Disney California Adventure – Part Two

April 17, 2015

After our ride on Goofy’s Sky School, we went on the Silly Symphony Swings – a classic carnival staple! It’s a simple ride, but it’s one I’ve always loved and this was no exception. dscn9784

Next up was The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. This was another Cole’s Notes version of a ride, which involved sitting in a large oversized sea-shell while it took you through a dark, animatronic-filled re-telling of the story. I’d have to say my favourite part was the two 20-something guys in the shell ahead of us who were belting out “Under the Sea” at the top of their lungs.

At this point in the day, we decided to make our way over to Cars Land as it was getting close to our fastpass time for Radiator Springs Racers.

We decided to go on Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree first, which I thought was really cute. You sit in a little trailer being pulled by a tractor (like the ones that Mater takes Lightning McQueen to tip over in the middle of the night) and it moves around like a square dance while Mater sings.

There’s  a photo opportunity just outside this ride, which is pretty adorable, and had no line. 

I loved the attention to detail in Cars Land! We didn’t get a chance to on this trip, but I’d love to eat at Flo’s some day when we go back, it looked so cute!

We passed the statue for Stanley on our way to use our fast-passes, and of course I had to take a picture.

It was then time to ride the Radiator Springs Racers – the darling of rides at the California Adventure Park. We were there during a fairly slow time of year, and were walking on to most rides, and this one had a posted wait time of 75 minutes. Thank goodness for fastpasses! We ended up waiting about 10 minutes even with our passes, but it was so worth it! What an amazing ride! The animatronics were great, the scenery was fantastic – this was impressive. After getting off, Luke and I were talking about how much that ride must have cost to build – “That must have cost Disney like $20 million to make!”. Turns out we have no idea how much building a ride costs – according to google that ride actually cost $200 million to make – we were only off by a bit haha.

We decided we were getting thirsty, and could use a drink. I also knew I wanted to buy at least one souvenir mug, and I had seen a few people with the ones from the Cozy Cone Motel over the course of the day and I knew it had to be that one.

So, I bought the 16oz souvenir cone mug filled with root beer for $8.99 and Luke got the 24oz cone filled with coke for $11.99. It was pretty difficult for us to admit we had just spend $20US on two non-alcoholic drinks, but look at how stinking adorable these mugs are! After finishing them, we washed them out in the bathroom so they wouldn’t be sticky, and we did bring them back to Canada with us 🙂 We have used them a few times since buying them.

After leaving Cars Land we walked around the wharf again.


We stopped to watch a performance by the green men from Toy Story!

We walked through the bakery (where we got to taste some delicious sourdough bread) and then we headed towards Toy Story Mania. It had long lines all day, but we decided to just suck it up and wait, and we’d have good luck with lineups up to that point. The posted wait time said 30 minutes, I think it ended up being closer to 40 or 45 though. It was fun! I don’t like waiting that long for rides, but I’m glad we did. Of course, Luke beat me, but just barely.

We then walked back over to Hollywood Land, where Luke enjoyed the name of this hot dog quick-serve location. 

We wanted to check out Turtle Talk with Crush, but we had no idea what it was. We finally got into the theatre, and it was really cute, but not something we’d do again. It is great for kids though, they were all loving it. We actually cut out a little early as we wanted to watch the Pixar Parade. We ended up with a great spot to watch the parade. As I’ve mentioned before, Luke and I love Pixar movies so we thought this parade was fantastic! My pictures ended up mixed up, so they are probably not in the correct order of the parade, but you’ll get the idea.

Ooohhhh! The chosen ones!

After the parade, we still had a bit of time before our dining reservation so headed to the Mickey Ferris Wheel. We decided to hop in the stationary gondola line, as it had a posted wait time of 10 minutes, but the swinging one had a wait time of 35 minutes. I guess the swinging one is a little too intense for a lot of people, because we watched while they washed the vomit out of 2 different swinging gondolas. This made our wait time to be pushed closer to 20 minutes, so I was starting to worry that we would be late for our reservation. Turns out it was fine, we had to wait about 10 minutes for a table to be cleared off for us once we arrived at Wine Country Trattoria.

Our night ended with World of Colour – a water, music and lights show that lasts almost half an hour over the water in Paradise Pier. It was unbelievable, and well worth the dining reservation for our front-row centre viewpoint. The following pictures are of the pier lit up while we were waiting for the show to start. I didn’t actually take any pictures of the show itself, I was so caught up in the beauty of it.

Overall, I think we did a good job of covering the park – we were able to cover almost every attraction in the park, minus only a few – Soarin’ was closed for refurbishment, and we didn’t go on King Triton’s Carousel or California Screamin’ Roller Coaster (we had even grabbed fastpasses for this, but I couldn’t work up the courage to get on it after watching it – I’ve never been on a roller coaster that goes upside down. I know, I’m a wimp. Maybe one day…

Disney California Adventure Park – Part One

April 17, 2015

We did very little research on Disney before going to California for the first time, it was not a destination at the top of our list. Luckily we went during a slower time of the year; in April after all spring breaks and Easter breaks were over, but before school let out for the summer. We knew we had Friday and Sunday free to check out Disney parks on the weekend we went, so we bought a 2-day pass (no parkhopper, we figured one park per day would be fine for our first trip).  Here’s the link to the post about our overall trip 🙂

Friday we decided to check out California Adventure. 


Most Disney people will swear you have be there at rope drop. I am not a morning person, especially when I’m on vacation, so that didn’t happen. I think we arrived at the gate around 10:30 – our hotel was only about a 15 minute walk from the entrance. As soon as we entered the park, we stopped for a quick photo with Pluto – my first Disney character meet and greet!

After meeting a giant dog, we went and grabbed Fastpasses for Radiator Springs Racers, as instructed by one of my co-workers in the two days we had to plan this trip. This kiosk is located close to A Bug’s Life Land, so we decided to start our day there. 

I had only ever watched A Bug’s Life once, and it was years ago, so I didn’t remember anything about it. (I know, I’m the worst Disney person ever – but don’t worry, I watched it shortly after getting home). But the decor was not lost on me, I thought it was pretty awesome!




The first ride we went on was Flik’s Flyers, because the lineup looked super short. We only ended up waiting maybe 5 minutes before getting on the ride. Luke was really hoping for the Chinese Food box, but we ended up sitting in the Raisin box. This was a very tame ride, the perfect way to start the day 🙂

From there we headed over to Francis’ Ladybug Boogie, where you sit in a ladybug that spins around (the speed depends on how fast you spin the wheel in the centre, very much like the teacups at Disneyland). We had another wait that was less than 5 minutes.

Next up – Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies. Again, another ride we basically walked on to. This is essentially just bumper cars, but all the cars are designed to look like Tuck and Roll, the Hungarian pillbugs. There are little speakers inside each car that sound like them too! My car worked great, but Luke’s did not unfortunately.

Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train was next. This is a children’s slow-moving train ride narrated by everyone’s favourite caterpillar as he tells you about his favourite food. It was cute, and we didn’t even care that we were the only ones on the ride without kids. We also walked straight onto this ride with no wait. And of course there was giant candy corn!


Before we went I had told Luke I was not going on the Tower of Terror, I was not a fan of free-falling rides. We walked over to see the building anyways, and saw that there was only a 15 minute wait. Luke really wanted to do it, so I reluctantly agreed. Turns out I loved it! Worth noting – we did not buy any of our on-ride photos on this trip, so any you see are pictures I took with my phone haha.


At this point, we had already been on 5 rides – and had only been in the park for about an hour. We were doing so well! 

After leaving Tower of Terror, we walked around the Hollywood Land area, where we saw these guys performing while driving around in this old car. 

We then headed towards Monsters Inc – Mike & Sully to the Rescue. I don’t have any pictures of the ride itself, but it’s a slow-moving ride that Luke liked to describe as a Cole’s Notes version of the movie. Cute, nothing like the previous ride we had been on (TOT) but it was worth seeing for us – we both love Pixar movies. It also had a fairly short line, we waited under 10 minutes for it.

Next on our list was to head to the Grizzly Peak area to ride Grizzly River Run. It was a really fantastic water ride, but I had my camera and phone tucked safely into a plastic baggie, hence no pictures. This was one of our longest waits of the day, I think we had to wait close to half an hour before getting on this ride. Sadly Soarin’ was closed for refurbishment, so we didn’t get to go on that (we’re pretty much destined to never get on that ride…)

At this point we started heading towards the Paradise Pier area – how freaking beautiful is this place?! We were also starting to feel a little hungry so Luke grabbed a turkey leg (review here). 

I knew I had no interest in a turkey leg, so I found the Paradise Garden Grill (review HERE).

After our snack, we decided to go on the Golden Zephyr – which is just a spaceship looking thing that spins you around – almost old-school carnival-like. It doesn’t spin too fast, and would be safe for almost everyone. It’s kind of boring, and I don’t feel the need to go on this every trip.



We noticed a short line for Goofy’s Sky School Roller Coaster, so we jumped into that line. In less than 10 minutes, we were twisting and turning with Goofy! This ride was ok, it’s essentially a crazy mouse style roller coaster with some sharp turns.

Paradise Garden Grill

April 17, 2015

After Luke grabbed his turkey leg, I went in search of food that a fussy eater like myself would enjoy. I found the Paradise Garden Grill, and after reading the menu decided to give it a try!

I was a Disney food newbie, so I didn’t even take any pictures of my food! I know, shame on me!

I ordered the grilled steak skewer with tzatziki sauce, rice pilaf, cucumber salad and pita bread for $11.99. It was a huge plate of food for the price, and I was really impressed by the quality! Luke ended up preferring my food to his turkey leg, and together we managed to lick that plate clean!

I would not hesitate to order this again!



Turkey Legs

April 17th, 2015

Around 1pm, after being in Disney’s California Adventure Park for a few hours, we realized we were starting to get hungry, and we were still hours away from our supper reservation. So, Luke decided he needed to try a turkey leg after hearing so much about them!

It did not interest me at all, but I did try a bite just to say I did. Neither one of us are dark meat people, and we never typically order the leg at a chicken restaurant. Luke did eat quite a bit of it, since he was hungry, but I can’t see him buying another one again anytime soon.


Empties – Summer 2016

For awhile, I was obsessed with monthly subscription boxes, so I amassed an insane amount of beauty products.  I would open things, use it twice and then forgot about it. Then, after seeing this on another blog I put a box in our bathroom and starting collecting the empty containers of all beauty products we used up each month (I wish I could remember which blog I found this on so I could offer the proper credit).

We went for quite awhile of not doing this, but I decided to bring it back a few months ago. These are our empties from June-July-August-September 2016.

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We have 3 bathrooms in our house (completely necessary for two people haha), so we have 2 different scents of soap on the go in each one at any given time – one foaming and one deep cleansing.  I only shop at Bath & Body Works during one of their sales, and we have no problem with using Christmas scents in August, as you can see haha. My personal favourites of the ones shown above would be the Vanilla Bean Noel (always a classic!) and Coastal Water Lily.


We brush our teeth everyday! Hurray for us! I also love the plain, boring old Colgate you see above, and we ALWAYS have a tube of that on the go.


With two different showers in our house, there are at least 4 or 5 bottles of shampoo/conditioner on the go at any moment. At some point over the summer, we finished off a bottle of Herbal Essences Naked Conditioner. It’s not the greatest stuff in the world, but it does the trick.

The little bottles are Bath & Body Works  White Citrus Shampoo and Conditioner. I have no idea how old these are, but they came from a hotel stay at some point over the past few years.


We also have multiple bottles of shower gels/body wash on the go at any moment. I’m not a huge fan of Bath & Body Works shower gel, but there always seems to be a bottle in each shower. This Forever Sunshine one did smell pretty good. The other bottle is Satsuma Body Polish from The Body Shop. This is by far my favourite scent from this store, and I liked this stuff. It was a nice gentle exfoliating cleanser that a bit of grittiness to it.


Pure Smile Strawberry Milk Essence Mask is the actual name of this product. It’s a Korean product that looks ridiculous on (it’s like a weird white slimy sheet with holes cut out for your eyes, nose and mouth that you leave on your face for 20+ minutes) but it made my face feel so nice and smooth afterwards.


I’ve always loved Lush products, and their shower jellies have a permanent place in our home. Whoosh is an amazing smelling, bright blue squishy soap that we’ve had many times in the past, and I have no doubt we will buy it again in the future.


Obviously these products both belonged to Luke.  I had to ask him what he thought of these things – “the Sensitive Skin line from Nivea is better than their normal line in my opinion. The moisturizer is great, I’ve used it before and I’ll use it again. The aftershave is a really great product, but it’s a little pricer than other brands (Gillette aftershave is only like $3, this stuff is closer to $10). The glass bottle is also a little unnecessary.”


This is definitely my favourite eye makeup remover. I’m not technically out of this, since I pour it into a travel sized bottle and there is a little bit left in that. This is gentle on my eyes, and easily removes eyeliner/mascara without the need to scrub. I’ve already purchased a brand new bottle of this, it’s worth every penny.


Luke also used up both of these.  Growing up, there were always products from The Body Shop in my house and I swear by their stuff. I do not have blemished skin or oily skin, so I don’t use the Tea Tree line myself, but I do know it works. Luke says he will own both of these products again (Body Wash and Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser), but he is trying to get through some of our pre-existing collection of things first.


This is part of the 3-step Clinique program, but it’s the only one I ever purchased. You are supposed to cleanse your face (Step One), and then use this lotion (Step Two) before applying moisturizer (Step Three). I liked this, it was very gentle and made my face feel even cleaner. I would consider purchasing this again in the future.


Syn-ake Venom Lifting Cream is another Korean product in my collection. During my subscription box addiction period, I purchased a lot of Memeboxes, a Korean-based beauty product box. This was just moisturizer. It wasn’t the best I’ve ever used, but far from the worst. It did what it was supposed to do.


This hairspray took a long time to finish off, and yes, that is only a 63g bottle. I rarely do anything to my hair, a lot of days I’m doing good if I remember to brush it before throwing it into a messy bun on top of my head.  For what I know about hairspray, this stuff was really good.


I’m not a huge makeup person at all, I might wear it once a week. Even when I do put makeup on, it’s fairly simple and straight forward – concealer under my eyes, a sweep of blush and mascara. If I’m really feeling adventurous, then I go for eyeliner as well. I am very particular about my mascara though, and once I open one it is only in use for a maximum of 6 months. I prefer small, sample sized ones like these three since I don’t feel like I am wasting as much. I ended up LOVING all three of these: Clarins Be Long Mascara, Benefit Roller Lash Mascara and Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara. If I ever get to a point where I needed to purchase a full size tube, I would consider any of these. (I’d say in order would be Tarte, then Benefit and then Clarins).


These two fragrance samples belonged to Luke. I bought him one of the sample packs from Shoppers Drug Mart, where you receive 10 of these little samples for $75-$80, and then a coupon which lets you trade in for a full-size version of your favourite one. The Paco Rabanne 1 Million is actually the scent Luke traded in his coupon for, so he now owns a 100mL bottle of it – it was a hit (and from my point of view, it does smell amazing!). The other one, Arrogant by English Laundry, is also a really nice smelling scent. According to Luke, it was his 3rd or 4th favourite from the sample pack.


These are also from sample packs from Shoppers Drug Mart. I absolutely love these things, it lets you try out scents before committing to spending a ton of money on them. I have a huge perfume addiction, and I actually have 50mL bottles of both of these scents – Hot Couture by Givenchy and MyNY by DKNY. They both smell amazing!

If anyone is interested, here are links to previous Empties posts from my old blog:

Intermission Food Court – Supper

Intermission Food Court – January 7 – Supper

After eating at Tusker House, I really wanted to push forward with our day, but I was really sick. I realized I would not be able to make it to our planned supper reservation (and even if I did, I would not enjoy myself at all) so I sadly had to call to cancel our ADR for 1900 Park Fare :sad:. Since we had every day of our trip planned with ADR’s, there was no time slots that worked with our schedule to try and get back to it, I was really sad about that.

After sadly spending the better part of the next hour in the washroom feeling really sick, we decided to call it a day and head back to our hotel. We arrived back to our hotel around 3:15pm. I immediately crawled into bed but was in too much discomfort to fall asleep right away. Luke decided he should try for a nap as well, since we knew we had a very early morning the next day for the 10km race. I eventually did fall asleep, and we both napped until a little after 6pm. After waking up I was feeling a bit better, but definitely not 100% and I knew I didn’t want to go too far to get supper, so we decided to just eat at Intermission Food Court at All Star Music.

Luke does not like carb-loading the night before a race like a lot of people do, he prefers to just try and have a healthyish meal (no deep fried things). He chose the pot roast with green beans and mashed potatoes ($10.49). Since we were on the dining plan, he also grabbed a chocolate dipped Mickey rice krispie ($4.49) and some milk ($2.49). He really liked his meal (although he had a better pot roast the next day), but overall he was pleased with the food for the cost, especially since this was a “food court” meal.


I went for the turkey with green beans and mashed potatoes ($11.99), with a bottle of Coke ($2.99) and a chocolate muffin ($3.99). I was really impressed by this, the turkey was actually carved when I ordered it so it was still nice and moist and not all dried out from sitting under a heat lamp for hours. It was one of those all white meat turkey breats, not the entire turkey, but it was quite tasty! The mashed potatoes were good, the gravy had flavour to it and the green beans were fairly standard (and nothing will compare to those green beans from BOG!). Overall, another great option from Intermission Food Court (I assumed 3 star hotel, 3 star food but that was not the case!). Also yes, I really like pepper haha.


We used 1 quick service credit each for this meal. We had brought our refillable mugs with us, so I saved my bottle of Coke for later in the trip, and just drank water. The muffin I also saved, and ate for breakfast the next morning (breakfast of Champions, am I right?!). If we were paying out of pocket, the cost would have been $36.44 + tax, so not a terrible use of 2 quick service credits in my opinion.

Luke also picked up a yogurt parfait ($5.49) to eat the next morning before his race, and used a snack credit for it – so a really great use of one of those!

After eating I did feel a bit better, but we decided to call it an early night and we were both asleep again by 9pm – ready for a SUPER early morning wakeup the next day.