There is nothing like waking up in a hotel near the start of your holidays knowing all the great things that lie ahead for the rest of the holiday. You sit there dreaming of the day ahead, and then you wake up. You are still in the same hotel, and you are still on holidays, but unfortunately, you’ve got a rack of emails and phone calls to make to try and get booked in to the hospital. It certainly takes the gloss of things.
A long time ago, when this trip was in its infancy and in fact so was our child, we agreed to bring him to Carsland. It is part of the Disneyland California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California. The theme of the park is based on the Disney Pixar “Cars” film, and for almost any little boy is an absolute must. So, that finally explains our stop in Anaheim. I don’t like to admit this, but it actually explains our first plans to stop in LA on this trip too. Every other plan in California grew from there.
So after making a few failed attempts at trying to reach by phone someone in the hospital, i went down to get us breakfast. Being conveniently located at the Convention Centre it meant that the only realistic food option was of course Starbucks!! And Starbucks was busy, very busy. The queue extended out the door and about 30 people long past the exit. There was an Opticians Convention on, so there were lots of eagle eyed professionals in the queue, so no way of skipping past, not that i would have of course!! Eventually, we got our breakfast in, and were able to hit the ground running. The Shuttle bus stop for Disneyland is conveniently located pretty much outside the hotel and you can get return bus tickets to the park. It was 30 degrees out today, and for us pasty Irish, we may well have been going for a stroll on the sun!
Soon, the bus came along and we were on our way. We were only there for a day so had to very much prioritise our visit. There is no way you could comfortably do both parks that are there with a child in just one day. The admission price is quite expensive, i think about 250 dollars for the 3 of us for the day. Its actually works out cheaper per day the more days you book to visit.
Luckily the queues weren’t big for the park and we were soon making our way past the endless shops and cafes on a mission to find Carsland aka Radiator Springs from the film. When we got there i have to say we were all taken aback by just how realistic and impressive it was. The attention to detail is superb, with all the usual haunts in the town recreated with love. There is lots of different rides to get on (we got on none, either Harry wasn’t old enough, or was just too scared, so we’ll have to come back another time). Each of the different parts of the Carsland set, are themed from different shops in Radiator Springs such as Flos V8 Cafe, Sarges Army Surplus (souvenir shop), and the Cozy Cone (sells ice creams and drinks). Harry played the cute card and made sure that we knew that his foot was in a cast and that he needed lots of emotional and physical compensation for this. So it was really difficult to not buy him some stuff in the many shops dotted around the park. Sarges Army Surplus did well from our visit(s)! Surprisingly the prices for the toys weren’t super inflated, but actually quite comparable with home, if not cheaper for us.
The other parts of the park were so memorable, i can’t remember their names, apart from Grizzly Peak. It was a mock up of one of the forested state parks. But it was just a really pleasant surprise, it was shaded by lots of pine trees, and had mock up tree trunks you could walk through, climbing areas (great when you are trying to carry a child around it!!), slides, rope bridges, lookouts, geysers, rapids and all sort of other things. I think we had focussed so much on Carsland that we hadn’t expected or researched anything else in the park so this was a pleasant surprise for us.
We decided to rest at a kind of South American themed area of the park. After our lunch i decided to try and ring the hospital. Yay, lucky me, the fun never stops at Disney!! I found a public phone box, and as soon as I lifted the receiver to dial the number, a Brazilian songstress starts belting out some samba type music. So there i was in the middle of Disneyland with Brazilian music filling my ears, straining and making faces as if that would help me hear the person on the other end of the phone, while two kids were playing with the phone next to me. I reluctantly gave up and retreated defeated but a little lighter for all the coins I’d fed to the machine. It will have to be tomorrow now.
We spent the rest of the day looking around the park, and by late evening returned to Radiator Springs to see it all lit up for sunset and the night. It looked completely different, and would definitely recommend a visit both in the daylight and after dark. No, we didn’t buy Harry any more toys! We relaxed with a drink and watched some of the displays they put on, including bringing out some of the characters from the film. They are so lifelike!!
We left the park late and hopped on one of the last buses out, and found a really cool, cheap pizza place, and a small feeling of being on holiday began to grow.
Oh, and we did actually buy Harry more toys that evening!!