Another early start today, to make the most of the day and do as many rides as possible. Unfortunately Dian was not feeling too well, Meeta decided to stay in the hotel with him for half a day to better recover him. Vik and Aaria were going to the park.
At the park we split up and headed to California Park, Vik wanted to take Aaria to the Finding Nemo ride early @ Disney to avoid the queues. Today we were also meeting up with my cousin Neema and her husband Mitesh – they have yearly passes which makes it easy for them to drop by. The last time we met each other were in 2005 in Brisbane, when they came over for a holiday.
California park’s theme was different, had splashes of the states highlights and was themed around movies. The first stop of the day was breakfast, so whilst Nita and kids were lining up at the Starbucks café in the park, I ran off to the Cars ride to grab the fastpasses. I got there just after 9am, and the fastpass was available for after 6:30pm!!! This must be a very popular ride.
Met up with Nita @ Starbucks, quick Coffee & tea, kids were all settled, now to explore the park.
Got to the Cars Land, and it looked so much like the movie. Pooja so wanted to explore that now, took a bit of convincing that it was to be left for the afternoon.
Headed towards the Paradise Pier, designed much like the Santa Monica Pier and Fishermans Wharf all combined together.
First ride of the day was Mickeys Funwheel – the sliding Ferries Wheel. Queue for this was already over 30 minutes. Nita wondered around at the souvenir shops whilst me and the kids stayed in the queue.
Mickey’s Wheel was fun, next to California Screamin coaster. Getting there we found out the ride was closed, and the person at the gate would not provide an approximate time of ride opening again. This was the premier ride of this park and we did not want to miss it, also with the ride being closed, they were not letting anyone queue up. Seeing this as an opportunity, we decided to hang around, if the ride was operational the queue wait times would be atleast 60 minutes or more, and if we hung around, we could possibly be the first few to get on. Whilst Nita and kids were waiting around, I grabbed some churros for all, these we so yum. The wait paid off, the guys indicated to a few kids nearby that the ride was about to open up and they could queue up. Nita was instantly there with Neha. After another 10 minutes, we were on the California Screamin – this has to be the BEST ROLLER COASTER we have EVER been on. It is super quick to take off, and it is not a short ride, this thing lasts for a LOOONG time. So worth it.
Getting out of the ride, we could not believe the queue was now well over 60 minutes!
I was so proud of Neha and Pooja, Neha had been so nervous getting on this, and post that she and Pooja so wanted to go on it again!!
Then to Goofy’s Sky School coaster – mini coaster with loads of extremely sharp turns. This had a wait of around 45 minutes! Another fun coaster! Rides in this park were so much more fun than Disneyland. Today Neha & Pooja were so enjoying all their rides!!
It was past 1:30pm, time for lunch, walking past California Screamin, saw the ride was again closed – we had been sooo lucky to have done it!
Across the Pier bridge, decided to eat at the Cove Bar, this place did not server main meals, rather entrees, which worked out great for us – no mood for a heavy lunch. Views were so good from here, overlooking the Paradise Pier with all the rides that we had earlier finished.
Food was very good here, had Buffalo wings, Chicken Pizza and Nachos, was surprised and impressed with Pooja, she enjoyed the Buffalo wings heaps, not bad for first time!
Out of there and Pooja had a chance for another autograph – it was time for Donald Duck!
It was now time to head to Cars Land – Pooja’s favourite!
Nita kept thinking about how Veer should be at this place and how he would go nuts in this CARS LAND….. Pooja was already going nuts!
After spending a fair bit of time in the souvenir shops, headed out of the Cars Land and through the Bugs Land – this place mainly had rides catered to little ones, Neha and Pooja were not keen on these.
Headed next to the Hollywood Tower of Terror. Queue was atleast 45 minutes, Neha all along was a fair bit nervous and at one stage even walked out of the line, a lot of convincing had to be done to get her back. Pooja was a classic, when we were finally seated in the LIFT, the guy asked us if we had any questions, to that Pooja asked, “does this go fast”, his response, “the speed of a failing rock is based on gravity, this thing will fall FASTER than that”, and with that he quickly shut the gates and let us go.
The ride took our LIFT up in total darkness, then suddenly the doors in front opened and we could see the entire park, wow, then a giant DROP!! Lots of screaming, LIFT was pushed up again and again another drop, this continued for about four times before it concluded. Quite an intense ride, Neha was not too happy with this ride and did not want to do it again at all!
Getting out, we saw everyone lining up the street sides for the afternoon Parade which occurs @ 5:15pm, Neha and Pooja were quick to find a kerbside view.
Unlike the Disney Parade focused on the traditional Disney characters & princesses, the California Park was more about the Pixar movies and their Characters – the new Disney additions! Neha and Pooja enjoyed this more, they could relate to all the movies they grew up watching.
Finished the parade and noted directly behind us was the Hyperion Theatre, hosting the Aladdin Musical Spectacular Performance. Show was starting in 30 minutes. Quickly lined up for that. Got in with a very good seating! This was a big theatre, just like the Vegas theatres.
The show was very very good, with the flying carpet done so well! This is a must watch. Neema sms’d me during the show, she was in the park, told her to meet us near the cars ride, we had to get there before 7:30pm to use our fastpass and it was already 6:50pm.
Quickly got to the Cars land, the place was looking so good in the dark with all the neon lights. Could not believe the wait times for the non-fastpass people, it was at 150 minutes! The record for that ride was 240 minutes!
Even with our fastpass, the wait was over 30 minutes, and the weather although clear was getting very very COLD! Whilst in the queue, Neema had arrived at the Cars ride gates, we just managed to see her before moving ahead with the queue.
The ride was soo much fun, it was basically two full sized cars racing each other – fast!
It was 8pm when we got out of the ride, finally got to meet up with Neema and Mitesh, she had not changed at all! Was so good to see her. Neha and Pooja took an instant liking to her.
The park was open till 10pm, but we were getting fairly tired, decided to call it a night and get something to eat – but light. Neema suggested a good sandwich place @ Downtown Disney, am so glad she came as we would have missed the Downtown part of Disney!
On the way out of Cars Land, there was a street party happening with dancing, Pooja was first to jump in, Neha followed soon after.
(The Cars Land looked so good at night!)
On our way out, near the main street, saw a Photopass Photographer, good opportunity to take a few more snaps.
Out of the park, to Downtown Disney, first stop was the Frozen Disney Store, Pooja had to get a couple of Dolls, decision was made even easier to get it with Neema getting 20% off all purchases in the park and in downtown Disney with her Annual pass!
Next stop was light dinner @ Earl of Sandwich – our fav. Mitesh found a good outdoor seat (near the heaters) which allowed us to see the Disney fireworks in comfort! It was a great finish to the day.
Tomorrow Neema was free and wanted to join us again around 2pm, Neha and Pooja were very excited and happy that their Foi was coming again. Mitesh dropped us off at the hotel, funny enough, our daily shuttle pass was only being used for single journeys for the last two days!
A long and tiring but very fun day