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. 

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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