On our recent visit to Disneyland, we had breakfast at the River Belle Terrace in Frontierland. This “fast casual” dining spot currently serves breakfast and lunch, but will soon be transitioning into a table service restaurant and dropping breakfast in favor of dinner. I thought I should post about our breakfast there while it’s still relevant. If you don’t get to experience breakfast at the River Belle Terrace, though, fret not. You’re not missing anything, and the new table-service conversion will likely be for the best. Continue reading
Category Archives: Disneyland
As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Walt’s park, we thank the cast members for creating magic every day. Danny Kaye gave a lovely tribute to the “family” that is the Disneyland cast during the 1980 TV special, Kraft Salutes Disneyland’s 25th Anniversary. Today, his parting words still ring true.
Watch the entire special here!
Here we are, most of the way through June. We’re thoroughly enjoying the first days of summer, but are missing the annual Disneyland trip we usually take at this time of year. Saving money and vacation time for our two-week Walt Disney World wedding and honeymoon visit in November has had its drawbacks. Mainly, that I won’t be visiting Disneyland’s amazing Fantasyland this year.
The above photo is one I snapped in 2008 with the just-serviceable Nikon point-and-shoot that used to reside in my handbag. For some reason, I’ve always loved the color and action in this shot, even though it’s not a technically good photo. Today I’ll try to quell my Disneyland craving by listening to the Fantasyland Dark Ride Medley and looking through old photos. What do you do to satisfy your urges to visit the Happiest Place on Earth?
This has been done before. If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably made this list before. Heck, even I’ve made this list before (or started it, anyway), in the comments of Tom Bricker’s column on the same subject.
This is The List. Your Disney life list. Your personal running scavenger hunt of Disney experiences. The “Disney Bucket List”, if you will, although I’m not calling it that because I hope I complete my list much sooner than I do my life. Most of what I’d like to accomplish is fairly attainable. It doesn’t include things that are left only to chance and famous millionaires like staying in the Cinderella Castle Suite. My list is filled entirely with things that I can personally make happen, so it really shouldn’t take me all that long. That said, it’s easy to sink in to the same old habits, travel annually at the same time of year, and see and do your favorite things over and over rather than trying new experiences.
I’m putting it all out here because if I publish it, I have to do it, right?
This is just a quick shout-out to one of our favorite theme park media sites on the Web. Utilidors Audio Broadcasting is a wonderful free Internet radio service that plays Disney theme park music exclusively. Not only can you log on from any Internet-capable device to listen to their live stream, you can also request your favorite tracks! Be sure to check them out if ever you want to be transported to the Disney Parks right from your desk!
Approaching Fantasyland from Tomorrowland in Disneyland takes you by the majestic Matterhorn before you approach one of the highlights of Walt’s first park. Here’s a shot of the Cheshire Cat, who sits outside the Alice in Wonderland ride:
Alice in Wonderland is my favorite dark ride from any of the US Disney parks. This photo was taken before OSHA stepped in and required a few aesthetically displeasing elements be added to the ride in the name of safety, but the Cheshire Cat still looks just the same.
After cruising the jungle, Danny and I broke off from the group again. We were all meeting local relatives for dinner at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen that night and wanted to change before we headed to the restaurant. We’d stowed a backpack with fresh clothes in a locker on Main Street, so we grabbed that and left the park. Our next destination was the Disneyland Hotel.
Ever since first reading about the small but interesting menu at the Hungry Bear, it has held the honor of one of the few quick service restaurants that I legitimately had to sample. There are many reasons why I prefer to sit down and be served at a table service — I will delve into my distaste for quick service joints as we go along — so for a counter service restaurant to so capture my attention is definitely an accomplishment of certain distinction, even if it is a somewhat useless distinction. Continue reading
If you’re celebrating a special occasion in Disneyland, the Napa Rose restaurant at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel is the best place to do it. For my birthday, Danny and I had the opportunity to dine at the restaurant’s Chef’s Counter. To make a reservation for this seating, one must call the restaurant directly. Napa Rose takes reservations up to three months in advance. There are two seating times for the Chef’s Counter each night: 5:30 PM or 8:30 PM. This should give you an idea of the kind of leisurely meal you can expect when you dine at Napa Rose. We chose the later seating when we made our reservation.
We got to the restaurant a little early and decided to have a drink in the lounge (Woodford neat for Danny, pomegranate martini for me). At 8:30 exactly, a hostess came to our table in the lounge and told us that the earlier seating was running a bit long, apologized for any inconvenience, but said that our table would be ready shortly. We weren’t inconvenienced at all, but we were impressed with the restaurant’s impeccable attention to timing and their guests’ schedules. It’s a far cry from many Disney restaurants, where daily waits of 20 minutes or more are to be expected and are seldom acknowledged by the staff, let alone apologized for. It was only a few minutes later that the same hostess came back to escort us to our seats.
On our second morning in Disneyland, despite getting in later than the rest of our family did the night before, Danny and I were the first to rise. Everybody else wasn’t going to be ready for hours, so we ditched them and headed to Downtown Disney for breakfast at La Brea Bakery Express.
It was about 8:30 in the morning as we walked through the Esplanade. Disneyland had been open for a half hour, but Disney California Adventure wouldn’t be open until 10:00. Turnstiles open a while before the official rope drop, but we were still a little surprised to see people lining up at the gate to DCA so early. The next day, however, we would find ourselves among them.