Who: VN Editorial Director Aurelia d'Andrea, VN Office Manager Lyndsay Orwig, VN Editorial Assistant Melissa Feineman + VN Editor- at-Large Jennifer Pickens
When: March 5, 2009
Where: Anaheim, Calif.
Why: A day of fun before Expo West weekend
The Scoop: Each year the VegNews crew heads down to Expo West, and we always wish we had allowed an extra day in the OC for Disneyland, since it's right next door to the Anaheim Convention Center. So, this year, we did it! Now, it's no secret that the VN gang is tons of fun, so spending a day together at Disneyland was guaranteed to be a blast. And it was.
We walked to the park from our hotel and arrived bright 'n' early as the gates opened. Excitement overcame us, and Aurelia and I gleefully screamed and ran straight for Space Mountain, only to discover the ride was closed. Disney "cast members" assured us that it would open soon, but we needed a fun fix fast, so we hopped on the nearest ride with no line. Since we still couldn't scale the final frontier, we headed to our second favorite mountain, the Matterhorn. Sorry, closed for refurbishing. Oh no! As this was Lindsay's first trip to Disneyland, we'd promised to take her to all of the best rides. If we didn't get on a high-speed rolly-coaster soon, we were going to leave a trail of shredded mouse ears in our wake. Luckily, we were able to salve our wounds with a giant dose of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Veg eating at Disneyland has become much easier than it used to be when I worked there in college. (Go ahead, get all of the laughter out of your system, I'll wait.) These days, The Happiest Place on Earth offers grilled-vegetable sandwiches and veggie burgers in Tomorrowland, which is where we headed for lunch. Melissa opted out of this meal because she wanted to try the vegetarian gumbo in New Orleans Square. The rest of us indulged in burgers and fries before running off to take in a few more rides. And, hurray! Space Mountain was finally open.
After a few hours of running ourselves ragged, we were happy to sit and rest our feet while Melissa enjoyed (and shared) her vegetarian gumbo. It's a hearty meal of veggies in a tomato base, served in a sourdough bread bowl which Melissa and Lyndsay thought was pretty flavorful and filling, with a nice, spicy kick.
Melissa and Lyndsay tuck into the gumbo at New Orleans Square
Finally satisfied that we were able to ride everything we wanted, we rushed back to our hotel to get ready for an amazing vegan dinner by chef Art Eggertsen, courtesy of the folks at ProBar. More about that in another post. With the exception of the Matterhorn closure, it really was The Happiest Place on Earth for a day. Thanks, Disneyland!