The lights and sparkles of the Winter Holidays have returned to Disney Parks. From the moment you walk through the gates, the sights and sounds are celebrating all the joy and wonder surrounding this time
of the year. Starting from around the second week of November and extending until January 9th , Disney Parks offer new foods and dress up many of their attractions in recognition of the many December
traditions. Here are the highlights from my latest solo trip to the Parks.
Let me start with the food. Returning to California Adventures this season is the Festival of Holidays; an array of booths along the main path that encircles the park. Each booth has food and drink themed based on a region or tradition from around the world. You can purchase individual sized servings from booths individually or pick up a Sip Savor pass for 8 coupons good to exchange at any booth for any of the non-alcoholic offerings. Since I was running a solo trip, I had to walk the booths a couple of time before making a final choice. Pro tip: bring friends and everyone can enjoy more tasty treats together!
My first stop was at the Winter Wonders booth for a bowl of their Pumpkin Soup. It was perfect for warming up from the inside while standing at the outdoor tables. A creamy pumpkin base enriched with maple cashew cream and garnished with pepita seeds. While very rich, it doesn’t leave a heavy feeling. I also picked up a cute souvenir mug filled with pomegranate lemonade.
My second stop was at the A Twist on Traditions booth for the Black Forest Yule Log. First, let me disclose that I’m not a huge fan of chocolate and I was mostly intrigued by how adorable the cake was. I was not expecting to love how light and flavorful this cake was from the very first bite. I was wowed by the creamy frosting and semi sweet chocolate cake combination. The bits of fruit inside the very center added a burst of sweetness. The leaf was a nice little bit of melt away candy. The mushroom is pure sugar, and while absolutely adorable, was not very tasty.
My last must have to try treat recommendation comes from Disneyland. It is peppermint candy cane ice cream season! Sadly, they ran out before I could have some, so I had to make do with a double chocolate chip mint served in a waffle cone coated in chocolate and delicious candy cane bits. Lesson learned: always get the peppermint ice cream before any other food in the park.
Now a trip to Disneyland in winter isn’t complete without taking a holiday themed tour around the globe riding It’s A Small World. Outside, the topiary animals are drenched in holiday lights adding a whimsical toy like glow to the Small World ride’s gift box exterior. Every 15 minutes there is a lively little performance as the clock counts away the day. Inside the ride, all the familiar faces are dressed up in celebration of regional traditions and sing together a multilingual mash up of Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls and the original Small World theme. It may take a few rides to spot all the little details and nods to the dozens of countries through the many regions. Oh, and don’t forget, you can spot many of your favorite characters from various movies set in each part of the world. My personal favorite is Lilo and Stitch in the South Pacific segment.
In closing, I wish everyone the very best as we close the year out in celebrations and traditional observances. I’ll be returning next year with new adventures and reporting on the next seasonal and