A Magical Day at Disney California Adventure

Last May, Kurt surprised Ezra and me with two tickets to Disney’s California Adventure.  He told us that the tickets were his birthday gift to us.  Ezra had just celebrated her birthday the month before, but my birthday wasn’t until September, which was 4 months away.  I wasn’t about to turn down free tickets to California Adventure, so if Kurt wanted to give me his gift months in advance, then so be it 😀


Our ticket receipts.  Kurt paid for them online but we had to go to the ticket booth at the park to claim them.

We left the house early that morning to make it in time for the park’s opening





Cute signs with Disney characters in the parking lot

We parked in the covered structure, but I noticed that they also had this HUGE parking lot outside


We made our way over the the trams, which we had to ride in order to get to the park’s entrance


The last time Ezra and I were in California Adventure was back in 2006.  She had just turned 18 so my parents took us there that summer to celebrate. I remember there used to be huge stone letters which spelled “CALIFORNIA” at the entrance.  Apparently they’re gone now.


Entrance to the park
We took a couple of pictures with the GoPro before going inside

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This guy was very interested in our monopod and jumped in the shot with us:

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Hello fellow Disney lover 😀


Got our map and tickets ready. Let’s do this!


Our first stop of the day was the gift shop. When we were younger, Ezra and I would be jealous of the little girls we saw walking around the park wearing Minnie Mouse ears. Our parents would never get them for us because they thought it was a waste of money. Now that Ezra and I are earning our own money, there was nothing to stop us from getting them for ourselves 😀


There were loads of designs to choose from!  We had a lot of fun trying on different styles and figuring out which ones to get.


Ezra and Kurt thought the bride and groom ears were cute

After playing around for a while, we walked our with our new set of ears


In the end Ezra went with the classic Minnie Mouse ears while I chose something a little fancier.  (Yes, I paid more than I would have liked and I haven’t worn them again since this day, but look how adorable they are!)


For our first ride of the day, we decided to go with Soarin’ over California.  I remember riding this for the first time back in 2002 with my family.  We had so much fun and we went on it two more times after the first one.  It’s a very relaxed ride and it makes you feel like you’re gone on a tour of the entire state of California (well, the famous landmarks at least).


Pictures of famous pilots throughout history




After going on this ride again, I can say that it’s still one of my favorite rides to this day.

We wanted to go on more rides after this, so we headed over to Paradise Pier.  On our way there, we found Kenai and Koda:



After taking a few photos, we continued our walk to Paradise Pier, only to be distracted by these awesome dancing toy soldiers:




Eventually we made it:




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Kurt wanted to go on California Screamin’ immediately, since its the most popular ride there.  I’m not a huge fan of roller-coasters, but this one isn’t that extreme so I knew I could handle it. (Sure, it accelerates to about 90 km/hr in 4 seconds, and it has a loop, but that’s nothing compared to some of the rides I’ve seen in other theme parks.)




Surprisingly we didn’t have to wait for very long to get on the ride.  There was a long line, but it moved fairly fast so it only took about 20 minutes until it was our turn

All the waiting around and screaming made Ezra hungry so she bought this giant cotton candy:



Next we decided to go on Mickey’s Fun Wheel


It’s a Ferris Wheel, but you can choose between a swinging and non-swinging gondola.  The swinging gondolas make  the ride more exciting because they move around interior rails in the wheel.  So depending on the position of the ride, the gondolas would fall inside or outside the wheel.


In this picture you can see the interior rails/trails that the gondolas move around in


And they move around A LOT!  I love Ferris wheels, but this one really made me nauseous. I’ve gone on it a couple of times in the past, and I always came out feeling fine, so I was surprised to find myself struggling with motion sickness this time.


I still look okay in this photo.  I think it was during the second round that I started to feel dizzy.

I felt a little sick after the ride so I asked Ezra and Kurt to find a place for lunch where I can sit down.  They agreed and we headed over to the area where they served food, but on our way there we saw the Silly Symphony Swings.


I wasn’t feeling that great but since we were already there, we figured we might as well go on it.  It was a terrible decision and I regret it deeply.

I felt fine while the ride was moving and I even enjoyed myself, but as soon as it slowed down my nausea came back in full force T__T  Luckily we found the restaurant we were looking for right after this so I was able to sit down and rest.

Since I wasn’t feeling that great, I just had a salad and shared a plate of pasta with Ezra.  I also bought some sliced apples for dessert. Kurt tried to talk me out of buying them since they were pretty expensive but I wanted something refreshing.

IMG_0470I should have listened to Kurt.  The apples tasted like chemicals!  “Naturally delicious?”  Whatever …



Even with the iffy apples, I felt a lot better after getting some food in me and resting for a bit.  We decided to walk around the park and look around.

We wanted to go on California Screamin again later that afternoon but we were worried that the lines would be too long by then so we decided to get a Fast Pass.


We had about 2 hours to kill until our ride, which we took advantage of by checking out the gift shops and just wandering around the park


Cute plushies


Lots of Duffy the Disney Bear


You can even buy outfits for him




Eventually we ended up in Cars Land


They recreated the entire town from the movie! My cousin Gilbert would have loved it, he’s a huge Cars fan


Welcome to Radiator Springs







We even saw Lightning McQueen there interacting with his fans


There were a couple of rides there too.  We decided to go on Luigi’s Flying Tires.  To get to the ride, we had to pass by the Casa Della Tire Shop.




The ride is a little similar to bumper cars, but you steer by shifting your weight around.  The ground is covered with loads of blowers, which make the tires “float” on the surface – sort of like how an air hockey puck glides on the air hockey table.

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It was a slow ride designed for kids, but we had a lot of fun bumping into the other riders

After this we went to the Radiator Springs Racers


Apparently this is a very popular attraction.  We spent 1 1/2 hours in line here!  It felt much worse though, because we didn’t expect the wait to be that long.


On the plus side, the ride was a lot of fun.  In the beginning it takes you on a scenic tour around the mountains near Radiator Springs, but it ends with a race between you and another car to the finish line.

After Cars Land, we ended up in Bug’s Land



Walking here made us feel like tiny little insects


Sitting on a bench made out of popsicle sticks


Giant watermelon slice


They were showing an extended trailer for Maleficent, which I wanted to watch, but Ezra and Kurt pointed out that since the movie was coming out soon watching this will just be like getting a huge spoiler


Eventually we found ourselves in line for another one of our favorite rides – the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  This time we were prepared to wait a long time in line, so it wasn’t so bad.  We spent the time admiring the cool old hotel :







Naturally I don’t have shots from the actual ride, but here’s a picture of a picture that the park took for us:



After this ride we went back to go on California Screamin’ two more times.  We missed our Fast Pass schedule (because of the long line at Radiator Springs Racers), but the line moved really quickly so  we didn’t have to wait long anyway.

Here are some photos of us from the ride:


Here’s Ezra screaming wildly while Kurt took selfies


She’s a lot more calm in this one


The guy beside me is fixing his hair, lol

We wanted to go a third time but they closed the ride due to technical problems.  In the end we decided to go on the Silly Symphony Swings again since I didn’t get to enjoy it that much earlier that day:


By this time most of the rides in the park had closed, so we walked around while waiting for the World of Colors water show to start



At around 8pm, the show began and we tried to find a good spot to watch it from.  All the good places were really crowded so we ended up watching from afar.  We couldn’t see the screen but the fountains, music and colors were still amazing.







What a magical way to end a magical day 🙂

Thanks Kurt for the tickets (and for taking us).  And thank you for the wonderful video you made of our adventure.

If you’re interested, you can watch the video that Kurt made of our trip HERE.


2 thoughts on “A Magical Day at Disney California Adventure

  1. Pingback: Looking back on 2014 | What I have shown you is reality ...

  2. Pingback: Hong Kong Disneyland | What I have shown you is reality ...

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