Tuesday, February 10, 2015

DisneyLand vs. Disney California Adventure Park

A trip to DisneyLand was #1 on my list of things I wanted to do while we were visiting my sister in California.    I went to a DisneyLand as a child, but even with my sister living a mere 20-minutes away, we've never taken our own kids.    Or DisneyWorld for that matter.    It has always  seemed just too out-of-the-way and too expensive to go.  

 But when we got our plane tickets at a mere 20% (or less) of regular price, new doors of possibility opened for us.  And even better, Southern California residents can purchase DL tickets at a reduced rate, which meant that we got two-day passes for just a tad bit more than a one-day pass.   Perfect for Disney newbies like us!   

We explored DisneyLand on a Wednesday and the twin sister park, Disney California Adventure Park the next day.    It turns out that late January right during a measles outbreak is the absolutely perfect time to hit the Disney parks.   We had what we've since discovered is  the extremely unusual experience of having almost zero lines in either park.    In DisneyLand, the longest we ever waited was 10-minutes for any ride.  In California Adventure Park we waited for about 25-minutes for a couple of  the most popular rides,  but for the vast majority of rides in both parks we didn't have to wait at all.  
Didn't know there were two parks?   Here's a little summary about the differences:  

traditional Disney rides, the ones you remember from your childhood
extremely family friendly
an 8-10-year-old could easily ride every ride in the park 
can bring bags/backpacks with you on every ride
mostly families with children in attendance
no alcoholic beverages
extremely friendly workers

our DL favorites:   
Space Mountain
Dole whips (delicious dairy free pineapple treats!) 
Buzz LIghtyear Astro Blasters
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer's Island
Peter Pan's Flight
Star Tours

Disney California Adventure Park:
bigger, scarier rides
still tame, but definitely a little less family oriented
many high school groups and college aged students in crowds
people drinking alcohol everywhere
more theme-y (entire "towns" of rides built around a theme of a Disney movie)
workers kind, but less doting on the kids
fun and creative and interactive rides

our DCAP favorites:   
Radiator Springs Racers
Toy Story Midway Mania
Mickey's Fun Wheel (except for Ellie and Adam)
Aladdin Show
Frozen singalong 
Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
My kids were enraptured by the palm trees everywhere in California!

My kids were quite excited about the bakery tour and afterward really wanted to try to make sourdough bread sometime.  

Frozen singalong….how cool is that?   (haha--pun totally not intended)

This ride was  like a giant air hockey table and the tires would actually hover right above the ground.

We loved the view with the Mickey Mouse ferris wheel in the background. 

Ellie (aka Princess Anna) was one tired little princess by the end of the second day!

The biggest, scariest ride of the whole day! 

Cami posed there and then bragged on social media that she got accepted to her first college choice. 

A little reminder of home in the middle of California Adventure Park

Winding down for the night! 

This Toy Story Midway Adventure was one of our favorites (and was one of the longest lines we waited in the whole time we were there)! 

Adam's inquiry for the day:  If one pair of glasses makes it 3D, does that mean wearing  two pairs makes it 6D?  

A ride I remember from when I was a child, because my younger brother Nate was so petrified he tried to crawl under the front of it

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage was COOL! 
The underwater effects were very fun and engaging! 

Getting Dramatic!

WE didn't bother with visiting many characters, because they often did have lines, and we didn't care all that much about them.  We did occasionally stop if they were just standing there.  

The very front car of the monorail

Ellie braves throwing her hands in the air! 

Ellie was doted on all day at DisneyLand with her Princess Anna costume on.   One worker even asked for her autograph, a fact which tickled her greatly.   In California Adventure Park, no one said a word.   

The famously delicious Dole whips!   
It was the only food we bought in DisneyLand.

AFter two whole days, we were VERY tired, especially Ellie! 
It really was a great time!   

The only bummers we experienced  for the time we spent at Disney, was the fact that "It's a Small World" and the "Matterhorn" were closed.  Other than that, it was two absolutely fantastic days, which make me never want to go back again…unless it's free.     

 I figure it's better to always remember the fun times and the short lines than to ever go back and have our rosy memories squashed by hordes of people.  


1 comment:

Chelsey said...

Love that you went to disneyland! I went last year and it's a small world was closed too! FYI...I did not know about your blog because you are off facebook. Connected again when I saw Cami's post. Consider facebook again! Please! Also in other good news many of the same rides are at disney world just in different places but all family friendly. Love you!

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