California Adventure opened a bit later than Disneyland so that afforded a bit of time to eat breakfast at “home” instead of grabbing something on the way so I brewed up some coffee and Tom toasted up some bagels. Sean stuffed a healthy *cough* donut down, Chris said he just wanted coffee… so I nagged at him to eat SOMETHING as it was going to be a while before we would have lunch. Did he listen? No, sigh, typical! He also had bought shorts for the trip but insisted on wearing jeans the whole time. We had tons of water available during the trip too, never enough hydration, especially when you’re spending so much time standing in line-ups and walking around in the heat. That and sunscreen, never enough sunscreen.
Tom decided to take a different park exit so we’d get to park in the garage instead of out in this open air parking lot. It would mean the car would stay cooler and holy hell that car would get hot after hours baking in the sun. I cannot image how bad it would be if the interior had been black (like my car). I cannot tell you have many times I’ve practically burned my back on my leather seats!
We’d never been to California Adventure before, though Tom had heard through the grapevine that it was considered a lame duck. They had tried to de-lame it in recent years by adding some more attractions like the Tower of Terror which had been a hit in Orlando. That really was what I was DYING to try. Yeah I’m a chicken with heights but this one fit my bill about being a scary ride in the dark (with some flashes of light). I’d seen so many first person youtube videos of the ride so I knew what we were in for and COULDN’T WAIT.
The park made a really good first impression. The sets were really cool and I personally loved the abundance of Art Deco (my fave) I didn’t take that many pictures of it right off as we kind of made a beeline to the Tower of Terror ride, I figured there was plenty of time to get pictures later.
We didn’t have that long to wait (score!) and I was having a good time checking out all the REALLY amazing details they put into the hotel staging area.
Everything was frozen in time, down to dates on newspapers.
We eventually were “invited” into the library and watched the pre-show that sets up the ride (the video I link to above is the complete ride so you will know what I mean if you watched it.) After that we were rounded into the next waiting area for sorting into our elevator ride. Again plenty of really neat details and building of anticipation.
The ride? Was AWESOME! Did not disappoint at all I am happy to say. Here is a pic of us that was taken on the ride, I expressions say it all!
Tom shot a video of the ride from the outside.. the evil laugh you hear is mine.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
I wanted to go on it again! We figured we would try again later before we left the park.
We set off towards the pier stopping at various places like the Monsters INC ride (kiddie ride for sure) and Tom and the Boys went on the California Screamin’ ride (I chickened out!) as well as the Maliboomer which is one of those rides that shoots you up in the air and drops you… (also chickened out).
This is a quick vid of what the California Screamin’ looks like… oh and Tom’s face. I was at this point trying to figure out if I would go on it or not and leaning strongly to the NOT… so I lied.
That ride they had to get off and move to a different tower THREE TIMES as they were having some technical difficulties (yet they still rode it!)
I was trying to take a vid of them on the ride and I did ok UNTIL they went up and the sun hit me right in the face and I couldn’t see a damn thing! Ah well.
After more wandering of the park we hit up a few stores and didn’t really find all that much though I did get a pair of sunglasses with Mickey on them (I know lame but whateverrrr.)
We were getting hungry and THIRSTY so we tried to figure out somewhere to eat. We wandered and we wandered and wandered some more. There is NOT a good selection of places to eat there and when you do find a place it doesn’t have a varied menu so it’s never going to please everyone. The boys finally settled on a place that served chicken strips and Tom set off to get Mexican. We figured we would meet somewhere and grab a seat.
The boys and I stood in what seemed like a short line but it didn’t move. It got hotter and hotter and people got more and more cranky. In the background was this kind of country set that had metal things that kids could clank and CLANK they did, was seriously driving me nuts. After a while Chris looked at me and said he was feeling a bit funny and was going to go sit down somewhere. He wandered off to the right and I watched him walk away towards some picnic tables.. then he suddenly stopped and started to wobble. See where this is going? Remember my nagging for him to eat something and drink something and not just to have coffee?
I RAN over to him and dragged him over to a table which happened to be full of other people eating (oh well) and told him to sit down. He started to sit right where he was (his butt about a foot AWAY) from the seat. I struggled with him to get him to move over and get him sitting. I told him to stick his head between his knees and breathe deeply. I’ve been there myself so I know what you need to do (Sean too). Sean stood in line looking over at us to see what was going on.
This very nice lady in the table across from us offered me a few wet naps and I put one on the back of his neck and one on his face and told him to hold it there. I went over to Sean told him to abandon the line and to watch his brother and set off to try and find a place to get him some water.
No fucking stores (pardon my french) sold water. As I mentioned the food places were few and far between and there weren’t even any street vendors selling water (are you KIDDING ME?) I happened to run into Tom as he was wandering back with his food and saw he had water. I ran up to him quickly explained what happened and he gave me his water. I made Chris drink it there and then. He chugged the whole thing in a few seconds.
Tom went to find a table and scored one in the shade. When Chris was feeling better I thanked the lady for helping me out and Sean and I walked with Chris over to the table (both of us ready to grab him if necessary.) I wanted to get food in him and so I went back into the line and waited AGAIN this time the line was a bit faster. Tom came and helped me out after he had scarfed his food down.
The boys ate, Chris drank a cola PLUS another bottle of water and felt much better once he was fed and hydrated. He was all worried that he had ruined our day. We told him that we were pretty much DONE with the place anyway. I see that they are working to try and improve the experience there but we both think that will be our last visit to California Adventure. Not worth it, sadly even with the Tower. Tom figures they should just give up and make it all part of Disneyland and I agree.
Chris was feeling much better and wanted to go back into Disneyland as he’s promised to buy something for a friend at work and he wanted to buy an Indiana Jones Fedora to add to his collection so off we set. We were joking with Chris about having him pose in a faint on one of the large “California” sign letters out front and so he played along… sort of. Boy needs some acting classes or something.
After Chris found his hat…
We decided to hit up the Tiki Room (one of Tom’s faves) as the whole thing entailed a whole lot of sitting (part of it air conditioned).
We did a bit more shopping on the way out… Sean picked a classic Mickey watch with the moving Mickey hands as his souvenir and I picked up a Mickey ornament to put on the Xmas tree.
Tom had mapped out a sit down In-N-Out for our last dinner in town which happened to be near a Ross so I happily killed some time in there and yay score! Had my best bargoons there of the whole trip!
Everyone was THIRSTY….
Well not Chris so much as we’d been force feeding him liquids all day…
Hungry though we all were…. and mmmmm..
When we got back to the resort Tom and I did one last walk-about, this time touring the whole grounds going up to the newer Villas (to check them out in case we decided to come back again) and see what kind of views they had. Seems they were a bit better off and even FURTHER away from all the hubbub so good to know.
Took a few photos while we were out as well..
There was a pretty funky sky that night…
One last night of relaxing before it was up early to make sure we were on the road heading for LAX and our flight home.