Knott’s Berry Farm Beats Disneyland With a “Taste of Merry Farm”

Knott’s Berry Farm is being so smart with how they’ve been handling this time of theme park closures. Offering people a real experience. We just returned from a “Taste of Fall-o-Ween,” which was fabulous. And now Knott’s has announced the “Taste of Merry Farm,” their Christmas version of the previous tastes.

We weren’t sure they would announce it before the Fall event ended (November 1), but we applaud them for putting tickets on sale before Disneyland gives solid details about what they’re up to. At this point, if it’s just more shopping, we’ll pass, although we’d love to have a Martini at Carthay Circle.

We’ve got our tickets, and will be waiting to hear the details of the Buena Vista Street opening of DCA to see if we can combine both things or, perhaps, wait for a better opportunity early next year.

Btw, the video of our “Taste of Fall-O-Ween” event has been posted on YouTube. And it was so fun to include a song I’d created/produced for this year’s “50/90” event. Check it out here.

Disneyland Reopens Buena Vista Street in DCA: Why We Won’t Be Going

Before I get into our Knott’s Berry Farm “Fall O’Ween” trip report, I wanted to acknowledge the news that Disneyland is scooching into DCA by opening Buena Vista Street for shopping and snacking – mostly shopping. I think we were all excited to hear this news – we’ve all been dreaming of a “Taste of Main Street” at Disneyland Park or a “Festival of the Holidays” type thing at DCA. But on closer inspection, some, like us, have realized that these tiny baby steps are not what we had in mind. My question is, is there time to then pull out a Holiday Festival after testing the Buena Vista Street opening? Or is this all there is? If so, we’re not interested.

Other questions, how will they do crowd control? They don’t seem to be going the Knott’s route by issuing tickets for a special event. So until they come up with a plan that interests us, we won’t be going. Disneyland only seems interested in selling more merch, not giving the fans what they can.

The other thing we won’t be doing is going to WDW until they open up Epcot before noon. We did see that holiday hours show Epcot opening at 10 but then early next year going back to the noon opening. We like to hit the parks early, take an afternoon break, and then return in the evening. With the noon to 8 pm hours, well, let’s just say, that doesn’t work for us. Buying a full park ticket for such limited hours… not interested.

Things are changing every day so we’ll all be tuning in for the next piece of this drama.

On Disneyland Not Reopening… Why My Heart Hurts

As most are aware now, the Disneyland reopening guidelines are so ridiculously impossible, that it looks like Disneyland cannot reopen until Covid-19 is a thing of the past. And this makes us (Disneylanders) all so sad. And afraid. Can Disneyland survive? What will it look like if/when it does reopen. What are the lasting effects of this? Will Disney sue? Who else will sue? (There’s a court case against Newsom on the docket today about his overstepping in general). What about not just Orange County residents, but all of Southern California? What about their livelihoods? Their communities? Families?

I become quite incoherent if I even try to say the name “Newsom” to explain him or even read the headlines anymore. And in spite of what some think, Disneyland is not just a theme park. Some of the comments I saw on Twitter ridiculing those of us who have found so much more from Disneyland. “Look at those white people…” Please stick to your own lane – I do believe you have enough problems. And Disneylanders are not it.

I struggled to get to sleep last night – my usual state whenever I’m overly-stimulated in the evening – much like coffee, I can’t really handle too much drama after lunch – lol! I woke up this morning and wrote in my Disney Studios diary with my Napa Rose pen while sipping my coffee. Can Napa Rose survive? Will the chefs/staff have moved on to other ventures and not return? What will Napa Rose become then?  This is one of our favorite places in all of the Disneyland Resort.

Disneyland is one reason I could never stay in Florida for too long (and why we live in nearby Las Vegas). The Magic Kingdom at WDW can never replace Disneyland. True, I admit to having an emotional attachment to Disneyland and Orange County, California. It’s the one special piece left of my childhood, of family. When you’re in Florida, you can text or call or write to your family. Not when Disneyland *is* your family. I loved growing up in Orange County. Disneyland. Newport Beach. Knott’s Berry Farm. The Catholic Missions. Bower’s Museum. The Dodgers and later the Angels. Balboa Island (captured in Letters on Balboa Island). It was all magical!

But maybe the main reason is that it was, as I look back and view my life, knowing what I know now and didn’t know consciously then. Growing up near Disneyland was my compensation for not growing up with my father, living with his own family in L.A. County, kept apart by the adults in my life. All for selfish reasons. All those “What if” questions. What would it have been like growing up with my father? What would our first trip to Disneyland be like? The beach? The music we could have shared together. The father/daughter dance. Thankfully, I did meet and spend some time with him before he died – you can read that story here.

I didn’t have that irreplaceable time with my father during my childhood. But I did have Disneyland. And now it’s gone. At least for now.

I hate this year and what it’s doing to people. I try to remain positive, hoping for the best, but also fearing the worst. Yes, we could plan a trip to WDW, but it just isn’t the same.

 

Newsom Says the Question is “When in *2021* will Disneyland Open?”

(Note: I started this post before the Disneyland Reopening Guidelines were released, but let me say this: Airline travel is one of the safest things you can do, as verified by the CDC. The guidelines are what we heard about weeks ago before Disneyland asked to wait for their input. Apparently, even the trip to Florida didn’t change California’s minds.)

I’m so fit to be tied, I can’t even put together a coherent post. But I will say something that’s similar to what I say when people are flummoxed about Trumps’ behavior. But once you realize he’s a Narcissist, everything he does makes sense.

The only thing I can say about Newsom is if you understand the Bay Area culture, you understand Newsom a little bit more. Having grown up in Southern California and then living in the San Francisco Bay Area for 23 years, I can tell you this: they hate any mention of Southern California, Disneyland, and Las Vegas. If I mentioned any of these in a positive way, you should have seen the eyes roll (to say the least).

What I can say is that Newsom can’t have all the power in California. That would make him a dictator. There must be power, at least financial, or legal forces that can take action. I’m curious what Disneyland will do now.

Btw, Newsom may have asked forgiveness, but I will never forgive him. Why? Because I don’t believe he is sincere is the asking. And the people who support him in this acting all holy when, in fact, this isn’t just about how in some people’s minds theme parks are not essential. There’s an injustice going on here.

Anyway, here are some videos to watch that explains the latest in this California vs Disneyland battle and I’m sure the list is growing by the minute:

Disneyland Reopening Date Battle Deeper Than We Know? (The Kingdom Report)

Disneyland Reopening Guidelines Expected Tomorrow (FreshBaked)

Hot Off the Press: Disneyland Reopening Guidelines Released (The Kingdom Report)

Check out this article:

California Attractions and Parks Association Calls Reopening Guidelines a “Keep Theme Parks Closed Indefinitely” Plan

New State Guidelines Mean Disneyland Will Likely Be Closed Well Into 2021, State Officials Have “No Idea” When Reopening Criteria Will be Met

And this response from Disneyland’s president (click on graphic for larger view):

 

Disneyland Fights Back

Okay, after yesterday’s news that Newsom stated that there’s no hurry to open Disneyland any time soon (contradicting his smarmy tease earlier) confirming what we’d already suspected (why else “leak” guidelines that make it impossible), I thought this blog would go dark as my protest.

But today Disney Parks released this “true, scientific, and data-filled” statement, which I appaud (click on pic to enlarge):

It’s such an injustice and if ever there was a cause besides religious freedom that I would be willing to join forces in protest, it would be this one (at least in my head – lol!)

This is getting as crazy as this year’s presidential race! Enough already!

Napa Rose, City Leaders, and 18 California State Legislators

A few weeks back, we had to get this Napa Rose wall hanging for our kitchen just to have a piece of Napa Rose at home.

Napa Rose is our favorite Disney restaurant and our go-to place for holidays and celebrations. And that’s probably what we miss most. When indoor dining was banned, we realized Napa Rose wasn’t going to open. But now that indoor dining is allowed in Orange County, why aren’t Napa Rose, the Grand Californian and other Disneyland hotels/restaurants opening?

It’s very difficult to understand what is happening in California, especially when very few are privvy to the insider stuff. But  we saw this video about the 3-city coalition in Orange County pleading with the governor to open theme parks and even 18 California State Legislators are pleading for the Governor to open the theme parks. What is the hold-up?

Obviously, it’s not just Disneyland so (1) Why aren’t the theme parks being given guidance (2) Why isn’t Disneyland opening the hotels like WDW did and/or (3) Why isn’t Disneyland offering special events inside the theme parks like Knott’s Berry Farm?

This is why we Disney fans are so flummoxed. I’m trying to let it go and focus what we can do on our upcoming Knott’s trip. But, still, the California theme park drama is infuriating, frustrating, bewildering, and a bit crazy-making!

#Disneyland and the #Cruise Industry: Let’s Get This Party Started!

Disneyland and the cruise industry seem to have one thing in common (besides the fact that both are our favorite recreational choices): lots of talk about what they’re doing to restart but without any real dates. Both tried last summer and both were shot down.

The latest video I saw, uploaded by Sharon at Sea, was called “Carnival Cruise Line: Gearing up to Cruise Again.”

It looks awesome to me, and Florida and Europe have actually pulled it off, proving that what they are doing works. But restarting cruising in North America and Disneyland out west is still just talk. I’m starting to think by the time cruising and Disneyland actually get back to business, this whole situation will be over. And maybe that’s what Governor Newsom and the CDC are hoping for.

Enough delays. Give us some real dates. Give us something to start feeling!

If you’re feeling it, check out these videos (music created/produced by me during 50/90):

Cruising: Can You Feel It?

Disneyland Reopening: Can You Feel It?

Caught on the Wrong Coast

When the musical chairs stopped, we thought we’d found ourselves at home – that was the goal. But now it looks like we were caught on the wrong coast. Who knows when California will open Disneyland? It’s been over 6 months with no word of an opening date. But WDW has been open since July.

And rumblings of cruising are being talked about – from Florida ports. You can bet your bottom dollar there will be no cruising in/out California ports for some time.

And proof of more Governor Newsom nuttiness is his proclamation that as of 2035, there will be no gas-powered cars sold in California. And where is he going to get power for future automobiles? They already can’t supply enough electricity for their state – they often borrow from us here in Nevada.

If this is what Democrats look like, no thank you. You exchange one kind of lunatic for another.

The only silver lining I see here is that Knott’s Berry Farm is doing all they can to offer several special dining/shopping events. We all want Disneyland to do the same. I guess they figure they’ve got it covered with Downtown Disney – but how much more exciting would it be to actually be inside the park. Snacking, sipping, and soaking up the atmosphere is what we mostly do at Disney anyway.

Disneyland Reopening – Can You Feel it? Apparently, Not

So I’m getting all revved up, really feeling the vibe of a Disneyland reopening date announcement as “imminent” to quote Governor Newsom. I even spent hours today creating a video using some of my Disneyland footage and a song I wrote/produced for #50/90 this year called “Can You Feel it?” Perfect, right?

And then my Mickey balloon is deflated once again.

Masks and Thieves

So yesterday we decided to do something we rarely do these days – go out to lunch. One of our favorite places is Sonrisa Grill, the Mexican restaurant at Lake Las Vegas. It’s a fun drive and walk with great food and views.

We noticed that a few people we passed were not wearing masks, which is a bit disconcerting, especially since we’re used to going to Downtown Disney, where the mask requirement is enforced.

And the truth is, while I do wear a mask when I am out, I choose not to do a lot of things because I’m just not comfortable wearing a mask for more than an hour. So, truth be told, I really won’t be flying to Florida during this time – I can’t imagine wearing a mask for 4-6 hours. I’m also not sure I could really do Disneyland, although we’ll get a chance to test how long I can wear a mask at Knott’s Berry Farm next month, although for most of that time we’ll be sitting and eating/drinking so it shouldn’t be too bad. And there’s a relaxation station where masks are not required.

So on the thievery front, we were informed that our “Hitchhiking Ghosts” Christmas ornament was delivered by FEDEX yesterday, but we never got it. When we called Disney, they said they are out-of-stock now and will refund our money. Grrrr! We’d purposely ordered early to make sure we got them and now either the FEDEX driver kept it (not the first time this has happened in Vegas), or it was delivered to the wrong house and they kept our package.

Some photos from yesterday’s lunch:

Blue Sonrisa Margarita

Spicy Margarita

Salmon Tacos

Shrimp Tacos

Magic Bands to Masks #ThrowbackThursday

Reading the “Disneyland Drama” article in my daily Disney Food Blog newsletter, I must say I’m happy to see this issue spreading beyond locals in California and nearby Las Vegas. I’ve been having interesting comment exchanges on FreshBaked about how ridiculous and political this whole issue of not giving California theme parks the information they need to officially open.

I also must say that as much as I can’t stand the idea of having a lunatic president for another 4 years, this whole Newsom thing doesn’t bode well for my impression of what the Democratic party might do if elected to the White House. We are so hosed!!

Anyway, each morning I feel like we really might book a trip to Florida – I can’t sit around and wait on every breath Newsom takes – that’s just not healthy! So I thought it would be fun to put together a #ThrowbackThursday video of our time living in Florida when our magic drawer held our Magic Bands. Here in Las Vegas, we still have a drawer but now all it holds are masks.

Here’s the link to the video – please like and subscribe! Thank you!

PS – I got a migraine after publishing this post and video. I’m calling it Newsom. Btw, Did you know his exwife is a big Trump supporter? There’s no way this whole thing isn’t political.

Happy 65th Birthday Disneyland: Our First Trip Back to Downtown Disney (#YouTube #Disneyland65)

Happy 65th Birthday, Disneyland! This was the day Disneyland chose to reopen nut the state of California (ie Governor Newsom) rejected them. And the way he keeps shutting down the state, who knows when Disneyland will open again.

But our recent trip to Downtown Disney was a real pick-me-up to help tide us over. We’d hoped to get back to Anaheim for Rich’s birthday and had made reservations at the Hilton (while we were lunching at Uva Bar at Downtown Disney), but Hilton just cancelled them. They’re not opening by mid August after all.

Listening to Walt’s opening speech on July 17, 1955, I knew I had to update our youtube channel with a video of our recent time at Downtown Disney. The video starts with our driving by the Grand Californian, on to the Simba parking lot, and then Downtown Disney, concluding with lunch at the Uva Bar (Catal).