage, dipped in housemade batter and fried to perfection. You start off eating a corndog, eat a fried cheese stick, then another corndog. It comes with a blackberry-serrano chile dipping sauce that is the right amount of spice and sweet. It’s a euphoric experience.

Three-Flavored Spicy Corn Dog with Blackberry Serrano Dipping Sauce in front of Pixar Pals Sign at Disneyland

Agua de Jamaica (Paradise Garden Grill-California Adventure): It was too hot for the Mexican hot cocoa, so I opted for the hibiscus tea slush. In essence, it was a fruit slushy. This was nice and refreshing in the hot Cali sun, but doesn’t compare to the other treats I indulged in.

Agua de Jamaica Slushy Drink Pixar Fest at Disneyland

Cheeseburger Pizza and Alien Macarons (Pizza Planet – Overlay at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port in Disneyland): I’m gonna get a little critical here because I had such high hopes for the Pizza Planet overlay. We all thought we were getting the Pizza Planet we deserve, but alas, all we got was a sign and some decals on the walls. The Alien Macarons seemed to have a weird, gooey blackberry filling and the pizza was their regular pizza with hamburger meat and pickles. Neither appealed to me, so I didn’t want to wait in the long line. The macarons looked super cute though! “Pizza Planet” was, unfortunately, one of those things where Disney builds a lot of hype and gives you minimal effort with low-quality results. Yikes. Maybe someday, Pizza Planet!

Pizza Planet Overlay at Redd Rocket's Pizza Port in Disneyland for Pixar Fest

Confectionary Treats: Pixar Cake Pops and Candy Apples! The Pixar Ball cake pops are the treat that you’ve now seen in 1000 Instagram pics. Both treats are adorbs and worthy of a photo, so that’s all that really matters anyway, right? The Pixar themed treats can be found in most confectionaries around the park.

Finding Nemo and Luxo Pixar Cake Pops in a Display Case at Disneyland's Pixar Fest

Mexican Hot Cocoa (Coco Inspired): The cutest Pixar Fest souvenir is the Coco jarrita ceramic mug which comes filled with delish Mexican hot cocoa. Imagine snuggling up with this Coco while enjoying the Paint the Night parade with your loved ones. Pure Disney-hygge bliss. These are sold at Paradise Garden Grill and you can see the whole menu here:

Paradise Garden Grill Special Menu at Disneyland's Pixar Fest

Other Food-Related Souvenirs:  Throughout the parks, they are selling things like a Mike Wazowski Souvenir Sipper, the connecting Mike & Sulley Popcorn Buckets, and a reusable Pixar Luxo Lamp Straw that people are going crazy over. You can find these at places like Schmoozie’s, popcorn carts, and the Disneyland cappuccino cart (left of the castle) or California Adventure cappuccino cart (entrance to Pixar Pier). There are plenty of other Pixar exclusive souvenirs sold as well, which I cover in my entertainment post.

Souvenir Coco Refillable Plastic Cups for Disneyland's Pixar Fest

Honorable Mentions:

  • Various Churros: Chocolate with Chocolate Dipping Sauce (Frontierland Cart), Strawberry (Tomorrowland), Lemon Dusted with Fruity Pebbles (Main Street-Near Mr. Lincoln), Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Dipping Sauce (Liberty Square), “Specialty” Churro with Frosting and Cocoa Pebbles, and OMG the Pineapple with Marshmallow Dipping Sauce (Sleeping Beauty’s Castle)
  • Mike Wazowski Whoopie Pie (Schmoozie’s)
  • Mint Chip Shake (Schmoozie’s)
  • Pixar Layered Lemon & Raspberry Cake (Paradise Garden Grill, Plaza Inn, Pacific Wharf Cafe)

Some of the festival dishes I highly recommend due to their deliciousness. Other items just come with some extra toppings that are yummy, but not quite as unique. As always, don’t get discouraged if you can’t hit every single thing they have to offer! There will always be new Disney food trends, whether it’s the dole whip donut, millennial pink champagne, or the rainbow-unicorn churro. That last one doesn’t exist, but I wish. As mentioned before, the main hub for Pixar Fest celebrations and festival food is at the Paradise Garden Grill. They had a lot to offer back there! Also, be sure to read the rest of my guide to Pixar Fest here so you don’t miss anything awesome!

For a full list of the Pixar Fest foods, Disney Food Blog is always on top of things with their guides and reviews of Disney food. You’ll even see a picture of my funnel cake on there! 🙂

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Top 13 Snacks available at Disneyland's Pixar Fest #disneyland #pixarfest #california #food #foodie #snacks

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Dressing for Dinner: Disney World Dress Code Tips & Tricks

Disney World has some strict policies on dressing in the parks. One being: no clothing with offensive writing. If a Cast Member sees a shirt with profanity or otherwise crude…

Disney World has some strict policies on dressing in the parks. One being: no clothing with offensive writing. If a Cast Member sees a shirt with profanity or otherwise crude displays they are forced to ask you to change or buy another t-shirt. PhotoPass will delete any “on ride” picture that captures the clothing and they most certainly won’t take your picture with a character. This is due to their brand integrity. Disney doesn’t want to be put in the same context as a naughty pullover.

What about restaurant dress codes though? If you’ve ever made a reservation at a swankified restaurant like Narcoose’s, you may have noticed a small note saying that they suggest a dress code. For frequent park-goers, the note goes unnoticed. For a first timer, it may be a little intimidating. Do I need to change for dinner? Are they really expecting me to wear a blazer in the 90-degree humidity? Short answer: no. But, they do put these notices out there for a reason and I’ll tell you why.

Be Our Guest Ceiling Dimly Lit in Disney World

Be Our Guest

First off, here are the guidelines listed on the official Disney World website:

In order to preserve the atmosphere of this dining experience, Guests are asked to adhere to our dress code.

Appropriate attire for men includes khakis, slacks, jeans, dress shorts and collared shirts; appropriate attire for women includes capris, skirts, dresses, jeans and dress shorts.

Attire that will not be permitted includes tank tops or hats for gentleman, swimwear, cut-offs or torn clothing. In addition, while T-shirts are allowed, T-shirts featuring offensive language and/or graphics are not.

They’re not suggesting a formal evening gown or a suit and tie. This goes for most restaurants that require dress codes, excluding Victoria and Albert’s and The Edison, which have stricter guidelines.

Victoria & Albert’s:

Guests must wear proper attire.

Men must wear dinner jackets with dress pants or slacks and shoes. Ties are optional. Women may wear a cocktail dress, nice dress, dressy pantsuit or a skirt with a blouse.

Jeans, shorts, capri pants, sandals, flip-flops or tennis shoes are not permitted.

The Edison:

The newly opened Disney Springs restaurant and cabaret, The Edison is now requesting a dress code for its nightly entertainment. Starting at 10:00 pm each night the restaurant undergoes a transformation to a “nightclub atmosphere” and guests are encouraged to wear slacks, dress shoes, and collard shirts. They won’t turn you away if you’ve put some effort in and look put together. Before 10:00 pm there are no dress codes.

Jiko - cooking place: Casa Beer in a Glass at Disney World

Tips for Dressing Under the Guidelines:

With these in mind, please understand these are merely suggestions. They will not kick you out because you don’t own a pair of khakis. Can you imagine the publicity if they did? From I what I understand, the guidelines are noted for you to understand the overall atmosphere of the restaurant. For guests visiting their first time, they may think that all restaurants are super casual and evoke the atmosphere of a McDonald’s. I mean, you’re at a theme park, so it’s natural to assume that.

That being said, some may feel embarrassed walking into California Grill, expecting it to be like T-Rex Cafe. Try not to feel this way because it’s still very much a theme park and there will be screaming kids at every restaurant on property. However, if you’re the type who likes to be dressy at dinner, the dress code notice will hint at what to expect. Personally, I err on the casual side when dining at Disney anyway.

One more thing, some Signature Restaurants do not require a dress code, but they do offer the same experience as those that do. For instance, Todd English’s bluezoo doesn’t say they have a dress code, but it is very much a fine-dining experience. You can usually tell by the photographs online what are considered the fancier restaurants.

Cocktail glass and meal at Disneyland's Carthay Circle Restaurant

Carthay Circle Restaurant Cocktail

Tips for Dressing for Dinner: These are obviously only suggestions. Minus The Edison and Victoria & Albert’s, most places will not mind what you’re wearing.

  • Comfortable Clothing: Unless you plan on using your reservation for a fancy date, it’s best to wear something versatile for fun in the parks as well. Don’t be afraid to wear a nice pair of shorts and a comfortable button-up/blouse.
  • Shoes:  No matter where you’re dining, you’ll want to wear shoes that you can walk in. Most, if not all, Disney restaurants require a bit of walking or extended transportation to get there. For instance, if you’re not driving or taking a Lyft to Grand Floridian, you’ll have to take a bus to Magic Kingdom, then a monorail to the resort. For style, Tiek’s are a popular traveling flat that are also built for comfort and support.
  • Indoor/Outdoor Conditions: Florida weather is unpredictable with roaring thunderstorms one minute and oppressive heat the next. If you’re traveling during hurricane season, it’s advisable to carry a poncho or rain jacket. You don’t want to mess up the one nice shirt you packed. And no one likes walking around in wet clothes. This is especially true if you’re heading inside to a nicely air-conditioned restaurant. That being said, if you’re wearing light clothing to your reservation, you might consider carrying a light sweater indoors as well.

Restaurants That Suggest a Dress Code:

  • Victoria & Alberts-Grand Floridian
  • The Edison-Disney Springs
  • California Grill- Contemporary
  • Jiko-Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Monsieur Paul-French Pavilion, Epcot
  • Artist Point-Wilderness Lodge
  • Narcoossee’s-Grand Floridian
  • Citricos-Grand Floridian
  • Flying Fish Cafe-BoardWalk
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse-Yacht Club

Whether you’re suited up or wearing jeans, Disney won’t stop the money flow, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Like I said, it seems that the guidelines really are just guidelines. The rest is entirely up to you and your comfort level!

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Disney World has dress codes? Tips for Dressing at Disney World

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Disney World After Dark: Dining & Entertainment for Night Owls

“Raging nightlife” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Disney. But just because it’s Disney, doesn’t mean it’s only for early risers. When the sun…

“Raging nightlife” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Disney. But just because it’s Disney, doesn’t mean it’s only for early risers. When the sun goes down and most of the other guests are heading out, you can keep the party going with a variety of activities. I’m not saying this is Las Vegas, but you do have some options if you’re hopped up on Dole Whips at 9:00 pm.

I used to be a magic morning kinda girl, but lately, I’ve found that going into the parks later in the afternoon and staying all the way until close is something I can get used to. The other option is to go early for park opening, leave for most of the afternoon then return for more fun. Whatever your preference, there’s a lot to do at night in the parks and resorts.

The hours and times I’ve listed may vary, so always double-check park and dining hours on DisneyWorld.com before making plans. Also, dining closing hours means they will seat you until those closing hours, but won’t kick you out until you’ve finished your meal. Just, try not to take too much advantage of coming in right at closing. Servers gotta sleep too!  Later reservations are much easier to get, as opposed to dining around the typical dinner hour of 5:00-7:00 pm as well.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs Panorama at Night | CC by Chris Murray

CC by Chris Murray

Let’s start with the obvious place to stay up late. They’ve been trying their darndest to appeal to young 20 something’s in this area for years and I think they’re finally getting around to it. Most restaurants and shops and are open until 11:00 PM (and later) and the Starbucks is open until midnight to keep yourself from falling asleep.  There’s always excitement happening at Springs like live “street” performers and other artists scattered about. It’s my favorite place to go on our first night in town since you don’t have to pay to get in.

The Edison: Open until 1:00 am. This swanky bar/lounge/cabaret/nightclub/restaurant just opened this year and people are loving its nighttime entertainment. The live band, dancers, and singers begin their big band era show around 10:00 pm. On Thursdays through Sundays they charge a cover of $10 after 10:00 as well.  After 10:00 pm the restaurant becomes 21 and over and a “venue-appropriate” dress code is requested. You can read about Disney Dress Codes on my post here.

Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar: Open until midnight. The Tunnel Bar is Maria and Enzo’s counterpart lounge. It has a prohibition-era speakeasy theme where you enter through an unmarked door into a dark “tunnel” restaurant. They serve cocktails, small plates, and full meals in an “underground” bar. Very cool little spot to grab a drink before heading over to The Edison for some dancing.

Star Wars–Secrets of the Empire Hyper-Reality Experience: Open until 10:45 pm. This experience opened recently in Disney World and just opened at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney as well. Your chosen team is sent undercover to achieve a mission for the rebellion where you’ll interact with sets and experience sensory and immersive technology.  I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, but have been warned that if you are claustrophobic or experience vertigo, you should avoid it. This is for ages 10+ and is 29.95 per person.

Splitsville: If you’re taking a break from the parks, Splitsville is a great place to hang out. There’s a bowling alley food, frozen drinks, and creative martinis served until 12:30. You should really reserve a lane ahead of time if you plan on bowling, just to be safe. Odd Tip: They say the sushi is really good here. Who knew I could trust sushi from a bowling alley? Lane reservations go as late as 11:45 and the alley is open until 1:00 AM.

AMC Dine-In Theatre: This movie theatre has undergone quite the transformation since I was a Cast Member. A full menu is available with options like cheeseburgers, desserts, even cocktails. When you’re low on popcorn, press a button and *poof* your server appears without you getting up in the middle of the movie. Great idea for an evening flick!

House of Blues: Ah yes, the old standby. House of Blues is still rockin’ after all these years and all the transformations. Check the schedule here to see when the live concerts will be taking place at this venue.

Bongos Cuban Cafe: Open until 2:00 am. The rumors have started that Bongo’s will soon be another casualty in the renovations.  There’s still time to visit this happening venue! On Friday and Saturdays, they have a live band play with dancing. It’s like a nonstop party over there.

Raglan Road-Irish Pub and Restaurant: Fish n’ Chips, live music, and traditional Irish dancing until 1:00 AM. The lively venue pays homage to Disney Spring’s wilder years and is madly popular among the younger Cast Members. A great place to have a pint and let loose.

Here are a few honorable mentions for getting a late meal. You can find the full list of restaurants at DisneySprings.com

The BoardWalk

Disney World BoardWalk Panorama at sunset

CC by Chad Sparkes

Now that Pleasure Island has transformed into an upscale shopping district (Disney Springs), I think it’s time for The Boardwalk to get a facelift as well. They haven’t had any major developments like the other parks or resorts and they’re definitely due. That being said, there are two adult-only venues and a couple dining options open late.

Jellyrolls: Open until 2:00 am. Jellyrolls is a dueling piano bar that’s been around for a while and still a favorite for some. Doors open at 7:00 pm so if you plan on getting a table, I advise going when they open. They do charge a cover charge of $12.

Atlantic Dance Hall: Open until 2:00 am. This top 40’s dance hall has a balcony with a beautiful view of the lake where you can cool off after shaking your tail feathers. There’s no cover charge, but it is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Pizza Window: Open until midnight. Between dance breaks stop by the infamous Pizza Window. It has some outside seating and serves beer and Sangria as well. Nothing like pizza under the stars on a warm Florida night!

BoardWalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas: Open until midnight. This is a little outdoor shack that serves margaritas outside. Pizza and margs, anyone?

Late-Night Eats That Close after 10:00 pm for The BoardWalk

The Resorts

Grand Floridian Resort Chandelier at Disney World

Grand Floridian Resort

24 Hour Dining: Speaking of midnight snacks, there are three restaurants open 24 hours on property.

  • Gasparilla Island Grill at Grand Floridian is a quick service spot serving pizza all night long.
  • Picabu at the Dolphin Hotel serves a take-and-go assortment of desserts and snacks.
  • Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian serves bakery items and some small snacks late at night.

Starlight Safari at Animal Kingdom Lodge: Disney’s only nighttime tour and probably the coolest. You’ll be guided through the “Savannah” at Animal Kingdom Lodge to view their wildlife after dark. Everyone is provided night vision goggles to get the full experience of seeing a giraffe or zebra after dark. Once exclusive to resort guests, now open to all. The tours start around 8:30 and 10:00 at night. If you go on any VIP tours, try this one!

Stroll Along a Scenic Trail: There are many jogging trails scattered throughout resort properties, but my favorite is the trail connecting the Polynesian and Grand Floridian. An ideal evening would be to take in the live jazz band at Mizner’s Lounge then head outside for a leisurely evening walk. It trails near the Seven Seas Lagoon and passes by the wedding pavilion at Grand Floridian. Once at the Polynesian you’ll get the perfect view of Cinderella’s castle in the distance. Can you smell the warm, evening air?

Grab a Drink: Disney resort lounges are usually stocked with full-service food menus from the restaurants attached to them. All are first-come, first-serve so you don’t have to worry about making a reservation. My favorite is probably Mizner’s Lounge at Grand Floridian.

P.S. Most resort food courts are open until 11:00 PM and there’s always Disney’s pizza delivery if you want to keep the party hopping. Although, I might suggest ordering Pizza Hut. Disney pizza isn’t great.

The Parks

Sunset in Epcot's World Showcase panorama at Disney World

World Showcase at Sunset

Disney has been good about offering some late night activities in the parks for those of us who are not rope drop people. Every year they’re adding something new to stretch out the magic all day and into the wee hours of the night.

Extra Evening Hours: Extra Magic Hours doesn’t always mean up-at-the-crack-of-dawn hours. On certain nights, the parks will stay open for a few hours after close, meant for guests staying at an onsite Disney resort. Check the calendar to see which park is honoring it the week you are there.  Fair warning, the park may still be busy during the late hours, but it’s a good option.

Disney After Hours: This one is definitely less advertised than the holiday parties and definitely less crowded. Between January and March of 2018, they are leaving the park open for an extra 3 hours in the Magic Kingdom. 25 attractions are left open and because there is a limited amount of tickets, lines are super short. The price is about the same as one day’s admission-$119. If you want to do this exclusive event you can find tickets for sale here.

Magic Kingdom:

The good thing about the Magic Kingdom is that it’s usually open until midnight unless it’s non-peak season and by that time you’re probably pooped from all the magic. But if you stick around long enough you get to experience the “Kiss Goodnight.” Which is the exit message and music from Mickey and friends when the park is nearing close. It’s a perfect time to take in the Disney atmosphere and get the perfect castle picture with fewer crowds.

  • Shop on Main Street: Main Street shops are open a little past park closing hours. I like to use this time to pick up souvenirs because the crowds are thinner and I don’t have to spend the rest of the day carrying them around. Also, you really can’t beat an empty Main Street U.S.A at midnight.
  • Dessert Parties: Magic Kingdom has a lot of dessert parties and most of them take place during the fireworks. One takes place in Tomorrowland, another takes place in the plaza, and others take place on your very own cruise. This is probably the coolest way to view the fireworks. This experience is right up there with a viewing at the Top of the World Lounge at the Contemporary Resort.
  • Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: If you are visiting during the holiday season, these are must-do events. Both offer special parades, shows, merchandise, and rare character experiences. And they keep the parks open until midnight in the fall. They were created to help drag in some profit during the off-season and they are quickly becoming the busiest times to go. I suggest going mid-September or the last week of November to attempt to avoid the crowds.

Epcot:

Most, if not all, restaurants and food kiosks are open until 9:00 pm at Epcot. If you’re willing to skip Illuminations or go for a quick service option in lieu of a table service, you can actually get quite a bit done later in the day here.

  • Festivals at Epcot: I suggest visiting during one of their festivals like Food & Wine, Flower & Garden, or Festival of the Arts. They always have unique food and entertainment and the food kiosks are also typically open until 9:00 pm.
  • Proximity to The BoardWalk: World Showcase is located 5 minutes from The BoardWalk! Head over to the parks for dinner and Illuminations and then keep the party going with some dancing at The BoardWalk. Sounds like the perfect evening to me!

Hollywood Studios:

Studios is undergoing major refurbishments as they prepare for Galaxy’s Edge (Star Wars Land) and Toy Story Land coming in the next couple years. Unfortunately, that means there is far less to do in the evening hours. BUT, I do have a few suggestions for nighttime entertainment at the park while it gets a makeover.

  • Fantasmic! Dining Package: This is my favorite evening show! Like I said, the dining and dessert packages are the way to go. The Brown Derby is my suggestion for this dining package. They’ve got some great cocktails! If you don’t want to do a table service and there are two shows, I always suggest seeing the second show. The crowds will have died down and you’ll have more time for dinner and attractions.
  • Ride Tower of Terror at Night: I know, I’m really reaching here. However, if you’ve never ridden Tower of Terror at night, it’s really pretty cool. The evening ambiance adds to the eerie queue which guides you to the spooky lobby.
  • Take the boat!: After you’ve gotten your fill of Hollywood Studios, take the boat over to the BoardWalk area. The Dolphin and Swan Resort are also in the vicinity which offers places like Kimonos for nightly karaoke!

Animal Kingdom:

Even if it’s not open terribly late, Pandora-World of Avatar was meant to be seen at night. The bioluminescent lighting and Avatar “landscapes” look incredible in the evening. Last summer, Animal Kingdom was open until 10:00 pm most nights and sometimes 11:00 pm, without extra evening hours. And don’t forget to catch Rivers of Light, the new water and light show, playing most nights at the amphitheater. Unfortunately, Animal Kingdom doesn’t have too many dining spots open past 8:00 pm due to it closing earlier than others. For evening eats I suggest Tiffins, Yak & Yeti, Nomad Lounge, and Satu’li Canteen (quick service). Rainforest Cafe is open a little later than the others, but the food isn’t quite worth it.

I did my best to keep the list concise, but there really is a lot to do at night in and around the parks! What’s your favorite thing to do late at night on property? Mine would have to be watching the fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian Resort. So relaxing! Goodnight, night owls!

Pin it for later!Disney After Dark: Everything you can do at Disney World after the sun goes down!
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Pair a Disney Holiday Movie with a Holiday Treat!

What’s cozier than curling up with your favorite Disney holiday movie and a yummy holiday treat? Disney has the ability to produce that warm and fuzzy feeling in all their…

What’s cozier than curling up with your favorite Disney holiday movie and a yummy holiday treat? Disney has the ability to produce that warm and fuzzy feeling in all their movies. Now combine that with some holiday cheer and you have the ultimate cozy night in.  So let’s get in the spirit, eh? I’ve posted some recipes below I found on other blogs for inspiration!

1. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas | Hot Buttered Rum: Narrated by Kelsey Grammer, this is a heartwarming melange of classic stories told by our favorite characters. This is the perfect show to play in the background while you’re decorating the Christmas tree. It’s been on Netflix for a few years now along with the sequel, Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas. For a show that gives you all the warm fuzzies, it should be accompanied by a warm drink like a Hot Buttered Rum. Here’s a step-by-step recipe from The Kitchen is My Playground

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Hot Buttered Rum | The Kitchen is My Playground

2. I’ll Be Home for Christmas | Red and Green M&M’s: This nostalgic 90’s Jonathan Taylor Thomas film deserves to be complemented with red and green M&M’s, which also became popular during the 90’s. They’re still playing the classic M&M’s “They DO exist!” commercial to this day! Bonus: Red & Green Hershey kisses! Take a Christmas commercial break and slip into your P.J.’s. Be still my 90’s teenage heart!

I'll Be Home for Christmas | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures

I’ll Be Home for Christmas | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Red and Green Christmas M&M's

3. Pluto’s Christmas Tree | Mulled Wine: This is a cozy classic cartoon that aired in 1952. It features classic Disney characters, so it only makes sense to match it with a classic Christmas drink. Mulled wine is the pinnacle of warmth and coziness. Combining cloves, cinnamon, oranges, and wine to make a picture-perfect holiday drink for a picture-perfect holiday cartoon. I tried Sweet & Savory’s mulled wine recipe last year and it was delicious.

You can watch Pluto’s Christmas Tree and other Disney shorts here!

Easy Mulled Wine | Sweet & Savory

Easy Mulled Wine | Sweet & Savory

4. Beauty and the Beast’s Enchanted Christmas | Madeleines: With actors like Angela Lansbury, Paige O’Hara, Tim Curry, and Bernadette Peters, this cast is stunning and the movie is highly underrated. The CGI is a little corny and outdated at times, but the music is actually quite good and probably the only Disney classic spin-off that I recommend to anyone. (Sorry Lion King 1 1/2!) Since Beauty and the Beast is set in France, it would be fun to make traditional french cookies, like madeleines or macarons. And holy cow, you should check out this recipe for Pumpkin Madeleines with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt from Fig and Bleu. I can’t wait to try it. Another (more laborious) option would be the cute and classic Chocolat Buche de Noel (a.k.a. Yule Log Cake).

Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas | Image Source: The Walt Disney Company

Pumpkin Madeleines with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt | Fig & Bleu

Pumpkin Madeleines with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt | Fig & Bleu

5. The Santa Clause | Hot Chocolate: Another 90’s hit that we’ve all watched at least 30 times by now. And for good reason too. It’s one of the few holiday movies that have a good plot, great cast, good writing, and something you don’t mind watching every year. As a kid, I wished someday I’d have a CD (Cocoa Dispenser) in my car like the one Charlie installs in the sleigh. Until Tesla makes all my hot chocolate wishes come true, I suppose a homemade batch will do.

The Santa Clause | Image Source: The Walt Disney Company

Mickey Holiday Hot Cocoa

6. Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year | Baked Brie with Honey: Pooh Bear is very near and dear to my heart since I spent A LOT of time with him when I worked at Disney World. If you catch my drift. Of course, you can’t enjoy your favorite bear without a honey related treat! Brie with apples are my family’s favorite Christmas morning snack. Especially delicious is the kind wrapped in dough and drizzled with some honey. Check out this beautiful Honey Almond Baked Brie recipe from The Seasoned Mom. This adorable film is on Hulu and used to be available on Netflix, but they removed it last year. Oh, bother!

A Very Merry Pooh Year | Image Source: The Walt Disney Company

Honey Almond Baked Brie | The Seasoned Mom

7. Ernest Saves Christmas | Reindeer Poop: Remember that weird fad where we gave out poop related Christmas treats to our relatives? Back in the day, cocoa puffs were “reindeer poop” and marshmallows were considered “snowman poop.” In memory of the wacky Disney legend, Jim Varney (a.ka. Ernest and Slinky Dog from Toy Story), I say we bring that strange tradition back. You can go the extra mile and try these reindeer poop cookies from Life is Sweeter by Design. Although Ernest wasn’t produced by Disney, it is the first movie that was filmed in Disney World. Parts of the movie were filmed in Hollywood Studios, then known as MGM Studios!

Ernest Saves Chrismas

Ernest Saves Christmas | Image Source: Touchstone Pictures

Ernest Saves Christmas | Image Source: Touchstone Pictures

Reindeer Poop Cookies from Life is Sweeter by Design

8. The Muppet Christmas Carol | Magic Cookie Bars: Of all the Disney-made Christmas Carol interpretations, this one is my favorite. The music is absolutely fantastic and you can’t go wrong with Michael Caine as Scrooge. Jim Henson had a way of parodying classics without detracting from the story and making it accessible to both kids and adults. For this cheery musical, make an equally cheery treat like Magic Cookie Bars, combining all the yummy goodness of baked goods into one bar. Here’s an extra special Seven Layer Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bar recipe made with the classic aforementioned red and green M&M’s from Love from the Oven. Ugh, they’re so beautiful!

The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures/Jim Henson Productions

Magic Cookie Bars | Love from the Oven

Magic Cookie Bars | Love from the Oven

9. The Magic of Christmas at Disneyland | Very Merry Christmas Party Pumpkin Spice Waffles: When I’m feeling the Disney blues, one of the best ways to get my fix is to watch a Disney Park special. This Magic of Christmas at Disneyland features the park rides and shows that were present in the 90’s. It’s also free on YouTube! There are newer Disney Christmas specials, like the parades they air every year on Christmas day. For these television specials, you can make the beloved pumpkin spice waffles they serve at Disney World’s Very Merry Christmas party. I recreated the dessert in an earlier post here.

10. Nightmare Before Christmas | Christmas Sangria: Disney really struck gold with this plotline. A movie that features both Halloween AND Christmas? They can rake in the dough by showing this movie continuously from October to December on Freeform. For this seemingly sinister yet cozy Christmas film, I’d opt for something classy with a twist, like Christmas sangria. Here’s a gorgeous Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria from Jerry James Stone.

Jack Skellington The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas | Image Source: Walt Disney Studios

Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria | Jerry James Stone

Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria | Jerry James Stone

11. Babes in Toyland | Divinity: As a musical theatre lover from a young age, I’ve always loved this film. A beautiful musical with ballet and a gorgeous score deserves a beautiful treat like divinity. The almost unbearable sweetness of divinity matches the unbearable sweetness of this 1960’s musical. The Domestic Rebel provides an “Easy Homemade Divinity Recipe” here.

Babes in Toyland | Image Source: Walt Disney Productions

Babes in Toyland | Image Source: Walt Disney Productions

Easy Homemade Divinity | The Domestic Rebel

Easy Homemade Divinity | The Domestic Rebel

12. Prep & Landing | Gingerbread Cookies: So, I’m not a huge fan of this movie. It was a bit past my childhood and I don’t think it holds up against the others. I won’t judge you if this happens to be you’re favorite though!  Anyway, the movie stars some high-tech elves who use their GBM’s, or, Gingerbread Men Scanners, to scan whether “creatures are stirring.” You can keep with the theme and make some gingerbread! Check out this cute replica of the gingerbread scanners from Disney Family.

Prep and Landing

Prep and Landing | Image Source: Walt Disney Animation Studios

Gingerbread Man Scanner CookiesGingerbread Men Scanner Cookies | Disney Family

13. ‘Twas the Night | Eggnog: Remember when Bryan Cranston did Disney original movies? As a throwback to when Cranston was taking any job that was offered to him, might as well do a throwback to the classic Christmas drink, eggnog. Try the 10-Minute Homemade Eggnog from Whole and Heavenly Oven! The full movie is available to rent on YouTube.

Twas the Night | Image Source: Buena Vista Television

Twas the Night | Image Source: Buena Vista Television

10 Minute Homemade Eggnog | Whole and Heavenly Oven

14. Frozen | Frozen Hot Chocolate: Fine. I’ll acknowledge the Frozen elephant in the room. I think most of the world is over this movie, but if you just can’t let it go, I suggest pairing this one with a frozen hot chocolate. This is especially suitable if you live somewhere close to the equator! Here’s an awesome and simple recipe from Fake Ginger.

Frozen | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Frozen | Image Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Frozen Hot Chocolate | Fake Ginger

Frozen Hot Chocolate | Fake Ginger

Ready for a snuggly night in? Grab your favorite blankie, a favorite treat, and take in a movie. The winter isn’t getting any warmer so why not warm yourself with a Disney classic and something delicious. What’s your favorite holiday treat? Leave it in the comments below!

Pin it for later!Cozy Night-In Activity: Pair a Disney holiday movie with a holiday treat! Check out this guide to the best movies and treats the season has to offer!
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Disney World’s Christmas Party Pumpkin Spice Waffle Copycat!

The Pumpkin Spice Waffle is a favorite at the Christmas Party. If you can’t make it to the parks this season, this treat will help ease the pain a bit….

The Pumpkin Spice Waffle is a favorite at the Christmas Party. If you can’t make it to the parks this season, this treat will help ease the pain a bit. I’m also one of those people who really get into the pumpkin spiced trend. Call me basic! I don’t care because this recreation of the popular dessert from Disney World makes me and other Disney fans feel right at home. Also, someone who doesn’t have a lot of time on her hands, like most others, I wanted it to find a simple way to enjoy it. I tried some recipes and instant mixes, but rumor has it that the waffle mix I ended up using is the actual waffle mix they use in the parks.  Can’t get much more authentic than that! It’s a simple recipe you can make with kids or on Christmas morning without it being a stressful activity.  If you don’t have a waffle maker, you can make a pancake version instead. But, if you’re in the market for one, the mini Mickey waffle maker I got from Amazon worked really well. Make it an event and pair this festive sweet with one of the Disney holiday movies I suggested in my previous blog here!

The Essentials:

  1. Mickey Waffle Maker (or use your own!)
  2. Pumpkin Spice Waffle Batter
  3. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
  4. Powdered Sugar
  5. Sprinkles
Christmas Mickey Mug with Hot Cocoa and Whipped Cream with Sprinkles on Top

Winter Mug from the disneystore.com

1) Waffles: You have a couple choices here, ranging from super simple instant mix to baking from scratch. Carbon’s Golden Malted Waffle and Pancake Flour is my favorite because it’s the brand Disney uses. Unfortunately, they no longer sell this special flavor on Amazon, but they do have the plain flour which you can spice up with my suggestions below. You can also use the instant mix from Williams Sonoma which is already seasoned with pumpkin spices. If baking from scratch, here’s a recipe from Cooking Classy.

To make Carbon’s Waffle Mix taste like the holiday season add these ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon of Pumpkin Spice Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • A dash or two of Allspice
  • 1/4 cup of sugar

Two Pumpkin Spice Mickey Waffles on a Holiday Plate | Disney's Very Merry Christmas Party Recipe

2) Ice Cream: Vanilla Bean is the flavor they use at the parties, but feel free to get creative here. Try flavors that compliment the spices like chocolate or coffee ice cream. Can’t go wrong with ice cream!

3) Sprinkles: Wilton’s Holiday Sprinkles is the classic brand that Disney uses and it’s pretty cheap on Amazon. I bought the combination pack with 6 different types of sprinkles and used the confetti and trees for the ice cream. Save the rest for sugar cookie decorations!

McCormick's Vanilla Extract and Walton's Holiday/Christmas Sprinkles

4) Sifted Powdered Sugar: Obviously any brand will do here. You can also top off your creation with some cinnamon and cardamom to make it extra pumpkin spice-y!

Mickey Shaped Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Ice cream, Sprinkles, and hot cocoa. Christmas Party recipe.

Mickey Waffle Maker Review: I found the waffle maker on Amazon for only 15.00, so I bought it on an impulse. Mickey did not disappoint. The waffles are thick, fluffy, and evenly baked. Only takes about 5 minutes to make a waffle too! I was weary at first, but I liked it even more than my heavy duty Oster waffle maker. I am unapologetically endorsing this highly important kitchen appliance. 😉

The Mini Mickey Waffle Maker - Size Comparison

Well, there it is! You’re very own slice of Disney all wrapped up in holiday goodness. Snuggle up with a blanket and a friend,  turn on A Muppet Christmas Carol, and have at it! Go crazy and grab a pumpkin spiced eggnog while you’re enjoying it. Happy holidays, everyone!

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Disney World's Very Merry Christmas Party Pumpkin Spice Waffle Copy Cat Recipe

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