Wednesday, 13 May 2015

[Day 2] Disneyland California + Disney California Adventure

Disneyland Park - Anaheim, California
First of all, thanks to those who leave me encouragement notes as well as enquiry emails regarding our first trip to West Coast of the United States. Meanwhile I will try my best to share as much information as I could for the rest of the upcoming posts which I hope it would useful in a way for those who are planning to travel to U.S soon.

[Day 2] Disneyland Park where dreams come true is a magical theme park fill with fun, laughter and excitement for family or visitors of all ages. There are a total of 5 Disneyland Theme Parks in the world with two in U.S (California and Florida); one each in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Paris (but from what I Google there is 6th Disneyland currently under construction in Shanghai). Among the five we are blessed to conquer four of them and in this post I would like to share our experience in Disneyland Park, California as well as Disney California Adventure Park. Hope you would enjoy reading through this.


Disneyland Paris- Marne-la-Vallée, France
Intentionally while drafting this post, I was thinking to take a photo of all the Disneyland entrance passes that I had but no matter how hard I go through those old boxes, I just cannot find the Disneyland Paris ticket. So in the end, I decide to share some of my old photos (I look so noob on those photos....) which was taken years back in 1996 Disneyland Paris.

[DoubleTree by Hilton Anaheim, Orange Country] Breakfast at hotel restaurant - TROFI
During our two days accommodation at "DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Anaheim - Orange County", daily breakfast was served Trofi which is one of the restaurant at lobby area.


[DoubleTree by Hilton Anaheim, Orange Country] Breakfast at hotel restaurant - TROFI
This California style restaurant serves array of scrumptious breakfast buffet with scramble eggs, hickory smoked bacon, country style link sausage, assorted dry cereal, oatmeal, whole and sliced fresh fruit and etc. Besides the food, they also offer selection of beverages such as hot teas along with chilled fruit juices which are included in the buffet.

Note: - Remember to place a dollar or two (per person) before leaving as tips for the serving staff(s) who cleared the plates and served coffee/tea.


[DoubleTree by Hilton Anaheim, Orange Country] Disneyland Shuttle Schedule
Day 2 of our itinerary was a free & easy day at Disneyland.  So after breakfast Chris gathered everyone at the hotel lobby and we set off by taking the hotel complimentary shuttle to Disneyland® Park (two-way transport). From the schedule you would realized the bus picked up hotel guests on hourly basis to the park and the first returned trip only starts at 2.15pm.


DISNEYLAND PARK CALIFORNIA


[Disneyland California] Disneyland theme park ticket pricing
Ticket(s) for Disneyland Theme Park can be purchased in various ways through on-line purchase; Disneyland Hotels when making reservation together with your rooms; appointed travel agents or etc. You can read more details at their official site here. (all currency reflect above are in USD)

For our tour package it includes the entry ticket to Disneyland Park but most of us upgrade it to a 1 Day Disney Park Hopper Pass which allows entrance to both Disneyland and California Adventure Park with a top up of US$55 each for Adult and Child. Ok before moving on to the theme parks (Disneyland and California Adventure), here are some TIPS for your reference.

[Disneyland California] Disneyland Guide Map And Times Guide
Disneyland California Guide Map
[Tips 1 - MUST GET] Remember to grab a copy each of the Disneyland Guide Map as well as Times Guide so that you can move around the park easier with quick access to the shows and parade timing.

[Disneyland California] Disney's FASTPASS
[Tips 2 - MUST GET] FASTPASS can help to save queuing time on popular attractions such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Indiana Jones, Splash Mountain,Space Mountain, Star Tours - The Adventures Continue and Autopia.

Note:
Without incurring any extra cost, just use your Park admission ticket and insert it into any of the FASTPASS Distribution Machines located outside the entrance of the mentioned rides above to redeem your tickets. If you are not sure about the procedure just check in up with any of their friendly crews around the park.

[Tips 3 - PLAN YOUR ROUTE] You can plan  your rote ahead by dividing the theme park attractions according to your preference with rides and showtime next to each other. But to explore the park to its fuller, you might want to consider taking up the two days park ticket if you are on your own trip.

[Tips 4 - BE EARLY FOR CHARACTER GREETING] If you wish to meet and greet your favourite Disney characters and have a photo taken with them, try to reach the park before 9.00am where you will see most of the characters at Main Street USA.

[Tips 5 - MUST TRY RIDES] Disneyland California has a few rides that are different the other Disneyland such as Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Indiana Jones Adventure. Our recommended must try rides would be:-

For Family:
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (Tomorrowland)
- Autopia (Tomorrowland)
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (Tomorrowland)
- Mark Twain Riverboat (Frontierland)
- Disneyland Railroad (Mickey's Toontown)
- Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough (Fantasyland)

For Brave Heart:
- Matterhorn Bobsleds(Fantasyland)
- Big Thunder Mountain Road (Frontierland)
- Space Mountain (Tomorrowland)

[Tips 6 - FIREWORKS DISPLAY] To catch a good view of the Disney Fireworks at the end of the day (around 9.15pm - 9.25pm), remember to standby at the empty space (you will spot many people there) in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle (Main Street USA) as early as 7.00pm to secure a good view. Do check the Times Guide or their official website here for Firework display timing.

[Disneyland Park, California] Main Street U.S.A
We arrived at the theme park about 9.30am and there were already crowds queuing at the entrance. Suppose to take photos at the entrance but gave up after seeing so many people around posing for photo shoot. Upon entering to the Main Street, U.S.A we saw familiar buildings and attractions which similar to other Disneyland that we went. From here visitors started to scatter around the park into different theme zone queuing for rides, exchanges Disney Fastpass (advice to grab a few Fastpass ahead from different attractions to cut short the waiting time), having breakfast or etc.

[Disneyland Park, California] Jungle Cruise - Adventureland
First attraction that Chris (our tour guide) bought us was one of the most beloved rides in the park known as Jungle Cruise which located at the left side of the entrance at Adventureland. This boat ride takes a 10 minutes circuitous route through open-air water in an adventure to Asia, Africa and South America. Further down the same stretch you can also queue for Indiana Jones - Adventure which features motion vehicle ride in the dark based on the Indiana Jones film series.

[Disneyland Park, California] Pirates of the Caribbean, New Orleans Square
Next we moved on to New Orleans Square which features 3 attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Disneyland Railroad and Haunted Mansion Holiday. Pirates of the Caribbean features a slow dark swashbuckling voyage to a long-forgotten time and place when pirates wrought havoc on the high seas. Amazing graphic, sound effect and catchy songs along the ride. Oh ya, even thought this was our 3rd time on Pirates of the Caribbean ride we actually realize different Disneyland had a slight add-on to its rides and do expected to get a little wet for this one at California.

[Disneyland Park, California] Haunted Mansion Holiday - New Orleans Square
I have never being to any of the "Haunted Mansion" after my first bad experience years back in Disneyland Paris. I still remember vividly how terrify I was after being scared and chased by the crews dressed in vampire costume.

Whereas this Haunted Mansion Holiday is slightly different (more childlike) featuring two holidays collide just before Christmas for the fall and winter. The surrounding of the old mansion were decorated with number of candles and jack-o-lanterns affixed to the building. Throughout the slow and dark motion ride in the Haunted Mansion Holiday you would find many more surprises which you have to go inside and experience for yourself!

[Disneyland Park, California] Fresh fruits and beverages
When moving around the park, you can easily spot beverages and fruits stall shown above where you can easily grab hold of freshly squeeze orange juice or cut fruits to quench your thirst. On a side note, my boy loves the Nestlé Chocolate Milk (on the extreme right, yellow bottle) which he grabs a bottle daily whenever he sees it the store.

[Disneyland Park, California] Mark Twain Riverboat - Frontierland

[Disneyland Park, California] Sailing Ship Columbia - Frontierland
After your lunch you might consider a relaxing boat ride that enable you to float around the Rivers of America with either Mark Twain Riverboat (the double-decked boat) or Sailing Ship Columbia where you get to enjoy a peaceful afternoon. But if time permits, please try to hope on to the Disneyland Railroad that circles Disneyland in a scenic manner instead.

[Disneyland Park, California] Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue - Frontierland
Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue is located within Frontierland which serves an outdoor all-you-care-to-enjoy barbecue spread for lunch and dinner. Very cowboy style design where you get to enjoy food outdoor with friends or family on a cooling winter afternoon.

[Disneyland Park, California] Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage - Tomorrowland
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is a new attraction in the theme park in Tomorrowland and the queue is incredibly long and boring plus there is NO FastPass redemption too. But if you are patience enough the payoff is well worth the boring wait especially when you gets to see those lovely fishes swimming pass the viewing windows of the submarine.

[Disneyland Park, California] Autopia - Tomorrowland
Autopia is one of my boy favourite attractions because he could get a chance to drive like a F1 racers in a large track. Beware of the long queue but at least for this you could exchange for Fastpass while queuing for the Nemo Submarine Voyage which is just next to each other.

[Disneyland Park, California] Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters - Tomorrowland
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters is an interactive and competitive game where the aim of the player is to save the universe by participating in the blast-em-up ride adventure. This fun game is similar like playing video game to see who can get the highest score. Even mum enjoys this game just like a child when she aims and shoot fiercely at the targets.

[Disneyland Park] Iron Man Suits @ Tomorrowland
Next we move down to Innoventions which was another attraction in Tomorrowland that features interactive exhibits, games and gadgets on the latest high-tech wonders. At the Iron Man Tech we are able to take a rare tour to discover many of Iron Man’s most sophisticated suits.

[Disneyland Park, California] Big Hero 6 - Baymax Balloon
Although there are no related attraction to Big Hero 6, but due to the release of the new movie you can find balloons and some other merchandise on it too.

[Disneyland Park, California] Sleeping Beauty Castle - Fantasyland
Sleeping Beauty Castle in Fantasyland features a simple and interesting walk-through with interactive “window” scenes from the film. Although the boy whom is not a fans of sleeping beauty (he finds it too girlish) insists to give this a pass, we still drag him along to complete the walk.

[Disneyland Park, California] King Arthur Cassrousel - Fantasyland
After which we have King Arthur Cassrousel to compensate the boy after the tour from Sleeping Beauty Castle.

[Disneyland Park, California] Matterhorn Bobsleds - Fantasyland
Matterhorn Bobsleds (the snow mountain at the back) is one the most popular rides located in Fantasyland. Since this is a pretty new ride relaunch after refurbishment in 2014 you are expected to queue for at least 45 minutes to an hour (furthermore FastPass is not available). From what we saw on that day the queue actually goes all the way around the mountain with a 90 minutes waiting time. So do be there early or use the Single Rider line to avoid long waits.

[Disneyland Park California] 06 Dec 2014; 2.59pm (U.S.A), we will miss you......
We left the theme park early without completing most of the rides that we planned because Rey was not feeling well after lunch. Furthermore he had being cranky and looking fatigue since this morning before he was down with fever in the mid-afternoon. Although he left park unwilling (our tickets even allows us to entry into Disney California Adventure) with sadness in his eyes, but I knew he was really unwell and needs a good rest and medication to go through the rest 12 days trip.

After settle the boy in the hotel with mum, I walked over to The Outlets to get some dinner from Twin Dragon which we saw yesterday. It was located in the centre of the mall across Old Navy and Victoria's Secret stores. They have variety of Asian food ranging from fried, pan-fried, stir-fried, steamed and soup-based dishes. I bought their "2 Items Combo" with 1 meat + 1 veggie together with choice of fried noodle/steamed rice for around USD$14 (SG$18) per pack.

Twin Dragon
20 City Blvd., Unit F-6
The Outlets At Orange
CA 92868
Website: http://twindragonoc.com/

Opening Hours:
Mon – Thur: 11:00am - 9:00pm
Fri – Sat: 11:00am – 10:00pm; Sun: 11:00am - 9:00pm


Map from Hotel (DoubleTree Hilton, Anaheim) to nearest supermarket

Over-the-Counter Medicines - Vons Supermarket, Chapman Ave
Getting sick at the beginning of the trip makes you feel so lousy especially when you can't join the rest who is enjoying the attractions and food. As the boy fever went up high to 38 degree we have to find some medication to ease his discomfort. And according to the lobby staffs the nearest supermarket or pharmacy is about 2 main streets away so we thought it should be quite near but end up the walk seems so long in the cold night and actually their 2 street is 30 minutes walk away from our hotel (gosh!). Luckily we had Google map on phone to keep us on track if not we sure lost our way in the dark street.

[VONS Supermarket, Chapman Ave] The vegetables and fruits section.
Other than getting medicines for the boy, we also took a quick peep around the supermarket to see what have offer. To my surprise their Chobani yogurt is so cheap; only less than dollar USD per cup and they even have coconut flavour which is not available in Singapore too. Furthermore they have so many fresh ingredients that I love and at that moment I really an urge to grab all and whip up a meal.



DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE


Disney California Adventure - Theme park in Anaheim, California
Disney California Adventure which is commonly referred to as California Adventure is a theme park located in Anaheim, California that is directly opposite (less than 5 minutes walk) the entrance of Disneyland Park. This theme park consists 7 themed attractions where Disney stories come to life in new and exciting ways.

Disney California Adventure
1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim
CA 92802
United States
Telephone: +1 714-781-4565

Website: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/destinations/disney-california-adventure/


So while mum and I brought the boy back to the hotel to get some rest, the three man continued their adventure exploring California Adventure Park. Below are some photos and reviews shared by the them but so sorry for the brief write-up as they were all too excited about the rides rather than snapping photos along the way. Now when think back, we actually kind of regret that we should visit California Adventure first instead of Disneyland since we had already went to other Disneyland parks before.

Tip:
- If you are joining similar tour package that covers two theme parks, I would advice you to go into Disney California Adventure Park (more new exciting rides) first unless you have not being to Disneyland.

Alternatively, you have to leave Disneyland latest by 3pm so that you could at lest take a peep or cover half of the California Adventure by the time it closed at 9pm (or later depend on their schedule so do remember to check the park operating hours).

[Disney California Adventure] Guide Map - MUST HAVE!
To make a general compare between the two theme parks, Disney California Adventure focus more on the recent Disney and Pixar characters such as Cars, Little Mermaid, Aladdin plus "must try" thrill rides such as looping coaster - California Screamin' and a drop ride featuring Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Whereas Disneyland attractions focus more on characters from Walt's time and the rides are almost 80% the same from the rest of the 4 Disneyland in the world.

[Disney California Adventure] Background view with Mickey's Fun Wheel and California Screamin'
{MUST TRY} California Screamin' is a high speed looping coaster located at the back right of the theme park at Paradise Pier together with other attractions such as Mickey's Fun Wheel, Goofy's Sky School (a zany roller coaster ride) and Disney dining outlets.

[Disney California Adventure] Golden Zephyr @ Paradise Pier
Golden Zephyr is a spinning spaceship attraction in Paradise Pier at the other end of California Screamin'. This is suitable for family with kids where the ride slowly spins as it picks up speed and you can enjoy a great views of the park high up.

[Disney California Adventure] Grizzly River Run @ Grizzly Park
Grizzly River Run at Grizzly Park is quite similar when compare to Jurassic Park ride in Universal Studios Hollywood. This 8-seater raft brings you into a 6 minutes adventure along the foaming torrents of the Grizzly River and up the craggy granite mountain known as Grizzly Peak. Oh ya, be prepared to have fun and get wet during the spinning plunge down a runaway river too.

[Disney California Adventure] Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Hollywood Land
{MUST TRY} Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Hollywood Land leads you into your longest 2 minutes of life riding in terrifying speeds that plunge down and speed upward over and over again throughout 13 stories of the hotel's haunted elevator that makes you scream till you burst in tears.

[Disney California Adventure] Cars Land
{MUST TRY} Cars Land is a themed area inspired by the 2006 Disney Pixar film, Cars where you can see familiar faces such as Lightning McQueen, Luigi, Doc Hudson,Sally and etc. Within the area there are 3 attractions as well as dining cafe, fruit and snack stores for your selection. Out of those, you must give priority to is Radiator Springs Racers which is auto racing road trip that brings you across the beautiful Ornament Valley just that what you saw in the movie Cars. (FastPass is available)


[Disney California Adventure] California Screamin' and Mickey's Fun Wheel
Mickey's Fun Wheel is a 160-foot (49m) tall eccentric wheel at Disney California Adventure. With no FastPass for this attraction  and the queue is mainly on outdoors be prepared with an umbrella or cap during hot afternoon. This ferry wheel is divided into two parts with stationary Mickey cars facing inwards and other Disney character such as Donald, Goofy, and Minnie cars hang on an interior track moving in and out.


Here is a short clip on the Mickey's Fun Wheel.

In Day 3 post I would sharing a day tour around Los Angeles including places like Griffith Observatory, Santa Monica Pier, Farmer's Market, Rodeo Drive and etc. Till then have a great week ahead.


Disclosure: This 14 days West Coast USA tour package is booked through Dynasty Travel, Singapore on our own expenses. Therefore all opinions expressed in these related posts are on our own.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Ellena. It brings back memories of me being there last year during autumn too. Will take reference from your detail write up for my next trip.

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Ellena (Cuisine Paradise)

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