For our honeymoon, my husband and I were planning on driving Route 66. We love taking road trips together and what better way to start our married life than a coast to coast trip? Since we were getting married in New Jersey down the shore, we would leave and drive or fly up to Chicago, pick up Route 66 there, and then take it all the way to Santa Monica.
Well, the problem with that was it’s extremely difficult to rent a convertible in Chicago and that’s what we wanted. It was beginning to look like the better idea would be to fly to LA and rent a convertible there and drive backwards.
Then, the next glitch in our plan happened: my husband couldn’t take more than a week off work at a time. There was no way we could drive Route 66 in a week so we knew we’d have to come up with a compromise.
I still wanted to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time and we still wanted to drive part of Route 66 so we decided that we would still fly out to California and just take a different route. We explored many different things to do in California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, etc. We had our lists and then put them to a timeline. We would be leaving the day after our wedding and wanted to arrive in California early enough to do a sunset dinner at the Santa Monica Pier. We had two nights in LA, two nights in Las Vegas, two nights at the Grand Canyon, and two nights in Durango, CO.
I knew that being so close to Disneyland would make it extremely difficult to not go but I knew my husband wasn’t the biggest Disney person (I’m working on him) but he loves the movie Cars. I figured out a way to propose the idea to him and make it as attractive as possible: we would go to California Adventure Park specifically for Cars Land and that would also bring a little bit of Route 66 into that part of the trip. It was a win-win situation and so we added it in to our plan!
We actually had a great time there together! We spent most of the day in Cars Land but got to explore all the other lands too. Since it was a Monday and school had just went into session for the year that meant there were less locals at the park than usual. It was still crowded but not too bad. We got a lot of my favorite pictures and the day was so worth it.
We started out going straight to Cars Land with a tentative plan for the day. We had to ride the Radiator Springs Racers and explore every part of Cars Land. We had lunch reservations at Wine Country Trattoria so we could enjoy the morning in Cars Land, eat lunch, explore the rest of the park, and then back to Cars Land to see all the lights come on at night and eat dinner at Flo’s V8 Cafe and dessert at the Cozy Cone Motel.
Of course, we almost missed our lunch reservation because we were next in line for the Radiator Springs Racers but we called from line and they said it was okay if we were just a few minutes late.
We enjoyed the food there but were anxious to get back to the park. If I did it again, I probably wouldn’t have made lunch reservations at all so that we could just stop wherever we pleased.
After lunch we explored the rest of the park for a bit. We rode Mickey’s Fun Wheel, something I don’t normally do, but I couldn’t give up the opportunity at such an iconic Ferris wheel. We did not, however, ride the moving ones. That would have just been too much for me. California Screamin’ was down for maintenance most of the day so we didn’t get to ride that but I did get to introduce my husband to Toy Story Midway Mania which was a blast (he beat me but I was more accurate)!
We also went on the Silly Symphony Swings and Goofy’s Sky School before heading into the wilderness 😉
We had planned on taking the Grizzly River Run but there were no lockers available and we needed to store my camera so instead we kept moving and ended up at Soarin’ where we also met Pluto!
We loved Soarin’! It was my first time getting to go on the new Soarin’ – Soarin’ Around the World – rather than the California version and I loved it. I gasped at all the right moments and it was great (I went again in Epcot after that but that is a story for another day)!
We caught part of a street show with Mickey and Minnie, a street show with the Army men from Toy Story which was cool, we posed for a picture in front of the Tower of Terror which was closed for redecorating for Halloween (which stinks because it would have been the only time we ever had the opportunity to ride the DCA version), and then we ran into Nick Wilde from Zootopia and since we just watched Zootopia for the first time on the plane ride we were pretty excited about him! We also got to ride Mike & Sully to the Rescue which was a fun and relaxing break from the sun.
We made our way back to Cars Land to ride Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and further explore the land!
And we can’t forget the two celebrity appearances at the Cozy Cone ;-)!
It was just about time for dinner (aka we were hungry again) so we went to Flo’s and enjoyed some good food. Then we took a ride on the Racers again to experience it at night! I was a little bummed because while we were on line we missed all the lights coming on but we still got to see everything lit up at night which was spectacular!
We enjoyed our treats from the Cozy Cone and headed out to Downtown Disney to watch the fireworks show coming from Disneyland Park. It was the perfect end to a wonderful day!
I think our favorite part was the Radiator Springs Racers. We thoroughly enjoyed them both during the day and at night and they were a blast to ride. Also, we’re pretty competitive and ended up in the winning car both times so there’s that.
All the food was great but my favorite was definitely my Route Beer Float from the Cozy Cone. Root beer floats are always a favorite of mine and this one was no exception!
I think my husband’s most used souvenir from our honeymoon is probably the oil can cup that he got his soda in. He uses it all the time and he was so excited about it at the park too. We also collect pressed pennies and our pressed penny game was on point at California Adventure because we got a little map and searched for them throughout our day. That added a lot of fun for us through this trip which was pretty awesome.