It’s been a week since my last post, not because I’ve been slacking…we’ll actually it is! We just got done enjoying a week in Disneyland with the whole fam-Grandma, Grandpa, aunts and uncles, and cousins. We are all exhausted, but I couldn’t wait to hop onto the computer and share some of our wonderful experiences.
There are probably more than a thousand blog posts, web-sites, and Pins out there giving advice on how to save a buck when visiting the happiest place on earth. I’ve read many of them hoping as one of the world’s biggest Disney fans, that I’ve missed some nugget of info that’s going to save me a substantial amount when we visit. I have yet to find that nugget.
The reality is, when you go to Disneyland you are going to spend some money. Sure, you can cut a few corners, but your hotel, your tickets, and your food, well they cost a certain amount, and my philosophy about vacation is, it’s vacation. We save and scrimp before we go, and then when we go, we enjoy.
I am going to talk about some of the ways we enjoy Disneyland as a family in the next few blog posts. We truly believe it is one of the happiest places on the planet, and there is so much to experience and enjoy, which is why my sons have been several times, and we’ll keep bringing them back as long as they let us.
The Havey Family, well we are foodies. A huge part of our vacation is about the grub we can only get where we are visiting. We have a passion for Disney Park food and each time we go, we try the old and add a new treat or two to the list of our must have eats. We are not the family you will see eating apples and bananas or granola bars that we brought with us. In fact, I find there are not enough meal times during a week to fit in all our favorites, which explains why we are all on a diet starting this morning.
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started:
This year, we tried for the first time, the “all you care to enjoy” BBQ Lunch at Big Thunder Ranch in Critter Country. At this venue, you sit outside on picnic tables and receive family style BBQ via table service by your own friendly ranch-hand. Your meal includes BBQ ribs, chicken, coleslaw, backed beans, cornbread and butter, all served up in metal buckets. Your meal also includes the drink of your choice served in a mason jar.
The ribs were as good as the ones we had in the Bahamas when we visited Disney’s private Island Castaway Cay. Just check these babies out:
They give you a spare metal bucket to stash all your bones in, which adds to the fun. As you can see, my kids really enjoyed this.
It’s a bit pricey, but well worth it to have a nice rest, a full belly, and to make some lasting memories. The place was all decked out for fall this time, and the scenery was beautiful. They also had some live entertainment in the form of country singers.
One of our longstanding traditions is to indulge in fresh mint juleps and hot sugary beignets at the French Market in New Orleans Square. The market is located by the train station stop, and we purchase our goods and load the train, riding it all the way around the park while we enjoy our snacks. We do this every time we visit and it’s often the last thing we do before saying goodbye to Disney Land.
The beignets are shaped like Mickey and they melt in your mouth. During the fall, they come in pumpkin flavor too. The julep is a wonderful, refreshing drink that comes with a skewer of lemon and maraschino cherries. It is divine and not to be missed.
We did a lot of our eating in Disney’s California Adventure Park this year. One of our must-haves is to ravenously chew on a turkey leg while we relax by the carousel. There is no other way than to just bite in like a cave man.
I have no shame when it comes to these. They are a greasy, juicy, glorious mess. The kids had some cotton candy for dessert. In Disneyland, you get colors and flavors you find no where else.
This time we tried corn dogs at the Corn Dog Castle by Goofy’s Flight School. These corndogs were as big as my forearm and you can get them in a hot link version which I highly recommend if you like your heat. They have a thick, crispy cornbread shell that drips greasy goodness down your arm when you bite in. They also have cheese sticks that resemble a deep fried grilled cheese sandwich. We were full for hours after munching these down. I highly recommend you have a DL corndog at one of the many venues in which they can be found between the two parks. They just don’t make ’em like this anywhere else on earth.
A big problem Chad and I have on DL trips, is that we just can’t say no. We are pulled into the magic right along with the kids, and we want them to have it all. One time when I was pregnant with Luke, we took Mason to DL and we weren’t in the park two minutes when I turned around and they were no where to be found. I finally spotted them eating chocolate covered churros at a food cart. It was 9:02 AM!
Luke was having a moment on our last day this trip, and had a meltdown in the line for Indiana Jones in Adventure Land. He decided although he’ d been on the ride four times this trip he was now terrified of it. I offered to sit out with him and I snapped pictures of him enjoying is treat Chad had just bought him:
People walking by stopped to smile and laugh at this little boy devouring his treat, oblivious to the world around him. As his lollipop melted, so did my heart as I watched him and snapped pictures as fast as I could. It is in these moments, that I realize the blessings in my life and I am reminded of the deliciousness of its simple joys. It’s why I can’t say no to my kids when we are here in this magical place where dreams really do come true. While $7.95 for a lollipop may seem a little steap, it is a small price to pay for his happiness.
We’ll talk more about the wonderful times and splendid eats found throughout the park when I post about Downtown Disney, Car’s Land, and Mickey’s Halloween Party.
Whether you choose to indulge in the treats I’ve mentioned here, or to find your own fav’s like a Dole Whip at the Enchanted Tiki Room, or a brownie in the bakery on Main Street, may you learn to take a break and eat life up. It is such a marvelous and delicious treat and no where is it tastier, than in Disneyland!