Get Star-Struck in Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure

Have you ever wondered what it's like to drop 13 stories, only to rise right back up to the top? Do you want to learn how to draw your favorite Disney character? Do you want to meet the crew from Arendale, then watch the Mad Hatter crush it on stage? Hollywood Land in Disney California Adventure is the place to see and be seen at the Disneyland Resort. Here you can meet Disney's most popular sisters, Anna and Elsa along with their buddy Olaf. You can also have a conversation with Crush from Finding Nemo; where else can you talk to a turtle?? Little ones will love the Frozen-themed stage show in the Crown Jewel Theatre, or the interactive Disney Junior puppet show in the Disney Theater.

Pro Tip: Get your Fast Pass to meet Anna and Elsa upon entering the park, then walk over to meet Olaf across the street near the Crown Jewel Theatre.

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The Arendale sisters and Turtle Talk are inside my favorite indoor spaces, the Animation building. Here you can also learn how to draw different Disney characters inside the Animation Academy. It's also an amazing space to just sit, enjoy a cool drink (from Schmoozie's across the street!) and cool off while being surrounded by the wonder of animation. Exit through Off the Page to see Disney artists at work and drool over the incredible artwork.

Trust me: if you haven't been inside the Animation building before, take a few moments to step inside. I had no idea what I was missing for years!

Hollywood Land is also home to the thrill ride, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. If you are a fan of the original Twilight Zone TV series, you will appreciate the special setup video that plays prior to the ride. And some of you may remember the Disney movie, Tower of Terror, that further sets the premise for the ride (it was about as popular as The Haunted Mansion movie...). This ride isn't for the faint of heart, so make sure little ones are mature enough to handle the shock (which may not correlate to height!).

Another not-to-be-missed part of Hollywood Land is Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular. True to it's name, this musical adaptation of Aladdin is spectacular, featuring dancing, singing and ornate sets rivaling a Broadway show. Everyone I have taken to this show has loved it. And it's shorter than a normal musical, giving you just enough time to rest before your next adventure in the park. Check the Entertainment Schedule for daily show times.

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When night falls, the Mad T Party takes over Hollywood Land with an explosion of lights and live music. This awesome Alice in Wonderland-themed band plays rock songs from the 80's, 90's and today. There's something for everyone (although I noticed quite a few more adults rocking out than the tween crowd during the previous Frozen-themed party). Grab one of the themed drinks then head down the rabbit hole with Alice and crew.

Hollywood Land is packed with entertainment for all ages, which is different than the ride-focused Disneyland that we're all used to. Make sure to dedicate time to seeing the incredible shows within Hollywood Land during your next visit to Disney California Adventure!

Welcome to World of Color Wednesday! For those of you unfamiliar, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color was a broadcast television series that showcased the new technology of color television. Today, Disney California Adventure plays tribute to that part of Disney history with a spectacular nighttime entertainment show featuring jets of water, lights, lasers and of course music. My own way to pay tribute to the show is by creating a color board every week, inspired by a different land from Disney Parks or character from Disney films. Join me every Wednesday in celebrating the Wonderful World of Color!

Find Your Inner Child at "A Bug's Land"

Welcome to World of Color Wednesday! For those of you unfamiliar, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color was a broadcast television series that showcased the new technology of color television. Today, Disney California Adventure plays tribute to that part of Disney history with a spectacular nighttime entertainment show featuring jets of water, lights, lasers and of course music. My own way to pay tribute to the show is by creating a color board every week, inspired by a different land from Disney Parks or character from Disney films. Join me every Wednesday in celebrating the Wonderful World of Color!

"A Bug's Land"

Most people hear the name and think "Oh that's for kids", but true to Walt Disney's vision, this area is actually fun for the whole family. And it's one of my favorite places to escape the heat in the middle of a hot summer day!

From the underground (air conditioned!) 4D It's Tough to be a Bug! theater to the unpredictable fountains at Princess Dot Puddle Park, visiting A Bug's Land is one of the best ways to cool down in Disney California Adventure.

While you won't find a "thrill" ride in this area of the park, the attractions are wonderfully themed versions of classics that the whole family can enjoy. Francis' Ladybug Boogie is a spin on the Mad Tea Party ride in Disneyland (see what I did there...?). Flik's Flyers is similar to Dumbo, but with more capacity inside your choice of a raisin or animal cracker box. Tuck and Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies features bumper cars under a big circus tent (read: shade!!).

And last, but certainly not least, is Heimlich's Chew Chew Train. On a cool spring night, my husband and I decided to take a spin on Heimlich's train. We ended up laughing hysterically through the whole ride thanks to the commentary by Heimlich himself. Trust me, this ride is a great way to let your inner child out.

A Bugs Land

A Bug's Land is filled with wonderfully themed details, like giant pencils for posts, and light bugs for the overhead lights. The giant clovers throughout the land provide wonderful shade, and they glow at night! Make sure to take a stroll in the evening to hear the awesome bug sounds that increase after the sun goes down.

Pro Tip: There is only one four-leaf clover in A Bug's Land. Try to find it during your trip!

I hope this color board inspires you to spend some time in A Bug's Land in Disney California Adventure. It's a wonderfully charming land that certainly shouldn't be missed!

Celebrating at Wine Country in Disney California Adventure

Welcome to World of Color Wednesday! For those of you unfamiliar, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color was a broadcast television series that showcased the new technology of color television. Today, Disney California Adventure plays tribute to that part of Disney history with a spectacular nighttime entertainment show featuring jets of water, lights, lasers and of course music. My own way to pay tribute to the show is by creating a color board every week, inspired by a different land from Disney Parks or character from Disney films. Join me every Wednesday in celebrating the Wonderful World of Color! There's many hidden areas in the Disneyland Resort to escape the crowds and enjoy some quiet time. Wine Country in Disney California Adventure is one of those areas that you would probably walk right by without knowing the hidden gems inside.

There are several dining areas within Wine Country including:

  • Wine Country Trattoria The full service (otherwise known as table service) restaurant offering a fine dining twist on Italian classics
  • Sonoma Terrace Offering a wide selection of beers as well as cold cuts, cheese and pretzels
  • Mendocino Terrace A small area to people-watch with a glass of wine
  • Alfresco Tasting Terrace Several flights are available from wineries associated with Disney Mood board color inspiration

My husband and I celebrated our 2 Year Wedding Anniversary at the Alfresco Tasting Terrace, and it was perfect! We each got the Tour of Napa Valley wine flights, which includes three small glasses from different wineries. For a light dinner, we ordered the Beef Tenderloin Sliders, Risotto Bites and Rustic Bruschetta. Everything was fantastic! For a great overview of the Alfresco Tasting Terrace, check out this review by a fellow Disney Etsy seller Imaginear!

Our service noticed our Anniversary buttons and surprised us with a free Mickey-shaped chocolate truffle dessert! It's those little things that remind me why my loyalty to Disney is so strong.

Wine Country Trattoria in Disney California AdventureTo complete our evening, we (almost) completed the Looking for Mickey Quest, then ended the night with a stroll along the Paradise Pier boardwalk (where I crushed him at the Games of the Boardwalk and won a little horse from Toy Story). It was the most special evening, and the perfect way to celebrate our anniversary!

The next time you need to relax after a long day, look no further than Wine Country in Disney California Adventure for a little "grown-up" relief!