26 Days til Disneyland – Storytellers Cafe!

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

Today for Day 26 in our countdown to Disneyland series, we are taking a look at the Storytellers Cafe, which is located inside of the Grand Californian Resort.  This dining location serves for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  The breakfast is a character breakfast called the “Chip ‘n Dale Critter Breakfast”, and has among other features, the ability to order off the menu or to select the buffet for your meal.  With made to order omelets, great Disney breakfast fare, and an excellent venue for your meal, the Storytellers Cafe is one of the top dining locations on property — at least, I think it is!

We will be eating there for breakfast the morning of June 24th, so look for an in depth review of the restaurant when we get back from Disneyland!

In the meantime, tell me what you think of the Storytellers Cafe!  Have you ever eaten here before?  If so, did you eat at breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and what did you think of your dining experience?  Was the price good for the food you got, or was it overpriced?  Let me know in the comments, please, and thanks for stopping by!

The Lands of Disneyland: New Orleans Square!

The Haunted Mansion is one of the signature attractions in New Orleans Square

The Haunted Mansion is one of the signature attractions in New Orleans Square

Hello everyone, and thank you for taking time out of your day to visit us here at My Dreams of Disney!  As you may know, we have been exploring the different lands of Disneyland, much like we did with our “Lands of the Magic Kingdom” series that we did a few years back, and today, we are taking a look at New Orleans Square.

Our last exploration was of Adventureland, and before that, Main Street, U.S.A., so as you can tell, we are working our way around Disneyland in a somewhat clockwise order.

New Orleans Square

New Orleans Square was the first new land added to Disneyland, opening on July 24, 1966 — and was the last major public appearance at Disneyland by Walt Disney, who would die in December of that year.  The land is only three acres, but it is jam packed with some of the most notable things in Disneyland.  Contained in the location are the following attractions, restaurants, and even sleeping arrangements:

  • The Haunted Mansion
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Disneyland Railroad Station
  • The Blue Bayou
  • Club 33
  • Disneyland Dream Suite
  • Assorted shops and dining locations

The Haunted Mansion

The Haunted Mansion is one of the signature attractions in New Orleans Square

The Haunted Mansion is one of the signature attractions in New Orleans Square

The Haunted Mansion, pictured above, is themed entirely after New Orleans in the 19th Century, which is the time period that New Orleans Square is set in.  The ride mechanics are the same — although, there is a difference in the way the stretching room operates at Disneyland versus Walt Disney World — and I liked the way that The Haunted Mansion entered the house.  As I wrote in my Top five attractions at Disneyland post, Haunted Mansion isn’t higher than number three only because we had a few issues with the ride starting and stopping.  Otherwise, it would have been at number two on my list!

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean is my favorite ride at Disneyland, bar none!

Also located in New Orleans Square is the famed Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  This incredible dark ride was such a treat for me to ride, it instantly jumped right on up near the top of my all time favorites list for Disney!  With two — count them, two — incredible drops, a leisurely stroll through the Bayou of Louisiana reminiscent of The Princess and the Frog, and the Blue Bayou restaurant off to the right as you start your journey, this attraction truly did live up to it’s advanced billing.  My dear friend Brenda told me that I was going to absolutely LOVE Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland — and boy, was she right!

The Disneyland Railroad

The Disneyland Railroad has a stop at New Orleans Square, and services Frontierland also from this stop.

The Disneyland Railroad has a stop at New Orleans Square, and services Frontierland also from this stop.

In addition to Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, New Orleans Square is also home to one of the four stops along the Disneyland Railroad.  What is cool about this stop is that the train depot, pictured below, actually plays the first two lines of Walt Disney’s opening day speech on July 17, 1955 in Morse code:

“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future.”

"To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future."

The Depot plays the first two lines of Walt Disney’s opening day speech in Morse Code at this station.

The Blue Bayou

Image Courtesy and ©Chip and Company

Image Courtesy and ©Chip and Company

Without a doubt, one of my favorite dining experiences at Disneyland was eating at the Blue Bayou restaurant.  We were seated near the water, and we had a wonderful view of the boats leaving port on their way to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  It was a lot of fun to eat there, the food was incredible, and it truly did feel as if we were immersed right into the middle of the Princess and the Frog.  I know I’ve said that before, but it really was a great dining experience, and I hope to be able to enjoy it again in the future.

Club 33

Club 33 is the most exclusive restaurant in Disney -- and it's located in New Orleans Square!

Club 33 is the most exclusive restaurant in Disney — and it’s located in New Orleans Square!

Club 33 is the only establishment at Disneyland that serves alcoholic beverages, and was built under the supervision of Walt Disney as a way to attract more sponsors to Disneyland in the mid 1960s.  Sadly, the restaurant opened in 1967, about 6 months after Walt Disney passed away, so he never ate there or experienced it for himself that I know of.  In all my roaming around New Orleans Square, can you believe that I NEVER saw the door and the sign?  I guess I was all caught up in everything else that Disneyland had to offer and had put blinders on or something!

Disneyland Dream Suite

The Disneyland Dream Suite is the only accommodations you can get inside of Disneyland Park!

The Disneyland Dream Suite is the only accommodation you can get inside of Disneyland Park!

The only overnight accommodations that you can get inside of Disneyland Park belong to the Disneyland Dream Suite.  This exclusive sleeping arrangement is located in New Orleans Square, and is near the Pirates of the Caribbean entrance.  I have not been inside the Disneyland Dream Suite, but I understand that it was originally built to be an apartment for Walt Disney during the construction of New Orleans Square.  When Walt passed away, the project was put aside and used as the Disney Gallery, but in 2008, it was renovated and remade into the Dream Suite that exists today.  Typically, the chance to sleep here is awarded as a contest promotion.  I would love to spend the night there!

In addition to all that we have examined here, New Orleans Square is also home to some great shops, quick dining locations, and more!  I really enjoyed New Orleans Square, and if you can get there, I think you will too!

The Lands of Disneyland: Adventureland!

Tarzan's Treehouse is one of the attractions you can find in Adventureland

Tarzan’s Treehouse is one of the attractions you can find in Adventureland

Today we are taking a look at Adventureland in our continuation of our Lands of Disneyland series!  This land, much like similar lands of the same name at other Disney parks, is themed around the spirit of adventure that can be found in the land.  Originally, Adventureland was going to be based off of some of the nature documentaries that Walt Disney produced, including real animals!  However, after Walt was told that real animals would likely hide or sleep all day, the decision was made to make animals that would take the place of the real animals.  Later on, Audio-Animatronic animals were put in place to add a more realistic feel.

In Adventureland you can find the following attractions for you to enjoy:

In addition to the attractions, you can also find shops and snack bars — including the Tiki Juice Bar, which is located right outside the Enchanted Tiki Room and can be a great way to get a Dole Whip before the next show!

As a family, we didn’t really spend a whole lot of time in Adventureland.  One thing that is a little disconcerting about Disneyland is how quite often, pictures you take in one land are of attractions or scenes in a completely different land, such as the two photos below.  However, that is really part of the charm of Disneyland, I suppose, and will never be changed, so it isn’t that big a deal really.

This picture shows Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, located in Frontierland

This picture shows Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, located in Frontierland

This picture was taken from Tarzan's Treehouse of the shops

This picture was taken from Tarzan’s Treehouse of the shops of Frontierland and Adventureland

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Adventureland, one of the lands of Disneyland Park.  Stay tuned as we take a look next at one of the smallest — but most popular — lands when we explore New Orleans Square on Friday!  Until then, let me know please, what do you think of Adventureland?  Just let me know in the comments, and thanks!

Top 5 Disney’s California Adventure Attractions

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By Mike Ellis.

Disney’s California Adventure — the park has a lot going on there, doesn’t it?  With the all new Cars Land, Paradise Pier, and all the other places to see and do things, how am I going to choose just five things that I think are my top five for the park?  Well, let’s see how I did in my top five California Adventure attractions countdown!  I hope you enjoy my choices!  If you want to see what my other choices were for other parks, last week we did Disneyland Park, and before that we did Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom to cover Walt Disney World.  Go check them out if you missed those posts!

#5: Soarin’ over California!

Soarin' Over California -- the same as Walt Disney World, but still incredibly cool!

Soarin’ Over California — the same as Walt Disney World, but still incredibly cool!

Soarin’ Over California was great to experience at California Adventure!  I really enjoyed it, and the best thing about it:  it’s in a park where it isn’t practically the only big ticket attraction, so we walked right in and waited perhaps five minutes for a ride!  Oh, wouldn’t that be nice to experience that at Epcot?

#4: Toy Story Mania

Mr. Potatohead beckons you on towards the games!

Mr. Potatohead beckons you on towards the games!

The neat thing about Toy Story Mania is that it fits right in with the area of the park that you are in — Paradise Pier.  This attraction feels like it’s part of the boardwalk, as if it was picked up and transplanted here, perhaps from Atlantic City…and the line doesn’t feel quite as long as Walt Disney World, but it can get long sometimes.  We enjoyed it!

#3: Radiator Springs Racers

Radiator Springs Racers is in perhaps the most beautiful land at California Adventure!

Radiator Springs Racers is in perhaps the most beautiful land at California Adventure!

Radiator Springs Racers — the crown jewel of Cars Land — has a lot going for it, but for me, perhaps the best part of it all is the beautiful scenery and the way the Imagineers truly immersed us right into the middle of Radiator Springs.  Cars Land itself is a great land to visit, but the true beauty of this land is seen at night, with all of the Neon on, and the beautiful scenery over by Radiator Springs Racers.  The only problem I have with this attraction is the line, and how incredibly long it is, even with FastPass tickets.

#2: World of Color

The  World of Color is a beautiful display of musical genius!

The World of Color is a beautiful display of musical genius!

I have seen many videos of the World of Color show, but until I actually saw it in person, I didn’t know how deprived I was.  This show — without a doubt — is the BEST show in any Disney park in my opinion.  I love the way they use water, lasers, color, fire, music, and video to create such a compelling storyline, and how it feels as if you are watching a story unfold right in front of your eyes.  We were blessed to have our balcony look right over part of Paradise Pier, and while we couldn’t see the show from our vantage point, we could definitely hear the incredible music.

#1: California Screamin’

California Screamin' -- bar none, the biggest thrill ride at Disney in my opinion!

California Screamin’ — bar none, the biggest thrill ride at Disney in my opinion!

Sitting at the top of my leaderboard is California Screamin’!  This intense roller coaster is what Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios strives for, except California Screamin’ is twice as long, is outdoors, and keeps on going and going and going!  Cindy and I, and even Sophie, loved this roller coaster!

Honorable Mention: The Disney Animation Building

The Disney Animation Building has so much cool stuff, if you haven't seen it, go check it out!

The Disney Animation Building has so much cool stuff, if you haven’t seen it, go check it out!

Honorable Mention: Mickey’s Fun Wheel

Mickey's Fun Wheel is a lot of fun -- hence the name! We like both the stationary and the moving cars!

Mickey’s Fun Wheel is a lot of fun — hence the name! We like both the stationary and the moving cars!

Honorable Mention: Silly Symphony Swings

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

The  Silly Symphony Swings are one of my daughter’s favorite rides because of the freedom she experiences in riding them.  Also, she likes the music, and she loves the Silly Symphony Cartoon Short that this ride is based off of!  Put it all together and it’s one of the honorable mentions!

My Top 5 Disneyland Attractions

In one of my favorite Disney trips, here I am with my wife Cindy and daughter Sophie, loving every minute!

In one of my favorite Disney trips, here I am with my wife Cindy and daughter Sophie, loving every minute!

By Mike Ellis.

Hello everyone, and welcome to part five in our six part series featuring my top five attractions at each of the Disney parks that I’ve been blessed to visit.  We’ve already covered Walt Disney World with the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and now we jump across country to take a look at my top five Disneyland Attractions!  Compare your top five to mine and see how they stack up!

#5: It’s a Small World

The it's a small world sign beckons you in!

The it’s a small world sign beckons you in!

At number five in my list, I’m sharing with you it’s a small world, located in Fantasyland.  This attraction is similar to the Walt Disney World attraction, but it is completely different also!  This attraction has some of the children being Disney characters, and it loads outdoors before entering into the main part of the ride, and so on, so for those reasons, it makes my list at number five!

#4: Splash Mountain

 

On the lookout for Brier Rabbit!

On the lookout for Brier Rabbit!

At number four in my countdown is Splash Mountain!  While we only rode this attraction once, it was great, and I loved it!  It is pretty much the same as Walt Disney World’s version, except that the “logs” at the Magic Kingdom are two seaters, whereas this is a single file “log” here!

#3: Haunted Mansion

The Haunted Mansion building is really cool, and is one of my favorite structures at Disneyland!

The Haunted Mansion building is really cool, and is one of my favorite structures at Disneyland!

The Haunted Mansion is our choice for number three.  The reason it’s not number two here is because when we rode it — and we rode it a few times — it seemed like we always had issues with the ride having to be stopped while we were on it.  That was disappointing, but we did enjoy our rides!

#2: Peter Pan’s Flight

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

For some reason, I never took the opportunity to get a picture of Peter Pan’s Flight while we were there.  I loved the ride, though, and it sits at number two on our list — this is a timeless classic ride that I will never get sick of riding!

#1: Pirates of the Caribbean

The Pirates of the Caribbean is our favorite ride!

The Pirates of the Caribbean is our favorite ride!

So, coming in at number one in our countdown, I present to you Pirates of the Caribbean!  This attraction is so much better at Disneyland than Walt Disney World, and it is so cool, that it is leaps and bounds ahead of everything else in my book at Disneyland!

Honorable Mentions: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln

I really liked Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln!

I really liked Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln!

Honorable Mentions: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

This attraction gets an honorable mention for this post only because it wasn’t open when we visited Disneyland in June.  I’m absolutely certain that if we had been able to ride it I would have had it on the top five.  Oh well, it leaves something for us to do next time!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read my post!  I hope you have enjoyed this look at Disneyland!  Now, if you have a top five list for Disneyland, let me know in the comments what your top five are, and we’ll compare notes!  Thanks!

Also, don’t forget to enter to win one of our three Disney Gift Cards — we have a $500 gift card and two $250 gift cards, so click on the image below and get your entries in!  The giveaway ends at 11:59PM on Monday, November 11th, 2013!  Good luck everyone!

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