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Showing Our ‘Disney Side’ at Disney California Adventure Park

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary of Disney California Adventure park! To mark the occasion, I asked some of our California-based Disney Parks Blog authors to tell me how they show their “Disney Side” at Disney California Adventure park.

John McClintock: My “Disney Side” at Disney California Adventure park consists of game attempts to keep up with my granddaughter as she romps through Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.


Donna Fisk: Because I am a fan of “times gone by,” I show my “Disney Side” by appreciating the nostalgia of Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure park. I love gazing at the period architecture, shopping for treasures at Elias & Co. and enjoying a true Hollywood dining experience at Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge.


Michelle Harker: When I’m at Disney California Adventure park, I love going on Grizzly River Run, watching our amazing nighttime spectacular “World of Color” and just soaking up the surroundings. My “Disney Side” is all about making a splash!

Boudin Bakery in Disney California Adventure Park

Kevin Rafferty, Jr.: I grew up locally so my friends and I spent a lot of time at Disney California Adventure park. I remember being there for its opening day! Through the years, and the five-year expansion, my favorite activities have changed, but one favorite remains the same – soups served in Boudin sourdough bowls!

Shannon Swanson: My favorite way to show my “Disney Side” is at the Animation Academy in Hollywood Land. First I visit The Beast’s Library, where I discover which Disney character I am most like (recently I was most like Mulan), then I go to Ursula’s Grotto to sing like Ariel (don’t worry, she gets her voice back eventually) and finally I learn secrets of animation from a real Disney artist – they teach guests how to draw different characters each class, and you get a one-of-a-kind souvenir to take home!

Valarie Sukovaty: How do I show my “Disney Side” at Disney California Adventure park? I love buying a glass of wine and a cheese & fruit plate at the Golden Vine Winery. It’s so easy to get caught up in rushing from attraction to attraction, but this area provides a welcome break for tired feet and the day’s to-do list.

Wine Country Trattoria at Disney California Adventure Park

Michele Himmelberg: There’s something about all the wonderful flavors at Disney California Adventure park that bring out my “Disney Side.” While popcorn is my go-to treat when playing in the parks, at Disney California Adventure park I crave these three specialties: chicken skewers with tandoori-spiced yogurt and tzatziki at Paradise Garden Grill, the shrimp on polenta cake with lemon-caper butter sauce at Wine Country Trattoria and, for evening fun, a Carthay Manhattan at Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge.

Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure Park

As for me, I love thrill rides, so when I’m at Disney California Adventure park, I’ve got my three must-do’s: California Screamin’, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Radiator Springs Racers. My “Disney Side” is made of high speeds, dips and drops!

What about you? How do you “Show Your Disney Side” at Disney California Adventure park?


  • Greetings Erin,

    The best job in the World is one where one does what they love. This is exactly what you and your team embody and I think it’s just wonderful. I love seeing people be happy doing what they love.

    My #DisneySide at Disneyland Resort would be to head into Disneyland Park, meander through all the shops on Main Street U.S.A., shop and look for all the meaningful and decorative detailing Disney Imagineers have created, and then head over to New Orleans Square and indulge in that sinful Monte Cristo sandwich! Of course, a churro for dessert!

    Thank you,
    Kind regards,

  • Great stuff! My Disney Side is grabbing a snack and watching people cruise down Route66 or Buena Vista Street. Visiting with Characters is a blast too!

  • 3 words: Mad. T. Party.

    The best thing at DCA. Period.

    There’s nothing like rocking out with the band while enjoying one’s Unbirthday!!!

  • My “Disney Side” is all about going with the flow. It’s all about forgetting work and enjoying time with the family, even putting on my Glow with the Show Ears to see which parts of the park have a little extra magic!

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