Disneyland Adventures and California Dreaming

I went to DIsneyland!
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This fall, I was able to bookend a work trip to Anaheim, CA with trips to Disneyland and California Adventure.  I was there with my {then} supervisor and {still} friend who is also a Disney fanatic.  It felt like we hit the jack pot.  photo 5

Since it was October, the park was all done up for Halloween.

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Even the haunted mansion had been taken over by the Nightmare Before Christmas characters.  Not just the mansion but the entire ride.
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Not everything was Halloween-themed though.  Some standbys were their usual selves, like the Tiki Room and Small World.  I wasn’t expecting big things from Small World, but I have to tell you, it might have been my favorite ride!  It’s been redone and they added the Disney movie characters into the scenes of all of the countries.  Here’s Simba and Pumba.photo 5

The Little Mermaid!  I’m not sure which country she was supposed to be in.photo 1 Aladdin!photo 3

And they added America to the ride!  There was a farm scene, mountains and cowboys and Native Americans.  I think the Native Americans were Tiger Lily and gang from Peter Pan and Woody and Jessie were the cowboy faction, obviously.photo 2

During our work time, we even got to have dinners at some of the Disney-themed restaurants.  I’d never been to a Trader Sam’s but luckily I was with a pro.photo 2

While it is a themed restaurant, it is definitely for adults only.  Completely decked out in tiki-Hawaiian-polynesian-ship wreck chic, it was a 360 degree fully interactive experience.  My friend’s seat at the bar would suddenly start to lower, there was a song to accompany every drink order, sometimes with sprays of water, live-action volcanic photos and an indoor thunderstorm.    photo 4Ordering a drink caused such a stir, that they had to come in a worthy glass.  Each drink has a corresponding glass, which you can purchase, of course.  And they were limited edition, naturally.  I bought the one on the right.  I thought it would be fun at Halloween but didn’t creep me out too much.
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Delicious food and crazy bars aside, lets focus on my favorite part of the trip.  That time we deemed plastic crowns beneath me and asked where to find real, sparkly crowns.
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At Disney, they didn’t even bat an eye at that request.  The crown display was next to the real jewelry and crystal stemware, but of course.  And it was magical.  Everyone should have the chance to try on this many crowns.photo 4

We also spent a bit of time at California Adventure.photo 3There’s more grown up fun and less of a “magical world” feel to it.photo 2

photo 1However, I would recommend that you definitely make a stop at Radiator Springs from Cars.  It was like stepping into the movie come to life!
photo 5It was actually quite amazing.photo 3And the Cars ride really takes it over the edge.  You are in a race car, racing other people on another track.  You come up close and personal with a life size animatronic ‘Mater, Lighting McQueen and Porsche.   I’m not kidding about the life-size. Definitely go, if you have a Cars fan in your life.photo 2

All in all, this princess was grateful for an unexpected chance to go to Disney again.  I didn’t think I would get the chance as an adult with no kids to use as an excuse!  photo 3

It was a real treat and renewed my wonder in all things Disney, sparkle and magic.photo 1

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