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  • Amy Fandrei

Exploring Disneyland - Part II

Disneyland® is home to two amazing parks, each with distinct lands, attractions, entertainment, and dining options. Part I covered all of the history and nostalgia in Disneyland Park's eight lands. Part II is all about Disneyland’s California Adventure, where stories from Disney®, Pixar®, and Marvel® come to life through attractions, character greetings, entertainment, and more. Let’s go explore!

Disneyland’s California Adventure is divided into seven lands: Buena Vista Street, Grizzly Peak, Hollywood Land, “a bug’s land,” Pacific Wharf, Paradise Pier, and Cars Land. As in Disneyland® Park, each land includes sights, sounds, attractions, entertainment, and dining that fit the theme.

Buena Vista Street transports you back to the early 1920’s. The Spanish-tile roofs, art-deco storefronts, wrought-iron balconies, and tile mosaics are reminiscent of the Los Angeles that Walt discovered when he first arrived in California in 1923. You can find everything from coffee to an elegant dinner on Buena Vista Street, and even take a ride on the Red Car Trolley.

Grizzly Peak takes you on a wild outdoor adventure surrounded by mountains, forest, and river rapids. Thrill-seekers will enjoy Grizzly River Run and the rope bridges and zip slides at Redwood Creek Trail. Explore the world by taking a trip on Soarin’. The Disneyland’s California Adventure version of Soarin’ features the same global adventure as you’ll find in Walt Disney World’s Epcot®. Grab a quick bite to eat at Smokejumpers Grill before heading off to your next adventure.

Hollywood Land celebrates the Golden Age of Hollywood and puts you in the middle of your favorite movies. Get up close and personal with everyone’s favorite monsters at Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! Little ones will love the Disney Junior Dance Party and Turtle Talk with Crush. No visit to Hollywood Land is complete without seeing Baby Groot and experiencing the new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! ride that recently took over the former Tower of Terror attraction.

You can also meet many characters in Hollywood Land, including Anna and Elsa, Olaf, Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Spider-Man, and Captain America.

“a bug’s land” is a perfect land to spend some time at with little ones. Similar to Disneyland® Park’s Mickey’s Toontown, the ride in “a bug’s land” are all family-friendly with only one ride requiring guests be at least 36” to ride. Spin around with Flik and Francis from Pixar’s “a bug’s life” on Flik’s Flyers and Francis’ Ladybug Boogie. Slow things down by taking a journey through Heimlich’s favorite food on Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train. When little ones have had enough of the heat, cool them off at Princess Dot Puddle Park.

Pacific Wharf is for foodies. No traditional attractions in this land! This is where to go for sweet treats, delicious Quick Service meals, and samples of local California wines. The open-air dining area is a perfect place to relax after a long day in the park.

Paradise Pier was made for me, I think. It's the California piece to my Boardwalk-loving heart. Paradise Pier is home to games, rides, and characters from your favorite Disney and Pixar® movies. Currently home to Mickey’s Fun Wheel and Toy Story Midway Mania!, Paradise Pier will soon become Pixar Pier with new neighborhoods that center on some of the most beloved Pixar stories, including “The Incredibles,” “Inside Out,” and “Toy Story.” When Paradise Pier transforms into Pixar Pier in 2018, the California Screamin’ rollercoaster will become the Incredicoaster, and Mickey’s Fun Wheel will get a new look that celebrates Pixar characters.

The area which currently includes King Triton’s Carousel, The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, Golden Zephyr, and Goofy’s Sky School will become a new eighth land, Paradise Park.

True to the boardwalk theme, guests can find treats such as pizza, corn dogs, and ice cream at the land’s numerous Quick Service dining options. If you’re visiting with a princess fan, Ariel’s Grotto offers character dining for breakfast and lunch, and a Table Service dinner option without characters. Paradise Pier is also where you can watch the World of Colors nighttime show over the water.

Cars Land brings Radiator Springs to life, and has my Lightning McQueen-loving 4-year-old begging to Disneyland. Perfectly themed with the “Cars” movies, McQueen and Mater fans to get into the action with three attractions: Radiator Springs Racers, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters. Refuel by visiting Flo’s V8 Café, Cozy Cone Motel, or Fillmore’s Taste-In.

So, which park do you think you’d like better? I really thought I would be a Disneyland® Park person for all of the tradition and nostalgia, but the attractions and characters in Disneyland’s California Adventure® park has me seriously rethinking that.

What else would you like to know about Disneyland®? Tell us in the comments! And don’t forget to contact MousePros for a free quote on a 2018 trip to Disneyland®!

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