Our only real plan was to eat breakfast at Flo’s V8 Cafe in Carsland on this morning. Oh, and getting MAXPASS. Which was a big help getting us on the rides we wanted, or repeating rides!
It was another hot day, but not as hot as the day before. Yep, I brought it up again! We got to the park in the same happy manner, the Pixar Fest music playing in the background as we walked to the gates. We entered Disney California Adventure (DCA) with such a positive outlook, we were all so excited for our day ahead.
Now, DCA’s entrance felt like the old MGM Studios at WDW to me, which as we all know it now as Hollywood Studios, but it will always be MGM to me. And I don’t care. You enter this park on Buena Vista Street, the main drag of the park entrance. Which is named after a street in Burbank where Disney’s studio company is or was, and that’s the connection from the top of my head. The street is not all that long, but it branches to the themed areas of the park, from counterclockwise: Grizzly Peak, Paradise Pier, Pacific Wharf, Carsland, a Bug’s Land, and Hollywood Land. FYI, a Bug’s Land is on its way out soon in favor of a Marvel theme land.
Our visit started with a walk down to Starbucks then we made a bee line right over to Carsland for breakfast at Flo’s V8 Cafe. It was really hard to not get distracted with trying to do other things before fueling up. But we did it! We were floored at Carsland, like, we all were shocked at how engulfed in Radiator Springs we all felt. We know this Pixar movie pretty well as our oldest daughter was obsessed with it for years and then our youngest jumped on board when she was at that same age. They both said they wanted to live in that land, and I agreed! It was spectacular.
Flo’s V8 Cafe was .. just super. The design was set up after a 1950’s diner with everyone working there dressed from that era. It was so cute. We opted to grab breakfast to eat outside in the ‘gas pumps’. It was perfect. We had a good spread of food, which was all a great start to our day. The girls got the brioche French toast with bananas, my husband the waffle and I got the chicken tamales plate, so my husband could eat the eggs. As I don’t eat scrambled eggs. Everyone left an empty plate, so I think that answers the food question. The French toast was delicious and the waffle was, well, a waffle! My tamale tasted great, but it was a little bit on the dry side. (I am a tamales-aholic, so I know my tamales!)
After breakfast we started our big day!
The rides and attractions we experienced, almost in order:
- Carsland: Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree- Our first ride of the day! You sit in a hitched trailer that a tractor pulls around in a frenzy of whipped turns. It was sort of like if a Tilt-a-whirl tied to the Scrambler, if you know amusement park rides at all. Super fun, and lots of laughs.
- Carsland: Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters- This ride is adorable! You sit in roadsters that move along in a choreographed dance to a song sung by Luigi. You can’t help but laugh on this ride because the cars go in a sequence you won’t quite know because there is no track ahead of you as everything is under the ground. It’s a lot of driving across the ‘dance floor’!
- Carsland: Radiator Springs Racers (twice) – Ok, we all love love love this ride! It is similar to Test Track in WDW, the idea being you are in a car that goes through the building then speeds out onto a track… but this BLOWS TT OUT OF THE WATER! It is so fun! We experienced a different ride, we got on twice, and on the second one we got to race one another (we sat single rider).
- Pixar Pier: Toy Story Midway Mania- We all love this game! It’s point and shoot gallery style game on big screens as you ride through, competing with your car mates. Though this is the same as WDW’s attraction, we all thought it felt like it lasted a bit longer here. We rode this twice, and both times we got off the ride thinking it was way better than WDW’s!!
- Paradise Gardens: Golden Zephyr- Super fun ride gliding in a big silver zephyr in the sky. The view from this ride was special for sure! We don’t know why it’s called golden when they’re silver; so if you know, pls dm me.
- Paradise Gardens: Jumping Jellyfish- What a fun ride! This is a parachute ride that brings you high up into the sky then let to float down. So cute and the belly giggles from everyone going up and down make your laughter even harder. Super cute!
- Paradise Gardens: Goofy’s Sky School (twice)- My my. I wasn’t a fan of this like my kids were. This is a very jerky coaster. It reminded me of the one and only ride I don’t like at Disney’s Animal Kingdom … Primeval Whirl. It’s the same ride disguised with my main man, Goofy! Jerky at every turn!
- Pixar Pier: Incredicoaster (twice)- My husband and oldest rode this roller coaster twice, and they thought it was AWESOME! The coaster goes along with Jack Jack and his newly discovered powers.
- a bug’s land: Heimlich’s Chew Chew- This is not a dig at this land at all, but a Bug’s Land was meh overall. This train was sweet and perfect for anyone with a baby/toddler. My kids were not all enthralled even if I laughed the entire two seconds the ride lasted. 🙂
- a bug’s land: Flik’s Flyers- It’s a super cute ride as it’s fashioned as if the bugs used discarded items for this ride-like a Chinese food container, Cool Whip tub, etc. This ride Goes up and twirls around softly.
- a bug’s land: Tuck and Roll’s Drive’em Buggies- This ride was a bummer for us as it broke down as they were on it. It’s bumper cars but the kids didn’t get to bump anyone else. hahah
- a bug’s land: Dot Puddle Park- The kids definitely took advantage of the water fountains as it was hot! The theming was great, and the other kids looked like they were having a blast.
- Hollywood Land: Red Car Trolley (is this a ride?)- This is a great way to give your feet a break and got us from Hollywood Land to the top of Buena Vista. The perfect place to get us back to Carsland!
- Hollywood Land: Monster’s Inc Mike and Sully to the Rescue- On this ride you are whisked away in a taxi following along the rescue story of Boo of Monster’s Inc. The best part of this ride is Roz at the end before you exit, she is real-time interactive!! She made fun of some folks in glasses then called me out for recording her on Snap… which was super unexpected!
- Hollywood Land: Sunset Showcase Theater Disney Animation- Our kids are into the arts, and they miss the Magic of Animation/Animation Station at WDW Hollywood Studios, you know, MGM. When they heard there was the Sorcerer’s Workshop they had to go to there. They had a blast drawing moving cartoons and checking out the Beast’s Library.
- Hollywood Land: Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission Breakout- This was ridden by my husband and oldest, it’s a free fall ride that was originally fashioned for Tower of Terror… renovated for this theme. They said it was just as fun, but a little different. Not sure what that means, but that’s what I got folks! 🙂
- Grizzly Peak: Soarin’ Around the World – This was our last ride of the night. I won’t be talking about this ride, it is exactly the same ride at WDW except it was a little smoother on take off. Which is awesome. What I am going to talk about is this special wait getting on. The park was closing and we had one last Maxpass for 10PM; the line got pretty long real fast. There was a little boy with his dad behind us. He was pretty amped up talking a mile a minute (his father was making the glazed over face like he was all set). So, I did what I do, I talk to strangers, especially cute ones. 😉 I knelt down, getting eye level is key with kids, then started a conversation I will never forget as long as I live. This little boy, myself and my two children had the funniest time talking, which lasted forty-five minutes. The ride had an issue, so we ended up waiting in the line together conversing. What a cutie. He was three years old, but wise beyond his years. He spoke Spanish and we got to exchanging words. We played some games, talked what normal three-year olds talk about, like “colors we liked”, “our favorite animals” and “favorite numbers”. He had an accent, sounded a lot like Miguel from Coco, HE WAS THE SWEETEST BOY EVER. He grew so attached to us in this short amount of time that he didn’t want to leave my side. Especially when we got separated into our seating zone lines. He started bawling his eyes out, crying for us and his father couldn’t console him until he saw that there was a fence between us. He could see me, it broke my heart. He ran up to the fence, reaching through, trying to hold my hand. 😦 It was sweet but I felt so sad for him. After the ride he found me, dragged me by the hand to meet his mother. Gah what a special kid!
-Symphony Swings was down off and on during this day and we couldn’t catch it while it worked.
We drank and ate:
- Skim latte, skim decaf caramel macchiato, skim double choc chip Frappuccino- Starbucks inside Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe
- Chicken Tamale Breakfast- Flo’s V8 Cafe
- Cars themed Waffles- Flo’s V8 Cafe
- Brioche french toast w bananas- Flo’s V8 Cafe
- Vodka Pomegranate Limeade w lemon fizzy foam (two)- Cozy Cone
- Mac n Cheese- Cozy Cone Motel
- Corn Dog- Corn Dog Castle
- Mint chip milk shake- Shmoozies
- Affogato- Shmoozies
- Corn on the cob w butter
- Sourdough bread samples from the bakery tour
- Water, water, water
- Carne asada rolls- Lamplight Lounge
- Lobster nachos- Lamplight Lounge
- Chicken sandwiches- Lamplight Lounge
- Cheddar Burgers – Lamplight Lounge
- Scream Canister (drink)- Lamplight Lounge
- Open Ocean with a Splash (drink)- Lamplight Lounge
- The Last Word (drink)- Lamplight Lounge
- Graham cracker white chocolate caramel apple
- Mike Wazowski shaped Rice Krispie treat
- water, water, water, water!!
Dinner reservations were at the Lamplight Lounge. If I had to rate this place on a star system, I’d give it a solid 3.5.
We got seated downstairs on the deck right on the water to the right. Wow. The location of this restaurant on the water, with the view of the park – namely the Incredicoaster of Pixar Pier- was perfect. Seriously, it is probably the most beautiful restaurant setting of any amusement park Disney owns. The aesthetics were real nice. They designed it with very large cozy chairs set up around oversized coffee tables, which made it feel more relaxed and bar-like. Which was perfect. The waiter we had was super nice and very well-rounded with the menu. The cocktails were actually way better than we had thought they’d be. I got The Last Word, which was so good..I would go back for that! But the food? Well, I hate giving anything but good reviews but it was just …meh. Nothing really blew us away. We got the lobster nachos and carne asada rolls to start. The rolls were good for the most part, but the nachos were just ok. Then we got burgers and sandwiches for mains. We got the chicken sandwich, which felt like it was missing something, and the burgers were decent. It just felt like something was missing from the things we weren’t all that happy with, know what I mean?
Well, after dinner we ran across the park, caught the Paint the Night Parade on our way to Carsland. We all wanted to see that area lit up at night and ride the Radiator Springs Racers one more time! It was so beautiful at night!! After this, we closed out the park riding Soarin’ then took a leisure stroll down Buena Vista shopping and buying treats for the rest of our trip.
Everything about this park felt spectacular, and we all left saying that this was our favorite Disney Park of them all. OF THEM ALL!!! There was something about the size and the overall theming. It felt more like being at an amusement park, the kind of park that leaves you with lots of great family memories. It left us all feeling, just simply, happy. It was uncomplicated and fun!
We had a hard time leaving Disneyland behind. We always felt sad leaving WDW, especially as we spend a ton of days there, settling into a way of life, but Disneyland…it was truly magical. 🙂