An Afternoon Tea Party at Disneyland

Back in January, the Disney Parks Blog announced that the Disneyland Hotel was going to start hosting Afternoon Tea on weekends. Naturally, as a Disney fanatics and newly dubbed tea party connoisseurs, Shelby, Jen and I were dying to try it out.

I decided that an afternoon tea at Disneyland was how I wanted to spend my birthday this year. Jen booked a 12:25 reservation and soon the anticipation set in.

We met up at Jen’s for hair and makeup before hand. I had a Princess Leia themed dress patiently waiting in my closet and my hair was long enough to attempt a style in her signature cinnamon bun fashion.

Our drive to Anaheim was surprising fast with little traffic, considering it was a Saturday and Memorial Day weekend. We wandered around Downtown Disney to kill a little time before heading over to Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel.

After a quick check-in at the hostess desk, we were led to our table.

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View from our table

Afternoon Tea is only the second time I have been able to dine at Steakhouse 55 but what I love the most about this restaurant is the classic old Hollywood feel to it. There are pictures of Walt Disney and old-school movie stars along the walls. The pristine white tablecloths  compliment the dark wood of the chairs and walls. The lighting is low but not too dark and, for the afternoon tea, classical music plays softly to accentuate the atmosphere.

You have two choices for your Afternoon Tea: Classic ($50) and Premium ($65). There is also a Kids Tea ($35) and we got the thrill of seeing a few little ones in their best tea dresses enjoying an afternoon with their mothers.

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Jen and I decide to treat ourselves and went for the Premium; Shelby ordered the Classic. Our waitress, Kate, told us to take our time with the tea menu and told us that we could order our tea hot or iced, we could order as many teas as we liked, and that the wine served during the tea could only be served on Disney property.

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The possibilities are endless

I chose the Redbush Caramel Velvet, Shelby chose the Russian Earl Grey and Jen chose the Mountain Berry. Since Jen and I order the Premium Tea, we also got a glass of sparkling wine.

When she brought our tea, Kate also brought her knowledge. She informed us that the Caramel Velvet tea that I had ordered was rich with potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc with an origin of South Africa and a dulce de leche flavoring. Shelby’s Russian Earl Grey was born from the Russian tradition of taking their tea with them on camel-back when they traveled; they would add lemon to add flavor to their tea and to musk the taste that was acquired while it was traveling with the camels.

Milk and honey were provided to add taste; we could not get enough of the cute little sugar stirring sticks and had to ask Kate for several more over the course of our afternoon.

The Premium option came with a first-course salad.

 

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Baby lettuce with mint leaves, orange segments, sliced grape tomatoes and radishes, with Green Goddess dressing

Mint leaves in my salad is a rather new experience for me but it added a fresh flavor. The lettuce was crisp and the tomatoes were juicy. The Green Goddess dressing is a mix of mint, basil, avocado, parsley, cilantro and a bit of mustard. There was enough dressing to cover the whole salad but it was light and did not overpower any of the other flavors in the salad.

Before we knew it, our tiers of delectable finger sandwiches and other goodies were brought out.

The scones on the top-tier were an English scone and a chocolate raspberry scone. The scones were thick yet buttery and light;they were easy to separate to add a layer of the accompanying raspberry jam and lemon custard but they never crumbled apart.

The raspberries were fresh and there was a hint of a chocolate aftertaste.

Next we moved onto the sandwiches.

The Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella satisfied my everlasting craving for theses types of sandwiches. It’s such an easy thing to make that I’ve made a promise to myself to try to eat it more often at home. The tea’s version had ripe and juicy tomatoes, fresh basil sprinkled onto and mozzarella cheese so thick and creamy and fresh my mouth is watering as I write this. The bread was soft and easy to eat; the sandwich never fell apart.

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The Deviled Cage Free Egg Salad was one of the best egg salad sandwiches that I have ever had, mostly because of the way that the eggs were chopped. The texture was not “overwhelmingly chewy like most egg salads can be”, according to Jen, and I had to agree. There was also a hint of sriracha mixed in to add a bit of spice.

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The Salmon Gravlax had an interesting texture. The salmon was soft as was the squaw bread. There was a hint of dill on top that brought out the flavor of the salmon; I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t smoked but I still enjoyed it.

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Lastly, the Cucumber and Watercress sandwich, which is a sandwich that, to me, is a must-have staple of any afternoon tea that you may enjoy. The cucumber was thinly cut but crunchy, fresh and crisp. The mayonnaise on top was not overwhelming and the watercress added more crunch and flavor.

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We moved onto the dessert tier. The breading that made up the mini fruit tart didn’t crumble when you bit into it; combined with the light, sweet custard and the fresh slightly tart fruit, it was a good start to the end of our tea.

There were four types of macarons: Banana and Caramel, Pistachio, Dark Chocolate, and Raspberry, which Jen and I spilt. All of the macarons were soft and buttery; each had their own signature flavor that lingered after you finished; the banana and caramel meshed well, the pistachio had a hint of blackberry sauce in the middle, the dark chocolate surprised with a dose of vanilla from its cookie, and the raspberry revealed more dark chocolate in its center.

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Kate surprised me with an additional birthday treat: a moist chocolate cake with raspberries on the side. It was almost too much, as I was full from our tea, but I powered through and ate it.

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Also, my hair looks so cute in this picture!

Jen, Shelby and I agreed that this tea was a success. I wasn’t overly stuffed, as I had been at the tea at the Mission Inn, and the atmosphere was nice, although it would have been pleasant to sit outside as the weather was gorgeous that day. When we arrived, there were only a few tables taken up but as the afternoon went on, more and more parties began to arrive.

Kate was a wonderful waitress. Her attentiveness and expertise of tea history added a new twist to our usual tea-going experiences. We slightly lamented the fact that whoever had the idea to come up with an afternoon tea at the Disneyland Hotel missed an opportunity to play with cute themes and names for the servings. (Among the ideas we threw around at our table: sandwiches named after Princesses and Attractions). A tea themed after Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast or even a Mary Poppins-themed tea would be cute; it doesn’t have to be over-the-top in-your-face but subtle things that Disney fans would appreciate would give the Afternoon Tea at Disneyland an even more unique feel.

The prices were around the same as the other teas, I believe, and if you are an Annual Passholder or Cast Member, your discounts do apply. You can make reservations online or over the phone.

If you are in the area or want to try something new when you go to Disneyland, the Afternoon Tea is something that I would definitely recommend.

2 Comments

  1. Joan Mitchell says:

    This was a great write up of your experience at the tea. It hit the point in many ways and gave a few hints to upgrade it with the Disney flare. I think you ought to send it to the Disney newspaper or flyer whatever it is called. Can’t hurt Meg. Just a thought. Good job as usual. Love you Teah Teah

    Like

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