Part of the student culture at California Baptist University is being a Disney fan. Regardless if students watch Disney movies, listen to soundtracks while completing homework assignments, visit Disneyland or show their dedication with annual passes, they love all things Disney.
Those who especially enjoyed the movie “Mary Poppins” will love Disneyland’s newest eatery, the Jolly Holiday Bakery Café, which opened its doors on Jan. 7 and is Located on Main Street USA. The new café replaced the Annual Passport Processing Center.
The ambiance is true to Disney style with whimsical touches, featuring artwork representing the movie’s theme, song lyrics and Mary Poppins décor scattered throughout the restaurant. Disney paid no creative expense in incorporating all aspects of the movie, right down to the smallest touches, including the tray liners resembling newspapers, much like what is found in a local English pub.
“Everything about Disneyland makes me feel like I am really in that movie, so I’m sure the new Mary Poppins restaurant will be so cool,” Alyssa Carter, junior, said. “I can’t wait to go and try it out!”
As is the case with most Disneyland attractions, Jolly Holiday has proven popular. Lines wrap around corners and the wait can be long, so planning is recommended when making your way to the Disney community’s newest establishment.
If the lines scare potential customers, Jolly Holiday’s cuisine may make the wait worthwhile with many of its entrées costing less than $10. It offers specialty coffees and signature entrées, including fresh salads, specialty sandwiches, soups, quiches and kid’s meal options.
Novice food critics have perused the cuisine and separated the spectacular from the mediocre.
Jenny Flake, the writer of picky-palate.com, stated that she and her husband loved the caprese sandwich, which comes with tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil, butter lettuce and a garlic aioli. She also loved the tomato basil soup, but had negative things to say about the toasted cheese sandwich.
“The grilled cheese was not hot, and the cheese was not melted,” Flake said, “so don’t expect that if you order this one. I thought the soup had great flavor and was a touch creamy, which I thought was great.”
Flake also wasn’t impressed with the angus roast beef sandwich, which comes with caramelized onions, horseradish aioli and white cheddar on a toasted onion roll, but commented that, despite its popularity, she thought the horseradish and onions were overpowering. She also said the kid’s meal contained very small portions.
Jeremiah Daws, a contributor for insidethemagic.net, agreed with Flake that the toasted cheese sandwich fell short of expectations.
“It wasn’t great,” Daws said. “The soup [wasn’t] bad, but I found the grilled cheese to be bland. The [Practically Perfect Punch] was tart and not special, served simply in a clear cup. It was a waste of money at $3.29.”
However, Daws said his friends enjoyed the Angus Roast Beef and the Oven-roasted Turkey sandwich, which came with tomatoes, lettuce and mustard aioli on a toasted ciabatta bread.
Jolly Holliday offers many choices if students are willing to be adventurous and try more “refined” park fair. It also serves fresh bakery items, like Matterhorn macaroons, flourless chocolate cake, fruit tarts and other Mickey-shaped desserts.
Despite long lines and some mixed reviews, there seems to be nothing stopping CBU students from embracing Jolly Holiday like other customary locations at Disneyland.
“Everything about Disneyland makes me happy!” Carter said.
CBU’s student community will be the true test to the overall experience of Jolly Holiday, regardless of others’ opinions. What matters most to Disney fans are the experiences and memories made that will last a lifetime.