Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Trip Report Tuesday: California Day 11 {Part 2} Disney's California Adventure Park and Tower of Terror Late Check-Out!

Day 11 {Part 2} - Tuesday, September 20, 2016

After my afternoon of shopping and the rest of my family's break at the Grand Californian we walked over to Disney's California Adventure Park!  (I still get over how amazing it was to stay at a hotel that has a private entrance to a Disney park!  What a dream location!)

A Bug's Land

Little One still collects her popsicle sticks for crafting, so this was the perfect photo op for her!

Treat Time
Candy Corn Cotton Candy!  How could we possibly turn down a request for such a seasonally sensational treat?

Paradise Pier

Silly Symphony Swings
I had always wanted to ride on swings like this, friends!  This ride did not disappoint!  It was fun and relaxing at the same time!  Loved it!

Mickey's Fun Wheel
This ride could look like a typical ferris wheel from a far, but it offers some variety you don't see with other wheel rides!  You have the choice of boarding a traditional gondola on the outer rim of the wheel, or if you're feel crazy adventurous you can choose one of their "free-mounted" gondolas that slide back and forth on along the spokes of the wheel too!  We decided on the traditional version for our first ride.  After seeing and hearing the passengers aboard the other ride style freaking out, I'm confident we made the right choice.

Toy Story Mania!
This Toy Story ride was very similar to WDW's Toy Story Midway Mania. The main difference I noticed as a Disney World veteran is that this ride isn't as insanely popular in Cali as it is in Florida!  We had a very reasonable wait with no fastpass involved.  Those who have ever been part of a rope drop stampede for the Hollywood Studios ride know this is a mentionable difference! Ha!

King Triton's Carousel
We had an otter-ly good time on this adorable carousel!

California Screamin'

Such a fun coaster!

Grizzly Peak

Soarin' Around the World ... Almost

This is one of the attractions I had most anticipated on this trip!  I couldn't wait to see how they did transforming Soarin' Over California to Soarin' Around the World!  I was also a bit nervous as the soundtrack for the former was (and forever will be) one of my favorite Disney attraction soundtracks and I hoped they wouldn't screw it up with a cheesy score!  

We boarded the ride with the best seat in the house, top tier, center section!  Everyone buckled, the lights dimmed, then technical difficulties!  We were all being asked to evacuate the ride!  Such a bummer!  They offered an apology and a fastpass that could be used for any other ride in the park that night as Soarin' would be down the reminder of the evening.  

Jason wasn't feeling too well and wanted to head back to the room at that point, but the girls and I decided to take those fastpasses and ride something as we never had before...

Tower of Terror:  LATE CHECK-OUT!
For the last few months of 2016, just before Tower of Terror's closing, they offered guests a unique ride experience and called it "Late Check-Out"!

Yep, you read that sign right, complete darkness!  We had no idea just how different that would feel and be!  First, I should mention that they just began offering this ride experience the week before and our "elevator" was filled with other guests who were giddy and unsure about all of this too!  As soon as the doors closed and we were in complete darkness our "elevator" filled with shouts of, "Wait! I'm not ready!"  We were all laughing!  It felt like one big party and we were all in for this unique & potentially terrifying situation together!  Soon we realized that the ride also had NO sound!  It was completely silent with no cues whatsoever as to when any drops were coming or how many times we'd rise and fall.  It was amazing!  Words can't begin to describe just how different it was or how much we enjoyed it! 

A closer look at me and my cuties enjoying that awesome ride!

The wait time for this evening version of the attraction was very long and at the time of our trip they were not distributing fastpasses for it.  If we hadn't experienced that great disappointment of Soarin' going down and received those complimentary fastpasses good for any attraction in the park, we may not have enjoyed this at all!  What a fun surprise it was that our disappointment that evening turned into one of the most memorable experiences the girls and I had at DCA!

As we browsed the Tower of Terror gift shop I noticed their Attractionista dolls (Disney dolls inspired by park attractions) were on sale.  If you bought two you scored a great discount, plus they let me use my Disney Vacation Club discount on top of that!  It was too good of a deal to resist, so I had the girls choose their favorites to add to their collections!

We paused for a few photo ops as we strolled through the park and back to the hotel...

Dinner Time
We ordered takeout from the Grand Californian's White River Snacks to take back to our room.  Any guesses what I ordered?

Another night, another Carnitas Angus Burger!  It was too good not to get two nights in a row!  Seriously, friends, one of the best burgers I've ever had!  YUM!

Thanks for stopping by today!  Hope you'll be back next Tuesday to hear about our favorite dining experience at Disneyland & more!

Sometimes snapshots just don't do things justice!  Be sure to check out the video footage from this day and more on my family's YouTube channel, 
Eat, Sleep, Dis, Repeat!

In case you missed the earlier California trip reports and you're interested, here are some direct links for ya!:

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  1. The artwork is so stunning! From Toy Story Mania to the billboards! WOW! That burger.....I think today sounds like a great day to fly out to CA for lunch. What do ya say?! We'll be sure to hop on one of those super fun swings BEFORE we eat that delicious looking burger! :) Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Eek! I have yet to go on Tower of Terror, altho my husband and son went on it 2 years ago. My son isn't sure if he'll go on it again this year! LOL! Which makes me think maybe I won't try it! ;) Candy corn cotton candy? Oh my! I am a huge cotton candy lover! I would have loved that!


  3. Oh man it totally stinks that you were THAT close to getting to ride then weren't able too. What a huge stinking bummer. Loved seeing more of your adventures.

  4. Hahaha - and out here, we all think that Toy Story has a looooong line. lol But, we have Fastpass now! Woo hoo!
    And I know we talked about this before, but the Late Check-out for TOT really did have an amazing energy. So much fun! I wish they would have started doing that years before and not just before the ride closed. :(

  5. Looks like such a great time at the park! Candy corn cotton candy?! And bummer about the Soarin ride. But the Tower of Terror in the dark? Sounds like a fun time!

  6. oh my gosh, the tower of terror in dark!! That sounds amazing!! I'm jealous. And, how pretty is the sealife carrousel! Sounds like another great great Disney day!!


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