Friday, September 27, 2013

The Hip + Urban Girl's Guide to California Adventure

I hit up Disneyland last month and one of the biggest differences between Orlando and Anaheim is Disney's California Adventure Park! It's the second theme park built right next door to Disneyland and is sort of a mix between California Boardwalk-inspired rides and Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida. If you're heading to LA, this park is a fun way to re-live a few of those childhood memories.

California Screamin' Rollercoaster - This is an absolute 'must-ride'! In fact, I think we all ran for the rollercoaster first when we first arrived at California Adventure. This section of the theme park, is Paradise Pier and it's inspired by the beach piers and summer fairs of California. I would have to say that California Screamin' is the smoothest rollercoaster I have ever been on and going upside-down didn't even make me nervous - I was laughing the whole time.
Cars Land - An entire land dedicated to the movie Cars! Here's a group photo of all of us on the Route 66-inspired Main Street. It's the newest section of the park to open and incredibly busy and popular. Having just driven Route 66, it was SO interesting to see the attention to detail and familiar sites from our trip in one place.
Radiator Springs - The main attraction in Cars Land is a six-seater 'car' that makes you feel like you're IN the movie where you're cruising past canyons and into the auto body shop. The ride ends with a big race! Incredibly cute and inventive. I could only imagine what it would be like to be a kid and live inside your favourite movie. Definitely get a fast pass or head to the single-rider line - Radiator Springs is a busy and very popular ride.

Our racing team
Where to Eat - Just outside Flo's Diner is faux gas station turned-restaurant. Lots of down-home cooking and comfort food favourites like roast beef and mashed potatoes here. For something a bit fancier, check out Wine Country Trattoria (Italian food) just at the end of Cars Land.
Junkyard Jamboree - Is sort of a fun take on a scrambler ride meets the teacups. I love that there are two rides running simultaneously next to each other so getting on was super fast.
The Tower of Terror - Like the adult-version of the frogger ride that jolts you up and down with a Twilight Zone back story. This was one of the favourites of the group - we seriously couldn't get enough of it.
This is what happens when you put a bunch of fashion people on the Tower of Terror :)
Having fun in 'Hollywood'
Carthay Circle Restaurant - This fine dining restaurant is a reproduction of the Carthay Circle Theatre with decor inspired from Hollywood's Golden Age. If I had to pick ONE favourite restaurant on this entire trip and in all of Disneyland and California Adventure - this is pretty much it. DO NOT miss this gem. Every single person we were dining with was raving about their food. Reservations recommended.
My Pimm's Punch 
Napa Rose Restaurant - Another great option for fine dining, which doesn't require park admission is Napa Rose inside Disney's Grand Californian Hotel. We ordered a bunch of different dishes to share. The fig, proscuitto and grape pizza was perfection on a plate. I also highly recommend the scallops for an appetizer. Napa Rose is great for escaping chicken fingers and greasy theme park food.
The World of Color -  Instead of the typical nightly fireworks, California Adventure offers a show of water, color, fire and light. 1,000 jets of water create a shimmering mist where classic scenes from different Disney movies are projected on to it. It's like the Bellagio Fountains in Vegas with a light and animation show included. Not to be missed! You will leave in complete awe at what Disney Imagineers have come up with.
After one long and fun day at Disney!
Thank you again to Disney Parks for hosting us! 

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