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We’re Giving Away Four FREE Tickets to BELLATOR MMA 290 at The Forum on Feb. 4th

January 17, 2023 by Sponsored Post

The following is a paid collaboration between BELLATOR MMA and We Like L.A.


We Like L.A. is proud to announce we’re continuing our partnership with Bellator MMA this month, and you know what that means… It’s giveaway time!

Up for grabs are 4 (yes, four!) tickets to BELLATOR MMA 290 at the Kia Forum on Saturday, Feb. 4.  The evening’s packed card includes two world titles on the line, headlined by Heavyweight World Champion Ryan Bader defending his crown against MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko, who will be fighting in the final bout of his storied career. Can the iconic Fedor turn back the clock for one last shot at glory, or will Bader prove once again he is a true champion. Either way, it’ll be one for the books, and you won’t want to miss it!

And the best part?  If you want a shot to go for free, entry is a snap. Just head over to this Instagram post, and drop a comment telling us your all-time favorite mixed martial arts fighter (past or present). Just be sure to tag a friend in your comment, then follow @bellatormma on IG, and you’re all set. We’ll collect comment entrants through Jan. 26, and then announce a winner the following day (see full rules below). And that’s it!

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by We Like L.A. (@welikela)

Good luck to all who enter, and we will see you at fight night

Giveaway Rules & Restrictions:

  • Entrants must be 18 years of age or older to qualify.
  • One entry per Instagram user. Duplicate comment entries will not be counted.
  • Last entry will be tallied on Thursday, January 27, 2023 at 8 p.m. PST
  • Winner will be drawn at random from the list of entrants collected via Instagram.
  • Winner announced via this blog post and on Instagram by noon PST on Friday, January 27, 2023.
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Cemetery Lane Brings Trick-or-Treat Fun to Heritage Square Museum from Oct. 19-30

October 7, 2022 by Sponsored Post

The following is a sponsored collaboration between Cemetery Lane and We Like L.A.


Cemetery Lane is just around the corner, and if family-friendly Halloween vibes are what you seek, you won’t want to miss it!

This year’s immersive trick-or-treat experience transforms the historic grounds of Heritage Square Museum into a spooky mid-century neighborhood filled with delightful scares and plenty of sweet surprises for visitors both young and old.

Guests can expect a roughly 45-minute to one hour experience, which includes 13 trick-or-treat stops peppered with character interactions, photo-ops, a selection of spooky vendors to shop from, and a curated selection of food trucks. All the while, you’ll find yourself transported back to a time when horror comics and magazines like Famous Monsters of Filmland flew off the shelves, when shows like the The Twilight Zone captured the imagination of millions, and the real-life fears generated by the Cold War caused many a nightmare. Truly a one-of-a-kind experience.

Plus, good news for those who missed last year’s sold out event! This year’s Cemetery Lane will run on two weekends, first from Oct. 19-23 and then again from Oct. 27-30. Admission for all dates costs $27 before 6 p.m., and $32 after. Toddlers, age two years and under, not trick-or-treating, are admitted for free.

For more information, and to get your tickets, head over to cemeterylane.com.


If you’d like to learn more about We Like L.A. sponsored posts and how we work with our partners, you can go here.

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We’re Giving Away Four FREE Tickets to BELLATOR MMA 286 in Long Beach on Oct. 1

September 20, 2022 by Sponsored Post

The following is a paid collaboration between BELLATOR MMA and We Like L.A.


Who wants to go to fight night? BELLATOR MMA 286 brings electrifying mixed martial arts action to the Long Beach Arena on Saturday, October 1, and We Like L.A. has a hook-up for 4 (yes, four!) FREE tickets.

The BELLATOR MMA 286 main event features featherweight champ Patricio “Pitbull” defending his title against Hungary’s No. 2-ranked Adam Borics. PLUS: the evening’s card runs deep with SoCal roots, including Long Beach’s own AJ McKee making his lightweight debut, as the former 145-pound champion takes on Spike Carlyle.

Whether you’re a longtime MMA aficionado, or completely new to the sport, the packed lineup promises top-to-bottom excitement that’ll make for the perfect live experience.

So you want to go? Entry for our giveaway is easy: Just head over to this Instagram post (embedded below), and drop a comment in telling us your favorite fight movie. RockyBloodsportWarriorEnter the Dragon… The movie is up to you! Just be sure to tag a friend in your comment, then follow @bellatormma on IG, and you’re all set. We’ll collect comment entrants through Sep. 26, and
then announce a winner the following day (see full rules below). And that’s it!

Good luck to all who enter, and we will see you at fight night!

Rules & Restrictions

Entrants must be 18 years of age or older to qualify. One entry per Instagram user. Duplicates comment entries will be not be counted. Last entry will be tallied on Monday, September 26, 2022 at 8 p.m. PST. Winner will be drawn at random from list of entrants collected via Instagram. Winner announced via this blog post and on Instagram by 3 p.m. PST on Tuesday, September 27, 2022. An Instagram direct message will be sent notifying winner, who will then have 24 hours to claim the prize. If prize is not claimed within 24 hours we reserve the right to choose another winner from the pool of entrants. Prize is non-transferable. Good luck!

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A Three-Day Rollerskating Dance Party Comes to DTLA This July 15, 16 & 17

June 30, 2022 by Sponsored Post

The following is a sponsored collaboration between FIGat7th and We Like L.A.

Summer fun skates into Downtown Los Angeles this July with a brand new event at the FIGat7th open-air shopping mall. ROLLER JAM is part skating session, part dance party, and 100% a summer vibe. The three-day event runs July 15, 16, & 17 on the outdoor Plaza and features a skating rink, dance floor, DJ music curated by the Beat Junkie Institute of Sound.

With themes like Disco night and ‘80s & ‘90s night, skaters are encouraged to dress for the era as they get down to their favorite throwback tunes. And for those who prefer sips over skates, Roller Jam also includes a beer garden put together by Crowns & Hops, featuring their BPLB hazy IPA, 8 Trill Pils pilsner, Mama’s Keys key lime gose.

Of course, here’s the best part… A FREE general admission ticket gets you access to the dance space and beer garden, and if you opt to purchase a skating session (only $12 and includes skate rental), the proceeds go to the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Social Justice Learning Institute, and Downtown Women’s Center.

So to recap: Roller Jam is high-energy summer fun in the heart of the city, all for a good cause. That’s a hard combo to beat.

Make sure to head over to figat7th.com to reserve your spot today.


If you’d like to learn more about We Like L.A. sponsored posts and how we work with our partners, you can go here.

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Get 50% Off at the Museum of Illusions if You Bring a Picture of Your Ex

February 11, 2020 by Sponsored Post

*** The following is a sponsored collaboration between The Museum of Illusions and We Like L.A. ***

Love is just an illusion. But at least it comes with some great savings.

This week The Museum of Illusions in Hollywood is offering a special promo for scorned lovers: Bring a printed photo of your ex and you’ll get 50% off tickets, which include access to the mind-blowing 3D illusions and Upside Down House exhibits.

They’re calling the special Valentine’s deal Cut ‘em & Forget ‘em, and we think it sounds like a bit of necessary catharsis. Plus, you’ll get to bank an awesome L.A. experience in the process.

Now, a couple things to keep in mind:

  • The picture HAS to be printed.
  • The offer runs from Feb. 10-14 only.
  • Tickets must be purchased at the front desk.

If you’re newly single, take this as the perfect moment to cut your ex out (literally) and put yourself out there. Plus, we all know Instagramming well is the best revenge.

The Museum of Illusions is located at 6751 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA Get tickets here.


If you’d like to learn more about We Like L.A. sponsored posts and how we work with our partners, you can go here.

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Experience NYE in Los Angeles from 1,000 Ft. in the Sky

December 27, 2019 by Sponsored Post

* * * * The following is a sponsored collaboration between OUE Skyspace Los Angeles and We Like L.A. * * * *

Want to make the jump into 2020 extra special? Ring in the New Year at Los Angeles’ highest venue during OUE Skyspace’s New Year’s Eve 2020!

Enjoy two floors of entertainment from three DJs, two open-air terraces, four-hour open bar, appetizers and unlimited Skyslide rides. Plus, you’ll take in the night with panoramic views of DTLA and beyond.

VIP Booths are available on both floors and include admission for eight people, plus two bottles (one bottle of Absolut Vodka, one bottle of G.H. Mumm Champagne with mixers and garnishes) and three prix fixe appetizers for eight people.

Remember this is a 21+ event only!

Grab your tickets here.

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Capistrano Lights Brings Holiday Cheer to SoCal

December 17, 2019 by Sponsored Post

The following is a sponsored collaboration between Mission San Juan Capistrano and We Like L.A.

A holiday spectacle is back at one Southern California’s most historic locations, and the Christmas cheer runs straight past the new year. Capistrano Lights at the Mission San Juan Capistrano opened with a special presentation on Dec. 7, and continues nightly (with just a few exceptions) through Jan. 6, 2020.

Photo by Val Westover Photography

Each night at 5 p.m. a 30-foot tree at the base of the Great Stone Church lights up the Mission, accompanied by a 15-minute musical program. Families can explore the historic Serra Chapel, California’s most significant chapel, open after hours, pose for pics under a the 10-foot wreath, and view the community Christmas trees located throughout the grounds.

Photo by Val Westover Photography

Parents can take advantage of some of the special programming that runs along with Capistrano Lights, especially as they look for fun activities to the kids busy over the winter break. Coming up this weekend (Dec. 21-22) guests can hang out for selfies with Santa Claus himself or purchase an add-on for a Holiday Do-It-Yourself Crafts program with an AR Workshop in the Soldiers Barracks. Plus, sweet treats and hot beverages will be available for purchase from 3:16 Bakery Shop.

Photo by Val Westover Photography

This weekend’s crafts programming kicks off Winter Break: Crafts and Activities for Kids, which runs daily from Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, to Sunday, Jan. 5. All craft programs can be added on for a nominal fee. Weekday crafts and activities are offered from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m and weekend crafts and activities are offered from 1 a.m. to 3 p.m. Crafts and activities include adobe brick making, arrowhead necklace and an alternate craft.

Photo by Val Westover Photography

Tickets to Capistrano Lights are $10 for Adults non-members (ages 12-59) $9 for Seniors (60+), and $7 for Children (ages 4-11). The event takes place daily through Jan. 6 except Dec. 24, Dec. 25, and Dec. 31. The Nightly Christmas Tree Lighting at is at 5 p.m., and the Mission grounds close at 6 p.m.

You can purchase tickets here!

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Save Big With Family FunDay at Skyspace LA

October 22, 2019 by Sponsored Post

*** The following is a sponsored collaboration between OUE Skyspace LA and We Like L.A. ***

Take the whole family to OUE Skyspace with the Family Funday package! Valid every day from 10:00am to 4:00pm and includes admission, Skyslide rides, drink vouchers, and more for 4 people. Savings of $75!

Each Family Funday Package includes:

  • 4 General Admission Tickets
  • 4 Rides on the Skyslide (unlimited rides for kids 12 and under)
  • 4 Drink Vouchers*
  • $5 off a purchase of $25+ in our Gift Shop
  • $5 off a Memory Maker Photo Package provided by Hot Shots

Get tickets now!

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The Original Lobster Festival is This Weekend in Long Beach

September 3, 2019 by Sponsored Post

*** The following is a sponsored collaboration between The Original Lobster Festival and We Like L.A. ***

This weekend the Original Lobster Festival returns to the picturesque Rainbow Lagoon Park in Long Beach for a three-day event you won’t want to miss!

The Original Lobster Festival prepares fresh, live Maine lobsters in the world’s largest cooker, which steams up to a thousand pounds of lobster at a time—so there’s plenty to go around! And if that’s not enough, you can find all things lobster from lobster rolls to lobster mac and lobster tacos, lobster bisque, and even lobster surf ‘n’ turf!

This year’s festivities offer TONS of activities for guests to enjoy. Dance away the calories to a variety of popular artists throughout the day, enjoy tasty eats in the food court, kick back in the VIP Lounge, take a Free Souvenir E-Photo, or check out the local artisans.

You can also catch sports action at the Live Sports Tent, explore the live reptile exhibit, sip on adult beverages (beer, wine, specialty drinks — infamous Signature drink “Screaming Lobster” and Margaritas), and sing a tune at the Karaoke Lounge with a Live Band (Friday and Saturday night) or hang out at the complimentary whiskey tasting lounge. There is something for everyone, including a Magic Show (as seen on America’s Got Talent), Face Painting, Games and Inflatable Bounces for kids.

Admission is  $5 Friday,  or $13 Saturday/Sunday (Kids 12 under Free).

Hours are Friday 5 to 10 p.m, and Saturday/Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.

Get more info and tickets at www.originallobsterfestival.com


If you’d like to learn more about We Like L.A. sponsored posts and how we work with our partners, you can go here.

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The Best Things to do in Orange County if You’re Looking for a Place to Start

August 27, 2019 by Sponsored Post

*** The following is a sponsored collaboration between Hilton and We Like L.A. ***

Disneyland® Resort / Photo Credit: Christina Champlin

Just like its neighbor county to the north, Orange County can be a little intimidating because of its suburban sprawl, which means there are lots of things to do and lots of little pockets to explore. Whether you’re a traveler visiting the area or a local looking for new adventures, picking a list of fun to-dos can seem overwhelming simply because there are so many options. The question confounds… where to start?

Thankfully, We Like L.A. has teamed up with Hilton to create a massive list of great to-dos that’ll help you have the quintessential SoCal experience, whether you’re looking to spend a day at an iconic theme park, enjoy an idyllic beach scene, eat at a dynamic food hall, or get a view of the California landscape from nearly 500 feet in the air.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get exploring!

Signature Attractions

Disneyland® Resort: Hang with Mickey and the gang at the happiest place on earth. Located in Anaheim and built in Walt Disney’s own vision, this world renowned theme park is home to iconic rides such as “it’s a small world,” Pirates of the Carribbean and the latest addition, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge a themed area dedicated to all things Star Wars.

Knott’s Berry Farm: Spend a day with Snoopy and ride the coasters at this 57-acre theme park located in Buena Park. With five themed areas each appropriate for every age and thrill level, Knott’s Berry Farm is a great place for the whole family. Don’t forget to bite into their famous fried chicken and take home a jar of Boysenberry jam. Fun fact: Knott’s is the birthplace of the Boysenberry!

House of Blues Anaheim: Those who love live music can stop into the House of Blues, a rock and blues joint that host multiple music shows with a full service restaurant and bar serving southern inspired food.

Shopping & Eating

Anaheim Packing District / Photo Credit: Christina Champlin

Anaheim Packing District: Grab a bite at one of the last remaining citrus packing warehouses in California. Historically preserved and converted into a food hall, the building houses 27 merchants but the district extends to four additional buildings with even more merchants, full service restaurants and even a brewery all within walking distance.

Irvine Spectrum: It’s easy to spend an entire day at Irvine Spectrum, the popular outdoor shopping destination carries a wide range of shops from apparel to home decor and accessories. They also offer a variety of restaurants and cafes, a movie theatre and even an improv club. Take a ride on the Giant Wheel, a ferris wheel featuring sparkling LED lights that gives riders a breathtaking view of Orange County.

Sugar ‘n Spice / Photo Credit: Christina Champlin

Balboa Island: Stroll Orange County’s most scenic boardwalk located in Newport Beach. The man-made island is home to many restaurants, local shops and Balboa Island’s two most famous desserts, the frozen banana and the Balboa bar. You can find these frozen treats on Marine Avenue at either  Sugar ‘n Spice or Dad’s Donut & Bakery Shop.

South Coast Plaza:  The largest shopping center on the West Coast of the United States, South Coast Plaza is located in Costa Mesa and carries 250 shops, 30 restaurants and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Diamond Jabroree: Diamond Jamboree offers a massive retail and shopping experience with an international flair. There’s a karaoke lounge, an escape room, an e-sports gaming center, and even an HMart Supermarket. Plus, if you bring an appetite there’s plenty of dining destinations to choose from with favorites like Tim Ho Wan, BCD Tofu House, Haidilao Hot Pot, 85ºC Bakery Café, and MANY more options.

The LAB (Anti-Mall): If large malls full of people and big brands are not your thing consider hitting up The LAB in Costa Mesa instead. The LAB stands for “Little American Business” and that’s exactly what you’ll find there, independent shops and a few casual restaurants make up this outdoor marketplace.

Lido Marina Village: Newport Beach’s luxe waterside village offers boutique style shopping and chic dining options from Nobu, Malibu Farm to Zinqué.

Enjoying Nature

Crystal Cove / Photo Credit: Christina Champlin

Beach Day(s): Orange County is renowned for having some of the best beaches in the country, and depending where you are and what you’re looking to do, you can pick the spot that meets your needs. Corona del Mar State Beach is a half mile stretch that is among the most popular in the county. Huntington State Beach offers over 8 miles of coastline to hang out, surf on, or even take a leisurely bike ride on the 10-mile Ocean Strand. And then of course there’s the iconic Huntington Beach Pier to check out. If you’re venturing further into south county Salt Creek might be a good choice if you have a big family (lots of parking, easy beach access), while Doheny State Beach offers beachside fun and easy access to activities at the adjacent Dana Point Harbor. Oh, and if you’re a surfer there are a number of excellent surfing spots in San Clemente as well.

Crystal Cove: Take a dip in the Pacific Ocean and explore over three miles of pristine beach. Located in Laguna Beach visitors can park on the bluff above the beach to take a scenic walk through paved trails while stopping for idyllic photo opportunities of the coastline.

Sherman Library & Gardens: The 2.2 acre located in Corona del Mar is a living museum from desert blooms in the Cactus and Succulent garden to the indoor Tropical Conservatory, a fragrant Rose Garden to a beautiful Botanical Garden. Joined with the garden is The Sherman Library which specializes in the history of the Pacific Southwest documenting the development of the region.

Bolsa Chica Ecological ReserveThis 1300-acre preserve and coastal wetlands area is home to over 300 species of birds plus multiples species of marine life, mammals, and reptiles. The trail is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the adjoining Interpretive Center is open everyday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking is free.

Heisler Park: Located in Laguna Beach the park offers panoramic views of the coastline and small coves where you can find tidal pools brimming with sea life. This park is also a safe choice for young swimmers to play in the ocean and the grassy areas is equipped with grills and make a perfect place for a picnic.

Art & History

Noguchi Garden / Photo Credit: Christina Champlin

Noguchi Garden: Explore a 1.6 acre hidden public sculpture garden built by renowned designer Isamu Noguchi. There is paid parking at the business plaza that surrounds the garden but your best bet during business hours might be to park at the South Coast Plaza parking lot down the block and walk over (about five minutes on foot).

Bowers Museum: The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana is Orange County’s largest museum with a collection of nearly 30,000 artifacts informing on the history of the O.C. in addition to a collection of nearly 2,000 paintings covering the 19th-20th centuries. The Bowers has been voted “The Best Museum in Orange County” by the readers of The Orange County Register for 16 consecutive years.

Mission San Juan Capistrano: Known as the “jewel” of the California missions, Mission San Juan Capistrano was the seventh of 21 missions to be established by the Spanish in California. A visit to the mission today offers a snapshot in history through the architectural ruins of the old mission church that was toppled during an earthquake in 1812. If you visit on Friday mornings there are docent-led tours at 10:30 a.m., included with your cost of admission.

International Surfing Museum: If you’re planning a trip to the Huntington Beach Pier (aka Surf City USA), then you ought to stroll over to Downtown HB to the The International Surfing Museum. The permanent exhibits at the museum primary focus on Duke Kahanamoku, a native Hawaiian Olympic swimmer and surfing enthusiast who helped popularize the sport. Admission to the museum is a humble $3.

Something Different

Tanaka Farms / Photo Credit: Christina Champlin

Tanaka Farms: Tour a stunning 30-acre family farm then visit the produce market to sample the latest harvest. Seasonal harvest festivals feature plenty of family oriented fun including food, games, arts and crafts, or even a visit with the resident rescue chickens.

Orange County Great Park: Take a ride on the Great Park Balloon and enjoy panoramic views 500 feet above Irvine. The balloon attraction offers guests a 360° view that spans up 40 miles (on a clear day).

Pirate Tower: Located right on the sand at Victoria Beach, is a one-of-a-kind seaside tower that looks like it’s straight from medieval lore, but really it was built as part of an enclosed staircase to a private cliff-top home in 1926. The stairs are not in use today, but the tower still offers a wonderful photo op for those who venture out. Keep in mind that the high tide may affect your ability to access the base of the tower, and that street parking in the surrounding neighborhood may be limited.


Are you planning a trip to Southern California? Hilton is a leading global hospitality company with over 100 hotels to choose from in Los Angeles and Orange County across 17 brands. Be sure to visit Travel.Hilton.com/LA for more information on exclusive offers for your next trip to SoCal.

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Spending the Perfect Day at Disneyland® Resort

August 8, 2019 by Sponsored Post

The following is a sponsored collaboration between Hilton and We Like L.A.

Sleeping Beauty Castle / Photo Credit: Christina Champlin. As to Disney properties / artwork: © Disney / Pixar; © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

Every year millions of people make a summer pilgrimage to the happiest place on earth. As two thirty-somethings who haven’t been to Disneyland® Resort since their teens, a trip to the mecca of the mouse is as much about reconnecting with childhood memories as it is about exploring new attractions. And to be 100% honest, with so much to see, so many options available, and so many people all in one place at one time, it can all be a bit overwhelming.

But if you go at your own pace, prioritize what you want to do, and take advantage of some of the premium services offered, it truly is an experience you won’t soon forget.

This is how our perfect day of Disney unfolded.

Planning

Photo Credit: Christina Champlin. As to Disney properties / artwork: © Disney / Pixar; © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

As an adult couple visiting the Disneyland® Resort without kids, our plan probably deviates a bit than most park guests, but one thing that helps everyone is planning ahead to maximize your visit. Summer is a popular time to visit Disneyland, so using all the tools at your disposal makes a world of difference.

This is probably the biggest the reason we decided an overnight stay made sense. We wanted the flexibility to hop from park to hotel and back if need be, and have the peace of mind to know at the end of a long day we could simply crash out just a few minutes away rather than drive another hour to get back to L.A. That’s where Hilton has a great hookup.

If you book at least 2 nights in 2019 at participating Hilton hotels in Southern California you can receive a Magical Discount on your park admission to Disneyland® Resort. Guests who book this special offer will have the opportunity to purchase single-day and multi-day Disneyland® Resort Park Hopper® Tickets and Disney MaxPass at a 5% discount off the non-discounted price of the same ticket at the Disneyland® Resort Main Entrance Ticket Booth.

For our visit we arrived before 8 a.m. at the Homewood Suites in Anaheim, had the front desk hold our bags, and then headed off for our day of Disney. The hotel is adjacent to the Toy Story Parking Area, so we simply walked five minutes to the free shuttle and we were on our way!

Something New

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge / Photo Credit: Christina Champlin. As to Disney properties / artwork: © Disney / Pixar; © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

Nostalgia was a big theme for the day, but to begin we wanted to see what was new, which meant our first destination within the park was Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. It did not disappoint.

The star attraction at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. The experience puts a crew of six park guests into an immersive arcade-style ride where you ‘borrow’ the Millennium Falcon as part of a cargo heist. It’s a lot of fun, but of course there’s more to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge than just Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.

Guests can snap a selfie with storm troopers or rub elbows with bounty hunters at Oga’s Cantina while trying an expansive menu of exotic concoctions suitable for adults and children. If you’re hungry grab some Outpost Mix from Kat Saka’s Kettle or fuel up on galactic provisions at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo housed in a working hangar bay.

Rides, Rides, Rides

Photo Credit: Christina Champlin. As to Disney properties / artwork: © Disney / Pixar; © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

After Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge our goal for the next four hours was to get through as many rides as possible. In order to make this happen, we enlisted the help of Disney MaxPass.

Disney MaxPass costs $15 to add to our one-day Park Hopper® tickets (that’s $15 per ticket – but remember, you can get 5% off when you book with Hilton), and it was money well spent. The service allowed us to make reservations using the Disney FASTPASS® service directly from a phone, meaning we could plan out and book reservation windows on rides even as we were in line for others. There were a bunch of old-school rides on our to-do list: Haunted Mansion, Indiana Jones Adventure, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and more. Fortunately we were able to get to just about all our targets with the help of Disney MaxPass. 

A couple of tips we advise for using Disney MaxPass:

First, stagger your ride selections so you’ve queued up a couple with short wait times, and then another that might be a few hours away.

Second, bring a portable phone charger because having the app open all day will drain your battery fairly quickly. 

Dining at Disneyland® Resort

If you’re going to eat at Disneyland® Resort then Main Street provides the richest array of options. For something quick we’d advise a stop by Little Red Wagon located next to the Plaza Inn where you can get a hand-dipped corn dog. This corn dog is legendary at the park due to a super thick and delicious cornbread batter. You can also get the corn dog at Corn Dog Castle in Disney California Adventure® Park, which offers a cheese filled option as well. 

For something a bit more substantial, opt for a friend chicken plate at aforementioned Plaza Inn. Each plate comes with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and a biscuit, and the portion is fairly sizable. We were able to share one fried chicken plate and add a couple of side salads and it squared out to a perfectly sized meal for two, at a cost of less than $30. It also left a little room for sweets!

Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron / Photo Credit: Brian Champlin. As to Disney properties / artwork: © Disney / Pixar; © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

Across the from the Plaza Inn is Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe, where you’ll find the adorable raspberry rose Mickey macaron. Fresh raspberries and raspberry mousse are sandwiched between two Mickey macarons. It tastes as sweet as it looks.

As you make your way through Disneyland®Resort cool off with a DOLE WHIP® or a DOLE WHIP® Float at the Tiki Juice Bar, a counter outside of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room located in Adventureland. DOLE WHIP® is essentially a dairy-free pineapple soft serve. If you are looking for something more substantial to go with your DOLE WHIP® step inside The Tropical Hideaway located next to Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. There you can enjoy a selection of baos from bulgogi beef to spiced vegetables and lime chicken. A variety of fresh fruit, sweet lumpia and an assortment of whip flavors are also available. 

The Disney Pop-Up Experience

Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration / Photo Credit: Christina Champlin. As to Disney properties / artwork: © Disney / Pixar; © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

After grabbing a bite we exited the park and headed over to Downtown Disney® District where we had afternoon reservations for Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration.

This pop-up experience is housed inside the former home of ESPN Zone, where the upstairs has been built out into a series of rooms featuring hyper-colorful displays, each showcasing Mickey in a variety of themes, from a look at the early years of Mickey to a Fantasia tribute and everything in between. The oversized backdrops and Instagrammable installations provide plenty of photo-ops, so if Mickey and the ‘gram are two of your favorite things, then Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration is a must. 

Tickets start at $30 for a weekday visit but keep in mind it’s open only until September 2, so if you want to visit, it’ll have to be before summer ends.

More Photo Ops

Pixar Pal-A-Round at Disney California Adventure® / Photo Credit: Christina Champlin. As to Disney properties / artwork: © Disney / Pixar; © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

Some SoCal locals might have annual passes, while others visit Disneyland® once every few years. Still for others this might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In almost every case, people want to take great photos to capture the memory. Here are a few suggested spots for such a shot:

  • Sleeping Beauty Castle
  • Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue
  • The whimsical oversized teacups at the Mad Tea Party ride
  • In front of the Millennium Falcon at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge
  • Outside of “it’s a small world”
  • Next to one of the Main Street Vehicles
  • Mickey’s Toontown
  • Disneyland Forever®  fireworks in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle
  • In front of the Pixar Pal-A-Round at Disney California Adventure® Park
  • Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure® Park

Capping it Off

Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure® / Photo Credit: Christina Champlin. As to Disney properties / artwork: © Disney / Pixar; © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

By late afternoon we were getting tired, so it was a great time to shuttle back to the hotel, check in, and catch a quick breather. A short while later we were ready for round two, and this time we were headed to Disney California Adventure® Park. 

There is no way to get through all of Disney California Adventure® Park in just a couple short hours, but we settled for a ride on the Incredicoaster, a walk on Pixar Pier, and a sunset view of the Pixar Pal-A-Round (formerly Mickey’s Fun Wheel). After the sunset photos it was time to go back to the Disneyland® Park for one last thrill.

By just after 9 p.m. a crowd had gathered in a column on Main Street with Sleeping Beauty Castle standing in the distance. Minutes later fireworks filled the night sky as a soaring medley of Disney’s most iconic scores played throughout the park. It was quite a moment, a culmination of experiences both past and present, calling back not just to things we’d seen that day, but also movies and experiences we’d had as children. And as we glanced around to the faces of those around us it was hard not to notice the awe and wonder captured in the eyes of both kids and adults. There really is something about this place, isn’t there?

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Planning the Perfect Summer Date at the Santa Monica Pier

July 25, 2019 by Sponsored Post

** This post is a sponsored collaboration between Pacific Park and We Like L.A. ***

Photo Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

Few locations capture the iconography of Southern California better than the Santa Monica Pier. The beach. The sunshine. The thriving, pulsing crowds and energy. And it’s those exact features that make it a great date spot.

During the summer the beach is going to be the coolest (literally, by temperature) place to be in L.A. And the fact that there’s something for everyone makes it a blast… games, sweets, rides, or just good old-fashioned people watching.

So how do you plan the perfect date at the pier? We’ll break it down below.

Getting There

Photo by Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

Let’s be real, parking in Downtown Santa Monica, especially on a weekend, can be a headache. Luckily, we have an entire article dedicated to planning a car-free day in Santa Monica, which is worth a read if you’re going to visit for a day and/or you’re new to the area.

In any case, we strongly recommend utilizing public transit (either the Expo Line or the Santa Monica bus system) if possible. That said, if part of your date involves driving, just make sure to account for the traffic times getting in and out, as well as the parking costs (they vary by day) associated with the Downtown SM lots.

Those Crowds

Photo Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

One of the best things to do at the pier (and that’s free!) is simply soak in the scenery. The throng of tourists, locals, performers, and purveyors can be a little overwhelming at first (especially if you walk up on a Saturday afternoon), but the upside is that there’s always something to see and discuss and laugh about.

A great date, at least in in our book, facilitates communication between the two principals. So don’t be shy, talk to each other!

Games, Rides, and Funnel Cake

Photo Credit: Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

Communication might be the foundation of any great date, but the bottom line is, you’ve got to have fun and make it memorable!

Pacific Park, L.A. County’s only admission-free amusement park offers twelve different rides, including the West Coaster, the only west coast, oceanfront, steel roller coaster located on a Pier over the Pacific Coastline. Plus there’s an awesome array of midway games (aka, chances to win your date a big fluffy animal).

Once you’ve hit your limit for games and coasters, be sure to follow it up with a sweet treat (we recommend the funnel cakes!), then cap it off with a ride on the Pacific Wheel. With the big crowd, privacy comes at a premium, so a ride on the wheel provides some much needed one-on-one time, not to mention a killer view of the whole pier.

More Things to do

Photo Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

The nice thing about the pier is there’s lots to do, no matter what your mood or inclination. You and your date could go head to head at skee-ball inside the Playland Arcade, take a flying trapeze lesson at Trapeze School New York, spot some of the sea life inside the Santa Monica Aquarium, or take in some live music at Rusty’s Surf Ranch. If all else fails, just head down to the boardwalk to enjoy a light ocean breeze as the day unwinds.

Stay for the Sunset

Photo Credit: Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

One final piece of advice: Make sure you pack a beach towel so you can make the most of magic hour. Right before sunset carve out a spot on south side of the pier and watch as the dusk sun fades and the neon lights up on the big wheel. It is, dare we say, pretty romantic.

Hopefully you’ve had a full (and fun-filled!) day, and if the plan has gone well, you’ve grown a little closer with the person you’ve shared it with.


If you’d like to learn more about We Like L.A. sponsored posts and how we work with our partners, you can go here.

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