Our United Airlines flight landed at 8.20am on the 27th of October. 2 hours later after clearing customs, immigration and passport control we were on the Disneyland transfer bus from LAX airport to Anaheim, on the wrong side of the road. Check in was quick and easy. After a 17 hour flight the first thing on the agenda was to freshen up. As the best friend and I waited for the other 2 we spotted our first yellow school bus, just like in the movies. It truly is the trivial stuff.
A ten minute walk took us to the ticket booths. On the left side was California Adventure Park and on the right, Disneyland. 2 parks! I had no idea. It was a Wednesday around lunch time and there were no crowds or long waiting lines. I highly recommend getting a park hopper ticket during school terms on a week day.
Disneyland is arguably the happiest place on earth. It took me 23 years to discover this. Walking through the turnstiles of California Adventure Park started our epic day and a half tour of Disneyland Anaheim. Jetlag, hunger and half a day were not going to ruin the California Adventure experience. Especially at Halloween! Oh the pumpkin carvings, ‘twas very delightful.
Pixar dominates this end of the happiest place on earth. I am a classic Disney fan. I love my Beauty and the Beast, and the Lion King. I’m old school but I do have an appreciation for Pixar. We witnessed a Pixar parade minutes after our tickets were punched. The puppetry and costumes were amazing with the likes of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, A Bug’s Life and Monsters Inc. I am pretty sure I was standing there with my eyes glazed.
From there we traveled by boat as we saw Mike and Sully try and get Boo back to her door through the wonderful world of Monstropolis. I still believe Boo is too cute for her own good. From here we crossed the path over to the Muppet Vision in 3D. The Muppets take me way back to my childhood. The Great Gonzo has always been my favorite. This short 3D skit was more of a behind the scenes with all your favorite Muppets popping in to remind you they’re still here, and rightfully so.
Disney Animation offers a glimpse into the spectacular drawings of early toons to pixel. These artists are very talented and patience is clearly their virtue. There is an outline of Dumbo at the exit to Disney Animation. The boys cruelly convinced the gullible girl in the group that Dumbo jumped and went splat. I laughed yet fell sorry all at the same time. It took a lot more convincing that he hadn’t actually jumped.
My hunger was satisfied with salty chicken nachos dripping in jack cheese. That was some very yellow cheese and a portion large enough to feed 2 people. The thirst from the California sun and the salty nachos were quenched with a cold bottle of coke. I was clearly preparing my insulin levels for the American diet. There was also that 50cm churro…
I had my first 4D experience in Bug’s Life Theatre. What is 4D? It’s having the 3D experience whilst also physically feeling what is happening on screen. This is not for the squeamish as you feel bugs running around in your seat, spiders come dangling from the ceiling and you feel every cold and slimy bug sneeze. I liked the way this was done. You know it’s just water drops on your skin but you’re in the moment and you’re naturally grossed out by a bug splattering all over you.
California Adventure is the park I believe to be aimed more at the adult demographic purely because of the rides. The Tower Of Terror drop is not for those afraid of heights unless you have something to prove to a 4 year old whose father keeps nervously asking if he’s sure about this. I spent most of my time laughing due to the screams coming from grown men. The beaming Paradise Pier sun on California Screamin’ perfectly hides that roller coaster loop. I had sweaty palms standing in the line to board the roller coaster. There were so many times I thought of slipping away but I’m glad I took the ride, it was amazing and I’d do it again and again without a second thought.
Grizzly River Run took us into the evening and made sure none of us stayed dry with the rapids throwing our rotating float around and plunging down short waterfalls. The cool water was welcome after what was quite a warm day. The day ended with a picturesque tour on the Soarin’ Over California. You forget you’re watching a screen. As you’re going over mountains you feel yourself lift your feet as you would on a swing.
We left the park satisfied that we’d managed to do quite a lot in a short amount of time, dragging our feet back to the hotel for a few hours sleep.