Jullie & Chelsea: SoCal Day 2 | Disneyland

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Our SoCal recap continues! Matching t-shirts. Matching birthday buttons. Yup. Jullie and Chelsea take Disneyland! (Oh, and a little tip? You don’t need to wait in a ginormous line at City Hall to get your buttons. Most shops all over the park have them at the cash register. You just have to ask!)

Traveling together was really awesome. Both of us are veterans when it comes to Disney vacations, so there wasn't any pressure or “we have to do this” situations. We know what we like to do, ride, and see, and those are the things that we put at the top of our list when planning our trip.


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The weather was pretty much perfect the weekend we visited. Warm, sunny, and ideal for dining outdoors at Carnation CafĂ©! When you’re strolling down Main Street, getting some shopping done, you HAVE to check out this classic Disneyland restaurant! Carnation Cafe has become a Caparas family favorite for breakfast or lunch, but this time around, it was also Chelsea’s first visit.

A few things we ordered were the Main Street Cheeseburger, the Roasted Turkey Sandwich, and the Chef’s Vegan Burger. While the cheeseburger and turkey sandwich were both great (yay crispy fries!), the vegan burger left a little to be desired. It was unexpectedly spicy (we had a good laugh when Chelsea had to scrape off some of the sauce), and the beans and veggies in the patty had an odd texture. Not bad, but probably won't be a repeat order in the future.



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After lunch on Main Street, you can head on over to Adventureland and grab a Dole Whip for dessert! The perfect sweet treat on a hot and sunny day!  Actually, the Adventureland-to-New Orleans Square stretch is probably the best (aka my favorite) section in the entire park.

Post-Dole Whip devouring, you can take in a show at the Enchanted Tiki Room, go for a ride on Indiana Jones Adventure, climb Tarzan’s Treehouse, sail with the Pirates of the Caribbean, or even tour a Haunted Mansion…Before you know it, you’ll have worked up an appetite all over again!

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A couple of underrated dining spots in the park include Harbour Galley, across from Haunted Mansion, and Hungry Bear Restaurant, tucked away in Critter Country by Splash Mountain. Harbour Galley serves delicious lobster rolls with seasoned kettle chips, and I LOVE that they load this sandwich up with plenty of lobster. Other reasons to stop here, though, are for the waterfront ambience and the up-close view of the Sailing Ship Columbia. The ship is currently docked while undergoing some enhancements, so diners at Harbour Galley can sit at one of the small tables available nearby and just enjoy the view!

For dessert, we recommend checking out Hungry Bear’s latest addition: the churro funnel cake! Churros are another famous Disneyland treat, but this funnel cake is a nice little twist on the classic. Fried dough, dusted in cinnamon sugar and topped with gooey caramel sauce and rich whipped cream. All I have to say is YUM!

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Later, we stopped by the Mark Twain Riverboat to take some photos (selfies included, of course), but we also loved that the boat was still open for park guests! Half of the Rivers of America waterfront is closed off for construction right now, so the boat is docked. BUT, they've added tables and chairs on each level for extra seating, and there's even a live band. This is now a fun spot to get out of the sun, relax your feet after a long day of walking, enjoy the music...

And speaking of selfies...how great are these shirts?! I saw them when I was in Disneyland last June during the 60th Anniversary but they didn't have a size small ANYWHERE! Luckily, this time around, there were smalls in abundance, and we were able to get matching t-shirts to commemorate our trip! (Quick shopping tip: What do you do if you find something you like, but the store doesn't have your size in stock? And they can't locate one anywhere else in the parks/resorts? Let a cast member in the store know, and they'll give you a phone number to call. They'll find the item for you and ship it directly to your home. *Shipping fees may apply.)

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And finally...a place we both love and adore? Cafe Orleans! We knew when we planned this trip that our last dinner had to be here! It just has such great atmosphere, right in the middle of New Orleans Square, and the food is always delicious! They've also made a few changes to the menu since the last time I was here, so I was excited to check out the updates.

The seafood crepe has been replaced with a braised beef crepe, and they now serve a chicken muffaletta sandwich! I couldn't help but still order one of my favorite items, the Crescent City Salad with Pan-Seared Salmon, but Chelsea ordered the new Fried Green Tomato Sandwich! This actually used to be served at Hungry Bear Restaurant, but it's now moved on over to Cafe Orleans. The sandwich is filled with breaded and fried tomato and zucchini, pickled slaw, and cajun remoulade, all on a potato roll and served with fresh fruit or housemade chips!


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Just around the corner from Cafe Orleans is the train station. Before, we used to love hopping on for a post-meal ride and relaxing while going all around the park. However...The Disneyland Railroad isn't making any grand circle tours right now and won't be for a while (again...thanks, Star Wars Land construction), but the New Orleans Square Station is still open for viewing, with a bonus! You can now head across the tracks and get up close and personal with the telegraph office and the set that you don't normally get to see when you're riding on the train.

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This is really cool. According to the conductor, this boiler hasn't been “on stage” since the 1960’s. They believe that this baby is Boiler Number 2 of the Disneyland Railroad. If that's the case, Walt worked on and operated it himself on Disneyland’s opening in 1955. There's also an interactive feature here, where you can pull on a rope to hear the steam whistle.

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This was honestly one of my favorite experiences in the park. I don't know about everyone else, but over the last couple of years, I've noticed a definitive shift in the atmosphere of Disneyland where younger cast members are concerned. I feel like with the newbies, they aren't as committed to the magic that everyone associates with a trip to the Disneyland Resort. But I have to say, the gentlemen working the New Orleans Square Station were really top notch. Not only were they really involved in what they were doing, but they seemed to be having a great time talking about the different aspects of the station. One of them called Walt, “Uncle Walt” and I about died from cuteness. 

We're so glad we were FINALLY able to do a Disney trip together and visit some of our favorite spots. We hope you enjoyed our recommendations and tips and that you get the chance to check them out soon too! Stay tuned for the final part of our SoCal recap...California Adventure (plus an extra non-Disney gem) coming up next!