DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE PARK
Our original RideMax itinerary had us at Disney California Adventure Park at 10:00 AM. But of course this was not meant to be. Not when you’re on holiday and would like to enjoy the luxury of sleeping-in even for just a couple of days. So a few days before we were due at Disney California Adventure Park, I put together two revised RideMax itineraries; one that had us at the gate at 11:30 AM and another one for 12:00 noon. I figured that since Disney California Adventure Park opens at 10:00 AM I will let the initial mad rush for the gate finish before we took our turn.
But when the day arrived we were at the Disney California Adventure Park entrance at 10:15 AM. Being the Saturday of a long weekend, I figured it would be wise to get in early in case the park becomes crowded later in the day. My fears turned out to be unfounded as there were simply no lines to the rides at all. I felt quite smug about my decision to come in early after all. We ended up not really following the RideMax itinerary as we were actually ahead of our proposed schedule. RideMax simply served as a guide to which attractions and rides we wanted to go on.
Here’s a list of what we did:
- Playhouse Disney – Very entertaining especially for pre-schoolers. I was impressed by the production design.
- Drawn to the Magic – Three wonderful singers doing a medley of Disney’s popular movies and songs. Female grown-ups will enjoy this.
- Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! – Climb into a taxi and ride through Monstropolis as a human child runs loose in the city.
- MuppetVision 3D – Watch Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo and the rest of the gang in 3D. Not to be missed if you grew up on a Diet of “The Muppet Show”.
- “It’s Tough to be a Bug!” – This was my personal favourite at Disney California Adventure. This 4D movie was scary and had a very surprising ending. Get ready to be sprayed with a bit of water, it’s part of the fun!
- Disney Animation: Turtle Talk with Crush – Very funny! You’ll love this, Dude.
- Disney Animation: Animation Academy – Learn how to draw a Disney character. This one rekindled my love for sketching.
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail – Explore, climb, swing and slide your way around this multi-level obstacle course. This is where the kids had the most fun!
We skipped Toy Story Mania! because it didn’t have FASTPASS and we just didn’t have the energy to queue for the ride. Late lunch was at the Golden State. I enjoyed a stir-fry at The Lucky Fortune Cookery. There was a bit of a queue but it was worth the wait.
We missed a lot of other rides and attractions but felt that four hours at a stretch was all we can muster. So we decided to take a late afternoon break at the hotel, grab dinner and go to Disneyland Park later that night.
We returned to Disneyland after dinner at IHOP (more on IHOP later). Having seen everything at Disney California Adventure Park that we wanted to see, we went to Disneyland Park instead. Although we were at the gate at around 8 PM, we noticed a lot of people were still going into the park. I was hoping to catch the fireworks later at 9:25 PM.
Disneyland Park is divided into eight sections featuring different themes. Since my children are pre-teens, we skipped Mickey’s Toontown and Fantasyland both of which cater to kids in the 4 to 10 year old demographic. Given the short amount of time available, I decided our evening visit was best spent at Tomorrowland alone.
These are the rides and attractions we visited at Tomorrowland:
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters – Enlist as a Space Ranger and save the galaxy from evil Emperor Zurg in a ride-through, shoot-em-up adventure. You will need a FASTPASS as the queues are long.
- Honey, I Shrunk the Audience – Find out what it’s like to be just a few inches tall.
- Star Tours – Board a Starspeeder for a tour of the Moon of Endor that doesn’t quite go as planned. We all agreed that this was our most favourite ride!
- Innoventions – See what the home of the future will be like.