Disney California Adventure – Tips & Advice


California AdventureCalifornia Adventure is a Disney theme park located in Anaheim, California right next door to Disneyland. This theme park is dedicated to the history and culture of California. Scroll down to learn about wine tasting in this park, the best rides, park hours, a park map, and special tips!

Guests to the Anaheim Disney Resort can purchase a variety of different tickets. You could purchase a ticket that admits you into just California Adventures or splurge on a “hopper” ticket that lets you go back and forth into both parks. Multi-day tickets are available as well as a variety of season passes.

Click here for information on Disneyland.

Where to Go for a Glass of Wine

Unlike Disneyland, this park does allow alcohol. Enjoy wine, beer, and cocktails at these locations:

wine and grapes Golden Vine Winery
Choose from these options at the Golden Valley Winery:

  • Mendocino Terrace – Buy wine by the flight, glass or by the bottle with experts on hand to discuss the wine. Enjoy cheeses with the wine.
  • Sonoma Terrace = Enjoy meat and cheese trays along with craft beer and wine.
  • Alfresco Tasting Terrace – Order wine and appetizers.
  • Wine Country Trattoria – Italian restaurant serving both lunch and dinner.

Cathay Circle Restaurant
This is a full service restaurant with an award-winning chef. They are open for lunch or dinner and reservations are recommended. They also have a relaxing bar, which I highly recommend. It’s a nice break from the Disney crowds throughout the park. They sell wine by the glass as well as made-to-order cocktails.

Lamplight Lounge
The Lamplight Lounge offers waterfront views, pub cuisine. They serve wine, beer, and unique cocktails. This was formerly the Cove Bar and Ariel’s Grotto. They are famous for their lobster nachos, but the tri-tip sliders are not bad either.

Top Ten California Adventure Rides & Attractions

1. Guardian of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!
Guardian of the Galaxy replaced the former Tower of Terror ride. This is an accelerated drop ride. Based on the Marvel Comics characters, Rocket Raccoon seeks help to free the remaining Guardians of the Galaxy. The free falls are at a fast pace and unpredictable. Popular ride – arrive early and head to this ride first.

California Screaming2. California Screaming
This is the longest and fastest roller coaster at Disney’s California Resort. It whips around Paradise Pier for a 1 1/8 of a mile. The loop-de-loop that takes you upside-down is so quick, it’s over before you realize. (*Single Rider Line available.)

3. Grizzly River Run
Expect to get wet, soaking wet! This exciting rafting ride is a whitewater rapids ride. If you don’t want to get wet, bring a poncho or buy one in the shop nearby. (*Single Rider Line available.)

4. Soarin’ Around the World,
This simulated flight adventure takes you on a tour of the world. It simulates a hang glide ride over various locations on six different continents. This replaced Soarin’ Over California in 2016. Scents complementing some of the scenes are injected into the air streams. Be on the look out for rose blossoms in the Taj Mahal scene, the aroma of grass in the Africa scene, and a sea breeze scent in the South Pacific scene. (*Single Rider Line available.)

Mickey's Fun Wheel5. Mickey’s Fun Wheel
This towering ferris wheel features Mickey’s face. The 9 minute ride gives you two ride options. You board a gondola that holds 6 people to spin around the wheel. 8 of these gondola are stationery and not as adventurous as the 16 swinging gondolas which sway as they move. Select the gondola you want.

6. Toy Story Midway Mania!
This is a ride. You sit down but you actively participate as the car moves through various midway games. Grasp the spring-action shooter and aim at the targets as you progress through this exciting ride. Compete against others for the highest score!

7. It’s Tough to Be a Bug
Experience the world from a bug’s point of view. This 3D film and live show might be too scary for toddlers and young children. Visitors experience darkness, smells, pokes in the back, and unhappy bugs.

8. World of Color
Images of Disney characters come to life during this spectacular water, light, and music show. This 28 minute show takes place in front of Mickey’s Fun Wheel. You can pick up a FastPass to reserve a spot (standing-room only). Another option is to purchase a World of Color dining packs that gives you a voucher letting you be admitted into a preferred viewing area (still standing-room only). I prefer visiting the Cove Bar just before closing time and watching the show from the comfort of their seats. You can sip on wine or a enjoy a signature cocktail while munching on their delicious Lobster Nachos.

Radiator Springs Racers9. Radiator Springs Racers
Get a Fast Pass for this ride as soon as you can. They often run out of passes. This adventure ride has you racing another person for a fun adventure. Even more fun at night when the neon lights come on.

10. Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular
Enjoy this Broadway-style musical based on the movie, Aladdin. You’ll recognize many of the popular songs from the movie. Performed in the Hyperion Theater.

Tip: The Single Rider line can save you lots of time. This line is usually really short. When you get to the front of the line, they fill in missing seats with people who are in the single rider line. You can get in line with friends, but you’ll be separated as they direct you to the vacant seats.

California Adventure Hours

Mickey MouseHours for California Disney parks vary by the season. What is confusing to many people, is that the hours are not the same for Disneyland and California Adventures. For example, during the Summer both parks open at 8AM, but Disneyland closes at midnight while California Adventure closes earlier at 10 PM. During the Fall, Winter, and Spring both parks will close earlier. Be sure to check the current hours on their website before you leave home.

Click this link to view the calendar of park hours.

California Adventure Map

Print the California Adventure Map from the Disney Resort Website.
Click this link to view the map.

Have you been to Disney California Adventure? If you have, please make a comment below. We would love to hear about your day at California Adventure.


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