We got up bright and early for our first full day in Disneyland. One thing that I really like about Disneyland versus Disney World is that it’s very walkable. California Adventure Park and Disneyland are right across from each other, so it’s really easy to jump from park to park. There aren’t any shuttle buses or monorails to worry about and the rides are easy to walk to. The rides aren’t of the same calibre as Disney World (which also has more space to grow) but they’re still entertaining and I would go back. Plus Disney is Disney and we had a really good time.
Before hitting the parks we went to Storytellers Cafe for a character breakfast. The restaurant is gorgeous and the perfect place to start our day.
I was really looking forward to Mickey shaped waffles and they did not disappoint. Food shaped like Mickey Mouse is one of my favourite things about eating at Disney themed parks.
After we stuffed ourselves we hit the parks. I should mention that I wore a fanny pack to carry my camera and money. So I look extra dorky in the pictures.
We started with California Adventure Park because the early entry hours for Disney resort guests was for Disneyland that morning so we figured the line ups at Disneyland were probably much longer. When we went to California Adventure the first thing we did was get World of Colour passes from the Grizzly River Run machines. I had heard that World of Colour was an amazing show and we didn’t want to miss it. From here we ran to Cars Land to try to get fast passes for the Radiator Springs Racers ride. Cars Land had just opened and this was the new hot ride. We thought we were so smart and then we saw the fast pass line, which stretched from end of the park to the other.
We decided to take our chances and go line up for the ride itself. Another issue was the fast pass line was so long that they were likely to run out of fast passes before we even got to the front. We ended up lining up in the singles line because it was much shorter and we didn’t care about sitting next to each other. In the end we made the right choice and we even got to sit next to each other when somebody asked us to switch. Bonus!
The rest of Cars Land is also amazing and full of detail making it look just like Radiator Springs.
Another highlight from California Adventure is the Paradise Pier area, which looks picturesque and is also full of fun midway type games. We got fast passes for another ride and then thought about going on the ferris wheel but the line was always too long. We ended up lining up for the Toy Story Midway ride. The line was long and it was hot out so we tried to take shade under the outdoor umbrellas.
This ended up being my favourite ride. You play a bunch of 3-D midway type games featuring the characters from Toy Story. If there was more time we would have gone on it again.
We had a quick bite to eat and then hit up more rides. I loved the name of this hot dog stand.
Another highlight for me was the Tower of Terror. I didn’t go on it the last time we were in Disney World and I’d been on a version of the Tower of Terror in Australia (that was really disappointing because it just took you up and then dropped you). I found out later that Tower of Terror actually has a story and sets up an eerie atmosphere. Hopefully the next time we go to Disney World I’ll get a chance to go on it there so I can compare.
We also went on Screamin’ California. It was fast!
After finishing up at California Adventure we went across to Disneyland and rode some more rides there. AT this point it was getting really hot so we started picking rides with ample shade. We rode on the Disneyland Railroad, which takes you through the park and through a recreation of the Grand Canyon and even the age of the dinosaurs.
I indulged in more Mickey shaped snacks.
At this point we were roasting in the heat so we went to Toontown. I had read that Mickey’s house is air conditioned so that’s where we went.
After meeting Mickey and cooling down we went and had dinner. I opted for a burrito – my last meal before the half marathon the next day.
To end the night, we went on a few more rides before finding a place to sit for the World of Colour show. We had pretty good fast pass tickets and got there early enough to find a spot with a good view.
The World of Colour show was amazing! They had music, water, colours (obviously), fire and scenes of iconic Disney characters. It was really beautiful and worth the wait. The entire area around Paradise Pier transformed for the show.
After the show we skipped the fireworks so we could get back to the hotel and get to sleep at a decent time. I was excited for my second half marathon but definitely not as anxious as I was for Disney World. So how did the Disneyland half compare? More on it in Part 3.