California Adventure

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Rob here reporting and journaling our happy times spent in the California Adventure Theme Park during our trip to California earlier this year. Disneyland and California Adventure are among my favorite places in the world. I’m so grateful to have been able to spend time here with my wonderful family. It was also great to have my parents along on the trip to once again experience the happiness of being here with little children. We spent a magical four days in Disneyland and California Adventure; Day 1 and Day 3 were in California Adventure.

Julie has already chronicled the extensive planning process that she undertook to ensure us very minimal wait times and I must say that she really delivered on that. We were there the first week of may and the lines were very, very, short. There was a tiny bit of a snag that really got us first thing on Day 1. As you can see from the image of Paradise Pier above we had some cloud cover on day 1. It was even heavier first thing in the morning. We’d been watching the hourly forecast like hawks to try and avoid the periods of possible rain. It looked like 9AM was shaping up to be pretty good and was also the opening time of CA so we left our hotel at 8:30 under the lightest of misty sprinkles planning to get a bite to eat in the park. Unfortunately, the heavens unleashed an incredible deluge of water as we walked across the street into the park. We were literally running through inch deep puddles to get under the security screening points. Unbelievable! What a way to start the day! Julie wanted to return to the hotel for dry clothes but I wanted to just buy some new top layers and be on our way. We made another mad dash to the Disney Store in Downtown Disney and proceeded to get jackets, hoodies, and ponchos (thanks mom and dad).

After gearing up the rain stopped and we enjoyed dryish clothes and no more rain the rest of the day. The rest of the day was really very nice weather for a theme park. It just took us a bit of time to get over than initial shock of being soaked. These two days were fantastic. Here are a few highlights from each area of the park.

Paradise Pier (photo taken just before the World of Color show).

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Some big news this year is Nate going on California Screamer. Here he is in front of people waiting to be launched down the track. I’m very proud of him for facing his fear and getting on that big ride. Go Nate!

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Waiting for our turn on California Screamer (yeah that wait was about 5 minutes). 

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My parents blasting off (middle of the frame). The kids thought it was so funny to see them take off.

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Hollywood Backlot

The Hollywood Backlot really has some charm. The various activities and shows along this stretch of the park are very interesting and worth while if you have the time to explore.

The shows are really good and well worth the time (Aladdin is a family favorite). The Animation Studios were a nice break in the afternoon. The girls danced around watching their favorite characters being brought to life on gigantic screens all over the room. My parents really enjoyed a chance to sit down for a while. There are various other activities available in the Animation Studios including dubbing our voices into Disney movies (thanks to Ursula the Sea Witch). Nate and I did one from Aladdin, See the video below or here.

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Grizzly Peak

Last year we didn’t get to spend a lot of time in Grizzly Peak because there were so many other things we needed see and do. Today we really got a lot of time to explore and let the kids play. As you can see, we had a lot of fun. There were walking nets, slides, rope and tire swings, and even a spirit cave. My spirit animal was a wolf of course.

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Pacific Wharf

Lots of decent eats on the Pacific Wharf. Not much else to say though. Haha.

Cars Land

Cars Land, oh Glorious Cars Land. We spent a lot of time here just because Disney did such an amazing job. Really, it blew us away! This is why so many come here. It isn’t just rides. It is an entire world. Check out the cell phone shot below. No one special in this photo; however, have you ever wondered what it is like to be in Radiator Springs? Well, you can. It is incredible.

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We had some really good food at Flo’s V8 Cafe (I really recommend eating here). I was really hoping to get cozy with Julie at the Cone (Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel), but she wasn’t in the mood. Oy. Maybe next time.

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Radiator Racers. Wow, what can I say? It is up in the back of the park among the rocks and hills that Disney built. Half the ride is outside, half is inside the mountain where we do some crazy stuff with Mater, and best of all it ends with a real race against another car full of riders. This is the ride that some people wait hours to ride and it is well worth it. However, if you know how Disney works the waits are much shorter. The fast pass line was long in the morning but I only waited for about 30 minutes in that line (you must do this first thing before it sells out for the day) while everyone else hit another ride in cars land. With thw fast passes and a swap rider pass (anyone with little kids can get one when some of your kids are too short to ride) we all got to ride and only waited about 5 minutes each time. Nate got to ride 3 times!!!

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I’m not sure why the kids look so tired here but they all sure loved the Tow-Mater ride. 🙂

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At random times during the day one of the drag racer cars would cruise out into the main area of CarsLand and launch an impromptu dance party. Of course the girls loved this. So fun.


A Bug’s Land

Last year we didn’t make it to the Bug’s Life area until night which I really preferred. I felt so small last year and it felt so fun under all the lights. This year we wanted to hit this area again but made sure to visit during the day to play in the water areas! What fun and remember to bring your swimsuits. Check out these videos if you have the time.

Condor Flats

Soaring over California is a lot of fun. Nate was very enthusiastic about this one. Madeleine however was completely mortified of this experience. She took one look inside the boarding area and completely freaked out! Just the look of the seats was enough to bring her to screams and tears! Julie had to bring her out. Crazy. Here is a picture of Nate waiting for his turn to ride. Once again we used the fast pass and child swap passes with great success.

Grizzly River

There is no way I can let our time in California Pass without detailing Nate’s favorite ride of all. I kid you not that he rode this ride at least 6 times during the two days we spent there. His favorite ride of all time!

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In closing, we had a magical two days among the rides, movies, and worlds created here to experience. I didn’t catalogue everything we did because we wrote so much of that last year. I just shared some of the highlights. Let it suffice to say that we did everything we wanted, experienced the other fun stuff the park has to offer, and then did our favorites another 2 or 3 times (or 6 times in the case of our extra favorites). Such A Blast!!

So much fun to come here with young children when the worlds created in the Disney movies come to life are just so fresh and exciting in the minds of our kids. OK and mine too (I like it here just as much as the kids do). So worth it.

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