Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Mad Hatter In America - Disneyland 2015

So, Blizzcon was the big thing we went to America for. However, we were staying in Anaheim which meant there was another big thing pretty much on our doorsteps - and we couldn't pass up the opportunity. We had to visit Disneyland!

This was my first ever trip to any Disney park and I absolutely loved it. It was pretty overwhelming but it was just as amazing as I hoped it would be. I now understand why people keep on going back!

Our hotel offered a free shuttle bus up to Disneyland, which also happened to be the hub of the bus network that we used to get around - so we passed through the area pretty much every day. When we arrived, the park entrance was all decked out for Halloween:

But after a few days, they brought in their Christmas decorations:

It was also Disneyland's 60th anniversary while we were there, so there were loads of diamonds around the place:


Let's start out with the snacks. We didn't buy many snacks in the park, as we took plenty with us, but it seemed reasonably easy to get hold of something to snack on - especially if you are happy with fresh fruit! We did manage to get our hands on a few things though...

1. Mickey Mouse Pretzel

Make sure you go for the plain pretzel, as the stuffed ones contain cheese and/or meat. The plain pretzel are awesome though - we bought them on both of the days we spent at Disneyland!

2. Dole Whip / Dole Whip Float

This is essentially pineapple that has been pureed and frozen, and is served in the style of soft serve ice-cream. You can have a huge pot of Dole Whip on its own or you can have it balanced on top of a cup of pineapple juice. This stuff was gorgeous, and a lovely refresher on a hot day.

3. Minnie's Bakehouse Cookies

There are vegan biscuits in the gift shop! Yes, that's right, there are VEGAN biscuits in the DISNEY gift shop! They were pretty tasty (and I should hope so for the price!), and were great for novelty value, but they weren't anything hugely special. I was impressed that they stocked at least one thing that was vegan-friendly though!

We also managed to get a proper hot meal on each day. I had done a ton of research beforehand to make sure we would be able to find something to eat when we were hungry, and I think we made some pretty good choices.

1. Carnation Cafe

The Disneyland website describes this cafe as follows:

"Dine on classic American comfort food, including some of Walt’s favorite dishes, at this Main Street, U.S.A. institution. "

We chose to eat here because they have a vegan burger on their menu - we couldn't not visit the restaurant that offers something labelled as vegan! Simply called "Chef's Vegan Burger", this comprised of "House-made Bean and Vegetable Patty, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Pickled Red Onions, and Vegan Chipotle-Mayonnaise on a Wheat Roll with your choice of fresh Fruit or Seasoned French Fries". It was a good vegan burger - not the best I've had (as you'll see in a few days), but definitely nothing to complain about. It was a good, solid, vegan meal.

2. Royal Street Veranda

The Disney description states:

"You’ve got it made in the shade with a scrumptious sourdough bowl of clam chowder, steak gumbo or vegetarian gumbo. Sit on the patio under a beautiful wrought-iron balcony and enjoy fritters, fountain beverages and specialty coffee drinks."

This was a great grab'n'go dinner during the evening. We probably would have sat at one of the tables outside the shop if there had been space, but it was super busy so we just took our food and went to sit on a wall by the lake. This photo is horrendous - I am so sorry - but it's the only one I took, as I was very hungry! (Also, I've made up for it by including a beautiful photo of the New Orleans area...) We each had the "Vegetarian Gumbo served in a Sourdough Bread bowl", which many online sources had agreed was vegan during my research. This was very very tasty, although I couldn't finish my bread bowl! It also gave Mr Hatter a new favourite word to say - "gumbo" is still in regular use nearly a year later.

That's the end of the food-talk, so if you are just here for the food, feel free to stop reading now! For anyone that is interested in photos of Disneyland, please continue!

We were lucky enough to be able to catch the World Of Colour show while we were there. It was beautiful, and easily my favourite of the shows we saw - check out the photos below! We also saw two parades - the Pixar one, and Light Up The Night. I definitely preferred the Pixar one but they were both fun.

I even managed to get some vegan Disney shoes! (From a Vans shop, but still...)

And here are just a few shots of the wonderful place that is Disneyland. It's so beautiful and I'm so excited about going back this year!

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