This is part of a series about our trip to Seattle and Disneyland in April 2016. All the posts about our trip will be listed here! Make sure you read the previous days before this one
Saturday, April 23, 2016
When we left off last time, we had just fallen asleep in our magical Disneyland Hotel room. But we didn’t get to sleep for long because we were up bright and early the next day to hit the parks again! And we had big plans – our Welcome to Disneyland tour was today and we were super excited to get up and at em.
One of the biggest tips I give people for Walt Disney World is to get to the parks early and knock out a lot of rides in the morning before everyone gets there. This tip proved to be helpful in Disneyland as well! Since we were staying in a Disney hotel we also were able to utilize the Extra Magic Hour and get into the park an hour early. We were some of the first people into Disneyland that day!
Our strategy for the EMH was to get all the Fantasyland dark rides done. Everyone recommended hitting them all in a row super early in the morning so we didn’t have to wait in lines later. This strategy worked beautifully for us, and I would definitely recommend it if you wanna get all those rides done early in the day! We wanted to do Peter Pan’s Flight first because we were told that one gets the longest lines, but it had a delayed opening so we instead headed to Snow White’s Scary Adventures:
It was particularly funny that we did this one first because the WDW version of this ride terrified Chris as a child so I made him face his fear as an adult haha
Next was Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, a personal favorite of our good friend Alec, so we made sure to send him some pics:
These were the comfiest ride vehicles in Fantasyland. I thought Mr. Toad was so weird though?? Nobody told me that on this ride you literally die and go on a quick trip through hell so that was certainly something lol
From there we went on Pinocchio’s Daring Journey. It was fine, Chris was very disturbed that the donkeys said “jackass” in a Disney theme park and I reminded him that the ride was very dated and things were different in older times when this ride was built lol. My general thoughts for all the dark rides is that they’re very quaint, and really add to the general feeling of the park. Even though we have similar things in WDW, the ones in Disneyland are more…outdated? And I don’t mean that in a bad way. They just FEEL older and more vintage – because they are. In a way it’s just a nice reminder like “HEY in case you forgot YOU’RE IN DISNEYLAND a theme park that’s been around for 60 years!!!!” Idk I’m not making sense but I liked it haha
Next up was Alice in Wonderland which we actually quite liked! It was very charming and cute with some very cool effects. However, a common thing I noticed about Disneyland attractions was that the ride vehicles for these old dark rides were VERY different from WDW. They were all very small – Chris and I are skinny people and we were kinda squishy in some of these cars. Additionally, some of them I felt were not very secure. I felt this in particular on Alice in Wonderland – there was a part where we’re like going down that hill or whatever and I literally felt like I could jump out of the vehicle at any second and no one could stop me!!!!! I don’t know why this is…could it be because Disneyland’s clientele is made up of more annual passholders that know better and less tour groups and cheerleaders who do stupid things like trying to jump out of vehicles?? Who knows, but I sure felt like I could’ve just hopped right out of that caterpillar.
At this point, we thought about attempting Peter Pan but the line was already stupidly long and since we have that one in Florida, we decided to skip it. Walking back out of Fantasyland we were very excited to see the Matterhorn was running!
The Matterhorn was originally scheduled to be closed for refurbishment on our trip, and we were kinda bummed about it. But it turns out that they were opening it on weekends and we were so excited we got to ride!! For the most part, I did enjoy it – it’s definitely different from anything we have in WDW. However I think I will pass in the future because that ride vehicle was so uncomfortable and banged up my knees real good so this may have been a one and done attraction for us haha
We were mostly finished up with Fantasyland so we went over to Tomorrowland toward Space Mountain – or, as it was called at this point, Hyperspace Mountain! We were particularly excited about this one because we both love Space in Magic Kingdom and were really excited to see how the Star Wars overlay looked. Chris and I had a laugh as we got in line because there were people literally waiting at the Fastpass kiosk to get fastpasses for the day….why not just get in line and go on the ride now???? You won’t need that 8:05 fastpass anyway because THERE IS NO ONE IN LINE!!!! I don’t understand some people’s logic haha. It was weird to see people waiting out at the kiosk like that because we’re so used to Fastpass+ now and literally haven’t had kiosks in years!
I didn’t take any pics but we loved Hyperspace Mountain! I thought the overlay was very well done and even though the “plot” didn’t make much sense, I thought it served its purpose well. It was strange riding side by side on Space since we were used to going single file on ours.
At this point our Extra Magic Hour was almost up, so we decided to try and get one more attraction in before breakfast. We zigzagged back across the park to Adventureland and headed for Indiana Jones Adventure. This is another ride we were really interested in because it apparently has the same track as Animal Kingdom’s Dinosaur. We ended up actually waiting a bit for this one, about 25 minutes – but that was pretty much the longest we waited for any ride our entire trip so no complaints!
We really loved Indiana Jones! Chris isn’t a fan of Dinosaur here because it’s kind of a sensory overload, but we really didn’t have the same problem in Disneyland. It’s so unbelievable that the tracks are the same…it felt like a completely different building. It reminded me a lot of The Mummy ride at Universal too which I also love!
By now we were feeling a bit peckish, so we went to go get some breakfast! Our place of choice was Jolly Holiday, which I thought was just THE CUTEST. I wanted to eat there every meal!! I loved the Mary Poppins theming and the adorable penguin stained glass windows:
For breakfast, Chris got a chocolate muffin while I opted for something I’d been looking forward to for ages – a Matterhorn macaroon!
I love cute food, so I found out this Matterhorn macaroon existed I knew I would have to get it on our trip. And it did not disappoint! Once we were fueled up a bit more, we decided to squeeze in a few more rides before we had to go to our tour meeting spot. We trucked back over to Frontierland and hopped on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
I’d consider myself a decently large Big Thunder fan, and I LOVED Disneyland’s. I think the scene with the explosives was a really different and interesting change, and I wish so much that they would bring it to Magic Kingdom. It was one of those differences between WDW and DL that it’s not drastically different enough that I now hate MK’s Big Thunder, but it does give a slight edge to Disneyland.
We moseyed back through Adventureland and decided on a whim to check out Tarzan’s Treehouse:
This isn’t something I was dying to do but Chris wanted to so we took a peek. It was what you would expect – almost exactly like the Swiss Family Treehouse in MK haha but it was nice. I kinda feel like they should be reversed, like Swiss Family should be in Disneyland and we should have Tarzan here, but it works either way!
By now it was just about time for us to meet for our tour, so we headed to the front of the park to Guest Relations!
We checked in for our tour and were given our spiffy name tags. There we also met our tour guide Michelle, who was really lovely and very sweet. She quickly figured out that we were cast members (idk, somehow they always do haha) and we bonded over that and she told us how much she wanted to come to Walt Disney World.
Once our entire group was checked in we actually headed out of the park and went over (for our first time) to California Adventure! Our tour started there and we entered DCA for the first time.
I realize I’m talking a lot about our tour but haven’t really explained what it is much! The tour we did is called Welcome to Disneyland. It’s about 3 hours and I believe is normally $25 but we got it for about $18 a person with our discount – the fact that it’s super cheap is part of the reason we wanted to do it! The tour also gets you some fastpasses, priority seating for a show, assistance with dining reservations and a souvenir pin. It’s really funny, when I booked this tour I told the cast member on the phone that I live in Florida and she was like “you know this is for Disneyland and not Walt Disney World right? I have to check because people have definitely booked for the wrong park before” hahaha I was dying at that.
Anyway, this tour is definitely good for newbies – I think it’s geared towards people who have never been to a Disney park EVER more so than people who know Disney really well and are just visiting Disneyland for the first time. We still enjoyed it and learned a lot of neat stuff, and it was cool to see the parks with some guidance since we were first timers!
We headed into DCA and Michelle talked to us about the history, the story behind it, and shared some interesting facts along the way. For some reason I wasn’t expecting to love DCA but I was pleasantly surprised! It “feels” more like a WDW park than Disneyland Park does, and honestly it’s beautiful – when we walked along Paradise Pier for the first time I literally gasped:
It’s just so stunning!!!! During our DCA leg of the tour we got to ride Under the Sea which is one of the few rides I can confidently say is 95% the same as the Florida version. We still liked it though.
On the tour we passed through all areas of DCA, but I did not take many pics because I was taking it all in! We passed by Grizzly River Run (I almost typed Kali River Rapids haha) even though it was closed, and Michelle pointed out the back entrance to the park from the Grand Californian. This came in handy when we ate there the next day! We were also given some fastpasses for World of Color as part of the tour.
After going through the whole park we stopped for a quick break at Mortimers Market where we could get a snack or use the restroom. A sneaky Chris pic was also taken there:
And then we were heading back over to Disneyland! Obviously since Disneyland is older, this part of the tour was more historical and we were pleased with how much info we learned on the tour. It was very cool to learn so much about a park that we were unfamiliar with, and see how much history there was behind everything.
We walked through each of the lands and learned about the origins and ideas behind everything. As part of the tour we also got to ride Pirates again which was definitely a treat! We also went by Club 33, and I’m reminded again now how I’m dying to go in there…anybody wanna hook up your favorite amateur blogger with a meal there?????
Once we’d circled through the park we headed back up to the Guided Tours area where we started. There we were given our souvenirs and fastpasses and Michelle let us free to explore Disneyland on our own! She was a great tour guide, so bubbly and friendly and we really had a good time with her.
Once we were finished with our tour, they gave us our souvenirs: some fastpasses, reserved seating to a show and pins!
As soon as we were done it was already almost time for our reserved seating for the show: Mickey and the Magical Map. We raced over to Fantasyland and got our spot. I didn’t take many photos – in fact I only took two – but omg this show was fantastic!!
It reminded me a lot of the shows that they had on the Disney Cruise Line – not really much of a plot, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but they crammed like 45 Disney characters in one show so that’s good enough for me. And I loved that all the performers sang live – it’s something I noticed all around Disneyland that they do differently from WDW. I think it really makes the live performances a bit more special than if there’s a pre-recorded track, and I hope it’s something that we can bring to Florida one day. Here’s a video of the show if you are extremely interested:
Anyway, once we enjoyed that, it was time for lunch!!!! We’d had quite the day so far and we had worked up QUITE the appetite. We headed to our lunch reservations at Cafe Orleans! But not before a quick castle pic:
I booked us a reservation here at the recommendation of many people. I had heard that we should go to Blue Bayou but I had also heard that that one’s overrated and not a necessity, and that you could get some of the same things on the menu from Cafe Orleans. I decided Blue Bayou wasn’t a must-do for our first trip and went with Cafe Orleans. Maybe next time!
We went to check in at the restaurant and got our pager. While we waited we took some selfies:
And Chris kept up with his creepy photos of me:
Finally our pager rang and it was time for lunch!! We were seated outside and we honestly loved it – like I said in the last post it was a nice difference at Disneyland that so many queues were outside, and I love that they have outdoor seating for the restaurants too. It’s unfortunate that we can’t do more of that in Florida (because people would pass out or die) because it’s really pleasant!!
For our lunch I already knew what we would order. I had been reading about the Monte Cristo sandwich for months leading up to this trip and I knew I had to have it. We had been advised to only order one to split and let me tell you….that was good advice because this thing is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Omg my mouth is literally watering at this though because it was so good ;_; I want another one so bad!! If you know a place that sells Monte Cristos in Orlando please let a sis in on the secret because I need to eat this again. Basically, it’s a ham and cheese sandwich that’s deep fried and coated in powdered sugar. It sounds ridiculous but it’s SO GOOD.
It’s a bit heavy which is why I’d recommend (like many others) to get one to split. The grapes with it were actually a great side choice because they’re so light, it didn’t overload you and it gave you a nice break from the heavy sandwich. I seriously absolutely loved this…Chris and I each had two halves but he ended up not being able to eat all of his second one so I finished it hahahaha
After our meal we were stuffed so full that we decided it was time to go back to the hotel to take a nap. It was SO nice to have our hotel so close to the parks…this is something we pretty much can’t do in Florida and it was just soooo convenient to be able to pop back there for a nap.
After our refreshing nap we headed back to the park, and we walked right into the Soundsational Parade!
We didn’t have a great view so I didn’t take a ton of photos, but it was a super cute parade! I’m glad we made it back in time to see it.
After that we had a decent amount of time before our dinner, so we decided to hit up some more of the attractions we hadn’t gotten to yet. One of our first stops was the Tiki Room!
I don’t even know why, but Chris and I are HUGE Tiki Room fans. We sing the songs to each other all the time and reenact the show using weird voices. I don’t know, it’s just something weird we do haha. I named my car Fifi after one of the little white birdies. We just really love it!
We were really happy to watch it in Disneyland 🙂
We circled back through Fantasyland and took some photos in the area:
Including my favorite castle photos of the trip:
I just love them!!!
It still looks early in these photos, but by this point it was nearing time for us to head to our dinner reservation, which was at Carnation Cafe! We headed back to Main Street and checked in. It wasn’t long before we were at our cute outdoor table. This is another place I particularly loved eating outside. It was so fun to sit hidden away Main Street and watch everyone go by. This is definitely something I wish we could do in Walt Disney World.
Everything on the menu looked great! Chris got another creep pic of me deciding what to order:
I chose to start with a root beer float. Check out that ring-less finger haha
For our dinner, I got the Chicken Fried Chicken and Chris chose the Sourdough Bacon Melt:
Both were AMAZING. Seriously I still think about how good that chicken was. Life changing.
After enjoying a delicious meal, we decided to head back over to DCA. The plan was to hang out and maybe do a few rides before using our World of Color fastpasses.
We mostly just explored. We ran into a sign with a familiar name:
Something seems off about that one…..
We had been told by everyone that we NEEDED to go to Cars Land at sunset to see all the lights turn on, so we did:
Somewhere in here we also went into the Animation building which was AMAZING!!!! I took a bunch of little snapchats and videos in there. It was such a cool place. We could’ve stayed a lot longer, but soon it was time to head over to Paradise Pier to get situated for World of Color. We were both reeeeallly excited for the show since we don’t really have anything like it in Florida.
We got our spots and settled in. Before the show they had a fun game where you went to a website on your phone and the Fun Wheel would switch colors, and you’d have to repeat the colors on the site. It was really cute and interactive and I thought it was a fun way to pass the time.
I also couldn’t resist making a few boomerangs of the Fun Wheel while we waited:
Finally it was time for the show. I won’t bore you with a retelling of the plot – if you want to watch the show it’s here (I’m getting emotional just watching the video again!!!) Here’s some horrible photos I took through my tears:
Chris and I both loved it a lot. I wasn’t expecting to get so weirdly nostalgic for Disneyland considering I had never been there before yesterday, but I did!!! I think part of it had to do with NPH singing the Celebrate the Magic song which of course we knew from the Walt Disney World castle show. It was such a wonderful show and made me all weepy. I could’ve done without the entirety of Let it Go being in there, but all the Walt parts were nice. I cried. a lot. We also really liked how they utilized everything in the show – the Fun Wheel, California Screamin, all of it really just worked. It was such a fun show and I really loved it.
After World of Color ended, we could’ve gone back to Disneyland for a bit but we decided to just go back to the hotel and hit the hay. We were both really worn out (emotionally and physically lol) and we had a big day ahead of us…my birthday was the next day!!! So we decided to go back to the hotel and turn in a bit early (early being like 10pm). On the way back we hit up Earl of Sandwich and ate it in our hotel room! Once we got back we were soon tucked into our bed and we fell asleep quickly…it was such a long, amazing day!
That wraps up our second day in Disneyland! It was definitely a full day but we had SO much fun. And the next day was going to be my BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!!! I am so excited to relive that when I write about it haha. I hope you enjoyed this post and be sure to check back for the next one 🙂 thanks for reading!