I really hope this Bayou Bash “pilot” event becomes a yearly thing and expands each year. New Orleans Square is a culturally rich land, and having a little celebration like this works perfectly. This year the Bach was very solid with some unique food, a couple special shows, and some fun bunting and banners–it was a GREAT free value-add event. I can’t think of specific ways that the Bash could grow in size (more decorations?), but I hope Disney finds a way to do it. It was a great event, and something that I think could end up being a draw for locals if it were just a bit more.
Almost as soon as we arrived, one of the three shows started. It was a lot of fun, and the costumes that Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy were wearing were exceptional.
After watching the show, we headed over to the Court of Angels where some characters were out for meet and greets. While I don’t mind the Court of Angels being used like this at various times of the day for a dedicated purpose, I’m not quite so thrilled when it’s used as an ornament shop all holiday season or (starting this year) as Pirates League all Halloween Season. One thing that makes Disneyland so special is its many quiet corners where you can go to escape the hustle and bustle of the park and enjoy some exquisite theming. Court of Angels is probably tops on this list, and is a place where I could sit for hours just enjoying the ambiance while avoiding the crowds. These quiet spots aren’t “necessary” and most guests (obviously) don’t spend much time in them, but they are a special aspect of the park for those who know about them. It’s a shame to have them disappear, as they give Disneyland unique wrinkles, character, and offerings for guests beyond running from attraction to attraction.
When I expressed my disappointment over the Court of Angels being increasingly used for retail (with the statement “Details>Retail”), I was met mostly with agreement, but a couple of folks made comments, basically, that “Disneyland is for kids” and I shouldn’t be complaining about something that improves the experience for kids. This argument is flawed, and misconstrues my point. Basically, it grants a trump card to anything that appeals to kids. I know my readers are more intelligent than this, but I’ll explain why it’s foolish. I won’t even go into that much detail. Here’s why: cardboard boxes.
That’s right, cardboard boxes. Kids love them. Kids likely prefer cardboard boxes over attractions like Space Mountain (which they can’t go on) or bars like Trader Sam’s. Should we rip everything out of Disneyland that doesn’t appeal directly to children and replace it all with cardboard boxes scattered about? Of course not. Disneyland aims to be better than pandering to children. It doesn’t take an example this outlandish to see why this argument is flawed, either. Beyond that, the argument assumes that it’s an either/or proposition. Either these little details or something that makes children happy. While Disneyland may be short on space, there is a fair amount of unused space in Disneyland, and nothing requires that details by replaced by retail.
In general, though, I’ll generally rally against the replacement of details in favor of retail. I realize that Disneyland is a for-profit enterprise, but I think cutting details in favor for something that is “more profitable per square foot” is dangerous. It may be beneficial in the short term, but the more details you cut, the less special the experience becomes. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. This seems to be a much bigger issue in Walt Disney World than Disneyland, but let’s hope the “profit maximization by making cuts” mentality doesn’t become more prevalent out west.
For lunch, Sarah wanted to stop at Royal St. Veranda for another bread bowl and soup. She is crazy about the stuff. I think it’s just okay (and certainly not appropriate for a warm day in California), so I headed to River Belle Terrace for lunch while she got her bread bowl.
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize River Belle Terrace did not start serving lunch at 11 am. I got in line at 10:55 am, expecting to be able to get lunch once it was my turn. 11:05 am rolled around and I was up to order, only to discover that lunch wouldn’t be starting for another half hour. Their breakfast didn’t look very good, so I awkwardly got out of line.
I tried to play it cool and not look like a total n00b who doesn’t even know restaurant hours by heading to the seating area to take some photos. I don’t know how this made me look like less of a n00b, but whatever…
Instead, I went to French Market for another meal. They had Bayou Bash specials, so I decided to get one of those. At nearly $15, this French-style chicken-pork sausage sandwich with homemade apple-carrot slaw was way overpriced for what it was, but it was incredibly delicious.
The Bananas Foster Cheesecake, which we had previously enjoyed during “One More Disney Day,” was also delicious. That thing belongs on the permanent menu!
After that, unfortunately, it was time to walk back to Alpine Inn and wait for the Super Shuttle to pick us up. Leaving is never fun, but given that it was an impromptu trip that we had not even planned on taking, it wasn’t quite as bad to go. Leaving was actually somewhat exciting, as we had another trip scheduled only a few months later, and when we returned, Disney California Adventure would basically be a different park. It was actually a little exciting!
We’ll “See Ya Real Soon” for that Disney California Adventure Grand Reopening Trip Report!
For previous installments in this Disney trip report, visit its index.
PLUG: If you like Disney photos, I strongly encourage you to check out the eBook I wrote (and more importantly, photographed), Disneyland: Sunrise to Sunrise, by clicking here.
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