Haunted Mansion 50th Anniversary Tea

The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland turned 50 this year and to celebrate, the creative masterminds behind the Classic Afternoon Tea, Treat or Tea and Mickey’s Tea Party Celebration decided to make this year’s fall tea season at the Resort revolve around one of it’s most beloved attractions.

As soon as I heard that this was going to be the newest theme, I knew that it would be one of the hardest afternoon teas to try to snag a reservation. As the fall months approached, my friend Jennifer woke up at the ungodly hour of 3:00 AM several mornings in a row to try to get us a reservation. She finally succeeded in securing a reservation on the last day of the tea, November 3rd.

The Haunted Mansion theme started in the subtle ambiance of Steakhouse 55. There was soft organ music playing (reminiscent of the classic soundtrack of the attraction), themed flower arrangements on the table and a darker-than-normal lighting throughout the restaurant.

A picture of the ornate table displays. The flower arrangements are made up of red roses, smaller purple flowers and succulent type plants. There is large fake spider hidden in the flowers as well as a miniature candelabra.

The menu boasted its usual tea options: $52 for the Classic Tea Party, $65 for the Premium Tea Party or $35 for the Kids Tea Party.

As usual, the tea menu was expansive and wide ranging, boasting everything from green teas to black teas to white teas to caffeine-free teas.

A list of the teas provided at the Afternoon Tea. There are classic teas such as Chamomile and Darjeeling to more Disney-themed teas such as Princess Breakfast and Mad Hatters Tea Party.

The two seasonal teas were the Gingerbread House, which boasted a tea of “ginger notes with roasted cinnamon and vanilla”, and the Pear Cobbler, described as a “honeyed pear with the exotic taste of lychee”.

I decided to try the Gingerbread House first. What I love about the afternoon teas at Disney is that you can order as many teas as you like and you get your own personal teapot. I have to admit that the Gingerbread House tea was bit bland until I added a sugar stick and a bit of milk, which really heightened the flavors of cinnamon and vanilla. Later in our tea, I ordered the Pear Cobbler, which I enjoyed a lot more. The tea tasted like fresh pears and was light; I didn’t have to add anything to it to bring out the flavors.

A white teacup filled with with warm gingerbread tea. In the background, there are a few miniature jars of honey, a mini jug of milk and a few lemons to add for flavor.

Soon, our adorably themed tea tiers were presented. Since there were five of us, our table was packed with teapots, teacups, jams, lime curd cups and tea tiers. Somehow we made it work.

A three-level tier showing all of the offerings of the tea. The bottom plate has two scones. The middle plate has an assortment of sandwiches and the top plate is filled with yummy desserts.

Naturally we started with the scones, which were maple blueberry and funfetti flavored.

I know that I write this for every Disney-themed tea, but their scones are hands-down the best that I have ever eaten. They are always fresh, warm and fluffy. They pull apart well but don’t crumble to pieces when you eat them.

Instead of the usual lemon curd, a lime curd was served with the scones, along with devonshire cream and strawberry marmalade. The lime curd and strawberry jam on the maple blueberry scone really brought out the blueberry flavors of the scone. The funfetti scone tasted like cotton candy and paired well with the jam and lime curd.

The sandwiches that were featured in this tea were definitely not sandwiches that you would expect in an afternoon tea. Their flavors were broad and the theming was cute.

The first sandwich was representative of the Hatbox Ghost. The Hatbox Ghost is a character from the Haunted Mansion that was removed from the attraction shortly after it opened, as the effect of his disappearing and reappearing head didn’t work quite as well as Imagineers anticipated. Nevertheless, the Hatbox Ghost has appeared in various media related to the attraction. He officially returned to the attraction on May 9, 2015, during Disneyland’s 60th anniversary.

A photo of the sandwich that represents the Hatbox Ghost from the Haunted Mansion attraction. It is a blue sandwich sort of shaped like a bowling pin with a black print of a ghostly face on the bread.

I was extremely disappointed in this sandwich, as it was mostly bread and barely any fillings. Every now and then I would get a hit of the blue cheese herb mustard, then a bit of the breasola meat and cornichon pickles. I think if this sandwich was filled with more of the meat, I would have enjoyed it more.

The second sandwich was heart-shaped to represent the beating heart of Constance Hatchaway, a bride with a habit of decapitating her husbands. She appears in the attic scene of the attraction, holding an axe that appears and disappears in her hand.

The second savory sandwich, which represents the Bride on the Haunted Mansion attraction. This sandwich is small and covered in finely chopped beets and goat cheese.

This sandwich had a thin layer of goat cheese and millions of tiny beets. I never got any taste of the goat cheese because there were so many beets. However, the beets themselves were not overpowering in their taste; they were actually a little bland.

The third sandwich was an open-faced banh mi with capocollo and salume meats and was supposed to represent Rosie the Pig. Rosie the Pig is one of the many pets that has her own tombstone outside the front of the attraction when you walk through the queue. Her tombstone reads, “She was a poor little pig but she bought the farm. 1849″.

A picture of the third savory sandwich. It is an open-faced banh mi sandwich with capocollo and salume meats.

This one was my favorite sandwich of the bunch. The bread was lightly toasted and had good amounts of pickled carrots and salume. There was just enough mayonnaise to balance the flavors out. Everything was fresh and the flavors mixed well together yet were sharp enough to stand out on their own.

The last sandwich was my favorite design-wise. It was supposed to represent the stretching room of the attraction, the elevator that starts off the story and takes Guests down to the main vehicles of the attraction.

The last sandwich of the bunch. A simple sandwich of ham, cucumber and cream cheese. The ham and cucumber are folded accordion-style to represent the stretching room of the Haunted Mansion.

The simplicity of this sandwich and the creative presentation made it a close runner-up to the banh mi. The ham paired well with the crisp cucumber and there was just enough mayonnaise to tie everything together. The purple bread was a fun addition and the bread itself was soft.

After slowly filling up on tea and sandwiches, our tea group braved the top tier of desserts.

The desserts themselves were smartly decorated and a great way to round out the tea. The Hatbox Ghost made another appearance on one of the chocolate-cover strawberries. The strawberry was fresh and crisp and the purple chocolate was nice twist on a traditional favorite.

A chocolate-covered strawberry featuring the Hatbox Ghost. The chocolate is a light purple and has some black sprinkles dusted on top.

The white chocolate red velvet cake pop showcased Constance Hatchaway’s axe that I mentioned before. The red velvet cake was moist and rich and the white chocolate was sweet and not too overpowering. The axe itself was edible and made out of rice paper.

A white chocolate cake-pop with a edible miniature axe stuck inside of it.

The multi-layered pudding was themed around Madame Leota, the medium who holds a seance during one of the more popular scenes in the attraction. Her ghostly head is encased in a crystal ball that floats above her table as she call on the spirits of the Mansion to materialize.

The pudding was my favorite of the desserts because the different flavors brought something new to each bite and also meshed well together. The milk chocolate and white chocolate pudding layers were smooth and the top layer was a gelatin that added another layer of texture to each spoonful.

The last dessert was a whoopie pie that was also cutely themed. The Hitchhiking Ghosts are 3 spirits that Guests meet at the end of the Haunted Mansion so it was fitting to have a dessert that featured them. The whoopie pie was thick and very chocolatey. I was very full at this point so the chocolate was a bit overwhelming.

Overall, I really really liked theming of this tea. Each sandwich and dessert paid tribute to an aspect of one of the most interesting and popular Disneyland attractions. That said, the sandwiches themselves were a bit underwhelming. Some of the ingredients were lacking in a few of the sandwiches. The desserts were creative and tasty and were able to round out an overall satisfying tea.

Christmas at the Disneyland Resort has already started and I’m looking forward to seeing if the chefs will come up something spectacular for the holiday season.

Thank you for reading along and see you on my next afternoon tea adventure!

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