Disney’s California Adventure was described to me as The Grove with rides.
I see the similarities. Both are beautifully manicured open air venues offering endless shopping and dining options. Although California Adventure is not as thematic as the original Disneyland, it still has plenty of Disney magic to enjoy.
Here is my not to miss hit list:
- California Screamin’ – The only roller coaster in the park. It combines the nostalgia of old wooden roller coasters with big drops and a single upside down loop. A great thrill ride in the middle of Paradise Pier.
- Radiator Springs Racers – Cars Land is one of the most thematic places in CA Adventure. It shows off what Disney does best. An immersive world filled with animated characters combined with modern technology. You get to race another car on a track of twists and turns that leaves you smiling, breathless and feeling a little like Lighting McQueen.
- Downtown Disney – CA Adventure offers up lots of dining options. But if you’re looking for something outside of the traditional amusement park fare, I suggest getting your hand stamped and heading over to Downtown Disney. It’s nice to sit down at a restaurant for a real meal. I loved Tortilla Jo’s, of the Patina Restaurant Group. Definitely try their made to order table-side guacamole, tasty Taco Sauves and wash it down with a refreshing Margarita or Paloma.
- Goofy’s Sky School – Sometimes a ride surprises you. Boarding the small blue plane doesn’t feel like a thrill ride. But the little plane jerks around turns so quickly you find yourself wondering how it stays on the track. I definitely found myself holding on to my seat a bit tighter than I predicted.
- Alfresco Tasting Terrace – After a long day of walking around and riding rides, it’s nice to relax with a glass of wine. Luckily at CA Adventure you don’t have to wait until you drive home for this experience. Head upstairs and enjoy a wine flight on the Tasting Terrace. It’s peaceful on the patio as you look out onto the Radiator Springs landscape and only occasionally hear the faint screams from the Tower of Terror nearby.
**A few rides and experiences were closed for refurbishment prior to the summer season.
I will have to return later this year to check them out. I’ve heard great things about Soarin’ Over California.**
Disney Parks never disappoint me. There’s something special, even magical about the experience. Whether you’re a kid or an adult, it’s hard not to smile once you put on those mouse ears.