Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Disneyland Fantasmic Dining Package ~ River Belle Terrace ~ Premium Upgrade

After being closed eighteen long months due to construction of Star Wars Galaxy Edge, Fantasmic! has returned to Disneyland. Also returning are chances to pay extra for access to reserved viewing areas.

There are currently several options, including dining at Blue Bayou or River Belle Terrace, as well as a Grab N Go meal from Hungry Bear. The cost per person as of this writing at Blue Bayou is $65 for adults, $25 per child, for River Belle Terrace it runs $45 per adult and $25 per child, and for the Grab N Go you'll be shelling out $29.99 per adult and $19.99 per child. Prices are before taxes and, for the table service restaurants, gratuity.

There is also an opportunity to upgrade the River Belle Terrace meal for an additional $15 per person. This choice has you arrive at 8:00 PM to be seated for your evening meal, then be able to stay seated for the show. I'm always a big fan of chairs at the end of a long Disney day, so this option appealed enough for me to give it a try.

Apparently tables are pre-assigned, so no need to show up early to try and get the perfect location.
There's a nice and varied menu to choose from,  a table top decoration to get you in the mood and a lanyard to take home.
The food is fine and standard fare for the restaurant, but the real star here is the dessert. Even though the Strawberry Shortcake might be more to your liking, how can you go to a Fantasmic! themed dinner and not have the special Maleficent Dragon dessert!? Complete with 'fire'. An added bonus is it's yummy. There is a different dessert at Blue Bayou, so if you're a foodie purist you'll have to go there as well.
Servers are attentive and kept drinks filled and plates promptly cleared.

As night falls you notice your decoration lights up. Added coolness.
All good so far. Now for the not so good.

The patio for dining at River Belle Terrace is somewhat elevated, but frankly not enough. There is a pathway to keep folks moving directly in front of the fencing.  It was very distracting to have the constant flow of people walking in front of me during the show, as well as the bright lights of the cast members waving them along.
Although the projections on the screens are much brighter and clearer, it seemed I was perfectly positioned between two of them so could see neither very well. I was seated at the very furthest table to the right, in the front row of tables, so maybe this made it all worse than being more center.
As you can see in the pictures, folks at the back of the viewing area do tend to block the view, as do trees, poles, show lights, etc. In an odd way, being so far back, made the action on the island seem quite far away.
Of course, you get to stay seated for the fireworks. You could not have better planted a giant tree to block the entire fireworks show more effectively if you'd tried. I saw virtually no fireworks except for a few elements that take place away from the castle, and just a hint of color at the top of the tree.

So, if you are really desperate for a chair during your Fantasmic! viewing, this is a great choice,. For pure views of the show (and fireworks after) you might want to try the regular option at River Belle, or the meal at Blue Bayou or the Grab N Go.










Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Disney Cooking with Kids Pooh Bear's Mini Honey Buns

Disney has released several cookbooks with simple kid size recipes. Although these aren't recipes of dishes served at Disney properties, making them can add a little Disney to your day. Wouldn't you rather have POOH Bear honey buns instead of just plain old ones?
This recipe comes from the Disney A Merry Christmas Cookbook.
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1 tube refrigerated biscuits
Preheat oven to 350. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

Place the butter in another small bowl and melt it in the microwave. Stir in the honey.
 Divide half of the mixture evenly among 8-10 cups of a standard muffin tin.

Separate the biscuits and roll each one into a rope. Coil each rope into a circle and pinch each end of the rope into the coil next to it so is secure (or else they will unravel).
Place each honey bun into a muffin tin cup, top with remaining honey mixture, and sprinkle evenly with brown sugar topping.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow them to cool completely before serving.
So easy for all ages, and Pooh-licious too!