Less than 24 hours after arriving in California, we found ourselves whisked away to Anaheim to enjoy a day of magic and whimsy at Disneyland.
Disneyland Kennel Club
Initially, we were most worried about where to board our pup while we visited the parks. We wanted to keep him as close as possible in case there was a problem or we wanted to check in on him. I remembered having seen a doggie daycare at Tokyo Disney, so I decided to find out if Disneyland had anything similar. As luck would have it, they did and it’s been there since 1958!
All the way to the far right of the Disneyland entrance, lies a hidden little gem called the Disneyland Kennel Club. It opens 30 minutes prior to the earliest park opening time and closes 30 minutes after the latest park closing time, allowing us plenty of time to enjoy a FULL day at both parks. What’s best is that it only costs $20 per pet, per day. Given what Disneyland prices are, we couldn’t believe how cheap it was.
They provided us with a water bowl and blanket for him, but I also brought along his own blanket and some toys from home (which they encourage). The owners of the pup next to him put everything, but framed pictures in his kennel. The attendants don’t feed or interact with the pets, but they do monitor their water levels. Also you can stop by as many times as you’d like to let them out and take them for a walk or give them a treat. There’s even a little blocked off exercise yard for them.
The attendants were very nice and helpful. The facilities were basic, but clean and well kept. My pup didn’t seem stressed out at all when we picked him up at the end of the day, so we were extremely pleased. The only downside is that kennels are only available on a first-come, first-serve basis (no reservations). Other than that, it was great and I definitely vouch for their professionalism. You can get more info about the Disneyland Kennel Club and what vaccinations and documentation you need HERE.
Disneyland & California Adventure
Going to Disneyland with my family is an experience all on its own. My mom and youngest sister are annual pass holders, so they have got the whole Disney experience down to an art. They know what rides to go on first to beat the crowds, where and when to get fast passes and how to balance both parks so you’re pretty much done by 9:30pm. It’s a whirlwind to say the least.
Having not been there in about 7 years, the boyfriend and I were both quite excited. Winter is my favorite time to visit. I love the Christmas decorations, holiday treats and overall Christmas spirit that seems to waft through the air. Being Nightmare Before Christmas fans, we all made our way to the Haunted Mansion to kick off our day. My mom rode with my boyfriend and I to point out all the new things they had added since the last time we were there. Her enthusiasm made the ride all the more memorable.
After that, it was a blur of fastpass lanes, cracking jokes and simply enjoying some overdue quality time with my family. We got to try out the Radiator Springs Racers ride in Cars Land. When we returned with our Fast Passes, the regular wait time was 3 hours!!! We also got to go on the Tower of Terror one last time before they close it to give it a Guardians of the Galaxy makeover. It was bittersweet for us all.
After hearing so much buzz, we finally saw the new Frozen show. We had always been huge fans of the Aladdin show, so we were less then pleased when they replaced it, but the costumes, sets and overall production was simply gorgeous. I was particularly impressed with their color-blind casting, not just for minor characters either. The show I saw had and Asian Elsa and she was phenomenal! As a non-caucasian, it was really inspiring to see.
While dashing through the parks, we of course needed to make pit stops to refuel our tanks. We started with the Mickey Candy Cane Beignets from the Mint Julep Bar. They were 3 for $4.49 or 6 for $7.49, so of course I had to get 6. We got a piping hot bag of cute Mickey-shaped breads. They were ridiculously soft on the inside with an ever so crispy exterior dusted with a layer of powdered sugar and crushed candy cane pieces. They were soft minty bundles of holiday cheer for your tastebuds and it was hard not to go back for seconds.
For lunch we went to the French Market in New Orleans Square. I ordered the French Dip Sandwich which came with thinly sliced roast beef topped with crispy onion straws and horseradish mayo served on a soft potato roll. It also came with a side of seasoned cajun chips and au jus dipping sauce all for $13.99. My boyfriend went for the Jambalaya which was a creole seafood, chicken and andouille sausage stew served over Louisiana rice with side of freshly baked Bread for $14.99.
The dishes were prepared right in front of us and they came out nice and hot. Everything was incredibly flavorful and the breads were so soft. I could have probably split my French Dip with my sister and I still would have been full. Oh! Did I mention we also got dessert?!
The Sally Cookies and Cream Mousse Coffin Cake ($5.39) came so highly recommended by mom that couldn’t pass it up. It was so pretty I almost couldn’t bring myself to eat it. The cake comes with a chocolate dipped sponge cake “crust,” topped with a thick layer of cookies and cream mousse and garnished with whipped cream, crushed cookie pieces and an edible chocolate sally cutout. I’m not a fan of mousse, so I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. As it turns out, it basically had the consistency of cheesecake and it was fantastic! If no one had told me it was mousse, I would have thought for certain that it was 100% a cheesecake. It was rich, creamy and heavy. Needless to say I was really thankful to be wearing leggings that day.
In the evening, we made our way to California Adventure to enjoy their Festival of Holidays, which was basically any foodie’s dream. There were about 14 different stalls filled with festive food inspired by holiday cultural comfort foods. There was so much to choose from we decided to get one main dish, a dessert and a drink. For our main dish, we got the chicken & potato curry with kefir cream and grilled naan. It was a pretty sizable serving and spiced to perfection. For dessert we opted for the gingerbread bundt cake with an orange-vanilla sauce. The cake was good, but what really made it was the orange-vanilla sauce. So sweet and tangy I couldn’t put my fork down, literally. Finally we washed it all down with a cup of pumpkin spice hot chocolate with house-made cinnamon marshmallows. It was the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had, hands down. It tasted like Christmas. Everyone had to grab their own cup, it was just too delicious to share.
All in all it we all had a wonderful time, despite my having a cold and both my boyfriend and I being super jet lagged. I guess it’s nice to know that Disneyland still lives up to its reputation, the happiest place on earth.