Ever wanted to throw a birthday party at the Disneyland Resort, but can’t afford one of the restaurants in the parks or hotels? The price of admission can make it difficult to splurge for extras while in the parks. Luckily, you can throw your own birthday party in the resort picnic area. The picknic area is located outside the parks, to the far west side of Disneyland’s main entrance, and you can either stop there on your way in for a quick celebration or take a break away from the parks for a mid-day break. While clearly things like over-the-top decorations and a pinata out of the question, you could very easily bring your own food, paper goods and cake to the shaded and very clean picnic area and have a nice party. It’s the perfect way to have your cake and eat it too on a budget.
Nestled in beautiful Burbank, California, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour is a must for any film or television buff wanting to experience the magic of “the business” and see where some of the most iconic show and films have been shot. In addition to seeing iconic exteriors, the tour takes its guests inside a working soundstage, through the prop warehouse and to several incredible exhibits.
Among the incredible exhibits that can be found on the tour is the Harry Potter exhibit which recently expanded to include artifacts from the Fantastic Beasts Exhibit film. The reimagined exhibit offers an up-close look at authentic props and costumes the films based on J.K. Rowling’s books. The exhibit takes visitors on a journey from concept art to final designs used on set.
In case you missed my Instagram story or other coverage the day the exhibit opened, check out my live broadcast from the exhibit below! (The video is cropped weird here on the blog. Head over to the Babes In Disneyland Facebook page to see it without the square crop.)
Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood is open daily, 9:00AM to 3:00PM, with extended summer hours. Tours depart every 30 minutes and last about 2 1/2 hours. Tickets are $62 per person and can be purchased online at www.wbstudiotour.com or by calling 818-977-TOUR (8687). (I definitely recommend reservations.) Children eight years or older are welcome, but I personally, think the tour is best for kids age 10 and older.
You can see more of my photos from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts exhibit on the Babes In Disneyland Instagram account, as well as on my own (LisaRobertson). I recently took the tour with my friends in which I totally geeked out and cosplayed as Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls. You can see more of that on my Gilmore Girls Instagram.
I was provided a media preview of the Harry Potter / Fantastic Beasts exhibit. I paid for the tour featured on my Gilmore Girls Instagram.
The Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure brings together holiday food, crafts and celebrations from around the world. One of the delicious treats served at the festival is the sweet spiced noodle kugel with lemon cream and cranberries dish. It has quickly become a guest favorite, and we are excited to present you with the official recipe and an exclusive demo with a Disneyland chef so that you can create this yummy dessert at home.
Sweet Spiced Noodle Kugel with Lemon Cream and Cranberries from Festival of the Holidays Disney California Adventure Park
Makes one 9×13-inch pan
1 pound wide egg noodles
1/2 cup sugar
1 (16 ounce) container cottage cheese
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup sour cream
Zest of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup sugar-frosted corn flake cereal
1 cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter. Set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add egg noodles and boil for 4-5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and set aside.
3. Whisk eggs and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add cottage cheese, sour cream, and melted butter, whisking until combined.
4. Add cinnamon, allspice, salt, and cranberries to egg mixture. Stir in noodles.
5. Pour into prepared baking pan, making sure to press noodles down and smooth the top
6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until top is golden and filling is set.
FOR LEMON CREAM:
1. Combine sour cream, lemon zest, and sugar in a small bowl. Stir until blended.
2. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Cut warm kugel to desired size. Top with drizzle of lemon cream and sprinkle with sugar-frosted corn flake cereal and dried cranberries.
Heading to the Disneyland Resort this holiday season? It truly is the most magical time of the year to visit with little ones. We’ve scoured both parks and come up with the must-do activities for toddlers, preschoolers and the young at heart this holiday season.
Take a photo with Mickey, Minnie and all the gang in their holiday best at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
This is a family tradition and you will love seeing your kids grow and change along side their best buddies throughout the years. Mickey, Minnie, Donald and all of the “classic” gang can usually be found on Main Street in Disneyland and on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure.
Live Entertainment Throughout the Resort
Great live holiday entertainment is available throughout the Disneyland Resort, including the both parks and the hotels. From drummers to carolers to high school bands and more, there’s something for everyone at holiday time. Many live performances can be found in the daily entertainment guide. If you are hoping to find a specific type of performance, the friendly Guest Relations cast members at the information boards, City Hall (Disneyland) and the Chamber of Commerce (Disney California Adventure) can help you track down what you are seeking. (Live entertainment at the hotels does not require theme park admission.)
Watch the Christmas Fantasy Parade.
For me, the holiday season officially kicks off (in my brain, at least) when I see the Christmas Fantasy Parade. There is just no way you can’t get happy and feel all warm and toasty inside when you see it! Children love the beautiful floats and seeing all of our their favorite Disney characters.
Take a cruise on “it’s a small world” holiday at Disneyland.
This is my other all-time favorite holiday tradition at the Disneyland Resort. I know… Disneyland fans fall into two camps when it comes to “it’s a small world”: you either love it or can’t stand it. I am on team “love it” and when it comes time for “it’s a small world” holiday I LOVE IT even more. That end scene gets me every time.
Experience snow fall on Main Street and at the Rivers of America in Disneyland
Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle is a holiday time favorite with its glistening snow and sparkles. Starting this year, guests can experience enchanting moments of snow fall both on Main Street with the beautiful castle backdrop and along the Rivers of America in Frontierland /New Orleans Square. I don’t want to give too much away, but don’t forget to pay close attention to the “smell” of the snow when it falls. Snow fall is not listed in the entertainment schedule, but typically happens twice per night: once around 7pm and again just before the fireworks. I recommend asking at the information board in Central Plaza (by the Partners Statue) to confirm the times the day of your visit.
Visit Santa at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
There is something very, very special about visiting Santa at the Disneyland Resort. My children have had so many precious moments with old St. Nick that we will treasure for the rest of our lives. This year’s locations at Disneyland in Critter Country and Disney California Adventure Park are dressed just as lovely as ever.
Experience the holiday-themed Redwood Creek Challenge Trail in Disney California Adventure.
My kids’ favorite place to go at the Disneyland Resort is hands-down, Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, and now that it is totally rethemed for the holidays, they love it even more! It is a great place for kids of all ages to stretch their legs (especially if they are tired of sitting in a stroller or having to wait in lines) and have fun.
See World of Color – Season of Light at Disney California Adventure.
The newest version of World of Color is definitely the best one yet and sure to be a holiday favorite for years to come. The show is full of classic Christmas music, as well as beautiful new music composed just for the show. I know it can be hard to get the kids to stay up late enough for the show, but this show is totally worth it. Be sure to keep an eye out for the floating hearts; your kids will flip out!
Experience ¡Viva Navidad! at Disney California Adventure.
The popular Disney ¡Viva Navidad!, part of Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure, offers lots of family fun, including a photo opportunity with the Three Caballeros, incredible food at Paradise Gardens and more. ¡Viva Navidad! culminates with Three Kings Day (Dia de los Reyes) Jan. 5-8, 2017.
Learn more in our exclusive video:
Meet Princess Elena of Avalor and see her show at Disney California Adventure.
Princess Elena, the first Disney Princess inspired by diverse Latin American cultures, performs in her very own daily holiday show, “Princess Elena’s Musical Grand Arrival” and even has a greeting location at Disney California Adventure at ¡Viva Navidad! in Paradise Gardens. See the show time schedule for details on her show and meet and greet times.
Take a rest and color at the coloring tables at the Festival of Holidays
Throughout the Festival Foods Marketplace in Disney California Adventure, young guests can color and make small crafts inspired by Diwali, the Eastern festival of lights, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and Three Kings Day.
Cookie decorating in Disney California Adventure.
At the Treats for Santa booth (located along the pathway leading towards Grizzly River Run if you’re waking from Ariel’s Under Sea Adventure), guests can purchase cookie decorating kits. These are a Disneyland Resort holiday staple for our family. (See the video at the end of the post showing just how far back our tradition goes.)
Learn more about great activities for kids at Disney California Adventure in our exclusive video with the park’s general manager!
No matter which activities you and your family experience during holiday time, the most important thing is that you are making memories and establishing family traditions you will treasure for a lifetime. When my boys have grown, our Disney holiday memories will always be nestled in my heart. I will forever see them as they were when they were toddling and rosy-cheeked in my mind’s eye.
This is my favorite Santa experience in 2008:
This is the most adorable Santa experience last year at Disney California Adventure:
And NOTHING can hold a candle to the first time my youngest son fell in love with Mickey at holiday time in 2010.
May you and yours have a wonderful holiday season full of happiness and cherished times together!
Thank you to the Disneyland Resort for providing my family and me with years of amazing access to the magic of the parks at holiday time.
Mickey’s Halloween Party is Disneyland’s hottest ticket of the year. Every Halloween, this special event quickly sells out. For annual passholders and frequent Disneyland visitors, Mickey’s Halloween Party is an incredible way to experience a “different Disneyland.” For others, Mickey’s Halloween Party offers families a slightly more economical way to fit a Disneyland visit into their schedule. While the party is already sold out for the 2016 season, the time is now to think ahead to 2017 and purchasing tickets as soon as they become available during the summer.
Here are my favorite spooktacular reasons you need to jump at the chance to go to Mickey’s Halloween Party.
If you are a family who struggles to fit Disneyland into your budget, Mickey’s Halloween Party may be an option when it comes to finding a way to fit in some Disney. The parties take place after Disneyland closes, which means party guests don’t get a full day in the park. They range in price from $79-99 and while the cost savings isn’t significant, every dollar counts when you’ve got kids to raise.
No lines for rides
Even if Halloween isn’t your “thing,” Mickey’s Halloween Party likely still is because there are hardly any lines for most of the rides (except for Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy). If you are looking for an opportunity to visit Disneyland be able to hit ride after ride without a long wait, this is the time for you.
Amazing photo opportunities
From Peter Pan and Captain Hook to Mickey and his pals in Halloween costumes, there are a ton of opportunities to get really amazing photos of the kids with characters–including many villains that you rarely get to see at Disneyland!
New for 2016 is the Frightfully Fun Halloween Parade. Just like everything Halloween-themed at Disneyland, it is “just scary enough” for the kids to think it’s spooky. The Haunted Mansion parade unit is absolutely outstanding.
Other Halloween Party entertainment includes the “Cadaver Dans.” Get it? They aren’t “dapper” anymore…
Perhaps most notable is Halloween Screams Fireworks, which is only shown during Mickey’s Halloween Party. From the music to the theming, it’s totally outstanding.
Special Halloween overlays for Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain
For the Halloween season, Space Mountain goes creepy and becomes Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy.
Each year for the Halloween and holiday seasons, the Haunted Mansion is taken over by Jack Skellington and his friends and becomes the wildly popular Haunted Mansion Holiday. (This holiday overlay remains in place through the Christmas season.)
Trick-or-treating: What Halloween event would be complete without trick-or-treating. Mickey’s Halloween Party offers treat trails throughout the park. It is important to note that the trails are most crowded at the beginning of the night; I recommend going trick-or-treating during or after the parade if your kids last that long. Also note that I have found treat trails in Tomorrowland and on Main Street to be much less crowded than others.
Thank you to the Disneyland Resort to hosting my family at the 2016 Mickey’s Halloween Party.