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Disneyland and California Adventure, Anaheim, California

Louise Speaks:  This was a sudden decision trip.  I happened to get 3 free tickets for Disneyland and California Adventure so decided to go.  Since I took my daughter who lives in California and my two grand daughters last year, I thought it only fair to take my daughter who lives in Arizona and one of my grand sons.  Thelma decided not to go on this trip so it ended up being a family vacation.  The catch was my daughter had to drive.

We arrived in California on Wednesday night, spent some time with the family and prepared to leave very early the following morning.  We knew it was going to be a long…..a very long day!  Our plan was to do as much as possible and end with the Electric Parade.  This was actually my main reason for going.  It appears that they are doing away with the Electric Parade in 10 days.  Now I’m told that they have done this before.  They discontinue the parade for a year or so and then bring it back…but just in case I wanted to make sure I saw the parade one last time.

California Screamin’

Once we were parked it was off to California Adventure.  Even though I was just here last summer, they had changed some of the rides.  Since it was a Thursday, surprisingly it wasn’t very busy.  Our first stop was Soarin’ Around the World, which last summer was Soarin’ California.  This has got to be one of my favorites in California Adventure.  From there it was off to California Screamin’.  This has got to be one of my favorite roller coaster rides EVER!!!  Then just to spend some time in California Adventure we did some of the smaller rides like Goofy’s Sky School, Heimlichs Chew Chew Train,  Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree,  Monsters Inc,  Radiator Springs Racer,  and Toy Story Midway Mania.  We finished California Adventure in about 2 1/2 hours…not a bad start to our day!

In case you don’t know, California Adventure is where the old parking lot used to be for Disneyland.  Now you park a few blocks away and they bus you to the front gate.  So once you are inside, you simply walk out one gate and into another.  Of course you have to have a ticket for both parks, because each park is a separate admission.  We had the Hopper Pass which means we can “HOP” between parks as we choose.  However, we are making it a point to not have to come back to California Adventure…we’ve done it all and now it’s on to Disneyland.

I’m sure Disneyland has changed over the years, but yet every time I go, it seems the same.  I mean this in a good way.  It’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s adventurous and no matter how old you are, you can’t help but feel like a kid.  And the smells remind you  of every favorite food you have ever wanted to taste at an amusement park.  We had our map and we had a plan in place.  We all had our favorite rides and we were on a mission to ride them all.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Listing our stops mostly in alphabetical order, because I really can’t remember in what order we rode them.  We were trying to save steps and time and do as much as we could.  Our first stop was in New Orleans Square, where our all time favorite is located.  The three of us rushed to Pirates of the Caribbean.  We could have ridden this one over and over, but the lines had started to get pretty long, so we moved on to the Haunted Mansion.



We stopped in Tomorrowland and made sure to drive in Autopia.  Then it was Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Space Mountain.  A stop in Tomorrowland would not be complete without visiting the Star War exhibit complete with Star Tours and the Star Wars Launch Bay.  Because it was so hot, we were even able to go inside a nice air condition auditorium and watch a Star Wars:  Path of the Jedi film.  It was a nice way to cool off.




Big Thunder Mountain

My all time favorite is located in Frontierland.  The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is by far the best ride in Disneyland.  Of course that is my opinion, you’ll have to ride and judge for yourself.  This was actually the only ride we rode in Frontierland, but there is much more to do…mostly for kids.  We are going to have to come back here later tonight as we have tickets for a Disney Show.




It’s A Small World

Our next stop, was Fantasyland.  In this land, a visit would not be complete without a ride through It’s A Small World.  A ride, where the song runs through your head the rest of the day.  Fantasyland has many fairy tale rides that are designed for kids, but are so enjoyed by adults.  Because of our time schedule we had to skip many of these rides but they were on our list…especially Peter Pans Flight.  We ended the land with the Mattahorn Bobsleds…watch out for the Polar Bear.  This is also the land where you can walk through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.



Indiana Jones Adventure

Next it was off to Adventureland.  This is where you will find the Indiana Jones Adventure.  Even though there are other things to do in this land, this is the only ride we rode.  There are other lands within Disneyland, but these are geared more for children, so although we walked through them we did not make a stop in Critter Country or Mickey’s Toon Town.  

We took the Disneyland Railroad to Main Street where we were able to get ice cream and churros…a must when at Disneyland.  On Main Street we were able to see Mickey Mouse and other characters as well as the Disney Vehicles like the horse drawn wagons.


It was finally time for dinner and off to our evening show.  We had tickets for Fantasmic.  Problem is, the show starts at 9:00 and we have to be in line by 7:00.  They did let us into the viewing area where we could sit on the ground…but sitting on hard concrete for two hours was not a fun time.  However, the show is incredible.  It is over the water so the colors duplicate.  Mickey and all his friends make an appearance and there are fireworks throughout the show.  Even though we had to wait two hours, it was  definitely worth the wait.



Fantasmic ended just in time to head back over to Main Street and find a place to sit for the Electric Parade.  The idea of more sitting was not inviting but at least for the parade there is a curb so you can stretch your legs.  This was my main reason for wanting to come to Disneyland at this time, since the parade’s last run is in 10 days.  In my opinion, the parade is the perfect way to end a day at Disneyland.  The music, the lights, the characters, the fireworks, it is just Magical!  It was just as I remembered, and I enjoyed every moment of it.



So our day came to an end.  With a two hour drive home, this made for an 18 hour day.  But we did manage to ride 22 rides and see a show and of course the parade.  A very productive, but tiring day.  I think I’m done with Disneyland for a few years…or maybe not…depends who wants to go!

Disneyland could never get a lower rating than an A.  After all it is Disneyland.