This was a Magic Morning for us, which means we entered the park an hour before it would normally open. We’ve already seen almost everything we wanted to see, so we took the chance to ride Dumbo (again) and go on the Finding Nemo Submarine ride. Then Clara and Mommy waited in line to be the first to meet the Princesses at the Princess Fantasy Faire while Liam and Daddy waited in line to be the first people onto Tom Sawyer’s Island (which is being rebranded as Pirates’ Lair).
I lost Liam on Tom Sawyer’s Island, which was distressing (but only for me). I found him with the help of another family, who helped me scour the island. I found him in time to see Mommy and Clara steam past on the Mark Twain paddle-wheeler.
We reunited in New Orleans Square to listen to a group of pirate singers, then headed out of the park toward Disney’s California Adventure!
Our first order of business was lunch, and we ate at the Taste Pilots Cafe, which is a hanger converted into a restaurant. Our table was right next to a big picture of the Bell X-1. (Made me think of you, Dad!) Lisa and I have great Bleu Cheese burgers, while the kids enjoyed chicken strips and fries.
Then we rode on Ariel’s Undersea Adventure which, like almost every other ride during our stay here, had no lines.
We debated over our next move, but decided that a nap was strategically important. So we headed back to our hotel, which has an entry directly into the middle of California Adventure.
After nap time, we headed back into California Adventure and went to the Hollywood Backlot area for Mike and Sully’s Adventure. Then we attended the Animation Academy, which is something I’ve been looking forward to taking Liam to. He has really been enjoying drawing lately, so I thought it would be cool to meet an animator and get a drawing lesson. The experience wasn’t what I hoped. We all learned how to draw Mickey Mouse, which was pretty cool. But I had hoped for more one-on-one interaction, and the experience moved a little fast for his age level. Nevertheless, he professed happiness with the experience.
Our next destination was A Bug’s Land, which was perfect for the kids. A litte lame for bigger people, but perfect for little ones. We went on four rides (one of them twice in a row), with no waiting in line.
We continued our meandering exploration of California Adventure and came to Paradise Pier. Lisa rode the California Screamin’ roller coaster while I took the kids on King Triton’s Carousel. Then we reunited to wait in the longest line we’d yet seen: the line for Toy Story Midway Mania. The half-hour wait was totally worth it; this was a really fun, interactive ride. You wear 3-D glasses and play a variety of midway-type shooting games.
We headed back to the Pacific Wharf Cafe for a really yummy dinner. They have soups in sourdough bread bowls, which are made on-site. Both my broccoli cheddar and Lisa’s Monterey clam chowder were wonderful! This place tops my list of places to eat again in Disneyland.
We headed back to the hotel to meet Uncle Jon. He was waiting by the fireplace at the Napa Rose, a beautiful dinner spot at the Grand Californian Hotel. Jon put the kids to bed for us and stayed with them fo Lisa and I could go out for drinks and dessert to celebrate our 10th anniversary.
Overall, it was a great third day at Disneyland. Lisa and I were both surprised at how much we enjoyed California Adventure. Lisa said that she might have enjoyed the ambience even more than that of Disneyland. We look forward to exploring the park more today.
For our fourth morning, we have tickets to a character breakfast with Ariel at Ariel’s Grotto in California Adventure. Clara is especially looking forward to this. We’ll also buy some souvenirs today. We told the kids they could each pick one item to buy, so they’ve been looking and debating for the past three days. It’ll be fun to see what they choose.