Dining in Disneyland: The Incredible Pumpkin Carvers of 2014

Happy Halloween everyone! In honor of this spooktacular holiday, we thought it would be fun to keep with the tradition of sharing some fabulous Disneyland Pumpkins with you.

The Incredible Pumpkin Carvers are back at the Big Thunder Ranch Halloween Carnival and they’ve been busy!

Jack Skellington Shares a Spot with the Haunted Mansion Hat Box Ghost

Jack Skellington Shares a Spot with the Haunted Mansion Hat Box Ghost

Carved and decorated by a small handful of Disney artists, I noticed two incredible talents that were at the ranch on several occasions during Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort.  Both Disneyland carving veterans, Bridget McCarty and Joe Yakovetic can turn a pumpkin into a masterpiece.

Mickey Mouse with Mini Pumpkin Ears

Mickey Mouse with Mini Pumpkin Ears

Some pumpkins are carved, some are painted, some are carved and painted.  There are sparkly pumpkins, embellished pumpkins and even pumpkins on pumpkins.

Anna, Elsa & Olaf

Anna, Elsa & Olaf

They’re all so unique, but what they do have in common??? Their awesomeness.  Let’s take a look at some of these [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: The Fried Apple Burrito

RUN, don’t walk, to the Halloween Carnival over at Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland.

Not for the adorable character meet and greets…

Mickey and Minnie

Not for the amazingly talented pumpkin carvers…

The Amazing Pumpkin Carvers

And not for the toe tappin’ tunes of Billy Hill and the “Haunted” Hillbillies… .

Billy Hill and the "Haunted" Hillbillies

Why do you need to run? Because they have Fried Apple Burritos.

Carnival Treats Menu

Reminiscent of the old school McDonald’s fried apple pies (you know, before they healthy’d em up and started baking them), this super yummy [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: October 20, 2013

Do you need another reason to stop by Karamell-Küche in Epcot?

German Chocolate Chip Cookie

Probably not. But this week, we shared FIVE new tempting menu items from this aromatic spot in the Germany pavilion. Yum!

Of course, we still have Halloween treats materializing around our favorite Disney destinations.

And don’t forget that the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is going strong. There’s still time to grab an Orange Dole Whip, Mac & Cheese, and more!

We have a few more tidbits of Disney news… Check them out!

Disney Food News

Of course, there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including breakfast scrambles at Cozy Cone Motel, and more!

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Fulton’s Crab House at Downtown Disney was recently visited by Facebook Friend Jilly. Check out the dish she ordered — Lobster Boil!

Lobster Boil at Fulton's Crab House

Reader Colin tweeted us after dining at The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: “Brown Derby Original Alfredo matches the old [Read more…]

New! Snow White Candy Apple and More Disney Halloween Treats

Boo to You! Halloween time is officially upon us! And during my recent visit to Walt Disney World, I had a blast checking out all of the awesome Halloween-themed treats.

Whether you prefer cute and sweet or spooky and sinister, you’ll find just the right sweet for Trick or Treat!

There’s nothing better than a colossal caramel or candy apple! My favorite, hands down, is this ghoulish Poison Candy Apple, inspired by the film Snow White. It’s fantastic, isn’t it?! As far as I can tell, it’s a standard candied apple covered in green-tinted white chocolate!

Snow White Poison Candy Apple

Prefer your spooky with a side of caramel? Then this Skull Chocolate Covered Caramel Apple is for you! With both white and milk chocolate, it’s wicked delish!

Skull Chocolate Covered Caramel Apple

You don’t have to look far to find apple treats that are inspired by Mickey himself. The Jack-o-Lantern Mickey Caramel Apple is covered with bright orange sugar that makes it all sparkly.

And don’t you love the pool of white chocolate that makes up Ghost Mickey’s trailing “hemline”? Really, white chocolate specters are the tastiest, don’t you think?

Mickey Jack-o-Lantern and Ghost Chocolate Covered Caramel Apples

Pure, sweetness is also on tap with these [Read more…]

The Incredible Halloween Pumpkin Carvers of Disneyland!

Happy Halloween Everyone! In honor of this candy-filled fabulous day, we thought we’d share a fun Disneyland Halloween Time tradition: The Incredible Pumpkin Carvers.

The Incredible Pumpkin Carvers of Disneyland

For several years now, Disneyland has featured some of the most amazing pumpkin carvers I’ve ever seen. This year, the “Incredible” carvers are located at the Big Thunder Ranch Halloween Carnival in Frontierland.

The sign says “Ask Them How They Do It,” so I did! On the day that I visited, I spoke mostly with Joe, a 7 year veteran carving for Disney. He told me that they carve all day long making Disney inspired pumpkins for guests to enjoy.

Pumpkin Carver Extraordinaire Joe Working on Yoda's Ear

Joe was working alongside of Georgina, who told me that the carved pumpkins actually last up to a year if you keep the carving on the surface (i.e. not cutting the tops off and cleaning them out).

Georgina at Work

Some of the pumpkins on display, including the “Baby Mickey” shown below, were featured last year at Disneyland’s Halloween Time.

Baby Mickey is actually a year old pumpkin!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I am not a big fan of raw pumpkin smell. So, when I asked about the smell while carving, I was surprised to learn that they use a white variety of pumpkin that actually smells like cucumber for many of their masterpieces.

Joe let me take a whiff of one of his pieces and yep, much more cucumber-y than smelly!

Mike Wazowski Pumpkin

Supplies used include, but are not limited to, carving knives, paints, shish kebob skewers, decorative floral pearl tips pins, ribbon, straw & pipe cleaners. And after [Read more…]

Halloween Goodies at Disney Parks — What Are Your Favorites?

DFB is getting into the Halloween Spirit sharing tons of fun, spooky treats! We love this time of year when Halloween goodies materialize inside the candy shops, bakeries, and quick-service locations around the Disney Parks.

A few weeks ago, we highlighted the Pumpkin Beignets and Jack Skellington Popcorn Containers in Disneyland!

Let’s take a peek at some more of our favorites! Let us know in the comments below what you’re top choices are!

Disney Halloween Snacks

Of course, we can’t pass up taste-testing some of the seasonal fudge selections at the Confectionery on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. Here’s this year’s Pumpkin Fudge!

Pumpkin Fudge at Confectionery

And there’s always room for Disney cupcakes – especially when they are seasonally themed!

Don’t settle for plain Candy Corn. Get a candy corn cupcake for super sweetness.

Candy Corn Cupcake at Main Street Bakery

The Animal Kingdom bat cupcake we reviewed last week is one of my favorite additions this year!

Bat Cupcake at Animal Kingdom

And the Main Street Bakery features this pumpkin cupcake.

Pumpkin Cupcake at Main Street Bakery

Check out this cute Minnie Carrot Cake Cupcake that reader Carolyn Houle sent in! You can find these at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Minnie Witch Hat Carrot Cake Cupcakes at Hollywood Studios

Of course, you can’t miss the classic Ghost Mickey Popcorn Container found in all the parks!

Mickey Ghost Popcorn Bucket

Holiday sugar cookies are always sprinkled with festive decor. Love these pumpkin and candy corn cookies at the [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Halloween Time Starts Now!

This week I lucked out and was able to attend the Disney Parks Blog Halloween Meet Up in Disneyland.

After an announcement was made on the Disney Parks Blog, 100 Annual Passholders, including me, quickly registered for themselves (and could bring one guest) to attend the “Get Spookier” meet up.

A perfect opportunity to try out this year’s Halloween costume!

Can you tell who I am???

We’ll get to the treats and eats in just a bit, but first off — the events! The evening was designed to celebrate the kick-off of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, which officially started last Friday, September 14th.  

We started off the night seated outdoors at the French Market (aka Club Skellington) for a presentation from some fabulous cast members: David Caranci, Manager of Park Enhancement; and Brian Sandahl, Senior Designer for Disney Entertainment for Creative Development. 

They each told us about their roles in preparing the park for Halloween. We learned lots of fun facts about the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay as well as park stats such as how many pumpkins are used as decor during Halloween Time. The answer? Over 1000; some real and some artificial. Including this guy:

A Few of the 1000+ Pumpkins that Adorn Disneyland During Halloween Time!

After the very informative chat with David and Brian, guests were sent off to ride the Haunted Mansion Holiday over and over again for 45 minutes. Each ride a walk on!

Although this was also spectacular (this year’s Gingerbread House is a must see, I LOVE newly added the ghost train) I was most interested in, you guessed it: the desserts!

Treats!

After our ride(s) we were treated to a [Read more…]

Halloween Party Throw Down: Disney World vs. Disneyland

Welcome back guest author Katie Drake with a review of the Halloween parties at Disney World and Disneyland. Note that your experience with crowds, candy, and weather may differ based on the dates you attend the parties.

Disneyland and WDW’s Magic Kingdom are both arguably at their best at Halloween time, with decorations and special sweet treats coming out in force for the holiday.

Both parks feature some of their most-anticipated hard ticket special events — Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom (MNSSHP), and Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland.

MNSSHP Sign

Mickey's Halloween Party in Disneyland

Of course most guests will only get to visit one, but which party to choose? The events are as alike as their confusingly similar names, but there are a few differences that make each one unique.

My family had the opportunity to attend MNSSHP in Walt Disney World in 2010, and followed it up with Mickey’s Halloween Party in Disneyland in 2011. Here’s a head to head comparison so you can start planning on where to head for Halloween 2012!

Parade

Both parades feature a wide variety of favorite Disney characters dressed in their Halloween costumes, but the Florida parade wins this round based on one thing — the Headless Horseman.

Headless Horseman Rides in Magic Kingdom (c) Disney

Mickey's Halloween Party Parade in Disneyland

It’s not quite the same now that he has to walk down the parade route, instead of canter, but the sight is still something amazing to see. Other than that, the parades are pretty similar.

Parade Winner: [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: October 30, 2011

Halloween Themed Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

Happy Halloween weekend! Let’s skip the tricks and get right to the treats — beer, food, wine, candy, and appetizers are all in the news this week.

And don’t forget to stop by the Main Street Bakery to get your homemade ice cream cookie sandwich on their specialty Halloween cookies! :-) Here we go…

Latest Disney Food News

Read on for this week’s Disney Food news highlights!

Find more Disney news on our Disney News Pin Board, updated regularly with Disney Food News both big and small!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Updates

We’ve passed the midway point of the festival, but there’s still a LOT of eating to do! Here are a few ways to stay up to date:

Stay tuned to our continuing coverage of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival over on our Epcot Food & Wine Festival Pages!

Review of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book

The Disney Food Blog’s Guide to Dining in Walt Disney World features 250 full-color pages of information, planning suggestions, tips, and details about eating in Disney World.

According to The Clothspring, “The money saving advice in this book pays for itself! You get insider tips and expert advice on food in Disney. Author AJ Wolfe, also author of the Disney Food Blog, has compiled the best, easiest to follow guide on Disney food you will find on the market.”

Read the rest of the review here!

Before planning YOUR Disney World trip, order your copy here!

On to the Round-Up!

DisZine features an awesome Halloween sale at the Swan and Dolphin Resort in Walt Disney World! Book now for several months out and get an added “treat!”

WESH.com features some delicious pumpkin-y goodness in an article about Disney World Halloween Treats and Tips (by yours truly!!)

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World takes us on a fun tour of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Cinderella's Carriage at Dallas Arboretum Pumpkin Patch

The Dallas Arboretum highlights their 2011 fairytale theme in the pumpkin patch. Check out the amazing Cinderella’s Pumpkin Village.

Main Street Gazette samples an old-fashioned candy apple at Candy Cauldron in Downtown Disney!

AllEars.Net shares Deb’s bits and bites from her last WDW trip! Find out Deb’s faves and not so favorite eats! Don’t forget to take the AllEars 2011 Food and Wine Festival survey here.

WDWRadio has us craving fried chicken with this recipe for Buttermilk Fried Chicken from the Pop Century Resort!

Disney by Mark reviews the September 30 Xante Mixology seminar at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Disney Parks Blog has a great video about a new dish at Remy on the Disney Dream:

Dining in Disneyland: Haunted Gingerbread House Workshop at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen

Dining in Disneyland columnist Heather Sievers signed up for a fun Halloween Haunted Gingerbread House Making workshop in Downtown Disney Anaheim! Check out the spooooky results and then sign yourself up for this Sunday’s Workshop!

After reading about the event online, I decided to reserve a spot for my family at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen’s Haunted House Building Workshop in Downtown Disney. Building a messy candy house in someone else’s kitchen means no mess in my own kitchen!

(Note: If you are in the Disneyland area, you still have time to register for the October 30th [THIS SUNDAY] Haunted House Workshop. Call Bruno Duarte at 714.776.5200 from 10am-4pm on Friday, October 28th to make your reservation. More about this later!)

When I called for my reservation, I was told two things: bring a box to carry your house home in and bring “extra” candies and decor for your house.  I really had no idea what to expect at this event, I just knew that it sounded pretty fun.  A friend of mine also signed up for the workshop, so she was in charge of our “extras.”  I will say right now that if it wasn’t for her, our houses would be pretty pathetic looking.

Unfortunately, I did not have my listening ears on when I made my phone call to reserve a spot, because in my mind the event started at 11:00.  When we walked up to the podium to “check in” we were told it doesn’t start until 12:00, which is clearly visible on the poster in front of the restaurant… Oops.  We figured with an hour to kill it would be a good time to head over to Jamba Juice for a smoothie.

Proof of a Noon Start Time

When we came back, we realized how serious people were about their Haunted House building. There were people with foil wrapped cookie sheets, special boxes, and bags and bags of goodies to decorate their houses with.  My novice family lined up and marched up the stairs to where the workshop was taking place.  This being only the second year of the Haunted House Workshop, there appeared to be an even mix of newbies and return professionals from [Read more…]