Saturday, September 16, 2017

Of Star Lord and Mickey: California, Part 3

The last time I had visited Disneyland was for a high school band competition over ten years ago. During my trip to California, we were able to visit both California Adventure and Disneyland. We began the day in the less crowded park, California Adventure.

California Adventure

California Adventure has changed since I last visited. One of the first noticeable changes happened to the roller coaster on Paradise Pier. The loop used to have Mickey's ears! I guess they moved the sun to the roller coaster and Mickey Mouse to the fun wheel.

You can see my cortisol pump attached to a holder on my arm.
That remodel happened over eight years ago, so I am quite a bit behind. Though I do remember loving California Screamin' in high school, and I loved riding during my most recent trip. That remained a constant.

Gotta have Mickey Mouse Ice Cream at Disney!
Another upgrade to Paradise Pier was the ride Toy Story Mania! Don some 3D glasses and adventure into different rooms aiming the spring-action launcher at various moving targets! It reminded me of an upgraded version of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

Ready for some Toy Story Mania!
I was the lowest scoring out of our group of three. My mom had the highest accuracy and she easily beat my score. But my theme park buddy* smoked both of us in terms of points. Never compete with a seasoned professional.

I'm not sure why I thought I could keep up with the seasoned pro.
Oh, and Cars Land did not exist the last time I visited! We ate lunch at Flo's Cafe. While Six Flags Magic Mountain does a very poor job of accommodating gluten free, Disney excels at it. Every restaurant has an allergen menu available, and all Cast Members we spoke to were knowledgeable about dietary restrictions. I didn't need to eat my pre-packed lunch!

Every third blink is slower in Cars Land.
In my opinion, the best change to the park was the remodeling of the Tower of Terror. Gone is the haunted hotel with that unruly elevator. In its place is a group of Guardians causing trouble with excellent background music.

The three of us standing in front of the BEST RIDE in the whole park!


After spending the majority of the day in California Adventure, we headed over to Disneyland to catch the Fantasmic! Night show.

Just us three goofing off.
I made sure to take salt tabs throughout the day, as we spent a good amount of time walking around outside. I also always had my water bottle. Disney makes it very convenient to find water. Between the two theme parks, a park run by Disney is much easier for me to enjoy with adrenal insufficiency than a park run by Six Flags. Overall, Disney just treats their guests better.

My mom and I with Aurora's castle and Walt and Mickey in the background.
As it began to get dark, we headed over to New Orleans Square for the Fantasmic! night show. Afterwards, we watched some fireworks, saw a bit of the electric light parade, and then rode the monorail to exit the park.

Alice saw the celebration button I was wearing and congratulated me during the parade!
It was an amazing day filled with new memories and adventures. We could have definitely spent more time in either park, but I am also perfectly content with everything that we were able to experience.

I am Clearly Alive and I am Free.

My Critique of the Rides

California Adventure

  • I love this roller coaster.
  • At the start of the ride, you are accelerated from 0MPH to 55MPH in 4 seconds.
  • It is also the longest loop rollercoaster in the world.
  • They revamped the Tower of Terror Ride with a new theme and a new story line.
  • The new version opened in May of 2017
  • This is the perfect place to go when you need to take a break from walking around in the sun.
  • Short line, indoors, and sitting down.
  • There are two different types of gondolas: swinging and stationary.
  • I prefer the swinging gondola, but we chose the stationary gondola for the shorter line.
  • When you're at the top, you are able to see both parks and even construction on Star Wars land.
  • I did not enjoy this ride because I felt like the sound was too loud.
  • I greatly enjoyed this ride.
  • We were able to FastPass it, however the ride broke down during our FastPass time and remained shut down for several hours.
  • Right before we were going to exit the park, we decided to check and see if it was open again. IT WAS!
  • This was another ride I enjoyed greatly.
  • I love feeling like I can fly, and this ride has you soarin' all around the world in a relaxing manner.
  • We explored this area to escape the brief rainstorm.
  • In the Beast's Library, you can determine which Disney Character you are.
  • Apparently, I'm the Evil Queen from Snow White.
  • Very fun!
  • I did have the lowest score out of our group of three.


  • Compared to Toy Story Midway Mania!, this ride seemed outdated.
  • The calibration seemed off.
  • Once again, I had the lowest score out of our group of three.
  • I was geeking out over the history of this Monorail.
  • Originally opening in 1959, this was the first transportation system of it's kind in America.
  • Walt Disney based it off of something he saw in Germany (because America has always been behind with public transit).
  • We rode this during the fireworks show, so there was absolutely no line.
  • Though half way through, the ride paused. We listened to Madame Leota's incantation several times.
  • You cannot visit a Disney Park without riding this ride.
  • The Cast Members recognized our theme park buddy*, so they gave us a boat to ourselves.
  • I love all the costumes, the colors, and the catchy tune.
  • Disney park tradition.
  • This is another perfect place to go when you need to take a break from walking around in the sun.
  • Short line, indoors, and sitting down, just an enjoyable ride.
  • With R2D2 and C-3PO as your tour guides, what can go wrong?
  • Highly recommend this ride.

*Astute observers might recognize my theme park buddy. He is an incredibly talented voice actor, and also a family friend. Check out his YouTube channel and his Facebook page. I challenge you to see if you can watch any of his videos without smiling.


  1. It looks like you had a lot of fun. Do you remember when you went to Disney World with Nanny? This looks like a Lot more fun. One day I would like to meet your Theme park Buddy. But we are Friends on Facebook. <3 U Nanny.

    1. Of course I remember that trip! I believe that was my very first time ever going to any Disney park! :)

  2. Dear Amber,
    I am so glad to see that you are having so much fun now that you have your freedom.
    I am thankful to God that you too are free.
    I was in "bondage" in my first relationship for eight long, horrible years.
    The only great thing that came from that first relationship were my four beautiful children. Who are now adults that have blessed me with nine beautiful grandchildren. That is why I do not regret those eight years of my youth.
    Keep looking and moving forward.
    The future has so much in store for you.
    God bless you.

  3. Hi Amber :)

    I have read your blog since I was diagnosed with AD in 2014. I have always wanted to send you a message, but never got around to it until now. I have type 1 diabeties and Addison's. I thought you wearing a pump for cortef seemed like an awesome idea! I think that using a device that could better mimic the human body would be beneficial. I wear an insulin pump and I don't think I would ever be able to use two at the same time. That would be difficult : / Do you think that the pump for cortisol makes a dramatic difference from oral cortef? Also, I have read almost every post about yr wonderful trips to the er! I too have had many. You actually seem like you have had good experiences (recently) with competent doctors and nurses. I can't seem to find very many where I live. They do not understand that I'm dehydrated and need iv fluids and they have no since of urgency. I know we are all responsible for our own health and need to educate the staff, but don't you get sick of doing that? Especially since they went to medical school?? I have no energy for this anymore!!!!! Sorry for the long message : )


    1. I'm so glad you commented Sydney :)

      I think I've heard of a person wearing two pumps, one for insulin and one for cortef. And when they add in the CGM, that even makes it more difficult to find real estate for the sites! But, they view the quality of life so much better that it's worth it for them.

      The cortisol pump definitely made a dramatic difference for me over oral cortef, but we later discovered that my body doesn't process oral cortef normally. Bypassing the gut for delivery of medicine drastically improved my quality of life.

      And yay for ER trips! I've definitely had the mix of really good and really bad. I know carry several of these cards:

      I show them to ER staff upon triage. It has proven to be very helpful.

      ~ Amber


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