Miss Mouse Throwback Thursdays

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.

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Trip Report: October 2013

Halloween Time @ Disneyland by 2 Miss Mouses

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…

Disneyland Crystal Arcade at Halloween by 2 Miss Mouses

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.

Elvis Pumpkin on Main Street by 2 Miss Mouses

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.

Walking on Main Street by 2 Miss Mouses

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.

Main Street Disneyland U.S.A. by 2 Miss Mouses

Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere!

Pumpkins & Walt & Mickey by 2 Miss Mouses

Being ridiculous outside the Golden Horseshoe…hey, when in Disneyland!

Golden Horseshoe by 2 Miss Mouses

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.

Haunted Mansion Holiday by 2 Miss Mouses

Welcome to autumn in Frontierland!

Halloween Time in Frontierland by 2 Miss Mouses

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.

Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland by 2 Miss Mouses

There was a beautiful Dia de los Muertes display in front of Rancho del Zocalo.

Dia de los Muertos at Disneyland by 2 Miss Mouses

Then off to It’s a Small World!

2 Miss Mouses Plus Mom by 2 Miss Mouses

And then a quick stop by Toon Town…

Gag Factory Toon Town by 2 Miss Mouses

Toon Town Postal Service by 2 Miss Mouses

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.

Grab a Birthday Pin by 2 Miss Mouses

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 🙂

Remember, Dreams Come True by 2 Miss Mouses

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.

Radiator Springs Racers Fast Pass by 2 Miss Mouses

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

Under the Sea at Disney California by 2 Miss Mouses

Then we went to the Disney Animation Academy to learn how to draw Piglet. Hayley’s turned out the best…typical 🙂

Disney Animation Academy by 2 Miss Mouses

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.

Tragedy Comedy Pumpkins by 2 Miss Mouses

Frontierland also had a pumpkin carving area where the masterful pumpkin carvers show off their artistry.

Pumpkin Carving at Disneyland by 2 Miss Mouses

We told you there would be pumpkins…and that includes “Sassy Saloon Pumpkin.”

Pumpkin Lady by 2 Miss Mouses

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.

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This ride is bizarre and hysterical. You basically float around on a giant tire. Mom had trouble controlling hers.

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Radiator Springs Racers!

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After the ride, Mom was complaining about how her hair was going everywhere. Yeah, Mom, your perfect blonde chignon is out of control…

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Monday night meant Mickey’s Halloween Party!!! We made a quick stop back at the hotel to get into our costumes.

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Here we are! The three good fairies- Flora, Fauna, & Merryweather about to go on Indiana Jones.

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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.

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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!

Park Talk: Swing Dancing is Back!

Hi Everyone! Great news! Saturday night swing dancing will be making a return to Disneyland this summer. We mentioned this in our May Trip Report, but when Carnation Plaza Gardens was closed down to make room for Fantasy Faire, the Saturday night swing dancing was moved out of the park. Park management promised to bring the dancing back once Fantasy Faire opened, but then they delayed its return. For many who have made this a weekly tradition (seriously, there are couples who have come every Saturday for 50 years) this delay/cancellation meant major heart break. Luckily, the “Jump, Jive, Boogie Swing Dance Party” will be returning to the park on June 15th. So, if you’re in the park area on Saturdays in late June, grab your dancing shoes or just stop by and listen to the wonderful music in a beautiful new environment. For more on this and other upcoming events check out Inside the Magic (one of our favorite Disney sites).

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Love this shot of Walt & his wife Lillian taking a spin on the ol’ Carnation dance floor

On a side note: we can’t tell you how happy we are that this tradition is returning. It really shows that the park management has taken the feelings of long-time Disney fans into consideration. Walt Disney always said that Disneyland would never be done growing, but we also know that he believed in traditions and good ol’ sentimentality. By blending the old with the new, Disneyland is proving why it’s simply the best.

Trip Report: May 2013 (Part 1)

So we just got back from 4 fun-filled days at the park and can’t wait to share our trip report with you. The first weekend in May may rank as one of our favorite times of the year to visit Disneyland because of the flowers, the weather, and the surprising lack of crowds.

Springtime at the Hub by 2 Miss Mouses

We arrived on Thursday in the late afternoon after a crazy long trip down 101 (it took us 9 hours!) The first thing we did was take a walk down Main Street U.S.A. & stop by Coke Corner. Not only is it a great place to stop, get a drink and watch the crowd go by, but there’s also ragtime piano music played live throughout the day.

Ragtime at Coke Corner by 2 Miss Mouses

Next stop, our first visit to Fantasy Faire. We’re not going to lie. We still miss good ol’ Carnation Plaza (p.s. Disney Resort folks: please, please, please bring back swing dancing on Saturday nights).

Fantasy Faire by 2 Miss Mouses

But even though we prefer Carnation Plaza, we have to admit that Fantasy Faire is really well-themed and anything that brings more Tangled into the park is a good thing. Enter Pascal!

Pascal & Friend by 2 Miss Mouses

Next we grabbed a fast pass for Indiana Jones.

Indiana Fast Pass by 2 Miss Mouses

Then took a ride on the Disneyland RR while we waited for our fastpass to come due 🙂

Mickey's Toontown Train Depot

Disneyland Railroad Triple-Selfie

Ride on Disneyland Railroad by 2 Miss Mouses

After Indiana Jones, we went to one of our favorite restaurants in the park- Rancho del Zocalo. The food may not anything fancy, but the ambiance definitely is!

Rancho del Zocalo by 2 Miss Mouses

We tried the Tres Leches cake for the first time and what can we say? We ARE big fans and even had to go ask for the recipe…hint hint…nudge…nudge…there maybe a recipe post coming your way shortly…Tres Leches Cake @ Rancho del Zocalo by 2 Miss Mouses

A sweet start to a perfect Disneyland trip. We’ll be posting more updates about our trip very soon, so keep checking back 🙂

Making Memories: Early Disneyland Trips

So, we’re just about to head out this early Friday morning to treat our mom to an (early) Mother’s Day trip to Disneyland:) We ran across a couple of these awesome shots of (early) Disney trips & just felt like sharing…

Riding Casey Jr.

Riding King Arthur's Carousel

Meeting Pinocchio by 2 Miss Mouses

Can’t wait to share new memories with you when we get back!

Top Tips for Saving Up for Disneyland

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a trip to Disneyland ain’t cheap. Here are our TOP TIPS FOR SAVING UP FOR DISNEYLAND.

Saving up for Disneyland

  • Break out the piggy bank.For day to day purchases, use cash and pocket the loose change for your “Disneyland Fund.” This is especially great for kids. You’ll be surprised at how much change you’ll stack up over time in your piggy bank, and remember- each penny is one step closer to Main Street. When your piggy bank is full, roll your coins and take them to the bank, or make a quick trip to Coinstar (they take 10% or you can opt for gift cards with no service charge).
  • Give the gift of Disney. In lieu of wrapped presents, opt for “Disney gifts.” For Christmas this year we each gave each other a Disneyland treat for our next trip. Hayley gifted me a dinner at Rancho del Zocalo, I gifted her a dinner at Plaza Inn, and together we bought our Dad’s 3 day park hopper. We got to avoid the madness of holiday shopping and had two amazing meals together in the Happiest Place on Earth.
  • Have a garage sale. We have twice yearly garage sales and put most of the proceeds towards our Disneyland trips. Make sure to make brightly colored signs (date, “Garage Sale”, and a good arrow are all you need) and start early in the morning. You’ll be surprised by how much stuff you’ll be able to get rid of. You can even invite friends to bring over their stuff. Pick up donuts and you’ve got yourself a party. Declutter your home and make more room for Mickey- what’s not to like?
  • Combine goals. Have a goal, but don’t feel very motivated? Combine your goal with your Disneyland trip and get things moving. For example, trying to cook at home more? Each time you opt to dine in rather than dine out, add $5 to your Disneyland fund. Trying to get more exercise in? Each time you walk around the block, put $1 towards your Disney fund. You’ll feel motivated and be on your way to a Disneyland trip.
  • Cash in. If piggy banks are not your style, try cashing in on some credit card points. Many cards like Chase or Bank of America offer 1% to 2% cash back, or American Express points can be redeemed for cash gift cards. Do some research and find out if cash back would work for you.

We hope these tips make your next trip to Disneyland more than just a dream away. Don’t forget to check out our other tip posts and let us know what are your favorite techniques for financial trip planning 🙂

Top Tips on Having a Relaxing Trip to Disneyland

Each time we visit, it seems like Disneyland has gotten more and more crowded and with the park setting new attendance records this year, the crowds aren’t likely to be lightening up anytime soon. So, what is a Disney fan to do? Give up…go home…or- learn how to navigate a packed park and still have a relaxing and fun-filled trip.

Here are our top tips for a relaxing trip to Disneyland:

 

PRIORITIZE & MANAGE YOUR TIME

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Don’t go on long attractions early in the day (Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise- all have ride times of about 15 minutes). Your early morning hours are your best chance to get on as many attractions as possible. Try to go on attractions that tend to fill up later in the day (Indiana Jones, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain RR).
Use Fastpass! The Fastpass system was implemented in 1999 as a ride reservation system to help prevent the hassle of waiting in multi-hour lines. But so many people don’t maximize this awesome tool. When you get to the park, fastpass those rides you’d be disappointed to miss. Make sure to come back during the time window though! The park has started to strictly enforce their fast pass policy.

 

MAKE  ROOM FOR MAINSTREET
Main Street Emporium
So often, we rush past Main Street. We’re so busy and there is so much to see, do, and ride, so we just gallop past one of the Park’s greatest sights. Walt Disney modeled Main Street on his own hometown (Marceline, Missouri) and in our humble opinion, there is no spot in the Park more filled with nostalgia & heart. It’s a great place to go in the afternoon. Get out of the sun and out of the crowds by going into the shops. Pick up presents. Try on silly hats. Stop and watch the band before the parade passes by. Play games at the Arcade. Watch a classic Mickey cartoon in the Cinema. Stop at Coke Corner and listen to some ol’ timey piano music. Visit the Gallery. See Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

 

EAT AT ‘OFF-TIMES’

En Route to Corn Dogs

Believe us when we say that standing in a 1-hour line for a bread bowl is not fun. It’s just not. Trust us, we tried. Try to be in line for lunch before 11:30 am or after 2 pm. Be having dinner before 5 pm or after 8 pm. Not only will you feel less stressed, but you’ll also enjoy your food more 🙂 

 

TAKE A RIDE ON A TRAIN…

Disneyland Railroad

Walt Disney was a huge model train afficianado, so it’s no surprise that when the park was built he made sure to include a fully functioning railroad “leaving every 5-15 minutes for a round trip tour of Disneyland.”
Pick up the train at Main Street U.S.A., New Orleans Square, Toon Town, or Tomorrow Land. Especially enjoyable is the trip between Tomorrowland Station and Main Street U.S.A. because you get to take a journey back to the “Primeval World” of the dinosaurs. Your feet and your sunburned face will thank you for this vacation from your vacation.

DON’T FORGET THE SPECTACLE

Fantasmic! Mark Twain

No matter how bad the crowds, you should always make room for fireworks and Fantasmic! On super crowded days, we recommend catching the 2nd showing of Fantasmic! after the fireworks. People wait all day for the first showing, but you won’t have to wait longer than 45 minutes for the 2nd one (which they normally have on super crowded days). Watch the fireworks from Main Street then book it through Frontierland and grab a spot in the outdoor seating area of Riverbelle Terrace. Kill the time between shows by sending someone to grab dessert (we recommend Jolly Holiday Bakery or the Stage Door Cafe).

MAKE TIME FOR THE NAP RIDE

Here we are (a few years ago...) taking a nap ride

Here we are (a few years ago…) taking a nap ride

During peak park hours (3 pm – 6pm) we recommend “The Nap Ride.” Get out of the crowds and out of the sun and head back to your hotel room for a good rest. Take a shower. Take a nap. Catch up on e-mails. Let the kids play in the hotel pool. OR head the other direction and check out the AMC Movie Theatre in Downtown Disney. The truth is that if you are getting to the park by 8 am and staying till midnight, you will need this rest. If you are only staying 1 or 2 days and want to maximize your park time, try to find a cool shady spot (Hungry Bear Cafe in DL and the Animation Studio in DCA). Even a half hour off your feet can make a big difference.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

alps & matterhorn

Your trip is not a race! Repeat that to yourself every time you begin to feel the pressure of growing queues and tired feet. Instead, view your trip as a journey and an adventure. Go with the flow. People watch- it’s hilarious and heartwarming. Try something new. Notice something you’ve never noticed before (did you know that the Alps in Storybook Canal line up with Matterhorn?) Remember, if you miss something, well that’s just one more thing to enjoy next time. 

Disneyland Clam Chowder

Whenever we visit Disney California Adventure, we always make it a point to stop by the Pacific Wharf and grab a bread bowl of the world’s best clam chowder. Creamy, delicious, flavorful- this clam chowder has it all and we’ve got the recipe!

Disneyland Chowder Recipe by 2 Miss Mouses

If you visit the Town Hall (on the left directly as you enter Main Street), you too can grab a copy of some the park’s best loved recipes (clam chowder included). Chef Mickey welcomes you in!

Disneyland Chowder Recipe by 2 Miss Mouses

So, let’s get started with the ingredients you’ll be needing:

Disneyland Chowder Ingredients by 2 Miss Mouses

  • 1/4 lb butter 
  • 1 1/2 cup onions, chopped (we used frozen chopped onions, and our eyes were thankful)
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 qt. milk
  • 4 cans or 1 1/2 cups clams, chopped (make sure to RESERVE JUICE)
  • 1/2 cup green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 cube instant chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups potatoes, cooked and diced

Can you spot the hidden mickey among our ingredients? Here, let us help you out.

Hidden Mickey Spices by 2 Miss Mouses

Start by melting your butter in a medium saucepan. If you are microwaving your potatoes, now is a great time to start them cooking (about 10-15 minutes until done- microwave in 5 minute increments so they potatoes don’t become mushy).

Potatoes by 2 Miss Mouses

Meanwhile, add onions, celery, red and green bellpepper and thyme to the butter.

Chowder veggies by 2 Miss Mouses

Saute this mixture until tender (about 5-10 minutes) over medium heat. Then add flour and chicken broth cube. Cook over low heat for about 5-10 minutes. Be careful- you don’t want to burn the flour. Then add milk and reserved clam juice.

Chowder by 2 Miss Mouses

Simmer for 30 minutes while stirring constantly- make sure to watch it carefully, it scorches easily. The soup will really start to thicken at this point. While the soup is simmering, now is a good time to start warming up your bread bowls. We got these beauties from Panera and they were delicious.

Bread bowls by 2 Miss Mouses

Then add clams, potatoes, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes over low heat. Here’s a glam shot of soup heaven!

Disneyland Clam Chowder by 2 Miss Mouses

This recipe will yield about 4 to 6 servings of the best clam chowder you’ve ever had! Voila- Disneyland Clam Chowder complete with bread bowl & Mickey ears!

Disneyland Clam Chowder by 2 Miss Mouses

Bon Appetite!

Welcome to 2 Miss Mouses

2 Miss Mouses

To all who come to this Disney blog: Welcome!

This blog is your blog. It is dedicated to the hope, creativity, and magic that have shaped Disneyland. Here we hope to relive the past and celebrate the future. From favorite sights to cherished memories, it is our hope that this blog will be a source of joy and that it will provide free-admission to a “Disney-inspired” life.

-2 Miss Mouses-