What to Do First: California Adventure

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What to Do First at California Adventure to save time with character visits, FASTPASS kiosks, character visits, places to cool down and more! Don’t miss this special post in our “What To Ride First” series with suggestions on what to do first at California Adventure.

What to do first at California Adventure. Disneyland Resort planning tips from The Happiest Blog on Earth.
What to do first at California Adventure. Disneyland Resort planning tips from The Happiest Blog on Earth.

California Adventure is filled with tons of things to do and see. When I first started this website, I hadn’t been back to California Adventure since it’s opening.  That was early in 2002 and I was kinda bummed to be sharing my time between California Adventure and Disneyland. But let me tell you, California Adventure is living up to it’s name and that’s in part thanks to all the things you can do there that don’t include rides. Read more about Why I love California Adventure here.

What to Do First at California Adventure: FASTPASS

What to do first at California Adventure, get those FASTPASSES!
What to do first at California Adventure, get those FASTPASSES!

Absolutely, without fail, you need to get a FASTPASS for Radiator Springs Racers first thing in the morning. Here’s everything you need to know about securing that coveted FASTPASS early in the AM.

Afterwards, grab your FASTPASS for World of Color if you’re looking for the first showing. If not, wait a couple hours and check back again for the often less crowded second showing.

What to Do First at California Adventure: Character Visits

I love meeting characters at California Adventure, especially special Pixar characters that you can’t see over at Disneyland.

First thing in the morning, head over to Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue where you can often meet Sulley and kids can participate in a morning scream contest to open the ride for the day.

What to do first at California Adventure. Disneyland planning tips!
What to do first at California Adventure. Disneyland planning tips!

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Another key character meet and greet is with Lightening McQueen and Tow Mater near the Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land. The lines to meet these two gets long fast, so the morning hours are a great chance for a photo op.

What to Do First at California Adventure: Relax

After the busy morning rush of opening California Adventure, riding all the rides we want, even in the midst of heavy summer crowds and having lunch, we’re usually ready to relax.

What to do first in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort.
What to do first in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort.

Mid-day is the perfect time to take refuge in the many air conditioned attractions that are entertaining and require little wait time. Here are some of our family favorites:

If you only have time for a few of these incredible attractions, check out our number one picks.

Animation Academy

I selected Animation Academy as a “must-do first” because I was truly surprised by this attraction. In our session, we learned how to draw Minnie Mouse. Even my 3 year old was able to come up with a pretty good drawing of her favorite Disney character. Plus, see how to draw Disney characters at home when you’re missing Disney.

Frozen—Live at the Hyperion

Prepare to be blown away. Frozen is a full on musical in a huge theater and is a great way to relax (and laugh) during the afternoon heat. Back in the Aladdin era, my son found it so relaxing, he decided this cool location would be a perfect place for a nap! The show is fabulous, entertaining and funny. Don’t let the large crowd waiting outside deter you, there’s plenty of space for everyone inside. More seating tips for Frozen here.
What things are on your must-do first list when visiting California Adventure? Tell us about your favorites, we’d love to hear from you.

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