A couple weeks before I arrived in LA, my mom texted me to let me know she’d gotten me a 3-day park hopper pass to Disneyland. Best mom ever! These 2.5 weeks have gone by so fast, though, and I only got the opportunity to go twice instead of thrice. Bummer, I know. But I was so happy to be back at Disneyland, walking around in the sunshine, and checking out some new things around the park. As you may remember, I’ve always been a huge Disneyland nerd, so I love to see the parks’ progress. WARNING: THIS POST IS ABOUT TO GET NERDY Y’ALL

We went to California Adventure first:

I really like the new turnstiles at California Adventure! They’re so clean and pretty and art deco-esque. I’m super excited for the new 20′s-style plaza that’ll be opening sometime this year – the old Sunshine Plaza whatever never really made any sense, and didn’t really feel like a central hub to the rest of the park. I’m still somewhat confused as to how to get to certain places at California Adventure, whereas Disneyland, with its hub-and-spoke design, is super easy to navigate. I think bringing it all together with the story of how Walt Disney came to Hollywood and made his mark is a really good idea. I didn’t get a picture of it, but the replica Carthay Circle Theatre they’ve built is really gorgeous and looks super authentic.

I just dug this gothy girl’s style.

I finally got to check out the new Little Mermaid ride! The building it’s housed in is really cute and has a lot of lovely details. I thought the ride was really well done – the “Under the Sea” segment was a real standout, and had a lot of great detail and energy. Everything felt really beautiful and lush and fun…and then suddenly it ended, skipping everything between Ariel and Eric’s first kiss and their marriage. Uh, what? That’s the best part! I wanted to see Ursula get super evil and huge and get killed and whatever. It felt like a weird inversion of the super scary Fantasyland rides where it’s all just the scary, creepy parts and none of the parts that make you feel happy or, like, human. Oh well.

The animation building is a must-see for my family and I. We don’t even like to do the attractions there or anything – we just like watching the beautiful montages of scenes from Disney’s best-loved movies. It never fails to bring a little tear to my eye. When we were going in I saw a kid wearing the same Pinkerton t-shirt I got when we saw Weezer play all of Pinkerton live. We saw him again later at Disneyland, and I was like “HAY THERE’S THE PINKERTON GUY!” Unfortunately, I think he heard me, because as he walked by he muttered something about how it was a good show. This…this is my life.

Some other cute things at California Adventure that I didn’t get pictures of: Went on Goofy’s Flight School, which was exactly like Mulholland Madness but with a new paint job. Slightly disappointing. However, I noticed that the whole food court area to the left of the ride has been completely redone, and it’s gorgeous! It has the vibe of Main Street and is just really lovely. Also, apparently Carsland is opening in June. My sister and I took a peek at it over the wall, and it actually looks really awesome! They’ve recreated the little main strip from Cars and it looks adorable. The canyons and everything look lovely as well. Strange, considering the inspiration is a really mediocre movie!

And on to Disneyland!


“One day, Mickey, this will all be yours.”

Sarah, being dumb as usual. Oh – we checked out the Duffy store at California Adventure; I’d never seen it before. Pretty cute!

Me in thirty years.

There’s a new cafe called the Jolly Holiday where the Plaza Pavillion used to be. It’s really cute, and I know I keep saying stuff like this, but there are so many cute details (like the penguin windows)! To me, the beauty of Disneyland is in the details. Sure, the rides and stuff are fun, but it wouldn’t be such an immersive experience if they didn’t put so much effort into making everything feel real. And that reality comes from the details. I got a tomato soup and a fancy Rice Crispies treat. My friend got a grilled cheese sandwich with her tomato soup – I have to try that the next time.

There’s not much else to report. Many of the rides were closed, undergoing maintenance or shedding their holiday garb. It was really nice going to Disneyland again and feeling a little bit of that magic. I know, CHEESY, BARF. I leave you with Sleeping Beauty’s castle, twinkling in the night.

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