Sunday, September 20, 2015

Club 33 Salon Nouveau and Big Thunder Ranch BBQ

After hearing that Big Thunder Ranch BBQ (one of our favorite places to eat at Disneyland) would be closing to make way for Star Wars land in 2016, Ruston, Jacob, Theresa and I knew we'd need to make reservations to go back and eat there soon.
As luck would have it, we were also able to visit Club 33 as well!

Theresa, Ian and I piled into the car and headed to Disneyland! It was around 11am and it was already starting to get pretty hot. Just sitting on the tram I was starting to sweat.

We had plans to meet in the Esplanade but all abandoned that plan and headed to the nearest air conditioning we could find. The Main Street Opera house had AC pouring out the front door and was quite a welcome relief.

Inside the vault was the Haunted Mansion Caretaker along with his dog. I wonder if these are really from the ride. I know Jack Skellington and Zero have replaced them for now during the Holiday Haunted Mansion layover.

Off to the next stop with AC. Along the way, we found Mickey Mouse!

Here's our first big stop of the day! Club 33! And it's Ian's first visit ever to the club.

Waiting for us just inside the door in the Court of Angels courtyard was a delicious iced apple cider.

I was expecting just apple juice, but was very surprised when I tasted it. Some combination of cinnamon, apple juice and something else I can't place was delicious, refreshing and tasted like fall. I want the recipe!

We were told we could leave the stroller down below in the courtyard, but declined to do so. We had plans for it for later in the day. The five of us rode the elevator up to the lobby and met our hosts in Salon Nouveau.

We're getting here right around lunchtime, and here in the Salon you can order off either the Club 33 lunch menu, or off the Salon Nouveau menu.

But first drinks. When we visited 1901 over in California Adventure I tried a Rose soda that was "interesting". Over here, instead of regular lemonade, the club offers a Lavender lemonade. And yes, it came with a sprig of lavender in it. Thankfully the lavender wasn't overpowering and it was quite tasty.

Ruston ran out to the lobby to check out the Club 33 merchandise available to purchase and look who he ran in to! It's Mickey Mouse! Who wore it better?
Mickey would be taking a break for a little while, but he'd be back at 1pm.

Lunch arrived! Knowing we shouldn't stuff ourselves with all-you-can-eat BBQ coming tonight, Jacob, Ruston and I split a couple appetizers. First was the smoked chicken muffuletta. It was quite delicious, and the jardiniere relish gave it a yummy tang.

Next we dined on the Angus beef sliders. They were quite tasty as well, but if I had to order something again I'd go for the smoked chicken sandwich. It was something unique that you can't get just anywhere.

At 1pm we walked into the lobby and who happened to be there? Mickey and Minnie!

Ian was really happy to see them!

So happy.

There really wasn't anyone else waiting to see Mickey and Minnie so Ian got a solid 8 minutes of 1 on 1 time with the characters! Awesome!

Time to say goodbye.

Family picture.

Back in the salon Ian wandered around. We inspected the magic piano that plays itself.

How does that thing work?

It's been so nice to be inside in the AC. Checking the app it's 105 degrees outside and it feels like 111°F! Yikes!

Ian looked up at me and said "Outside?" No buddy, I don't think so.
"Mickey Mouse?" Hmm, maybe we could go back to see him.
"Pwease Mickey Mouse?" Aww, how can I say no to that.

Mickey and Minnie were still in the lobby hanging out.

And Ian was thrilled to be playing with them again.

Duffy got a bit of attention, playing hide and seek, then sitting on top of Mickey's head. That got some giggles.

We got comfortable on the floor and played around some more. Ian identified all the colors I pointed to on Mickey and Minnie. Then he counted Mickey's fingers (he only has four on each hand). This whole time it was just Ian and the characters for nearly 10 minutes. Wow. I can't think of any other way he might get that kind of opportunity.

Ian was a bit worn out. Even though the atmosphere is a little loud and there's constantly music playing he was quickly out.

Remember that stroller we decided to bring with us. Ian crashed for nearly 2 hours! While he slept, we enjoyed catching up with friends who we haven't seen in quite a while.

All too soon, it was time to leave. Checking out the merchandise cabinet before we left. I ended up getting a couple cool Club 33 lanyards.

Ian and T played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the harpsichord. Ian plays on T's piano at home, so he knows how to be gentle with the keys.

Outside guess who was waiting on the staircase?

Mickey and Minnie again!

More photos.

Let's go back upstairs and take a couple pictures by the entrance. Don't go anywhere Mickey and Minnie.

Ian had a fantastic first visit to the club. Thank you so much to the members who invited us to join them!

Last time visiting the characters. We told Mickey and Minnie that we watch them almost every day on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Let's do the hot dog dance! I found the music on youtube and played it on my phone, while Mickey and Minnie both danced in the same style as they do in the show! It was awesome!

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Hot Dog Dance.

Back in the courtyard we explored just a little more. Where's Tinker Bell?

Stuck in a lantern. Poor Tinker Bell.

He's drawn to water.

After leaving the club, we used a fast pass to get onto the Holiday Haunted Mansion. This is the first time I've seen the new Hat Box Ghost. I think it's a fun addition to the mansion.

As the time got closer to our dinner reservations, we made our way over to the Big Thunder Ranch area. Finally a sheep is close enough to actually pet. Usually they're hiding out of reach when we're here.

Bernard has certainly grown since the last time we saw him.

A quick Hey Howdy Hey to Woody.

Then a ride on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! Ian loved it!

Time for a delicious dinner. Look at that bucket full of tasty meat. I'm really going to miss this place.

Ian digging in to his corn wheel.

Good food and good company. What more can you ask for.

To finish the night, we took a quick spin on King Arthur's Carrousel.

Then it was back to the tram for a ride back to the car.

Overall it was a very relaxing and enjoyable day. We were able to avoid the heat and stay cool almost the entire time.

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