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I went to California in April for the first time. None of us knew what to expect or how to pack. I’m here to share with you my experience. The first two days were very hot, however, plan to pack a couple of pants and a hoodie/jacket because it would be cold in the morning, warm in the afternoon, and sometimes we’d need our jackets again once the sun went down. One day we wore them most of the day. The 60’s sometimes felt more like in the 50’s. It was very strange and we definitely weren’t expecting it to be as chilly as it was. So in conclusion, plan to pack shorts and a couple pairs of pants.

We went to Disneyland, California Adventures, Hollywood Studios, and a California tour (the Anaheim Tour Company), which I will get more into later. I’m going to pinpoint some of my favorite things we did.

For starters I’d like to say that there are many hotels right across the street from Disneyland and California Adventure, but our stay at Camelot Suites was great! It was very clean and spacious. We were so close to the parks which was nice. There were many shops and restaurants that were within walking distance. We mainly went to the McDonalds and Panera next to our hotel because it was something fast and decently priced to eat for breakfast and dinner. I’m not much of a McDonald's person myself, but their food was really good. I couldn’t believe I was actually craving it throughout the week.


  • Plaza Inn (highly recommend! You do need a reservation. The food was phenomenal, and it also had Mickey waffles (anyone who’s been to Disney World understands the mickey waffle love). It also was the only character meal we could find (Tigger, Pooh, Chip & Dale, Max (from a Goofy Movie), Minnie, and Pluto)

  • Jungle Cruise (fun little ride, and our ‘tour guide’ was really funny)

  • Pirates of the Caribbean (if you like the movie, you’ll love the ride)

  • Cafe Orleans (highly recommend)

  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland are both very cute rides

  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (cute, but fun ride. You get to pretend like you’re driving a car)

  • It’s a small world (this had a lot of the ‘classic’ disney characters in it, which I thought was really cool)

  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (it’s a claustrophobic ride, but if that doesn't bother you, I’d recommend. I’ve never been on a ride like this before. It was very cool and cute)

  • Space Mountain (I feel like that’s a given)

  • My favorite part of going to Disney is getting to see the firework show over the castle. Would highly recommend, however, I would arrive at least an hour, if not an hour and a half, before the show to get a good spot. Also make sure to ask multiple employees where you can and can’t sit.

California Adventure

  • Monsters Inc Mike & Sulley to the Rescue (cute, fun ride)

  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree (it’s not a must but it was a lot of fun, and he sings the whole time. Who doesn’t love listening to Mater’s voice)

  • Flo’s V8 Cafe (highly recommend)

  • Radiator Springs Racers (recommend. It usually has a long wait, but worth it)

  • Be on the lookout in Radiator Springs for Lightning McQueen and Mater, meaning they’re driving the streets, and they park at ‘The Cozy Cone Motel’ where you can take pictures with them

  • Soarin’ Around the World (recommend, it's pretty neat)

  • Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop (speaks for itself, but you’ve got to try the ice cream! So good! However, it’s a bit pricey because it’s huge so certain items you may want to split with someone)

  • Incredicoaster (so fun! Highly recommend)

  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure (one of my favorite Disney rides and the Little Mermaid isn’t even my favorite Disney movie (although it is a good one)

  • Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta (I love pizza and pasta so I’m, of course, going to recommend this. I got a cheese pizza and spaghetti (I know, weird combo) and they were both delicious

  • World of Color show (highly recommend, but again, arrive early and also confirm where you can and can’t sit)

  • If you have extra time, check out radiator springs at night while it’s lit up. It looks awesome

Universal Studios

  • Secret Life of Pets ride (too cute. Highly recommend)

  • Super Mario Land and Harry Potter World (even if you don’t play the games, dine there, or ride any rides, I’d still recommend experiencing the areas. Both were awesome!)

  • Studio Tour (highly recommend. It’s an hour long so make sure to use the bathroom beforehand)

  • Jurassic Park (not a huge jurassic park fan, but was still a fun water ride)

  • For those picture taking people, this is a place to get lots of neat pictures, which honestly is mainly what we did.

The California tour was a shuttle that picked us up from our hotel and took us around parts of Cali; seeing some celebrities' houses (even though many of them were covered up by gates and trees, which I completely understand), Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills/parts of LA, Hollywood (honestly wouldn’t recommend. It was the thing I disliked most out of the whole trip), Carney’s Train station for lunch (very good), and ended at the Warner Brothers Studio tour (AMAZING!!!! Probably my favorite thing we did the entire trip. Highly recommend it!)

We did more than all of this, but these were just a few of my favorites. Also, when you go to the parks, always be on the lookout for characters. They don’t show a lot of them on the app, but there were a lot of characters we saw that felt like a once in a blue moon or lifetime opportunity (meaning you probably wouldn’t see them at Disney World). This was a very fun trip and we’re all glad we got to experience it together. I hope this helped.

Thanks for talking with me!

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