If you know me, you know the last 4 months of the year are my absolute favorite and it all starts with the Halloween season at the Disney parks! David and I were lucky to go twice during the Halloween season and we still feel like it wasn't enough to enjoy all the treats the season brought.
To begin with, the decorations are always phenomenal at Disneyland beginning with the Great Big Mickey Pumpkin (that's what I call it at least). David and I have tried so hard to take it back home with us but clearly we have yet to succeed.
The "spooky" atmosphere wouldn't be complete without these beautiful BOO-loons and the nighttime lights.
Even Rancho de Zocalo got a little Coco overlay and it made me that much more excited to watch the movie that is soon to release!
To be completely honest, the one park that took the prize was Disney's California Adventure. They FINALLY got a Halloween overlay and wow it did not disappoint! My little ghoul soul was absolutely overjoyed with Buena Vista Street and most of all, Cars Land. Every little detail was perfect!
I would not mind if Oogie Boogie decided to come back next year and spook us all a bit again. Especially if it would mean getting Haul-O-Ween back in Cars Land.
Even though I hate spiders and anything related to spiders, I loved how they made a chain web over Flo's Cafe!
Each little detail was perfect to Cars Land. I'm amazed at how well it all came together.
David and I also attended a Mickey's Halloween Party after 6 years! Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I did suffer my first panic attack at Disneyland (I powered through it and I'll let you know how on a later post). Here are some highlights from our experience at the party.
Toon Town had a little pre-Halloween party going on where you could go trick or treating in the trails and also meet characters. I decided to talk to some of the scarecrows. I ended up pixie dusting them since they were jealous of my sparkly poison apple Danielle Nicole.
All the characters were dressed up differently at Toon Town and then had outfit changes before attending the main event. Daisy looked so adorable in her witch outfit but the cutest one of them all was Mickey Mouse in his Zorro costume.
David and I loved listening to the Cadaver Dans sing on the Rivers of America. With smoke and spooky lights, it added to the atmosphere.
Now, I'm a HUGE fan of the Boo to You parade so I came with the same expectations for this new parade at Disneyland. It was no Boo to You but it was still very enjoyable. The music was catchy and I loved seeing so many spooky characters and villains.
Overall, we enjoyed ourselves at the party. Was it worth the money? Not really, in our eyes. We paid $85 per ticket because of our annual pass discounts and they only offered 3 parties at an AP discount. There were a lot of candy trails which was a plus but not enough entertainment. I think we have just been spoiled with Magic Kingdom parties and expected the same amount of shows. We would probably still attend one next year because we love Halloween time but only if the price doesn't increase drastically.
With Halloween season now coming to a close, I am looking forward to our upcoming trip to Disneyland in December for the Christmas season, one of our absolute favorites! Until next time friends!
I've never really shied away from speaking about my depression or anxiety. I've dealt with depression since I was a kid and after much counseling, I've figured out I've also always dealt with anxiety. However, there's a difference from always having dealt with anxiety to having my anxiety triggered. I know a lot of this won't make sense but this is more to show you what I deal with on an almost daily basis and how scary it felt for me from the beginning. It's not pretty. It's not pixie dust. But it's a huge part of who I am and it's important for me to share with you in case you're going through something similar.
My hands get clammy. My vision blurs. My chest feels like a boulder is sitting on top of it. I can't swallow but then again, there's nothing to swallow because my mouth gets dry. I get this sense of dread in my stomach, like something bad is about to happen, if not already happening. My feet start to sweat. My hearing starts to feel like I'm in a fish bowl. My body feels tingling, like ants walking on me. My legs seem to become jelly like and my feet feel numb. I'm starting to feel like I'm not breathing and about to pass out. My head feels mushy or at other times, prickly. I feel like crying because I'm not sure what's happening. Is something actually wrong this time or is this another panic attack? Do I call an ambulance? What do I do? My mind feels like it's on a speedway with thought after thought just racing through it. I try to take those deep breaths I've been taught to take when this starts to happen but I can't. I feel like I'm gasping for air and I can't stabilize myself. If I'm out in public, I fear someone will notice and then I start feeling embarrassed even though no one has noticed. This is what I experience when I have an anxiety attack.
A panic attack? A panic attack makes me feel like I'm dying. I can still remember my first one like it was just yesterday. My left arm numbed up and my head felt wet, like I was having an aneurysm. It felt like ants were also walking inside my head. My heart sped up to the point I thought it was going to pop out of my chest. I felt so dizzy and I couldn't focus on anything. I felt like throwing up but instead I was dry heaving. My hands and feet were sweating. My body felt so hot but at the same time so cold and I was shivering. Walking by myself was near impossible. I kept losing my balance and felt like the earth was spinning. I could barely form words and when I was able to form words, I stuttered so badly. At this point, I call my mom, worried this might be the last time I talk to her as I head to the emergency room, not knowing what could be wrong with me. I get to the emergency room and then doctor tells me "Oh you're just having a panic attack. You'll be fine." JUST a panic attack? I've never experienced one before in my life. Here I am thinking these are my final moments and a doctor tells me it's JUST a panic attack.
They handed me a prescription for both my nausea and also one to "calm" me. No explanation. I continued to suffer from panic attacks almost daily for about 6 months. I went to counseling from the beginning but it didn't really help. I started going weekly and little by little it helped.
However, I still struggle with it. It doesn't help that anxiety and depression usually go hand in hand. When my depression starts to intensify, so does my anxiety. Some days it's a struggle to even get out of bed, to take care of myself. I don't feel like talking to anyone but then I feel bad if I don't. I feel alone even though I know there are so many loving souls that care about me. There are days where I cry and there's no explanation behind it except that after I cry I feel a TINY bit better. I start to question why I'm here and what's my purpose when I feel so damaged. I smile and laugh but inside I'm so overwhelmingly sad yet not many really see past the facade.
It's not an easy journey but I KNOW I'll be okay, because I always am even when the darkness seems to consume me. When I have a panic attack, yes it's scary but I know I'll survive this one just as I did the last one. They're also not as common anymore which is a huge step from where I was at a year ago. And when I'm alone and THINK I'm alone, I remember every person that has brought positivity in my life but most importantly, loves me.
Even through all of this, I know my life is absolutely beautiful. I treasure every real moment of joy and happiness. I do not take anything for granted and I don't hate my life. I absolutely love it. I remind myself that it's okay not to be okay but to always reach out for support when I can't do it alone and not to let it consume me.
I know I probably rambled on and on, but I tried my best to write this out as it came to my mind. If you're going through something similar, you're not alone. If there's one thing that's helped me is finding others who have gone through this or are still managing their anxiety and depression. If you ever need help, reach out for support whether it's a family member, a friend or even a stranger. You'll be surprised on how many people are willing to be there for you.
"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." -Albus Dumbledore
Experiencing Club 33 is a once in a lifetime opportunity but I am very grateful that this was the second time I got to experience it. Better yet, we were able to celebrate one of my best friend's birthdays here along with an amazing group of friends! The first time I went was back in December 2013, right before the big refurbishment. I never thought I would be able to see the new refurbishment so when we found out we were going for lunch, I screamed from excitement.
Club 33 is truly an experience like no other. Secluded in New Orleans Square, some might not even notice the door that will let you inside this beautiful place, let alone the doorbell that members/invitees use to enter.
To get in, you must press this doorbell. Here a cast member will ask for your name and grant you access if your name is on the list of reservations. Upon entering, they immediately take you to Court of Angels where you wait for a cast member to come take you up to Club 33.
Before the refurbishment, Court of Angels was a place anyone could go to but now it's the waiting area for Club 33. It's such a beautiful little courtyard and I am so happy I was able to be here again. This use to be the place I wanted David to propose but alas, they closed it off to the rest of us and that was a dream that never happened (it's okay because he ended up proposing in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle during the Diamond Celebration but that's a story for another day). There's something just so calming about this area that I've missed and can I just live there forever?
Once it's time for your reservation, a cast member will lead you up the stairs (if you need an elevator to get up to the second floor, they do have one if needed). As soon as you're at the top of the staircase, you're greeted by this wonderful mosaic on the ground.
How gorgeous is it?! I, of course, had to take the obligatory shoefie with the Club 33 mosaic. The colors are absolutely stunning and what a wonderful welcome before you step inside Club 33.
If there's one thing I've loved about the refurbishment is the color change. Everything is so much brighter with the beautiful blue and gold. I wish I could show you pictures of what I mean but for privacy purposes, no pictures are allowed of the dining room (or of the lounge, and only members are allowed in here with their guests). However, you can tell with this mosaic and the merchandise that they went a much brighter route.
Now for my favorite part, the food. I am so sorry if the next couple of pictures make you drool.
I warn you, I do not remember at all the name of this amazing appetizer but it was something along the lines of a salmon puff. And the salmon did NOT disappoint. I should have gotten two of these since you can either get two of the appetizers or an appetizer and a salad/or soup. The puff with the salmon and sauce MELTED in your mouth and everything combined made for such a tasty beginning. This appetizer was not on the menu but I think it should be a permanent option.
After the appetizer, I chose this signature "Lafayette" garden salad that included shaved radish, cucumbers and vinaigrette maison. The salad was very fresh but after haven eaten the salmon puff, I regretted my decision of a salad. It wasn't tasty enough for me and I would not order it again.
Next came this amazing entree and no words could truly explain how DELICIOUS this was. This was the Angus Filet Mignon with taleggio cream and poached onion. It also comes with roasted mushrooms but I have a strong dislike to them so I asked for no mushrooms on mine. The sauce and cream paired together with the meat was so savory. I wish there was a way for you to be able to taste it because it was phenomenal. The meat was cooked perfectly how I like it: medium rare. I have no regrets for this dish whatsoever.
One of the best parts, DESSERT. This is their caramel mousse "Napoleon" with almond brittle and orange currant coulis. I am not a huge fan of having dessert after a huge meal (I eat like a small bird) but WOW. I definitely had some room left for this delicious treat. It wasn't too sweet and the combination of the caramel with the orange currant coulis was a taste I'll remember forever.
You might think this was the end of our meal but oh no. I wasn't leaving without having their cappuccino.
Mostly for picture purposes, I really wanted and NEEDED this cappuccino. The foam comes with the Club 33 burnt on top. I really did not want to stir it at all once I added the sugar and cream to it (maybe half an hour later I did) but it was a cappuccino well made. As many of you know, I LOVE coffee and this one did not disappoint. It gave me the boost I needed to get out of the food coma I was in and ready for the rest of the day of park hopping.
After we were done waiting out the food coma, we headed to the balcony to have a small photoshoot with our friends. It's such a wonderful feeling being able to be on that balcony overlooking New Orleans Square. It's a view for years that I wished to see and now have been lucky to have experienced twice. It's so romantic now too because they have tables for 2 out there! (HINT HINT DAVID). Not sure if that's always been an option but it's the first time I've noticed it.
After our small photoshoot on the balcony, it was time to do even more damage to our wallets. That's right, we got to buy some of the amazing merchandise they have to offer. Not everything is available to purchase as a non-member but we were still able to pick up some wonderful souvenirs to remember this amazing day by.
David and I got matching "dad" hats as we call them and the material it's made from is so smooth and airy! They are very comfortable and have the logo on the front as well as the words Club Thirty Three on the back in the gold embroidery.
Next we got these amazing pins! I love the all gold pin so much and it's a lot bigger than the pin with the blue. However, I love that the smaller pin has that beautiful blue that you see all over Club 33. And no, we will not be trading these, EVER.
I also got this amazing keychain! I love LOVE the sparkly blue background and I love that it has the extra gold Club Thirty Three on it. Not going to lie, I don't think I'll ever put it on my keys because I'm too scared of it ever ripping off. It's just so pretty!
And lastly, this amazing mouse hat. At first, we didn't buy it. I know right? What was I thinking? But after seeing my friend Ashley wear hers and then Kara also get hers, I knew it had to be bought! I'm so glad I did because now it will be right next to my first pair of Club 33 ears I bought years ago. Not a bad haul if I do say so myself.
I know a lot of you are asking: how did you get in? For privacy purposes, I will not say but just a very amazing person that let us experience this with her. We could not be more thankful for such a wonderful experience. As much as it was amazing being inside Club 33 again, the memories are what matter most. We shared so much laughter and stories, and in my opinion, became a whole lot closer. And that is what matters the most. If I never get to experience Club 33 again, that's okay! I have such wonderful memories to hold onto and I hope everyone is able to experience it at least once in their lifetime. Until next time friends!
Jennifer loves long walks down main street, capturing moments and spending time with her loved ones..