Friday, January 31, 2014

Disneyland & California Adventure Park Recap

Previous posts from the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend:
Expo Recap
Race Recap
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After the race on Sunday, Robert, Stacy, and I headed over to Disneyland Park. It was Robert’s first time ever to visit, and my first time since high school so we were so excited! There was no disappointment from the moment we entered the park – they had so many characters just walking around! We found Cruella De Vil and decided to take a photo with her; she played her part so incredibly well. She held us by our ‘leashes’ aka race medals for the picture.

SAM_0513-001

SAM_0515-001

Just a moment after that Donald came walking towards us, and when he saw my race medal, he immediately challenged me to a race down Main Street (I ‘let him’ win – of course it had nothing to do with the fact that I had exhausted legs from running 13.1 miles earlier that morning, hehe)! It was by far one of the coolest things to ever happen to me at a Disney park.

SAM_0516-001 SAM_0518

SAM_0520-001

I had so much fun seeing all the differences between Disneyland and Disney World. I really enjoyed the New Orleans area they had; we ended up eating lunch at the French Market there. I had the jambalaya with corn bread – it was delicious! My favorite part about this park, though, was the Indiana Jones ride. I so wish they would build that ride at Disney World!

I also ran into Kim at Confessions of a Domestic Goddess! It was awesome finally getting to meet her in person!

SAM_0519-001

The next day (our last full day at Disney), we headed over to California Adventure. I loved this park. The first thing we did when we got there was get a fast pass for Radiator Springs Racers (good thing too because fast passes were gone before lunch). We then ate breakfast in Car’s Land at Flo’s V8 Cafe, which was yummy!

We did so many rides throughout the day; my favorites were California Screamin’, Tower of Terror, and Radiator Springs Racers. Although the Disney World version of Tower of Terror is overall better, I REALLY like the element of surprise the Disneyland version had – the moment of the first drop took me completely by surprise! Also, the Aladdin stage show was fantastic; the Genie was hysterical and definitely the star of the show.

The Pacific Wharf and Paradise Pier areas were my favorite places to be here – we ate lunch in the wharf (I had broccoli cheese soup a sourdough bread bowl). The food in Disneyland & California Adventure was all delicious. I never felt as though I had disappointing ‘theme park’ food.

Enjoying a very well-deserved strawberry margarita!

I would also like to note that the Toy Story Mania ride here does NOT have fast passes which, I think, is a smart move. The line was 50 minutes compared to the one at Disney World, which is always around 90+ minutes (unless you can snag a fast pass there, which are always gone within a couple hours of park opening).

We got a picture with Max (Goofy’s son) from A Goofy Movie. How AWESOME is that?!

Later in the evening, we went to check out the Mad Tea Party, which is basically a huge, loud, outdoor, dance party complete with a live DJ and adult beverages that glow in the dark. It was kind of cool for about 5 minutes, but I am fairly certain that this is Disney’s attempt at appealing to those who just turned 21 years old!

For dinner we ate at Ariel’s Grotto, which served exquisite food. For $42 per adult, you get an appetizer, entree, and dessert plate. I had the butternut squash soup and Mahi-Mahi with rice and veggies (and the dessert sampler was a dream for my sweet tooth)! I also loved this restaurant because it is themed around The Little Mermaid, one of my favorite Disney classics! Eating there also gave us preferred viewing for World of Color that night too!

We ended the night watching The World of Color, an incredible water/light show. It really tugged on my heartstrings, though, with some of the movie scenes and music it incorporated! The show is right up there with Fantasmic, which is my absolute favorite show in the Disney parks. Our vacation could not have ended on a more amazing note, and my only complaint is that I wish we could have stayed longer! Only 279 days until our next Disney vacation, but who’s counting?!

QOTD: What are your favorite things about the Disneyland & California Adventure parks?

22 comments

  1. Wow, Kudos to you for spending the whole day/evening at the parks after running 13.1! So cool that you got to meet Kim! I read her blog too! Also you got some great pics with characters I hardly ever see out at WDW! I can't wait to go to DL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I was so excited to finally meet another blogger in person. I hope I can meet more of y'all in the future!! Do you think you'll be at Wine & Dine this year, or Marathon weekend next year?

      I thought it was so cool how many characters were out at DL, and the lines weren't near as bad as the character lines at WDW too!

      Delete
  2. That looks like an absolutely amazing trip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was SO much fun! I can't wait to go back someday!

      Delete
  3. One of the things I love so much about DL is the characters are just randomly walking around. You can spot them anywhere instead of just a designated time and place.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This whole post had me smiling! I love that the characters still walk around in Disneyland, that's one of the things I miss about the old Disney World. I love the story about Donald racing you, how fun!! I can't wait to go to Disneyland for the first time in August!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish WDW would have more characters walking around - you are going to love DL so much!

      Donald challenging me to a race was SO SO SO crazy awesome!

      Delete
  5. Love this! And the fact that you got to "race" Donald? PRICELESS! This made me so excited to go back to DL this summer! :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know right - absolutely priceless!! (for everything else, there's Master Card LOL)

      Delete
  6. So amazing...well deserved after your race. Cruella :) I love how they stay in such good character!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cruella was hysterical. She was 100% in character around kids and adults. Never missed a beat!

      Delete
  7. So cool you met Kim!!! I'm jealous! Looks like an awesome time in the parks after the race. I'm just about tipping over the edge wanting to go to DL...only thing that holds me back is the airfare! I went at 13 but don't remember much and so much has been added!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Airfare from Texas was surpringly really good! I thought it was going to be way more than getting to Florida to be honest. I hope you get the chance to go there soon!

      It was so cool finally getting to meet one of my blogger friends in person! I hope I can meet more of y'all - wish I was going to PHM in a few weeks. It seem as though everyone is going to be there! :)

      Delete
  8. You totally make me want to go back to Disneyland! I've only been once but was totally charmed by it. I love the little differences from WDW and how CLOSE everything is. Fantasmic is my fave too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having everything within walking distance was seriously amazing! Though I won't deny that I LOVE the vastness of the Walt Disney World Resort :)

      Delete
  9. Great recap and this confirmed my desire to run Tink in 2015! The timing was not right for us this year with Dopey Challenge. I love your photos, especially with the unusual characters that are rarely seen, Will you be at the Princess Half?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, ladies! Have you ran Tink before, or will 2015 be your first time?

      Unfortunately, I won't be at the PHM this year - I loved it so much last year but also really wanted to try new runDisney races, so I did Tink and will be doing Wine & Dine for 2014 :)

      Delete
  10. I love seeing all of those characters. Cruella was fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jess! Cruella was absolutely hilarious!

      Delete
  11. I am SO glad I finally got to meet you! Glad you enjoyed Disneyland and CA Adventure. The Aladdin show is one of my favorites. Can't wait to see you again at Wine & Dine! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too!! I hope we can hang out more at Wine & Dine - we should do a blogger meet-up!

      Delete