I really liked Disney California Adventure (DCA) and find it to be a nice balance to the whimsy of Disneyland Park. It is certainly not to be missed though it does feel like management has abandoned the concept of showcasing the most beautiful parts of California in a theme park meets Las Vegas attraction sort of way, and are slowly preparing to rebrand (though they’re not there yet). When the Powers That Be do decide to rebrand I would like throw out that it would be awesome to visit a place called ‘Pixarland’ and totally appropriate as there are already several areas of the park dedicated to Pixar properties. I totally would have to go back once the transformation is complete. Don’t believe me, check it out for yourself.
While you’re visiting DCA you totally have to go to ‘Cars Land’ it because it really does look just like the movie. I’m sad I did not think to go there after sunset to check out all that cool neon in the dark. You can’t stay overnight in the Cozy Cone, most likely because the park closes at 8 pm, but you can buy an assortment of food from each vendor at this one of a kind food court. You can take a picture with the leaning tower of tires and many of the cars make appearances for pictures. Also, check out these awesome flowers! (Okay I’m totally geeking out right now).
I flew in and out of bugs land without much of a backwards glance as this area of the park seemed geared for mostly for the younger park visitors. I found the leaky garden hose themed splash park highly amusing though.
Wilderness theme area
I loved this concept of a low ropes course in a theme park and educational exhibits showing tracks and shapes of various wild animals and trees, plants, etc. found in California’s beautiful forest. And the uniforms of the cast members assigned to that area look just like the Wilderness Scout Uniform from UP. Sadly, Kevin was nowhere to be found, but he lives in South America so I guess that’s at least geographically accurate.
There is no Monster’s Inc. “Land” but I have a cool picture of Roz.
The Bakery Tour
This is a neat open exhibit where you can watch famous San Francisco Sourdough bread made behind a wonderful wall of glass that separates you from the bakery. The eatery on the other side has the best fresh bread bowls filled with soup that we encountered in either park. If you like a proper sourdough, this is something you won’t want to miss.
Draw a Disney Character
We took a cool 20-minute workshop where a Disney animator took us through how to draw Pluto’s face. That was pretty cool, and a great break to sit in the air conditioning cooled building for a while. This attraction has a workshop every half hour and each workshop is a different character. The day’s schedule is clearly posted outside the building, so it’s worth checking out if you have a preference to whom you’d like to draw.
An eatery we found in Hollywood Land
Night Show World of Color – Celebrate!
DCA has a night show in the lake with a combination of water feature, fountain patterns, and projections on the water down at the Paradise Pier. I love water shows, but for me this one just didn’t resonate with me. Our seats happened to be in the “Splash Zone” so if you’re worried about getting a bit wet you probably should pack some ponchos for yourself and any items that you don’t want to get wet. You can reserve your ticket early in the day with your FASTPASS® to get certain seating. It should be noted FASTPASS® for shows doesn’t seem to impact your eligibility to use them for rides. And since DCA closes before Disneyland, you can watch the show then go to the area between the parks and watch the fireworks which is what we tried to do, but the fireworks were cancelled due to strong wind up in the atmosphere.