A day at Disneyland is not complete for me without a visit to the Disney Gallery, and its new-ish, larger location at the end (beginning?) of Main Street makes it easy to drop in on your way out of the park.
Just adjacent is the Opera House lobby, where you can admire this incredible piece of Disney history. The plaque says that this is the park bench (from Griffith Park’s merry-go-round) where Walt Disney dreamed up the idea of Disneyland. I can also attest that that circa-1926 carousel is a magical place, indeed.
And on the topic of Disneyland’s origins, artists Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily have been designing a slew of things to celebrate the park’s 55th anniversary, such as this “Disneyland ’55 Paper-Sculpture-O-Rama” (much better pic at their link).
On these wrapped canvas giclées, it’s easier to see how each of the main themed areas are represented with symbols of attractions from when Disneyland opened in 1955. Some are long gone, but there’s still the Jungle Cruise, Tea Cups and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (a favorite of Mr. Baseball).
On this closer shot of the Adventureland one, you can see a Marquesan tiki next to the Jungle Cruise boat. You’re thinking The Enchanted Tiki Room, right? Wrong! (It didn’t open until 1963.) In Daveland’s collection of vintage Disneyland photos, you can spot this tiki propped up between two benches. (FYI, the store also had prints of the individual lands for about $30, though the stack I sifted through only had Frontierland.)
The Disney Gallery space used to be the Bank of Main Street, and the vault has been housing a couple of Shag’s original paintings from the Haunted Mansion anniversary. How neat! (And prudent, too, considering I think they’re priced at about ten grand each.)
It’s shameful to say, because it shows just how much of a newbie I am, but Saturday night was my first visit to the Tiki-Ti. Mr. Hockey was surprised that I hadn’t already been, considering I have six years of drinking eligibility under my belt plus a year and a half of tiki fandom. My poor pseudo-excuse is that we’ve been visiting so many other tiki spots near and far that I didn’t want this experience to get lost in the shuffle.
I’ll go into the significance of this spot at a later date, for now I’ll just say that of the few drinks we tried that Ray’s Mistake was the clear favorite, followed by the Pearl Diver, with Rum, Gum & Lime bringing up the rear. (Hmm, kind of sounds like I’m calling a horse race.)
After Mr. Hockey’s fateful spin of the wheel landed on Stealth, an “ass-kicker” of a drink that masks the multitudes of liquor involved with a splash of Baileys, we decided that we should probably walk around for a bit before trying to head home.
Apparently, neither of us was hip enough to know that it just happened to be the weekend of the Sunset Junction Festival (so that’s why it took us half an hour to find a parking space…) And where there’s a fest, there’s food trucks! Mr. Hockey pointed out the LudoBites truck, the ever-elusive stand that inspired foodie fanatics to wait in line for hours upon hours during its debut.
I got the two-piece combo ($6) of the Provencal Pepitte “Chicken Balls”—they were perfectly crispy and juicy and dusted with herbes de Provence. And the lavender biscuit drizzled with honey was divine. Southern food infused with the South of France, and best of all, no line!
Hopefully, this was the kick-start for many more visits (and less logistically cumbersome ones) to the Tiki-Ti. Yet another sidenote: all those fried foods and rickety rides did get me looking forward to the L.A. County Fair…
For many foodies, the cupcake craze has been overtaken by a food truck frenzy, but I still keep coming back to Yummy Cupcakes in Burbank. For one, they’re located on a neat stretch of Magnolia Boulevard right by Halloweentown and the sadly soon-to-close 8-Ball.
And they also get bonus points for creativity. Yummy has a roster of more than 200 flavors, and every month they feature a few dozen of them as rotating daily specials. I’ve been wanting to try their cocktail-inspired offerings (Mai Tai, Pina Colada, Strawberry Daiquiri, etc.) and finally got the chance when they put the Blue Hawaiian on the menu for July and August.
The Blue Hawaiian cupcake ($3) is made with rum, blue curacao and bits of shredded pineapple, and then topped with whipped pineapple buttercream frosting and a tropical drink umbrella. It didn’t really remind me of the drink, but it was delicious! The flavors are actually very subtle so the pineapple stands out, although one from our batch did have a distinctly boozey aftertaste.
Not all their concoctions are winners in my book (see: Pancakes & Bacon) but the Blue Hawaiian definitely is. (I also can’t leave without picking up a Peanut Butter Cup or two.)
They have a monthly calendar on their web site so you can find out what will be available each day, and you can also vote on the flavors for the next month. Who’s with me on a campaign for Mai Tai?
2918 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
(There’s also a location in Santa Monica)