Welcome back Carrie Hayward as she returns to show us specialty menu items from Disneyland’s Soundsational Annual Passholder event! And don’t forget to read Carrie’s bio at the end of this post — she’s pretty amazing!
Over the last week, Disneyland has hosted two after-hours parties to give annual passholders an up-close look at the new Soundsational parade and how it was created. Four special menu items were introduced for the events, each available at a different location and only between the hours of 4pm and midnight that day. However, word on the street is that one or more of them may have been a test for future inclusion on park menus.
Let’s see how the four potentially new menu items stack up!
Mac & Cheese Hot Dog – Main Street Refreshment Corner
Definitely the most talked-about special menu item, this diet-busting snack featured one of Disneyland’s new larger — and reportedly more flavorful hot dogs — smothered in neon macaroni & cheese and topped with bacon bits.
The last Disney hot dog I ate was at Walt Disney World (at Disneyland, I go straight for the corn dogs) and it didn’t seem particularly puny or bland, so I can’t comment on whether the new dog is an improvement.
Disneyland’s has a snappy casing and a salty, beefy taste. The macaroni and cheese was not quite up to par with my beloved Walt Disney World Mickeyroni — more plasticky and less cheesy — but it still had that satisfyingly creamy quality that tells you you’re eating a hot dog covered with mac ‘n’ cheese!
The bacon crumbles were the packaged kind you can buy at the market and didn’t taste like much of anything… think of them as savory sprinkles.
Soundsational “Cupcake” – Blue Ribbon Bakery
As it turned out, there was no Soundsational cupcake at Blue Ribbon Bakery on either party night, and at the first party, bakery cast members acted as if the sign announcing the cupcake was the first they’d heard of it. By the time the second party rolled around, the chef had pulled something together on the fly — a chocolate-chocolate chip muffin topped with cream cheese frosting and a white chocolate Mickey pumpkin.
This sounded like it might be weird, but the muffin was so moist and spongy it may as well have been a cupcake, and the frosting came straight from Blue Ribbon’s carrot cake. My first bite of the muffin had an overwhelmingly artificial chocolate taste (very Betty Crocker) followed by cream cheese frosting so tangy it was practically yogurt, but it wasn’t enough to keep me from eating half the dang thing!
[Editor's Note: Don't forget that the Blue Ribbon Bakery will be replaced with the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe in 2012!]
Soundsational Mini Cupcake – Tomorrowland Terrace
Tomorrowland Terrace offered really-for-real mini Soundsational cupcakes free with the purchase of any entrée (“mini” being somewhat subjective — these were about the size of your average homemade cupcake).
The cake was dyed blue, yellow and pink, while the frosting was a swirl of purple and yellow, topped with a glittery screen print of Mickey on a waxy white chocolate square. I wasn’t crazy about the Kool Aid-esque fruit overtones or the whipped cream frosting, but the cake scored points for being moist. And how can you not love something that colorful and sparkly?
Buffalo Chicken Pizza — Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port
I’m never usually that interested in Disney pizza, but in service to the readers of the Disney Food Blog, I made my first trip into Redd Rockett’s to give the Buffalo Chicken Pizza a whirl.
I managed to swipe the only piece with more than a tablespoon of chicken on it before the guy next to me could reach it (this one had nearly TWO tablespoons of chicken).
It was pretty good looking as theme park pizza goes, with a thick layer of bubbly cheese, those chicken bits, flecks of green onion, and crispy strands of carrot. But when I took my first bite, I almost spit it out.
My palate didn’t know which assault to object to first: the mass quantities of salt or the burning spice. The heat was all in the sauce, so I was able to avoid it by eating just the tasty cheese layer, but the pizza’s sodium content was high enough to make me wonder if there’d been a mishap in the kitchen. Frankly, the bacon mac and cheese dog was looking like a pretty healthy option by comparison!
The special menu items at the first annual passholder event turned out to be a mixed bag, but if the rumors are true, Disney will have plenty of opportunities to work out the kinks in the future. I can’t wait!
Carrie is the author of PassPorter’s Disney Weddings & Honeymoons, a guidebook and bridal organizer for weddings and honeymoons at Walt Disney World and on the Disney Cruise Line. You can follow her adventures in the Disney parks on Disney Travel Babble and @lurkyloo on Twitter.