One of the things I was most looking forward to when we went to Disney World last year (and again when we went to Disneyland in June) was having a Dole Whip (pineapple soft serve if you’ve never had the opportunity to indulge), and I was also excited to discover that “Dole Whip Day” (which fell on July 20th) was a thing!
My love of all things Dole Whip, from the treats at the park to handbags to frozen treats at home, is fairly obvious:
I was also excited to discover that the recipe for “Growth Potion” in Alice In Wonderland: The Official Cookbook, which featured pineapple juice and cream soda, was the perfect drink for this year’s Dole Whip Day:
But the thing I was most excited about was that the Disney Parks blog “Disney Eats” section shared a recipe in the for Pineapple Cupcakes inspired by Dole Whips (yellow cupcakes filled with pineapple mousse and topped with pineapple buttercream frosting), like the ones they serve at the Contempo Café at Disney World’s Contemporary Resort! I was already planning on trying to recreate the recipe (without ever having actually tried one myself), but they made it so much easier for me! I am not exaggerating when I say these are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made…I don’t know how they compare to the ones served at the Contempo Café, but they’re amazing on their own!
This was such fun and delicious way to celebrate Dole Whip Day, and I’m looking forward to making them again!
We saved Disneyland for our second (and final) theme park…seeing the train station for the first time was just as much of a thrill as it was at Disney World!
We got to watch the welcome show that is held on the steps leading up to the station when the park opens. The characters (minus Donald and Daisy, sadly), were all were their beautiful Disney 100 costumes!
We decided to take care of two things at once, and rode the Disneyland Railroad (something I really wanted to do since its Disney World counterpart was closed last summer) to the back of the park (where we wanted to get coffee).
What I didn’t realize is that station was practically on top of “It’s a Small World!” So we rode that first thing, and I loved it (of course)!
We then made our way to the Alice in Wonderland area, where not only do they have the teacups (a different experience because in California, they’re fully out in the open), but a second Alice-themed ride as well. And we ran into Alice herself, plus, the Mad Hatter!
We also visited New Orleans, home of the Haunted Mansion and beignets, and also Princess Tiana!
We wanted to make sure we saw the Sword in the Stone and the Wishing Well, since we missed both of those things at Disney World. Sadly, none of us was worthy to remove the sword, but we did all get to make a wish!
We were lucky that the “Star Wars Month” events were still going on while we were, and Turkey and Bunny got to ride “Hyperspace Mountain.” While they did that, I walked around and took some pictures of the castle (and let a Disney photographer take a photo of me!). Not as grand as the Cinderella Castle, but still lovely!
We walked back to the castle when they were done, and I found someone to take our picture:
The Disney photographers also got some nice pictures of the three of us:
And then we headed over to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. I’m pretty sure there are some minor differences, but it felt pretty much the same as the Disney World version! We got to have ronto wraps for lunch, and do some shopping and sightseeing.
One of the things Turkey and Bunny were most looking forward to, though, was having another lightsaber building experience at Savi’s Workshop (especially since they updated the parts since last summer). It was pretty cool to just get to be an observer this time, and watch other people do the work!
We didn’t see the Mandalorian and The Child, but we did get to meet Boba Fett!
We didn’t get to go on Rise of the Resistance because it was either shut down or the line was two hours long or it closed early (that was probably the biggest regret of the whole trip), but we did go on Smuggler’s Run…I got to blow things up!
After that, we walked through Downtown Disney on our way to dinner. Of course we had to stop at the Lego Store and admire their creations:
I really like this beautiful floral display:
And then we went to the Disneyland hotel to have dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen…it was so much fun! (Full details to come…)
After our meal, we hopped on the monorail to get back to the park:
We rode Star Tours (always a fun experience), and then went in search of Dole Whips:
We were barely able to find a place to view the fireworks…the crowd was massive!
The park is open for a couple of hours after the fireworks, so we had time for a few more things. We were three minutes late for Rise of the Resistance, so we headed toward Runaway Railway, instead. I love how the line is set up like a museum dedicated to Mickey Mouse!
After that, Turkey and Bunny decided to ride the Matterhorn while I took care of what was left of our shopping, and took some more pictures:
We rode the teacups one more time, and even managed to get on Dumbo the Flying Elephant.
We shut the park down (which I would somewhat regret the next day), and didn’t get back to our hotel until about 12:30. It was really hard to get to sleep after all that excitement and knowing we had a full day of travel ahead of us!
This wraps our summer of fun Disney dinners, but I’m looking forward to trying (and retrying) recipes from our Disney cookbooks in the future, and I’ve already pre-ordered The Official Disney Parks Cookbook, which is scheduled to come out next February, so we’ll have even more new recipes to try!
I planned our eighth Disney Dinner to coordinate with a very special day…Dole Whip Day, something we were especially excited about since we had recently tried an actual Dole Whip! But first, the drink. I made Cinderella’s Midnight Magic Punch, which was delicious, pretty, and extra fun with the rock candy stirring rod!
The main course was Monte Cristo sandwiches with currant jelly sauce. I have wanted to make Monte Cristos for years, but the idea of it was always too intimidating. They really weren’t bad to make, though, and they were really, really delicious!
And in honor of Dole Whip Day, a “Frozen Pineapple Treat Inspired by Dole Whip.” I think we were all skeptical, because we liked the Dole Whip we had a the Magic Kingdom so much, and we knew it wouldn’t be quite the same, but we all agreed that it was a pretty decent facsimile!
This was an especially fun Disney Dinner because it included something we had actually tried on our trip…stay tuned for the next one, where the main course is a replica of a meal we had a Hollywood Studios!
Epcot is (I think) my favorite of the Disney theme parks, and we all had an amazing time at Hollywood Studios, but there’s something special about driving up to the Magic Kingdom:
And that first view of the Castle looking down Main Street USA is breathtaking!
While we were still near the entrance on Main Street, we saw some of our favorite storybook friends in a horse-drawn trolley:
We finally found ears at the Emporium Shop:
Our first stop (after buying ears) was at the Mad Tea Party. Bunny, in particular, was very excited about this classic ride!
While we were in the area, we also stopped for a snack at the Cheshire Cafe:
We tried the Cheshire Cat Tail (an amazing donut) and the All Mixed Up Slushy, which was wonderfully cold and refreshing:
As much as Bunny wanted to ride the teacups, that’s how much Chickadee wanted to ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant. I have to admit I was also really looking forward to this ride, because when I went to Disney World as a child, it was shut down due to storms right before it was my turn to get on, and I never got back to it.
We also saw some of the big parade on Main Street, but since we were planning on seeing it later in the day, I didn’t take any pictures of the floats (spoilers…we never saw it again). The reason we were back near the entrance? Ryan had scheduled a session with a Disney photographer, and we got a lot of great pictures!
We also caught a bit of the Dapper Dans act, which I really enjoyed!
At this point, we split up for a bit. There was no way I was going to go on Space Mountain again (my bad memory from my childhood trip to Disney), so I took those who weren’t interested in the roller coaster to instead ride the People Mover (which is a low-key favorite of mine) and the Astro Orbiter:
After we found each other again, we set out for the other side of the park, which meant we got to catch some of the show outside the castle along the way. I was especially excited to see Daisy Duck in her 50th anniversary outfit. (Chickadee was excited that characters from both Tangled and Frozen appeared in the show!)
We didn’t go on any rides in Adventureland, but we did have one Very Important Stop to make there, because I wasn’t leaving Disney without trying a Dole Whip. We also got a Dole Whip float, complete with Tiki sipper, for good measure!
While we waited for the parade that never took place (thank you afternoon storms) we tried a lobster roll from Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square
And then we headed to the Haunted Mansion. I wasn’t too interested in this one, so I was really surprised by how much I liked it! It wasn’t scary at all…just silly and fun!
Following the Haunted Mansion, we split up again for a bit…I took a jaunt to Disney’s First Aid (which is a really nice facility!) with a child who had irritated eyes due to the copious amounts of sunscreen we were wearing, while everyone else who wanted to took a ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This also gave me a chance to admire the castle from different angles!
We might have missed the big parade, but we did catch the Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade, and we learned that we were there for a very exciting event…Mirabel made her debut that day! (And did I mention that 6/26 is also “Stitch Day”? We were very excited to see Stitch join in the parade!)
After attending Mickey’s PhilharMagic, we of course had to ride the carousel:
We’ve had Mickey Bars at home, but our trip to Disney wouldn’t have been complete without sharing one at the park, too!
I think Fantasyland was my favorite, probably because it felt like what I imagine Europe feels like.
Even the back of the castle is pretty!
We took another walk down Main Street as the lights were starting to come on:
And Ladybug bought a “Banana Boom” at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, which she kindly shared with all of us (it was huge!).
We then claimed a spot to watch the fireworks…there’s something so special about seeing them over the castle!
The Magic Kingdom is open later than the other parks, so we didn’t have to leave right away. Instead, we rode the teacups again, and then took a ride on the Tomorrowland Speedway, which gave us a great view of Space Mountain all lit up:
One last look at the castle…I’m so glad we got to see it all dressed up for Disney World’s 50th anniversary!