Disneyland!

Disneyland!

Disneyland is a must when you go to Los Angeles! These past to weekends we went twice and it was so worth it! The first day we spent the whole day in Disneyland and the second weekend we park hopped. So my big tip of the day is: buy a park hopper! It is definitely worth it, both parks are great and offer a lot to do! I haven’t been to a Disney park since 2006, when I went to Disneyland Paris, so I was so excited to go in LA!

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Disneyland

Disneyland is magical, like you would expect. The castle is small though, much smaller than I expected, but it was still really pretty. So when we entered we stopped and took pictures with Walt Disney and the castle. Then we headed to Tomorrowland. TIP #2: get Fast Passes every time you can! It will save you lots of time throughout the day and help you plan out where you will be throughout your time at Disney. Some of the big rides I suggest you get Fast Passes for are: Hyperspace Mountain, Star Wars Tours, Splash Mountain and Indiana Jones. These rides usually get packed and have around an hour long way at the very least.

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We got the fast passes for Hyperspace Mountain first, because it’s one of the more popular rides and the wait would be insane later in the day. Hyperspace Mountain is now Star Wars themed, making the ride even more fun. As you fly through space, the enemy starts shooting at you! Which made us extremely excited throughout the ride.

We headed to Star Wars Tours in the morning, because the wait wasn’t long at the time and we knew it would get long. This was such an awesome ride! If you love Star Wars as much as we do, this will be so much fun for you, since you sit in a ship simulator and fly with C3P0! They have different simulations, so chances are if you go again, the ride will be different.

Astro Blasters was next, with quite a short wait, which was perfect! We hopped on and competed for who got more points. We ended up riding Astro Blasters two more times, so we could all compete with each other.

We headed to Adventureland, where Dole Whip makes for a great mid morning snack. We walked through Tarzan’s tree house, which is so adorable and we wanted to move in. Next up was Pirates of the Caribbean! My personal favorite! It’s such a fun ride, but warning there are some bigger splashes so if you sit on the edge, you might get a little wet. The scenes you go through look very very real and Jack Sparrow really does look like Johnny Depp, it was almost scary.

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Speaking of scary, we went to the Haunted Mansion next, again one of my favorites. I loved the movie when I was little and so it was always a ride I would go back to again and again last time I was in Disney. The mansion looks gorgeous from the outside, something that is different from the Paris Disneyland. One of the things that make this ride so great, are the details. Notice the gravestones as you are waiting in line and look at all the paintings inside. It’s truly amazing.

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For lunch we just grabbed quick service to save time, so we could fit in more rides! We got very lucky because Big Thunder Mountain was closed during lunch and we managed to catch it right as they opened, with just a 20 minute wait. Big Thunder Mountain is fun rollercoaster through the old west and mines.

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Fantasyland is an adorable area through the castle. A lot of the little kid rides are there, some of which are a must. Peter Pan is one of my favorite rides, because it is so magical. You have to catch this at a good time, because a lot of the times we walked by it was a 120 minute wait. We managed to catch it with a 30 minute day on our second weekend, making it a must. On the second weekend we ended up eating dinner in Fantasyland at the Red Rose Tavern that has all sorts of foods, anything from flatbreads to burgers. Most importantly you can get Grey Stuff (it’s delicious :P)! The atmosphere is great in the tavern so I definitely recommend if you like Beauty and the Beast!
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Splash Mountain is a great ride! Prepare to get really wet, especially if you are sitting in the first three seats. It was  my first time on Splash Mountain and though I was a little nervous about the 50 foot drop, I was super excited! Definitely a must and definitely get a fast pass if you can! Also I suggest you get there earlier in the day, so that you have time to dry off before the sun goes down. We decided to dry off on another ride.

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Indiana Jones was next on our fast pass list. None of us knew what this ride was going to be. As we got into the car, we were excited to see what will happen. The ride was inside, recreating some of the most popular scenes from the movies in a thrilling way. It was very reminiscent of The Mummy ride in Universal, with it’s ups and downs and quick stops.

On the first day we went for dinner  to River Belle Terrace. Such an adorable place with really good food! I definitely recommend if you get the chance. We ended that day with an hour long way for Hyperspace Mountain, Astro Blasters and a run across the park at 11:30 for Big Thunder Mountain. We closed the park, which is the best way to do Disney! Come back to read about California Adventure!


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Los Angeles: Three month adventure!

Los Angeles: Three month adventure!

The next couple of months I will be exploring Los Angeles as I finish up my last semester of college. I’m excited to experience a new city that I have never been to before and I want to document and share what I find! I will continue to update this article, with new places to see, where to eat, photos and more information on LA!

My first week in LA has actually been very rainy, which no one prepared me for. To be fair, no one here actually seems prepared either. So, a TIP for anyone coming to LA, it is very possible that January will be cold and rainy. It might not happen that often but be prepared for this possibility. Also, it is desert climate, so it gets quite cold in the night! 

Sights

Griffith Observatory

To go up to the Griffith Observatory you have a couple of options, you can either drive up there or you can hike. For the hike there are also a couple trails you can take up there, some are easier and some are more difficult. The one we took was a shorter one, about 1.5 km each way. At the top you are rewarded with a view of the city on one side and the Hollywood sign on the other side. It’s a great place to walk around, take pictures and even pet some dogs, because a lot of people take their dogs on walks in that area.

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Walk of Fame

This is always a must. Just go to Hollywood/Highland and stroll down Hollywood Boulevard and look for your favorite celebrities. It is an extremely busy, so if you want to take a picture of any particular star, just watch out for people walking by, because you don’t want to annoy people by blocking their way. Also, quick TIP, there are some pickpockets there, someone almost tried to steal my phone from my pocket, luckily my friend noticed and stopped them, so just keep an eye on your things.  

 

Hollywood/Highland

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Like mentioned earlier, this is the place to go if you want to go the best part of the Walk of Fame. You can also do a lot of shopping around there. Most importantly, the Dolby Theater is there, so if you want to go see where the Oscars take place, this is a must. The Chinese Theater is also in that area, only a block away from the Dolby Theater. This is the place where many stars have their hand and footprints. So, if you want to see the Harry Potter, Star Wars, Hunger Games or Twilight cast or Meryl Streep, Julie Andrew and others’ handprints and signatures, this is the place to go.FullSizeRender Highland is also where Jimmy Kimmel shoots his show, so if you get tickets to see that you will go there.Also, there is the El Capitan Theater, where most of the Disney movie premiers happen. They usually have some costumes from the current big Disney movies, like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and they have stormtroopers you can take pictures with. They also have fun screenings, like a sing along version of Moana.

 

Hollywood Farmer’s Market

IMG_3217This farmer’s market is Ivar Avenue & Selma Avenue. I’ve been there a couple of times now and it is definitely worth it! They sell all sorts of fruits and vegetables, that are a) cheap and b) delicious! And if you are not sure if you want to buy something, they usually have samples of the fruit they sell, but fair warning, you will walk out with that fruit. Also be sure stop by the creperie, where they even have gluten-free crepes!! This is obviously very exciting for me, but definitely try these crepes, they are amazing and very filling! Also check out the pastries they sell at the market, because it’s also delicious!

 

 

Universal Studios

This is definitely worth a visit. If you want to see Hogwarts and take the Forbidden ride, drink butterbeer or buy a wand at Olivander’s than Universal Studios is a must for you! But the fun doesn’t end there, they also have the Walking Dead attraction here, where you literally step into the world of The Walking Dead and zombies jump out at you from around each corner! Another great aspect of the Hollywood Universal Studios are the tours of the studios themselves. So many films were shot there, including How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the set of which is still up. IMG_3358

 Another must is the Jurassic ride and the Mummy ride, if you like rollercoasters. The CityWalk to Universal is also a great place. You can go shopping, eat food, drink, or just go to the movies. One place I recommend right now for food, is Karl Strauss Brewery, when we went we shared a bunch of plates, and it was amazing! Definitely spend some time just exploring the CityWalk, not just the theme park itself. One quick tip: if you are planning on going to Universal more than once, buy the seasonal passes, it will definitely be worth it.

 

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Santa Monica Pier is a must when going to LA, not just for the roller coasters and the entertainment on the pier, but definitely for the view of the ocean and the city. It is gorgeous, even though on warm, sunny days it’s extremely crowded. From the beach you can also walk a couple of streets inland, to the Third Street Promenade, where you can do a whole lot of shopping or get coffee or frozen yogurt! Just walking around the area is a lot of fun, it’s a very cute part of town that you can explore for a couple of hours.FullSizeRender 2

 

Malibu

We went to Malibu kind of by accident. We were heading to Santa Monica, but we missed the exit, and since Malibu was just another 6 miles or so from where we were, we were like why not. IMG_3441We all wanted to go anyway, so we continued driving down the Pacific Coast Highway. Malibu is gorgeous. The beaches are beautiful and there seems to be a lot of nice places to stop and eat, if you can afford it. We walked around a beach for a while and then just drove around a little. I definitely want to go back and actually explore the town a little.

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This is it for now! I will update with more places to see and where to eat!


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