It’s Throwback Thursday at 2 Miss Mouses and you know what that means- embarrassing Disney moments from our past. We blame this shot on the 80’s, the 1880’s that is. Our dad says we took it somewhere on Main Street and they told us not to smile, but apparently no one told baby Hayley.
Hey Friends! We just got back from a very unique Disneyland trip that almost didn’t happen at all. About 5 weeks before our planned Disney adventure, I slipped on some good ol’ fashioned Chicago ice, and broke my right arm. Literally, the first thought I had after the doctor told me I had a fracture was “Ow” and “What about Disneyland?” My doctor cleared me to go, with the understanding that I couldn’t go on any roller coaster-esque rides (see you next time Big Thunder Mountain Railroad). This was our first time going to the park with any kind of serious injury, but it ended up making for a slightly more slow-paced, but also more relaxing trip. Time to get our ears on.
After a leisurely drive down the 101 (with a stop in Santa Barbara for some killer burritos- everyone check out Los Agaves!), we finally made it to the park around 4 pm. On our last few visits, we’ve made it a point to try out new restaurants (Big Thunder Mountain Ranch). Often, we get stuck in a bit of culinary rut (hey, who wouldn’t want to eat Plaza fried chicken everyday?). We strolled down Main Street and made a stop at the Carnation Café to see if we could make some last minute reservations. The wait was about 20 minutes, which actually worked out perfectly because the parade was going on right outside.
We hadn’t been to The Carnation Café since it recently reopened. The menu features a wonderful blend of down home cooking and fresh takes on old favorites. Hayley ordered the vegan burger and she was extremely pleased. According to her, it was the best veggie burger she’s ever had. Mom and I split the chicken fried chicken. It was delicious. For a Friday evening, the crowd level was really reasonable. We walked right onto Haunted Mansion & Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
We always follow this rule: WATCH FIREWORKS ON YOUR FIRST NIGHT! We’ve learned from past experience that if you get the chance to watch the fireworks, do. There are never any guarantees with wind and fire danger in southern California. We got the perfect spot right in front of the castle and finished our day with “Remember…Dreams Come True.”
The next morning, we opted to sleep in a bit and then went over to DCA for some Midway Mania (yes, you do not get a very high score when you have to play one-handed) and then stopped by Animator’s Academy (yes, you do not draw as well with your left hand when you usually draw with your right).
A quick stop at Monster’s Inc. and then Soaring Over California.
All that drawing and flying made us pretty hungry. Time for Cafe Orleans and a prime seat next to the Rivers of America. Tip: GET THE GARLIC FRIES!
And the ragout (a great vegetarian option)!
Mom treated us to two minnie pins. How sweet is that? Mine’s the old-fashioned pinkie and Hayley of course is sequined Minnie 🙂
Mom and Hayley went on BTMRR. They said that it’s a much smoother ride and they loved the new padding in the seats.
Then a stop by The Big Thunder Mountain Ranch to pet some goats and see some bunnies (the large kind that give you their autographs).
After Pirates, Pinocchio, and Tea Cups (oh, my!), we took a leisurely walk down Main Street. It is so beautiful in the spring.
After a ride on the “nap ride” back at the hotel, we returned to Disneyland for an evening of Rancho del Zocalo, a tour of Tomorrowland, and of course, Fantasmic! Oh and somebody got her highest score ever at Astro Blasters.
The next morning, bright and early, we headed over to DCA. We thought by getting to the park early, we had a good shot at a shorter wait for Radiator Spring Racers…nope. We hate to complain, but what is with all the line cutters?! It seemed like each person in front of us was saving a spot for their 20 closest friends. But, on the positive side, we made friends with the coolest middle-schooler ever. Emily was spending the day with her dad and we got to talking about favorite and least favorite rides. We all agreed that the Matterhorn, while thrilling, hurts like heck! Post Racers, we all went on Midway Mania together. Yay, Emily!
Before heading home, we made one quick stop by Main Street to acquire some souvenirs and we got to see Mickey and Minnie dancing with the Main Street Band. Can we just say, Minnie does a mean Charleston.
It’s been quite a year for 2 Miss Mouses. Time to ring in the new, but before we do, we want to share some of our most popular 2013 posts with you.
We had no idea how many of you shared our love of Disneyland clam chowder until we put this recipe post on our Pinterest board. Just goes to show that everyone likes a bread bowl 🙂
This year it seemed like Disney sweatshirts were everywhere and this was definitely a trend we could get behind.
We offered plenty of Disney tips over the last year, but none was more popular than this post: Saving Up for Disneyland.
We’re suckers for vintage Disney and couldn’t resist sharing Life Magazine’s Prom at Disneyland photo series with you.
There were plenty of fun Disney offerings from our Around the Web series, including this Buzz Feed article “The 16 Funniest Youtube Comments on Disney Movie Clips.“
2013 meant not just one, but two trips to Disneyland. Our May Trip was one our most special Disney ventures ever because it was our surprise Mother’s Day gift for our mom. Of course, our favorite blog projects have been our trip reports. We have loved sharing our favorite moments in the park. From teacup turns
To Main Street laughs
To churro breaks
We have loved sharing 2013 with our fellow Disneyland fans and we 2 Miss Mouses can’t wait to see what 2014 holds in store.
As many of you already know, we are big fans of visiting Disneyland during October and this year was no exception. It’s become an annual tradition for us to celebrate our mom’s birthday at the park & this October we really wanted to go all out because it was her 60th! Warning this post will contain a ridiculous number of pumpkins…
We love walking down Main Street and seeing all the pumpkins that line the buildings. Our favorite was this “Elvis” a top the Music Company.
Don’t you love the music that plays on Main Street? When we heard “Everything’s Up to Date in Kansas City,” we almost (ok we totally) started skipping.
The only downside to visiting in October is that there does tend to be a lot of construction. This trip the Carousel, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and the Teacups were all shut down 😦 But, you you have to give Disney props- even their tarps are themed.
Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere!
Being ridiculous outside the Golden Horseshoe…hey, when in Disneyland!
Can you believe this is the 13th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion Holiday? They’ve made some new changes to the opening…we were dying to check them out.
Welcome to autumn in Frontierland!
The park was pretty packed, so we went on our short line standard The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. You just can’t argue with a 2 minute wait.
There was a beautiful Dia de los Muertes display in front of Rancho del Zocalo.
Then off to It’s a Small World!
And then a quick stop by Toon Town…
Before eating dinner at Plaza Inn on Main Street we stopped by the Mad Hatter and picked Mom up her birthday badge. Tip: You can always pick up pins at Town Hall on Main Street, but you can also ask for pins at numerous shops throughout the park.
We were so excited to get to see not just one fireworks show this trip, but two. This night it was “Remember, Dreams Come True” (our personal favorite)- cue the Julie Andrews intro 🙂
The next morning, we tried to make an early start of it, but some of us (ahem, Hayley) decided to sleep in, so we ended up getting fast passes for Radiator Spring Racers. Tip: this attraction tends to “sell out” on fast passes…well, fast. But if you can grab one, it’s a huge time saver or if you don’t mind riding separately, you can always try the single rider line.
Continuing our short wait time attraction theme, can we talk about Ariel’s Undersea Adventure? We weren’t sold on this attraction when it opened, but it’s near constant 5-minute wait time makes the heart grow fonder. To use some of our old SAT analogy prep work: Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’s is to Disneyland what Ariel’s Undersea Adventure is to Disney California Adventure
Then we went to the Disney Animation Academy to learn how to draw Piglet. Hayley’s turned out the best…typical 🙂
As we mentioned in a previous post, we ate at Big Thunder Ranch for the first time and not only was it “all-you-care-to-eat,” it was also delicious! Plus, they went all out for the Halloween season. Check out the pumpkin masks of tragedy and comedy that were above the performance stage.
Frontierland also had a pumpkin carving area where the masterful pumpkin carvers show off their artistry.
We told you there would be pumpkins…and that includes “Sassy Saloon Pumpkin.”
After lunch, we ran back over to DCA to use our Radiator Spring Racers fast passes, but on the way we decided to try Luigi’s Flying Tires for the first time.
This ride is bizarre and hysterical. You basically float around on a giant tire. Mom had trouble controlling hers.
Radiator Springs Racers!
After the ride, Mom was complaining about how her hair was going everywhere. Yeah, Mom, your perfect blonde chignon is out of control…
Monday night meant Mickey’s Halloween Party!!! We made a quick stop back at the hotel to get into our costumes.
Here we are! The three good fairies- Flora, Fauna, & Merryweather about to go on Indiana Jones.
The party was amazing! We loved it all: the candy, the Cadaver Dans, the costumes. But, one of the biggest highlights had to be the special Halloween fireworks show- “Halloween Screams”…even Sleeping Beauty’s Castle got in on the Halloween spirit.
So, that’s our October 2013 trip! It was filled with fairy wings, bbq & a very special birthday. We can hardly wait for next year. Happy Halloween Time everybody!
We’ve probably passed the Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue hundreds of times, but it wasn’t till this last October trip that we finally tried Disneyland’s only “All-you-care-to-enjoy” restaurant. So often we stick to our tried and true favorites (Plaza Inn or Rancho del Zocalo), but on this trip we really wanted to try some new experiences (check out our first visit to Mickey’s Halloween Party) and what can we say? We’re mighty glad we did.
Not only was the space completely decked out for Halloween, but Big Thunder Ranch is also set in one of the quieter corners of the park, so guests get the chance to relax and dine family-style in the great out of doors. As we mentioned before, Big Thunder is an “all-you-care-to-enjoy” restaurant, which is a slightly less gluttonous way of saying “all-you-can-eat.” We came here for lunch, but dinner is also offered. The only difference (aside from cost) is that dinner also includes corn on the cob and smoked sausages. Once we were seated, we were greeted by our “ranch hand” Caleb who took our drinks order (drinks are included in the set meal price per person). P.S. We loved the mason jars!
The lunch meal victuals consist of barbecue chicken, ribs, ranch beans, corn bread, and cole slaw. The deal is that you can ask for more of whatever you want…hello, dream come true.
We definitely asked for more corn bread…seriously, it was so delicious….we just couldn’t reign ourselves in…
From start to finish, the meal was finger lickin’ good.
There’s also a beautiful stage at the front of the ranch and we were treated to great live music throughout our meal.
One of the best things about Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue is the service. From start to finish, the ranch hands were a delight. One of our favorites was Art. When he saw how much we were loving the food, he made sure to bring us a pamphlet with all the recipes (except for the corn bread…dagnabbit!)
Oh, and did we mention the insanely decadent and delightful desserts? Even though dessert costs extra, we decided to splurge once we heard about the seasonal dessert: a snickerdoodle skillet cookie complete with 3 scoops of pumpkin ice cream and a side of caramel sauce! Yee-haw!
We definitely recommend a trip to the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ, especially if you or your fellow cowboys have large appetites and a taste for some serious victuals 🙂 If you’re planning a trip to the park, remember that you can make reservations up to 60 days before your visit. Just call (714) 781-DINE (3463)
We just flew in from Mickey’s Halloween Party and boy are our wings tired. We can’t wait to share all our tips and insights with you, so let’s get started! First off, a ticket to the party gives you access to Disneyland starting at 3 pm (even though our party didn’t officially start until 6 pm). This is actually a pretty great deal considering the cost of a party ticket is way cheaper than a day pass. Plus, you get free parking (which we didn’t use…but still, you get free parking). When you enter the gates, you present your ticket and get handed a nifty wristband and a bag for trick-or-treating. When the party begins, those without wristbands are politely asked to get out! Just kidding, but they are politely and slowly shuffled towards the exits.
We didn’t enter the park till after 5 pm, but if we were to do it again, we would make sure and get in the gates earlier. Tip: several of our favorite restaurants (Rancho del Zocalo, we are looking at you) were shut down during the party, while some others were closed temporarily while the party was getting started. Our advice is to eat before the party because you definitely want to maximize your time doing party events, rather than standing in long lines for food. Also, act like this ninja and make sure to get a guide to the night’s events. It tells you trick-or-treat locations, which restaurants have halloween themed treats etc.
What we were immediately struck by was the insanely exciting atmosphere filling the park. Seriously, we could have just sat on Main Street and watched all the costumes go by (yay for the Haunted Mansion tight rope walker & her alligator). When we initially starting thinking about our costumes, we knew we wanted to do something that all 3 of us could be a part of and then it hit us: THE THREE GOOD FAIRIES!
And look who we ran into! We saw tons of Malificents, but this one killed it (in a good way)!
One of the side benefits of going to the party is that the lines for many of the rides are shorter (except for Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion- those lines were insane). We walked onto Indiana Jones.
Time to find a place for our hats during the bumpy ride.
Then we did some trick-or-treating. There are stations set up throughout the park, but the lines can get a little long. We aimed for the ones down by the Rivers of America (probably a mistake- these were super slow) and the ones set up inside Rancho del Zocalo (where we hit the mother lode). We were just in time for the Halloween Calvacade (shortened parade) down Main Street.
It was cute, but what really stole the show were the fireworks. WOW! The MC is Jack Skellington along with other Disney villains. We stood behind the main hub, but we’d recommend getting between the hub and the castle, or if farther back err on the side of Tomorrowland in order to see the projections that are happening above the left hand side of the castle.
After the fireworks, we went on a few more rides, including Star Tours (it only had a 10 minute wait).
Then we wandered around the park just soaking up the spooky atmosphere. The park is full of fog, and spooky sounds, and projections of spider webs…oooh creepy castle…
Ooooh creepy Mark Twain….
Tip: make sure and check out the “Cadaver Dans” on the Rivers of America. They are the coolest and creepiest quartet we’ve ever heard and throughout the evening, they serenaded the guests with chilling renditions of some of our favorite songs.
As the evening started to wind down, we made our way to Fantasyland and were treated to a solo (or should we say triple) ride on Casey Junior. We were the only people on the entire train and when it came to a stop about 3/4 of the way through our conductor said, “Please stay in your sits, ladies.” It was the perfect end to a perfect evening.
Happy Halloween everybody!
Guess who just got their tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party? We’ve never been to the party before, but this year we just couldn’t resist the chance to dress up and eat all the Halloween candy in the park. Plus, we hear that Disney villains will be roaming around, which will make the costumes we’re planning even more spook-tacular (see what we did there?) We’ve always said that October is a great time to visit the park. The crowds can be a little crazy, but the pumpkins on Main Street rock our socks. Seriously, we cannot wait! Have any of you been to Mickey’s Halloween Party before? We 2 Miss Mouses are dying to know more…moowahahahaha (evil laughter).
We are so excited to share with you this post written by our friend Lauren, another miss mouse if ever there was one. Lauren is such a big fan of Disney that she’s taking part in the Imagineering program this summer. When she offered to tell us all about her experiences, we jumped at the chance. Check out this awesome post that she wrote for us 🙂
You know that feeling when your lifelong dream comes true? In case the answer is “not yet,” I can say with some certainty that it’s a pretty good feeling, tempered at times by “pinch me” disbelief. And I’m not just talking about the opportunity to write for my favorite blog. I am a huge fan of the 2 Miss Mouses.
Like the 2 Miss Mouses, I was a Disney kid. My Disney parents honeymooned at Walt Disney World. Photographic evidence shows them with short shorts of the same length, socks almost to the knee and hair of the same volume, alongside an 80’s Mickey Mouse. They proceeded to have Disney children and to take them every year to the Happiest Place on Earth, where dreams come true.
Europe is a really fun place to be if you are a Disney fan, which is what I discovered when my career took me there shortly after college. The early fairy tales that went to film came from the old world. Fantasyland is basically Germany. If you don’t believe me, look at the inlaid wood near and around Snow White’s Scary Adventures or Pinocchio’s Daring Journey (or even the Village Haus) and then stroll down the Hauptstraße (Main Street) of any German Altstadt (Old Town) and agree that it’s easy to feel like Belle walking through her village early in the morning…in France.
This summer I took a short break from Europe to come back to California (Southern) to work as an intern at Walt Disney Imagineering. I had visited the campus before but this time I belonged here; I had a purpose.
Even though Imagineers are not cast members (we are not onstage, rather, we make the magic), all Imagineers go through the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts orientation program called Traditions. Attendees of Traditions are primarily Disneyland Resort cast members. In my group I met a future candy maker on Main Street, a lifeguard and a nighttime maintenance fellow.
One early Friday morning my fellow Imagineers and I left Glendale for Anaheim. Our call time was 8:00 am but we arrived at 7:00, not because we are eager beavers, but because we left really early in order to beat the traffic.
Before Traditions, I had never been backstage at Disneyland. During the tour, we weaved in and out between the worlds onstage and backstage. I overheard a guest say, “Those people are really dressed up.” So if you see a group of well-dressed people wearing nametags walking around in a group through Disneyland on a Friday, it might be Traditions, and it might also be those Cast Members’ first time on stage.
I knew a fair amount of Disney knowledge and trivia before this orientation, but I had never thought about Disneyland as it was described during that day:
When you walk in to Disneyland, the entry area is like the lobby of the theatre. You see Mickey’s face in the flowers and the Disneyland Railroad station above. But you can’t see anything past that until you walk through one of two hallways with attraction posters on either side. These posters are like coming attractions, previews of movies you are about to see. Finally, you enter Main Street USA, where unlike at the movies, the set and the action are all around. As you walk down Main Street, the names of the Imagineers of yore line the windows and storefronts. These are the opening credits. When you reach the hub and the Partners statue, the movie has become an adventure that is yours to choose. Do you want to enter the world of adventure? Discover the American frontier? Live in a fairy tale in the land of fantasy? Or blast off into tomorrow?
Even though the day to day is not exactly like going to Disneyland, my days this summer have been filled with excitement, surprises, wonder and, of course, magic.
Stay tuned in the coming days, months and years because my colleagues have amazing things planned for all of the parks around the world, that I am sure will please the fan and the non-fan alike.
Remember that feeling when your dreams come true? That feeling doesn’t end.
The author is an Environmental Engineer from Northern California and is doing her Master’s degree in Industrial Ecology in Europe. She can be found at uncivilengineering.tumblr.com
Even before the Carthay Circle officially opened in DCA in June 2012, we were in love. The gorgeous exterior itself is such a huge reminder of Hollywood history and glamour and everyone needs a little glamour from time to time 🙂 We couldn’t wait to get inside. In the past year, we’ve been twice for lunch (check out our May Trip report) and both times were wonderful dining experiences from beginning to end.
This restaurant knows how to make an entrance. Disney’s Carthay Circle is a reproduction of the original Carthay Circle- the Hollywood landmark where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs first premiered in 1937 and movie history buffs will not be disappointed. Make sure to look around the lobby at all the original posters and pictures. Once you check in, grab a drink at the bar and lounge about for a bit.
Once you’re table is ready, you’ll be led upstairs. You’ll be given an option of taking the elevators or the stairs. Because we’re all a bit claustrophobic, we opted for the stairs. The hallway leading to the restaurant is lined with photos of Walt in Hollywood & walking through the space, you can’t help but feel that he would have felt right at home here.
We love the bread they serve and who couldn’t get behind a giant pat of butter?
Dining at Carthay is about much more than the food (although that is great). We really enjoyed being seated in the main room. Between the candelabras, bright sky-lights and colorful murals, the space feels open, luxurious, and warm.
There’s only one thing you need to know when ordering at Carthay Circle: GET THE CARTHAY HOUSE BISCUITS! Sorry, we don’t mean to shout, but GET THE CARTHAY HOUSE BISCUITS…they are stuffed with white cheddar, bacon, and jalapeno. They are served with apricot honey butter. They are heaven.
Hayley ordered the kobe beef cheek sliders and they were delicious (although she did mention that they were a bit chewy).
The roasted beet salad was our mom’s choice. She said it was light and fresh tasting. Carthay prides itself on using fresh, seasonal ingredients. In fact, their menu changes by season. We’ve tried summer and fall…we can’t wait for spring and winter 🙂
It’s an old joke in our family that the one thing you never order at Disneyland is a burger because well, they ain’t so good usually. But, at Carthay the burger curse is finally over. I couldn’t resist ordering one when I knew that Hayley was getting the sliders. Also, I always think it’s fun to go to a fancy restaurant and order a burger. To me, it’s the ultimate test. Wow! This was such a goooood burger, but the real stand out were the french fries. They were a perfectly salted and crunchy delight.
The details at Carthay will blow you away. Whoever designed the space did the perfect job of instilling Old Hollywood glamour. Even the dessert menu was stylish.
We couldn’t leave without trying some dessert. The first time we dined at Carthay we opted for the s’mores tart, which was out of this world. This time we ordered the lemon pound cake with blueberries. What a show stopper!
On our walk out, we had to stop and take look at this picture of Walt & Shirley Temple. What we truly love about Carthay is that it captures Walt’s love of Hollywood and movie-making. Next time your at the park, make sure to stop by and buy a ticket to the Carthay Circle.