If you’re just tuning in, you can find Part 1 of our girls’ weekend adventure here.
When I left off, Colorado Sister and I had just taken a ride on Tower of Terror. This is one of my favorite rides in California Adventure, so I was excited to share Colorado Sister’s first ride with her. She liked it…at least, I THINK she liked it…sort of. Afterwards she said her brain felt like it had been taken out of her head, shaken around some, and then put back in her head upside down. Not exactly the reaction I expected!
Originally, our plan was to head over to ride California Screamin’, but since Colorado Sister was out of sorts, we decided to head over to the Animation Building to do the Animation Academy and Turtle Talk with Crush. If you haven’t been in to the Animation Building, I highly recommend visiting. Colorado Dad and I “found” it when we were doing the D23 scavenger hunt a few years ago and always make it part of our trips. It’s a great (air-conditioned) break from the crowds.
Animation Academy gives you an opportunity to get a group drawing lesson from a Disney animator. Each session focuses on a different character, so if you really wanted to, you could stay there all day long and have quite a collection of character drawings! Our character was Tigger and we had fun trying to follow along.
After our animation break, it was almost time for our dinner reservation at Carthay Circle, so we decided to head over a little early to have a drink in the lounge. The bartenders at the Carthay Lounge are top notch and the drink menu offers some unique options that are a cut above the normal drink options you can find at Disney. The Lounge is an excellent place to have a snack, or even a late night dessert if you don’t want to eat a full meal. It was tough to decide, but in the end, Colorado Sister ordered a Sparkling Mare, which includes sparkling wine and elderflower liqueur, while I opted for the Double Pear Martini, made with pear Absolut and pear nectar. Both were delicious!
While we were waiting for our drinks, I went over to the host stand to check in for our reservation but let them know we were in the lounge and were in no real rush for a table. I was impressed with how well the waitstaff in the lounge communicated with the host stand – the hostess came to get us right after we received the check for our drinks.
The menu changes seasonally at Carthay, but there are a few menu staples we knew we wanted – the signature fried biscuits and the firecracker duck wings. We had been thinking about those fried biscuits all day and they did not disappoint. One of the servers kept trying to take the basket away, but we kept sending him away For our entrees, I chose the short rib ravioli and Colorado Sister had the mushroom risotto. Our dinner was fantastic, and of course, I was so busy eating that I only got one picture.
After we found a little bit more room for a couple bites of brownie sundae, we received our World of Color preferred viewing tickets and I headed out to the patio to take a few pictures. The Carthay patio is a great place to watch the fireworks over in Disneyland, but it was too early for that, so I took a few pictures of the crowds instead.
We rolled ourselves out of the restaurant and headed over to take a spin on Toy Story Mania. The wait time was supposedly 35 minutes, but by the time we got to the front of the line, it had been more like 50 minutes and we only had a few minutes to get back over to Paradise Pier for World of Color. The Carthay Circle preferred viewing section is right in the middle, so it’s a great spot, but by the time we got over there, it was pretty full, so we were in the back. World of Color is one of my favorite Disney shows, but it’s definitely tricky to photograph. I took about a zillion pictures but only got a couple decent ones. The best photo time, in my opinion, is AFTER the show. The fountains are low, but still on, and the crowds have moved on.
We were getting pretty tired at this point, but we hadn’t been over to Colorado Sister’s favorite part of the park yet, so we had to do a quick spin through Cars Land. The single rider line for Radiator Springs Racers was about 20 minutes long, so we decided to go for it. Unfortunately, our big meal, standing to watch World of Color, and then standing in a line that wasn’t moving as fast as we would have liked, did us in. After our ride around Radiator Springs we headed back to the hotel where our comfy beds were ready and waiting for us…Well, almost.
Remember how I said we didn’t get our room keys when we checked in? Yep, I forgot too. I had to visit the Front Desk, explain the situation to the very confused Cast Member (“you really should have gotten your keys”) and THEN we were able to fall into our comfy beds and drift off to sleep.
Next up: A day in Disneyland!