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‘Guide to Disneyland’ Category

  1. Dining Near Disneyland: The PCH Grill

    December 3, 2010 by ruetheday

    Eating inside the Disneyland Park is both expensive and largely unfulfilling. While there are a few great restaurants in the park, The Blue Bayou is exquisite, the price overall is astronomical for the quality of food you are getting. Instead, it’s generally better to eat outside of the park, although many of the nearby options are still pretty pricey.

    To that end, The PCH Grill inside The Paradise Pier Hotel is a great meal for the cost. The buffet restaurant allows you to eat everything you possibly can all while being fussed over by your favorite Disney characters.

    When you first enter, you are greeted by Mickey (unless he’s on a break, in which case you will meet another costumed character) where you can take a photo opportunity before you chow down.

    As your waiter brings your drink selections, you are invited to start grazing on the buffet and what a buffet it is. When we went for breakfast there were all the things you would expect -scrambled eggs, bagels, sausage and bacon, and many things you wouldn’t -smoked salmon and caviar with capers, chilaquiles, an omelet bar. Plus, there are your mandatory Disney themed treats, such as Mickey-shaped Belgium waffles.

    While many breakfast buffets tend to taste dried out, salty and bland, even the basics were moist and flavorful. In fact, I don’t hesitate to say that they had the lightest, fluffiest scrambled eggs I’ve ever had at a buffet.

    As if the delicious food weren’t enough to make this place worthwhile, the characters are constantly circling to ensure every table gets sufficient interaction. If you can go on a weekday morning a little later than the average breakfast time, there will be hardly anyone at the restaurant, which means more character attention to entertain you.

    While we got pictures with Goofy’s son Max, Daisy, Mickey and Minnie, my favorite character was Stitch. He sat down in my boyfriend’s seat while he was filling up his plate and flirted with me, then when he returned, he gestured for me to leave my love and date him instead. The character was perfect for Stitch’s bratty personality and that alone made the meal worthwhile.

    At $21.50 per person, the meal was hardly cheap, but the fact that there are no tips accepted and that the food and entertainment were both top notch made it completely worth the price.

  2. Dinner And Show: The Rainforest Cafe

    November 26, 2010 by Jill

    When visiting the Disneyland Park, many guests will find themselves facing the dilemma of whether to eat at the park or risk wandering out of the park to indulge in less expensive delights. As a compromise, a lot of people end up eating in Downtown Disney, which is still located within the official property, but not quite as overpriced as the parks themselves.

    A popular choice amongst these Downtown Disney options is the Rainforest Cafe. And it makes sense, the animatronic elephants, butterflies and gorillas are the closest thing to a Disney attraction offered outside the realm of Disney. If you do decide to eat here, call ahead on your cell phone to book a reservation because the wait can often be an hour or more if you don’t.

    The food here is still way more than it would be anywhere else. I’ve found the nachos appetizer to be one of the better deals. Even though it is around $15, the dish includes a lot of chips, hamburger meat, veggies, black beans, cheese, sour cream, and salsa -meaning it’s more than enough food for one person. Generally, my boyfriend and I have ordered this and and something on the lighter side and shared. When you do this, you can ensure your meal ends up being around $15 per person, which is actually pretty low for anything in and around the parks.

    The burgers are good, but they are about average for a restaurant of this type, nothing too special and for $12 with a bag of potato chips, they aren’t exactly cheap.

    Even so, the entertainment of the half hour rainforest shows makes up for the slight overpricing and it’s certainly going to be better food for a better price than anything you’ll get in the park. Overall, you’d probably be better off skipping the Rainforest Cafe in San Francisco and Las Vegas, but when visiting Disneyland, it’s a good call, especially for those who have children with them.

    Reservations can be made here: (714) 772-0413

  3. Delicious Performances In The Golden Horseshoe

    June 29, 2010 by Jill

    Next time you visit Disneyland and want to take a break, why not stop by the Golden Horseshoe Cafe. Here you can enjoy massive desserts or whole meals while watching such great acts as Benny Hill and The Hillbillies. Be sure to arrive a little early to get through the line and get a table in time for the show.

    When we went, I stood in line for food while the BF saved us a great table seat on the balcony and by the time I got through the line the show started. As for the food, we opted on only desert and decided to share a slice of the chocolate cake and the fudge sundae. The price was about average for Disneyland, but the portions were out of control. Either dessert would have been more than enough for the two of us to share and together we gorged ourselves and still had to throw away a massive amount of melted ice cream and soggy cake.

    The flavors of the desserts were great. The cake was moist and the sundae was rich and chocolatey. I’d certainly recommend either –just not at the same time.

    Before you leave, be certain to check out the only hidden Mickey in the entire cafe, a small little one hidden in the vents under the stage. It’s so inconspicuous that it’s probably one of the coolest in the park.

  4. The California Adventure Disney Food & Wine Festival

    May 3, 2010 by ruetheday

    The Disney Food and Wine Festival that takes place in California Adventure every year is a marvelous experience, but to take part in most of the celebratory activities is actually rather cost prohibitive. Rather than spending $80 on wine tastings and $100 per plate on a few dinners, why not enjoy the festivities without shelling out the big bucks?

    Here are a few tips on entertainment during the festival that won’t cost too much.

    • Catch the shows. A lot of the displays and shows can still be watched for free. They may be educational or entertaining, but they still aren’t worth a bundle of cash just for the privilege of sitting during the presentation.
    • Enjoy the freebies. There aren’t many freebies at the park, even during the festival, but if you see some, take advantage. Over by the bread and tortilla factory there is a booth offering taste samples of exquisite olive oils and vinegars with bread chunks to try them. If you’re so inclined to buy a few bottles, remember that you can often use a high-quality olive oil to dilute your fancy one without losing much flavor.
    • Try the Festiv-Ale. Over at the Karl Strauss beer truck, there is a special blend just for this occasion. At $6.75 per glass, it’s hardly more expensive than buying a good beer at a bar. As for the Festiv-Ale, it’s a quite nice blend, rather dark with a bit of a bite and sweet, berry accents to round out the finish. Their other beers are also quite good even if they don’t quite fit in with the theme. The IPA has the highest alcohol concentration and it has all the complexity and depth that a fine IPA should have.

    Enjoying the Festiv-Ale

    • Try a few wine samples. While there are package wine samplings that are rather expensive, there are also wine stands throughout the park that allow you to try a few sips for not too much money.

    If you’ve been and have any more tips on enjoying the festival, please leave them in the comments!

  5. Getting Free Parking At Disneyland

    April 26, 2010 by ruetheday

    We all know how expensive Disneyland is, which is why getting free parking is such a popular subject for so many visitors -particularly when the lot now cost $14. Fortunately, there are legitimate ways to do so.

    First off, let me start by saying that if you’re a regular visitor, you should simply get the year pass and when you buy your year pass, pay the extra $80 for your pass to get parking included. It is completely worth the extra fee to never have to worry about the costs of parking ever again, plus the passes give you discounts at restaurants and shops.

    If you only want to prepare for one trip though, consider eating the character breakfast at the PCH Grill at the Paradise Peir hotel. It is around $30 per person, but it’s all you can eat and because you get to interact with your favorite characters, it’s a great option for the kiddos (a picture from our trip can be seen to the left). When you park in the hotel’s lot, you get free parking for 5 hours with validation. When your five hours are almost up, go back to the car and head out to get a cheap lunch or take a break at your hotel.

    Next, park in the Downtown Disney lot and just be sure to leave before your three free hours are up. You can take the monorail in and out of the park to this lot, which definitely helps speed up the time table. If you miss out on getting out of the park on time, they charge in twenty minute increments, so your parking fees can add up quickly. There is a chance that if you wait until very late at night, that the staff will leave the parking booths and you can leave the lot for free, but this is risky and if it fails, you will end up paying a whole lot.