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Thursday, December 3, 2020

getting a little california adventure

downtown disney has been open for a good amount of time now, with no reopening date in sight anytime soon for the rest of the disneyland resort.  i totally get it and agree that it's not the right time to open amusement parks. still, we really miss our disney visits.  it's been a really long time, and you know disneyland is our happy place.

so when they announced that buena vista street in california adventure was going to be open for dining and shopping - sort of an extension of downtown disney - i knew we'd make our way over there as soon as it made sense.  of course, on opening day the reports were just as crazy as we'd expected, with people camped out and in line for hours and hours to enter.  everyone's missed the disney magic, so i wondered how long it would be before we headed out for a dose of it ourselves.

when one of my friends posted that she'd made a dining reservation at one of the downtown disney restaurants and managed to spend some time inside california adventure with minimal wait, i decided to follow her lead.  i hopped onto the app and found a dinner reservation for the day before thanksgiving, and   hoped that it wouldn't be too crazy.

we managed to pull into the simba parking lot with almost an hour to kill before our reservation time.  surprisingly, the area was fairly empty and we were really excited to find that we didn't even have to sign up for the virtual queue to enter buena vista street.  when we made our way over there to check it out, people were just walking right in with zero wait.  woohoo!

the old lady and her special friend had gone back to the car for something they'd forgotten, so the bean and i just kind of strolled along at a leisurely pace and snapped pictures here and there.

we still had about half an hour before our reservation, but it looked pretty quiet at the restaurant and so we got ourselves seated early.  we started things off with the burrata appetizer, which was so delicious we devoured it almost as soon as it was served.

after a little confusion about how big the pizzas were, we ordered a family size four cheese with prosciutto to share and were pretty startled when it arrived and the damn thing was about a mile long.  it was super delicious, and we ended up boxing up half of it to take home.

we were all stuffed silly, so it was a good time to get up and walk it off.  it hadn't gotten any more crowded and we were still able to walk right into california adventure.

it was like coming home, for real.  we all just soaked it all in and gazed happily at the sights that we've seen hundreds of times and missed so much over the last nine months.

we knew that our access to the park was pretty limited, so we walked through to see how far we could get.  as we headed towards cars land, we noticed all of the tables and chairs that had been set up so that people could sit and enjoy the snacks that were available for purchase.

end of the line.

heading back towards soarin', we came across the churro cart that was open for business - with quite a long line of folks waiting to pick up a beloved treat.

we strolled through this area as well, to see how far we could get.  again - not too far.

it was a pretty chilly evening, so we mobile ordered some hot cocoa from award weiners in the hollywood studios area.

this is also where the kids indulged my request for a group photo.

we were hoping to pick up a treat to take home, so we'd joined the virtual queue for trolley treats, the candy shop on buena vista street.  when we got the text that told us we could get in line, we found that it was still a pretty long wait to enter the store.  no biggie.  we just chatted and peoplewatched and checked out the window displays along the way.

it was the last stop of the night, and by the time we got outta there it was closing time.  it was quite a different way to "shut down the parks," but whatever.  we'd gotten our fill of what we were able to see, and it had been a really lovely evening.  it'll have to do for now, until we can go back for real.

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