My dad and I drove through the night from Salem, Oregon and finally reached the Anaheim, California area around 11 AM Friday. By the time we checked-in to our hotel room and made ourselves look alive (we’d been awake for 36 hours), then dropped Samson off at doggy daycare, we didn’t arrive at the Disneyland gates until 1 PM.
|Selfie at Paradise Pier, Cali Adventures|
We only had 2-day passes that were valid for one park per day. Knowing we would probably need a full day at Disneyland, we chose to hit California Adventures the first day, which was totally new to my dad who hadn’t been to Disneyland in close to 30 years.
|Tower of Terror above & Cars’ Racers below|
The Tower of Terror usually has a long wait time, but when we got there to get a FastPass, it was less than a 15 minute wait!
Once off the ride, our adrenaline was pumping and kept us moving for another few hours.
|Ready to race!|
We hopped on a few more rides, like the new Radiator Springs Racers in Carsland, Toy Story Midway Mania and the California Screamin’ coaster. Surprisingly, for a Friday afternoon in summer, the lines weren’t bad.
However, we realized quickly that we hadn’t eaten a full meal in close to 24 hours and if we expected our bodies to keep up with us, that needed to change.
After soft-serve ice-cream cones that took the edge off the muggy heat and a couple easier rides like The Little Mermaid and the refreshing Grizzly River Run, it was time for a substantial meal.
The Pacific Wharf portion of the park boasts all sorts of cuisines. At that point everything sounded delicious, but we agreed Mexican food was always a safe bet, so we placed our order at Cocina Cucamonga and split a plate of tacos. They get my thumbs up, for sure.
We figured thereafter it would be wise to let our food digest so we walked around and took some fun pictures around CarsLand:
|Dad advertising GCU & making this graduate proud|
|Step right up and pet a baby tractor…!|
At the Cozy Cone we discovered a tasty, non-alcoholic pomegranate limeade that was just the right mix of tart and sweet. I practically licked the ice off, it was so good!
By this time my dad was ready to redeem himself on The Tower of Terror again, and I had no argument. After that, it was banana split sundae time at the Ghirardelli shop, which we fully enjoyed while sitting and waiting for the show of the evening to occur.
|World of Color show, California Adventures|
The World of Color lights and fountain show really is a most spectacular sight–it was my second time seeing it and I was just as in awe as before! People are ridiculous and get in line an entire hour or more before it starts just to make sure they get a good spot by the fences; but once you see it, you understand why.
In fact, it’s so captivating, we mostly forgot to take pictures!
By the end of the spectacle, however, we were beyond exhausted, practically asleep standing up.
Anyone who knows me knows it takes me a while to fall asleep, but that night, I was literally out the minute my head hit the pillow, and I didn’t move an inch all night.
We arrived soon after the gates opened and made a beeline for the Matterhorn mountain bobsleds, which I wasn’t able to do my first time there two years ago because it was closed for maintenance.
Then we hopped over to TomorrowLand and rode the Space Mountain coaster twice in a row (quick line and then a FastPass). Though enjoyable, we walked off feeling slightly weak, reminded that once again, it was time we put food in our bellies.
The River Belle Terrace provided us with the right amount of breakfast sustenance, as I got the Mark Twain and he ordered The Steamboat.
By the time we had finished, it was time to see the newest addition to FantasyLand, Fantasy Faire’s “The Royal Theatre,” where live performances of condensed versions of Beauty and the Beast and Tangled are the current entertainment. We watched the first show at 11 AM then returned for the second around 3 PM.
I was honestly the most excited for these musicals, and I was certainly not disappointed! Belle and her story is my all-time favorite.
Only downfalls: the tent made for a sticky and suffocating contraption, and the actors moved way too fast for me to get any decent pictures of them. Other than that, I was magnificently amused and impressed.
I felt like a little girl again! This is the place that says you are never too old!
But once I had my girly-princess fix, I was ready for some fun.
Using my Disneyland Wait Times app, we set off toward Pirates of the Caribbean and stopped to snatch a FastPass for Indiana Jones, which proved to be well-worth it later on.
We made our way from the Haunted Mansion and finally to Critter Country, where we both rode as Single Riders (through the exit line) on Splash Mountain close to 4 times in a row. Like my dad said, “This is my kind of ride!”
|Clearly I love this ride.|
I was glad to visit much of the park that I didn’t see the first time I attended, like Winnie-the-Pooh, Mickey’s Toon-Town and other smaller rides that are more about themes and stories than thrill.
In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed Storybook Land’s boat ride, where you learn the untold story of Monstro the whale in Pinocchio. Apparently, he sneezes so hard at the end of the movie that his back end blows off.
|Jasmine’s Palace and Aurora’s castle in the distance|
|I-spy a Captain America backpack…|
Before hitting up some more rides, like Autopia and the 9 PM showing of Fantasmic on the lagoon, we munched on graciously greasy corn dogs and fries at the Golden Horseshoe and caught a Western sing-song while we were at it. We also picked up a braided, chocolate twist from Maurice’s Treats in Fantasy Faire and floated on happy clouds to our next destination.
|Fighting Rush Hour on Autopia|
Our viewing for the performance wasn’t premium as it had been the night before, but since I had already seen it all that really mattered was that my dad could. He’s six feet tall–no problem there.
Rain started lightly drizzling on us but being the natural Oregonian that I am, I embraced it.
Disneyland is open until midnight during weekends in the summer, and you better believe we had every intention and determination to squeeze the most in for our remaining hours there.
By the way, some of the coolest rides to do at night: Thunder Mountain Railroad and Pirates of the Caribbean.
However, the best way to end the night and sum up the trip, without a doubt, was riding King Arthur’s Carrousel:
|A for Anissa 🙂|
Getting a good picture while riding it is a totally different story, as you can see, but it was a blast no less!
We took our time walking toward the gate, enjoying the pretty lights and contemplating whether we needed another treat or not. We meandered the small shops in search of nothing particular and watched a few old, silent, black and white Mickey cartoons before finally, reluctantly, pulling our tired legs toward the exit.