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Planning your first trip to Disneyland Resort can be a bit confusing. First, there is Disneyland Resort… this is the entire Disney owned property, including both parks and Downtown Disney as well as the resort hotels, etc. But then there is Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure Park. Many people are confused as to what is located where so in this part of our Disneyland 101 series, we are breaking down what is in California Adventure Park at Disneyland Resort.
Disney California Adventure (DCA) opened in 2001. We honeymooned in Disneyland and visited it in October of that year. Boy has it come a long way. (Seriously, back then it was not even a full day park.) Now I could easily spend a few days in DCA without heading over to Disneyland. With additions of Cars Land, Buena Vista Street, and so much more, DCA is a full fledged, multi-day theme park all on its own. But what is in California Adventure that makes it so special?
Today we will cover what is in California Adventure, including the basic layout of the park. If you are looking for more in-depth information on Disney California Adventure, don’t worry – I am currently working on a new guide for each land of each park.
What is in California Adventure? The Basics
Disney California Adventure consists of eight themed lands. Buena Vista Street, Cars Land, Grizzly Peak (which includes Grizzly Peak Airfield, formerly Condor Flats), Pacific Wharf, Pixar Pier, Paradise Gardens Park, “a bug’s land” (soon to be closing to make way for a super-hero themed land), and Hollywood Land. Each land has a distinct feel and theme.
Buena Vista Street
“a bug’s land”
Bug’s Land can be found between Hollywood Land (near Tower of Terror) and Cars Land, oh, and the back of Grizzly Peak. Bug’s Land is great for those with younger children. The highest height requirement is 36″ so most 3 year olds can go on every ride. (My son could not go on the 36″ limit ride). Rides include Flik’s Flyers (pictured above), Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train, Tuck and Roll’s Drive em Buggies (the one the Goof couldn’t ride), and more. There is also a puddle park/splash pad, bathrooms, and a 4D show- It’s Tough to be a Bug!
UPDATE: “a bug’s land” is closing September 4, 2018. The “it’s tough to be a bug” show has already closed. This area will be home to a new super-hero themed land opening in 2020
Paradise Gardens Park
I saved this land for last. Did you notice? When we returned home from our Disneyland vacation in 2007, the very next day there was a story in our local newspaper about a total re-do of Disney California Adventure that mentioned they would be adding a Cars Land. We were very excited for this. We personally found DCA lacking, and we couldn’t wait to see everything they had in store.Cars Land is easily a 1/2 day land, maybe even more. This land is amazing. You feel like you really are right there in Radiator Springs. There are three rides in Cars Land. Radiator Springs Racers, Luigi’s Rockin’ Roadsters and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree.
There are also several shops in Cars Land, but I absolutely LOVE the food there. You can grab a quick healthy snack at Fillmore’s Taste-In, Another bite at the Cozy Cone stands, or if you are hungry for a bit more, head over to Flo’s for a full meal. Grab a patio seat at Flo’s to look at the Radiator Springs Racers track and enjoy the great view.Be sure to visit Cars Land at night to get the full effect. When all the neon lights come on, it is amazing. Also, be sure to check out the traffic light. Every third blink really is slower.
I hope you found something to be excited about in Disney California Adventure. Next we will be taking a look at all the entertainment you can catch, the magical extras, and so much more.