Is Disney California Adventure Park Worth It?

Lightning McQueen

Last weekend I used the second of my three day, one park per day SoCal Resident Ticket. To mix things up, I visited California Adventure. I had three goals. One, have a fun relaxing day in the sun with my family. Two, see if going to California Adventure was worth the price of admission. Finally, figure out if I will be using my last day on Disneyland or California Adventure.

Correction, 29% Off

Last time when I asked if the SoCal Resident Ticket was worth it I mistakenly calculated that I was saving a whopping 42%. Under further review, a regular priced 3-Day 1-Park Per Day Ticket with Magic Morning goes for $225. Using this new figure against the SoCal Resident Ticket price of $159, I actually saved 29%. Not as much as I thought, but still, nothing to sneeze at.

Spectacular Shows

We started things off with Disney Junior – Live on Stage! A very energetic host sang and danced with puppets of our favorite Disney characters. Each segment had a life lesson for the kids. Although Baby Buck is too young to understand, seeing him move his hands to the beat and beaming his goofy grin was priceless.

Aladdin Musical Spectacular

Next up, our original showing of Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular was delayed due to technical difficulties. Thankfully we caught the second show and it was worth the wait. Just like the movie, the Genie stole the show with his over the top antics. Kudos to the writers for keeping the jokes fresh as the Genie poked fun at Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. Finally, superb performances by Aladdin and Jasmine as they effortlessly belted out all the classic songs from the soundtrack. I’m still flying on my magic carpet ride from all the heart warming scenes. This is a must see!

Turtle Talk with Crush

We cooled off in the animation studio in Hollywood Land and were treated to a combination of Imagineering and impromptu comedy. Crush our favorite turtle from Finding Nemo swims around on screen telling us about himself. Things get really fun when he selects people in the audience and fields their questions. Crush with his surfer quick wit had us rolling on the floor laughing. This was a pleasant surprise.

A Bug’s Land

We mixed things up and jumped on some rides in Bug’s Land. Sadly, we were a little disappointed. Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train was fun, but the ride was too short. When we reached the exit, I looked at the rider next to me and we both chuckled, “That’s it?”
We then got spun around like a top on Francis’ Ladybug Boogie. Perhaps I’m getting older now, but the rotation speed was making me a little dizzy.

Flik's Flyers

I felt the same getting whipped around high above the ground in Flik’s Flyers. Thankfully Baby Buck did not cry, but he did not look amused either. He looked confused and seemed to wonder, “What’s going on? Why is everything spinning?

Pixar Play Parade

Crush Pixar Play Parade

After regaining our balance, we found a nice spot next to the Hyperion Theater to catch the Pixar Play Parade. It was great seeing my favorite Pixar characters. The dance numbers, color costumes, and eye popping floats had me on the edge of the curb. Baby Buck waved along to the music and high fived some of the dancers.

World of Color

World of Color

The finale of the evening was World of Color. California Adventure pulled out the stops with lights, pyrotechnics, music, and laser images of our favorite Disney movies. Special viewing areas using a Fast Pass got a closer look at the show and were warned they may get wet. We had a nice view right next to the Golden Zephyr and were close enough to feel the heat from the pyrotechnics.

Final Thoughts

We had another fun day in the sun so I easily met my first goal. Secondly, was California Adventure worth it? Nowadays I have a weakness for live shows. The combination of Disney Junior, Aladdin, Turtle Talk with Crush, the Pixar Play Parade, and World of Color was definitely worth the price of admission.

BBQ Pork at Flo's V8 Cafe

Although I didn’t fully enjoy the rides, I was surprised by a delicious Coke BBQ Pork Loin dinner at Flo’s V8 Cafe in Cars Land. The corn medley was zesty and I really tasted Coke in the barbecue sauce! We did get on Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi’s Flying Tires, but just like Bug’s Land, more spinning and getting jostled.

Paradise Pier

Finally, did I prefer Disneyland or California Adventure? California Adventure should really be renamed Pixar Land. Sadly I am not up to speed with all my Pixar movies so my association with the characters isn’t as strong as Disney. I enjoyed Disney’s themed rides over California Adventure’s spinning rides. The Little Mermaid ride near Paradise Pier was fun, but then I realized this was the only themed ride where you are whisked into fantasy like the ones found across the street. It looks like I will be using my third day in Disneyland.

Which do you prefer? Disneyland or California Adventure?

For more information on Disney California Adventure, click on today.

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6 Responses

  1. Arlee Bird says:

    I went to CA Adventure shortly after it opened. The special deal they had back then was cheaper than it is now.

    I enjoyed this park and it’s better now since they’ve added so much more. Hard to say which of the two CA parks are best, but my favorite Disney experience was Epcot in Florida.

    They’re all hard to beat in fun. But they’re expensive and I don’t like the lines.

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Wow you were part of history Lee! I visited Epcot in Florida and hit a bunch of parks in a matter of days. That was a little grueling as we hit four parks in four days, non-stop. I agree that lines aren’t fun and things are a bit pricey, but I can offset it because of new memories with the family.

  2. Woody’s Roundup is awesome and it was the highlight of my nephew’s trip with us. Also, Cars Land is really cool at night time when everything is lit up. If you have to choose one though, I would have to give the nod to Disneyland.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      I missed Woody’s Roundup and I agree Cars Land was amazing at night. There were lines of people taking pictures of the scenic backdrop. Thanks for sharing Carlos!

  3. Untemplater says:

    Looks like a fun day! I can’t ride amusement park rides much anymore. I used to be able to get on the craziest of roller coasters, but I get way too dizzy now with headaches. I used to think my parents were no fun, but now I can empathize that rides totally aren’t as much fun as we get older!

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