A couple weeks ago, my family came to visit me in Anaheim for our annual summer vacation adventure. Our plan was to relax by the pool, eat, and spend a lot of time at Disneyland. However, my brother-in-law is not the biggest fan of Disney, which prompted me to wonder how I would entertain him. I needed to take him on a Disney adventure that would be more directed toward older kids (I don’t use the word “adult”) and I succeeded. With my success, I decided that I should write about what the older kids at Disney would enjoy. Welcome to the Disney for the Older Crowd blog.
The first destination I took my brother-in-law to was the Void in Downtown Disney. The Void is a Star Wars virtual reality experience. In this experience, you walk, shoot, solve puzzles and even smell lava in the Star Wars universe. I would describe it as a 21st century laser tag, but 10x better. It is truly an immersive experience that leaves every person saying “wow.” If you have ever wanted to shoot storm troopers, this experience is for you. At one point, you come face to face with Darth Vader and it’s enough to make you back into the wall.
If you happen to be over the age of 21, this next place is for you. Located at the Disneyland hotel, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar is an interactive bar with tasty drinks. Trader Sam’s is themed after a tropical oasis. The inside of the bar is small, but the experience is interactive. Certain drinks trigger reactions in the bar. For example, one drink makes the stools at the bar rise and lower. While another drink triggers the bar tenders or “skippers” to spray the locals with water. The inside of the bar gets crowded and loud. If you want a more relaxed experience, try sitting outside. Tiki torches light up the patio as musicians play peaceful island music. At this bar, I would recommend trying the HippopotoMai-Tai or the Piranha Pool.
When people think of Disneyland, they think of the typical theme park food. When my brother-in-law thought that’s what we were eating, I chuckled. There are fine dining options located all around the resort that can satisfy the pickiest of eaters. Located in Disneyland, the Blue Bayo was my choice to wow my brother-in-law. The Blue Bayo is a Cajun inspired restaurant that sits inside the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. As you eat in the dim lit restaurant, boats from the ride pass by. The restaurant is a Disneyland staple and serves some of the best food in the resort. In my personal opinion, the Blue Bayou has the best bread. If you want an even more upscale dining experience, try Carthay Circle in DCA or Napa Rose at the Grand Californian.
When it comes to spending time in the theme parks, Disney’s California Adventure is the place to be for the older crowds. This is because the park houses newer attractions that are technologically advanced. I would describe DCA as a more state of the art Disney theme park because it offers more than just dark rides and classic attractions. If you’re a marvel fan, you can visit your favorite super heroes and ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. If you like thrills, you can ride the Incredicoaster. If you like speed, you can ride Radiator Springs Racers. There are so many different styles of attractions in this park that are primarily directed at an older demo. I knew that my brother-in-law would not have fun at Disneyland, which is why I only forced him to come to the parks with us when we went to California Adventure. In addition to attractions, DCA has a variety of beers, wines and liquors that guests can try. Not many people know that you can order vodka lemonade in Cars Land. One of my favorite places to relax is Alfresco Tasting Terrace. You can sip on wine or even enjoy a pop while you overlook the park from a high vantage point.
Whenever people say Disney is just for kids, I simply laugh and rebuttal with why Disney is not just for kids. It is a place for everyone to have fun, make memories and discover their inner child. When my brother-in-law left Disneyland, he was more than satisfied with his time here. I saw him laugh, gasp and enjoy so much food while he was on vacation. I surprised him with new forms of Disney magic and now I know I can do it again next time he visits. Things are constantly changing at Disneyland. In the next couple years, Disney will welcome Salt and Straw, Ballast Point, Star Wars Land, a new Disney Hotel and much more. Disney is a place for everyone and will continue to be a place for everyone!
Michael Fracassa | Writing Contributor
B.A | Media Studies | Bowling Green State University
M.A | Film & TV Producing | Chapman University
Michael Fracassa is a Michigan native who recently moved to California to pursue his dream of producing children’s television. Currently, he attends Chapman University where he is obtaining his masters in Film and Television Producing. He is passionate about all things Disney, Marvel and Star Wars. You’ll find him adventuring around Disneyland or swimming in the ocean. Instagram @Fracassaaa | View My Blogs
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