Cali 9: DCA Rest of Day!

We had an AWESOME start to our Disney California Adventure day and were nice and full from our yummy lunch and ready to keep the fun going πŸ™‚ 

I LOVE pictures (duh) and usually we are too rushed at the parks to stop at all the photo pass locations to let them take pics for us. I really loved that our leisurely day allowed us the opportunity to take so many photos around the park, and especially photos TOGETHER. When we’re as a family it’s impossible to get pics with both Zach and I in them and when we travel solo it’s impossible to get pics together too. I noticed from our more recent solo trips that we’ll only have a couple pics together and they are usually selfies! I had a goal to get GOOD pics on this trip and this day alone fulfilled that quota (and at that time I didn’t even know I’d be needing recent couple shots for our adoption book!). 

We haven’t ever done “It’s Tough to be a Bug” at Animal Kingdom as I remember it as a kid and being scared. I wanted to do it at DCA but for now they have changed it to be a Jungle Book preview. We were still in as we both would like to see the movie (unfortunately I have heard it’s too scary for little ones so we still haven’t seen it yet!). 

Probably second to the kid at the whale watching saying “Fluke! I hate when that happens!” The funniest moment of the trip was when we were walking through the line to watch The Jungle Book. I was going on and on about how realistic Disney makes everything and saw a shell on the wall and grabbed at it and said “see like this looks SO legit” and then it detached from the wall into my hand b/c it WAS a legit snail bahahaa. 

I really appreciate how DCA has so much focus on Pixar films. I LOVED seeing all the kids (and parents) rocking Woody and Jesse stuff. Toy Story doesn’t have enough of a presence in Orlando, in my opinion. I was surprised by the efforts made for A Bug’s Life as it’s just not that popular of a movie, right? We didn’t have much to ride in that area as it was all very little kid rides but we did hope on Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train just to check it out. It’s a kid ride filled with lots of smells so I didn’t get the full experience πŸ˜‰

Zach has actually never ridden Tower of Terror so he went for it! I didn’t mind having some time to sit and rest a bit and enjoyed people watching. People watching has gotten a lot less interesting now that everyone has phones b/c most of the time people are just looking at them!

I walked around a bit to get a feel for that area of the park and got the chance to walk down with the characters from Zootopia. I hadn’t yet seen the movie so I wasn’t as pumped about seeing them as I would be now!

We were pretty bummed that Aladdin just stopped showing at the Hyperion but I’m sure Frozen will be equally amazing! I’d love to get up to NYC to see Aladdin on Broadway!

A wave from my pal Mickey πŸ™‚

Zach took a hot minute on Tower of Terror. Someone was standing up or breaking some rule so they had to stop the ride, have them exit, then start again. I didn’t mind the wait, and especially not in PERFECT 65 degree weather! But by the time he was done I was needing a pick-me-up. Ice coffee to the rescue!

We LOVE Laugh Factory at MK but were pumped to experience a totally different Monsters Inc ride at DCA!

It was much more of a classic ride but was super cute and fun and we LOVED the ended! Roz interacted with us and we didn’t know that it was going to happen! Zach just happened to joke around and blow her kisses and she suddenly started talking to him about it haha! It was great!

Cast member making a Minnie on the cement with water. I love little Disney magical moments πŸ™‚

We haven’t done the Frozen Sing A Long yet at DHS so we wanted to wait and experience it with the girls this November!

Free samples? We are always down! We hit up a quick Bakery tour and nibbled on some yummy bread!

Zach was such a good sport with all the photo pass photo stops πŸ™‚

And he got his well earned reward…CHEESE ON A STICK!

There was a local place in Valdosta when Zach was growing up called Corn Dog 7 that sold cheese on a stick and Zach was pretty obsessed with it. So much so that he and Ryan (his cousin/bff/best man in our wedding) took a road trip several years ago b/c they found a Corn Dog 7 and they HAD to have their precious cheese on a stick. Sadly for them the store was closed when they got there so this treat has been in the waiting for over a decade!!! He loved every bite!

Cotton candy is my favorite. I’m a legit kid πŸ˜‰

I know they recently closed the Animation Academy at Disney World and I never got to experience it so I wanted to take the time to check it out while we were there. Um. It was AWESOME and I’m so bummed they don’t have it anymore (I’ve heard they still do drawing lessons at Art of Animation Resort and it’s something I want to look into taking the kids to do!)

We don’t know anything about Phineas and Ferb (I think that’s their names?) and I didn’t know we would only be drawing one thing in the class so I tried to do mine small haha!

Whatever. Zach is annoyingly good at everything.

After we did our drawings we headed over the The Beast’s Library to see what Disney Character we are the most like!

It was a cute room, but didn’t come close to Be Our Guest restaurant in the decor!

The room had a magical book where we were able to answer questions and then look into a magic mirror and our Disney Character would appear!

This cracked me up as I’m not a personal Peter Pan fan…I think he’s kinda a jerk?

We headed back over to the Pier area for a bit, and were allowed in to take a peek at Ariel’s Grotto!

Zach hit up the big coaster one more time πŸ™‚

So when I blogged about our day I decided to do things a little out of order b/c I wanted to save the most awesome area for last πŸ™‚ We technically had fast passes for earlier in the day and went to Cars Land right before eating lunch and then went back to visit it more after. But I wanted to put the whole land together in one section of the post b/c its THE best themed area of ANY Disney park I’ve EVER experienced. Woah. We already loved DCA but this made us start seriously talking about making a family trip happen. It makes the flight, time change, cost, etc all worth it b/c it’s THAT awesome!!! We were impressed with the little section at Art of Animation devoted to Cars but it ain’t got nothing on Cars Land!!!

Just a boy sitting on a tractor πŸ˜‰

The coolest area had to be the Cozy Cone. I mean it was done to PERFECTION.

I heard that Flo’s has awesome food but we didn’t end up eating there…gotta leave some stuff on our “to do” list for the future, right? πŸ™‚

Our first ride in the area was at Luigi’s Casa Della Tires! I can’t say enough how well done every little detail was of this land. It truly felt like we were in the movie!

How adorable are they?!?! They do a synchronized dance. Y’all it is straight up precious!

I thought it’d be neat to get a picture of this car while it’s still growing and hopefully if/when we get back out there we can compare!

I’m super glad we did it b/c it was so cute and I will totally do it again given the opportunity but y’all it SPUN a GOOD bit. We don’t do tea cups so we aren’t spin people πŸ˜‰ It wasn’t too bad but be warned if you don’t like spinning it may make you a bit woozy!

Still can’t get over the old school paper fast passes!

THE ride at DCA is Radiator Springs Racers. It’s in all the ads and it’s the one everyone races to at park opening. Touring Plans recommends to ride it at least twice. It has multiple routes so it’s never the same ride! They recommend riding it during the day and then again at night to have a different experience. I went into it excited but nervous because the word “RACER” made me feel like it was going to be FAST and this girl don’t do fast. 

Hidden Mickey!

Hidden Mickey!

How awesome is this?!?!

For the ride you ride in a car as go through scenes from the movie and basically go around Radiator Springs. There are multiple tracks so you see a different section each time you ride. It’s like no other ride I’ve ever been on. I can’t even fathom the cost Disney shelled out on Cars Land!!! 

Tell me the cast members outfits aren’t on point?

So at the end of the ride you RACE. As in GO SO DANG FAST. OMG. And of course the race part is when it snaps your picture. And of course part of our package for the trip included a print off from the ride. And of course I’m FREAKING OUT in our photo hahaha

I’m glad I rode it for the experience but I told Zach I’d be passing on the second ride that night. He could get in the single rider line real quick and do it and I’d just chill πŸ˜‰ If we have the opportunity to take the kids I’d probably ride it one more time for them…but that race part was just too much for me! I prefer my It’s a Small World and Tiki Room πŸ˜‰

We wanted to take a peak at the Tow Mater ride but both agreed it was a no-way for us as it was a sling shot type ride that would make both of us sick!

My favorite man!!! (And sidenote but check out how I’m STILL in FLIP FLOPS!!! Yay for foot progress (and for some AMAZING shoes…they are OluKai Ohana Sandals. I saw them posted in a Disney fb group and shelled out the dough for them and don’t regret it! Cute and comfortable and GREAT for a day at the parks, even with a foot injury!

They have a wharf area that is all restaurants. I love that the parks there are SO outdoors. I mean it’d be awful it if rained but I guess that doesn’t happen too often out west huh? We weren’t super hungry so we got a sandwich and I got a bread bowl of soup and we sat by the water and enjoyed eating and people watching πŸ˜‰

We were DONE with everything we wanted to do for the day and had several hours to kill still before it would get dark enough to see the lights come on in Radiator Springs πŸ™‚ We decided to hop in line for Toy Story Mania again. It was long (like 45-60 min) but we didn’t have anything better to do, so why not? We got to find some hidden Mickey’s in the line and enjoyed all the people commenting on our shirts while we waited πŸ˜‰

Can you find the hidden Mickey (hint: look near the horns)

And another!

After we got off Toy Story we headed back to Cars Land and hung out on Route 66 waiting for the lights to come on. They have a meet and greet with several of the Cars characters and they switch out regularly. It’s super cute b/c they actually drive down the road when they make the switch! I was so wrapped up in watching it happen that I didn’t even notice Zach walking behind Lightning McQueen! Ahaha! (here’s a video)

Snack time! Zach loves a dip cone (btw everything you buy from the Cozy Cone Motel is served IN a cone!)

A must see experience at DCA is at dusk each night. The sun goes down and the lights come on and music plays and it’s just a magical moment b/c it’s SO realistic to the movie! I attempted a video but it’s hard to capture…here it is πŸ™‚

Zach went and rode the Racers and said it was cool at night!

We actually got COLD so I busted out the tennis shoes for warmth. Glad I brought my jacket!

After he got done riding we headed back to the pier area for World of Color. It’s the top reviewed night show of any of the shows at any park. We were pretty excited to see it! If you have a chance to visit, you MUST book a dining package to take advantage of the seating opportunity. Since we had lunch at Carthay Circle (and paid for the package) we had priority seating. It made a BIG difference in our experience to be able to see! 

The pier area at night was so pretty!

We met a couple from Jersey and compared notes from Jersey to Georgia to Cali. They were actually on a convention with their insurance company (not Aflac obviously) which was neat b/c we were supposed to be in Italy with ours! I mean I totes wouldn’t complain if Aflac sent us to Disneyland!!!

World of Color is a show done completely with water. Scenes are depicted in the water and it’s pretty dang amazing. Plus it’s narrated by Neil Patrick Harris so it can’t get much better than that! It did a great job of talking about Walt and Disneyland and early Disney and then incorporated a ton of more recent stuff too. It was awesome! Favorite night show ever? Nope. Not for me. It didn’t give me the “I’m about to cry this is so magical” thing that I often get when at MK (and also got at DL). I think the castle is so special to me though so I enjoy those shows more! It was def super awesome though and it’s a MUST DO if you visit!!!

I took several videos to show the kids:

beginning of show

talking about disney films


Let it go!

Of course they had to add some Star Wars in there too πŸ™‚

Once World of Color ended we took our time exiting the park (as it was VERY crowded with the masses leaving). We walked back to the room and got our car and headed to our last location for the trip! It was only about a 30 min drive and we were both pretty crunk from our awesome day so the travel time didn’t phase us a bit! 

We truly LOVED our Disney California Adventure day! I wish our Disneyland day had been as perfect as DCA was but it def goes down in our personal history books as one of our top Disney experiences of all time. I’m so thankful that I married a man who has FUN at Disney! It may not be his top choice of things to do but he loved that day just as much as I did and it really made it extra special for me πŸ™‚ 


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