Dining in Disneyland: Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe with Starbucks!

After all of our coverage of Cars Land, we’ve got another great gem in the heart of Disney California Adventure’s new Buena Vista Street! I’ve already been there a few times and I can tell you that the Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe is a great stop for a quick bite to eat.

Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe

This, by the way, is also where you’ll find the very first Starbucks to be located inside of a Disney theme park.

I love that the signage for Starbucks is discreet.


Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe is a counter service restaurant themed with The Silver Lake Sisters in mind. Who are the Silver Lake Sisters you ask? The story here is that they were a trio of singers with a love for [Read more…]

Spotted! Fun “Disney Food” Statues at Off the Page in Disney California Adventure

One of my favorite stores to visit in Disney California Adventure is the “Off the Page” gallery located next to the Art of Animation building in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot. They always have fun items ranging from fine art, to tech gadgets, to kitchen goodies and statuettes.

DCA's "Off the Page" Store

On a recent visit I noticed these cute “Foodie” statues and thought it would be fun to share them on the blog.

My favorite of the statues is this Donald Duck piece with Chip and Dale behind him sneakily stealing his ice cream. The statue is pretty large, 17 inches tall, and designed by Disney artist Brian Blackmore. It’s hand painted sculpted resin and sells for $199.95.

Donald Duck Ice Cream Statue

Sneaky little Chip n' Dale!

Next up we’ve got Chip and Dale “sharing” a peanut. Also made of hand painted sculpted resin, this statue stands 12 inches high and was designed by Disney Artist Costa Alavezos. It’s $99.95.

Chip and Dale Peanut Statue

Chef Goofy in “Goofy as French Chef” is stirring up a pot of boiling water while his [Read more…]

Guest Review: Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop at Disney California Adventure

Today we’re welcoming guest author Kent Walker with a cool review of the brand new Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop at Disney California Adventure. Read on for a delicious dose of ice cream and brownies!

Having been big fans of chocolate since before we could spell the word, my wife and I were very excited to find out that a Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop would be opening at Disney California Adventure. Not only would we be able to ride Radiator Springs Racers, we’d be able to do it with a belly full of ice cream, hot fudge, and brownie.


The Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop occupies the space that used to be the Mission Tortilla Factory, which was an original DCA attraction in 2001.

While we were sad to see the factory go (our sons especially loved the free corn and flour tortillas – including a whole bag on their birthday!), our depression was short-lived when we found out we could drown our sorrows in sea salt caramel hot cocoa!

Inside Ghirardelli at Disney California Adventure

Our family has been to San Francisco and visited the Ghirardelli Square shop, so we knew how good their chocolate, sundaes and chocolate drinks were. Other than the much larger selection of chocolate in San Francisco, the soda fountains are very similar.

Ghirardelli in DCA made the wise choice of having much wider aisles for easier stroller navigation and crowd control, and a Ghirardelli staffer hands out samples and menus out at the door. They even go the extra step and cut off the top of the foil package so it’s easier for you to get at your free chocolate treat. On the day we stopped by, it was a caramel filled milk chocolate piece.

Other than the wider aisles for crowds and strollers, the inside is very similar to other Ghirardelli Soda Fountains across the country. One nice touch, though, is a [Read more…]

Cars Land First Look! Fillmore’s Taste-In in Disney California Adventure

When you’re in Cars Land and you are drooling over Radiator Springs Racers (which are totally worth drooling over), don’t forget to check out the fun little details Cars Land has to offer. 

One of my favorite sights caught my eye as I was walking over to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. On my way to ride, I got completely distracted by the psychedelic glow of Fillmore’s Taste-In. So much so, that I went over to check it out before hitting the spinning tractors!

Fillmore's Taste-In


Fillmore’s signage is cleverly made of mufflers dangling from hubcaps, and his tent is just a “prop.” My guess is that inside is a storage area. The actual store consists of stands filled with what Disney calls “healthier” snacks and drinks.

Fillmore's Signage

Just like Fillmore’s character in the Cars movies, the Taste-In makes groovy “natural” snacks available to help you refuel and keep you racing! I was lucky to get to see Fillmore’s at night; the colors were spectacular, changing every few minutes (hence the crazy glowing [Read more…]

First Look! Clarabelle’s Ice Cream Opens In Disney California Adventure

A few weeks ago, we shared our excitement about Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream, opening up today on Disney California Adventure’s Buena Vista Street. 

Well, it’s time to hop on the Red Trolley and take a ride to check it out. Be sure to notice the fun ad for Clarabelle’s while you’re in the trolley. See you there!

Red Trolley Stop #1 at the Entrance to Buena Vista Street

Red Trolley Clarabelle's Ad: "It's Udderly Fabulous!"

Clarabelle’s Back Story

From the moment I heard about Clarabelle’s, I was really looking forward to checking it out. It has a fabulous little back story. 

In the early 1920’s, it’s said that a young Walt Disney often visited an ice cream shop run by “Clarabelle Cowherd.” The bovine-obsessed Clarabelle ran her ice cream shop using farm fresh dairy products, and used old fashioned churns to make her flavorful hand scooped ice creams. 

It’s said that she was the inspiration for Disney’s humorous Clarabelle Cow character. And I love that Clarabelle’s story is a part of the decor of this new ice cream stop on Buena Vista Street!

Clarabelle's Signage with Ice Cream Cone Inspired Light

Outdoor Wall Signage

Located smack in between the new Fiddler, Fifer, & Practical Cafe and Trolley Treats, Clarabelle’s is a walk-up counter service spot to get some traditional Disneyland Resort goodies as well as something totally new to the parks’ menus: The Hand Dipped Ice Cream Bar.

Clarabelle's Menu


Clarabelle’s is tiny. With just three registers to place an order, I think on a hot day this cow-crazy cone shop is going to be an E-Ticket attraction sized line. 

Don’t let it’s size fool you, though, because imagineers were able to pack some very snazzy decor into a [Read more…]

Cars Land First Look! Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel in Disney California Adventure

Walking through Cars Land, you literally feel like you’ve stepped into the movie Cars. I honestly do not see how it would be possible to improve the themeing for this new area of Disney California Adventure. 

Cozy Cone Motel Sign

Every single detail was well thought out and taken directly from the movie. The experience I had while strolling the streets of Radiator Springs is definitely how I’d imagine jumping into a movie screen and becoming an animated extra would be (OK, maybe I’m a little weird imagining myself as an animated character, don’t judge…)! 

The Cozy Cone Motel is perhaps one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen “come to life.” In this post, we’ll walk through each of the Cones, then take a look at the special Imagineering details at the Cozy Cone Motel as well as an “after dark” photo tour of the amazing neon and lit-up cones here! Here we go!


I got the chance to review some of this food at the media preview a couple of weeks ago, but being there was totally different!

My first thought when I walked up to the Cozy Cone Motel was, “Man I wish I could actually stay here.” It looks exactly like the movie; I mean everything from Sally’s office (aka hotel lobby) to the actual cones, which are perfectly sized to make us humans feel like, well, cars.

Sally's Office

Cozy Cones from "the street"

My second thought? “Woah, those are some serious long lines!” 

The Cozy Cones are apparently the place to be!

But don’t you worry, I will be back very soon to give all of the cones a try….  In the meantime, check out our previous review, and feast your eyes on the amazingness that is the Cozy Cone Motel!

The Cones

We’ll go through each of the cones in order, so you know what to expect!

Cone #1: Churros
The Churro Cone serves up churro bites with cinnamon-chocolate sauce, regular & cinnamon-spiced hot cocoa, and Ramone’s “Pear of Dice” Soda made with dessert pear syrup, mojito syrup, and Sprite. Coca Cola products are also available here.

Churro Cone

Churro Cone Menu

Cone #2: Ice Cream Cones
This is the place to grab a soft serve ice cream cone in vanilla, chocolate, or vanilla/chocolate twist. You also have the option to “dip” it in chocolate! 

“Route Beer” floats in souvenir cups as well as [Read more…]

First Look! Ghirardelli Opens in Disney California Adventure

After a successful week of soft openings, Ghirardelli has “officially” opened its doors at the Disneyland Resort inside of Disney California Adventure’s Pacific Wharf area.

We were lucky enough to be invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony, where Mickey and Minnie helped welcome the park’s first independently owned and operated establishment.

Disney California Adventure Park Vice President Mary Nivan & Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis along with Ernst Tanner CEO of Lindt & Sprungli AG

First, we’ll take a peek inside and try a sundae. Then I’ll show you a very special surprise that makes this Ghirardelli location more incredible than any other in the world… (we even have a little video of what makes it so cool).

The Unveiling!

This Ghirardelli location is the first store to be built inside of a theme park (though there is a location in Downtown Disney in Orlando, that’s not, technically, a theme park). Although the cast members at Ghirardelli have had some Disney cast member training, they are actually employees of Ghirardelli and have been taught specifically by the chocolate company. 

Ghirardelli Entrance with Some Added "Chocolatiers"

After the ribbon was cut, we were invited in to see the gorgeous new Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop! 

As you enter the shop, there are menus to peruse as well as a few registers. You place your order at a register and are then sent to one of the three pick up windows where you will be handed your order.

As a “Grand Opening” guest, I was handed one of these tasty little treats!

Mini Sundaes? Yes Please!

It wasn’t easy to eat a sundae and take photos of the store at the same time, so unfortunately I had just a few bites and then got to work. My favorite thing about a Ghirardelli sundae? Definitely the [Read more…]

First Look: Mad T Party Drinks and Eats at Disney California Adventure

This past Friday, Disney California Adventure surprised visitors with a soft opening of their new nighttime dance party, the Alice-in-Wonderland-themed Mad T Party


Knowing that the “Rabbit Hole” was opening at 7:00, we got there just before so we could see the whole grand opening first night extravaganza. You can see by the photo below, that the soft opening wasn’t too big of a secret; lots of people!

Mad T Party Rabbit Hole (aka Entrance)

As far as seating goes, Disney really did it right. I am totally in love with the Linvin plastic furniture that they purchased to fill the area. If you want one of these in your home, though, it’s going to set you back about $895 (I did the research, I hope Disney got a bulk discount!). There are plenty of chairs, but you might have to fight me for a purple one….

Mad T Party Seating

And as the night wore on, the atmosphere got even more colorful…

Mad T Party After Dark

While waiting for the Rabbit Hole to open, which basically meant walking though a long tunnel of mist, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum greeted guests and put on a little banter to entertain us while we waited. I wonder if these guys shaved their heads for the part? 


Also, check the tough guy neck tats on the backs of their heads. Pretty [Read more…]

First Look: Walls Are Down at Carthay Circle Restaurant (Plus Full Menu Photos!)

It’s hard to believe that Disney California Adventure is coming to the end of its 5 year remodel and expansion. Even though June 15th is the “official” grand opening date, things are slowly starting to soft open (Mad T Party is in full swing), and the construction walls are finally coming down.

Carthay Theatre & Fountain

This weekend marked the revealing of Carthay Circle Theatre and the Carthay Fountain. Here are a few photos for you to drool over. It’s gorgeous.

Carthay Circle Theatre

A fitting tribute to the place where Walt Disney debuted his first animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in 1937, The Carthay Circle Theatre in Disney California Adventure will house a table service restaurant featuring “Premiere” (get it???) cuisine.  I was very excited that the menu was already posted! I’ll take the House Biscuits immediately please…

Featuring "Premiere Cuisine"

Carthay Circle Menu

Carthay Circle Restaurant Menu Close Up -- click to read larger version

Although we couldn’t peek inside the windows, the outside was still amazing to see. For such a long time all we could see the was tippy top, but now you can get a glimpse of some of the fabulous details that have gone into imagineering this beautiful establishment… [Read more…]

News! A Video Look Inside 1901 Lounge AND Club 33 Invites New Members!

Club 33 Sign

Exciting news announced on the DisneyParks Blog!

Club 33 Invites New Members

Club 33 is celebrating its 45th anniversary by inviting a limited number of new members for exclusive membership!

Walt Disney was inspired to create Club 33 by the executive lounges at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Since 1967, the club has intrigued Disney fans!

Disneyland fans that receive new Club 33 membership will get some extra perks too — sneak peeks to new attractions, VIP tour guides, itinerary planning, valet parking, and comp resort upgrades — for an exceptional concierge experience.

A Peek Inside the Exclusive New 1901 Lounge

Access to the new 1901 lounge inside the Carthay Circle Theatre (opening June 15) is also included in these new memberships.

Check our our earlier reports on Club 33 membership and the 1901 Lounge for details on these exclusive locations AND on the ins and outs of membership!

Check out this video for details and a peek inside the new 1901 Lounge in Disney California Adventure, opening [Read more…]