REVIEW – Disneyland’s New “Tropical Hideaway”
Back in February, the Disney Parks Blog announced that Aladdin’s Oasis in Disneyland’s Adventureland would close to make room for a “recently discovered” Tropical Hideaway. Very few details were revealed, only that the Hideaway would feature “all of the sights, sounds, and flavors of the tropics”. Over the past couple of months, more details were unveiled about the new Hideaway, including a look inside of the construction walls a couple weeks back.
After holding a media preview on Wednesday, December 19th, Disney soft-opened the Hideaway and announced an official opening date of Friday, December 21st. With all the hype surrounding the opening, I took a trip through the wilds of Adventureland, found this oasis in the tropics, and discovered the wonders of the Tropical Hideaway!
Quick-Service Done Right
Disneyland stands above its sister parks in the States in many ways, and the food is no different. Quick-service dining options at the Disneyland Resort has seen a total overhaul in recent years, most notably with the addition of Mobile Ordering. The nearby Bengal Barbecue has long been a benchmark for quick theme park food options, and the Tropical Hideaway takes its cue from here.
The set-up of the Hideaway is different from other quick-service dining options in the park. The line forms on the left-hand side of the seating area, nearest to the exit for the Enchanted Tiki Room. There are two main areas to order from while in this line. The first serves up Dole Whip and related frozen treats. The most notable is the “Twisted Ambush”, a Loaded Whip of Orange-Pineapple Swirl, exotic fruit, and crystallized hibiscus. New Dole Whip flavors featured are Orange and Raspberry, both of which can be swirled with the classic Pineapple Whip.
The second ordering area is for hot snacks, the star of which is the three types of bao buns. Chicken, spicy vegetable, and beef are your options for fillings in these steamed buns. The chicken bun has a curry sprinkling, the spicy vegetable has a combination of chickpeas, barley, and other steamed vegetables, and the beef (my personal favorite) has sweet chilies, potatoes, and carrots. The sweet option here is the pineapple lumpia, a favorite at Animal Kingdom’s “Pandora – The World of Avatar”.
Once you have piled all your tropical treats onto your tray, you then proceed to the check-out registers at the back of the Hideaway and seat yourself at one of the many outdoor tables.
The Details are Stunning
Walt Disney Imagineering has always been world-renowned for their attention to detail. The Tropical Hideaway is no different. One of my favorites is near the previously mentioned check-out registers. The Society of Explorers and Adventurers, or S.E.A., has been entertaining guests to the Disney parks in Asia since 2001. This connected collection of characters and attractions is reminiscent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and features the likes of Tokyo DisneySEA’s “Tower of Terror” and Hong Kong Disneyland’s “Mystic Manor”. The S.E.A. has slowly made its way to the United States, in the form of a retroactive connection to Walt Disney World’s “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad” and “Miss Adventure Falls”. S.E.A. has its first prominent appearance in California in the form of these paddles.
They all feature plaques engraved with the names, locations, and dates of many of S.E.A.’s known members and some that have not been mentioned before.
On the banks of the adjacent Jungle Cruise, a long pondered mystery of the Enchanted Tiki Room has been solved! One of the classic show’s lines goes “I wonder what happened to Rosita!” She has found a home in the Tropical Hideaway, interacting with guests and diners.
With Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening next summer, the Tropical Hideaway is sure to get overlooked. But along with the new Rivers of America, it is one of the best efforts put forth by Imagineering at the Disneyland Resort in recent years. It is the perfect buffer between the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise that Aladdin’s Oasis was not. The food is good and the atmosphere is beyond amazing. There are plenty of hidden details for the hardcore Disney fan, and the lack of open seating during my visit proves the Hideaway is not being overlooked by the casual guests as well. If you need me in the coming hectic holiday weeks, I’ll be enjoying a beef bao bun and pineapple lumpia in the Tropical Hideaway!