Saturday, September 14, 2013

Trip Report: Disney California Adventure

Over on the other side of the Disneyland Resort, we ran into this resident of Buena Vista Street; it was the first time I'd seen her in person, and the dog was quite convincing. I hope that these characters are kept, as they add quite a bit to Buena Vista Street's atmosphere and keep it from being just another retail opportunity.

From another decade, Mrs. Incredible was out in the Hollywood section of DCA, showing off her spandex-enclad bod.

We had all but melted into a pool of sweat by this time, so we ducked into the Art of Animation Building. Turtle Talk with Crush was about to start, and it seemed as good as any of the other choices we had.

Waiting for the show to start, I was able to admire one of the custom light fixtures above.

If you've never experienced the Turtle Talk with Crush show, it really is a lot of fun.

Mainly for the kids though, it still provides a few chuckles for the adults.

Crush actually talks to the audience; how it all works, I have no idea, but I am guessing that the guy voicing Crush is one heck of a quick thinker, adept at doing comedy improv.

Another way to get rid of the sweat is to feel the breeze while riding California Screamin'. This attraction provides some of the best views of DCA...if you can stop screaming long enough to enjoy them!

Dinner was at Steahouse 55, located inside the Disneyland Hotel. This place is a real hidden gem, although judging by the amount of people dining there that evening, it's not so hidden anymore! Again, it's all about the details, such as the light fixtures.

And the fresh florals.

And the vintage photos of Golden Age Hollywood celebrities hob-nobbing at the restaurants and clubs of yesteryear. These help set the mood of Steakhouse 55. This one has Rosemary Clooney, José Ferrer, and Marlene Dietrich.

My pork chop was delicious, cooked just right.

Some of the desserts we ordered included this creative spin on a Root Beer Float:

and a decadent 24-layer chocolate cake:

The service here is VERY warm and friendly without being forced, and attentive without being overbearing. Whoever does the training for wait staff at the hotel restaurants should be helping out at the restaurants in the parks. I would have a hard time believing that they go through the same training.

Another beautiful floral display in the entryway:

This was the first race that I didn't stay in a Disney Hotel. I waited too long to book it, and the only one left was the Grand Californian. Since I couldn't justify $400+/night, I stayed at the Hotel Menage, which boasts one of the best locations for the race at its Harbor Blvd./Ball Road address.

The feel of the hotel is somewhat club-like; sleek, minimalist, and fairly chic. The rooms are good sized with comfortable beds and very clean.

Some of the fabulous views include the TDA Building:

The pool at night:

The one drawback is the noise. The rooms are not very well soundproofed, and at night, you can hear the live music at the pool as well as the booming fireworks from the park. If you are a light sleeper, this might not be the place for you. Otherwise, highly recommended.

That's it for my most recent park report. Hope you enjoyed!

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K. Martinez said...

The better restaurants are definitely at the Disney hotels and Downtown Disney. Still Disneyland and DCA are well above other U.S. theme parks when it comes to the food. By the way, how were the green beans in image 13? They’re out of focus being in the background, but they look delicious.

I used to stay at the Disneyland Hotel when it was owned by Wrather, but since I only use lodging for sleep these days, I can't justify the prices for an on-property hotel. I've found that turning on the air conditioning unit for the white noise usually blocks out most exterior noise.

Nice post today. I really enjoy it when you cover the Disney hotel restaurants on your blog. Thanks!

Daveland said...

The green beans had bacon; need I say more?

K. Martinez said...

Perfect! I thought that was green beans & bacon. That's one of my favorite side dishes to have during the holidays.