Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 3: Disneyland Day #1

I was so ridiculously excited for Disneyland! I had been dreaming of this day for years! I had been there once...when I was 11. But things are so different now. I'm a total Disney fanatic now. After catching the "Disney Bug" and a few trips to Disney World, I really wanted to revisit the only park Walt Disney stepped foot in. Walk where he walked....ride the rides he rode.

So I could't wait to go to Disneyland!

California Adventure the day before had been nice...but aside from A Bug's Land and Carsland, it felt very un-Disney. It just didn't have that.....special something. But walking into Disneyland, walking under the train and into the park, all the warm fuzzes and magic washed over me, and of course, I got all teary.

At first glance, it looked a little different than the Magic Kingdom, but in so many ways it was the same too. A mix of the familiar with the new.

Of course one of the first things we noticed that was different was the castle. I knew it would be smaller, but when you're there, you see how much smaller it really is :) But it's beautiful and magical none the less :)

We head to Fantasyland and rode Alice in Wonderland first. Very cute. Then we rode Mad Tea Party, which is a must every trip, regardless of how nauseated the spinning makes me! The one at Disneyland is really cool, since it's all open. Loved all the lanterns hanging in the trees!

Next up was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. The kids had never been on it, since the one at WDW was long gone when they first visited.

We finished up the rest of Fantasyland and then headed for it's a small world. And we were amazed at how different it was on the outside. And it was so beautiful!! This was one attraction we adored far better than it's WDW counterpart.  The outdoor queue was very cool and the attraction in general just looked so much more impressive out in the open. And inside, wow. I've always loved this ride, and openly admit that I love the song! And I was so impressed with how different it was. Little touches here and there. Like the inclusion of Disney movie characters in the countries where their movies take place.

We then moved on to Toontown. And OH MY! What a HUGE difference from the former Mickey's Toontown Fair in WDW. THIS was awesome. The entire town is themed so perfectly. My kids didn't even care that they and no clue who Roger Rabbit was. They loved all the cars and the cute little things there.

And they were very excited to visit Minnie and Mickey's houses, since they are gone at WDW.

And Donald's boat, which is so much cooler (figuratively) than the one that was in WDW.

After Toontown we headed into Frontierland, had some lunch, then rode the Mark Twain Riverboat. Then we head to The Haunted Mansion!!! I was very excited to see how this one compared to the Magic Kingdom version. It was pretty cool, especially the building. So different. But the actual ride was shorter and some things were missing. We really love the attic scene at MK.

It was pretty hot so we stopped for a snack. My daughter just and to have a churro and I had a Mickey Bar. I guiltily admit.....this was our 11th trip to a Disney park...and it was my first one. But it did live up to the hype. VERY tasty! I'm not usually a fan of ice cream bars. 

We then headed to New Orleans Square for Pirates of the Caribbean! I could't wait to see how this one compared. The outside was very very different...and entirely different feel. The ride itself had some definite differences. I really liked the whole bayou scene at the beginning. Very cool. This was another attraction where we thought the DL version was better :)

We rode Jungle Cruise and explored Tarzan's Treehouse. Had some dinner and that was pretty much it. Headed back to the hotel and ended our day with some swimming.

One last thing I need to mention is The Matterhorn. We found out pretty early in our day that it was closed for refurbishment. We had all been looking forward to this attraction...for months and months. Especially my son. I keep very current on all the Disney sites and the refurbishment schedule. This was not listed anywhere. And it was only closed for five days......and guessed it...the five days we were there. We were soooooooo upset. It would have been different if we had known and could prepare for it mentally. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was closed for a major refurb. And that's my daughter's fav. But we were okay with it since we can ride it's counterpart at the Magic Kingdom. We can't ride The Matterhorn anywhere else, and I have no clue when we'll get back to California. :( It's been over 6 months and my son still mentions The Matterhorn and how he wishes he could have rode it. :(

Next up: Day 4, our second day at California Adventure!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Day 2: California Adventure Day # 1

We were so excited for our first day at the park! We chose California Adventure first, though I did want to go to Disneyland first. Just because it was the original park. But the crowd predictor on Touring Plans said CA crowds were lighter for that that's what we did. Walking in, it had a vibe very similar to Hollywood Studios in WDW. Old Hollywood. We got some great photo pass pics right in the beginning. The place was pretty dead, so it was great.

Then we just walked around. We weren't real sure where to go first. There was practically no one there.

We rode Monster's Inc first. Very cute!! 

Then my fave, Tower of Terror. It was pretty similar to the one in WDW, with some minor differences. The entrance was different, but inside look very similar. No boiler room here though. And the car is already in the elevator don't need to roll out to it.

Then we headed to A Bugs Land! So so adorable!!! The rides were nothing special but the theming was so damn cute! So many amazing little touches that made it such a wonderful experience.

Yes....this is a bathroom. It was so adorable I just had to take a pic!!

After A Bug's Land, we were pretty hot, and felt it was a good time to ride Grizzly River Run. This was okay. I expected more. We didn't even get that wet. :(

After that we headed to Carsland!!! Our whole reason for traveling 3000 miles!!! And it didn't disappoint one bit!!!!

We had lunch at Flo's. The food was really good! A bit pricey, but it was worth it! 

After Carsland, we watched the Pixar Play Parade. It's very similar tot he one at Hollywood Studios in WDW. I took tons of pics, but I don't feel the need to share them here right now. It's a cute parade :)

We walked around some more. Caught the Alice and Mad Hatter musical show, rode Soarin, which is exactly the same as the one in Epcot, though the building and line is different. It's located in Condor Flats, an aviation themed "land". It was okay. It felt very un-Disney to me. No magic at all. We ended up eating dinner at Taste Pilots Grill in Condor Flats. I had the chicken sandwich and it was decent. Hubby had the burger and said it was very blah. 

It got dark, so we just walked around taking it all in. The parks are so gorgeous at night! And Carsland, with all the neon.....breathtaking........

I took one last shot on my way out...had to get the California Adventure sign :)

Overall, we had a good day. As I said earlier, Carsland itself made the trip worth it. But we weren't overly impressed with the California Adventure park. Some parts were cool, some were blah. We did most of the park on the first day. 

Stay tuned! Next up- Disneyland!!!!