What’s a great way to spend a birthday? Go to Disneyland!
What makes a Disneyland birthday even better? Disneyland at Christmas!
My niece is turning sixteen on her next birthday, and instead of a big shindig she decided she wanted to celebrate with a trip to Disneyland, and I was lucky enough to garner an invitation to join. So off we went on a girls’ trip with my niece Avery, her mom Jennifer, and me.
Our trip started out with us meeting at the airport at 5:00am. Listen, if you don’t have an aunt that will willing pick you up at 4:30 in the morning on a Wednesday to drive you 40 minutes to the airport, I highly suggest getting one. They’re the best.
We arrived to LAX and caught the shuttle to our hotel, luckily the hotel had our room ready and we got to check in early. We dropped of our bags, refreshed and headed to California Adventure. Before the trip Avery, knowing that I don’t really care for Small World, made a deal with me. She said that she would go on my favorite ride, Guardians of the Galaxy, if I would go on Small World. Gotta say, I definitely got the better side of that agreement! Or maybe she did, because after making Guardians our first ride Avery discovered that she loves it! And why wouldn’t she? It’s a great ride!
From there were off to lunch at Pacific Wharf. I love this salad! It’s something I have to get every time I’m in California Adventure. You should try it. In fact, plan a trip just so you can have this salad, and then enjoy some rides since you’re there anyway.
After that we went on the Little Mermaid ride, Avery said that going on a princess ride made her really feel like she was at Disney. Its always a cute ride with a quick line, and King Triton still has the best eye brows in the business. Next, we tackled another scary ride, The Incredicoaster. This is the re-themed California Screamin’ roller coaster. Avery and I ventured onto this one alone and got to sit in the very front seats. That was incredible!
We were on our way to Soarin’ when we got sidetracked by Grizzly River Run. It was a little cold so only had a five-minute wait and I, being the coolest of aunts, had gotten us all ponchos. After riding once, much to our dripping delight the ride runners asked if we wanted to go again. Jenn and I were down, but Avery took some convincing. And that convincing came in the form of a fast pass to any ride in California Adventure!
We used our newly earned Fass Passes to skip the 90-minute wait for Soarin’ and get swept up in the ride. My favorite part is flying over Iguazu Falls in Argentina; it’s hard to believe a place that amazing actually exists in our world. It takes my breath away every time.
After that we made our way back to Cars Land so that we could be there for sunset when they light it up. And boy was it lit, son! (Sorry about that.) But really its something not to be missed, especially at Christmas when Christmas lights come on along with the neon lights. This may be controversial, but Cars Land is the cutest and best themed lands of all the lands. It really does feel like you’re on the set of the movie.
We were able to get a return time for Radiator Springs Racers (thank you gimpy ankle) which gave us time to enjoy dinner at Flo’s V8 diner. I hadn’t eaten there before, but it was super delicious. They may just have the best French fries of pretty much anywhere, and I love a good fry!
Radiator Springs Racers is seriously a great ride, it’s cute, majestic, and exciting all in one. An amazing ride all around! Plus, our car won the race, which only makes it better.
We had time for one more big ride before the park closed, and Avery chose what is obviously her new favorite ride… Guardians of the Galaxy, because its awesome! I love how much yelling general jovialness that people have while on this ride. Yelling, laughing, music and a talking racoon. Its perfect.
We were making our way to the gate when we realized we could get one more, smaller ride in, making Monsters Inc our ninth and final ride of the night. A very successful day!