I have waited all summer long for my Disneyland Annual Pass to, once again, become effective and it’s finally time! Now that children are back in school and the fall season is upon us, I will now be visiting the parks much more often. Thank goodness, I sure missed my second home!
I was able to visit the parks on Monday August 31st and had a really wonderful day. Monday was my only day off work in a 10-day stretch, so naturally I chose to spend my coveted day off at The Happiest Place on Earth.
I went to the parks with my dear friend and coworker Heather. Heather also has an annual pass so I am sure we will be going together much more often. She was born and raised in Los Angeles and has been visiting the parks regularly for her entire life, so she is also quite the Disney expert.
We decided to spend only the afternoon for our visit. Heather had to work that morning, plus, the main reason we wanted to go was to see the new evening shows. My main objective with our visit was to spend the majority of our time in California Adventure. The past three times I had been to the parks I had only visited Disneyland, so it had been a while since I enjoyed what California Adventure has to offer.
We could tell right away that the parks were super slow. I like to check the ride wait times on an app on my phone, and when we arrived there wasn’t a single wait over 30 minutes, a good sign for a slow day. We started out by grabbing our Soarin’ Over California fast passes as it was hot out and we didn’t want to wait too long outside for that ride.
While we waited for it to be time to use our fast passes we took a quick spin on The Little Mermaid ride and then bopped over to Paradise Pier and enjoyed a go on Toy Story Midway Mania. Heather beat me by a long shot; her arcade skills were far superior. We next rode California Screamin’, and requested to sit in the very front of the roller coaster, AKA, the best spot on the ride.
After hitting up Paradise Pier, it was time for us to use our Soarin’ fast passes. We grabbed passes to Grizzly River Run on the walk over, deciding it was the best time of day to get wet because it was so hot out. We road Soarin’ and had amazing seats for the whole experience, front and center. I always feel so relaxed after that ride.
By the time we finished Soarin’ we were both super hungry so we ventured over to Hollywood Land for an early dinner. Heather enjoyed a chilidog from Award Wieners and I gobbled down a delicious turkey leg from a street vendor.
Once we finished our dinner it was already time to use our Grizzly River Run passes so we headed off for the rapids. We got in our boat with four other gals, three who did not speak English but were very funny! Heather definitely got the short end of the stick when it came to seating. She was absolutely soaked by the end of the ride. I on the other hand didn’t get too wet.
Next, we headed over The Karl Strauss vendor and grabbed a few brews for our wait in line at Radiator Springs Racers. The wait time for the ride was at 45 minutes so we decided to do the single riders line, which was only at 15. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip around Route 66.
We were planning on grabbing our fast passes for The Tower of Terror after Cars Land, but the passes were no longer available for the day, and the wait was also at 45 minutes. I was disappointed I didn’t get to experience this ride, but hopefully we will be able to next time.
Heather and I ended up in The Mad Hatter Dance Party after skipping out on The Tower of Terror. We enjoyed a few fun glowing beverages while we watched people dance around the courtyard for a while. I also really enjoyed the cooling mist after being pretty hot all day.
Once we finished our drinks we decided it was time to head over to Disneyland for the night to watch the new evening shows. I won’t go into detail about the shows too much because I will be writing a specific post about them later.
We found amazing seats for the Paint the Night Parade, and enjoyed some popcorn and French fries as we watched this spectacular performance. The whole experience was just epic, and I still have the Paint the Night theme song stuck in my head!
After the parade, we wandered over to the front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and found a spot for Disneyland Forever, the new fireworks show. Again, I don’t want to go into too much detail just yet, but I will say that the magic and emotion of this incredible show actually brought me to tears. It was simply beautiful.
Once the evening shows had concluded, we spent a few minutes hitting up a couple of shops, and then headed for home. I had a TON of fun with Heather and can’t wait for us to go to the parks together again soon! Overall, it was a very satisfying Disney visit, and I am so glad I get to visit my very favorite place so often!