August 3, 2016

3 Things I Love About Disney’s California Adventure Park

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been blogging a lot about Disney lately. There’s a reason for that. I’m getting stoked to take my kids to Disney World for a surprise visit this October. We’ll be flying into Orlando and staying at a Starwood property six miles outside the park. The hotel is on points, which leaves us money to budget for a day at the park. I can’t wait. I’m the biggest Disney freak in my family (besides my mother in law) and in the lead up to the trip, I just can’t help but talk about my magical Disney memories. 🙂

As a Southern California native, I lived close enough to Disneyland to grow up making magical memories there monthly. Before the parking lot was transformed into Disney’s California Adventure Park, I remember walking to an outdoor picnic area and eating lunch there for a midday break during my family’s monthly visits to the park. Every adventure was an enduring memory for me. It still remains one of my favorite places on the planet 🙂

That said, I now live in the Midwest and while I have three kids of my own, I don’t get to Disney’s theme parks anywhere near as often as I’d like.

Last year though, I was able to treat them to a Disney vacation. We spent three days at Disneyland and California Adventure, which was a first to me as it opened after I moved to Nebraska. We liked California Adventure so much that we spent two of our three days there.

For our kids, who have grown up with Pixar characters and movies more than Mickey, they especially loved Cars Land, as well as seeing Buzz and Woody and all the Toy Story characters. In this short post, I share my three favorite rides and experiences from California Adventure, which I definitely recommend you making sure you see when you visit the park.

#1 – Cars Land

If you have boys (or girls J) who love the Cars movies, you have to make time to visit Cars Land at California Adventure park. The main ride there is one which you can (and definitely SHOULD) get a Fast Pass for. Fast Passes, as I quickly learned, are really the best way to get the most out of your Disney experience. They reduce the wait time from over an hour to less than 15 minutes.

The ride is amazing and was by far my boys’ favorite of the trip J There’s also a cool Mater Tow Truck spin ride and lots of opportunities to get pictures in Radiator Springs and take home that perfect souvenir.

Radiator Springs at California Adventure park mater car ride at california adventure park

#2 – California Soarin’

My aunt swears by this ride. My uncle was an air force pilot and she’s always had a love for both flight and California. Those two passions are blended perfectly in this ride. I took my kids on it and all of us were amazed at how quickly we felt transported to the heights, even though we were only a few feet off the ground. It’s a 4D experience not to be missed.

#3 – Toy Story Mania

This ride was one we couldn’t get a fast pass for and so waited in line for nearly an hour to ride. That was hard on my then 6, 4 and 2 year old. But, a few Mickey Mouse ice cream cones made the wait endurable, and the ride was totally worth it. Much like Buzz’s AstroBlasters ride at Disneyland park, you can steer your car and both passengers can shoot at hundreds of targets throughout the ride. It’s a ton of fun and lasts long enough to make the wait worth it.

There’s so much more to explore at Disney’s California Adventure Park. If you’re planning a Disney vacation, you definitely want to add this to your itinerary.


Have you been to Disney’s California Adventure? What was your favorite ride or attraction in the park? Would you go back? Where does this park rank among Disney’s Theme Parks for you?


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