California Vacation – Day 5


Today we started out at Calfornia Adventure. The last time we came most of the rides were closed because it was raining. This time the weather was perfect and we ended up having a really great time.


We started off in the “bug” section which has lots of little rides that diana would like such as a little caterpillar train, bumper cars, twirling ladybugs, and flying crackerboxes (all characters/scenese from the movie A Bug’s Life).

Diana enjoyed the “bug” rides

Riding the caterpillar train

The bug section also had a splash area where water would squirt up out of random places. Last time we got rained out but this time the kids enjoyed dodging the water spouts as well as not dodging the water spouts.

Samuel dodging (sort of) the water spout

After the bug area we worked our way over to the “pier” section where they have Coney Island type rides and games. I got to go on the California Screaming roller coaster which was fun and has a loop-de-loop. Unfortunately, I had to go on it by myself because Samuel didn’t meet the height requirement and everyone else wussed out. While I was riding the California Screaming, Nancy took the other kids to ride the carousel and walk the boardwalk. Afterwards we all decided to go on the ferris wheel.


I don’t know why I went on the ferris wheel because I hate heights and this was a very tall wheel. Nancy and I took the little kids in a non-swinging car while the older girls wanted to ride on one of the cars that slides back and forth on tracks as the wheel turns. I basically just closed my eyes the whole time and clung to the side of the car but the other kids seemed to enjoy it. Even in the non-sliding car swayed a bit in the wind and I knew that Emily and Anne would freak once they were up high in one of the sliding cars.


Because the line for the sliders was longer than the non-sliders, Nancy and I finished up before Emily and Anne had even boarded their car. They were fairly close to getting on when the ferris wheel had a major shut down. It turns out that someone had barfed on one of the slider cars. They had to get the cleanup people over to disinfect the barfy car. It was at that point that Nancy and I decided there was no way Emily and Anne were going to get on a slider car. We ordered them out of their spot in line and, amid much frumping and grumping, put them in the line for the non-sliders. Nancy went with them on the non-sliders while I took the younger kids over to play in the arcades. I called Nancy on her cell phone when they were way up high and she said that both the girls were glad they hadn’t got on a slider car – the slight swaying of the non-slider was plenty of action for them.


Our next stop were the Jumping Jellyfish – a kids ride that takes you up a little ways in the air. I was going to put Caroline and Samuel on the ride by themselves but at the last second the ride worker told me I had to ride with them. I felt a little silly riding the Jumping Jellyfish but Caroline and Sam enjoyed it.


We went on a roller coaster called Mulholland Drive that was just like the rickety old Wild Mouse ride at Lagoon. I didn’t think Caroline would really want to go on it but she was game and after we got off she yelled “That was SO MUCH FUN!”. She is definitely starting to like roller coaster type rids a bit more.

Our next stop was the Grizzly River Run ride – a big raft that goes through rapids, down a “waterfall”, and around geysers. I was a little worried when the signs for the ride said “you will get wet and you may get soaked” but I decided to go on it nonetheless. Emily and Sam went with me but Caroline was too chicken for this one and Nancy and Anne didn’t want to get wet. The ride turned out to be a complete blast with only one problem – I got soaked. Of course, Samuel was even more soaked than I was – a wave came over the side of the raft and hit him head on. Emily got off with hardly a drop on her. The rest of the day Samuel and I wandered around with wet clothes on but it was definitely worth it – a totally fun ride.

Getting soaked on the raft ride

After the raft ride Nancy took the kids on Soaring over California while I waited outside with Diana. One of the fun parts about going to Disneyland is people watching. There is a never ending stream of people parading by in all manner of outfits. Ladies with their boobs hanging out of their tank tops, kids in costumes, grown ups in costumes (lame), herds of teenagers, grandmas and grandpas – you name it. Disneyland is a people-watchers paradise.

Diana taking it easy

After taking it easy for a while, Diana and I went exploring and found a cool little place where you could get your picture taken with some of the cars from “Cars” (I think that’s the name – I just call it the Lightning McQueen movie). When the other kids got off the Soaring Over California ride we went over and got their picture taken with Mater and Lightning.

Hanging with Mater

Hanging with Lightning – notice that Samuel is soaked from the earlier raft ride

California Adventure has lots of theatre type shows – 3d movies, animatronics, etc. but the kids didn’t seem interested in any of those and only wanted to go on rides so we decided to break for lunch and then head back to Disneyland to go on more rides and catch the evening parade.

The kids liked the giant candycorn decorations for Halloween

We had the same picnic lunch as yesterday but we were a little bit smarter about it. Instead of me hoofing it back to the car to get the cooler, we simply took the cooler straight to the picnic area and put it in a locker at the start of the day. That way we didn’t have to ride the tram back and forth at lunch time.



The afternoon was spent riding favorite rides (Pirates, teacups, etc.). As it started to grow dark I took Diana to the parade route and started saving a strategic spot with a park bench and curb space. When the curb started to fill in I called Nancy and she brought the kids over to save their spots. They whined a bit at coming over early but I think they were glad in the end because the parade route filled in quickly and they had prime spots. In fact, Samuel got up for a second to talk to me (I was sitting right behind them) and someone came and took his spot on the curb. They other kids squeezed in a bit to make room for Samuel and the kids learned their lesson about saving their spots.


The old light parade has been retired but the new parade quickly evaporated any sentimental feelings for the light parade. The new parade has amazing floats and tons of characters dancing down alongside them. The characters do acrobatic moves, swing from trapezes, play with flags and balls and props and get right up close to the crowd.


The kids sat mesmerized during the entire parade and I had fun playing with the night-time photography settings on my camera. Unfortunately, I was only able to make a few pictures work. I could get a good night-time picture with flash but the action in the parade made it blurry. Or I could get a good action picture but the lack of flash made it too dark. All my meager photography skills could produce was the Cinderella Castle at sunset but that is a fitting end to another great day at Disneyland.


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. BYUFan

    California Adventure is a whole different park built in the old Disneyland parking lot (they constructed a new 5 story parking garage that is enormous). You can buy a pass either to one park or the other or you can buy a “park hopper” pass. I recommend doing both but not in one day. If you will only be there for one day then go with Disneyland only. If you are going to be there two days, go Disneyland one day and California Adventure the other. C.A. closes early so you can still go over to Disneyland to watch the parade and ride more rides at night.

  2. Kelly

    Wow! I feel like I’ve been there, and I’m a little tired! What an amazing vacation. We too are Disneyland dumb. The boys have never cared We have talked about how it has to be soon because Quincy is at the perfect age and Wells might be getting too old. I can’t wait to pick your brain when we make our Disney plans.

    I can’t get over how quickly your kids are changing! The close up of buddy in the first of the the three posts! Handsome! And Nancy looks super cute in the lady bug ride picture! So tan and young!

  3. Lori

    Boy, I’m dumb. What is California Adventure? A whole different park? A new section of Dissneyland? Do your Disneyland passes include admittance to CA? Do you recommend both?

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