How to Make Disney California Adventure a Two-Day Park

When you go on vacation, you probably want to relax. You don’t want the stress of having to do things within a short amount of time. By scheduling two days at Disney California Adventure, you’ll be giving yourself more than enough time to get all of the attractions in during your trip. You could likely do all of the attractions in one day without much of a push, but if you get sick for some reason, the extra day gives you the opportunity to go back to your hotel room to rest up and recover your strength. You don’t have to worry about pushing through tiredness or other issues. Still, by midmorning of the second day, you might be wondering what there is left to do. If you don’t want to pay for a park hopper, here are ways to fill out the rest of your day.

A Typical One-Day California Adventure

You should always start your morning with a good breakfast. If you eat outside the park, don’t settle for one of those “Breakfast Included” meals from your hotel. Grab something filling and relatively healthy from a nearby restaurant. Otherwise, you can start in Disney California Adventure with a decent meal from Pym Test Kitchen. The breakfast food from the Shawarma Palace court was also pretty good. The only other choices, at least in September 2022, was the Starbucks Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café on Buena Vista Street and the cappuccino cart at the intersection of the Pacific Wharf and the Pixar Pier Bridge. (Rumor has it that the Corn Dog Palace also served an interesting breakfast item, but we didn’t make it to that side of the park to find out.)

Once you have a good breakfast on board, you should head to one of the E-ticket attractions. If you have Lightning Lane, I suggest hitting up the Guardians of the Galaxy there, and going to Radiator Springs Racers if your stomach can handle it. Standby wait times for this attraction can reach up to two hours or more, so be sure to have your sunscreen and water on board before you get into line. (If you’re one person or a group that doesn’t mind being split up, try the single rider line.) The Lightning Lane for Radiator Springs Racers cost extra, so while it would be good for my Disney stock value for you to purchase it, finding a lower wait time is likely better for you and your budget. Do not expect wait times to get lower throughout the day; they remain pretty high.

The next attractions you want to look at are Toy Story Midway Mania, which had a Lightning Lane available, and WEB Slingers, which had a pay lane available. Grab the Midway Mania Lightning Lane when it’s available, and head over to WEB Slingers. The wait their can get to be pretty long, but while we were there, it was between 40 and 60 minutes.

Soarin’ is the last attraction where the wait times can get to be horrendous. It has a Lightning Lane, so you’ll be able to get on board at least once. Along with Goofy’s Sky School, which also has Lightning Lane, the standby lines were about 45 minutes. Monster’s, Inc.: Mike and Sulley to the Rescue often have longer wait times of about 40 minutes.

After that, it’s really a matter of what you want to do and what’s available as far as attractions go. Finish off Cars Land with Mater’s Jamboree and Luigi’s Honkin’ Halloween, and take a stroll through Pixar Pier, and Paradise Gardens Park to catch up with Pix Pal-A-Round, Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind, and the Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. You could also squeeze in the barely themed Silly Symphony Swings and the unthemed, leftovers of Jumpin’ Jellyfish and Golden Zephyr. If getting wet is your thing, Grizzly River Run is usually less crowded during the cooler times of the day.

During our trip, attraction breakdowns were common. Radiator Springs Racers was shut down the first time we tried to go on it. The Incredicoaster was also closed when we decided to try to ride it. We ended up missing out on the Incredicoaster.

One more thing to include in your day is the World of Color. If you have the Disneyland app, you can join a virtual queue, but I always suggest heading over to Wine Country Trattoria and choosing something from their World of Color menu. You just need to make reservations ahead of time.

Midway Mania and WEB Slingers

Both Toy Story Midway Mania and WEB Slingers use your arms to make the attraction more enjoyable. They are far enough apart, that your first rides can be consecutive. However, after that, you may want to wait until your arms have recovered to go again. It’s an unexpected and fun workout. (Start getting those fast twitch arm muscles in shape before you go. I’d put a link here, but I don’t know anyone who is doing those types of workout routines, especially for Disney Park attractions. If you do, let me know.)

What to Do Day 2

We finished our first day with only the Incredicoaster and Radiator Springs Racers left to do, and we didn’t have a plan for our second day. However, there are a lot of things that we could have done to fill our day rather than wondering what we should do while wandering around.

Ride ‘Em Again

Obviously, a lot of the appeal of a second day is the ability to get on the E-ticket attractions again, especially if you have Lightning Lane access. WEB Slingers and Toy Story Midway Mania are big draws because of their playability. You can try to improve on your previous scores, you are part of the show, and there is something to be said for the endorphins that come from the extra fast twitch muscle use. Guardians of the Galaxy is geared to provide a different ride each time due to its randomness. During Halloween, you get the added bonus of having Monsters After Dark in addition to the BREAKOUT! Version. Radiator Springs Racers has two tracks: one you get a paint job, the other gives you new tires. Mater and Luigi offer different songs to ride to though you’re likely to hear all of them while waiting for your turn to experience the attraction. You won’t find this specific Ariel Undersea Adventure anywhere else in the U.S.; the Walt Disney World Version is slightly different. But what should you do while you’re on your way to riding these attractions again?

Pictures with Characters

Decide to make it a day with character(s). If you have Genie+, all of the photos you take with the Photopass people are yours! That makes standing in line for characters, so much the better. If you don’t have Genie+, cast members are usually happy to take photos with your camera. Or you can opt for selfies.

Characters can be found on Buena Vista Street, at Avengers Campus, and in other areas of the park. Those who have a Disney Visa can take advantage of a special, time-limited photo opportunity. (Don’t have a Disney Visa? You can apply for one here where you can earn up to a $300 Statement Credit after qualifying purchases, and I can get a bonus.  Learn more. https://www.referyourchasecard.com/200a/N8NY3U2R9A!)

Animation Academy

Anyone who says Disney never gives anything away for free has never visited the Animation Academy. When you visit the Academy, you get to learn how to draw a Disney character from a Disney artist. It’s a hands-on experience, so you get to practice what you are learning, and you get to keep the paper you drew on. Sometimes, the Disney artist will also give away their drawing. It’s free, and it’s something that only the most knowledgeable Disney guests take advantage of. If you don’t have any money left for souvenirs, this drawing makes for a good take home memory. Even if you think you can’t draw, you should give this activity a try.

Other Attractions

Mickey’s PhilharMagic and Disney Junior Dance Party are two ongoing attractions where you can sit and enjoy something indoors. Coco has a party with his family in the Paradise Gardens Park. Spider-Man leaps through the air in his product testing show. Doctor Strange uses the mystic arts to protect the Avengers Campus from an other-dimensional threat. During other times of the year, parades may also be offered. These pleasant, and in the case of Spider-Man, amazing, shows provide a pleasant diversion that will help you appreciate Disney California Adventure all the more.

The World of Color

If you’re going to Disney California Adventure for two days, make sure you see World of Color both of them. The first time, you get a sense of where to stand for the performance. The second time, you can get there early enough to get where you want to stand. Jenya and I did World of Color twice, and the first time we stood behind a stroller. By the time the show started, we had two tall men in front of us on the left side, and a man who put his child on his shoulders on the right side. No one can be faulted for their height or for wanting to give their child a better view of the show.

When we went the second time, we were there early enough to get in front of our viewing section for preferred dining. Being ale to see the whole show without having to look through people made such a huge difference. There were even portions of the show that I didn’t see in the first performance because they were blocked by the taller people in front of us.

Sage Penguin Chooses a Book

The whistle of the kettle rang through the house where Sage Penguin was getting ready to enjoy three of his favorite things: hot tea, pizza with anchovies and a new book to read. Not everyone likes anchovies, but Sage does because he is a penguin, and penguins like fish. Sage walked to the kettle and poured the water over the tea leaves he had put in his mug. The smell of pizza warming in the oven told him that his dinner was almost ready. Now, Sage just had to choose a book.

He went over to his bookshelf where he kept all his unread books and looked at the titles. There were classics, mysteries, fantasies, and science fiction There were stories about sisters and their relationships and how brothers got along. There were stories with older siblings and younger ones. There were stories about only children and their adventures. There stories about families, love, and joy. And of course, there were stories about penguins.

Sage Penguin looked at “There Are No Penguins in Alaska.” The pictures encouraged him to use his eyes to find the penguin. He could even color the pages, but that would be hard to do while eating pizza.

Then he looked at “Polly Penguin Wants to Fly.All penguins want to fly, he thought, most people, too. He decided to start the evening with Polly and see where her adventure would take him. If it was a good story, he would likely recommend it to Periwinkle Penguin.

The timer for the pizza went off, and Sage Penguin waddled to the oven. He pulled out the pizza, cut it into slices and put a couple of slices on his plate. Then he waddled to his dinner table, put the plate down next to the tea cup, and opened his book. This was going to be a great evening, he thought.

Sage Penguin is looking for a forever family. To adopt Sage you can head to our Etsy page or get Sage here. A portion of Sage’s adoption fees will go to help little penguins (and other birds) at the Royal Albatross Center in New Zealand.

Oliver Penguin Solves a Mystery

Oliver Penguin sat down at his dining room table, where he had placed a smattering of carrots, some cuts of celery, the saltiest of potato chips (They all talked like they had served on a merchant marine ship somewhere on the seven seas), a couple of flaps of pita bread, and some crispy, homemade tortilla chips that were so flaky, they couldn’t hold a job for longer than a couple of minutes. Still, he had the sneaky suspicion that something was missing from his amazing table.

The salt and pepper shaker sat in the center in all their crystal glory. The two brass candlesticks did their best imitation of gold and looked longingly at the porcelain plates they thought could help them earn a layer of karats or 24. The white, taper candles in the brass candlesticks were lit, they were higher than anything else on the table. A couple of purple lilacs, Oliver thought of them as lilac lilacs, but they were really purple, floated in two bowls of clear, diamond cut, glass bowls that were frosted in such a way, cakes, if there had been any, would have been jealous. The silverware gleamed with reflected candlelight. Yet, Oliver Penguin still thought there was something missing. What could it be?

He took inventory again: carrots, celery, cucumbers (He had forgotten to mention them, but they were there, they weren’t missing), potato chips, pita bread, tortilla chips… “AHA!” He put his wing to his forehead. “DIPS!” How could he forget the dips?

Oliver went back into the kitchen, grabbed the dips, put them in bowls, and brought them out to his table. Then he waited. His friends would be over soon; he couldn’t wait to see what they decided for the evening’s entertainment. Would it be a musical or a mystery? It was already a mystery, but when they decided, would it still be a mystery? Maybe they could find something with elements of both.

Oliver Penguin seeks a family that shares his love of dips, musicals, and true crime. You can adopt Oliver at our Etsy page or here on this website. He’ll bring his scarf with him.

Read another penguin story: Periwinkle Penguin Paints a Picture

Periwinkle Penguin Paints a Picture

Periwinkle Penguin was painting a picture from a book he read when he slipped and fell into the canvas. Now, you might think that he slipped and fell onto the painting because that’s usually how it happens. People, and penguins, for that matter, don’t slip and fall into paintings, as a rule. However, this time Periwinkle fell into his painting hand-knit sweater and all.

He looked out from the painting and didn’t see himself in front of the canvas where he normally stood. He looked all around him and didn’t see the room he normally saw. Instead, he saw all the colors he had used on this particular canvas. There was even some white space in the corner that he hadn’t gotten around to painting, yet. Periwinkle Penguin could not deny that he was inside his painting.

And what a wonderful painting it was. It had all the colors of the rainbow and several more colors he had mixed from his acrylic pigments, but mostly, it had a lot of blue. Periwinkle loved the color blue.

He decided that he might as well take a walk and see what he had created. After all, this was a perspective, from which he had never seen one of his paintings. He walked past the irises, blue of course, and by the butterflies, red, orange and black, and onto the green grass that was outside a cozy home, the lightest of blues with a red tile roof. Periwinkle sighed. This would make a wonderful house if it were real and not just a painting.

He turned and slipped again, but this time he slipped right out of his painting and back in front of it. The sun was going down outside, and Periwinkle Penguin could see all of the other canvases he had painted. Each one had a version of a place to live, but they were missing the most important element – his family. Periwinkle smiled and looked forward to the day when someone would adopt him and take him on some real adventures.

Periwinkle Penguin is available for adoption on our Etsy website or from us directly. All of our handmade stuffed penguins help real penguins (and other birds) at the Royal Albatross Centre in New Zealand through a donation of a portion of their adoption fees.

Penguin Awareness Day 2022: Cocoa, Books, Stuffed Penguins

January 20 is Penguin Awareness Day 2022! To celebrate our cute friends from the mostly south, Lincoln City Archery will be giving away a “cup” of hot cocoa with the adoption of any penguin and/or the purchase of “Polly Penguin Wants to Fly.” There is little better than watching funny penguin videos with a cup of cocoa in hand.

Can’t make it to Lincoln City Archery? You can still help penguins by purchasing “Polly Penguin Wants to Fly” at Amazon (affiliate link). A dollar from every copy of the book sold, regardless of format, will be donated to Tiri Tiri Matangi for their work with little penguins and other New Zealand Wildlife.

Or contact us to see which penguins are currently available for adoption. A portion of the adoption fees for every penguin goes to the Royal Albatross Centre for their work with little penguins and other birds.

Our handmade stuffed penguins are packed with personality. They said they wanted to do something good for their friends who live in the wild. When we saw the penguins in New Zealand, we knew what we had to do. In 2021, we raised over $100 for the Royal Albatross Centre. We hope to beat that this year.

Celebrate Penguin Awareness Day 2022 and adopt a new penguin friend, get a good book, and enjoy your cocoa.

Queenie Penguin Predicts Future

In 2018, Jenya made Queenie Penguin. Our cosplayer was dressed in a green hood and had a quiver on his back.

In 2019, my parents took our place at the Salem Holiday Market in Oregon. They ran the booth so that penguins could be adopted in time for the holidays. When they reported that Queenie had been adopted, I was excited, and that was it. We wished Queenie well with the penguin’s new forever family.

On May 15, 2021, Jenya and I are opening an indoor archery range. We found a space at Lincoln City Outlets that would allow us to shoot four lanes in the beginning with the opportunity for expansion. The space was previously occupied by a store called “Justice.”

As a store opening gift, mom gave us Queenie Penguin. She said she knew we would need Queenie for our next adventure because we were already talking about an archery range in 2019. When Jenya opened up Queenie’s passport and read it, we were amazed. Queenie loves archery, night clubs and justice. I guess we’ll have to play some techno music just to complete Queenie’s space. Stop by to say “Hi” to Queenie and see if he has a prediction for you. I bet it’ll have something to do with fun and hitting your target.

A Portrait in Penguins: Caption This!

I saw these penguins hanging out in our living room, and I wondered what was going on. Then I thought I would submit it to you for suggestions. This Portrait in Penguins features Willow in the blue sweater, Cinnamon in the middle, and Persimmon dressed in plaid and looking like Audrey Hepburn. Give us your best caption for this photo. Keep it clean and nice; just like our penguins.

Continue reading

Peppy Penguin Finds a Home

When we get word, either from Etsy or from our website, that one of our plushie penguins has been adopted, the first thing we do is we find the penguin. Our stuffed penguins are free range, so it can be a little difficult to locate the penguin in question. They’re very social and very curious. However, recently, they’ve been in the rookery that has formed on the back of our couch and arm chair. Peppy was hanging out with Franklin and their big sibling (who is still waiting to find a name). She was so excited to hear that she was going to Alaska, but she thought she might need a sweater.

Continue reading