Tuesday, November 15, 2016

ready or not, the holidays are a-comin'

i know it's really early.  but based on how early we celebrated halloween at disneyland this year - more than a full month before the actual day - i guess heading out to kick off the holiday season before mid-november kind of makes sense.  not to mention, there's already christmas music on the radio (which is now all we're listening to in the car) and the hub and the old lady are itching to start decorating now.  their reasoning makes sense, though...we always complain that the season goes by way too fast.  so if we start celebrating a little early, we'll definitely get our fill.  right?  right??

the girls and i headed down to disneyland to check out all of the fun stuff they've got going on this year.  we were particularly interested in checking out the "festival of holidays," a twist on their food & wine festival from a few months back plus multicultural performances and parades and such.  i mean, who doesn't love tasting delicious morsels from around the country?



we knew it was going to be busy, since it was the first weekend of festivities.  and so we went with the mindset of "let's go and eat some stuff, ride a couple of rides and maybe, finally, catch the new frozen show."  the first place we went was to grab a fastpass for "tower of terror," which we're trying to ride as much as possible before it shuts down in january for its transformation into a "guardians of the galaxy" ride.


i got the bean to stop for a second in front of the gigantic christmas tree to do a fun little side-by-side with an old photo i remembered taking a few years ago - 2012, to be exact.


and we took a cheesy group shot, because why not?


there's a sneak peek of the upcoming movie "moana" at the bug's land theater.  we're really excited to see it, and after seeing the teaser we're more than ready for it to come out so we can see the whole thing.


our fastpass time for "tower" came pretty quickly.



we picked up a christmas ornament in the gift shop afterwards.  i was kind of tempted to pick up this pair of readers...but i managed to hold myself back.


with a solid hour before showtime, there was already quite a line waiting to get inside the hyperion theater for "frozen."  but because we really wanted to see it and weren't really itching to do anything else in particular, we sucked it up and joined the group waiting for the orchestra section of the theater.  the time actually went by pretty quickly, and our patience paid off with some really great seats with no one behind us and a pretty awesome view of the stage.


during some parts of the show, the performers would enter the theater from the doors to our left and come parading down the aisle right behind us.  it was kind of fun to feel like we were all up in the mix.  and although most of us are pretty tired of all things "frozen" after being bombarded with it over the last couple of years, i have to say - the show is pretty spectacular.  it's long - just over an hour - but it's really well done.  if you get a chance to see it, keep an eye out for elsa's costume change during "let it go."  it was our favorite part of the whole show.

by then, we were pretty hungry and ready to hit up the kiosks for some grub.




from the "heritage cottage," we tried the braised beef short rib with mashed potatoes and the vanilla rice pudding.  both were super delicious.


at the asian-themed "good fortune's feast" kiosk, we opted for the adobo pork bao, smoked duck and vegetable spring roll and the winter mint milk tea.




the old lady was the only one who liked that tea.  the bean and i took one sip each and were like "oh...that's all you."  heh.

we headed to "mistletoe morsels" to have some holiday swedish meatballs (just like ikea, ha!) and the holiday eggnog cocktail.


the bean sat down and did a little paper weaving at the craft table while we tried to drink that cocktail.  it was super duper strong, and reminded us that no, we really DON'T like eggnog.  blech.


from "winter sliderland" the bean wanted to try the kalua pork slider and the praline & bourbon whoopie pie.  she enjoyed every morsel of that slider, but we all agreed that the whoopie pie wasn't their best.  it was like eating a pancake...kinda weird and not all that great.  hey, you can't win 'em all, right?


there was lots of entertainment around the pier area...live music, dancers, guys on stilts.



we went to one last kiosk - "yuletide yummies" - so that the old lady could have the gingerbread bundt cake with orange-vanilla sauce and the bean could try the frozen chocolate milk that had caught her eye before.


the bean had a ton of energy to burn off, and so we took her to redwood creek to do a little running around.


this year, this is where you can find santa for a meet & greet and photo op.  but by the time we were ready to go over and say hello, the line was pretty long.  and so we decided to wait until next time and started to make our way towards the exit.

but of course, we found one last thing to do before we could leave - a special annual pass holders-only area. 


to be honest, there wasn't much there. we received a festival button - this is the only design that will be given through the holiday season - took a photo, and there was a coloring table for the kids. 



there's a kiosk with special festival-themes souvenirs too:


and our final stop was in one of the shops on buena vista street. the bean had a gift card that was positively burning a hole in her pocket, and she'd been eyeing a pair of new earrings. it's already been six weeks since she got her ears pierced, and she's been dying to switch them out for a little disney magic. 


and then she was really excited to buy her sister an early christmas present with her own money. 


it was definitely a successful disney day all the way around. 
 
 
 

 
 
 

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