Spotted: Flo’s V-8 Cafe and Cozy Cone Motel Merchandise

Ever since Cars Land opened in 2012 in Disney California Adventure, it’s been an absolute must-visit every time I go to check out the west coast side of things.

Cars Land Entrance

Cars Land Entrance

Thanks to Flo’s V-8 Cafe and and the Cozy Cone Motel’s assortment of all things that can possibly be served up in a cone, it’s as much a fun snack stop as it is an attraction destination.

Flo's V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

So you can imagine how exicted I was to stumble upon this ENTIRE merchandise line dedicated not just to Cars Land, but with items specific to Flo’s AND the Cozy Cone Motel! This stuff is SO GREAT.

The first thing to catch my eye was this adorable pink Flo’s V-8 Cafe cardigan.

Flo's V-8 Café cardigan

Flo’s V-8 Café cardigan

And this cool Flo’s V-8 Cafe tote!

Flo's V-8 Café tote

Flo’s V-8 Café tote

You know I’m always gonna hone in on the kitchen goods, and there’s a-plenty! I love these mugs…

Flo's V-8 Café Mugs

Flo’s V-8 Café Mugs

Flo is featured on these placemats, too (“She’s Fin-tastic!”).

Flo Placemat

Flo Placemat

The Flo’s V-8 Cafe logo is all over these oven mitts and potholders.

Flo's V-8 oven mitts and potholders

Flo’s V-8 oven mitts and potholders

And the Motarama Girls (Flo herself included) have a whole [Read more…]

Best Breakfasts in Disneyland

You’re in the Happiest Place on Earth — Disneyland!! And you’re ready to kick off a fun-filled day of park touring, thrills, and lots of character interaction. These are the streets that Walt himself walked, the Park that started them all!

Teacups

But how do you ensure that your day gets off to a great start? By kicking it off with the most important meal of the day!

There are tons of iconic snacks and delicious meals that we love to enjoy every time we visit Disneyland. But there are also some terrific breakfast options, too. Today, we’ll take a closer look at some of our favorites.

Steakhouse 55

If it’s a leisurely, sit-down breakfast you’re looking forward to, you can’t go wrong with Steakhouse 55. Located in Disneyland Hotel, this restaurant has been around nearly as long as the Park itself. It offers a quiet and elegant way to start off a day of Disney fun.

Tables

Steakhouse 55 in Disneyland Hotel — A Quiet Way to Start Your Day

Sometimes, I really love the option to fill up on a big breakfast, and then snack or eat lightly through the rest of the day. And there’s a no more luxurious morning splurge than a beautifully cooked plate of New York Steak and Eggs!

New York Steak and Eggs

New York Steak and Eggs

You can also customize your breakfast a bit and Build Your Own Omelette. Choose three from a list of fillings to make your breakfast totally unique.

Build Your Own Omelet

Choose to Build Your Own Omelette

Add some of those delicious Roasted Potatoes, and you’ll be fueled up for hours of Disney fun.

River Belle Terrace

Other times, my first priority is to get into the Parks super early, and then find a bite to eat. After all, there’s something truly magical about being one the of the first people in!

When I’m more interested in touring than spending precious time waiting for my order to arrive, I head to River Belle Terrace. And actually, there are two reasons that this is one of my favorite Disneyland breakfast spots. First off, the patio area offers gorgeous views of the Rivers of America. For me, this is such a serene way to start my day.

View from River Belle Terrace

View from River Belle Terrace

Although it’s a counter service spot, this isn’t food that you eat on the go. Comforting options like Biscuits and Gravy demand that you stop long enough to enjoy your meal.

Of course, you can’t enjoy breakfast here without at least one Mickey Pancake! Enjoying one while watching for the Mark Twain Riverboat to paddle by is Disney Bucket List stuff!

Mickey Pancake

Mickey Pancake

But don’t pass up the chance to try the [Read more…]

Best Disneyland Meals With a View

Good food is tops. But having a delicious meal with a lovely view makes everything taste even better, I think. And I’m pretty sure you agree with me, since we both love Disney!

Disneyland Dole Whip Float

Disneyland Dole Whip Float

I’m feeling a little homesick for the Park that Started It All today, so I thought I’d take a virtual trip to Disneyland and check out a few of my favorite spots that offer not just great food, but also cool stuff to look at. I’ll be honest — sometimes, it’s the view that draws me to a couple of these spots, even more than the eats!

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite Disneyland Meals with a View!

Blue Bayou

When thinking of a restaurant with a view, your mind may immediately jump to something outside — say, a river or a mountain. We’ll get to those, for sure — but we’re going to start with the Bayou.

That’s right. Our first meal with a view takes place at that Disney landmark, Blue Bayou. It may be Southern Cali sunny when you enter, but inside, the sky is inky blue, and the mood is foreboding.

Blue Bayou Atmosphere

Night Falls on the Bayou

Something mysterious and slightly sinister is in the air. Could it be…Pirates?

Should We Warn Them They're About to Encounter Scallywags?

Should We Warn Them They’re About to Encounter Scallywags?

Yes, indeedy! Because Blue Bayou overlooks the entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean. So you’ll have a chance to see folks off at the beginning of their perilous journey.

Fortunately, you’re safe on the terrace of this gracious Southern mansion, about to tuck into some delicious, Cajun-inspired food.

Atmosphere

The Beautiful Terrace Seating Area

Blue Bayou is open for lunch and dinner, but we prefer the former. That’s the only time you can get the famous and incredibly delicious Monte Cristo Sandwich.

Le Special de  Monte Cristo Sandwich

Le Special de Monte Cristo Sandwich

Classic food with a classic view. It’s a pretty special way to pass the time.

Cove Bar

When I’m in the mood for a little grown-up libation, I love to head over to Cove Bar in Disney California Adventure.

You’ll find this somewhat hidden gem situated above Ariel’s Grotto overlooking Paradise Pier. And it’s the location that makes this stop so special (though the food ain’t half bad).

View from Cove Bar

View from Cove Bar

That covered area with the beautiful seaside touches is a great place to relax and unwind. With the shady patio seating and close proximity to the water, you’ll often enjoy cool breezes that make you feel like you’re inside and outside at the same time!

And while most of the drinks here are part of the Standard Disney Bar Menu, you will find a couple specialty drinks as well. Personally, I think it’s a fantastic opportunity to indulge in that Disney classic cocktail, the [Read more…]

Review: Lunch at Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

We are back in Disneyland today with another fun look at Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure!

Flo's V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure's Cars Land

Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure’s Cars Land

This diner is a throwback to all that was good and cool about eating while on the Great American Roadtrip, when Route 66 was in its heyday. And since it opened, Flo’s has quickly become a favorite for its incredible themeing and terrific eats.

While breakfast is phasing out at Flo’s, we recently had the chance to take in lunch here as well, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! Read on for all the details and lots of pics…

Atmosphere

Visiting Flo’s anytime of the day is a treat, because there’s just so much rich detail to experience. But we especially love the views at night, when the whole place is decked out in neon lights.

Flo's V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

There’s some fun lighting inside, too! The entrance, which is a rotunda of sorts, features soft lights that change colors. I caught this pic when the room was decked out in bubble gum pink. Check out the cool chandelier!

Period Chandelier

Period Chandelier

One thing to note about Flo’s — it’s enormous! And the seating areas all have different themeing, so be sure to schedule a little extra time for this lunch stop if checking out incredible Disney detail is something that you enjoy.

The restaurant is actually much larger than it looks from the outside. That’s because part of the seating area is themed as a car clinic — both inside and out. Here’s the outside view.

Ornament Valley Mechanical Clinic

Ornament Valley Mechanical Clinic

And here’s the inside!

Mixed Seating

Mixed Seating in the Mechanical Clinic

Don’t you love the X-ray machine? It’s one of my favorite imagineering touches.

Diagnostic Machine

Diagnostic Machine

Much of the front seating section is decorated with touches that are a throwback to the 1950s, and a lot of the memorabilia centers around Flo — a member of the illustrious Motorama Girls.

The story goes that Flo gave up her glamorous career to settle down in Radiator Springs, where she opened up the coolest diner, ever.

I Love These Booths!

I Love These Booths! Check out the headrests!

The Mechanic Room is a tribute to Doc Hudson’s glory days as a championship racer. With rich details like dark wood and leather-esque booths, it has a more [Read more…]

What’s New Around Disney World and Disneyland: April 1, 2014!

We have a few updates from both coasts for this round of “What’s New!” And we promise that none of these are April Fool’s jokes. :-D

Starting on the east coast, a recent trip around Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Monorail Loop has revealed a few changes in eats and treats. We’re talking property refurbishments, menu updates, tea, and cupcakes,  so hop on board the Monorail (“Your Highway in the Sky!”) and see What’s New!

We’re saving a seat for you…

Monorail Teal

Monorail Teal

Magic Kingdom

We’ll start our Monorail trip at Magic Kingdom. You may be aware that the Hub (the circular area directly in front of Cinderella Castle) has begun a major refurbishment. This project is slated to run in stages finishing sometime in 2015, with the purpose of accommodating more guests for fireworks and parade viewing, with the added benefit of relieving some of the post-show gridlock thanks to additional walkways.

Though much is covered by refurbishment walls, you can see in these photos where the water that flows towards and around Cinderella Castle has been drained for now to accommodate the construction.

Hub Refurbishment

Hub Refurbishment

Hub Refurbishment

Hub Refurbishment

Hub Refurbishment

Hub Refurbishment

Soooo… what does this have to do with food? The restaurants in the immediate area are still in operation. The beloved Main Street Popcorn Cart is, too; however, it’s now located on the bridge which connects the Hub to Adventureland.

Current location of Main Street Popcorn Cart

Current location of Main Street Popcorn Cart

Current location of Main Street Popcorn Cart

Current location of Main Street Popcorn Cart

Still an easy spot to grab some popcorn before the new Festival of Fantasy Parade!

Festival of Fantasy Parade

Festival of Fantasy Parade

Though the majority of the refurbishment to add expanded seating to Casey’s Corner is complete, we’re still noticing some small changes here and there.

The wall in the back room, which formerly housed a large-screen TV featuring vintage Disney sports-focused cartoons, was empty in the immediate weeks after the reopening. Now returning are the large pieces of artwork depicting turn-of-the-century images of America’s Favorite Pastime.

Casey's Corner Artwork

Casey’s Corner Artwork

Caseys Corner artwork (3)

Looking at the picture below, I’m sure you can’t help but notice [Read more…]

Review: Breakfast at Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

“Eat at Flo’s and Get Gas!”

Yep — It’s time to head to Radiator Springs in Carburetor County, for a tasty breakfast along Route 66 at Flo’s V-8 Cafe!

Flo's Sign

Flo’s Sign

Since it opened a couple of years back, Flo’s has quickly garnered a great reputation for delicious table service-style breakfast with counter service convenience and prices. It even makes our list of favorite fast food joints in Disneyland!

Let’s head over for an early morning visit to Cars Land in Disney California Adventure!

Atmosphere

As you quickly see from Flo’s Sign out front, the restaurant is superbly themed. If you’re a fan of the film Cars, you are gonna love this place. With the backdrop of desert rock formations (a.k.a. Radiator Springs Racers!!), Imagineers have outdone themselves here. You truly feel as though you’ve stepped through the silver screen.

Flo's Sign

Flo’s Sign

And while it’s all stunning in the daytime, you should definitely make a point to visit at night, when the glow from pastel fluorescent lights brings every inch of this place to life!

Flo's V-8 Cafe at night

Flo’s V-8 Cafe at night

Flo’s V-8 in the movie is, of course, the only gas filling station in Radiator Springs…which, of course, equates to food for us humans. :-)

Outside View

Outside View

Flo’s roof is famously patterned after an oil filter. Get it?

Oil Filter Roof -- Up Close

Oil Filter Roof — Up Close

Directly in front of the restaurant’s entrance, you’ll find one of the outdoor seating areas. These are the filling stations in the film, so naturally, you’ll find gas pumps and stacks of oil cans nearby.

Motor Oil and Gas Pumps on the Patio

Motor Oil and Gas Pumps on the Patio

As you go into Flo’s, you realize the seating area is enormous. It looks much larger inside than it does outside! It’s more than just Disney magic, though; one of the seating areas is themed both inside and outside as the Ornament Valley Mechanical Clinic.

Ornament Valley Mechanical Clinic

Ornament Valley Mechanical Clinic

Head inside, and step further back in time. The round-room entrance is crowned by this [Read more…]

Top 10 Disneyland Fast Food Joints

Most of the time when I visit Disney, I indulge in a mix of meals. I may book a table service advance dining reservation for one part of the day, and leave the rest to chance — looking to discover new things at the parks’ kiosks and counter service spots.

Top 10 Disneyland Fast Food Restaurants

Today, I’m counting down my favorite places in Disneyland Resort to grab a quick meal!

Disneyland is second to none (yep — even compared to Disney World) at putting together truly outstanding counter service, quick service, and fast food meals. And the one consistent theme that you’ll find in Disneyland counter service spots — a lot of the time, the food and venues feel like table service quality (right down to real plates!)

Let’s get started!

Plaza Inn

The Plaza Inn is legendary for its beautiful atmosphere. Located where Main Street and Tomorrowland intersect, this charming spot has been open forever — and it’s been pleasing guests in search of a good meal all the while.

Even Walt was a fan!

Walt Disney enjoying a cup of coffee at Plaza Inn in 1966

Walt Disney enjoying a cup of coffee at Plaza Inn in 1966

A character meal table service location for breakfast, it morphs into a counter service buffet (sans characters) for lunch and dinnertime.

The Roast Beef and Pasta dishes here are both good choices. But ask most Disneyland food fans what the must-have dish here is, and you’ll get a resounding response: the Fried Chicken! The huge — and I mean HUGE — platter comes with three pieces of Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, a Vegetable, and a Biscuit. I shared this with a friend the last time I got it, and we still couldn’t finish!

Plaza Inn Fried Chicken

Plaza Inn Fried Chicken

Incidentally, you should try and save room for dessert, too. (I know…I know.) When strawberries are in season, I’d definitely recommend the luscious Strawberry Shortcake!

Strawberry Shortcake at Plaza Inn in Disneyland

Strawberry Shortcake

But the Carrot Cake is pretty awesome, too.

Flo’s V-8 Cafe

Dining at Flo’s V-8 Cafe within Cars Land at Disney California Adventure is an immersive experience. As with the rest of the spots in this newest Disneyland Resort section, you feel like you’ve wandered right into the animation!

But step inside the enormous restaurant, and you see all kinds of kitschy fun, inspired by the roadside diners that once peppered legendary Route 66.

Flo's V-8 Cafe

Flo’s V-8 Cafe

The name of the game at Flo’s is the kind of comfort food that you’d expect to find in such spots, with spit-fired meats dominating the dinner menu. There’s also an inventive vegetarian option here — the Veggie Tater Bake!

But it’s Flo’s breakfast that we love love LOVE the most!

For a super sweet start to your day, you’ve gotta try the Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas. (Dessert for breakfast? you ask? Well, yeah; pretty much! But…bananas!!!)

Brioche French Toast with  Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas

Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas

Or, try the option that serves up a delicious Mexican food-inspired twist — the Chicken Tamale Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa Verde.

Chicken Tamale Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa Verde

Chicken Tamale Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa Verde

And be sure to stop back by later in the day for dessert — Flo’s Signature Apple-Cheddar Pie-O-Rama is spectacular!

Apple Pie at Flo's

Pie at Flo’s

Rancho del Zocalo

The beautifully themed Rancho del Zocalo, located in Disneyland Park’s Frontierland, is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach!

Gorgeous murals and lighting fixtures dominate the walls inside, while a beautiful patio covered with gauzy awnings wins our vote for best place to sit here.

Outdoor seating at Rancho del Zocalo

Outdoor seating at Rancho del Zocalo

Following the pattern of many Disneyland counter service spots, Rancho del Zocalo is counter service with the feel of a cafeteria. Guests order their main entree, and then visit stations to pick up extra courses, like salads and desserts.

The Mexican influenced menu is small, but the ingredients and preparation are always high quality, and a cut above what we think of as fast food. One of my favorite options here is the Soft Tacos Monterrey with Fajita Chicken. (You can also get them with beef.)

Soft Tacos Monterrey with Fajita Chicken

Soft Tacos Monterrey with Fajita Chicken

The addition of Peppers as well as Sour Cream and Guacamole on the side makes this a winner for me. I look forward to having it whenever I have a chance to visit Rancho del Zocalo!

Hungry Bear Restaurant

If you like eating in a treehouse, then I have just the Disneyland spot for you! Hungry Bear Restaurant in Disneyland’s Critter Country recently underwent some renovations and [Read more…]

Monstrous Summer Specialty Foods Available at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts

Kicking off a “Monstrous Summer” at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, the creative Disney chefs have designed special eats for the Monstrous Summer all-nighter scheduled for May 24-May 25, 2013!

Mike and Sully on Spaceship Earth announce the Monstrous Summer All-Nighter!

The event, which takes place at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World on the East coast, and Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure on the West coast, will host guests from 6 a.m. on May 24 to 6 a.m. on May 25.

As always, Disney has planned a few special bites for the special event. Here are a few of the noshes planned!

Walt Disney World Monstrous Summer Food

Crazed about Disney cupcakes? The New Fantasyland venue Gaston’s Tavern (Magic Kingdom) will feature a chocolate cupcake topped with “Monsters University” sweets.

Chocolate Monsters University Cupcake!

Ice cream fans can stop by the Ice Cream Parlor or Plaza Restaurant on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom for an “Eye Scream Sundae” in your choice of mint chocolate chip or strawberry flavors.

Monsters University Sundaes!

Themed drinks, including Randall’s Suds and Mike’s Punch — will be offered at The Lunching Pad in Tomorrowland.

Disneyland Monstrous Summer Food

Keep your eyes open! There are monstrous eats everywhere. Start with [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Breakfast at Flo’s V-8 Cafe

Since it’s one of my new favorite places to grab a quick lunch/dinner at Disney California Adventure, I figured I should probably head over to Flo’s V-8 Cafe to try out some breakfast options as well. I am happy to report that it didn’t disappoint!

Flo's V8 Cafe

Atmosphere

As you walk into Flo’s, you are handed a breakfast menu that includes photos. I actually love that fact that they include pictures of the meals. It makes it so easy to order, especially when you’ve got little ones with you.

I had no problem “selling” the waffles to my boys.  My whole family was with me on this visit, so we made sure to order just about everything on the breakfast menu!

Flo's V8 Picture Menu

When you get up to the counter to order, there’s also a large menu board.

Flo's Breakfast Menu Stand

And I love the juke box and diner style clock that sits there as well…

Jukebox with Diner Style Clock (and me in the chrome - HA!)

This is all of the [Read more…]

Guest Review: Breakfast and Lunch at Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

Welcome back guest author Carrie Hayward with a review of breakfast and lunch at Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Cars Land, Disney California Adventure!

This Spring we got to attend an Annual Passholder preview of Cars Land. Everything was open, including new counter-service restaurant Flo’s V-8 Cafe.

We are usually pretty disappointed by the counter-service options at Disney California Adventure and Disneyland (Jolly Holiday Bakery excepted!), but we waited in the 20-minute line with our hopes high. Who wouldn’t want to eat in a life-size replica of the stylish drive-in from Cars?

Flo's Really Shines at Night!

Atmosphere

Flo’s is HUGE inside, with four dining rooms.

The restaurant actually extends halfway down the block, but one wing is themed to an auto clinic [Read more…]