News: Gingerbread House at Disneyland’s Grand Californian Debuting November 27th

The sights and smells of a NEW gingerbread house will be opening at Disneyland’s Grand Californian Hotel on November 27, 2014!

A team of 25 artists, engineers, and bakers are busy creating this edible wonder. Measuring in at 7.5 feet tall and 12 feet wide, the baking process alone takes 1,400 hours!

Artistic Rendition of Gingerbread Display

Artistic Rendition of Gingerbread Display

And the recipe is enormous!

  • More than 500 pounds of gingerbread
  • 60 gallons of frosting and icing
  • 100 pounds of isomalt sugar
  • 50 pounds of granulated sugar
  • 50 pounds of powdered sugar
  • 2 gallons of egg whites
  • 1 quart of lemon juice

If the seasonal aromas make you hungry, you’ll want to purchase your own [Read more…]

Top 6 Disneyland Bars and Lounges

Let’s face it. Sometimes a Disney vacation can be absolutely exhausting! That’s why we like to seek out bars and lounges in which we can share fun with family and friends or relax while enjoying good food and special beverages.

Schweitzer Falls at Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar

A while back, we took a look at our Top 10 Disney World Bars and Lounges, and now it’s time to take a peek at our favorites in the Disneyland Parks and Resorts!

Here are our picks for Top Six Disneyland bars and lounges — a list that includes a little help from our Facebook Friends! Thanks for your input!

Ready to jump in? Here’s our favorite place to while away some time at the Disneyland Resort…

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

Trader Sam’s should be your first choice for chilling out in Disneyland!

This is due to some great bartenders, unique drinks (often served in souvenir glasses), good food, and, of course, the interactive activities here. (Careful not to sit on the sinking bar stools!)

This place is an awesome tropical retreat located at the Disneyland Hotel. Check out our Trader Sam’s Review here!

Trader Sam’s Bar

While there is indoor and outdoor seating, all of the action is inside where there is limited seating (about 50 spots); so get here early as evenings may be quite crowded.

Cove Bar

Located in Disney California Adventure, the Cove Bar (not to be mistaken for Cove Cafe on the Disney Cruise Ships or the Cove Bar at Disney World’s Contemporary Resort…) is your place to escape the long lines and hot sun while enjoying great water-side views.

View from Cove Bar

Leave the thrills behind and savor specialty drinks and craft beers. The Raspberry Rain is a memorable choice! Look for an attractive menu offering my favorite, Buffalo Wings, and Lobster Nachos.

Hearthstone Lounge

Make the Hearthstone Lounge in the Grand Californian Resort a must-do in Disneyland.

Whether you are looking for some quiet alone time or bringing along friends, this cozy fireside lounge has a lodge theme and soaring ceilings that immediately relax you. And that’s before your first drink order!

Take a seat at the bar, on a cozy sofa, or at a [Read more…]

Reader Poll: Rather Eat Thanksgiving Dinner at Home or at a Disney Restaurant?

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family is considering having Thanksgiving in Disney World next year, and I wanted to hear some opinions about that! So we asked our Facebook Page Fans:

Would you rather have Thanksgiving Dinner at home, or at a Disney restaurant?.

Our readers chimed in with their holiday preferences! While dining at home was a strong contender due to family traditions, leftovers, cost-savings, aversion to holiday crowds, and a palate for a real home-cooked meal, ordering Thanksgiving dinner at a Disney restaurant was the clear winner!

And these voters didn’t care where they ate at Disney — they just wanted to be in the middle of the magic for the holiday. In fact, we think some of you might be happy with one of these!:

Disney Turkey Leg

Here are some of the other suggestions we received!: [Read more…]

Review: Napa Rose Chef’s Counter

Napa Rose

We finally got the chance to dine at Chef Andrew Sutton’s Chef’s Counter at Napa Rose in Disney’s Grand Californian Resort (Disneyland) — and I’m pretty sure I’ve never been so excited in my life. We’ve eaten at Napa Rose once before, but we’ve never had this experience!

Eight people can dine at the Chef’s Counter at a time — four on one side of the “order up” area, an four on the other. There are two seatings per night at 5:30pm and 8:30pm; we were there for the last seating and had the chance to take up one whole side of the counter with Heather Sievers and her husband, so we already had great company taken care of.

And as far as atmosphere goes, this was definitely one of the most incredible meals I’ve ever had at a Disney restaurant — or at any restaurant…

Napa Rose Show Kitchen from the Chef's Counter


Napa Rose is a signature restaurant — i.e. “high end” — but it has a very casual feel. Guests enter through the Napa Rose lounge (a great place to eat if you don’t have reservations and want to experience fantastic food) and pass the [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Restaurant Atmosphere

The pictures that we’ve received at the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza are decadent! We love looking at your foodie photos — thanks for submitting them to the group!

The Disney Food Pics of the Week this week feature restaurant atmosphere. It’s more than their real estate that makes these places special. Sometimes the atmosphere even outshines the food!

It’s always a starry night inside Epcot’s Mexico pavilion where San Angel Inn serves delicious cuisine. Ask for a water-side table for extra romance or to allow kids to wave to the boats floating by!
Photographer: Mi-Wu / Malima Wolf

San Angel Inn

Via Napoli is located in Epcot’s World Showcase. Stroll the Italy pavilion before making your way to Via Napoli for a [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Breakfast at White Water Snacks

Our Dining in Disneyland columnist, Heather Sievers, shares breakfast with her family — and a guest! — at White Water Snacks in Disney’s Grand Californian Resort.

Looking for a tasty, quick, and affordable breakfast while staying at the Disneyland Resort? Head over to White Water Snacks at the Grand Californian and you won’t be disappointed. My family stays at the Disneyland Resort a few times a year, and when we do, we always have at least one breakfast at White Water Snacks.

The atmosphere is very casual; it’s walk up with no table service. You can order hot or cold meals, you pay the cashier, you’re given a number, and when your meal is ready, they bring it out. Although the restaurant is located on [Read more…]

Review: Storytellers Cafe at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort

Tucked into Disneyland Resort’s premier Grand Californian Resort is a restaurant eager to pay tribute to the art that made Walt Disney and the animators who followed him so critical to our lives today: storytelling.


Just as the Grand Californian is themed in the Craftsman architecture style, Storytellers Cafe boasts broad, dark wood-scapes, milky stained glass and metal cut-out decor, earthy colors, and solidly [Read more…]

Review: Disneyland’s Napa Rose

As promised in the August Disney Food Blog Newsletter, here’s our review of premier Disneyland restaurant, Napa Rose!

Napa Rose is the top brass when it comes to dining in Disneyland. The restaurant, presided over by decorated Chef Andrew Sutton, is located in the woodsy Grand California Resort located in the middle of Disneyland’s Downtown Disney district.

Napa Rose

The style of the restaurant is similar to that of the Grand Californian — warm, muted tones fill out the craftsman style, with light woods and an open floor plan. The massive windows look out onto a lovely patio and wooded area, so the feeling of seclusion compliments the openness of the restaurant itself.

View of Open Kitchen From Restaurant


Pass by a “few select” wines in the restaurant’s wine cellar — showcasing a few special Lasseter vintages, of course — on your way to the dining room, where the focal point is [Read more…]