ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – For most adults, the thought of Disneyland is horrifying. Some kind of happy hell with screaming children, overpriced food, and long lines. Disneyland’s California Adventure is a super small park that’s manageable with unique rides and better food than expected.
Highlight One: Paradise Pier’s California Screamin’
It’s a roller coaster that shoots you from zero to something-somewhat-fast in like three seconds. For those adults who fear thrill rides, this might be the perfect coaster. It’s smooth, not too fast, fairly short, and goes upside down only once. For those seeking a major thrill, this is as big as it gets when you’re in Disney territory. Head to Universal Studios or Busch Gardens if you’re looking for true big kid rides.
Highlight Two: Toy Story Mania
Forgive the lame name because this ride is the best in the park by far. Sure, it’s not fast like California Screamin’ but it sure is fun. Bear the long lines — get a Fast Pass if you can — pop on the 3D glasses, and be prepared to ride through a virtual video game where you challenge your partner to see who can rack up the most points. It’s way better than any other shooting ride like those of Disney yore so don’t dismiss it. You’ll want to get in line again.
Highlight Three: Boudin
If you haven’t been lucky enough to spend a weekend in San Francisco, your luck just returned. Boudin, the famed Bay Area bakery, set up a walk-up shop on Paradise Pier. You’ll spend an arm and a leg on chowder in a bread bowl, but it will fill you up and put a smile on your face. The sourdough is to die for.
Highlight Four: World of Color
Sacrifice your Fast Pass — you may have to get it as soon as your first hour in the park — for a seat at the World of Color, an amazing water and light show that blow aways Fantasmic! or any other Disney show you’ve seen before. I took video, but I don’t even want to post it because I’d rather not ruin the magical sights and sounds that surround this show. Even with a Fast Pass, you may want to show up an hour early to secure your spot in line. Travel books and blogs argue about which spot is the best for viewing (don’t get too close, don’t sit too far) so try to scope out the sight before night falls. But most importantly, just show up.