Here it is – the last update about my latest trip to Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.
In a way, I find it a little bittersweet to be finishing up this piece. It is so much fun to write about my trip and relive the memories, but incredibly draining because all I want to do when I write is go back and visit again. I am already looking forward to writing about my next trip, but I will touch on that again a little later.
And onward to Day 3.
We started off Day 3 in Disneyland with a Hoyt family tradition – getting Disneyland Cinnamon Rolls. There is something truly magical about Disney’s Cinnamon Roll recipe that just can’t be replicated anywhere else. We love them and always plan having breakfast at the parks just one day so we can eat them. The rest of our breakfasts during the trip are either small things that can be purchased from a grocery store or complimentary hotel breakfasts.
It took a little adventuring to get our cinnamon rolls this trip since they used to be found at the Blue Ribbon Bakery off of Main Street USA. However, the bakery has since been changed and we had to do a little exploring to figure out where to find our rolls. If you are interested in trying them on your next trip you can find these little bundles of heaven at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Café on Main Street USA in Disneyland or at the Fiddler Fife & Practical Café in California Adventure. If you’ve already tried them and love them or don’t plan on visiting Disney any time soon and would love to try one, I plan on sharing a copycat recipe that we have tried (and adore) on here in the next couple of weeks.
After our breakfast we moseyed on over to Adventureland and took a quiet ride on the Jungle Cruise to let our food settle and took advantage of a fairly short Indiana Jones line. We then crossed over all the way to Tomorrowland so that my little cousins could have a chance to be in the Jedi Training Academy. Thankfully, both of them were picked and got to fight Darth Maul with their new Jedi training. Pretty epic.
By the time this was over, we were ready for lunch and took the monorail from Tomorrowland into Downtown Disney. We love a sandwich shop down here called Earl of Sandwich (can you tell we are really big on food?) and attempt to visit it once every trip. Our favorite sandwich of choice here is the Holiday Sandwich which has all the deliciousness of Thanksgiving dinner served on a piece of bread. My kind of sandwich. I had been hungry a little early than everyone else and had ventured off to get myself a chimichanga, so I just settled for a pudding cup on this particular trip.
With the end of lunch, a few of us decided to go back and relax in the pool and hot tub for a bit while some others stayed. I don’t know if I am proud to admit here on Wandering in Disney that I was part of the camp that went back to the hotel to relax. I have never been more exhausted on a trip, so I felt I really needed just a little time sitting down and resting. We ended up getting to be there for baby Brody’s first time swimming and enjoyed the hot tub for a while before taking a much-needed nap and stuffing our faces with some leftover pizza from Oggi’s.
We didn’t prepare to return to the parks until dinner time and planned on heading straight for California Adventure. At this point, there wasn’t really anything left in the parks that we absolutely HAD to do, but I really wanted to make a point of riding Luigi’s Flying Tires in Cars Land. I would’ve ridden it by myself if I had to because I was determined to get one last ride in before it officially closed for god on February 16th. I love the ride more for the fact that it brought back and renewed a ride from Disneyland’s past, so it was sad to watch it go. We made our way back over to Pacific Wharf so that everyone had a chance to grab something for dinner that sounded good to them. As I stated in an earlier post, I am obsessed with bread bowls in Disneyland and decided to get their seasonal Baked Potato Soup in a Bread Bowl for my dinner. My stomach was very happy with me and the soup was just enough to warm me up on what ended up being a fairly chilly night.
Most of our party really wasn’t feeling like doing any big rides so soon after eating, but Kathryn and I decided to head over to California Screamin’ and ride again. It wasn’t the best ride because, for the second time that trip, our music wasn’t working. I never really realized how much a simply song can add to the ride until I went on without it. With the breeze going you could really hear the major lift in the ride creaking as you went up it and it really wasn’t the most pleasant experience ever. Since this was my last nighttime in the parks, I really wanted to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at night, so Kathryn and I went over and braved the 40 minute line and took the opportunity to chat on the phone with some of our loved ones back home. Thunder Mountain at night is quite possibly one of my FAVORITE rides ever, so I was really thrilled to have the chance to go on it at least once.
Currently, I work as a school teacher and absolutely love my job. There is just one bummer about it – the vacation time. I know, teachers are lucky because we get all the major holidays off and are lucky enough to have a Winter Break and a Summer Vacation and, I agree, those are true blessings. However, it is really difficult to get any personal time off outside of these district-wide, or nationwide, days off. In my district, I only get two personal days a year. Because of this and the timing of our trip, I was only able to spend a half day at the park so that I could be home in time to function at work on Monday.
Our last day at Disney is generally spent making sure we complete all the favorites one last time. Usually, this means that my mother and I spend the entire day in the park soaking up as much magic as possible at the last-minute, but it can be a little more chaotic when your last day is not a full one. On top of that we had to rent a locker in the esplanade area to store our luggage for our flight, so walking to the parks with suitcases in tow made it a little depressing.
We got to the park fairly early in the morning, shortly after opening. I personally like ending my vacation in Disneyland since that is my favorite of the two parks in California, so we started over at California Adventure. Really, the only two rides that I felt I “had to” do again were Tower of Terror and California Screamin’. We went straight to ToT hoping that it would have a short wait, and found it was only about 30 minutes long. Even though that was one of the longer waits of our trip, we figured that 30 minutes wasn’t bad at all and hopped in line. We ended up getting a baby swap pass since some of our party had to wait outside with the child who wasn’t big enough to ride, but upon getting off found that those who were waiting didn’t really want to ride. So, in keeping with “tradition”, Kathryn and I took the pass and our little cousin back on the ride once more. Upon getting off, we cut through Cars Land and the Pacific Wharf and met the rest of our party at Paradise Pier over by California Screamin’. Again, the line was a little longer than what we had waited in earlier in our trip, but it was far from being outrageous, so we enjoyed one last ride. And this time the sound worked!
After this we decided to make a quick stop at Starbucks and grab some coffee and the cold cups that Kathryn and I had been wanting to purchase. **Side note: That cup was one of the greatest souvenir purchases I have ever made. I seriously use it on a daily basis and it brings me great joy every time I drink out of it.
We then made our way over to Disneyland. I get really emotional on my last day, but I willed myself as I walked through the turnstile that last time to keep it together while I was there and just have fun. The order of everything was a blur, but I know we hit all of the rides that were a big deal to us one last time. And maybe it was a blur because I had one thing on my mind…. Dole Whips.
Now, if you have followed along with our blog you probably have realized by now that I have a severe Dole Whip addiction. It isn’t just that I really like them and can get one on the trip – I NEED to get one when I am there. Up to this point I had gone without a Dole Whip, so I was thrilled when we finally plopped ourselves in that line. Ah, just writing about it I want one….
Anyways, after our Dole Whips we made our way back to Toon Town, which we had not visited at all on this trip. I stopped at one of the shops to purchase a phone case I had been eying the entire vacation and then met the rest of my party at Mickey’s House. Now… This was probably one of the biggest crowds we encountered the entire trip. But, we waited through it, got our picture taken with Mickey and then made our way to Tomorrowland to use the Fastpasses that we had gotten for Space Mountain at some point earlier in the morning. I am not sure what happened, because it is surprisingly difficult to organize a large group while there, but someone Kathryn and I ended up being the only ones to get on the ride. After looking at the time while in line and realizing what time the airport shuttle was coming, I figured out that this was going to be my last ride of the trip.
Upon getting off, I ran out of the ride and headed down Main Street and out of the park to meet my parents, grab my churros (which we had purchased for my Disney loving, churro-obsessed boyfriend as a thank you for being my ride home from the airport), my luggage, and head towards the shuttle. On the way out of the gate I turned around and took one last look before saying goodbye to my home away from home.
As I write this post it has only been 3 weeks since I returned from the Happiest Place on Earth and I would be completely lying to you if I said I didn’t miss it. On a car trip just a week ago my boyfriend and I spent a good chunk of time listening to ride soundtracks and pretending like we were watching Fantasmic. I may have watched some ride videos on Youtube already…. But, I won’t say if that actually happened or not.
Right now I am in the beginning stages of planning another trip for October. Nothing has been set in stone quite yet, but it helps those Disney withdrawals a bit if I can find something new to look forward to. I have found some dates that would work for me to have a FULL four days in the parks and have done a little research on airfare and hotel prices for the dates that I think would work. Just today my mother and I discussed getting refundable hotel reservations, so it is really starting to feel real. October here I come!
I will be sure to keep everyone updated as these plans come to life.
Until then, I will just relive the memories of this vacation and dream of the next one.
Have a magical day!
– Melissa H