For someone that hates early mornings catching a bus at 6.20am in the morning is not going to fun. But it’s all going to be worth it! The bus (plus two changes) will take us to Burbank, a city 12 miles from Downtown LA, and the home of the Disney Studios.
Unlike the Disney Studios theme parks of Paris and Florida the studios in Burbank are real life working studios, which opened in 1940 after the success of Snow White. Being a working studio means that that they are not open to the public but four times a year the D23 club hold tours for it’s members. A bit of Disney magic was definitely in the air for us because one of the days that had a scheduled tour was the very day that I had earmarked for a trip to Hollywood!
D23 is the official Disney Club and membership is available through the US Disney Store website. I went for the Gold level membership, which included four glossy magazines throughout the year and the membership card. Silver level is cheaper as it doesn't include the magazines. There is also now a free membership level but it doesn't include the membership card, which you need to attend events and receive discounts (you do get access to the website though with Disney news and some great looking recipes!).
The tours cost $60 for each person and last 2 and half hours so by 1pm we will be free to travel into Hollywood itself and go star hunting. Despite the slightly scary stories of the tourist trap that is Hollywood Boulevard we can’t miss the walk of fame or the view of the famous Hollywood sign from the Hollywood and Highland Junction. Plus there is a bit of Disney magic to be found here too with the El Capitan Theatre, a Disney owned cinema. I had originally planned lunch at the Disney’s Soda Fountain, which is next door, but it is closed while they change it into a Ghiradelli’s. Very annoying as I had already chosen cheese on toast for my lunch and we're going too early to get our free Ghiradelli chocolate
Our next stop will be the glamorous Rodeo Drive! Supposedly this is where the celebrities really are so we might even spot someone famous. There won’t be much shopping going on except of the window kind but I am hoping to come away with one of the blue boxes from Tiffany & Co. Then to finish our very packed day we will be visiting the Cheesecake Factory on Beverly Hills Drive. This is partly because I love cheesecake and partly because it links to The Big Bang Theory (one of Matt’s favourite shows) as Penny works in the one in Pasadena.
Sadly we will then have to start the long journey home (two and a half hours, two buses) but after all the excitement I think the sit down on the bus will be needed!
We’re all going to the Zoo!
As a zoology graduate I absolutely adore animals and as my local zoo pretty much only has Monkeys I love going to bigger zoos and safari parks. We have one spare day and rather than relax around the hotel, which we should probably do, we are off to San Diego Zoo!
The zoo is over 90 miles away from Anaheim but luckily there are plenty of bus companies, which do joint travel and entry tickets so it is pretty simple to get there. I’m also hoping for some nice scenery along the way as the route is via the coast.
I am beyond excited about seeing pandas, koalas and wombats! Matt is excited mostly because his favourite film, Anchorman, had a big section set in the zoo. He even has an Anchorman t-shirt all ready to wear when we go!
Next time- The happiest place on earth