“Cause she’s in love with California, and that West Coast sunshine dream.” Big and Rich
This summer I am living by the motto of work hard, play harder. If you’ve read this article before, you know I’m an event producer. I LOVE work and am constantly in development with my brands and the growth of my company. I have just shy of 1,000 events I’m responsible for this year, and well over that in 2019. That equals long hours, and non-stop multi-tasking.
When summer hit this year, we had almost every week designated to some sort of fun! The kids and my husband went camping the first week. Then we hit the road to California, where I helped produce a luxury car auction event. I may have experienced complete insanity when planning this part of our vacation, as I crammed four major tourist attractions in four consecutive days. On a semi-related note – if you suffer from chafed legs from walking 40 miles in amusement parks four days in a row, solid deodorant is your best friend. Rub it on the area and no more problemas! I wouldn’t know anything about that of course…
We visited Disneyland two years ago, so we wanted to explore other venues the state had to offer. Being so close to Arizona, the five-and-a-half-hour drive is a breeze! LEGOLAND was our first stop, and drastically exceeded our expectations! The day we visited was Star Wars themed, which immediately won my husband over. Star Wars characters were EVERYWHERE and there were no lines for the meet and greets! After a ridiculous amount of selfies, and taking in all of the Lego displays, we made our way to the LEGOLAND and CHIMA Waterpark. We could have easily just spent the entire day at the waterpark – it was THAT GOOD! From very short lines, to a variety of attractions for all ages, this park was definitely a family favorite! When we left, we decided LEGOLAND is a must-do when visiting California.
A few tips and tricks based on our experience: There is a charge for parking. Lockers are available to rent daily, and we considered it a basic necessity of the visit. If you’re on a budget – be sure to eat before you arrive. Food is pricey, but it was actually good. They also offered healthy options, which is abnormal for theme parks! We brought a change of clothes, but that seemed to be unnecessary in retrospect. We’d give this stop a 10 out of 10!
Day two, we ventured to Universal Studios Hollywood. The first thing we liked about our visit, was that the parking lot was immediately adjacent to Universal CityWalk, the entrance to the park. Security and ticket lines moved quickly. We got the Universal Express tickets, which allow you a one-time, front-of-the-line pass on each ride. My son struggles with waiting…who am I kidding, don’t we all? With the time we saved on waiting in lines, we were able to visit every attraction in the park before it closed. The magnitude of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was overwhelming! It’s so authentic in its presentation, including snow covered two-story homes, chilled ButterBeer, full-size train engine with conductor, all accompanied by singing toads. If you’re a fan of the movie in the slightest, you’ll enjoy it! My daughter purchased an interactive wand, which she used to “do spells” throughout Hogsmeade and see magic in real life. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was by far our favorite ride of our vacation. It was very disorienting, and unlike anything I have ever ridden on in my life. The DreamWorks Theatre featuring Kung Fu Panda, was again a wow-moment, as the theater comes to life in a 360 presentation. It was VERY unique! My kids loved meeting characters from Despicable Me, Shrek, Scooby-Doo, and more! I tried to avoid Jurassic Park – the Ride, as I didn’t want to get wet, but to my surprise, I loved the ride and it refreshed me to keep having fun for several more hours!
Desiree' is the executive event producer for Street Market. Her writing is dedicated to all things related to country living, home décor, travel and events, family, faith, and more. Check out her column in Arizona Real Country Magazine.