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Ruminations - You Ain't Never Had A Feast Like This!

Ruminations - You Ain't Never Had A Feast Like This!

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Well back to cleaning... Opening boxes, you never know what awaits. This time, it was goodies from "Aladdin's Oasis" and other treats from a visit to Disneyland for New Years Eve 1994 and New Years Day1995. Michele and I were joined by our good friends, Michael and Susan Riley.

While we left home early, and I do mean early (like 0200 early) on the morning of December 31, our trip down entailed a detour from the usual route down the Five. If memory serves, a particular bridge was washed out after a heavy storm just south of Harris Ranch. So it was a long drive down Highway 101 and the coast instead.

We arrived at the Disneyland Hotel and checked in late morning -- with a room in the Sierra Tower. For Michele and I, it was the first time we stayed "on property". Michael and Susan had spent their honeymoon here with a top floor corner suite on the Bonita Tower, so they were old hands at the Disneyland Hotel experience.

With Flex-Passports in hand, we went off to start our three-day vacation. Honestly, I was worn out and running on adrenaline after the long drive. My memory of that day isn't all that great, as I know I crashed well before midnight and the festivities. But Michele and Susan had a great time watching fireworks from the Monorail Café, complete with late night desserts such as Gingerbread Mickey and Mexican Bread Pudding. They also enjoyed several Bailey's Irish Crème's and Coffee from Sgt. Preston's next door. Knowing Michele, there may have been Fantasia Cheesecake involved, too...

Recipes from the Disneyland Hotel's "Monorail Café"

Now that's tasty and tempting all right!

Usually, when we visited the Park with Michael and Susan, we would enjoy breakfast at the Riverbelle Terrace at a table located next to the Rivers of America in Frontierland. But as late a night they had and as tired as I was, I don't think we started New Years Day there. But from the various items I found from that day, we more than made up for it.

Mike and I were both busy little guests that day. First, we got a reservation for the 3:25 p.m. seating for Aladdin's Oasis. Michael and I had seen this show before, but Michele and Susan had not so as a surprise, I made the trip to save our spot. At least this is what the reservation card shows from that afternoon:

Then Michael decided to book a dinner reservation and managed to get a table for four at the Blue Bayou. I don't recall the time, but it was likely 7:30 p.m. or so. Monte Cristo sandwich anyone? That was the favorite among our group back then, along with the Seafood Salad.

But why stop there? I checked and found seats for the Disney Gallery Balcony Fantasmic viewing and dessert buffet. Now that's a big day of food and fun!

Now I think you get the idea from this and other columns that I like food. And at times, yes I have been known to like a whole lot of it. But this day! Oooooffff! It was a real effort. Yet, we managed to overcome.

Here's the menu from Aladdin's Oasis. Again, if memory serves, this was a later version. As it originally was served it did have a bit more Mediterranean flair to it. I especially liked the papadam wafers served with mint chutney for an appetizer.

It was a great time and the total for the four of us came to less than $85 -- including a 15% service charge and the Magic Kingdom Club discount. (Now there's another classic Disneyland tradition I miss! I had an MKC from AA for many years and recall my mom had one for many trips years before.) And that Genie's special dessert! A dark chocolate lamp filled with chocolate mousse, topped with a raspberry sauce. Many of those lamps tried to make it home, but never seemed to last the day. They were that good! Or they melted from the heat of the summer sun, too.

Dinner at the Blue Bayou was excellent as always even if we were still somewhat full from a late lunch. But with plenty of time to spare, we were ready for Fantasmic and the dessert buffet. Now you may recall that the Disney Gallery is located in what was to be the Disney Family apartments above New Orleans Square. Right next to this is the kitchen for Club 33. So guess where all the great desserts came from? You got it! Along with that good Disneyland Coffee or Mint Juleps and other beverages, there was temptation enough to go around for everyone lucky enough to have seats for that evening! I know I enjoyed my share and then some of the goodies. And Fantasmic wasn't bad either!

A recent edition of the e-mail "Disney Insider" has a special look inside Club 33 along with a truly decadent dessert recipe for White Godiva, Dark Chocolate Celebration. Check it out for a view of the dessert buffet as well as that recipe!

Mercifully, we had the long walk back to the Monorail (for the ride back to the Disneyland Hotel and our beds) to keep us going. All of those calories needed to be burned off somehow. Even if we only managed to do in a few of them, it was a fine end to a true epicurean New Years Day at Disneyland. I don't think I ate very much that next day!

Check back next week for more Disneyland dining tales and recipes! Who knows what the next box will offer?

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