Disneyland Resort Holiday Treatsby Lisa Stiglic, contributing writer
The holiday season has finally arrived at the Disneyland Resort. The 60-foot iconic tree sparkles on Main Street, dancing reindeer are rehearsed and ready for "A Christmas Fantasy" Parade, "it's a small world" holiday kids from around the world sing out "Jingle Bells," and the holiday menus have landed. This year's culinary confections are bigger and shinier than before, and to make sure we all gain the obligatory seven to ten pounds this season, Disney California Adventure debuted Festival of Holidays, which includes the Festive Foods Marketplace. Since we only have eight weeks to ensure we find all the delicious delights available, I popped in last week to check the list of the resort's offerings.
First up are what I deem the Disneyland Resort staples. Since there are bakeries in both parks and in Downtown Disney, several items are readily available for a quick pick-up to satisfy a holiday sweet tooth, including gingerbread and shortbread cookies, festive red and green cupcakes, gourmet apples, holiday crispies, and seasonal fudge. Pooh's Corner in Critter Country, the bakery on Main Street, Disney California Adventure's Trolley Treats, and Downtown Disney's Marceline's Confectionery, all offer varieties of these grab-and-go goodies, and several dining locations carry the seasonal cookies and holiday crispies.
And, if you're on your way out but want some goodies to take, there are plenty of seasonal-themed products including cookies and candy all boxed up and ready to go.
Next on the list are the Disneyland specific holiday finds. Throughout the calendar year, Disneyland incorporates its culinary offerings with seasonal infusions — berries for spring, pumpkin for Halloween and Thanksgiving, and lots of candy cane varieties for December. In New Orleans Square, the candy cane version of the fan favorite Mickey Mouse beignet is now available, but I recommend ordering early as the line to the Mint Julep Bar can get long quickly. Nearby in Frontierland, Stage Door Cafe has its version of a holiday funnel cake.
Back on Main Street, Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe offers up its own take of seasonal delights including fun holiday pastries.
Across the hub at Plaza Inn, the seasonal yule log is now available (but only after noontime) and, not to be outdone, Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlour adds some holiday cheer with red and green sprinkles on the chocolate dipped waffle cones.
If you find yourself spending the day in Disney California Adventure, seasonal specialties are plentiful there as well. Besides the aforementioned bakery staples, Clarabelle's Hand Scooped Ice Cream (adjacent to Trolley Treats on Buena Vista Street) offers their famous hand-dipped ice cream bars with a special topping—crushed candy canes. If you like mint and dark chocolate, this is a must.
But, the big present in Disney California Adventure this holiday season is the debut of the Festive Foods Marketplace, which is part of the Festival of Holidays. The small, holiday-themed bungalows are scattered throughout the park, mostly along the festival corridor from Buena Vista Street to the Paradise Pier area. More than a dozen of these pop-up eateries offer food and drink, including a few that cater to the sweet tooth.
Yuletide Yummies is stationed in front of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure and offers a luscious array of sweets including eggnog cheesecake and mocha yule log. Closer to Grizzly Peak, the festival food find Treats for Santa has cookies galore. If you have smaller guests with you, this is the stop to make—it is the headquarters for guests to decorate their own cookies with the Mickey Snowman Cookie Decorating Kit ($7.50). Make sure to visit Santa next door in the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.
So you've found some great goodies at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, but what would a holiday trip to the Disneyland Resort be without a collector's item? This year there are two must-haves—the Santa Mickey popcorn bucket and the Elf Mickey Stein.
Another take-home favorite item is Boudin Bakery's holiday-inspired, sourdough bread loaves. I stopped in at the Pacific Wharf Cafe and spoke with a cast member who informed me that during the week leading up to Thanksgiving, and on Thanksgiving Day, a turkey-shaped loaf will be available. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving and up until Christmas Eve, a candy cane and Christmas tree version will be for sale. If you are one of the brave who ventures out to the Disneyland Resort on Christmas Day, you'll be able to purchase a one-of-a-kind loaf that day only.
Saving the best for last, we arrive at the Disneyland Resort holiday treat show-stopper—the handmade candy canes. The candy canes are such a popular item now that the resort has had to issue wristbands for those guests seeking these heavenly sweets. Specific dates have been released regarding these freshly-made items. You can find out more information at MousePlanet.com by clicking on the Disneyland Resort Update, or by calling the Disneyland Candy Cane hotline at 714-781-0112.
The seasonal goodies are prepped and ready for guests to enjoy for the next two months so make sure you stop by and try a few... or a few dozen. Happy Holidays!