California Adventure Mini Guide

Hey friends! sorry for the silence over here for the last week…I just don’t know where the days went! Anyway, today I’m sharing my photos from California Adventure along with a mini guide! I don’t frequent CA adventure as often as disneyland, so that’s why it’s just going to be a mini guide. I’m not going to map your day out like i did for disneyland but i do have some helpful tips for you (plus where to eat)! here we go!

Quick tip: Like I said in my Disneyland post, the Disney photographers will use your own camera if you ask them. Just make sure if you’re using a dslr to have your settings set the way you want because they won’t change them for you. They won’t even look to see if the picture is over or under exposed, and i always hate to ask for someone to re-take the picture!

  ^^^we always love stopping for a minute to enjoy the street performers!  Quick tip: wherever i go, i like to bring as little as i need to. i usually only bring my license, credit card, keys, phone, and chapstick. i’m the same for disneyland! this is the purse i always bring with me. it’s not the cutest or most fashionable but it’s small and stays out of the way. plus there are the perfect pockets to hold everything i need! unless you have children, i suggest you do the same! i also bring along a wireless charger for my phone just in case, my go-to oils, and i brought a ton of medicine for riley on this trip :). i’m even able to fit an extra camera lens in there.
 ^^^it seemed like there were a lot more characters roaming around California adventure than there are at disneyland. we saw sully coming down the street in hollywood so i started snapping pictures until he came right up to me like this! it was pretty funny :) oh and if you ever give mickey anything minnie, he will love it and you! (see picture below)

what you need to know about radiator springs racers: it has the longest wait time in the whole park and fast passes go fast. you have three options:

  1. get to the park before opening time so you can get a fast pass. if you’re too late, they’ll either be gone or the return time will be late which means you can’t get fast passes for the whole day until you’ve used that one.
  2. ride single rider. the wait time for this varies but it’s always better than stand-by! you might even get lucky and be put in the same car as part of your group! single rider makes it easy to do this ride multiple times in the day!
  3. you can always wait in the standby line but i wouldn’t suggest doing it if it’s over 45 minutes. that’s just crazy!

what we did is we got a fast pass then went again at night doing single rider. it’s a whole other experience at night! me and riley got to sit next to each other but our car hit a “bump” in the road and shut down the whole ride! we were on the inside part and didn’t know what was going on until they turned the lights on (my worst nightmare!) and we had to walk of the ride! luckily it didn’t take them too long to fix it, and we got to go on the next car from the beginning of the ride :)

What to eat:

  • Any of the treats at the Cozy Cone. They have churros, flavored popcorn, soft serve, chili, and fun drinks. We had the cheddar garlic pretzel twist and red’s apple freeze (which we’re pretty sure was the same as lefou’s brew from gaston’s tavern in the magic kingdom). plus the cozy cone is so dang cute–even the flowers are orange!
  • get some ice cream sundaes (and lots more) at ghiradelli’s. riley got his favorite frozen hot chocolate float.
  • get a table at the cove bar and order the lobster nachos (i can’t stop thinking about them!) and the fajita quesadilla rolls.
  • churros are always a given
  • the ever popular corn dogs. get them at corn dog castle right next to goofy’s sky school
  • have a boudin’s bread bowl with clam chowder at pacific warf cafe–yep that’s the san francisco boudin!


The pixar play parade was actually pretty fun! plus we got a front row spot somehow! for some reason, during the whole parade we kept saying to each other “i want to be that person!” “i want to be the person in the caterpillar!” “i want to do that!”. it all started when my sister told me i should be one of the dancers in the parade haha! that would be a sweet gig! it was worth watching and was nice to sit for a few minutes!

  Where to take a break:

visit animation academy in hollywood to learn how to draw like a disney artist! the sorcerer’s workshop and turtle talk with crush is also a lot of fun! there is also an anna & elsa thing in there if you’re into that :)


California Adventure really comes alive at night! if you’re like me, you’ll want to go around the entire park again when all the lights come on. cars land, paradise pier, bugs land, and hollywood are a totally different atmosphere and you won’t want to miss the magic!

also, a note about world of color. sadly, it wasn’t running when we went (just my luck!) but hopefully it will be next time we go! anyway, there are two showtimes. you have to get a fast pass for it, but it’s not hard to get one. i suggest doing the last show so you can do more rides while everyone is at the first show. plus, the last show ends after the park closes which means you have more time for rides beforehand!




^^^i was super excited to get the otter (my favorite animal!) and brianna was stoked for her sea horse :) my mom and riley were happy to sit on the bench in front of us even though they got in trouble for turning around to take pictures of us? haha.

   ^^^for a non-holiday weekday, it was super busy at the park which was disappointing but what wasn’t disappointing was that we were able to easily do all of the big rides, plus some! we even got two fast passes for screamin’ in a row! sweet! the wait times were never outrageous (other than cars) for any of the rides. even without fast passes, it would be easy to get it all in!

There you have it! i loved being at the park with my mom, sister, and riley. it’s been a while since my mom and riley were there with me! i hope this mini-guide will help you have a fun and stress-free day at california adveture! let me know if you have any questions or suggestions! xo