by Micaela Williamson
I am no stranger to Disney Parks. Growing up with grandparents in Florida, we would take frequent trips to the ones in Orlando. This past winter, my family was fortunate to visit my in-laws in beautiful California and embarked on an official kid trip to Disney's California Adventure.
While I grew up watching classic Disney movies, my kids are Pixar fanatics. California Adventure is the perfect theme park for all things Pixar.
Read about some of our favorite attractions and highlights below:
Highlights and Tips:
Cars Land: Mega Wow Factor for two little boys that adore McQueen and the whole crew! As soon as the park opened we power walked over to Cars Land to get in line for Radiator Springs Racers, but alas, my 3 year old was too short. My husband road the ride with the oldest, and there was plenty for my little one to do! He rode on Luigi's Flying Tires and Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, which we did all over again with the big brother too!
Definitely return to Cars Land at night for not to be missed experience. The whole place lights up and you feel like you're really stepped into Radiator Springs. I was the lucky parent this time and got to ride Radiator Springs Racers at night. Although the line was longer than others we experienced, I felt it was well worth the wait to zoom through the spectacular canyon and visit with our favorite Cars friends.
Aladdin Show: This Broadway quality show was just like the movie, but the Genie ad libs hilarious antics and makes jokes about current events and celebrities. We were laughing out loud at this well done production.
A Bug's Land: This is the spot for tots! Bugs Land features lots of great little rides that small ones can go on to feel like a "big kid." Plus, the 3D Movie, "It's Tough to Be a Bug," is very entertaining. However, parents are warned that it may frighten little ones with the giant bugs, dark theatre and fog effects. Sit by the exit. You can leave anytime if your child isn't enjoying the show.
Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sully to the Rescue: This is just a cute relaxed ride on "taxi cabs" through scenes from the Monsters, Inc movie. Both kids and adults enjoy the detailed decor and fun special effects standard to so many Disney rides.
The Little Mermaid-Ariel's Undersea Adventure: Another just relaxing ride for the senses. I dragged the boys on this, but they liked it. It's fun to ride in the giant shell cars through the songs and scenes of this beloved film.
Toy Story Mania: We went on a similar ride in Orlando last year. Riders feel like they are in a video game and are whisked through different boards. Score points by shooting your Spring Action Shooter at targets. Waiting in line is also fun with the joking, interactive Mr. Potato head to keep everyone entertained.
Pacific Wharf: Even though we were dying with disappointment that Flo's V-8 Cafe was closed, Pacific Wharf is a great theme park eating option that offers Mexican, Asian, American, and a Bakery restaurants.
Adult drinks: As a true Italian, I love my wine & coffee. By late in the afternoon, I looked down to find my little one asleep in his stroller. My husband took advantage of this opportunity to go with my oldest on Soarin' Over California (which I hear is an incredible, not to be missed ride,) and I found out that there is a full service Starbucks right inside the park at the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe. Any mom can tell you that a skinny vanilla latte and a napping kid is a magical moment. Then, I definitely felt like I hit the Jackpot when we scored a seat on the Pixar Play Parade route right on a bench in front of Wine Country Trattoria. Drinking wine & watching a Disney parade? Yes, that happened.
Lastly, I can't fail to mention Mickey's Fun Wheel. This is the only time in my life that I have shown fear in front of my kids. To this day, I still get teased about it. The website says, "dare to board one of the 16 free-mounted gondolas that slip and slide back and forth along the tracks inside the spokes. " Yes, we dared to board them, and I was not a fan. I thought I was going to fall to my death. My kids absolutely loved this ride, its spectacular views, and the thrill of rocking at 150 feet.
We loved our time at California Adventure and hope to revisit one day. Since we went in the off season, a few fun attractions, like Grizzly River Run, were closed. There was also no evening World of Color show, which I hear is just breathtaking. That said, if you are able to go in the off season, you truly do get to experience more attractions and deal with smaller crowds and lines. We can't wait to return!
There were many other rides and attractions that we visited at California Adventure, but this post highlights a few memorable moments and tips. All opinions are my own. #DisneyOnTheRoad #DisneySMMoms
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