Exploring Disneyland and California Adventure Parks, Anaheim, CA

This is just a fun blog for me to write with fun memories collected over two days at the Disney parks in California with my family. I didn’t bring my camera with me, so all I had was my old, cracked phone. I also took very few pictures of the whole park, apparently. It was something I didn’t even realize until I was going through my phone and editing those photos! Nearly all of them were from the newly developed Star Wars land, and, for an obvious reason: no one in my family had ever been to this section!

The Incredicoaster launches from here – and it’s hilarious to watch the people!

We took two days to explore the parks, something I don’t ever remember doing in the past! On the first day, we poked around California Adventure, and since it has a closing time of 10pm (compared to Disneyland’s 12pm for rides and 1pm for shops), we were able to get to bed a little earlier so we were better rested for the next day. I’d highly recommend doing the same if you plan on doing these parks back-to-back!

Some of our high scores for Web Slingers!
Some of the highest scores of the day surpassed 1 million….how!?!?

I’ll be honest, we’re going to very quickly move on to Disneyland and Star Wars land quickly here since apparently, I took a grand total of about 20 phone photos in California Adventure. These photos will be more, supplemental than anything, especially because they deal with a very small part of the park! There are other bloggers out there who detail the best way to get in all the rides, shows, and food options. This isn’t that – this is just a fun, journal entry-type blog!

Day 1: Starting Off In California Adventure!

Our First Rides

Now, our day started out at the iconic Soarin’ ride – it’s one of the coolest out there and definitely worth the experience! We knew from other bloggers that this ride would get clogged up fast, so we raced over there first thing to get on. It was an awesome way to start the day, especially since California mornings are notoriously chilly!

Enter into the land of adventure!

From here we circled the park many times, riding our favorite rides and getting all our fun in. In the past, we’d done park-hopper passes – so, we could jump from one park to another. Because of this, we only ever rode a few rides on the California Adventure side and never got to experience the whole park. We did some rides we’d never done before and ate at restaurants we didn’t know existed! One of the rides we did for the first time was the Mickey Ferris Wheel. While it was a good experience, I would never do it again! It whacked all of us out a little too much. Good experience though!

The Ferris Wheel at California Adventure! The Incredicoaster sits behind.

One of our must-do rides is the Incredicoaster, formerly known as California Screamin’! It’s an awesome rollercoaster and one of our favorites for sure. The thing is just totally awesome! My youngest brother did it for the first time – he was too short and young last time! He had a wonderful time – maybe a little bit scared, but overall satisfied and happy!

Shows in the Park!

One thing we’ve never done is watch shows at either park. This year, that changed! One of the best shows to date is the Avengers Campus show. It features Captain America, Taskmaster, Black Widow, and Black Panther! There was also an abundance of other heroes walking around, including the New Captain America, Spiderman, Iron Man, and a few of the Guardians of the Galaxy! My parents even got a photo with New Cap – they say he looked like and sounded like Anthony Mackie, which is way too cool! Disney knows how to cast their actors!

We also watched the flying Spiderman show, got a snippet of the Doctor Strange Magic Show (it seemed geared towards kids and teens), and saw the Dance Off To Save The Universe from the legendary Guardians of the Galaxy. That’s the only one where fans can interact – and it was totally awesome! There are also many opportunities to take pictures with each of these heroes, as well as many others. We spotted Woody and Buzz from Toy Story and Mr. Incredible and Frozone from The Incredibles! Loki was funny – he was always being mobbed by girls of all ages! He looked the part, had the same zealous smile, and was dastardly as ever.

Food in California Adventure

Now, for food! We ate at a few different places around here. I had an iced coffee from the above coffee shop since it was so hot and it was outstanding. I got it iced, too, which I never do! The prices were fair – about as much as you’d expect to pay at a local coffee shop (between $4-$5.50 per drink). There also were loads of Shwarma joints around the Avengers Campus. We didn’t get to eat here because they were all out of food each time we went! Instead, we got a giant pretzel at Hank Pym’s Test Kitchen, pasta lunch at the Paradise Garden Grill, a quick ice cream cone at one of the many stands scattered around the park, and tacos for dinner at Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill. All we’re fantastic options and I’d recommend each of them! Plus, fit some Shwarma in somewhere!

Back to Rides!

We got back to a few more rides, including the final chance to ride the Cars ride. It was over an hour wait the entire day! I think we got to it when the wait time was about 65 minutes long…it’s just crazy that wait times were exceeding 2 hours! It was one of the coolest rides – my family loved it and we were glad we got to hit every major ride in this park!

Avengers Campus at night. It was so awesome! We did the Guardians ride behind – a tummy-turner for sure!
Waiting in line for Guardians. The lines are part of the experience!

Day 2: Over to Disneyland!

Our First Rides

Traditionally, our first ride in the park has always been the Matterhorn bobsleds. This was a weird experience because first, we started off our adventure in the other park, and second, we did not do Matterhorn bobsleds! It was just bizarre. We had something a little bit better to go to. The day prior in California Adventure, I had been keeping an eye on the wait times at various rides, like Space Mountain, Matterhorn, Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, the Star Wars rides, and others. From that, we knew the Star Wars rides would get insanely long!

So, we huffed it all the way over to the opposite end of the park and entered our first Star Wars ride: Smugglers Run in the Millenium Falcon. I won’t spoil the ride at all, but it is completely worth it. It’s an experience and a ride all combined into one, and it’s worth the wait. My mom loved it the most, and so much so that we did this ride about four or five times – we lost track!

The Millenium Falcon as it appears outside the ride. The entrance is just off to the left!
The glorious Millenium Falcon. It’s in the park, it’s life-size, and it’s HUGE!

The amount of detail on the props is just outrageous. I’m sure engineers and builders scoured hours and hours of source materials and mockups to get it down pat. It looks beautiful, all of it! I mentioned it briefly above but the lines for these rides are almost just as cool. They get you into the park, into the experience of it all, and you really feel like you’ve entered a whole new world!

From here, we toured around the newest part of the park and took it all in. Stormtroopers walked around menacingly, and acted like true stormtroopers! It was eerie to see how real all of it was. We also caught a small glimpse of Kylo Ren. Quick, walk the other way!

One of the many grand entrances into Star Wars land!
Entering the territory of the First Order!

From here, we moved on to other parts of the park and made sure we got all of our favorites in! We of course rode Big Thunder, one of the best rides – and were placed at the back, the best place to be! Mom made us ride Small World – we always seem to get it in at some point – and then we were back to our rides! We had a blast on Matterhorn (especially yelling at the yetis) and waited patiently to ride the Haunted Mansion. Ah, this ride is a beauty!

We of course had to visit one of the classics in the park – Star Tours! We were able to ride it twice and visit two different planets in the process! This ride also has some incredible features while you’re standing in line. It’s seriously so well done, I don’t know how they do it!

By this time, we had clearly spent too much time away from the actual Star Wars land, so we headed back there for more rides on the Millenium Falcon!

Shows in the Park!

Of all the times in Disneyland, we’ve never caught one show, except for the classic fireworks spectacular. This year, we caught the Main Street Electric Parade and Fantasmic! Both were spectacular shows. Make sure to bring sunglasses – they’re bright and loud, but super cool! I didn’t take any photos of these shows since I came down with a decently nasty headache, but I did watch most of Fantasmic. The light show on the water is way too stunning. It’s incredible what these Imagineers do!

Big Thunder again!

Food in Disneyland

Food in Disneyland is always awesome and with the app, it’s so easy to order ahead of time and grab your food when it’s ready! We had Bengal Barbecue in Adventure Land for lunch and Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo for dinner. I also grabbed some kettle from Kat Saka’s Kettle in Galaxy’s Edge! I’ve heard Oga’s Cantina is the place to grab a drink, especially since it’s in the new Galaxy’s Edge! I wish I took more photos but I didn’t. I did grab one photo of dinner, but it doesn’t make the food look that good. It was, though, AMAZING and I would’ve easily gone back for seconds there.

Here’s the photo, but you’ve been warned! It’s not my best work!

This was so good. It was called the Ishi Tib-style Pasta with Braised Beef Bantha and it’s phenomenal! Like a Bantha!

Back to Rides!

Ah yes, back to the rides! Enough of that eating stuff, we’re here to have FUN! We ended up walking around a lot of Star Wars lands before and after dinner. The whole thing is just a unique experience, which is saying something! I’ve never felt this immersed in something since I studied abroad in Australia in 2017 – that’s saying something! Even the bathrooms were so cool…I made my entire family walk into the Star Wars bathrooms just so they could see them!! Like whaaaat!?!?

We headed back for one final attempt at Rise of the Resistance, the most popular ride in both of the parks! We got on it, and again, I won’t spoil it, but I’ll share a few photos from the lines and one from inside. However, our worst nightmare occurred – the ride broke while we were on it, and we were escorted out backstage! I’ve never been on a ride that’s broken down, so this was a first for all of us. Sadly, we weren’t able to get back on the ride as it closed down for the rest of the night. We were so bummed out! We toured around a little bit more, and I got some photos of the life-size starships. I keep saying it (and my mom echoed me), but “this was just the coolest thing!!”

These were so real. Oh my gosh!
Poe’s X-Wing!
Another X-Wing. These are about as big as I expected them to be – but they’re still massive!

The night faded on us as we took our last ride on Space Mountain. We were also nearly the last ones to get on the ride, and we exited well after midnight. It was an exhausting two-day gauntlet of back-to-back fun, and I wouldn’t have had it any other day! It honestly felt like a dream; an immersion beyond comprehension, especially since both mornings began early and both nights ended late. I would love to do it all again and explore more of the park and eat at different places. The experience is what matters most!

This was probably the most exhausted I’d been in California, but if you still have your breath after reading this exhilarating blog, be sure to check out my day in Malibu and my adventures in San Diego!

I’ll see you back in the Mountain West. We’ve just finished out June!

Parting shot:

This was way cool. WOW.

Next blog: Mountain west. Hiking, camping, traveling around!

2 thoughts on “Exploring Disneyland and California Adventure Parks, Anaheim, CA

  1. I have not been to Disneyland in YEARS. I’m not a huge amusement park goer, but I admit they can be a lot of fun not only for the rides, but also for the general, vibrant atmosphere. Never been to California Adventure, but it sounds like my jam! Glad you had fun soaking in the thrill (and good weather) in southern California!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it’s a blast!! I hadn’t been there in a number of years and it was amazing to get back to. We did some things we never had done before, so it was like experiencing the park for the first time again!

      Liked by 1 person

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