Follow the rainbow to World of Color at Disney California Adventure

World of Color is on the list of those non-negotiable attractions when our family visits Disney California Adventure. It’s a visually stunning show show filled with leaping Technicolor fountains, blasts of flame, and favorite Disney characters projected onto screens of mist. The music and images linger in our ears and thoughts for weeks after we return home from the trip: Pocahontas’s “Colors of the Wind”, a prince and princess montage, the wildebeest stampede from The Lion King, bagpipes from Brave, a magic carpet ride with Aladdin, a grinning Cheshire Cat. (more…)

Hail a ride on the Red Car Trolley

Could there be a more stylish and appropriate way to transport the family down Buena Vista Street? Destination Sunset Boulevard and the Hollywood Tower Hotel! The streetcars that hum through the streets of Disney California Adventure were inspired by Pacific Electric Railway carriages from the 1920s but are powered solely on batteries. The overhead wires are all part of the show.


Take a free-mounted ride on Mickey’s Fun Wheel

Mickey’s Fun Wheel deviates from traditional Ferris wheels in that most of the gondolas slide inwards and outwards as the wheel rotates. And, if you haven’t yet experienced these swinging gondolas, consider yourself warned! We (and “we” refers to two adults and four children 7 years of age and under) were not prepared for the sudden feeling of coming unhinged from the ride! That first slide brought on shrieks from all of us. Swinging in a stiff breeze while suspended over the rippling waters of Paradise Pier Lagoon made the ride memorable enough to justify waiting in such a slow-loading line. (more…)

Discover your “Disney self” in the Beast’s Library

Hmmm. Now, which Disney character am I most likely to identify with? An occasionally frazzled but fun-loving homemaker with a houseful of kids? (Anita from 101 Dalmatians springs to mind.) A trip to the Beast’s Library in the Sorcerer’s Workshop attraction at Disney California Adventure attempted to provide more insight into who might be my Disney kindred spirit.

Kid Wish: Jumpin’ Jellyfish

MH jumpin jellyfishIt might look a tad intimidating from the ground (the kelp-y tower rises 60 feet), but Jumpin’ Jellyfish is a gentle parachute ride for kids. Coupled with the height, the docile bouncing might rattle some younger children. Adults can appreciate the vantage point at the top of the tower.

Location: Find Jumpin’ Jellyfish in the Paradise Pier section of Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort.

Touring Tip: My one recommendation for the ride: clear signage stating that children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult. Fortunately we hadn’t been waiting in a long line when we learned this. This is a crucial piece of information when a family with very young children is planning to split up!

Disney Classic: Muppet Vision 3D

I have seen this classic attraction so very many times. Yet I still turn in the direction of the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and feel as though I need to check in with these relics of my childhood, the Muppets. Besides, if we don’t introduce the next generation to Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo and the gang, who will? (more…)

“Focus, Dude” at Turtle Talk with Crush

We made a great memory several years ago at Epcot when Crush singled out our then-4-year-old daughter to chat with. The attraction does a remarkable job of animating the surfer sea turtle from Finding Nemo in real-time so he can engage you in spontaneous conversation. Our “little dudette” Emily was sitting right up front with her mouse ears on and caught Crush’s eye. Next thing we know we’re fumbling for the camera so we can record her obliging the turtle with a “totally sweet!” right into the microphone! (more…)

Kids Wish: Games of the Boardwalk on Paradise Pier

I prefer the sport of people-watching on my State Fair midway back home. Easier on the ego, gentler on the pocketbook. My son, on the other hand, would spend nearly every last dime he’d brought if given the chance. We’ll probably let him take his pick of the four carnival games offered on the Paradise Pier Boardwalk. (more…)

Character Series: Meet Snow White

MH snow white germany pavilionWhere can you meet the Fairest in the Land? (Let me quick consult my Magic Mirror…) Mirror reports back: Perhaps the easiest spot to meet this princess is at her wishing well in the Germany Pavilion of World Showcase at Epcot. Nestled on the outskirts of the pavilion as you enter going clockwise, Snow White (occasionally with the Prince, and/or Dopey) greets guests at the well several times daily between 11:30am and 6pm. Our photo, taken when our son wasn’t quite three, remains one of my favorite Disney snapshots of all time. Check out the way he’s gazing at Snow White! (more…)

Festival of the Flying Tires with Luigi

MH luigi's flying tiresYou’ve got a job to do on this attraction! These tires float on a cushion of air and require audience participation to get gliding. This airy dance is referred to in Cars Land circles as the Festival of the Flying Tires!

Update: Though the smart choice would have been to skip this molasses-slow loader and ride Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree instead. We made a mad dash for Cars Land (and specifically Radiator Springs Racers) during an early Extra Magic Hour at California Adventure. We hopped in what was advertised to be a 5-minute line but turned out to be 25 – worth a 3-minute ride spent coaching your preschoolers how to “drive” the giant tire? Debatable. (more…)