Monday, February 27, 2017

Kanine Krunchies: Red Rose Taverne

Happy Monday, Everyone!

On Friday, I was able to get a fairly comprehensive look at the new Red Rose Taverne in Fantasyland.

Just to catch you all up, it is not a new restaurant so much as an overlay of Pinocchio's Village Haus, intended to celebrate (and promote) the upcoming live action release of Beauty and the Beast. Maybe you heard about it.....(March 17th.  St. Patrick's Day).

However, since I got to the parks early on a Friday, with my mother, grandmother, great-uncle and great-aunt (senior count: 3), I was not 100% in control of the day.  But that led to a more comprehensive review for you, and interesting content for a little while! Consider them all my support team!

OK, this is Adventureland at 9 am.....

The Adventureland restrooms are still under refurbishment.  Just FYI, you can head either to the Rancho De Zocalo restrooms (tiny, though), the Main Street restrooms near Star Tours (a little closer than the Carnation Cafe) OR.....if you're going to the Tiki Room anyway, they do have a little tiny restroom.

I don't think I've ever seen Adventureland this empty in daylight.

Granted once we got off the Jungle Cruise, there were already a bunch of strollers parked there.

Moana didn't seem to do be doing meet & greets outside the Oasis as usual, but coming back from the Haunted Mansion, she was in front of Tarzan's Treehouse.  Now, even for what was a quiet period, it was causing a bit of a traffic jam, so I'm not sure who let that happen.

Just another quiet view.

And just a little jaunt around New Orleans Square.

Look! A quiet Indiana Jones! Again, we're in unicorn territory!

The Main Event: Be Our Guest! 

Now, that you're in the mood.....

So, like I said, the Village Haus is currently being re-themed...temporarily to support the release of the live action Beauty and the Beast. Friday was the first day of operation, and God Bless the Cast Members, they were working their behinds off.  Lines were out the door, so please pack your patience. 

Quick banners on all signs, but still very nice.

Now, while I don't mind the re-theme...temporarily, I do love the original Pinocchio theme. It just has always maintained that old school Imagineering look.  While Imagineering does so well these days at being on model, as they call it, Disneyland's design has always had its own aesthetic that is comforting and singular.

Look! It's Gaston!

(Btw, I did catch him in passing in Fantasyland. Y'know, while riding a sea of screaming toddlers and  harassed parents.)

He really does use antlers in all of his decorating......

And the frescos I love (would you call them frescos in this case?) were quickly and efficiently covered with beautiful backgrounds from the original 1991 animated film. Again, nice, not complaining, but concerning in their own way.

I know, I know, change is good. It's just not always easy.

The lovely Pinocchio figure in the center of the restaurant has been replaced with a nice little rose display.  It doesn't have an equal visibility factor, though. Y'know...clear glass....

Again, nice overlay.

I just wanted to show a little bit more of the detail they didn't cover up.

Funny how easy it is to go from Italian Provincial to French Provincial, huh?

Cute little rice crispy treats! I just kind of wonder how they get the pictures on there......

The menu boards, while digital, didn't have their frames replaced.  So they are still Pinocchio themed. the food.   Let's just start with the question on everyone's lips. How's the grey stuff?

It's delicious!

Don't believe me?

Well, go try it yourself then!
(That's the line, right?)

In all seriousness, I've been wondering about the grey stuff ever since it appeared at the Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. To take ONE line from the song and help flesh out the world like that....perfection. And it tasted wonderful.

Inside was a lovely and moist red velvet cake, and a whole little raspberry! The sugar cookie base was a nice little finish.  I'm not big on the desserts in the Disneyland restaurants, but this might be a sign things are heading in a new direction.

The other dessert is the Lemon Rose cake, which wasn't my cup of tea, but still a nice dessert with a BEAUTIFUL presentation.

It's got another fanciful strawberry filling.

I had the Slow-Cooked Beef Poutine.  Now, I hadn't had poutine at all before, so I was being about as brave as I get.  The cheese curds were interesting, and the waffle fries a little soggy.  I saw this complaint on Instagram, and I think it was just misunderstanding of the dish.  Personally, I kind of agree, I'm not a fan of soggy, but it wasn't the restaurant's fault so much as that seems to be the tradition with poutine, which I believe is Canadian.

All the pieces were very good though, especially the slow-cooked beef.  It was tender and flavorful.  So, depending on how you feel about poutine, it's all good.

This was the Beast's Burger, with garlic fries.  My grandmother was raving about it even a day later.  The meat was very good and the ciabatta-like bun was a great match.  Not to mention the garlic fried were great.  If they revert back to the Pinocchio theme, they should keep the garlic fries.

This is the Classic Angus Burger, dressed up with the garlic fries.  It's nice to have a more simple staple on the menu for the less daring.

THIS is the Poutine Flatbread.  Yes, with fries ON it.  My great-aunt (and she's pretty great, and a darn good sport this day!) said it was also very good.  They're really scoring with the meat, here.

My mother was responsible and had the Chef's Chopped Salad.  It actually has shredded apples in it! The dressing was an odd vinaigrette type concoction, but also very good.  She described the salad as very light and bright.  It's a great alternative to some of the salads in-park.

A Note on AP Days

I didn't get to"explore" AP Days really this week, but here's the recipe card and button for the week, resetting on Friday. The recipe is from the old Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship, talk about a blast from the past! I'm not a seafood person myself but I still greatly appreciate the effort to get a true old park recipe!

Also, as to the characters to meet this week, they've got the Country Bears! Now, the Bears were making appearances during the Festival of Holidays, so it's nice to see Disney understanding the demand over here.  Listen, y'all brought Captain EO back......can we get a little Bear action? You're gonna need something back in Critter Country when Star Wars Land opens.........I'm just sayin'!

I think for now, that well does it.  If you have any questions, particularly about Red Rose Taverne, PLEASE feel free to comment below, it's really easy. I'll be back on during the week with a few other things, and I don't think I can hold Fred back from a post much longer.  He's getting kind of antsy....if rabbits get antsy.....

Thursday, February 23, 2017

AP Days - Week 2...Same Old, Same Old...

Hi, everybody!

As promised, I checked out the second week of AP Days in the Starcade, to see if there are any changes. OK, I also went for the button.....

So, let's just go through the day and you'll get a little food review (the "Kanine Krunchies" segment), and a little bit of merch hidden in there (our "Gadgets & Gizmos Aplenty" segment).  You're getting not a twofer, but a THREE-FER!

I'm crazy like that.

Just a small note, while you're in the Market House getting your Starbucks, they also have a little Main Street Electrical Parade themed treat, a Hazelnut Tart.

Another little tip, the Market House's line can be a little deceptive.  It's always busy, just make your peace with it. But it tends to move pretty quickly.  And for some reason over in DCA, the Fidler, Fifer & Practical Cafe is always terribly slow... and this is the facility that was built for Starbucks level crowds.  Market House was retrofit! I don't really get it.

So, I realized I didn't show you the entrance to AP Days in the Starcade, so here you are.  It has been closed off from Star Traders.  More than once, careless visitors leaned on the door, not realizing it was a used entrance.  And let's not even mention the couple who didn't realize the line was forming on the other side of the path. Because, who needs to waste all the time reading signs?

No wonder APs have a bad reputation...

This week, they moved the nice little map right into the front of the entrance.  Nice and clear.

They have some nice retro arcade games in front, but I don't know how much use they could get being directly in the sun pouring into the Starcade.

And....when there were arcade games in the Starcade last, there was a console version of Wreck-It-Ralph you could play for free. Where'd it go?

And can I have it?

Still with the velvet star spangled tarp.  Really, Disney?

Now, I saw the Critter Country sign last week and was terrible confused....I finally got &'re meeting a potential critter. 


The Robin Hood backdrop remained because........

Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham are here!

Now, they were the afternoon meet & greet characters last week this an issue of demand for Robin Hood characters? (count me in, make a dark ride!) or just a lack of effort to switch out the characters?

If the answer is the former.....Disney merch people? Pay attention!

Prince John was VERY happy I just wanted a picture of them.

Very.  Happy.

Now, the lighting in the merch area is so awful, I'm sorry for the quality of this picture.  There's a baseball cap in there.....and pins that are sold out....and a pony...

...And customizable Star Wars themed name tags.

As of yesterday morning, they were waiting for shirts but as of the afternoon, they were back in stock.  Again, pin sets are sold out.

But there are plenty of tumblers and wine glasses!

This week's recipe card is a nice recipe from Walt himself! Which means I should be able to make it with no trouble....

Path of the Jedi - A Journey to Unwanted Emotions

Now, after I took care of the AP Days happenings, I decided it was finally time to check out Path of the Jedi.

I won't lie, despite being a Star Wars fan, I sort of avoided this attraction, partially because I was still unhappy about Captain EO leaving.

I know, I know...we were lucky to get it back in the first place, for as long as we did, etc. etc. Listen, it was SOMETHING in wasn't Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, and it made plenty of people happy! And while I welcome comments at the bottom of the post, if one of you comes up with "but it looked so dated" ......I will send the trolls from Frozen after you! The rest of Tomorrowland doesn't look all the timely either! Let it be!

Anyway, now that I've calmed down from my EO attack.... it was a walk on attraction and frankly, one of the few places in the park these days where you can just go in, sit and experience something.

While I love new technology coming into the parks, I miss the attractions where you can just go an experience them without a roller coaster track under them or the dreaded need for participation.

I realize this makes me sound like an old person.  Your observation is duly noted.

Path of the Jedi is simply a repackaging of the two trilogies and the beginning of the new trilogy. However, Disney wasn't simply content to do a montage to catch you up.  The stories of Anakin and Luke are paralleled in a really nice way.  Even I was surprised at the little light bulb moments here and there.  The theater also makes use of the effects already embedded in the theater, but not to excess.

Honestly, it stirred the emotions (those darn emotions getting in the way!). Not that I'm anything less than crazy for The Last Jedi's release but this did a fantastic job to rally your emotional troops. And if  you've never seen Star Wars before (and to quote Carrie Fisher, "Then, why are you here?"), it is hopefully a motivating introduction.

In the purchase of Lucasfilm, I'm glad the filmmakers of the new Star Wars movies haven't discounted the prequels entirely.  I know they have problems, but the information in them still enlightens you as to the backstory and subtext of the original trilogy.

Redd Rocket's Pizza Port - Kanine Krunchies .... and a few Gadgets & Gizmos.....

Since it was convenient, I thought I'd grab lunch really quick at Redd Rocket's Pizza Port.....

Inside, they are selling these neat The Force Awakens glasses. Their design is meant to mimic merchandise from the original trilogy, which I just adore.

Here at Redd Rocket's you can get Kylo Ren and Chewbacca with a large fountain drink.  But to complete the set with a stormtrooper and/or BB-8, you need to head over to Galactic Grill.

I haven't eaten the themed food from Galactic Grill, but I haven't heard good things....should I try it to be sure?? Let me know!

Am I the only person who thinks it's kind of cruel to pair Kylo Ren and Chewbacca together? Is Chewie gonna try and kill him in The Last Jedi?

I wouldn't mind it.....

Another option is the cute BB-8 sipper.

My aunt doesn't like BB-8.  She thinks Disney is trying to position him as the "new, better R2-D2". And....she won't have that.  Therefore, I mock her on every possible occasion.

Is it just me, or does Redd Rocket's need a new color scheme? It doesn't even match the 1998 Tomorrowland redesign! It looks like a faux-Chuck E. Cheese built in the mid-90s.

The original intention with this restaurant was to take retired attraction vehicles and make them into booths. I'm going to assume financial concerns led to this result.

So, instead we have posters.....

No, I did not pull them off the wall. I wanted to.

Now, to the food. I went with the Celestial Chicken Caesar was NOT out of this world.

It was ok.  Passable. If you want to eat right because you're going to pig out later, or you had the Plaza Inn for breakfast and wanted to even out, fine.

And let me just add to the fact that the pizza is....bland. It's edible.

If your kid is really hungry and you can't drag them all the way to the French Market so you can have their Caesar Salad,

I mean, it won't poison your kid. But Disney can certainly do better than this.

It is, somehow extremely bland.

Just hop out of the park and go to Naples.

And....that's all, folks!

Keep your eyes out for information on AP Days Week 3, as well as (hopefully) a review of the Red Rose Taverne, coming to the Village Haus in order to celebrate (and promote) the new live action Beauty & the Beast (woohoo!)

Please, if you have any comments, questions, suggestions, things you want me to show you or cover, leave your comments below. Have a good weekend!