Lunar New Year Festival @ Disneyland, Day 2, Part 2

One thing I forgot to mention about Day 1 was that after leaving Disneyland Park, we stopped in at World of Disney and I got a really cute Minnie Mouse Sweatshirt and Rich got Orange Bird – go figure – lol!

We didn’t want to be stuck in our room, so we decided to push ourselves and walk back to the Grand Californian, Hearthstone Lounge for a glass of wine and the thing we were going to get at Craftsman Bar & Grill – the Charcuterie Pizza, which is our favorite pizza anywhere, perhaps.

Upon entering the GC, we noticed the piano was located in a different place. And then, much to our surprise, a 4-piece Jazz Band started playing/singing. I uploaded the 2 videos and posted the links in this blog post.

We got our usual server, Nanette, as wonderful as ever. Hearthstone Lounge is truly one of our favorite hangouts. We were also able to hear the Jazz band from our seat in Hearthstone Lounge.

Afterwards, we walked back through Downtown Disney and stopped to listen to an awesome band at the Downtown Disney Live Stage. I posted that video in this post.

Eventually, we made it to our room, but the music did not stop there. We could hear them playing from bed.

I’ll write more about the room in our final post tomorrow.


Sweetheart Nite at the Grand Californian #Disneyland #Shorts #Jazz

We found ourselves at Disneyland for the kickoff of the February Sweetheart Nites with Jazz at the Grand Californian. We were also there for Lunar New Year. I’ll post the reports sometime soon.

In the meantime, here are a couple of videos (#Shorts) we captured and uploaded on YouTube. Funny how Part 2 has 68 views but Part 1 has none. Go figure how YouTube works – lol!

I’ll hand it to Disney for this one – FABULOUS!


First Trip to #Disneyland with #MagicKey, Day 2, Part 2

Our solution to getting into Disneyland without parking in the parking garage or Uber or shuttle was to eat dinner at Napa Rose and then with 5 hours of validated parking, we could eat dinner and then walk to the park from there. Our ambition was only to ride Haunted Mansion with the overlay, so that should give us plenty of time.

The day before while Rich stood in line for our ice cream sundae at Ghirardelli, I checked the dining App and found a reservation for Napa Rose, just in case. Indeed, we were glad I had done so. Again, this time, we ordered off the menu.


Rich & Kathy
Sautéed Diver Scallop
with Chanterelle Mushrooms, tender Green Beans and Corn Nage


Sautéed Heirloom Pork Medallion
with Braised Red Cabbage and Apple Pepita Relish

Lemon-roasted Chicken Galantine
with Chanterelle Mushrooms, Red Flame Grapes and Fava Beans


MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir

After dinner, we made our way to Disneyland park, admiring the pumpkins on Main Street, and then heading straight for the Haunted Mansion. The wait time said an hour, but it only took about 30 minutes.

Our doom buggy stopped during the ballroom scene, which was perfect so we could see more of that scene than we usually can as we zip by it.

After Haunted Mansion, we rode the train (our first time after the reconfiguring of the track for Galaxy’s Edge), to Main Street, where we got off just in time for the projection show on Main Street. I have no idea the name of it because we just don’t pay attention to those things. But it was a really fun way to end the night.

We then walked back to the Grand Californian to fetch our car from valet. It all really worked out perfectly.

We then drove home the next morning.

25th Wedding Anniversary at the Grand Californian, Day 2, Part 2 (#Napa Rose #Disneyland Resort)

After lunch, we went back to the room to rest and maybe the pool before returning to Disneyland for the evening. But that’s when extreme pain in my shins began, cramping my legs. Rich went down to the Craftsman Counter Service and brought back 2 large bottles of PowerAde while I was busy downing all the water I could.

We napped but realize that there was no way I could walk back to Disneyland. So we quickly checked dining reservations and found an opening at Napa Rose. We’d had such an amazing “Vintner’s Table” experience there in June that we couldn’t imagine topping, so we hadn’t planned on Napa Rose for the anniversary. But under the circumstances, it was the best way to celebrate the evening.

We started off, as we often do, at Hearthstone Lounge to have a little sip while waiting for our reservation at Napa Rose.

Rich ordered the Conundrum White and I ordered the La Marca Prosecco (both quite fitting for a celebration).

Then we headed over to Napa Rose a bit early to see if we could be seated. Unfortunately that meant we got our least favorite server. She pooh-poohed our anniversary and then proceeded to talk about herself. From now on, we would make sure we never got her again.

This time we just ordered off the menu. That night they were offered the Chicken Galatine with a slightly different preparation, so Kathy ordered that.


Rich: Salad with Anchovies
Kathy: Scallop and Shrimp


Rich: Oak-roasted Swordfish in a Light Mussel Broth
Kathy: Chicken Galantine

It was all very good, but we weren’t really that hungry so we skipped dessert. On our way back to our room, we stopped in at the gift shop and got some cookies for the room for relaxation and time together.

It was a pretty low-key evening, but we were happy with it. It seems to be our wedding/anniversary tradition that something physical must ail me – my back went out on our Maui honeymoon, and I broke my toe on our 20th anniversary cruise to Mexico. And then we both arrived home with pneumonia. So shin splints seem rather minor in comparison.

We checked out the next morning after somewhat repeating breakfast from the previous day (this time we each got a chocolate croissant), and said good-bye to Disneyland, the Grand Californian, and my beloved Orange County, and drove back to Las Vegas.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Don’t go commando in the Disney parks. Must take it slowly.
  2. Good to have Magic Key – even if we never get our “money’s worth.” We’re much better at dropping in on the parks either morning or evening – not both.

Grand Californian Room Photos

It had been a few years since we’d stayed at the GC, but a 25th anniversary celebration was definitely worth it. Our room was a King Courtyard view, which a the front desk CM arranged for us through her manager when Rich told her it was our 25th anniversary. Otherwise, we would have had 2 queens.

The room had been refurbished since we’d last been there, the open space below the bed, Keurig, mini fridge, and the upgraded stand-up shower with 2 sprays (one a rain shower), which was fabulous! And because it was a King room, we had a couch and chair for sitting, instead of just a chair. It was a very comfortable room.

We’ve had a courtyard view before (as well as a theme park view and a standard view), but this time without the swooshing of the monorails since they still are not up and running at Disneyland.

25th Wedding Anniversary at the Grand Californian, Day 1 (#Disneyland Resort)

Like so many, we’d had big travel plans for 2021. A Med cruise, for example. To celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in August. Cancelled, of course. And then we scrambled to come up with some place special we could go to celebrate such an occasion. Disney World was open so we booked a trip but not until October because we really didn’t want to go to Florida in August.

We kept our eyes open for Disneyland’s reopening but by June, it was open to California residents only. When Napa Rose opened, we jumped on it last June just in case it closed again.

By then, it looked as if Disneyland would open to out-of-staters so we booked the Grand Californian, bought 2 tickets to Disneyland, made reservations, bought special anniversary T-shirts and masks and we were off – to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary on the actual date.

It felt so good to drive up to the gate and announce we were checking in, valet park the car, and leave our luggage with bell services to wait by the pool for our room to be ready. We missed our favorite pool area, as it once was, replaced by Craftsman Grill. But even our second favorite place across from the Craftsman was now available for cabana rentals only (we checked but nothing was available). So there would be no seating near the main pool.

We sat at a table near the pool gate and Rich went up to the bar (bar service for cabana people only now) to bring us back a couple of drinks. I had a Pineapple Ginger Margarita that wasn’t my favorite (I am a Margarita connoisseur) and Rich had the Grand Mai Tai (Rich is a Mai Tai connoisseur).

Pineapple Ginger Margarita
Patrón Silver Tequila, Nostrum Pineapple Turmeric Ginger Shrub, Cointreau, and Lime Juice available frozen or on the rocks

Grand Mai Tai
Bacardi 8 Yr Aged Rum, Myers’s Dark Rum, Orange Curaçao, Orgeat (Almond), and Lime Juice

And, btw, the table was not clean nor did a CM come by to clean it, which would be a theme for this trip. And while some will defend the CMs due to a shortage, we kept seeing groups of CMs standing around talking amongst themselves.

A bit later we got our text that the room was ready so we headed up, unpacked, rested, and then grabbed dinner at Hearthstone Lounge. I’ll post room pics in a separate post.

We each ordered a glass of our favorite Coppola Malbec and the “Charcuterie Pizza,” which was… AMAZING!

In the past I haven’t been a fan of charcuterie (I like some bread with my meat) so making it into a pizza was perfection. And then Disney would prove to me again on our most recent trip how yummy a well-done charcuterie plate can be without any type of bread.

Charcuterie Pizza
Premium Pepperoni, Prosciutto, Salami, Italian Sausage, Arugula, Fire-roasted Tomatoes, Grana Padano, and Aged Provolone