Two weeks ago I was in SeaTac Airport waiting to catch my plane bound for Orange County, California.
To me, two weeks feels like an eternity.
Our trip had been in the planning process for a long time, so by the time we got to the airport, anticipation was quite high. My aunt and uncle had started the process by wanting to take their three children to Disneyland for their first trip. The rest of our family began to jump on board with the trip and before you know it, a group of 13 of us were going.
About half of our family left on Wednesday afternoon and those of us who needed to go to work or school that day left several hours later. Because of our flight times, none of our family visited the parks on Wednesday. Those who left earlier spent time playing in the hotel pool and those of us who arrived later in the evening simply crawled into bed once we arrived at our hotel.
My family has a system for Disneyland Resort:
– Day one is spent completely at Disneyland,
– Day two is spent completely at California Adventure,
– And any extra days at the parks are spent revisiting our favorite rides and attractions.
Our system goes even a little deeper than that, but I will explain that in a moment.
This brings us to Day One:
We did something completely different this trip and ordered our tickets in advance through mousesavers.com. For many of our recent trips, we had gotten tickets through my father’s work, but recently the savings through that only amount to about $5.00 a person, so we decided to try another option. The way Mousesavers works is you purchase your tickets online and then pick them up at one of the ticketing booths in the esplanade area between Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. The process once we got there was fairly quick, especially since we were there super early to use our Magic Morning that came with our pass.
Now that my brother and I are older we usually head straight for Adventureland to hit Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye and some of the bigger rides in the park, but this trip we had some younger guests with us, so we decided to start small in Fantasyland and work our way up. Now, I enjoy trying to do every ride in the park at least once during each trip, but I get extreme stress visiting Fantasyland. It always feels extremely crowded and there are so many parents trying to wrangle young children – it is just a little overwhelming for my senses. Thanks to our Magic Morning we were able to do what we wanted in Fantasyland with a fairly small crowd compared to the norm.
After finishing up in Fantasyland we made our way over to Tomorrowland and spent some time going on rides and stopping to have lunch at the Tomorrowland Terrace and watch the Jedi Training Academy for the littles who were with us. I feel like the menu at Tomorrowland Terrace is constantly changing and evolving, but I was pleasantly surprised by the meal that I chose. I will probably end up doing a review of it at some point in the future.
After lunch we went to finish the rest of the rides in the park. Quite a bit was closed during our trip (all of Critter Country, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, the Matterhorn, and most of Toon Town), so it didn’t take too long for us to hit everything. We had skipped over Space Mountain earlier in the day because of the wait time, so after finishing up the other side of the park a few of us went to go ride while others went to go and have dinner in Frontierland.
At some point earlier in the day, one person in our party had gone to get Fastpasses for the showing of Fantasmic! that night, a brand new experience. We are usually the people who set up camp for good seats at around 4:30 in the afternoon, so this was… Different. I am going to admit it – I don’t like the Fastpass system for this show. Instead of diving into it and opening a can of worms, I will just say that it feels very chaotic and disorganized compared to the Fastpass system for World of Color. Fantasmic! is my absolute favorite show though, so it was totally worth it.
When we finished with the show, we left the park since it was closing and went back to our hotel to get an early night’s sleep and get energized for Day Two.
– Melissa H.