Sunday, 23 November 2014

Disneyland Paris: 'Candy Palace'

Mashmallows. Marshmallows as far as the eye could see.

It was our last stop before leaving the parks and we wanted a treat. We deserved one, I felt. They had fudge, meringue biscuits, chocolate chip cookies, and marshmallows. Kira got a chocolate chip cookie and I got a Mickey shaped meringue biscuit with a chocolate coating.

We walked out of the shop and stood on Main Street, watching the fireworks while we ate. My meringue had very little flavour, even less flavour than a normal meringue, and was very hard. It wasn't as airy as a proper meringue should be. So even a simple meringue biscuit was a disappointment.

The fireworks were still beautiful over the amazing castle, but Kira and I both agreed: we were done.

With heavy hearts, and lots to think about over this trip, we headed back to our hotel.

Constantly, I kept thinking back to the class I had during the Disney College Program where General Manager of food and beverage and store operations in Disney California Adventure, Gary Magetti, came and talked Disney Parks food with us. He told us about when he want to Tokyo Disney, they wanted to do typical theme park food, but he didn't allow it and they changed the menus.

Clearly, none of this has happened at Disneyland Paris.

The entire trip, including the next morning in Paris before returning to London, was filled with so many ups and downs. We took them for what they were and tried to enjoy where we were as best we could. I still had fun and am very thankful for the chance and experience of going to Disneyland Paris. It will never be forgotten.


From a costume perspective, read here!
From a Halloween perspective: coming soon!

Disneyland Paris: The Lucky Nugget

It was around noon when I started constantly checking my watch. Our reservation for Chez Remy was at 6:30 pm and I wanted to be there on time.

We went thorough the Alice in Wonderland hedge maze.

Explored Adventureland more thoroughly, as their Adventureland truly is an adventure. They have these caves you get lost in and they pop you out randomly in Adventureland and you have to try and figure out where you are.

We went and saw the car stunt show.

Had Lotso fun in the Toy Story Playland.

5 pm
Enjoyed the Art of Animation building.

5:30 pm
Climbed the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse once more.

6:30 pm
We rushed as fast as we could from Adventureland in Disneyland to the Ratatouille area in the back of the Walt Disney Studios park, fighting the crowds as we went.

Of course, there was a queue leading up to the hostess so we didn't get to her until 6:45 pm, but we did it. With a huge grin on my face, I handed her the reservation slip she printed out for us just the previous day. She smiled back, took the slip, and looked for my name.

I turn to Kira to express my excitement to her when the hostess speaks.

"You're an hour late."

Our expressions change from joy to confusion in a blink. I glance at her computer and sees that it says 19:47.

I pull out my phone and it says 18:47.

Both of our phones never switched time zones from England to France.

With Chez Remy fully booked for the night, we left. I was in an actual state of shock. Everything else that had happened on this trip, we got over, and I knew we would get over this. But it would take a while for me considering my entire trip was around dining at this restaurant and now that wasn't going to happen. I'm not even sure I'll ever have the opportunity to do so again. I was so close, but the chance was taken from me.

I cried. Not dramatically, just silent tears that I couldn't help no matter what I tried. It meant so much to me and I just blew my shot. I was tired, hungry, and deeply upset.

Kira was a good sport about it and even brought us into City Hall to explain what happened and ask for an alternative dining option. Our answer? "The park is full, so I recommend the Rainforest Cafe in the Disney Village."

Stupid me thought that I didn't come all this way to eat at a Rainforest Cafe and we stayed in the park.

First, we stopped by Hakuna Matata Restaurant, and there all I could have was a salad. I didn't want another salad so we decided to go to Frontierland and check out their Mexican restaurants. Both were closed.

Desperate, we wandered over to The Lucky Nugget, exactly like the Golden Horseshoe, and talked to a cast member outside. I was so happy Kira was with me at this point. She spoke to the cast member saying that I needed to eat something gluten-free, and the cast member handed us a gluten free menu.

There is an outside company that prepares gluten-free/ allergy-friendly food for the parks. Not every restaurant offers the meals, but luckily, the Lucky Nugget did.

Nothing on the normal menu appealed to Kira so she ordered the meatball rice dish from the gluten-free menu while I ordered the vegetable pasta. We sat and waited a while before our food finally arrived. They also gave us a bottle of water to share which we didn't order. I wonder if they could tell from our faces on what kind of night we were having.

The food was, well, let's just say I've never had airplane food while on land before. Both dishes were bad, bland, and boring. But at that point, we were just happy for food- any food. Unfortunately, I think this is the only gluten-free food Disneyland Paris has to offer and there is much to be improved. Much.

We left the Lucky Nugget with intentions of getting some popcorn from the cart outside. That didn't happen either as it closed up while we were in the restaurant.

By that point we were just done.


From a costume perspective, read here!
From a Halloween perspective: coming soon!

Disneyland Paris: Goofy's Candy

When feeling peckish, we always settled with candy. It was easy to eat, easy to store, and put some energy into our bodies.

The candy for sale around the park that we settled on was the Goofy's Candy brand. Anaheim Disneyland has this too, but they have different candies. In Anaheim, Goofy's candies are sour balls and salt water taffy, here they are marshmallow bonbons and various sour gummies.

The first kind we tried, we grabbed to snack on while in the queue for Phantom Manor. The candies were sour fruit strips with only three flavours, I think. Either way, they were tasty and did their job. I just would have liked more flavour variation.

The second Goofy Candy we tried were special. I don't know what it is, but the French apparently love marshmallows. Nearly all the sweet treats were marshmallows. It was strange, and highly disappointing.

These bonbons were too, marshmallows, and slightly less disappointing because of everything going on with them. Majority of it was a marshmallow, but it was candied. Because of this candy shell, it soaked into the marshmallow, taking it from the common fluffy consistency to a Lucky Charm's marshmallow consistency. The candy had four different flavours, I think, all fruity in variety. Then inside the marshmallow, were these little bits of sour crunchy candy, but small, like sprinkles.

I've had many different candies from all over the world and I can safely say that this was one of the strangest, most confusing candy I've ever had. Yet, it was still good, and after the evening we had, it was a much needed treat.


From a costume perspective, read here!
From a Halloween perspective: coming soon!

Disneyland Paris: Plaza Gardens

I will admit, we probably should have planned our dining options and times out better than we did. When it came to food, it was all just left up to chance, and that was our downfall.

World's Fair themed hallways

We got into the park at 10:15 am, fifteen minutes after it opened, and we sort of wandered down Main Street looking for food. That was the plan, but the problem was finding me gluten free food. At all the places along Main Street, yogurt was the only option and one thing of expensive yogurt was not going to fill me. So we searched on.

When we first walked past The Plaza Gardens, located exactly where the Plaza Inn is in Anaheim Disneyland, it was closed. We headed onto Tomorrowland, went on Space Mountain: Mission 2 and when we walked back by Plaza Gardens, it was open. With no other options, and by this time it was 11 and we were starving, we went in.

They oddly offered 2 dining options and prices. The cheaper one being the buffet but no drinks (not even water) and the about 5 Euros more price came with a drink. On this trip, both Kira and I had to buy expensive tickets twice so money was tight and we picked the cheapest option, which still wasn't all that cheap.

Going in, I was expecting the Plaza Gardens buffet to be exactly like the Plaza Inn buffet, but thankfully it wasn't. Here was our French food, and here was where my French culinary school knowledge began to pay off, sort of.

We wanted breakfast foods, as I learned on this trip, Kira is a fan of them, as am I, but Plaza Gardens was set for lunch. We tried to get breakfast foods first, but that didn't happen for me. My first round consisted of fish, some potatoes with sweet potato sauce, yogurt, and chips. It was all unusual combinations, but each element was delicious.

Second go, I got more yogurt and fruit salad, which Kira commented on how it was strange it was in the dessert section. I knew why. I knew exactly why, and why it was sweeter too- as she also pointed out.

The very first thing we made in my French basic patisserie course was fruit salad. Yes, it does come with various cut up fruit, but the French like to keep theirs in an infused simple syrup for freshness and...well, I don't know why else but that is why it is a dessert.

I got some of that too, it was very sweet but refreshing as well. And I had some chocolate pudding because I couldn't resist.

Their cheese selection was on par with the French standards I had built up in my head, as well. I was even able to educate Kira on some cheese taken directly from my cheese lesson. A very good selection of French cheeses that Anaheim Disneyland would not have. We were both thrilled.

Once our stomachs were on the verge of bursting, we decided it was time to go and enjoy our day at Disney. Luckily, the only thing that did burst was the clementine Kira took from the Plaza Gardens and kept in her bag all day.


From a costume perspective, read here!
From a Halloween perspective: coming soon!