United States
Orange County

Here you’ll find travel reports about Orange County. Discover travel destinations in the United States of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

135 travelers at this place:

  • Day27

    It All Started With a Mouse

    July 25, 2017 in the United States

    The day is finally here. The day a single 31 year old Disney fan enters the Magic Kingdom ON HER OWN!

    To help justify my solo attendance I opted to undertake the exclusive 'Walking in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps' Tour which was a special 3.5 hour tour including lunch with which we would be taken around the park and told stories about its construction, the imagineering and ultimately it's creator- the man himself Walt Disney.

    I've done a lot of research on Disney over the years especially during my degree. Many people have referred to media degrees as Mickey Mouse degrees so during mine I steered into the curve and wrote essays on Disneyland, Baudrillard, Hyper-realism and Mary Poppins. I think I thought I was proving a point. Regardless, I already knew a fair amount about Disneyland's construction and how much the park had meant to Walt in his later years. Due to the crowds, we wore ear pieces to ensure we could hear our tour guide but this also meant he could play us significant audio clips from Disney history. I can't lie, I got chills when he played us his opening speech from July 17th 1955. It's short but sweet so I thought I'd include it below:

    "To all who come to this happy place - welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world."

    I believe this speech still epitomises Disneyland today.

    The true highlight of the tour was spending half an hour in Walt's very own apartment above the Fire Station in Main Street USA. This really did give me tingles. Walt spent a lot of time here in his later years especially during the park's construction and early days. There is a lamp in the window which was always left on during his times of residence. As a mark of respect the lamp has remained lit since his death in 1966.

    As the park was so busy I opted to go on very few rides and simply soak up the Disney atmosphere and indulge in my photography. Doing this I made several inreresting observations. The first was the realisation that kids were still carrying around autograph books and they were on sale in all the gift shops. This was a nice surprise as I'd assumed the autograph had been subsumed by the selfie. Second was the 'Bibbidy Bobbdy Boo Boutique' just inside the Castle. On entering you struggle to focus at first through the mist of hairspray and glitter but once the fog clears you are greeted with a frenzy of little girls sat in parlour chairs having their hair done by Fairy Godmothers and being dressed as Princesses. It was magical and a little creepy all at the same time! I confess I was tempted to ask whether big girls could play too! My 3rd interesting observation was that there is no signal on the Haunted Mansion. Spooky huh? I was also chuffed to find the entrance to 'Club 33' which was Disney's exclusive club set upstairs in the New Orleans houses of Frontierland.

    The day ended with 'Fantasmic' - Disney's infamous night time show on the water in Frontierland. I first saw this in 1994 and thought it was the most magical thing I'd ever seen. I still do.
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  • Day1

    Off we go!

    December 26, 2017 in the United States

    First things first is the christmas outfit! Went all out!
    Second thing is I'm never flying on Boxing Day again - too hectic trying to get everything organised for a long trip combined with christmas. And everything takes longer than you think.
    Even a simple thing like advising the banks of the travel plans took ages. ANZ have a very detailed procedure where you list dates in and out of each country and because my plans involve several countries and abit of back and forth I kept on getting timed out - so thats one hour of my life that I will never get back!

    Next was the packing. Naturally this wasn't started until I got home on christmas night. You can see the chaos in the photo!
    And so of course last minute isn't complete unless you soak your clothes in mosquito repellant thus ensuring they are not dry for the flight. You can see some of them drying laid out on plastic in the background of the photo!
    Then as you are stressing out with the packing there is the lovely scent of permethrin in the air from the mosie soaked clothes as you wonder if the ventilation is enough so that it doesn't become toxic.

    Anyway no sleep for me as I head off to the airport!
    Tried to buy my way into the business class lounge to no avail so I left mum (aka margy) and headed for the floor - literally! So exhausted I joined a few people who were lying on the floor in one of the gate areas. A new low.

    Flew american airlines which I haven't done for a while - good food in terms of airline food - much better than united and delta. Killer chocolate mouse.
    And as a bonus a very good looking crew!

    Arrived in the US before we left for our 2nd boxing day. Weirdly customs didn't open until 6am so we had to sit on the tarmac. Checked into our budget hotel - booked the night before so we could check straight in.

    So as mum went to bed I headed off to an Amazon pick up centre where I had some purchases directed. Such a great idea and saves postage to Australia if you happen to be going to the States. And they accept returns saving postage which is good because I returned two items. You will see my happy face picking up my goods in a later post!

    Then to REI in San Monica for sturdy walking shoes and ugly waterproof sandals. Mission achieved - see photo of super ugly walking sandals

    Then it all went to shit! Tried to withdraw US dollars for the trip and discovered I had mistakenly bought my expired citibank card. I have a truly terrible track record with card mishaps on my travels. So after discussions with Citibank in the US and calls to Australia I can get my money but then discover the transfer of funds is still pending.

    More calls to Australia and I transfer my money out of Citibank back to ANZ but won't be able to access the funds until Ecuador. Also my emails and text messages on my mobile are not sending/receiving so I have to change my mobile number in my Citibank profile to mum's mobile which is working - another call to Australia. However I can go online for sending/receiving emails but in Cuba wi fi is going to be few and far between.

    Thankfully I am not travelling solo at this stage so we have the money from margy's Citibank transfer but her card is not working. Another call to Australia to fix that up. Then we also take the maximum each day from margy's savings account but we still haven't got as much money as we wanted to take.

    Anyway I take margy to another REI store to get her ugly waterproof sandals for the Galapagos and after alot of trying on the perfect model are not in in her size! Bummer. We try other places but nothing.

    We have dinner in my favourite burgar place In n Out and while margy goes back to the hotel I go to Target and CVS - another two of my favorite stores - to stock up on a few things for the trip.

    Go to bed exhausted and stressed about the expired card and the money situation!
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  • Day5

    The mouse’s west coast house.

    July 4 in the United States

    Ok Mickey, Minnie and Walt’s whole gang, we are ready to check out your west coast digs.

    What brought us here?
    Well, first it was the kids (sort of…), second it was Cars Land, and third it was us (because of the kids and Cars Land). Disney’s Cars movie felt like such a significant part of our lives as our boys were growing up, especially with Isaac. Lightning McQueen and Mater were staples around our house. We watched the movie, had the toys, watched the movie, had the Halloween costume, watched the movie, got more toys, watched the movie and loved it every time! The chance to visit Cars Land was something we could not pass up (hopefully the kids like it as much as Mommy and Daddy will).

    Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Buzz, McQueen, from the classics to the modern we are here to see it all at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.

    What happened here?
    Our first day of park fun was spent at Disney California Adventure Park. Our alarm went off at 6 am to get us up and ready to head to the park for guest resort Magic Hour (resort guests get park access 1 hour before the park opens to the public at 8 am). Our first stop was the Fastpass station for Radiator Springs Racers. Once we had those in hand we enjoyed some breakfast at Flo’s V-8 Café. Sitting there, in this real-world of make-believe, it was quite an experience. We were literally in Radiator Springs! This was one of the moments we were waiting for. During the day we enjoyed numerous rides including Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout, Pixar Pal-A-Round Ferris Wheel and Toy Story Midway Mania… but we all agreed our favourite was Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land. We also got to see Mater, Groot, Captain America and Red (the fire engine from Cars).
    Late in the afternoon we headed back to the hotel for some pool time and the 4th of July Bar-b-q Extravaganza (food, music and fireworks.) Long, busy, exciting, tiring, hot, amazing day!

    DYK: Typically July 4th is the busiest day of the year at Disney Parks.
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  • Day18

    Pacific Coast No-Way

    July 16, 2017 in the United States

    After over 10 hours driving, we arrived at our new Air BnB in Newport Beach. Needless to say I'm a little tired. However, the pad was well worth the drive. It's like a luxury hotel room with its own separate entrance, private bathroom and spitting distance from the beach! Well at least we think it is due to the sheer volume of the ocean. I'll confirm tomorrow.

    Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. Unfortunately a large stretch of the PCH is closed due to landslides earlier this year (see pic downloaded from google) and there is no detour. Sadly none of our research told us the 'no detour bit' so we travelled about 90 minutes south to Big Sur only to have to come all way the back up again and join the interstate. Oops. That being said, it was worth it as the section we did is easily one of the most famous and spectacular. It did however mean a lot more driving and interstate which I'm not particularly fond of! Kate was very good at supplying me with regular doses of haribo and oreos as well as doing an excellent job of navigating. She can be my wingman anytime.

    We stopped briefly at Pismo Beach but sadly due to time we didn't really stop anywhere else other than Big Sur but the main thing is we are here and have a full day of 'nothing' planned for tomorrow which I cannot wait for.
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  • Day5

    California Adventure Park

    April 8 in the United States

    Today was a great day at Disney's California Adventure Park. We started off later than originally attended as the jet lag set in the kids didn't go to bed until 1:20am, so they slept in a bit longer. It was a bit more relaxed and less crowded than Disney.

    We had lovley chats with people in line and Brandon makes friends everywhere. We even got tips on how to use the "fast pass" and "parents pass" correctly as we didn't use it in Disneyland. Brandon got to go on the grizzly bear ride twice as well as Guardians of the Galaxy.

    We even saw the Frozen 1 hour stage show which was amazing. The set design, movement, digital effects crammed with all the music from the movie is a must see.

    It was another late night but it was a great family fun day..

    Notes:
    Having Inara wear shoes with lights was great and good for all the rides that are dark when waiting on line
    Not sure if bunk beds was worth it as it was musical beds with the bunk beds and our king bed.
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  • Day4

    Destination #2, Anaheim

    July 3 in the United States

    A place to hang our hats… or ears.

    Destination #2, Paradise Pier Hotel at Disneyland Resort California. Unpack the bags and get the sunscreen, we are here for a few days.

    What brought us here?
    A family vacation past the south western US does not seem complete without a visit to Disneyland. Our family trip to Florida’s Disney World a few years ago was an amazing experience and hopefully this Disney experience will be equally as exciting. So here we are at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. Disneyland and California Adventure parks are just across the street.

    What happened here?
    We were welcomed to Disney Paradise Pier by Gisele, who assured us Tinkerbell had our room ready and waiting. We got checked in and Gisele was also able to get us our park tickets. We were all tired but excited to have arrived.

    Our 10th floor room had two beds and a convertible couch. Out our window we could see half the pool and pool deck. Should work for the next few days.

    We dropped our bags in our room and headed back down to the restaurant for some late dinner. After dinner we turned in… need to get our rest before tomorrow.

    DYK: Paradise Pier Hotel has a ‘casual beach’ theme. It was built in 1984, has almost 500 rooms and a rooftop pool area with a ‘roller coaster’ water slide called ‘California Streamin’”.
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  • Day7

    More Cars, and beer!

    July 6 in the United States

    Day 3 of our Disneyland Park fun had us revisit California Adventure Park. Once again we headed straight to Cars Land to get Fastpasses for Radiator Springs Racers. We then made a beeline for The Collectors Store at Guardians of the Galaxy. We were on the hunt for Groot. We left with one Groot and new shirts for Corey, Isaac and Oliver. Corey could not convince anyone to go on the Guardians ride again. We headed over to Flo’s V-8 Café in Cars Land for some breakfast. We rode Radiator Springs Racers and Goofy’s Sky School. I rode the Incredicoaster and Soarin’ Around the World. We again decided to end our park fun and head back to the hotel. Enroute we stopped for lunch at Splitsville in Downtown Disney. After some time at the pool we got ready and took a cab to the Anaheim Brewery. Jen and Corey enjoyed some beers. We had dinner next door at Umami Burger. After dinner our waitress Amanda arranged a Lyft to take us back to Disney California Adventure Park where we watched the Paint the Night Parade. After the parade we explored the lights of Cars Land before once again heading back to our hotel. Another busy fun-filled day.Read more

  • Day19

    Life's a Beach

    July 17, 2017 in the United States

    After the long day yesterday we enjoyed a lazy start and ventured out in search of supplies for our upcoming trek. After a fruitful raid on Target we went looking for the The Cheesecake Factory made famous by 'The Big Bang Theory'. Boy were we not disappointed. My only shame was having to take a doggy bag for my main and the cheesecake to go as I was so full. After an oreo cookie shake (never line your stomach with one of these - your Mum is right - it will ruin your dinner!) I had something called Chicken Parmesan (Pizza Style). Essentially this was a breaded chicken in the shape of a pizza base coated in marinara sauce, cheese and angels hair spaghetti. Needless to say I slipped into a bit of a food coma this afternoon. Let's say it was yesterday's drive but we all know The Cheesecake Factory holds most of the blame.

    We took advantage of the beach chairs and towels provided with our Air BnB and camped out on the beach opposite the house for the afternoon. After having a brief snooze to the crashing of the waves and listening to Zero 7, I retreated to the room for a proper nap.

    I ended up having a thoroughly productive evening booking all my Canadian travel which is a big weight off my mind. Just a couple of nights accomodation left. With that, I must bid you all a good Tuesday and see you on the flipside.
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  • Day6

    Good Morning Mickey!

    July 5 in the United States

    On day 2 of our park fun we visited Disneyland Park. Another early start to take advantage of Magic Hour (it switches parks each day). This time our first destination was Tomorrowland and Fastpasses for Star Tours. Fastpasses in hand we found some breakfast. Once our bellies were full we rode Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, a semi-submersible sub ride themed after the famous Disney clownfish. We also rode Star Tours, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Autotopia, the Jungle Cruise, Tarzan’s Treehouse and Pirates of the Caribbean before stopping for some lunch. After lunch we rode the Disney Railroad all around the park and visited the Pirates Liar on Tom Sawyer Island. Our last ride was the Haunted Mansion.
    It was so hot, we decided to head back to the hotel for a break and to visit the pool.
    We got freshened up and returned to the park in time to take the train to New Orleans Station and check in for our 8 pm dinner reservations. We enjoyed our meal and sat through the Fantasmic Show. By the time we got back to the hotel everyone was exhausted again and we called it a night.

    DYK: Disneyland Park opened in July 1955. The park was designed and built under the direct supervisor of Walt Disney. Disney California Adventure Park opened in 2001.
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  • Day2

    Landing in the USA

    April 5 in the United States

    We made it to LA, and it wasn't too bad. Inara didn't sleep because she watched "the boss baby" a few times. We had a few hours of turbulence so Brandon got the best sleep as he doesn't take turbulence too well and slept through it. Such a deep sleep that he had an accident. Supposdly it happens every flight.

    Our home for the next 4 nights is the Grand hyatt regency orange county hotel. We have a awesome bunk bed for the kids and a brewery downstairs for the adults.

    Today was a write off as we needed to get over the 14 hour flight. Inara finally fell asleep as we went though customs, through the hour drive and stayed asleep for the next few hours as we waited to be checked in.

    The pool and the spa was a quick recharge but exhausted Inara and Elisa, as soon as they got back from the pool passed out on the bed. Brandon and Josh went to Target across the street and Brandon fell asleep in the trolley and josh had to carry Brandon and the bag backs on his own.

    Elisa and Inara walked a mile and back after their nap to get a local telephone number but was unsuccessful, but Brandon and daddy then had their turn to nap.

    Trying to get kids to bed as we have a big day tomorrow and hopefully we conquered the jet lag.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Orange County, مقاطعة أورانج، كاليفورنيا, Ориндж, ওরেঞ্জ কাউন্টি, Comtat d'Orange, Condado de Orange, Orange'i maakond, شهرستان اورنج، کالیفرنیا, Orangen piirikunta, Comté d'Orange, מחוז אורנג', Contea di Orange, オレンジ郡, 오렌지 군, Orange Comitatus, Hrabstwo Orange, اورنج کاؤنٹی، کیلیفورنیا, Kondado ng Orange, Orange İli, Орандж, Quận Cam, Condado han Orange, 橙縣

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