California Adventure opened at 7 am for guests staying at the Disneyland area hotels. Even though we checked out of Paradise Pier before the park opened, we were still eligible to use the Early Entry.
We arrived at the gates to California Adventure at 6:15 am (keep in mind that it was 8:15 Alabama time so it was not that early for us). They finally let us through security at 6:45 am and we made our way to the gates. We were so anxious to enter the parks and couldn’t wait to ride the Radiator Springs Racers.
As we entered the parks, we had to stop and have our pictures taken for our 5 day tickets and my husband had to write our names on the back of them. Disneyland has issues with people buying multi-day tickets and selling the extra days so they are attempting to put a stop to that by taking pictures of everyone. It slowed us down the first morning but it wasn’t too bad after that.
Finally the park opened and we were on our way to ride Radiator Spring Racers… or so we thought. The ride was not opened when we got back to the entrance! So instead of walking on the ride, we rode Luigi’s Flying Tires instead.
Luigi’s Flying Tires reminds me of an Air Hockey Puck. You get in your tire (each tire seats up to 3) and it hovers above the ground about 2 inches. You lean your body from side to side to make the tires move in different directions. The kids had a blast, I was more interested in the theming around the ride. They really went into great details to make it look as realistic as possible.
I sent hubby over to get an update on the Racers opening time and I took the kids to meet Mater. We have met him at Hollywood Studios in Florida, but it was so much cooler to meet him in Radiator Springs in front of the Cozy Cone Motel.
Hubby texted to let us know that the Racers were about to open (this was 20 minutes after the park opened) so we headed over to join him in line. We made it just in time and only waited about 5 minutes from this point to get on the Racers.
And oh. my. goodness. Disney definitely outdid themselves on this attraction. It was absolutely breathtaking and amazing. It reminded me a lot of Test Track (it does use the same ride vehicles although they are themed to look like characters from the Car movies), but racing another car around the turns and at speeds up to 40 miles an hour makes this ride so much more fun! My son, who is the big Cars fan in the family, had so much fun on this ride!
Next we met Lightning McQueen in front of the Cozy Cone Motel while Jason went to get in line for Fastpasses for the Racers. They do not let anyone into the Fastpass line that isn’t a guest of the Disneyland area hotels so he was able to get up near the front of the line before the park officially opened at 8 am.
Hubby got a return time of 9:30 am for the Racers while we went on Maters Junkyard Jamboree. This ride is like the teacups on steroids. The kids loved it, my stomach not so much. And of course we went on again with no wait while Jason caught up with us.
Next we were off to ride Toy Story Mania. It doesn’t have Fastpass at Disneyland so we wanted to ride it as early in the morning as we could. The queue was not nearly as cool as the one at Walt Disney World, but the ride was almost identical.
I took off to get World of Color and Goofy’s Sky School fastpasses while hubby took the kids on the Symphony Swings twice in a row with no wait. It wasn’t that far of a walk to the Grizzly River Run entrance where I snagged the Fastpasses for the 9:00 show so I was back just as they were getting off the swings.
We all rode Goofy’s Sky School which I absolutely hated. I hate to say that about a Disney ride, but this ride was awful. The ride vehicle was extremely narrow, even my kids said it was painful. The ride also loaded on a moving sidewalk that was not very long and we were extremely rushed to get situated and buckled in before the incline began. I am glad it was a walk on ride and we didn’t have to wait for this one. I don’t think we will ever ride it again. Primeval Whirl at Animal Kingdom is so much better!
After the ride finished, we stumbled over to the Jumping Jellyfish. This was a fun and smooth ride but definitely not for those scared of heights (like I am!). I put on a brave face for my child though. And they both loved it.
Then we rode the Zephyr with no wait. It was such a smooth and relaxing ride. We really enjoyed this one and would have rode it a few more times if our schedule allowed.
We started to get hungry so we stopped by Cozy Cone Motel for delicious breakfast cones. They were so good and very filling. Jacob ate an order of Churro bites, but Emily gulped down a cone along with us. It was so tasty and she felt like such a grown up.
I left the kids with Dad to finish their snacks while I went and got in line for the Racers Fastpass. It was 9:30, so our window was open and we were able to get another Fastpass. This one was for 7:30 that night.
We rode the racers again and we went through the Luigi’s Tire Shop. We ended up riding the Racers 5 times on our trip but only went through the Tire Shop once. We all agreed that this side of the track was the best and the theming was a lot better. We won this race too!
By now it was 10:30 so we made our way to the private Visa Meet and Greet by Monsters Inc where we got to hang with Minnie Mouse. She was so friendly and the kids had a blast dancing around with her. In fact, the kids danced with a majority of the characters that they met.
As we left the area, we saw that Mike was out meeting in his Monsters University attire. So we waited for 5 minutes to get our photos taken with him. He and Sully take turns meeting throughout the day.
And as we walked down the street, we also met Jake from the Neverland Pirates with no wait!
Finally we headed over to the Kingswell Camera Shop on Buena Vista Street to redeem our Photopass Plus card. Before we left for Disneyland, I paid $80 for access to all of the pictures the Photopass photographers take of us throughout the park, the restaurants and on the rides. We didn’t have time to get the card until now, so we just used a regular Photopass card. They had no trouble transferring the pictures for us and even printed us a set of the photos from Surf’s Up that we weren’t able to get because we didn’t have the card.
On our way out the door, we ran into Pluto. Ok, we didn’t literally run into him, but we did stumble upon a very short line for his meet and greet. We got our autograph books signed and Jacob got his hugs (Pluto is his favorite).
The Little Mermaid ride is not as popular at Disneyland as it is in the new Fantasyland at Walt Disney World so we were able to ride it at 11:30 with only a 5 minute wait. The ride was almost exactly the same and we almost felt like we were in Florida for a moment!
Now it was time for our reservation at Goofy’s Kitchen. And this post has gotten very long so I am going to split it and post the rest in another post.
Catch up on all of my Disneyland Trip Reports.