An epic one day at Disney California Adventure!


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I know I haven’t kept up with and honestly probably won’t get to finish my last trip report, but hoping my one day at California Adventure will be easier to get done! Thanks to everyone who has followed along throughout the years <3

I woke up bright and early to get on my 6:40am flight to LAX. I thought about renting a car and driving to Anaheim but in the end I figured that an uber would just be easier. It was less than $50 for uberX and only took about 50 minutes. Not so bad. The worst part of the traffic was actually leaving LAX since Southwest is at Terminal 1 and you have to drive around the entire airport to exit. In the future I may just walk across to terminal 6. It’ll probably be a few minute walk but will save 5-10 minutes in the car. Not joking!

I was staying off site at the Holiday Inn right next to the Mickey and Friends parking garage. I arrived to the hotel at 10:30am and my room was not ready. I changed and freshened up in the bathroom and headed on my walk to Downtown Disney! Becky gave me the great idea to mobile order at Starbucks so I had a coffee waiting for me. A few pics headed into Downtown Disney…

I must have been moving quick because in just 30 minutes I arrived at hotel, freshened up and walked the 1.1 miles to the entrance of the park with stops to go through security as well for pictures and coffee. I was a woman on the move! BTW, you go through security before entering Downtown Disney and not into the parks directly. I’m trying to remember if it’s the same way for Disneyland Paris but I honestly can not. Time to go back maybe. Anyway…

As soon as I entered the park, it was time to buy the MaxPass! For $15 per person per day, you get access to download your photo pass pictures and do digital FP! It was well worth it since I was arriving at the park late and didn’t get to rope drop with the rest of the crowd. You can purchase MaxPass in advance for your vacation, but you have to buy for entire trip. If you buy it when you enter the park, you can do it just for the day(s) you want.

The Incredicoaster was the closest time so that is what I picked first! I was most excited to check out Pixar Pier so I was glad that was first on my list.

I had a 2pm ADR for World of Color dining package at Carthay Circle but I needed to eat something now! It was time to visit Food and Wine!!! The lines were never super crazy like I have seen at Food and Wine at Epcot.

Nuts About Cheese was my first stop. I thought about getting the cheese soup but the reviews of the pinwheel was so good that I had to get it. I really liked it and thought it tasted like Thanksgiving. Something about the ham and cheese and pastry together, I don’t know. I really liked it though and glad I got it!

Pixar Pier is as beautiful as it looks in the pictures. I did have more time before my FP and I was so happy to wander the shops and take in all the Pixar goodness. It was great to see all of the movies represented.

I never ate here but hope to when I come back!

I'm always happy to see Wall-E get some love!

I didn't buy these, but I certainly wanted to. As you know, UP is my everything.

BING BONG! I loved this shop and spent so much time wandering through and looking at the merch.

I can't say I've ever had a candy apple at Disney but this one was tempting. How cute is it?!

Before my fastpass time I saw Mr. Incredible pop out and had to get in line to say hello. A character meet before my first ride, why not. I told him how handsome and buff he looked and he checked out my hand to see if I was married. Oops. Fun meet.

up next... my first ride!


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Following! I love those Up ears, I haven't seen them this close-up before.
Right, they are so pretty! I barely had enough room in my bag for what I bought so I didn't get them. I'll be back at DL in September and they're on my must-buy list. I'm such a sucker for shopping at Disney... !


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Anyway, the roller coaster was SO MUCH FUN! It was a longer ride than I expected it to be, in a good way. I was in the back of the rollercoaster so I didn’t really see the drop coming. Its small but it still gives you that WOAH feeling. Loved it. As soon as I got off, I went into the app and grabbed a 210-310pm FP for Soarin.

I might have mentioned this in my last TR from DL, but it amazes me how many stairs there are for queues and exits at the DL rides. I really can’t think of anywhere at Walt Disney World where you’re going up or down stairs at the end of a ride. Can you? It doesn’t bother me at all and they obviously have elevators but still. Small differences between the parks!

After the ride I wandered over to the Festival Beer Garden. Girlfriend wanted a drink. I thought the scotch-ale sounded delicious but when the CM said “that’ll be $19” I decided to order the watermelon wheat instead. Much lower ABV and much lower price. It was tasty and hit the spot. Also how pretty is this area? The flowers were stunning to me.


I didn’t have a plan after this so I checked the app to see what was happening around town.

There was Live Festival Music taking place at the Paradise Gardens Park so I went and enjoyed a few songs. It was some big band type music and created a fun atmosphere. While I was there I noticed more food booths and headed to Off the Cob for the corn nuggets. These things were GOOD.

After enjoying the beer, nuggets and music I got in line for Little Mermaid. The wait was posted 10 minutes but it was probably more like a moving 5 minute walk. Always cute.

I still had a little over an hour until my ADR so I figured I should go wander Cars Land. So true story… I’ve never seen an entire Cars movie. I couldn’t name a character or tell you a story line. But this place was CUTE. If I was a Cars fan or booking a trip for a Cars fan this place would be amazing. The theming is so great and there is a ton of shopping.

I got in the single rider line for Radiators Springs. I figured it wouldn’t be that bad and I’d have enough time to get a ride in before lunch. I waited and waited and waited and barely moved. After about 15 minutes I ditched out of the line. I didn’t want to be late for my lunch! Had to hand this back...

Also I had a Soarin FP for after lunch that I didn’t want to miss. I thought maybe I’ll go wander the shops and check in early for lunch so I’d have plenty of time. I’d have more time later to wait for Radiator Springs. I forgot to mention, at this point, they were out of fastpasses for the day for this ride so single rider was my only option.

I got to the fountain outside of Carthay Circle and I saw that Mickey was meeting with maybe 10 families in line. I was instantly relieved that I got out of line at Radiator Springs. Mickey was looking so dapper and I was so excited to see him. He loved the ShellieMay bag and also noticed my little mickey shaped necklace and earrings. He was flattered that it was all for him. It was a perfect activity for before lunch!

Up next... LUNCH!


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Right, they are so pretty! I barely had enough room in my bag for what I bought so I didn't get them. I'll be back at DL in September and they're on my must-buy list. I'm such a sucker for shopping at Disney... !
Thanks for another fun report!

If you don't want to worry about luggage space you can get the ears from Shop disney online

I'm just sad the Wilderness Explorers baseball cap isn't available online :-( My boys each want one and I don't want to have to pack a back up cap until we find a store that carries them at WDW.

ETA: where did you find your fun Shellie Mae bag?


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I loved DL and I am going to finish this TR!!

I checked into my lunch at 1:50 and I was glad I did. There were a lot of 2pm ADR that came in after me that I knew I'd beat in line. They brought me upstairs and the CM gave me a little bit of history and theming of the restaurant. My waitress was super nice and spent time going through the menu and explaining how the World of Color dining worked. You have to order from the three course menu, and once you pay your bill, they give you a ticket for WOC. You show this ticket at WOC in order to get into the preferred dining section. She told me that the show was built with the dining view in mind, and also that they hadn’t sold out WOC dining for that day so the seating area wouldn’t be busy. Good to know!


View from my seat:

I started with the strawberry and jicama salad since it seemed to warm outside for chicken tortilla soup. I don’t love jicama and it was like 3 parts jicama to 1 part strawberry. There weren’t enough greens and dressing to go around. I didn’t love the texture of the jicama and honestly didn’t finish the salad.

For the main course I ordered the sirloin! I’m not a huge steak order-er or eater but I figured for the price I might as well order something that isn’t chicken or pasta. This was really delicious and I ate every bite. I really loved the bell pepper sauce.

For dessert I selected the chocolate mousse. It was very rich and I was full at this point. I liked it but couldn’t finish it

By the time the bill came, I got some coffee and realized I really needed to take a nap. I wanted to enjoy my evening and WOC and wasn’t going to do that without some shut eye. I called the hotel to see if my room was ready and thankfully it was. I took the 1.1 mile walk back to the Holiday Inn, took a quick shower and a 45 minute nap. I know I missed some park stuff but I needed the timeout.

I know sometimes the park break can be more trouble than its worth but I think I made the right idea. I decided instead of walking back to the parks, I'd take an Uber. I knew it'd save me a little bit of time! My driver picked me up and didn't drop me off at the Downtown Disney side but on the Harbor Blvd side. I thought it was strange since my resort was much closer to DTD but I accepted it. There are tons of restaurants and hotels on that side so it was neat to see. Its helpful to have a good idea of the layout for my own knowledge and to help future clients book Disneyland trips!

When I got back into the park, my first order of business was to wander into Hollywood Land because I hadn't been down that way yet.

I LOVED this outside of monsters inc mike and sulley to the rescue!!

I didn't have plans to meet any characters or see any shows, just check out the ambiance. Oh and get a cocktail :)

I haven't seen Guardians of the Galaxy and know I can't stomach TOT so I just walked on by..

More to come! Thanks to those of you still following!


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It was getting close to my FP on Radiator Springs so I started to head to Cars Land! Oh my way I stopped to say hi to Goofy. He had almost no line! Its nice how much more laid back character meet and greets are here compared to WDW.

I was excited for Radiator Springs as everyone talks about it being THE ride at DCA. I don't love TT and sort of assumed it would be the same thing. I really liked it! The group behind me in line was a group of 5 and they adopted me into their party of 6 so we could all ride together. People out West are so nice :)

The ride was a lot of fun and the theming of the entire area is great. I spent some time wandering through but in full digression- I've never seen any of the Cars movies!

I wanted to try another food booth so I headed to I Heart Artichoke food booth for the Artichoke Toast. Man this was yummy!

Oh I love this time of night and the lighting...

Golden Hour Selfie.



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I was hoping it would be a little darker outside since I wanted to get on Incredicoaster at night, but this lighting had to do. I love the lighting at this time!

When I was walking to FP entrance, I saw Frozone meeting with a short wait. It was strange, there was no CM there to take pictures. I ended up taking a bunch of pictures for families, and glad someone was willing to take one for me.

After another great ride, it was time to check out something I was very much looking forward to... Lamplight Lounge!! I only had to wait a few minutes to be seated since it was just me and I was sitting at the bar. The drink menu was expansive and I seriously wanted to try everything on it. The drinks, the view, it was pretty amazing.

A woman about my age sat down next to me and we struck up a convo. She was also in the area for work and thought she'd stop by for a few hours. She ordered the lobster nachos and was nice enough to let me photograph them and also have a few bites. It was delicious and really filling. I'm glad I didn't order one for myself because there is no way I would have been able to finish them. It'd be good to share or have as a meal!

It was finally dark outside and I was looking forward to wandering the park all lit up. First stop was a ride on TSMM! I'm not very good at this ride but always have a good laugh when getting whipped around.

Have you figured out how much I like Pixar Pier yet? LOL

Next stop... Cars Land!

I wasn't particularly hungry but knew that I needed to stop at Cozy Cone for mac and cheese in a cone. It was delicious and made for a good photo opt.

I did some more wondering through the park and shops and found out the yellow spirit jersey was released like just that day. I have the right skin tone to pull off yellow but this is just too much for me. Its pretty but I think you'd be able to see me from space in this thing. I think I made the right choice getting a purple shirt.

It was getting close to World of Color time and I wanted to make sure to buy a Dante dog for my daughter, who is a HUGE Coco fan. I wandered all over and they told me the only place they sold Dante was at pixar pier. So I hiked back over there to get one. I had regretted not buying one sooner but I was also happy I didn't have to drag him around all afternoon.

I found a great spot for World of Color and tried to enjoy the show and didn't take too many pics. Plus other pics online are much better than mine! I didn't watch the show or listen to the soundtrack in advance so I could be surprised. The seating for WoC dining was amazing and not very crowded at all! It was a centered spot with no view obstruction. I know now the WoC FP isn't connected to the system like it was before, so that is maybe a better option now if people don't want to do the dining. I was glad I did it for the meal at Carthay Circle, guaranteed view of WoC and no stress about FP.

It was a crowded walk getting out the park but then fairly quiet through Downtown Disney and back to the hotel. The path was well lit and I felt safe walking solo back to the Holiday Inn.

So thats my report... thanks to anyone still following!! I'll be back to Disneyland in September for a few days with my fellow Dream Builder travel agents. I'm staying at Disneyland Resort and very excited to get to see Main Street Electrical Parade!!


We loved World of Color, it was very impressive I thought! Thanks for the last day update, I relived my vacation from several years ago through yours.


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We loved World of Color, it was very impressive I thought! Thanks for the last day update, I relived my vacation from several years ago through yours.
Yes, very impressive and beautiful. It was longer than I expected it to be but in a good way.

Thanks so much for following :)