Disneyland Racecation: The Parks

How do I even begin to squeeze all of our fun pics into a post about the parks we got to visit? Collages – my best friends πŸ˜‰

We ended up getting a 4 day Park Hopper pass when we decided to make the Dumbo Double Dare weekend a racecation. We also thought it best to wait until after the Labor Day weekend business to use our passes Sunday-Wednesday. That, was a smart move. We had the parks to ourselves for most of the week days!

Disneyland, Anaheim, is split into two theme parks: Disney’s California Adventure & [the original] Disneyland!

When you walk into Disney California Adventure, it’s similar to a mix of Disney World and Hollywood Studios. You enter onto a Main Street in front of Carthay Circle Restaurant (which is a replica of the theatre Walt Disney showed his first feature film in!) and can go right towards Golden State (Grizzly River, etc.) and Paradise Pier (California Screamin, Toy Story Mania) or left to head into the Hollywood Pictures Backlot (Aladdin, Monsters Inc) and Bugs Land and Cars Land!

Our California Adventure favorites:
Radiator Springs Racers (Single Rider, another tip from Heather, get you on and off quick!) such a fun ride through Radiator Springs, you feel like you’re in the movie!
 Monsters Inc – ride through the story of the movie and see Sulley and Mike Wazowski try to get Boo back to her door!
Tow Mater’s Tractors – Spin around and around as Tow Mater serenades his tractors through a dance – I still have the song stuck in my head lol
California Screamin – a roller coast set to music in Paradise pier – only one upside down turn!
Toy Story Mania – Similar to Buzz Lightyear and Men in Black at Universal, you can play your partner by shooting targets all while seeing the ride in 3D, fun! (I am the reigning champion in our household too!)


Disneyland was finished being built in 1955 – Walt Disney himself used to live on property at the park too! (I made sure to Google like mad before our trip so I knew the hidden places to find, tips for getting on and off the rides quickly, and history behind the parks to make things more interesting.) Very similar to Walt Disney World here in Florida, Disneyland loops around Sleeping Beauty’s castle (compared to our Cinderella castle) with Tomorrowland (Space Mountain), Adventureland (Indiana Jones, Jungle Cruise), Frontierland (Big Thunder Mountain – which was closed, boo), Fantasyland (Matterhorn, Pinocchio), and Mickey’s Toon Town.

Our Disneyland favorites:
Indiana Jones – Fun, but rough, Jeep ride through the Temple of Doom!
 Space Mountain – A tad different than the ride in WDW but full of fun, dark, roller coast twists!
Matterhorn – a Disneyland classic! Beware of the Yeti!

I enjoyed both parks, but liked California Adventure the most! Not like I’m a huge lush, but you can partake in adult beverages over on that side too πŸ˜‰
Tip: Bring a water bottle! Any vendor with a fountain drink tap will fill it with ice water so that you stay hydrated and also save money!
Sidenote about weather – it was 101 degrees when we flew home from Cali to Florida. HOTTER than at home! Since we have an Annual pass to Universal Studios here in Orlando, we knew to bring a sports bottle of our own – you save tons of money avoiding buying bottled water. Also, bring your own snacks – there is a bag check, but you can bring in snacks to the park.
We also loved being able to see SO many characters! There’s photo opps left and right – hence this being a slightly condensed version of all of the ones we took.
The comparison to Walt Disney World?
* I liked how the park was MUCH smaller than WDW! We were able to walk about a mile and a quarter to the front gates from our hotel and back for breaks from the sun midday if we wanted. There were no shuttles or need to wait for them and then the ride to the parks like here in Florida. We’re pretty forgetful sometimes so if I had to run back to the room for something, it wasn’t such a hassle in DL.
* Some day that since DL and DCA are smaller, it’s busier than here in WDW but we didn’t experience that. Coming the week after Labor day, we barely had to wait in line. Our longest wait was 20 minutes – but that’s also because we stayed on the property (Magic hour before the park opens means no long waits for Radiator Springs Racers, which is usually 75+ minutes once the park opens)
* I liked that many of the rides were the same or similar to the park here. Pirates of the Caribbean was longer with more detail and Space Mountain was a tad different.
* I do like that the WDW parks have 4 large areas to choose from – long as you have the time to see it all, or an annual pass
Here are my other Disneyland Racecation Recaps in case you missed them!
Have you been to Disneyland California?
How would you compare it to Walt Disney World?
Do you not like rides that drop you such as Tower of Terror, like me?


HI! I'M KAT - I am a pug-mom, wife, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, & Fitness Coach focusing on living the fit life while tackling work, coaching others - doing it all! My blog is to hold me accountable for all the goals I plan on accomplishing and also a way for me to try to inspire others through my own experiences - if I can do it ANYONE can! Fitness is a huge part of my life as well as travel and seeing all that life has to be lived! PAY IT FORWARD!

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  • Reply
    September 12, 2013, 10:33 am

    I’ve been deprived! I’ve never been to Disneyland or World. Poor me! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    September 12, 2013, 11:24 am

    Looks like an AWESOME trip! And um 101 degrees?!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2013, 12:44 pm

    I so want to go to Disneyland! I LOVE Disney World so I’m sure I’d love Disneyland too! Love all the pictures girl! Looks like y’all had a blast!!! How was the 101 degrees compared to our weather? Was it a different kind of heat? They don’t have humidity like we do or do they?

    • Reply
      September 12, 2013, 3:23 pm

      Race weekend was 75-80% humidity! We were told that it was unusual

  • Reply
    September 12, 2013, 12:46 pm

    I want to go to Disneyland! It looks really cool. Was it weird that it was so much smaller than Disney World?

  • Reply
    September 12, 2013, 12:53 pm

    You guys did see a lot of characters! I’m so ready to go back and do it all over again πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    September 12, 2013, 12:55 pm

    My husband and I went to Disneyland in July – my first trip there ever! After being at Disney World in January for marathon weekend, it was very easy to compare them. We both prefer Disney World over Disneyland, much because we feel like DL and DCA are both very condensed and more crowded on the streets. Although many people like that Disneyland is more condensed, we actually like that Disney World is more spread out and has a greater variety of environments and sit down restaurants. Of the two parks at Disneyland, we liked DL better than DCA. Although there were several rides at DCA that we like (Tower of Terror, Radiator Springs Racers, and Toy Story Mania just to name a few), we felt like Paradise Pier had too much of a carnival or county fair feel for our liking.

    • Reply
      September 12, 2013, 3:24 pm

      I think it depends on weather too – if it’s hot, I like the midday break at the hotel that’s walking distance away – and if you have a lot of little ones, etc. it can be a challenge – with just us two it’s pretty easy πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    September 12, 2013, 1:59 pm

    yay! love your pics and so glad I was able to see you at radiator springs racers and tell you about single rider!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2013, 2:58 pm

    Very smart to plan your park visits after the race weekend. We also had 4 day park hoppers, but returned home on Tuesday. Your photos are adorable, especially with the characters! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    September 12, 2013, 4:02 pm

    One day I must make it to Disneyland!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2013, 4:26 pm

    I miss Disneyland so much!! We used to go all the time when I lived in Cali.

  • Reply
    September 12, 2013, 9:59 pm

    Living near Dland, I have never gone when it was not crazy busy so you were lucky! πŸ™‚ The crowds drive me nuts! πŸ˜‰

    Thx for all the cool pics that I missed out on….

  • Reply
    September 20, 2013, 4:01 pm

    Hate drop rides, I refuse to do Tower- even at The Tower of Terror 10miler. I’m bummed I missed Tow Mater’s Tractors. Next time πŸ™‚

    I don’t think I can compare the two coasts. . they’re completely different animals!

  • Reply
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