Monday, June 30, 2014

Disneyland's Jolly Holiday Bakery

This is not only a Sweet Treat Monday.  This is a Matterhorn Monday...

...or rather, a Matterhorn Macaroon Monday!

This adorable Disney dessert can be found at the adorable Jolly Holiday Cafe and Bakery at Disneyland in California!

Mary Poppins + a Bakery + Cute Penguins + Tasty Treats = PERFECTION.

Just look at that weather's Mary!

And out front there's a charming courtyard with lights and trees and tables.


Some detail shots - I loved the cheerful yellow building, the hedges separating the seating from the street, and the elegant umbrellas!

The tables and the chairs look spit spot and very proper...I feel sure Mary would approve!

But before we sit down and get comfy, let's go in and place our order!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Empty Magic Kingdom Morning: Disney Snob Secrets

The Magic Kingdom is my favorite park - and while I love it at all times and all seasons, there is one particular time to experience it that is unlike any other:  before opening.  When it's empty.

It's like stepping into Wonderland - you feel like the only person in the park!

Instead of the hustle and bustle of crowds and strollers and photopass photographers and balloon hawkers, it's just you and an empty Main Street and that castle!


You will probably feel the need to stop and dance in front of the castle.  You will most certainly feel like the park belongs entirely to you. ;)

So how does one enjoy an empty Magic Kingdom before opening?  This is no private tour or fancy access.  All you fellow Disney Snobs have probably already guessed the answer: make an early ADR at one of the restaurants!

Two words: Crystal. Palace.  Or you could go with three words: Cinderella's Royal Table.  But those words are a little more expensive, so we usually go with Crystal Palace. ;)  These two Magic Kingdom restaurants open at 8am, an hour before the park does.  You simply find a cast member at the turnstiles, let them know your reservation details, and you're allowed inside to get to your meal before the rest of the crowds!


There's lots to love about the Crystal Palace just by itself - puffed french toast, amazing scones, friends from the Hundred Acre Wood.  But I think the best part of an early Crystal Palace breakfast is the walk there through the deserted park...

Friday, June 27, 2014

Summertime Friday Finds

I've got some Friday pixie dust, friends - some sweet cupcakes, pretty hammocks, clever shows, and summer-y tunes:

1. Loved Rachel's recent cupcake find on Love and Sushi.  That Minnie playset is simply too cute - with the bows on top of the cupcakes!

2. Have you seen the new Frozen cupcakes at the Main Street Bakery?  I've seen Olaf apples and other treats, so I love that he has a snowman cupcake now!

3. Anthropologie has a summer hammock post on their store blog.  How pretty and colorful is that fringe?  Love it!

4. I introduced my mom and brothers to the show Sherlock, and now they're hooked!  We've just been rewatching season 3 and laughing hysterically at Watson's bachelor party.  Do you have an international reputation? ;)

5. Confession: Alan Jackson's It's Five O' Clock Somewhere has been my summer anthem lately...which is silly because I don't really drink, I just love that song! ;) And the music video is so sweet and summery and fun too - those bartender tricks!

Don't forget to catch up on this week's posts...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Disney Trivia: Big and Blue

This week's trivia photo is from the Disney universe at large...

Do you know where in the world you'll find this big blue guy rocking out?  Who is he??  Share your guess in the comments!

Last week's entrance sign and palm trees, as many of you recognized, is from the parking lot of Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Disneyland Paradise Pier Hotel Review

There are three official Disney hotels at Disneyland Resort in California - the Disneyland Hotel, the Grand Californian Hotel, and the Paradise Pier.  We've had a quick tour of the Grand Californian lobby, but today we're going to have an in-depth look at one of the others...


This hotel is located right across the street from Disney's California Adventure and has a vibe to match the Paradise Pier area of the park.  The theming is not quite on the same level as other Disney resorts, but there is a Goofy in the lobby!

Here's the Front Desk area...notice the sun in the woodwork.  He's everywhere at the Paradise Pier!

There's a Guest Services desk off to one side of the lobby as well.


The hotel lobbies at Walt Disney World are one of my favorite spots to just hang out and relax with a book - unfortunately the Paradise Pier has a very basic layout and isn't really one of those sort-of spaces.  There are some booths and benches stretching off down the hallway between the gift shop and the cafe though...


Mickey in Paradise is the gift shop, and there's a quick service type eatery called the Surfside Lounge.  At the far end of the lobby hallway is the PCH Grill which has a character breakfast.

There are only four elevators for fifteen floors, and there can be a back-up sometimes.  If you're staying club level, there are stairs going up to the second floor, where the lounge is, so you can skip the elevators.

This isn't as immersive as other Disney properties, but there are still plenty of details to take in - all the festive artwork reminded me of the Boardwalk Resort!

Instead of just a kid's area there's a kid's tv room with a Sleeping Beauty sand castle!

"Mickey's Beach" Fitness Center has a Mickey-shaped window in the door!

One of the most convenient things about staying here is your proximity to the parks.  If you're walking to the main turnstiles, you'll exit behind the Paradise Pier on the parking garage side and walk between the palm trees and the Disneyland hotel to get to the Downtown Disney area.


You cut through Downtown Disney, and soon you'll be seeing those iconic gates!  If you want to take a shortcut to Disney's California Adventure, though, you'll want to go out the front entrance and cross the street to the Grand Californian.

Guests from all three Disneyland hotels are welcome to use the Grand Californian's entrance to DCA - you do need to show a room key for your party.  Sometimes - especially at opening - the turnstiles can back up a bit, but the line does move quickly.

Definitely get up early and take advantage of the extra magic hours resort guests get!  The parks were dead for that first hour...way more quiet than a Walt Disney World park would be for a resort EMH.  Probably because there are only three hotels-worth of guests instead of twenty-three!


When you're inside Disney's California Adventure Park, you can see the bulk of the Paradise Pier rising up just across the way - very fun!  And there are theme park could watch World of Color from your room!  You can catch glimpses of the nighttime shows elsewhere in the hotel too, as we'll get to in a minute.

The first thing I had to do when we arrived was catch a glimpse of the park.  I walked down to the far end of the third floor terrace (where the pool is) to find this:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Disney Cruise Dining: Royal Palace Dinner

Welcome to another Sweet Treat Monday, my friends!  Ready for some new Disney deliciousness?

This week we're setting sail on the Disney Dream cruise ship to have a look at the regal decor and dainty delicacies at the Royal Palace Restaurant!

The Royal Palace is one of the table service restaurants that you'll visit during your cruise dinner rotation, along with Animator's Palate and the Enchanted Garden.

This is the one where they serve the bread in a pumpkin carriage...

...and there are princes and princesses EVERYWHERE.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Happy Wear Your Lilly Day!

Happy First Day of Summer, everybody!  And also...


Happy National Wear Your Lilly Pulitzer Day!!  Wear Your Lilly Day?  What's that, you say?

It's to celebrate the first day of summer - and apparently there are lots of fun things going on in the stores.  I wish I could be heading to the mall today - but just earlier this week we got to stop by King of Prussia, and the smiling summer colors in the window of the Lilly store were too much to resist. :)


This is my kind-of store...lots of pretty colors and patterns, plenty of pink!


Even the dressing rooms are adorable, and there's a pink giraffe painted on the wall.  That's just awesome.


I generally associate Lilly Pulitzer with sleeveless sheath dresses, and while I love their pretty patterns, y'all know I'm a swirly skirt sort-of dress snob. ;)  But there was quite a variety of styles in the store - did you know they even have a children's line?  I love that dress in the middle...makes me want to go on another Disney Cruise!

Soon my steps turned to the sale area...

All the racks were bursting with stylish much pretty!

There were even dresses with SLEEVES.  I was so excited.  Those lacy ones looked like something straight out of the closet of the Duchess of Cambridge!  Often enough when I go shopping I come home empty-handed...I like to wait for a style that's exactly right.  But I had good luck that day - I found two snobalicious dresses!

Feeling fancy with my Lilly bag - I LOVE it when stores have a really pretty shopping bag.  As we were leaving, my mom noticed the sign in the window, that June 21st is Wear Your Lilly Day.  "You'll have to wear your dress on Saturday!" she said.  So I am!


I don't usually do sleeveless, but I made an exception for this dress - the style and the neckline and the print were just right - it's so summery and cheerful!  AND it had pockets.  Perfection.


While we were taking these photos this morning, my brother Athos came over with an incredible Imperial moth he had found.  So we decided to include it in the fashion "look."

Moths are all the rage in Paris this season, didn't you know?

Will you be wearing Lilly today?  Share your summer shopping stories in the comments! :)

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