. Cali recap… Disneyland! .

by Amanda @ .running with spoons. on September 20, 2012

Hey guys!

Alrighty… I’m going to try not to blab too much (stop laughing!) because I have a lot of pictures to share and I don’t want this post to become too epic in length, so without further ado, here are the first 3 days of our trip to Cali!

Day One – Travelling and settling in…

Sunrise on the way to the airport – Gorgeous views from up in the clouds.

We’re definitely not in Kansas Canada anymore…

First up on the agenda (after picking up our luggage and a rental car)? Food! Why oh why can’t we have Whole Foods in [my part of] Canada? And why oh why can’t we have this kind of selection of Greek yogurt?!?

We stayed in the Disneyland Hotel for our first three nights in Cali so that we could take advantage of the earlier park admission time and easily walk back and forth between the park and our hotel whenever we wanted. It was really lovely. We didn’t end up taking a themed room, but there were little Disney touches all over our room and the hotel grounds that really helped make the experience feel more magical.

Because of our early morning and not getting checked into our hotel until around 4, we didn’t really feel up for much on the first day. We decided to explore the hotel grounds and eventually ended up in Downtown Disney, which is a little promenade outside the Disneyland gates that’s full of shops, restaurants, and all kinds of entertainment. While we were there, we came across a Lego store that had amazing Disney themed displays that were made entirely out of Lego.

Aaaaaand while we were out and about, we stopped in what was probably one of 235 souvenir shops to pick up a couple of things to wear around the park for the next few days. Hey, might as well look the part, right?

Day Two – Disneyland…

Oh, the magical Cinderella Castle… probably the most iconic Disney image ever. It was a lot smaller than I remembered, but I still squealed like a little girl when I saw it. No shame. And I thought that sign posted right at the entrance to the park was extremely fitting: “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.” Indeed you do, Mr.Disney. Indeed you do…

This really surprised me, but Disneyland was all done up for Halloween! For whatever reason, I never really considered that Disneyland might decorate for the holidays, but there were pumpkins and ghosties everywhere. The whole Fall theme was a bit strange considering it was like 34C (94F) outside, but it was still fun to see, especially because…

… Jack Skellington was there! Omigosh I was beyond excited (Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorite movies). The Haunted Mansion ride was all done up after the movie, and being able to go into Halloweentown was just… Eeeee!

We spent the entire day standing in line for going on rides (favorites: Jungle Cruise, Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Star Tours, It’s a Small World), and then in the evening it was time to catch the parade.

The best part of the day? Having Goofy propose to me.

Day Three – California Adventures…

I had never been to California Adventures before, so this side of the park was an entirely new experience for me. It was laid out like a small town that was modelled after the era in which Walt Disney lived; it even had a replica Carthay Circle cinema, which was where Disney debuted his first film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, in 1937.

We were lucky enough to see Cars Land, which had just opened earlier in the summer. It was modelled after the town of Radiator Springs from the movie Cars, and walking around felt like being inserted right into the movie. Radiator Springs Racers (top right and bottom middle pictures) was probably my favourite ride of the entire park.

The portion of the park around Paradise Pier felt like an old-school carnival, and it was just beautiful at night with all the lights were lit and the ambiance of all the rides going.

We headed into the park as soon as it opened to get our tickets for World of Color, the water and lights show in California Adventures. Holy.Wow. – This show is absolutely amazing. It lasts about 30 minutes, and during that time water gets shot up to 200 ft. into the air from over 1000 fountains around the bay. Videos of various Disney movies (Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Fantasia, WALL-E, Brave, Toy Story, Up, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Bambi, Pocahontas, Pirates) are then projected onto a mist screen that covers the entire surface of the water, while music from those movies plays in the background. If you have the time, you can watch the entire show here, and I really recommend that you check out at least a few minutes of it because it’s absolutely beautiful.

. – . – . – .

Who’s your favorite Disney character? How about Princess? Goofy or Pluto, and Belle for princesses.
What’s your favorite Disney movie? Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katy September 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Weeeee looks like so much fun! Love that Goofy proposed to you!

My favourite Disney character…woah, I don’t know! The Little Mermaid! There, now I know. I LOVED that movie as a kid! 😀


2 Matt @ The Athlete's Plate September 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Disney is a blast! I haven’t been in years but I know I always had a good time :)


3 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey September 20, 2012 at 5:59 pm

LOVE California Adventure. I love Disney in general, but I think Disney World is my favorite!


4 Amanda @ .running with spoons. September 21, 2012 at 6:55 am

Lucky! I’ve never been to that one, but I’m definitely planning on going one day.


5 Aimee September 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Looooooove Disney ! Always a guaranteed good time! I’ve only been to Disney in Florida but it seems almost identical to the one in California – I too love Pirates of the Caribbean! My favorite Disney movie would have to be The Lion King! Glad to see you had such a good time!


6 Lauren September 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Ugh, I could not be more jealous. I love being able to hop between those two parks. Disneyland is such a classic but the whole California feel (and Beach Boys boardwalk music!) is so fun! Did you get to ride Soarin’ Over California?! I love the Disneyland hotel in all it’s little Disney touch goodness, although I’ve always dreamed of staying at the Grand Californian. World of Color was brand new when I went a couple years ago and it was absolutely astonishing! Sounds like the trip won’t be one you every forget! :)


7 Amanda @ .running with spoons. September 21, 2012 at 6:59 am

Yes! Soarin’ Over Calidornia was great :) And Grizzly River Run was lots of fun as well, although I think I ended up being the one who got soaked the worst.


8 Alexandra September 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Whole foods, beauty and the beast legos, parades, and getting a proposal from Goofy: all the requirements for a freaking LEGIT vacation! Oh man, what a wonderful experience, thanks for sharing!
Disney character– totally Dumbo, Bambi, Felippe (Belle’s horse) or Figaro from Pinocchio :)
Princess– Belle! And Disney movie is a tie between Finding Nemo and Beauty and the Beast 😀


9 Amanda @ .running with spoons. September 21, 2012 at 7:04 am

Eeee I love how you included some of the lesser known Disney toons 😀 I’ve always loved Meeko from Pocahontas.


10 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers September 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Ahhhhh! I love it love it love it. Even though I didn’t go with you, just seeing all these pictures makes me happy. :) My fav princess might be Cinderella, or Ariel… tough choice. Another hard decision is my fav Disney movie. So many winners! I love Ratatouille, Shrek, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King.


11 Jenny @ pbandjenny.com September 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Ugh. What I wouldn’t give to be there right now. Looks like you had a blast!

I swear I convinced myself that I was Princess Jasmine until I was like, 17 years old. Primarily because I thought Aladdin was sexy. Actually, I still do. Don’t judge me.



12 Amanda @ .running with spoons. September 21, 2012 at 7:06 am

No judgment, he’s a good looking guy 😉 We actually saw an Aladdin Broadway show while we were in California Adventures and… yeah… he’s definitely a good looking guy lol.


13 kris September 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm

ahh, it looks like you had sooo much fun!! love all the pictures! and the picture of goofy proposing to you is the cutest thing ever! i dressed up as a disney princess for just about every halloween as a child and my favorite princesses were jasmine and belle :)


14 Ellie@Fit for the Soul September 20, 2012 at 9:47 pm

omgsh you look soooo cute in your pic, Amanda! haha I love it. 😀 And what a seriously fun time you guys had~and I had no idea disney went all out for halloween either. Hmmmm my fave characters are Mulan, Belle, and Jasmine! Okay I like cinderella too…hehe. and my fave movies are, surprise suprise! Mulan, Shrek, Aladdin, lion king (my first movie in a theater).


15 Cait the Arty Runnerchick September 20, 2012 at 10:23 pm

oh my gosh i am the BIGGEST disney fan!! i’d say my favorite character is Tink, but princess has to be Ariel. i went thru the huge mermaid phase as a girl, probably like about most all of us. looks like u had such a blast! :)


16 Khushboo September 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Ah this was such a fun post…I feel like I re-lived my childhood! I am ashamed to say that I have never seen Little Mermaid- but I hear it’s quite the classic! It’s so hard to just choose one favorite Disney cartoon but it’s a tie between Aladdin, Lion King & Beauty and the Beast! As for Disney movies, it’s undoubtedly Santa Clause…I think I’ve seen it at least 100 times yet still get excited about it every time I put it on!


17 Amanda @ .running with spoons. September 21, 2012 at 7:24 am

Yes! Definitely watch Little Mermaid… preferably on a night where you don’t feel like going out, with a big bowl of popcorn :)


18 Shannon (Healthiful Balance) September 21, 2012 at 4:32 am

Aw, looks like you had such a great time! I’ve never been to Cali before, but would love to someday.


19 Floey September 21, 2012 at 5:34 am

You are so gorgeous! You need more pictures of your adorable self :)
I always loved the little mermaid or mulan, hehe. Speaking of which, it’s been forever since I’ve seen either!


20 Amanda @ .running with spoons. September 21, 2012 at 7:24 am

Awwwr, thanks hun :) Still trying to get over shyness.


21 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 21, 2012 at 5:56 am

Ahh I loved seeing all these pictures! It looks like it was such an awesome trip! I’ve never been to Disneyland or Disneyworld before and I always jokingly get mad at my parents for depriving me as a kid. 😛

Also I totally laughed at your picture of the Greek yogurt shelf in WF because I took almost the exact same picture when I went to the WF in Boston this summer – their selection of Greek yogurt in the US amazes me!

I don’t know if I can choose favourites when it comes to Disney – I love them all! The Lion King is definitely a fave though – Timon and Pumba still make me laugh. Also I love Mary Poppins!


22 Missy September 21, 2012 at 8:30 am

hooooleeeee wow!
The World of Color is too spectacular – incredibly mesmerizing.
Disney really is a magical place.

I love how you agreed with the Disney quote at the gate because…you get it. It’s the dang truth. Love Disney.

I could never pick favorites.


23 Liz (formerly VeggieGirl) September 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm

AWESOME photo recap!

My favorite Disney character = Tinkerbell.

And I too love Beauty and the Beast.


24 Lisa September 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Oh my, so jealous of your Disneyland trip! It was like a little piece of childhood looking at these! I had an obsession with Disney as a kid and seriously only wore Disney clothes when I was 4. I think people thought I was nuts;)
My faves were Little Mermaid and Snow White, and I love Eeyore, he’s so cute.
I love how its all decorated for Halloween! Adorable. That made me even more excited for Fall time. As if I could get more excited.
Is it lame if I say I kind of want to watch a Disney movie now ha ha.


25 Amanda @ .running with spoons. September 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Not lame in the least! Throw in the Little Mermaid and enjoy 😀


26 Laura September 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm

California is my FAVORITE place! Great weather, awesome places to see…it’s just awesome. I’m glad you had such a great time =)


27 Irina @ Chocolatea Time September 22, 2012 at 8:34 am

Those Mickey ears…too cute :) Glad to see you had a blast!

I was just thinking this: there are three ways to experience Disney World/Land – as a child, as an adult, and as an adult with your children. Each type of trip gives you a whole new perspective…so interesting!


28 Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli September 22, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Wow! Looks like SUCH an incredible time! Those Lego statues are unbelievable! And Cars Town? How cool! Omg, I feel like a little kid! Haha! One day…ONE DAY, I WILL go to Disneyland! And then all of my dreams willlllllllll commmmmmmme truuuuuuuuuue! 😉

Don’t really have a favorite character, but Belle is my all time favorite princess! I was a BIG reader when I was little (need to get back into it) and always envisioned myself twirling around the living room while wearing her gold dress! Favorite movie: Hard to chose between Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid (my first ever Disney movie!)


Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: