Recipe for a Pumpkin Spice Milkshake inspired by Halloween Time at Disney California Adventure! This creamy pumpkin vanilla milkshake is topped with whipped cream, pumpkin spice sugar, caramel sauce, and graham crackers.
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Halloween Time at Disney California Adventure
Last week I shared a recipe for Mummy Macarons and our visit to Disneyland during Halloween Time. Well today, I am featuring the Halloween food and decorations found at Disney California Adventure!
At the park entrance, Oogie Boogie rises over the turnstiles and talks to the crowds.
You can get a photo in front of the Headless Horseman on Buena Vista Street and at night the entire area is decorated with twinkling purple lights.
Claire was so excited to find Vampirina hanging out in Hollywood Land.
The park is featuring 26 specialty menu items for Halloween in addition to a handful of souvenirs. We were able to try a portion of those. One of my favorites was the S’mores Churro from the Golden State Churro Cart by the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. The top two-thirds of the churro are drizzled with a marshmallow cream and sprinkled with mini chocolate chips and crushed graham crackers.
We found the Mummy Donut and Caramel Apple Smoothie at Schmoozies in Hollywood Land. They were both very sweet and best for sharing. The Mummy Donut was actually a lot larger than I though it would be and filled with peanut butter and jelly. Schmoozies also has a Bat-Shaped Whoopie Pie filled with Espresso Chip Ice Cream.
The Bat Wing Raspberry Sundae can be found at Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream on Buena Vista Street. This was another treat perfect for splitting. Clarabelle’s also has the Spider Silk Macaron Sandwich (black macaron with charcoal-tart cherry ice cream, popping candy, and raspberry sauce). Next door at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe is a Sleepy Hollow Cupcake (Red Velvet Cupcake with Headless Horseman Chocolate Piece).
While the Spicy Halloween Dog at the Refreshment Corner in Disneyland wasn’t actually spicy to me, the Oktoberfest Dog at Award Wieners in Hollywood Land definitely was (to me, Chad didn’t taste as much of the spice). A kielbasa sausage is topped with caramelized onions, sauerkraut, Oktoberfest beer cheese, and green onions. Award Wieners also has two types of funnel cake fries for the season- pumpkin spice and cookies & cream.
Another favorite was the Anti-Vampire Chicken Pizza from Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta (roasted garlic sauce, marinated chicken, smoked Gouda, Mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and a tomato-harissa drizzle). It was just a bit pricy at nearly 9 dollars for only a slice.
We picked up a Vampire Mickey Sourdough at Mortimer’s Market on Buena Vista Street. It can also be found at Pacific Wharf Café.
The entire area around Paradise Gardens Park has been beautifully decorated to celebrate Día de los Muertos with Coco.
Here you can find performances with folklórico dancers and mariachi musicians, an Ofrenda with scenes from Coco, a Memory Wall to add remembrance notes, paper Alebrije masks to decorate, and more.
There is also a booth next to the craft area for Coco-inspired face paint. The line was a little long, but the artist worked so quickly for such great results!
We were able to find these Coco-themed desserts At Paradise Garden Grill. The orange Conchita Pan Dulce is filled with dulce de leche and topped with sprinkles. The Churro Cake was another hit with three layers of colored sponge cake separated by cinnamon mousse and a sweet cream cheese frosting.
We especially loved the transformation of Cars Land for “Haul-O-Ween.” I never took any photos at nighttime, but the decorations are even more spectacular when the sun goes down and all the lights come on. The one day we were in the park at night was also the first Mickey’s Halloween Party of the season in Disneyland so the sudden jump in crowd levels got to be a bit too much for Evan.
Everything from the Cozy Cones to the cars and random decorations in between have been transformed. Even the rides are in the spirit. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is currently Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters next door is Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween with Halloween-themed music.
Lightning McQueen, Cruz, and Mater are also dressed up (superhero, pirate, vampire)!
Each Cozy Cone at the Cozy Cone Motel has something unique to offer. The first Cozy Cone is featuring a Pumpkin Spice Churro with a Cream Cheese Dipping Sauce. The sprinkles covering the churro were quite messy, but the dipping sauce was so good. The Spoke-y Cone Macaron at Cozy Cone 4 is perfect for candy corn lovers. The orange cone-shaped macaron is filled with marshmallow buttercream and lots of candy corn. I didn’t get a chance to try the Slow Burnin’ Mac & Cheese Cone (pasta with spicy red pepper cheese sauce topped with crushed chile-cheese puffs in a black bread cone).
Across the walkway at Flo’s V8 Cafe, you can find a Pumpkin Spice Shake with caramel and graham crackers and a Candy Cone Pie (Cream Pie with Vanilla, Butterscotch, and White Chocolate Pudding).
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel
During one of our visits to Disney California Adventure, we cut through Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel on the way out to Downtown Disney to see the decorations in the lobby. The Halloween Pump-“Cake” Patch is a massive rice crispy treat made up of 200 pounds of powdered sugar, 40 pounds egg whites, 180 pounds rice cereal, 80 pounds marshmallow, 60 pounds butter, 80 pounds dark chocolate, 60 pounds white chocolate, and 300 pounds fondant. The Oogie Boogie pumpkin alone is over 4 feet tall.
Right next to the rice crispy treat pumpkin patch is a snack cart full of fun halloween-inspired treats.
Overall, we had such a wonderful time and loved all the decorations/food. The area definitely does get packed this time of year though, especially on Halloween party nights.
Pumpkin Spice Milkshake
This Pumpkin Spice Milkshake is modeled after the version I tried at Flo’s V8 Cafe. Milk is simmered briefly with pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. After whisking in a little vanilla extract, the mixture is cooled to room temperature and blended with vanilla ice cream and ice cubes.
The resulting pumpkin vanilla milkshakes are transferred to serving glasses (I used these ice cream glasses) and topped with whipped cream, pumpkin pie spice sugar (I combined pumpkin pie spice with orange-colored sanding sugar), caramel sauce, and graham crackers.
Pumpkin pie spice is a spice mixture often comprised of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. It can be found in the spice section of most American grocery stores, particularly in the fall, or made easily at home.
Pumpkin Spice Milkshake Recipe
Adapted from The Chunky Chef
Pumpkin Spice Milkshake
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups vanilla ice cream
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
- 2 tablespoons granulated or decorating sugar
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice
- Whipped cream
- Caramel sauce
- Graham crackers
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to simmer. Remove from heat, whisk in the vanilla extract, and allow to cool.
- In a blender, pulse together the cooled milk pumpkin mixture, ice cream, and ice cubes until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture among serving glasses.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
- Top each milkshake with whipped cream, the pumpkin spice sugar, caramel sauce, and graham crackers. Serve immediately.