How does California Adventure compare to Disneyland?

Friday, April 26, 2013

They are both amazing.

I must admit I felt like I was cheating on Disneyland when I walked towards the California Adventure gates (directly opposite Disney). CA opened in 2001 on what was the old car park for the past 40 years. Unfortunately it did not do nearly as well as had been projected and they kept adding new rides and sections, increasing popularity but it was when Cars Land opening last year that has really seen numbers soar. 

Cars land is absolutely amazing, it is exactly like you are on a film set which is hard to get your head around when it is an animated film. The Disney attention to detail is mind blowing. It is something you need to experience both during the day and then again lit up at night. Mater and Lightning McQueen drive down the street during the day and I feel a little embarrassed at how excited I got seeing them.

Radiator Springs Racers is the hottest ride now and rightly so, it is so much fun. The lines are painfully long, we waited 2 hours the first time. In a separate blog post I will talk all about the FAST PASS and how you must master it. 

Visit Paradise Pier, which is a cool boardwalk area where you can see Disney and Pixar characters. One of our favourite rides was California Screamin, a huge roller coaster that soars high over the boardwalk, not for the fainthearted. Don't miss the game that's a ride on Toy Story Mania which was super fun shooting at targets from your moving vehicle.  Shane and the girls liked Goofys Fly School but I felt like we were going to tip off the tracks. Way scarier than California Screamin for me. After the sun sets, Paradise Bay springs to life with music, light and magic at the World of Colour nighttime water spectacular. This is an amazing show but you really need to get their early to get a good spot. We did not get a FAST PASS for better seating and the kids really could not see from where we were standing which was a shame.  It did look wayyy cool.

Another great, great ride was Soarin Over California which is a tour of California from above. It was so real, they even pumped scents through so when you flew over an orange grove you would smell oranges. So cool. It was located in Condor Flats where we also ate a few great meals.
The next unanimous fave was the Grizzly River area for an outdoor adventure where you can take a thrilling, spinning plunge ride on Grizzly River Run where we got REALLY REALLY wet. Luckily it was a warm day. The kids LOVED Redwood Creek Challenge Trail  where they could explore wilderness paths, go across rope bridges, climb over rocks and zip down suspended slides. Very fun!!!

If you have little kids make sure you visit A Bugs Land where you become an honorary bug. It is super cute with some great little rides but the star of the area is the It's tough to be a Bug show. Cute, funny and educational.
Jonah and I were totally desperate to do the Tower of Terror but it was another one with huge lines and it was only the two of us that wanted to do it. We finally managed to get a FAST PASS and it was scary good. The setting is an old Hollywood Hotel where lightning has struck the building and made the elevator do sudden drops and crazy movements with the doors opening onto crazy Twilight Zone scenes. Well worth experiencing.
We didn't get to do everything and I wont mention everything else we did do but California Adventure is fabulous. It is a different feel to Disneyland. Not better, not worse just a different energy that we really enjoyed.

I did mention in a previous post but will do so again. As we were travelling to Los Angeles and San Diego we got a Southern California CityPASS which was incredible value, it included a 3 days hopper pass for Disneyland and California Adventure, a day at Seaworld and Universal Studios. We did not have to line up for tickets, just straight to the turnstiles. GREAT value!!!!

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