As part of our amazing #DisneyInHomeBloggers trip to celebrate the releases of Disney-Pixar’s “Finding Nemo 3D”, Cinderella Diamond Edition, and Disney Fairies’ new film “Secret of the Wings”, we were treated to an amazing day at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.
Disneyland Resort consists of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park as well as three hotels (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, Disneyland Hotel, and Paradise Pier Hotel) and the Downtown Disney District. Unlike it’s Florida counterpart, all areas of Disneyland Resort are within walking distance of each other and traveling between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure is as simple as crossing through the Esplanade. I really enjoy the close proximity of the parks and resorts. It definitely saves you a lot of time you might otherwise have to spend on a tram or bus.
But don’t let the compactness of the area fool you…Disneyland Resort packs a ton of attractions, entertainment, shopping, and dining into their magical location. In fact, even after a four day stay in April, I still hadn’t experienced all Disneyland Resort had to offer.
Our morning began in Disney California Adventure, with a stop at the Animation Building to visit Turtle Talk with Crush (more on this soon!). Then we headed over to Buena Vista Street, the newly remagined entrance to Disney California Adventure (DCA). You really feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the days of Hollywood in the 1920’s-30’s. This is my absolute favorite part of the DCA expansion. I could spend hours on Buena Vista Street watching the Red Car Trolley go by or talking to the Citizens of Buena Vista Street. (Coffee lovers will rejoice at the new Starbucks location inside of Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe) Be sure to grab your copy of the Buena Vista Bugle when you arrive. It contains all of the latest news and happenings at DCA and makes an amazing collectible souvenir.
Buena Vista Street is also home to the Carthay Circle Theater which houses the Carthay Circle Restaurant, the newest choice for fine dining at Disneyland Resort. This building is modeled after the site of 1937 world premiere of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”.
I had the opportunity to dine at Carthay Circle in April and while the service left a little to be desired, the food was absolutely incredible and the atmosphere couldn’t be beat. The classic Hollywood themeing continues inside the restaurant, all the way down to the cocktail menu.
Carthay offers private dining rooms which would be perfect for a special occasion. In fact, my dream birthday celebration would take place in one of those rooms. With all of my friends and family decked out in their dapper 30’s outfits. Dare to dream, right?
After our tour of Buena Visita Street was complete, we headed to Cars Land, a 12-acre expansion where Disney-Pixar’s film “Cars” comes to life right before your eyes. If you’ve ever seen “Cars”, you’ll stand in the middle of Route 66 and think to yourself “I’m actually IN Radiator Springs”. And it’s true. You really do feel like you’re in the movie. Cars Land doesn’t feel like a recreation of the film, rather it feels like you’re on the actual set of the movie.
Cars Land offers three attractions, dining and shopping. You can fuel up with a complete meal at Flo’s V8 Cafe (which I did in April and loved it) or grab some hand-held snacks to-go at the Cozy Cone Motel. Each building in Cars Land is modeled as an exact replica of the location in the film.
The marquee attraction at Cars Land is Radiator Springs Racers, a mix of the traditional Disney “dark ride” (meaning a story-based ride in a dark setting) and an outdoor speed track experience. While I didn’t get the opportunity to experience the attraction this time around, I did ride it in April and I was blown away. I can see why park guests are waiting two hours or more in line to get their turn on the Racers. You can check out my video of a small snippet of the attraction (which happens to be my favorite part. The music is perfectly timed and you really get overwhelmed at the sheer beauty of the experience when you see the waterfall in person) for a little taste of the experience.
Cars Land and Buena Vista Street have really made Disney California Adventure a place everyone should visit at some point in their lives. I can not wait to return to Disneyland Resort, and especially Disney California Adventure, again. While I was born and raised on Walt Disney World, Disneyland truly has a special place in my heart and always will.
I attended the #DisneyInHomeBloggers event on behalf of SippyCupMom.com. Disney provided my transportation, accommodations and other incidentals in exchange for coverage of the events. While talking points were suggested, all thoughts are my own.