We woke up bright and early! 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. in California felt like normal wake up time to the boys. When we went down for breakfast we found out that several other Utah families were enjoying their February in Southern California as well. We all stuck out from the natives in our shorts and flip flops while they were still in jackets and pants.
We spent the first day of our park visit at California Adventure. The last time I went to Disneyland was 2001, so I have never been to California Adventure. I was really excited for Cars Land (the boys are kind of obsessed with Lightning McQueen and Mater) and it didn’t disappoint. It felt like we were right in Radiator Springs and it was definitely the highlight our visit for me. Derek, Mitch and I each took a turn waiting in line for Fast Passes to Radiator Springs Racers, California Screamin’ (my favorite) and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror while the other big people rode rides with the little people. Derek and I also got Fast Passes for World of Color as recommended by Teri. It was fun to be able to do some adult things too.
There was quite a bit that the boys could do. I was pleasantly surprised. The twins barely cleared the 32″ limit and Isaac was just at the 36″ mark. The only “kid” ride that the twins couldn’t go on was Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies. Isaac was super disappointed that he couldn’t do Radiator Springs Racers with us (40″ limit). He was bawling when Derek and I came back to him after riding. Sad day.
Here’s the list of toddler-friendly rides that we rode and a review of each for anyone (like me!) who hasn’t been to Disneyland in a while. The boys’ favorites are starred.
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree (32″ limit): This is kind of the same idea as the Scrambler carnival ride only you ride in tractors and Mater sings. The boys were a little nervous when it went fast. And it made me sick. But overall it was pretty fun.
Luigi’s Flying Tires (32″ limit): This is unlike any ride I’ve been on. It’s similar to bumper cars but you control your “tire” by leaning forward, backward and side to side. Derek described it as a giant air hockey table, which is pretty accurate. The tires inflate and you hover over the ground. It was kind of weird and just “meh.”
Toy Story Midway Mania: This was my favorite kid ride in California Adventure and it was the longest wait (40 min) of our whole trip. If I could do it again, I’d ride this one very first after getting Fast Passes to everything else. It’s also different than any other ride I’ve been on. You ride in a car wearing 3-D glasses and play different arcade games (target shooting, ring toss, skee ball etc.) I thought the boys would really like it but I think we lost their attention during all the waiting. And they had a hard time keeping their glasses on.
*King Triton’s Carousel: Carousels make me sick. They rode it twice. I’m glad we went all the way to Disneyland for this…. 🙂
The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure: I had heard that this was a popular ride so I didn’t really think we’d take the time to stand in line for it–especially since the boys have never seen The Little Mermaid. I was surprised at how short and quick the line was! You sit in a clam shell train that never stops moving. It’s a classic Disneyland ride in a dark building that depicts scenes from the movie. Ursula was kind of scary.
*Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies (36″ limit): Isaac rode this with Derek and he LOVED it. Cooper was super jealous and kept trying to climb the fence so he could get in. They are just bumper cars that look like potato bugs inside a big circus tent.
Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train: This was kinda cute. You go through a garden of giant food and hear Heimlich eating it all. He starts off with carrots and watermelon and ends with candy corn.
Francis’ Ladybug Boogie: This is basically the tea cups ride only they are lady bugs. Spinning again. Made me sick.
Flik’s Flyers: These are mini hot air balloons that lift up and spin around. Another nausea inducing one for me. (I guess all kid rides make me sick now. I must be getting old….) All six of us could ride in one box together.
Can you tell these boys (especially the biggest one) love posing for pictures??
We stopped to see Pluto right as we entered the park. I was interested to see how the boys would react since it was their first character encounter. The were a little nervous when they got right up close and they had to keep their eyes on him. But they actually really loved meeting him and all of the other characters. Since they had such a good time with Pluto, we took time to say hello to all the “celebrities” we passed throughout the day. I’m glad we did. We got some fun pictures.
We met McQueen and Mater, of course, in Cars Land. Isaac couldn’t wait to take a picture of McQueen with his camera. (Um, I didn’t realize that they are “real” characters. From seeing other people’s pictures, I thought they were just statues like the cars in Toon Town! So. Cool.)
We saw Donald and Buzz on Paradise Pier.
Meeting the characters was probably more fun for the boys than riding any of the rides. I was surprised but not disappointed. I enjoyed seeing what the boys liked and then trying to cater our visit to their tastes (except for riding the carousels over and over again). 😉
We also stuck around for the Pixar Play Parade. It wasn’t quite as magical as I had expected, probably because it was dinner time and the boys were tired of sitting around waiting for it to begin.
We left the park for dinner right after the parade ended. We took the bus over to the Garden Walk area and ate at California Pizza Kitchen. I thought we’d save money by not eating in the park, but that was our most expensive meal. Mouse Savers does recommend signing up for discounts by joining Club Garden Walk on the website. I just never got around to it. Guess I should have.
We took the bus back to our hotel to put the kids down for bed. I was worried they’d put up a fight again like the first night. They absolutely crashed. It was so nice. Mitch stayed with them so Derek and I could go back to California Adventure for World of Color. We got there right as they were opening the viewing areas and got a spot on the bridge. We had a pretty good view but I didn’t like that we had to just stand there for an hour to save our spot before it began. We should have brought our cards or a snack or something. It was nice having a little date night in the park without the kids and all their stuff (stroller, lunch pail, diaper bag, etc.).
World of Color was pretty amazing too. It was definitely worth seeing at least once.