August 2015 / Trip Reports

(August 2015 Trip Report) A Visit to Old Hollywood and Radiator Springs

A long, long time ago, we left off with the Pixar Play parade at Disney California Adventure. Luckily this chapter picks back up with a truly fabulous meal — dinner at Carthay Circle!

We’d booked the World of Color dinner package. While I checked us in, Franklin wandered and took photos of the restaurant decor. This was old Hollywood at its best!

We were seated fairly quickly in the main dining room. We couldn’t get over how much it resembled Victoria and Albert’s at the Grand Floridian.

The World of Color package has its own menu; you get an appetizer, entree and dessert with your meal (along with reserved seating for the show).

We’d heard the raves about the fried biscuits. So even though they aren’t part of the WoC menu, we ordered a basket anyway. They totally lived up to their reputation.

I started with the tomato broth, while Franklin had the Carthay Circle salad.

Franklin ordered the salmon for his entree and I went with the pork chop.

Franklin’s salmon was good, but my pork chop was out-of-this-world fantastic. The blackberry sauce was unlike anything I’d ever tasted. And since Franklin loves all things creme brulee, it wasn’t a shock that he wanted the creme brulee tart for dessert.

I had the dark chocolate mousse bar.

All in all, it was a really amazing meal. Beautiful setting, incredible food and the cast members were really chatty. We’d find out later that evening if the reserved seating for WoC would be worth it. But we had time to see the sights before then, however.

We made our way back out to Buena Vista Street.

We hung out for a few minutes because we were having a super special West Coast Dismeet with Danielle, Jackie and Danielle’s niece and nephew (I’m not going to lie, as an avid reader of Danielle’s trip reports over the years, I was starstruck meeting Joaquin!)

We were so excited that our trips to Disneyland overlapped, seeing each other on the opposite coast was just amazing!

Once we all said our goodbyes, there was exactly one place Franklin and I were dying to see: CARSLAND! We’d waited long enough, let’s go!

As an East Coaster, there’s a mythical quality to Carsland. It’s been built up so much by people who have visited DCA that it’s hard to imagine it could live up to expectations in real life.




The colors, the details are all perfect. I will never stop being amazed how Disney can bring animated landscapes to life.

As the sun went down and the lights grew brighter, the street only became more magical.

Franklin just about died when we encountered Luigi’s Casa Della Tires.

Fly away Stanley, be free!

Can we talk about Radiator Springs Racers for a second? It is beautiful. Like, someone-should-paint-this-and-hang-it-in-a-museum beautiful.

We got back to the attraction entrance and noticed a fair number of guests milling about — the ride was down.

We hung out for a while, hoping the ride would come back online. We waited for the telltale sign of the cars running again, but they never started. The only time the crowds in front of the entrance thinned was when the dance party started outside the firehouse.

It looked like this for a solid hour.

We gave it the old college try, but we couldn’t wait any longer if we wanted to get to the WoC seating area on time. A truly kind cast member converted our return time to an anytime FP we could use within the next three days, it was so nice of her!

Have I mentioned how crazy cool Radiator Springs is at night?

We thoroughly enjoyed our first visit to Carsland and couldn’t wait to spend more time there. Franklin had to go grab his tripod from the locker while I meandered my way over to Paradise Pier. You’re not going to want to miss the next chapter, it’s our very first WoC experience and Franklin had some BIG photography plans!


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