SoCal Guide – Sea World San Diego

Want to hold a sea star? Or get up-close and personal with sea turtles? Watch an orca whale leap from the water, see penguins dive into icy water or observe beluga whales below water? Want to meet a dolphin (and probably get splashed?) Then Sea World San Diego is the place for you!

Sea World San Diego Guide

As a San Diego native, my family and I have been going to Sea World for as long as I can remember. The park has changed quite a bit over the years but some things have remained constant throughout; Sea World San Diego has always been a unique experience, safe, clean and well-kept with offerings of education alongside the fun!

Sea World San Diego Guide

Start your planning with a park map and plot out your day. It is quite possible to see all of the exhibits in one day (if you aren’t lingering too long in any one place) however it might be a challenge to see all of the shows. Show times often overlap so I definitely recommend choosing your must-do and make sure you get to those shows early (at least 20 minutes, but 30 minutes is even better on busy days) for the best seat.

Remember to pay attention to the “soak zone” areas and protect your belongings; This includes your littlest ones…I was once drenched head-to-toe at the Shamu show on a chilly day, along with my very peeved six month old! Make sure to stop off at the Shamu Underwater Viewing area for an intimate look at the orcas swimming. They often come right up to the glass to say “hello”!

Sea World San Diego guide

Shamu’s One Ocean is a must-see. Even though trainers no longer join the orcas in the water, the show is still very exciting. Seeing enormous killer whales leap so effortlessly is a magnificent sight to see! Pet’s Rule animal show is one of our family favorites too. Sea Lions LIVE is fast paced, funny and very popular so make sure you get there early for a good seat!

Cuddly creatures at Sea World San Diego

Sea World has always been the place for unique interactions with marine life and now with the addition of many rides, Sea World San Diego is a place for mild and wild thrills as well! Manta is the newest coaster and afterwards you can visit the interactive manta ray exhibit. The rays flop right up next to the ledge and let you “pet” them!

Touch manta rays at Sea World San Diego

Journey to Atlantis is my kid’s favorite; they love that 60-foot drop! And my husband  likes it too…it’s a very refreshing splash on a hot day!

Journey to Atlantis - Sea World San Diego

Sesame Street Bay of Play is the place to let little ones burn off some energy. There are several rides (aimed at the younger set) along with ropes to climb, fun house mirrors, slides and carnival games (for extra coin). We even won a giant giraffe pillow on the ring toss last time!

There is a baby and toddler soft-play area as well. Elmo and friends make an appearance at scheduled times for photo opportunities with guests.  There is a water-play area here for hot days. The Sesame Street Bay of Play is a popular area that can get quite congested so we usually stop here first thing in the morning.

Sea World San Diego

Sea World San Diego

There are several places around the park where guests can interact with sea life. At Dolphin Point you can literally pet and feed a dolphin…and probably get wet, these guys are very playful and sometimes full of pranks!

Tide pools at Sea World San Diego

We have yet to see Explorer’s Reef but with four touch-pools it sounds like it will be another incredible interactive experience. These photos are my son through the years at the Tide Pools.

Interactive sea life at Sea World San Diego

One of the more amazing attractions is Shark Encounter. After viewing the sharks from above, guests journey through a tunnel that transports you right into the shark tank! As sharks float above and around you, you’ll be thrilled and terrified all at the same time!

Next door to Shark Encounter, be sure to visit Turtle Reef and see these gentle giants floating inside a floor-to-ceiling tank (and they are usually eating lettuce for lunch!)

Turtle Reef - Sea World San Diego

The Wild Arctic Flight Simulator ride takes guests on a fantastical journey that lands them on a glacier. Afterwards get close to real arctic animals like polar bear, walrus and beluga whales. This is one of my favorite areas of the park because you can view the belugas both above and below the water.

Polar bear at Sea World San Diego

Everyone enjoys the ice wall feature inside Wild Arctic! You can run your hands across it (some guests press a penny into the ice to make a hole). Across from the Wild Arctic area you can visit the Penguin Encounter which is my most favorite place. A long moving sidewalk takes you through the exhibit where you can view nearly 300 penguins in action. I love watching the penguins swimming so quickly underwater and then propelling themselves straight out to land on the rocks…I could watch that all day!!

Sea World San Diego

Sea World San Diego offers Premier Experiences that put guests right into the water with beluga whales, penguins or dolphins (for an additional fee). You can also get a more in-depth experience or a behind-the-scenes peek at marine life with one of several tours that Sea World offers.

The park has many great choices for dining including my favorite, Calypso Bay Smokehouse (it’s hard to resist when you smell the barbeque ribs and chicken!) Sea World offers a very reasonably priced All-Day Dining Deal for guests, which includes dining at four of their popular restaurants for the entire day you spend at the park.

There is also the unique dining option of eating alongside the orca tank at either Breakfast with Shamu or Dine with Shamu. Both are buffet-type meals with delicious sounding dishes on the menus.

Tide Pools at Sea World San Diego

Stop over at the Sea World San Diego website to learn more about their park, educational programs and both day and overnight camps for students and families. Sea World is a place to learn, discover and also have a lot of good family fun!


If you are new to my blog, please consider subscribing to my newsletter so you don’t miss any posts. Thanks for stopping by!

Every Picture Tells a Story – Bedhead



Early morning and out of bed, ready for a car ride to Disneyland. Bedhead, always bedhead!

Top Tips on What to Do When You’re Pregnant at Disneyland

I’ve been to Disneyland three times while pregnant, once with each of my children. The first time I was 34 weeks along (around 7 1/2 months). The second time I was pregnant 12 weeks (around 3 months). The last baby (twelve years between the first and the last), I was 35 weeks! Each visit offered it’s own unique challenges. Don’t think you can’t have a magical time at Disneyland, just because you’re pregnant. There is plenty to do, see, eat and enjoy even while pregnant at Disneyland!

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Pregnant at Disneyland – What Can I Ride?

On my last trip to Disneyland while 35 weeks pregnant there was another pregnant mama visiting with her family. However instead of standing in line, she was waiting at the exit for them. We struck up a conversation and I let her know that she could safely go on just about any ride in Disneyland, save for just a few. She was so happy to hear since she’d already spent most of the day waiting outside the rides for her family.

There are very few rides that offer the restriction for expectant moms; these include mostly vigorous thrill rides or rides that may be jerky or jarring to the body (rides like Indiana Jones or California Screamin’). Do not ignore those warnings, even if you are still in your first trimester. The sharp stops and G-force pressure of certain rides can injure your delicate cargo so it’s not worth the risk. Signs posted outside each attraction will detail if pregnant moms should skip.

Pregnant at Disneyland? This guide gives the tips on what to ride & what to skip at the California theme park.

Check these signs posted at each attraction -There will be notes here if expectant moms should not ride.

What to Bring?

In addition to packing your usual Disney Parks day bag, I’ve compiled a list of expectant mom must-haves. Check out this post about what pregnant moms should bring to Disney.

Feeling Nauseated?

That first trimester is a doozy. Throw in a few too many spins on the Mad Tea Party and you might be feeling nauseated. Check out my post about dealing with motion sickness at Disney.

These Rides Might Be Awkward

Even if a ride or attraction is okay for expectant moms, you might find that navigating your 8-month pregnant belly into some of these might be a challenge.

  • The Finding Nemo Submarines are a smooth ride that is safe for expectant moms. However you’ll have to climb down and up a steep spiral staircase and sit in a narrow flip-down chair in a tight space.
  • Over in Fantasyland there are many dark rides that are just fine for expectant moms but several have small vehicles that may prove challenging to get into. If riding Casey Jr. Circus Train, opt for an open car instead of a caged vehicle. With the Storybook Land Canal Boats you might have difficulty balancing to get in and out of the boat.
  • Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes may also offer challenges getting in and out of the canoe. Be careful exerting yourself rowing the oar. Plus you’ll be un-shaded and it gets hot out there on the water.
  • The Astro Orbitor is safe to ride but the high sides and low seats are touch to get in and out of without help.

Pregnant at Disneyland? This guide gives the tips on what to ride & what to skip at the California theme park.

Keep Up the Healthy Eating

Continue to eat plenty of fruits and veggies (don’t forget to pack your prenatal vitamins!) Limit your sodium intake and stay well hydrated to reduce swelling in your feet and legs. You can also bring in your own water bottles and snacks to make sure you are getting the healthy and nutritious food you (and your baby) need.

Save money on Your Disney Vacation!

Purchase discount Disneyland and Walt Disney World tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today.

Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount).

Relax and Rest

When I visited Disneyland in the later months of my pregnancy, I did a bit more resting in the shade with my feet on a bench instead of standing in queues.  There are plenty of places you can rest your swollen feet and still enjoy the Parks.

  • Find a shady spot and a bench to yourself. Consider bringing a small pillow to set at your back or to sit on to make yourself more comfortable.
  • Stake out a great seat on the parade route ahead of time and save places for your family to join you later.
  • A grand circle tour on the Disneyland Railroad offers almost 20 minutes of rest and fresh air along with a relaxing tour around Disneyland Park.
  • Pull up a chair and enjoy the cool air that blows across the waters of the Rivers of America on the Mark Twain Riverboat.
  • Sit in the shade of Tomorrowland Terrace to eat lunch, watch a show and possibly have your young ones participate at the Jedi Training Academy show.
  • Mickey and the Magical Map offers bench seating in the shade and a live musical stage show.
  • I enjoyed resting on a bench on the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail while the kids climbed the ropes and rock climbed.

Pregnant at Disneyland? This guide gives the tips on what to ride & what to skip at the California theme park.

Dress For Your Growing Body

  • Wear comfortable shoes and consider taking a second pair to switch into if you are prone to swelling. I like to start off with tennis shoes and switch over to well-cushioned sandals in the evening.
  • Dress in layers so if you get hot or chilled you can add or remove layers as needed.
  • Ditch the heavy purse and pack light with a small backpack or tote that you can put on and take off easily. Or consider renting a locker to store your items until you need them.

Seek Air conditioned Attractions

Keep rested inside by finding attractions that combine sitting along with cool air.

  • Soak in a little history (and air conditioning) inside The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.
  • Enchanted Tiki Room is a whimsical place with cushioned benches…and you can bring in a snack!
  • Oh yes, the looping music is worth 15-minutes inside It’s a Small World! You might want to ride it twice!
  • If you have little ones, get there early for the Disney Junior – Live on Stage! show. There are benches across the back of the theater (otherwise you’ll have to sit on the carpet).
  • 60-minutes of pure amazement in cushy theater chairs – Frozen – Live at the Hyperion is a can’t miss show.
  • Plenty of sit-down restaurants have both outdoor and indoor dining that gives you both a break and a healthy meal.
What can you do at Disneyland when you're pregnant?

Skip the Autopia, you don’t want to get rear-ended.

Bathroom Breaks

If little miss or mister is frequently doing the hot-diggety-dog dance on your bladder, consider reviewing a Park map online before your trip. Always take a potty break before getting on a ride (you don’t want to get stuck when the urge strikes!)

Listen To Your Body

Now is not the time to push your vacation to the limits. Pregnancy can be very hard on your body and with exhaustion and discomfort already at the max, there is no need to exacerbate any issues.

  • Take a break inside the First Aid station if you feel uncomfortable or in pain. First Aid can help you out and offer a place to lay down for a while.
  • If you’re exhausted, go back to your hotel room for a refreshing swim or to take a nap.
  • Get plenty of sleep even if that means going to bed while everyone else in your group is still up late watching the fireworks.
  • If you are truly miserable and can’t walk, consider renting a wheelchair or motorized scooter in the Park to minimize the amount of time you are on your feet.
  • Look forward to your next trip when your little one will be with you to enjoy it!

If you are new to my blog, please consider subscribing to my newsletter so you don’t miss any posts. Thanks for stopping by!

Read more about being pregnant at Disneyland on my posts at Traveling Mom.

Pregnant at Disneyland? This guide gives the tips on what to ride & what to skip at the California theme park.


Eat at Home and Save – DIY Bisquick Coffee Cake

Over the weekend, I decided to whip up a coffee cake for the kids to have at breakfast. This coffee cake was one of the first things I remember making when I was learning how to cook. My dad would frequently encourage me to bake one *wink*. It’s a quick and inexpensive recipe that calls for ingredients you probably already have…my favorite kind of recipe!

DIY Bisquick - Double Streusel Coffee Cake {Saving Up for Disney}

I’ve posted before about making your own “Bisquick”-type mix for making pancakes, waffles and biscuits. My kids love pancakes…especially when I make them Mickey-shaped! Boxed Bisquick in the stores is pricey. It’s quick, easy and cheap to make it yourself at home, read on!

DIY Bisquick recipe

There are dozens of variations for coffee cake using Bisquick on the Betty Crocker website.  I made the double-streusel version, adding chopped walnuts in the middle.

DIY Bisquick - Double Streusel Coffee Cake {Saving Up for Disney}

Before you make the coffee cake, you’ll need a batch of your “bisquick”.

Here is the quick and easy DIY recipe. I store it in a big zip lock bag to have on hand for quick pizza dough, pancakes, waffles and drop-biscuits.

DIY “Bisquick”

  • 6 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 cup Vegetable Shortening

Use a fork or the whisk attachment on your mixer to cut in the shortening until the mixture is a fine crumb. Use in place of Bisquick in your recipes!

DIY Bisquick - Double Streusel Coffee Cake {Saving Up for Disney}

Betty Crocker Double-Streusel Coffee Cake

Streusel –

  • 2/3 cup Bisquick mix
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp cold butter or margarine

Coffee Cake-

  • 2 cups Bisquick mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
Optional – 
  • Chopped walnuts or pecans
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray bottom and side of 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
  2. In small bowl, mix 2/3 cup Bisquick mix, the brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until crumbly; set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, stir coffee cake ingredients until blended. Spread about 1 cup of the batter in pan.
  4. Sprinkle with about 3/4 cup of the streusel. Add the optional chopped nuts at this time, if desired.
  5. Drop remaining batter over top of streusel; spread carefully over streusel.
  6. Sprinkle remaining streusel over top.
  7. Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or cool.


DIY Bisquick - Double Streusel Coffee Cake {Saving Up for Disney}

I had a little “helper” who was really anxious to know when the cake was going to be ready to eat!

I was excited to taste it and cut into the cake a bit early so my piece was too hot and fell apart…oops! It set together much better the next day after I’d let it rest. So nice to make a special dish using ingredients that I had on hand. Using my own “Bisquick”, this was also very budget-friendly!

Enjoy your treat with a cup of coffee like my dad used to do or with a straight-up glass of ice cold milk like my kids!

DIY Bisquick - Double Streusel Coffee Cake {Saving Up for Disney}


Everything You Need to Know About Disneyland Height Requirements

Everything You Need to Know About Disneyland Height Requirements

One of the major Disneyland rites of passage is when a child finally hits the height requirement for a particular ride! A majority of rides don’t have any height requirements making Disneyland a perfect place for everyone to enjoy, despite their age or stature. But there are certain Disneyland height requirements you should be aware of before  your trip.

All About Disneyland Height Requirements

Not quite tall enough for Soarin’

As frequent Disneyland guests, we have a mental log of rides that our children are tall enough for or that our littlest one isn’t able to go on yet. Fortunately Disneyland height requirements are all in one place for you to review before your trip!

See the list below of Disneyland height requirements:

Disneyland Height Requirements


Disneyland Attractions – This list is interactive and includes links to all the rides with a thumbnail photo next to each. The height requirement (or lack of requirement) is noted in the description of each attraction.

Disneyland Attraction Height Requirements – This list shows restrictions by height.

Disneyland Height Requirements


1. Measure at home with the shoes that your child will be wearing to the park. Rest back against a flat wall, heels completely to the wall for the most accurate height reading. Don’t stretch, tip-toe or raise your chin!

2. Scan the list of height requirements and take note of what your children will or will not be able to ride.

Disneyland Height Requirements

3. Let your kids know in advance what rides they will be able to go on and which ones they aren’t tall enough for. You don’t want any disappointed thrill seekers on their Disney day when they discover that they miss the height requirement for California Screamin’ by an inch!

4. Note that there are some rides that allow guests that don’t meet the height requirement to ride with a taller guest.

Disneyland Height Requirements

Height requirements are in place to keep your children safe. There is a reason why the requirements are in place. Don’t even consider stuffing napkins into your child’s shoes to make them taller, that’s simply unsafe…I’ve actually seen parents do this in the Park.

Disneyland Height Requirements

Cast Members will check your child at the beginning of each ride (and sometimes another Cast member will check again further down the line).

Disneyland height requirements - Does your child measure up?

Double checking my preschooler’s height before riding Radiator Springs Racers

What ride is your child looking forward to “growing in to”? Let me know in the comments below!

I recommend purchasing tickets at Park Savers before your trip! Save a few dollars and time standing in line at the gate (affiliate link)


If you are new to my blog, please consider subscribing to my newsletter so you don’t miss any posts. Thanks for stopping by!

Fix it, don’t toss it!! – How to Fix Broken Make-up

When I returned from vacation last month I was so disappointed to see that my pressed bronzing powder had shattered in my checked luggage. I figured it was a lost cause until I came across a Pinterest link that showed broken powder getting “fixed” back into a solid. I had nothing to lose so I thought I’d give it a try and hey, it worked!

Don't toss it!! Fix your broken make-up {Tutorial}

Don't toss it! Fix your broken make-up {Tutorial}

The pressed powder isn’t as smooth as it was before getting broken but I think it will smooth out with use. The color also seems a bit more intense or perhaps it picks up more on the brush? But in any case, I’m using less powder. Otherwise it’s working the same as it did before. This fix was a hit!

Don't toss it! Fix your broken make-up {Tutorial}

Good as new!

Let me know how it works out for you! Leave me a comment below and please sign up to follow this blog, thanks!




SoCal Guide – Knott’s Berry Farm – History, Snoopy and High-speed Thrills!

Camp Snoopy at Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park California

As a kid I loved going to Knott’s Berry Farm!

Flying around on the Waveswinger. The bandit holdup on the Calico Railroad. Boysenberry everything! My Dad whooping it up on the Dragon Swing. The Ghost Town buildings. Getting splashed on the Timber Mountain Log Ride.

And not be missed: The biscuits and fried chicken at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant! After all, the restaurant is what started the whole place. If you don’t know the history behind Knott’s Berry Farm this is fascinating story (that precedes Disneyland). Did you know that all boysenberries in the world can trace their roots to Knott’s Berry Farm?

Knott's Berry Farm - Fiesta Village

As a kid I always felt like I was betraying my love of Disneyland by also loving Knott’s but I can appreciate now that these are actually two very different places. I can’t compare them any more than I could compare my children to each other, they each have a different feel.

Knott's Berry Farm

I had been to Knott’s Berry Farm often as a child and then only returned as an adult with my boys about 7 years ago. There were some quality control issues (unkept, dirty, etc) at the time as well as it being overrun by rowdy teenagers. But all of those former problems seemed to have improved greatly when my family and I went last summer. Knott’s was clean, the rides were all in good working order, employee attitudes seemed more upbeat and they had many new rides. Lots of new coasters have popped up around the park over the years. My young thrill-seekers love them but I find it to be somewhat disjointed. Hard to get into the feel of the place (Wild West/Boardwalk/Mexican Village) when coasters are whizzing overhead!

Knott's Berry Farm


Knott’s Berry Farm started off as an “amusement park” when Mr. Knott brought in old buildings from actual abandoned towns. I think that the Ghost Town is much smaller than I remember but they have probably moved things out over time to make way for all the big coasters. We always make a stop at the Blacksmith and watch him making horseshoes, have a chat with Sad Eye Joe and pump water from the well. The Old School House is a favorite of mine… visions of Laura Ingalls Wilder dancing through my head!

Old School House - Knott's Berry Farm

Entertainment at Knott’s can be hit or miss. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Native American dancers. The Calico Saloon show we watched last time was energetic however the room was lacking in chairs (though there was plenty of space) and it was stifling hot and without air conditioning (terrible in August!). We watched the Fool’s Gold Stunt Show in an open-air theater that featured some very cool seating (inside covered wagons). The show was a bit corny but the young boys in the audience particularly liked it!

Knott's Berry Farm -Ghost Town

Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies (who formerly performed under the name Billy Hill and the Hillbillies at the Golden Horseshoe at Disneyland) are now performing at Knott’s. I can’t wait to see them again! They were always a must-see for me at Disneyland.

Knott's Berry Farm

I always thought the figures placed around Knott’s to be a quirky and interesting touch. We have taken tons of photos with these characters over the years. My mom has pictures of me at 3 years old sitting on the benches with these figures. As you can see my son and husband were really enjoying playing it up with these “ladies”.


Camp Snoopy - Knott's Berry Farm

Camp Snoopy has had some recent remodeling and new rides added since we visited last year. When we return to Knott’s later this month, I’ll update with a review on these rides for little ones and the newly revamped area. Camp Snoopy is one of my favorite spots in Knott’s.

Knott's Berry Farm

My guy was delighted with the Rocky Mountain Trucking Company on our last visit as you can see!

Camp Snoopy - Knott's Berry Farm

I’m rather sad that the Log Peeler has been replaced with a new ride as it was a source of what looks to be sheer torture for my son about 7 years ago! This is one of my favorite pictures:

Camp Snoopy - Knott's Berry Farm


THIS is my favorite picture, though:

Sidewider - Knott's Berry Farm

This photo of my son and stepdaughter riding the Sidewinder last year sits on my desk and never fails to put a smile on my face. She is looking ahead with such a huge smile and he is screaming and clinging on for dear life…it’s as if their normal personalities were “side-winded” and switched during the ride!

There is a picture of me on the Xcelerator from over 10 years ago that I will not be sharing. Let’s just say that my son’s about-to-die face is put to shame with my white-knuckled picture from Xcelerator!

Xcelerator at Knott's Berry Farm

My kids had no problem with the Xcelerator though, they wanted to ride it again! I’m not a roller coaster gal due to motion sickness issues so I’d much prefer to sit on the sidelines and take pictures. My kids and husband were all about the thrill rides!


Knott's Berry Farm - Calico Mine Train

Our last visit to Knott’s was a great combination of high-energy thrill rides and relaxing walks through the Ghost Town. And of course we ended the visit with a fried chicken and bisquit dinner at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant…With lots and lots of boysenberry preserves!

Have you ever been to Knott’s Berry Farm? What’s your favorite thing to do there?


If you are new to my blog, please consider subscribing to my newsletter so you don’t miss any posts. Thanks for stopping by!



DIY Recipe for Spaghetti Factory’s Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing

I adore The Old Spaghetti Factory, it’s my favorite restaurant! Unfortunately there isn’t a restaurant very close to me so it’s been relegated as one of those places we only visit every few years. What do I do when I need a big plate of spaghetti mizithra or a salad with their delicious creamy pesto dressing? Well, I do the next best thing to going out to eat…I make it myself at home! The Spaghetti Factory’s Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing will make you crave a big plate of greens.

DIY Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing (Old Spaghetti Factory recipe)  - My favorite dressing, and so easy to make at home!!

I made several jars of this dressing for my birthday party last weekend. I created a salad bar with lots of different toppings. This dressing was by far the hit of the evening and we were scraping the bottom of the jar by the end of the night! Fortunately the container of buttermilk I bought was enough for me to make this recipe three times.

DIY Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing (Old Spaghetti Factory recipe)  - My favorite dressing, and so easy to make at home!!

Everyone at my party was requesting the recipe, so here it is for your dining pleasure!

Gather your ingredients!


DIY Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dried basil (I rub it between my palms to break up and release the aroma)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or one 1/2 tsp of chopped garlic for a stronger garlic flavor)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until smooth and creamy. I put mine into a shaker cup with a wire ball to mix and it was perfect (it even has a pouring spout in the lid!). For making multiple batches try mixing the ingredients in your blender.

Refrigerate for one hour to help the flavors blend. Dressing thickens overnight. Serve over salad or as a dip. The recipe made slightly more than what fit in this mason jar.

DIY Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing (Old Spaghetti Factory recipe)  - My favorite dressing, and so easy to make at home!!





It’s Hot at Disneyland! What to Do When Temperatures Soar

How can you prepare if you know the weather is going to be really hot at Disneyland?  You’ll want to keep cool so you and your family won’t be cranky, tired and wiped out by the heat mid-day. Find out what you can see, eat and do to stay cool under the sun at Disneyland.

California summers are fun in the sun! What can guests see, eat and do when it's hot at Disneyland.

Please note that I have included affiliate links in this post. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

What Can You Do When It’s Hot at Disneyland?

Sure, summer in California is usually warm and sunny. However even though summer may wind down that doesn’t mean the temperatures start to drop. In fact, here in California August, September and October are usually our warmest months of the year. There might be pumpkins on Main Street USA but the thermometer is still reading 100 degrees!

We’ve also been known to get 90 degree temperatures in February, when the rest of the country is blanketed in snow. Unlike the moist warmth in Orlando at Walt Disney World, our heat in California comes in from the desert so it’s a dry heat you might not have experienced before. After scorching under the hot sun all day you’ll be wishing for Elsa’s frosty touch!

Read on for my tips on what to do when it’s hot at Disneyland

California summers are fun in the sun! What can guests see, eat and do when it's hot at Disneyland.

Princess Dot Puddle Park at Disney California Adventure park

Seek the Shade Inside

  • Get toddlers out of the heat and inside the adorable Disney Junior – Live on Stage!
  • Take the Bakery Tour, Hosted by Boudin Bread. That’s about ten air conditioned minutes and you’ll get a snack!
  • Watch The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. A restful theater and cool air. Some guests admit they come here to take a brief nap.
  • I love the Enchanted Tiki Room and it’s especially refreshing on a hot day. Pick up a Dole Whip before going inside (you can snack during the show).

  • Soak in a glorious Broadway-like production at the Hyperion Theater. It’s a Frozen-themed show, how appropriately cool!
  • The underground cave of Bug’s Life Theater hosts a 3-D show It’s Tough to Be a Bug! Creepy and kooky (but cool!).
  • In the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough you can soak up the a/c and take as long as you like to admire the dioramas.
  • The Disney Animation Building hosts a variety of indoor activities that can take up the hottest part of the day.
California summers are fun in the sun! What can guests see, eat and do when it's hot at Disneyland.

Little Mermaid’s Underwater Adventure at Disney California Adventure park

Take a Ride

  • Hop aboard The Disneyland Railroad for an 18-minute grand circle tour. You’ll be shaded in the open train cars and get a great breeze as the train takes the trip around Disneyland.
  • Haunted Mansion offers a rest for weary souls with bone-chilling a/c. All thrills viewed from the comfort of your Doombuggy.
  • Take a long, cool walk in the shady queue for Indiana Jones Adventure.

  • “it’s a small world” – The happiest cruise that ever sailed. And it’s 15-minutes of lovely air-conditioning accompanied by music!
  • What could be more refreshing than going under the sea? The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Underwater Adventure.
  • A windy spin on the Silly Symphony Swings will cool off any sweat drops!
  • Yo-ho! 15-minutes of dark caverns and the swarthy Pirates of the Caribbean will have you rested and ready to take on the sun again.
California summers are fun in the sun! What can guests see, eat and do when it's hot at Disneyland.

Getting soaking wet on Grizzly River Run at Disney California Adventure park

Get Drenched

  • If you’re really looking for a soaking, try Grizzly River Run. Rarely does anyone escape without at least one article of clothing sopping wet.
  • Princess Dot Puddle Park is the perfect play space for a good drenching. Bring an extra change of clothes!
  • Splash Mountain includes 3 dips and a massive waterfall…you will get wet!
  • Take a swim break back at the pool mid-day. That’s definitely one of our family favorites.
California summers are fun in the sun! What can guests see, eat and do when it's hot at Disneyland.

Stay hydrated with bottled water that you bring into Disneyland park with you

What to Bring With You

Park Tickets. Purchase your tickets ahead of time on Park Savers. You’ll not only save a few dollars, you’ll avoid standing in a long line to buy tickets at the gate.

Park Savers affiliate link

Sunscreen. Always. SPF 30 and reapply often, especially if you are sweating.

Hat. Wear one to block direct sun off your face and the top of your head (I always tend to get a burned scalp when I forget my hat and wow, does that hurt!)

Sunglasses. Nothing like squinting into the sun all day to give you a headache.

Deodorant. If you find that you need to reapply mid-day when the weather is hot, do your queue-mates a favor and bring in deodorant!

Frozen bottles of water. Pour a little off the top before freezing them and pack them in your bag or soft-sided cooler.

Bandanna or a Chill Towel. So refreshing to rinse in the bathroom sink and wrap around your neck. Doing this will lower your body temperature several degrees.

Change of Shoes. In particular, it’s nice to have a pair of plastic flip-flops or sandals that you can change into before going on wet rides or in water-play areas.

California summers are fun in the sun! What can guests see, eat and do when it's hot at Disneyland.

Cool off with a refreshing mint julep in New Orleans Square, Disneyland Park

What to Buy in the Park to Keep Cool 

Parasol – Pop it open and you’ll be made in the shade! Sold at a cart in New Orleans Square. Price comes with handpainted name personalization and either hearts or flowers (additional designs offered for extra cost).

Mint Julep – Stick around New Orleans Square and pick up a mint julep (or two) . You can get them either at the Mint Julep Bar and sit in the shaded patio of French Market Restaurant or seek the cool comfort inside the Blue Bayou Restaurant.

Misting Fan – These are sold in kiosks throughout the park. This is a squirt bottle with an attached fan and strap to hang from your neck. On a hot day, it’s priceless!

Sundaes – Eat an ice cream sundae (big enough for two) and catch a show inside The Golden Horseshoe (my favorite is the mint chocolate chip!). With 8 toppings and 8 scoops of ice cream, the Earthquake from Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop will chill everyone in your group! And the classic Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor is the place for people watching…and waffle cone ice creams!

Change of Clothes – When the sweat is unbearable, seek shelter inside a shop and buy yourself a fresh new tee or tank. You’ll feel (and probably smell!) so much better.

California summers are fun in the sun! What can guests see, eat and do when it's hot at Disneyland.

Sunhat and sunglasses are a must when coming to Disneyland!

Things to Remember When It’s Hot

Water. Drink lots of water. You can always ask for free ice water at walk-up dining locations. I like to bring several empty bottles with me and keep them filled with water from the drinking fountains.

Stay out of the sun. As often as you can, keep in the shade. On busy days, a shady spot might be harder to come by. Seek out shady areas in out of the way spots.

Avoid High Noon. Get to the Parks early, leave mid-day when the sun is hottest and return to the Parks after a swim and a rest in your room. Or simply retreat to an indoor show or shopping when the sun is blazing.

Heat Illness. If the heat has you feeling sick, stop by First Aid at any time. Symptoms include dizziness, confusion, nausea and cramping.

With all these handy hot-weather tips, you’ll still be ready for fun long after the sun sets!

What are your favorite ways to spend the day when it’s hot at Disneyland? Share them in the comments!