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.


“a dream is a wish your heart makes… when you’re fast asleep” — The lyrics of Sleeping Beauty’s song are stitched on blue velvet pillows

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)


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 . 🙂



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!



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!




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  1. Yay! You’re “Belle”! 😉

    We used to have an annual pass in Disneyland when we were living in LA. And that means a year round of fun! From new year, to summer fun, Halloween spooktacular, Thanksgiving & Christmas were spent there. Christmas Time was my personal favorite to visit because of Xmas decors all over the place and the Christmas parade with all the Disney characters! Indeed, full of beautiful memories with the kiddos.

    But it’s been awhile now, and maybe the best time to be back again to the “Happiest Place on Earth!” This time, with our little bundle of joy, Drew Justin with big Kuyas Derek & Daryl! 😉
    Thanks for sharing your adventure with the family, BQP!

    1. We had a grand time at the park during the holidays! I hope you can make it back soon to experience the fun that only Disneyland can bring. I’m sure your boys will have more fun now that you have a new member in the family. Thanks for the wonderful comment! 🙂

  2. Looks like you guys had a grand time! Such glowing smiling faces, proof that Disneyland just may be the happiest place in the world. ♡ I remember my children watching the Disney cast live too, gotta make sure the little one catches it as well!

  3. Christmas and Disneyland– the perfect combination! I’m sure you’ll get the chance to go someday Ach. At least with this list , you’ll be prepared and will know what to expect. Glad you liked the pictures! 🙂

  4. Cheers! It’s been a long time since I last went to Disneyland and Disney World. Though my kids are all grown up now, they still adore theme parks, and my, do they scream and shriek on the rides. Ha ha ha! Guess it has changed a lot. It’s great that you celebrated both your wedding anniversary and Christmas at Disneyland, both family-oriented (lovely time to be with the family only) and magical because of the fairy tales. Here’s to the child in us, to the dreamers, to the realists whose lives are intertwined with fairy tales!

    1. As a family, we try to celebrate the simple as well as the special events. We are thankful for the many blessings that have allowed us to travel and stay in magical places like the Disney parks. I always love hearing from you Monica. As you can see, the “child” is well and so alive in me — and I suspect in you too! Thanks for the comment! 🙂

  5. The pictures, your stories relive memories. There may be different attractions between Ca and Fl yet the bottomline is just to be at “The happiest place on earth”. This blog post just pushes me to visit this summer…I really wish. Indeed the photos are very interesting BQP. The smiles are great!

  6. I love theme parks.. It brings out the child in everyone. Great pictures at Cali Adventure! I’ve only been to Disney HK. This post makes me want to go back soon.:)
    It’s a great place to celebrate Christmas and your wedding anniversary. Looking forward to more of your travel adventures!

  7. I’m excited to go to Disney HK this September with my cousin! 🙂 Hoping to share some photos in Facebook. I hope they have some of these rides / activities there too!

    1. There are two theme parks in Anaheim, Cali. The main theme park is Disneyland (a smaller version of which is in HK) and California Adventure. This post features the attraction of Cali Adventure. I still have to write about Disneyland (both in HK and Anaheim)and DIsneyworld (Orlando)…hopefully before you take your trip! 🙂

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