I’ve been to Disneyland five times in the last ten years- twice in Hong Kong, once in Disneyworld Orlando and twice in Anaheim. This is part and parcel of being a parent and wanting to be in the park tagged as the happiest place on Earth. The birth of my second child R is responsible for the last two visits. But hey, nobody’s complaining.
So last December, we went all out and decided to spend our wedding anniversary and Christmas with Mickey Mouse and his friends at Disneyland California. We stayed at the newly renovated Disneyland Hotel. We chose this particular hotel because we can walk to all the attractions from here.
Our room had twin beds and a giant wooden headboard that had a carving of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. It turned out to be a musical headboard! We were also quite surprised to see that the little holes on top of the castle were actually twinkling stars and fireworks illuminated by lights behind our beds.
The next morning we headed for GOOFY’s KITCHEN on the main floor. You have to make a reservation a day before because the buffet restaurant tends to get very busy in the morning. The kids were delighted to see quite a number of Disney characters inside the hall. At the end of breakfast, Pluto came over our table with a cake and greeted us “Happy Anniversary!”
On Day 1 of our vacation, we decided to go to CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE. This park is located right across Disneyland. (We bought 4-day park hopper tickets that allows us to go back and forth Disneyland Park and Cali Adventure Park.) Remember, the first thing you MUST do in any theme park is GET A MAP. This helps you plan your day by checking which attractions/rides you want to try and taking note of the time of the shows you want to see. More importantly, if you do not avail of the FASTPASS , you’ll find yourself stuck in long lines. So, get the map at the entrance, grab a pen and encircle all the activities you want to do.
California Adventure is divided into six areas : Hollywood Land, “a bug’s land”, Cars Land, Paradise Pier, Grizzly Peak and Condor Flats. The seventh area, Pacific Wharf , houses mostly dining places. Since we had a two year old with us, we chose child friendly rides and shows.
The BQP recommends the following rides/shows/attractions
1. DISNEY JUNIOR – LIVE ON STAGE (Hollywood Land)
This is a show young kids will enjoy. The Disney Junior characters came out and performed familiar songs while the kids were encouraged to dance and sing along. R certainly enjoyed watching Mickey and his friends, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Doc Mc Stuffins and Sofia the First.
2. MUPPET VISION 3D (Hollywood Land)
My son M was in stitches as he laughed at Fozzie the Bear, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and the rest of Kermit’s gang. The two old men in the balcony were also there giving their snide remarks and funny punchlines.
3. DISNEY ANIMATION- (Hollywood Land)
- SORCERER’S WORKSHOP
I love this place!!! Tunnels lead to different rooms with medieval toys of sorcery. In the last room, the BEAST’s fireplace (from Beauty and the Beast) is recreated . There are four tables on the sides, each with a magical book that asks questions about you. In the end , the book will reveal which Disney character you are!
This was so much fun to do! The book was actually quite accurate. It described M as creative, independent….a true-blue original and has a creative and brilliant mind.
I CAN STAY HERE FOREVER! This place will surely bring out the child in anyone. With gigantic screens showing different Disney films, this place is a dream.
I remember visiting this place nine years ago. It’s still as magical as the first time I was here .
-TURTLE TALK WITH CRUSH
We saw this twice! This twenty-minute interactive attraction features CRUSH (the turtle from FINDING NEMO) as he entertains the audience from the screen. My boy M was chosen by the host to be interviewed by Crush to the delight of his sister R. She enjoyed the show and learned how to say “Totally!” (toe-ta-lee).
4. MONSTERS INC., Mike and Sulley to the Rescue (Hollywood Land)
This ride takes you through Monstropolis and lets you relive the adventures of Mike and Sulley as they try to get Boo back to her room.
5. TUCK AND ROLL’S DRIVE EM BUGGIES (“a bug’s land”)
All rides have height requirements. It’s a good thing that my two year old made the 36 inches cut. The children and Daddy A had a fun time (although R is frowning in this pic :p ) driving the bump cars.
6. HEIMLICH’S CHEW CHEW TRAIN (“a bug’s land”)
Another toddler ride. We rode a Heimlich around the grounds and passed through different foods (an apple with a bite on it, animal crackers, lollipops, candy corn etc) .
7. TOY STORY MIDWAY MANIA (4D Attraction) (Paradise Pier)
Everybody had a BLAST in this game! The ride was equipped with poppers/blasters and we tried our best to score as many hits as we could!
8. THE LITTLE MERMAID –ARIEL’S UNDERSEA ADVENTURE (Paradise Pier)
This ride took us through the pages of The Little Mermaid’s Storybook as popular songs from the movie were played. Little R loved seeing Eric and Ariel on a boat just as the prince was about to “kiss the girl.”
9. GOLDEN ZEPHYR (Paradise Pier)
Only M and I braved this ride . The spinning spaceships are not for the faint of heart!
10. MICKEY’s FUN WHEEL (Paradise Pier)
One fun ferris wheel ride!
There are so many things to do in California Adventure. In fact we spent two days here and it still wasn’t enough time to cover everything. No worries, though. I have a feeling we’ll be back very soon!