Get your cheese on at Disneyland's Mickey Mouse festival

January 22, 2019, 7:23 PM · Valentine's Day is coming soon, so Mickey and Minnie Mouse are celebrating at Disneyland.

Valentine's Day at Disneyland

Hearts in Town Square

Hearts on the Mickey and Minnie banners

The park has put up Valentine's decorations all over Main Street USA, which already has been celebrating Disneyland's "Get Your Ears On - A Mickey and Minnie Celebration." That makes the world's most famous cartoon couple the focus this year, leading up to the sold-out Disneyland After Dark: Sweethearts' Nite after-hours, hard-ticket party on February 7.

Yet let's not forget that Mickey and Minnie fest. I showed you last week some of the entertainment and food from the special event, but today I was hungry to try more.

But what? Hmmm, what would Mickey do? He's a mouse; he'd go for something cheesy, right?

That led me to Award Wieners, the home of "A Cheesy Celebration" — a cheddar sausage topped with macaroni and cheese, cheese curds, salsa verde, ground-up cheese puffs, and jalapenos, served with Award Wieners' "filmstrip fries" for $9.99.

A Cheesy Celebration

Looks amazing, right? I have just one question — how in the world do I fit this into my mouth? Served atop a substantial New England-style griddled bun, this concoction defied all my attempts at gracious consumption. I know that Disney (and other theme parks) design their food as much for Instagram as for customer's taste buds these days, but my attempt to eat this thing probably was better suited to some YouTube prank video. (Sorry to deny you that, BTW.)

How'd it taste? The sausage stars here, with a great snap and sharp flavor. The salsa verde probably added some zing to the otherwise bland mac and cheese, and the jalapenos provided a welcome kick. (Just rearrange them from their "Mickey head" shape to get one in each bite.) But the cheese curds are just taking up space, the Cheeto dust is MIA, and there's far too much bread for the sausage provided.

For dessert, I tried the 'Get Your Ears On' Funnel Cake Fries, topped with cream cheese and chocolate sauces, whipped cream, Oreos, and sprinkles, for $7.99.

'Get Your Ears On' Funnel Cake Fries

Another Insta-ready Disney dessert. If only it tasted as good as it looked.

New rule for Robert: Don't put toppings on a funnel cake. If you want to put some whipped cream or fruit on the side to drag the funnel cake through on its way to your mouth, feel free. But slapping wet toppings onto the funnel cake only robs its of its signature crispiness, rendering a soggy mess. They also cause a funnel cake to lose its heat even more quickly, and no one wants a cold funnel cake.

One more: Funnel fries aren't nearly as good as funnel cake, since their uniform shape eliminates all those craggy, crunchy bits that make funnel cakes so delicious.

Fussy design might make for handsome food photos on social media, but simplicity often yields a tastier result. Give me the simplicity of a well-fried funnel cake or a freshly baked cookie, over Mickey's head in whipped cream, please. For special events such as this, bring me special flavors, but I'd just as soon skip the pile of fixins that provide more volume than taste.

I won't have to wait long for another chance, though. Lunar New Year starts this Friday at Disney California Adventure, with a new menu of limited-time specials.

Replies (2)

January 22, 2019 at 7:50 PM

A while ago I tried the funnel cake at Hungry Bear, and it was a fried, heavy, lumpy, clumpy mess. I know it's fried, but it should be lighter, this definitely was not. Surprisingly, I tried funnel cake fries at Hot Dog on a Stick at the mall, and they were pretty good.

January 23, 2019 at 9:52 AM

I've never been a fan of all the toppings on a funnel cake, particularly sundaes that pile scoops of drippy ice cream on top. To me, doing the same with funnel cake fries is just useless. Why not offer the fries in a standard fry container and then give guests some dipping sauce? That's how most other places handle funnel cake fries, and I don't understand why Disney thinks scattering them on a plate and piling a bunch of topping on them is a good idea.

Cheetos dust always sounds better than it actually is. It never adds the zip you expect when you see the bright orange powder on an item. Similar to the funnel cake fries, it defies logic to put cheese curds buried in mushy mac and cheese. The best characteristics of curds is the crispy outside and squeaky inside, which will get lost in a lumpy pile of mac and cheese. I agree that it seems like Disney is spending more time designing food items for Instagram than it is coming up with items that are fun to eat.

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