Friday, July 15, 2011

Electronica and Flynn's Arcade

Electronica is a nightime party in DCA that was originally started for the movie Tron 3-D, but with all the construction going on, it appears that it has been extended indefinitely.
They have a show that takes place in front of the bathrooms along Hollywood Blvd.
Then there is Mr. Diva's favorite part -- Flynn's Arcade. They play 80's music and you get to play 80's arcade games to your hearts delight.
Here is Mr. Diva playing Pole Position
Space Invaders!
Punch Out!
This is a typical scene in Flynn's Arcade.
Middle-aged men reliving their childhood/teen years.
Frogger! (this always makes me think of Seinfeld)
Ms. Pacman!
Mr. Diva almost got 1st place on this one. Missed it by a hair.
Check out the line for the Tron game!
Donkey Kong
My Mom's favorite 80's video game - Asteroids!
Gauntlet -- it's a better game if you place against someone.
They have lots of places to get drinks with weird glowing ice cubes.
And they have a guy who does a cool laser show.
And dancers in cages.
And DJ's
And this Tron motorcycle thing that is outside
the Muppet theater where they show Tron 3-D.

And that's it! If you have a few minutes on an evening
at the Disneyland Resort, check out Electronica.

Cafe Orleans - New Orleans Square

Cafe Orleans is one of the eateries in New Orleans Square. I am not a big fan of the restaurants in New Orleans Square because I don't like gumbo, red beans and rice or Cajun spices. We did decide to try Cafe Orleans on the recommendation of one of our foodie friends.
I do have to admit that there is always a line and it is always packed. In a recent renovation of Pirates and the Blue Bayou restaurant, they also moved the entrance to Cafe Orleans to the opposite side of the restaurant near the French Market restaurant, which was a good move, because it was always way too crowded on the other side with people exiting Pirates and waiting for the Blue Bayou as well as waiting for Cafe Orleans.

The menu is fairly simple. We were there to try the Monte Cristo Sandwiches and garlic fries.
I got the three cheese Monte Cristo. I have to say that I am not a fan of the sweet with my savory sandwich. I would have liked it better with no powdered sugar and a savory sauce instead of a berry sauce. It was VERY rich! I could only finish one piece.
The garlic fries were fantastic!
Mr. Diva got the traditional Monte Cristo with the cheese, turkey and ham. I tried a piece of his and I liked it better than the three cheese. It was still very rich though. We decided we would split one if we got them again. And my statement about mixing the sweet and savory still applies. I didn't like the powdered sugar on my sandwich.
All in all, it was a pretty good lunch, but I recommend splitting it with a friend or loved one.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Main Street USA - Little Known Facts

Main Street USA! Every visitor's first taste of Disney magic. It starts with this amazing view of the trains station. If that doesn't say welcome, I don't know what does!

Main Street USA was inspired by Walt's home town of Marcelline, Missouri. When he started planning Disneyland, Imagineer Harper Goff showed Walt some pictures of his home town of Fort Collins, Colorado around the turn of the 19th century, and Walt like it. So Main Street USA is part Marcelline, part Fort Collins, and a lot of Harper Goff's and Walt Disney's imaginations.

These cannons in the main hub were actually used by the French Army in the 1800's but were never used in battle.

In the Opera House, which houses Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, also showcases this amazing caenstone sculpture by French artist George Lloyd. He sculpted it in 1932 and gave it to Walt Disney in 1962. It was placed in the Opera House in 1965 with the opening of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

Walt Disney had an apartment built above the Firehouse on Main Street. Whenever he was in the park, he turned on a light to let employees know he was present. A light now burns in the window all the time as a tribute to Walt.

The gas lamps on Main Street are antique gas burning lamps from the 1800's. Most of the lamps were purchased by imagineer Emile Kuri from Baltimore, Maryland and installed them in the park in 1955.

This cigar store indian harkens back to a time when trade stores were recognized by a symbol - barber shop poles, scissor for tailors and Native Americans were associated with tobacco products since they were given credit for introducing tobacco to Europeans. When Disneyland first opened, the stores that are now music stores actually sold tobacco, and since Main Street is supposed to represent an all-American town around the turn of the 20th century, the cigar store indian was set out front as a symbol. It's still there, even through the tobacco store is long gone.

The Plaza Inn is one of our favorite places to eat. The building has some interesting things about it -- It is one of the original restaurants from the opening of Disneyland in 1955, and was originally called the Red Wagon Inn. It was one of Walt's favorite restaurants in the park. It has some actual antique furnishings and decorations from the 1800's and the stained glass ceiling and woodwork from the old St. James home in Los Angeles. It is said that Lillian Disney had a big part in the decor of the Plaza Inn. She loved antiques!Probably one of the icons of Main Street is the Partners statue, sculpted by Blaine Gibson and was originally installed in WDW, but this copy was installed in main hub in Disneyland in 2001. It is a lovely addition to the central passage way of Disneyland and epitomizes the feeling of Walt when he said, "I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse."

Carnation Cafe and a chef named Oscar.

The Carnation Cafe is certainly one of our favorite places to eat in Disneyland. We love their breakfast and lunch menus. Below are some pictures of our favorite meals and our favorite places to sit in the cafe.

This is the Oscar Special and it is one of our favorites for breakfast.

This is Chef Oscar. He has been working at the Disneyland Resort for 55 years!! He has some great stories to tell too.

Mr. Diva and Oscar chatted quite a bit on our last trip to Disneyland. We were sitting in one of our favorite little corner spots by the double doors. Chef Oscar told us that when they expand the cafe next year that he may be retiring. If that if true, it will be a very sad day for us!!

This is another favorite breakfast, the Breakfast Croissant with an Iced Coconut Latte.

And we are sitting at our favorite spot next to the window in the back. I love sitting by that window. In September when we came in to the cafe for lunch, it was empty but for one couple and they seated us here. Then we noticed that one of the other two people in the cafe was DICK VAN DYKE! I didn't take a picture or stalk him, but it was a huge thrill!

Now for lunch, Mr. Diva likes the French Dip Sandwich and fruit.

I like the Loaded Baked Potato Soup with fruit and of course...and Iced Coconut Latte.

That's right, we score our favorite spot again!

Now tell me you aren't going to order the Loaded Baked Potato Soup and an Iced Coconut Latte the next time you're there. It looks scrumptious doesn't it??

Chef Oscar can ususally be found hanging out on the weekends.
As you can see -- I never veer from something that is a winnner!

If you ask nicely, Chef will sign a copy of the Loaded Baked Potato Soup recipe for you.
This was on a girls day at the parks and he sat down with us and chatted for about a half an hour and then signed our recipes.
We love the Carnation Cafe and Chef Oscar!!