Here's what we ate:
- Dinner at the Deck in Laguna Beach on Day 1 of our trip.
- Lunch with the princesses at Ariel’s Grotto at California Adventure Park
Mia could NOT wait to meet the princesses. Literally from the time she woke up, to the minute we stepped into the park, up until lunchtime Mia was asking “Where’s Cinderella mom? Find her. Where could she be??? Where is she??” The $34/pp meal (under 3 is freeeee) will fill you up with the antipasti tower, choice of entrée (we had the pasta and tri-tip) and a huge assorted dessert plate. Throughout the meal, five princesses come out one by one to stop and talk with each table.
- Dinner at RB Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney
I loved how we sat upstairs outside which replicates French Quarter architecture found in New Orleans. I definitely sat back and enjoyed a glass of wine with the setting sun as we unwound for the day.
- Character breakfast with Minnie & Friends at the Plaza Inn at Disneyland
This $24/pp (kids under 3 are freeee) breakfast buffet was full of smiles every few minutes as you saw numerous characters roaming about bouncing from table to table. The food was standard breakfast buffet fare with Mickey Mouse shaped waffles, scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, pastries, cereals and fruit. The highlight was definitely seeing Minnie Mouse and rocking our DIY ears.
- Dinner at the Wine Country Trattoria at California Adventure Park
Despite the hustle and bustle of kids at a theme park on a Friday night during graduation season, the Wine Country Trattoria felt isolated from the busy-ness and was reminiscent of an evening in Napa. The warm setting sun, vine covered walls, glass of wine and Italian fare, complete with chocolatey Tiramisu was the perfect meal to end our trip.
What did we do besides eat, you ask? Working around our reserved meals, we spaced out our days and parks to hit up a good amount of attractions.
Disney's California Adventure Park
Mia’s favorite ride was the carousel and the Bug's Life Area had rides suited for toddlers as well.
Mickey's Fun Wheel had regular stationary gondolas in addition to ones that swing as the ferris wheel goes round! We opted for the stationary one, boo. We went on this ride while killing time before lunch at Ariel's Grotto.
We met Mickey at his house in Disneyland, but we also spotted him near Ariel's Grotto!
We all had fun singing, dancing and waving at the parade. Mia was excited to see all the characters.
We also saw Aladdin – the musical, which was a wonderful 40 minute production! It was a bit of a wait, but the music, set, characters (especially Genie!) and an activity where you could sit indoors and cool off was definitely worth the wait. Mia enjoyed it too!
The Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride was really fun! The interactive ride has you shooting aliens throughout the ride where you compete for high scores with the person riding next to you. Of course, I beat Doug J
Even though Mia's itty bitty, she was still able to go on fun rides like this rocket spaceship!
At the Princess Fantasy Faire, Belle told us a story and Mia got to meet Cinderella again. I don't know what it is about Disney, but even I was enchanted by the princess's reading!
The Finding Nemo Submarine was really cool! I vaguely remember the submarine ride in Disney World as a kid, where silly stuffed fish were dangling from strings. This time around, the submarine ride was totally updated complete with graphics and sometimes I was confused whether what I was looking at was real or animated! Mia napped through it, which was good. She would've been scared since it's mostly dark throughout the "voyage".
The mandatory It's a Small World ride. Who hasn't been on this one!?
Skip the Storybook Land Canal Boats. It's kinda boring and really hot in the sun.
We did a lot in our two days at the two parks, but one more day would’ve been ideal. We didn’t get to ride Dumbo (40 minute wait in the heat with a child who only wanted to be carried. By mommy.) and many other attractions. Lines can get long in the afternoon, so get to the parks early. We didn't want to wait too long with a tired toddler, so opted for rides with waits of 20 minute or less (which there were plenty). Check out the attractions before you get to the park so you know what to hit first and take advantage of FASTPASSES. Also, with our two hour time difference, we couldn’t do anything after our 5pm dinners, which also meant no World of Color or fireworks shows.
Before we even left for California, Mia was starting to get sick. While we were away, she had very high fevers every night and didn't get any sleep. But she was a trooper and was happy most of the time during the day. Oddly, she also decided to potty train herself while on vacation. Works for me! Mia loves talking about her Disneyland vacation and can’t wait to go back!