Now that we’ve covered my favorite things at Disneyland, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite things at California Adventure. I will admit, DCA had been open for several years before I ever visited the park. I was skeptical that any park could ever come close to the magic of Disneyland and so I stayed away. Now I find myself spending more and more time there (and not just because of the booze, though that certainly doesn’t hurt). I love the openness of DCA, I love that it is laid back (like California itself), and I love how it captures my home state and so many places that I have grown up visiting. Just like Disneyland, it has a magical feeling that can’t be captured in words. But I am going to try!
1. Cars Land at night. I don’t typically ride a lot of the rides in Cars Land because I usually don’t have time, but I always make a point to walk through it at night. The neon lights are really something else. While you certainly feel like you are in Radiator Springs anytime you walk through Cars Land, it really feels like you a part of the movie when it is all lit up.
2. Watching people watch World of Color. Not going to lie, WOC is not my favorite show. I was blown away by the beauty and technical feat of the water extravaganza the first time I watched it, but it hasn’t held that same magic for me during subsequent viewings. I haven’t seen it in probably three years because when I am at the parks at night, I would rather see Fantasmic!. I am hoping that the 60th anniversary version helps me find the magic in the show (and to be fair, I know they have made changes to it since I have seen it last, so it might be totally different for me now). What I do find magical is watching other people watch WOC for the first time. I love watching their faces as they see what I saw that first time: true beauty and Disney moments presented in a way you could never imagine.
3. The Carthay Circle bar. I would include the restaurant in this too, but I have only eaten there once (and it was amazing and worth every penny). We stop by the Carthay Circle bar every time we have a Disney date night. I love the dark wood, the 1920’s vibe, and the Walt memorabilia. Plus, the soundtrack is so fabulous, I even bought the CD.
4. Character costumes on Buena Vista Street. The costumes that Mickey, Pluto, Goofy and the gang wear in DCA are the best. We’re talking bow ties, suspenders, and newsboy hats. It’s basically the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.
5. The beer cart. I’ve made it no secret that I love my booze so this one shouldn’t come as a surprise. The beer cart was the first place I visited when I realized I could drink at Disney. The hubs and I typically make this our first stop when we enter the park. And that leads to…
6. Drinking in line. Waiting in line sucks. We all know this. Disney knows this. They created a whole ticket system to avoid this. The only thing that can make waiting in line enjoyable is drinking while you’re doing it. Suddenly a 45 minute line doesn’t seem like such a long time.
7. Toy Story. For the same reason I love Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, I love Toy Story Midway Mania. It is one of my favorite rides with the hubs and we compete fiercely every time (loser buys the next round of drinks). Plus, this is the one ride that while waiting in line, I always have time to finish my beer.
8. The Little Mermaid. The Little Mermaid is one of my all-time favorite movies and I watched it pretty much every day for a year straight when it came out on VHS (didn’t you just love those puffy movie cases as a kid?). While some may find the attraction lame, I love it as it captures all of my favorite moments from the movie.
9. Starbucks. Long before Disney wised up and put Starbucks locations inside the parks, I begged for them. I can’t tell you how many times I was at the park and thought, I could really go for a Starbucks right now. The location at DCA is one of my favorite locations in the park, and not just for the coffee. There is plenty of seating, and when I visit with Squirt, there is always enough open space for me to park the stroller, have a seat and enjoy my breakfast. Also, since it is rarely crowded, it is one of the few places in the parks (other than the Baby Center) that I can get him to focus on his food without being super distracted by the crowds.
10. Alfresco Tasting Terrace. The Alfresco Tasting Terrace is a relatively new addition to DCA and I have only been there once. And it’s already one of my favorite places, that’s how awesome it is. In addition to great wine tasting (look at the size of those pours), they also have amazing appetizers. It’s also one of the quietest spots in the park. If you need to sit, relax and take a break from the crowds, this is a great place to be. Did I mention there’s wine?
There you have it, my favorite things about DCA. Did your favorites make the list? Let me know what you love about California Adventure!