Anaheim - March 5, 2014
When searching for locations for our On the Road blog, we’re often drawn in by anything at the top of its class: the biggest, best, smallest, etc. For our Anaheim edition of the blog the superlative we went with was “happiest”, the Happiest Place on Earth to be specific: Disneyland. While we didn’t get a chance to see Mickey and Co. in the actual park, we did manage to stroll around the happiest downtown core on the planet, Downtown Disney.
During our walk around the “shoppertainment center” filled with March Breaking kids convincing parents to buy everything from mouse ears to churros, we stopped by the Lego Store to check out some of the intricate Disney characters brought to life in block form. The second-biggest Lego store after the one in Downtown Disney Orlando, the Anaheim location featured larger-than-life Lego versions of the Incredible Hulk, Belle and the Beast, and Woody and Buzz Lightyear, among others. There was also a building station on hand so kids could create their own Lego men and women, but sadly there were no mini yellow hockey players for us to add to the roster.
The final stop on our tour of Downtown Disney was at the ESPN Zone to enjoy some kid-free company while watching the Lakers/Pelicans, the University of Oregon/Arizona State and Sharks/Hurricanes on the wall-to-wall screens. One of just two ESPN Zone locations still in operation, the Anaheim-based sports bar also features a miniature electronic model of the heated UCLA-USC football rivalry at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. Created in 2000 by Josh Murray, Greg Rude, Tony Silvera and Laura Welgand, the bite-sized stadium features fans made of rice and beans, among other dried food products. When we left to find a table, the Bruins were leading the Trojans 24-7, but based on USC’s all-time 44-30-7 record against UCLA, we wouldn’t bet against a fourth-quarter comeback.