Friday, October 24, 2014

Our Disney Land Adventures

Disney Land is fantastic.
For us, at our stage with our still-young crew, it hits a sweet spot.

First of all, for a fraction of the Disney World Deluxe Hotel price, you can stay ACROSS THE STREET from Disney Land, and walk into the park in the morning. We stayed at the Howard Johnson across the street from the main gate, and we strolled up to the park entrance for the opening, stress and bus free. We might as well have been staying at the Cozy Cone.

We spent two days in Disney Land, giving us one day for each park. We easily could have stayed longer! We tackled California Adventure first, because we were so excited to visit Radiator Springs. We felt like we were in the movie, everything looked so realistic. 

The Cars Racer ride was at the end of the street and was definitely worth a Fast Pass.  Our best choice would have been to send one member of the group to get a Fast Pass first thing in the park, while the others explore Cars Land for a few minutes.  In the end, we had a great ride.  What a blessing, Buddy Bear was juuuuust tall enough to make the 38" cut. He was so crushed for a moment when he thought I wasn't tall enough to go through. It was certainly a highlight of the trip, and it remains the ride that we talk about the most.

Of course, along with the Racers ride, there were plenty of other wonderful attractions in Cars Land.   We loved riding those crazy tractors...

...and we made a stop at Luigi's Casa Della Tires for a twisty and turning good time.

Of course, you can eat a Flo's, which we didn't do, but we enjoyed the view from the gas pumps.  There is also a cute playground and photo op spots with Lightning and Mater.

From Cars Land, we walked next door to A Bug's Life, where we met flick and rode a bunch of rides that were perfect for our younger crew. 

The littlest ladies watched the bumper bugs from the sidelines.

We also loved the Toy Story ride, which is very similar to the one in Disney World.  We love shooting with blasters! It was definitely worth the wait.

Paradise Pier really did look like paradise the day we were there.  We loved walking around the Pier, both during the day and night.  T and I got to do the roller coaster several times, coming back at night once the kids were in bed.  I think it was the best roller coaster I have ever ridden.  We really enjoyed the other rides along the pier walk.

We ate dinner at Wine Country Trattoria, a worthy splurge, not only because the food is great, but because we were right in front of the parade route and also because FastPasses to the evening World of Color light show were included.  We loved waving to all the Pixar friends right before our meal.  Disney parades are my favorite.

T and I went back for World of Color after the kids were in bed.  I wish they could have stayed awake for it, but we'll save that for another trip.  World of Color was truly impressive.

Our second day at the parks was devoted to Disney Land.  It is right across the plaza from California Adventure!  While we have never considered paying for Park Hopper tickets in Disney World, given the young age and slow moving speed of our crew, the option seems more plausible for Disney Land. The parks are so close together, we could conceivably enjoy parts of both in one day.

Walking into Disney Land, we noticed so many similarities to the Magic Kingdom. But, the two parks are actually more different than I expected.  Certainly, they are not carbon copies.   The Land was decked out for Halloween, and impressive decorations were everywhere.  We particularly enjoyed watching the carmel apple making window at the bakery. Yum:

We enjoyed plenty of princess moments, including watching the very creative Tangled show with front row seats for the kids, a walk-through tour of Sleeping Beauty's castle, and a stop by Anna and Elsa's Frozen Boutique.

There were also highlights for the boys, including a visit to Autopia to ride the cars, and a submarine trip with Nemo.

We enjoyed the new experience of Toon Town, which feels like you've walked into Mickey's neighborhood.  The roller coaster was just right for the older kids.  J-Bear and I found a super-fun play spot in Goofy's "House" where she could run around, climb and explore with other tots.

Of course, we had to take the Small World cruise. No trip with Papa or me would be complete without Small World.

Even though we were close enough to our hotels to go back for naps in the afternoon, we never did.  The littlest ones snoozed in the backpacks for an hour or two each afternoon, but otherwise held out really well.  As you can imagine, we slept well at night after such long days of walking, riding and exploring.

We finished our day new Pooh's Thoughtful Spot, and I thought this was a perfect picture to capture the fun of our Disney Land trip.  It was such a sweet experience because we were all together, exploring and enjoying it together, which was pretty impressive for a group of fifteen.

Disney Land is a re-do for us if we are ever blessed with the chance.  It is charming and manageable, even for a crew of our ages and size.  What a spectacular way to start our California adventure!

Happily Ever,
Queen B

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