Have you ever experienced Disney Parks as a Grown-Up? I recently visited CA Adventure & discovered 5 things that allow adults to love Disney as much as kids
I’ve been visiting Disneyland ever since I was a kid and like many of you, it continues to hold a magical place in my heart. Over the last ten years, I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing the Disney Parks through my son’s eyes which has elevated visiting these iconic theme parks to a whole new level. However, in all my years of visiting these theme parks, I have never had the chance to experience what insiders refer to as Adult Disney, and about week ago after attending the amazing Disney Social Media Moms Conference on the Road, I finally had the opportunity to enjoy a grown-up Disney day at California Adventure and it was incredible. I’m super excited to tell you all about it so that you can plan an adult visit of your own very soon.
First and foremost, what exactly does Adult Disney mean? Adult Disney is all about enjoying the more grown-up festivities, food and wine that the parks have to offer without your adorable children in tow. It definitely involves a more leisurely pace, without a specific agenda, other than enjoying cocktails and inspired eats whenever the mood strikes as well as making sure to schedule Fast Passes so that that your more relaxed vibe isn’t hindered by waiting on long lines.
In order to kick-off your Adult Disney visit on the right foot, I highly recommend spending ten bucks/day and getting the genius new Disney MaxPass.
Basically, when you buy your Disney Resort theme park tickets, you pay an additional $10 fee to add the Disney MaxPass feature to your ticket, which puts your FASTPASS access as well as PhotoPass access all at the touch of your fingers on your smartphone. Once you download the Disneyland App and register your MaxPass, you’ll be able to access unlimited picture downloads of all of your Disney PhotoPass photos captured during your entire day as well as being able to digitally reserve Disney FASTPASS selections too.
I found it so much more relaxing to secure my FASTPASS on my phone rather than having to trek all the way over to each attraction’s kiosk to physically get your pass. And if you are with a group of people, you can create FASTPASS Party too, so that you all get your passes together. Also, you don’t have to worry about misplacing your pass either because all that you have to do is scan your phone/code at the entrance when it’s your designated time (and it reminds you in the app!) to experience the attraction. Brilliant!
So where is the best place to begin a grown-up Disney day? I’m thinking the newest ride in the park, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Admittedly I was a huge fan of the Tower of Terror ride at CA Adventure and loved The Twilight Zone television series, so I was a little skeptical when Disney announced that that ride would be transforming into the Guardians of the Galaxy theme. Well all that I have to say is trust in Disney Magic because the NEW Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! ROCKS!!
This action packed attraction is the perfect way to kickoff your Adult Disney adventure because it is high-energy, filled with unpredictable lifts and drops, it incorporates state-of-the-art 3D animation and they blast fabulous classic rock and pop music from the ‘60s, ‘70s and early ‘80s throughout your adventure. The ride transports guests into an original storyline based on the Guardians of the Galaxy films and the best part is that there are multiple ride profiles so that you never know which adventure you’re gonna get next. This epic new ride is super fun, unpredictable and a fabulous refresh of the old ride and my friend and I wanted to ride it again and again! I LOVED it!
After you are all amped up on adrenaline from the Guardians of Galaxy ride, it’s the perfect time to enjoy the more relaxed grown-up vibe of the Alfresco Tasting Terrace. This somewhat hidden gem is located on the second floor of the Golden Vine Winery in California Adventure and it offers a birdseye view of Cars Land as well as a crowd free view of any parade that happens to be passing by.
This fabulous patio offers small plates of tasty and inspired Italian eats complemented by wines from the Disney Family of Wines. The wines offered here are comprised of vintners who have a personal connection to the Disney name, and as a discerning oenophile I was rather impressed by the top notch quality of the wines they have. To my pleasant surprise, they were definitely not lesser amusement park quality wines, but rather wines that would rival any chic eatery or bar in LA.
My girlfriend and I enjoyed the tasty Seasonal Flatbread Two Ways pictured below and we paired it with a refreshing glass of sparkling California wine. Honestly, the food and wine were so tasty and the atmosphere was so relaxed that I almost forgot that I was in the heart of one of the top amusement parks in the world. What a treat! Definitely stop by for a glass of wine or a wine flight the next time you visit CA Adventure. And if you are anxious to get to your next attraction, they will even give you a plastic wine cup to go so that you can continue to enjoy your wine throughout the park.
Now that you are relaxed and satiated, it’s time to embark on your flight for Soarin’ Around the World – hands down the best, most innovative attraction in all of the Disney Parks in my opinion!
Soarin’ Around the World (the new and next gen version of Soarin’ Over California) takes guests on an exhilarating virtual reality flight through spectacular global landscapes throughout the world. You get to visit places like the snowy peak of the Matterhorn, the Great Wall of China, the majestic buttes of Monument Valley, the Great Pyramids of Egypt and the spectacular Sydney Harbour.
What makes this attraction so incredible is that it totally transports you to another place with the use of multi-sensory special effects like high-definition, laser-projected footage and innovative motion-based ride technology which all together produces stunning sights, spectacular sounds and even subtle scents. You feel the wind race across your face during a breezy airborne flight giving you the sensation that you are actually flying over some of the most breathtaking wonders of the world. It is an absolutely incredible attraction and not to be missed on any visit to California Adventure.
Last but not least, as the sun sets on your incredibly relaxing and fun adult day at Disney California Adventure Park, it’s time for happy hour or a night cap at the retro chic Carthay Circle Lounge.
This swanky respite feels like a supper club as you sip on an artisanal handcrafted cocktail and unwind from your busy day on a comfy couch or leather chair. What I love most about this cocktail lounge is that they pay particular attention to the details like the elegant decor as well as having a variety of unique glassware and drink-specific ice.
When you are inside the Carthay Circle Lounge, you might find it hard to believe that you are nestled inside a bustling amusement park, but the atmosphere and relaxed pace really transport you to another place. The drinks are inspired and tasty and I love the diverse selection of multi-cultural inspired foodie bites offered here. This lounge is the perfect way to end your Adult Disney experience.
I hope you enjoyed my recommendations for an Adult Disney experience and if you have the chance to visit California Adventure without kids, I highly recommend it. Spending a grown-up day at Disney allows you to see the park in an exciting new and much more relaxed way and I hope that you enjoy it just as much as I did.
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Disclosure: I was invited to Disney California Adventure as part of the Disney Social Media Moms Conference on the Road. All opinions are my own.