Balderramas in California 2024: Day 3 – Disney California Adventure

Despite never going to California Adventure before, I intentionally didn’t set any major expectations and thus wasn’t heartbroken when the girls chose to sleep in. We weren’t up and about until 9 am, and after showering and breakfast in our room, it was close to 11 am before we got to the park.

The first thing we did was try to ride the Monsters Inc. Ride, but it broke down while we were in line. We ventured towards the Grizzly River Run, which was on the girl’s list of rides. The wait was short, and the girls loved the water ride, going down the steep slides and getting soaked. Clara even suggested packing a change of clothes in the backpack, and in hindsight, it would have been a great idea as she was soaked. Despite this being the first ride they took, they both proclaimed this as their favorite California Adventure ride.

A cool display in the Grizzly River Run queue

We then chased the following shortest line in The Little Mermaid ride (5 minutes!) and loved watching scenes from the movie.

At this point, it was the early afternoon, and we were hungry enough to stop and grab some pizza and pasta on the Boardwalk area nearby. We saw that the Monsters Inc. ride was operational again, with a shorter wait than before. After standing in the hot sun, we rode the “taxi cab” through scenes from the Monsters Inc. movie and were pretty underwhelmed. I think the length of the wait tainted our perception of the ride, given that the Little Mermaid was a similar concept.

We then went to the Avengers Campus to see how long the wait for the Guardians of the Galaxy Tower Ride would be. Mariana ran into Ms. Marvel and discussed her desired superpower (super strength). We got right into the Guardians ride right when they went from 65 minutes to a 90-minute wait. At this point: in for a penny, in a for a pound.

Once inside, the queue had some excellent Guardian displays, including Cosmo and Ultron.

The Guardians ride replaced the Hollywood Tower ride, using a “runaway elevator” concept. Once we started to go up and down, Mariana immediately wanted to be on the ride. Sadly, we were past the point of no return, so she had no choice but to stay nestled in my arms and hang on. You can see her in the bottom right-hand corner of this picture.

After getting off the ride, Mariana would have been fine with just returning to the hotel for the rest of the day. However, we did coax back into the park experience, with a bit of help from meeting Iron Man. He commented on my “Emotional Support Animal” shirt.

We watched a brief Dr. Strange magic show, and both girls gave great suggestions on who he needed to summon to help us out. Clara ended up guessing it correctly with “Captain Marvel.” We got some ice cream and then brought back to riding with Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, which was a variation of the teacups.

We essentially had our fill of California Adventure. Still, both girls wanted to give Grizzly River Run another try, with Mariana sitting on the outside this time so she could get wet. The line was a little longer but not unbearable. On our ride were two older men who primarily spoke Spanish, and the girls loved listening to this old bearded man screaming, “No! No! No!” While approaching the drops.

With one last ride in them, the girls asked to ride Goofy’s Flight School, which was a mini version of Space Mountain, but in broad daylight. The ride was entertaining but solidified our desire to be done for the day and get dinner.

We walked to Downtown Disney and had dinner at the Jazz Kitchen, where the girls enjoyed burgers, jazz music, and beignets, showing off their powdered sugar mustaches.

At this point, the night got very late, and we returned to the hotel, but not before briefly shopping at the World of Disney and seeing some of the Pride displays and fountains in Downtown Disney. We ended up getting into the hotel before 10 pm and went straight to bed, with the intention of getting up in time for rope drop the following day at Disneyland Park.

Check out some more pictures below!