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
Sunday, April 24, 2016
We’re nearing the end of our journey here and I’m getting sad all over again! No need to be sad though, because today was a VERY important day of our trip…..my birthday!!!! I was SO excited to spend my birthday in Disneyland, but not before a very delicious breakfast in bed of a Mickey waffle 🙂
I’ve never ordered room service or anything like this before but I wanted to splurge for my birthday! It was such a fun touch even though I’ve also never eaten a Mickey waffle at 5:30 in the morning before haha
After our quick breakfast we got ready and headed out the door! Our destination today was California Adventure for the Extra Magic Hour.
We asked a photopass to take our pic and it turned out horribly because our backs were to the light, but here it is anyway haha if only to show you how few people were around:
It was so fun to be in DCA with barely anyone around. We strolled through and took some photos on the way to our first destination:
Chris and I couldn’t decide where to go first – the obvious choice was Radiator Springs Racers, but I despise Cars and I did not want that to be the first ride of my birthday…haha. So instead, we headed to my favorite ride from the East Coast, Tower of Terror!
We were actually the very first guests of the day on Tower, which was really cool!
As for the ride itself – this is one of the ONLY things in Disneyland that I actually prefer our version of!! I still liked it, but it just kind of seemed a bit lackluster compared to the version at Hollywood Studios. Obviously this review is obsolete now that Tower of Terror is changing into a new ride this summer but I digress haha
After this we were going to head back to Paradise Pier and hit California Screamin’, but we had heard that they had a delayed opening. Which meant there wasn’t really anywhere else for us to go besides…
Carsland! As you can see, I’m thrilled to be there. We headed over to Radiator Springs and jumped in line:
We didn’t end up waiting long at all – probably only about 20 minutes, and we were on the ride before we knew it!
Despite my dislike of Cars, the ride itself was fun! The animatronics were really well done and I can see how people who DO like Cars would love the ride. And even though we knew it’s like an exact copy of Test Track at Epcot, it didn’t FEEL like that to me. It felt like a completely different ride.
An interesting thing to note about the above photo is the fact that there are EMPTY SEATS in the car??? This baffled me and Chris and furthered our observations about efficiency in Disneyland vs. Walt Disney World. It could have just been because it was Extra Magic Hour so they weren’t trying to cram as many people on the ride, but I know leaving empty seats on popular attractions is frowned upon at WDW so it was just very interesting to see that happen. It wasn’t the only time we noticed it, either – not that it necessarily means anything or is bad or good but just something we noticed haha
Also, it should be noted that our car won the race which was good cuz I would’ve been extremely disgruntled if I went on that ride and didn’t even win.
Since we were in the area, we also did the other two Cars rides. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree was INSANE… I felt like at any moment I could’ve unbuckled my seatbelt and gone flying!! It was so dumb and fun and I was enjoying myself a lot until I remembered how much I don’t like Mater. But it was still fun haha.
Luigi’s was a weird ride too!! I didn’t really understand what was happening or what kind of ride it was until we were…on it. And then I still didn’t really understand what was happening lol. It was cool to see the trackless ride system at work and almost weird to see them floating around so seamlessly. The ride vehicle also hurt my back and I felt like I was gonna fall out again lol. But it was still fun! Also I ran to beat a child to that pretty green car.
Once we were done with Carsland, we still had a little time left in the EMH so we decided to try going back to Paradise Pier again to get on California Screamin’. Honestly, we weren’t rushing around that much during the Extra Magic Hour this day – we didn’t have as many rides we were dying to get on as we did in Disneyland, so we took it more slowly to take everything in and enjoy ourselves. We paused so I could take a birthday photo on Paradise Pier 🙂
Happy 23rd birthday to me!!!!!
When we got over to California Screamin’, the ride was back up, but the line was pretty long due to the downtime before. EMH was just about over though so the Fastpass machines were opening up, so we decided to just grab a FP for a few minutes from then and take a stroll around the pier in the meantime!
I had to take a pic of that Toy Story wait time – I don’t think I’ve EVER seen a 5 minute wait in WDW!
I tried my best to convince Chris to do the Fun Wheel, but alas, my attempts were for naught. Next time I’ll get him hehehe
By now it was time for our California Screamin’ Fastpass so we headed back over! We both LOVED the ride – it was so much fun and we loved that Neil Patrick Harris did the narration. I’m sad we didn’t get a chance to go again before our trip ended but it was one of our favorites!
By now we had kinda done everything we wanted to do in the first ~2 hours of the park opening, and we had a few more rides at Disneyland that we wanted to hit…so we headed over there! Being able to park-hop so quickly and easily is something that I can never overstate how much I loved – SO different from Walt Disney World!
Our outfits complemented each other this day which was pretty cute lol also Chris proposed to me wearing that shirt a few months later just saying
A few castle photos, of course:
We were looking at the list of rides we hadn’t done yet and saw that there was no line for the Storybook Canal Boats, so we headed over there.
This ride was cute, very charming, kind of pointless, but still fun haha. I thought it had a good old-timey vibe and fit right in at Disneyland and in Fantasyland, but I don’t think it’s something that would ever go over well in Florida. I absolutely loved the little boats though and how they were all named after girl characters…!! Our boat was Faline (◡‿◡✿)
After the Canal Boats we meandered through Fantasyland a bit…
…before realizing that we were SUPER hungry!! I knew exactly where I wanted to go on my birthday:
The Mint Julep Bar! I was so excited to try the mint julep and get some adorable Mickey beignets.
The mint julep was super refreshing and delicious, and we LOVED the beignets so much omg ;___; I would eat them every day if I could!!
Next we decided to take it slow and just enjoy the day because we were already nearing the end of our trip and we were sad!! We went into Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, but the show had JUST started when we walked in so we didn’t go in to watch – we just looked at all the awesome historical pieces in the lobby area:
There was so much cool stuff – I was particularly excited to find this plaque with a shoutout to us East Coasters:
Once we’d gotten a bit cooled off, we decided to go…BACK to DCA. I don’t know why we hopped back and forth so much on this day, but we did haha. I think we were just trying to do everything we hadn’t done yet and really take it all in! Plus, at DCA we had kind of rushed through the entrance that morning, and when we came through with the Welcome to Disneyland tour we were headed to specific destinations – so we didn’t get a chance to enter it “leisurely”, if you will. So we went back and did that!
We loved the dedication plaque – I’m a longtime fan of Michael Eisner (somewhat ironically, somewhat seriously) so I loved seeing that dork’s name on it haha
The time capsule is cute too:
And we also LOVED the Storytellers statue – I thought it was really cool that you could walk right up to it for photos, unlike the Partners statues in MK or Disneyland:
Chris particularly loved the plaque with it that reads “we are just getting started” – I’m about to get a bit sappy here so bare with me haha. Both Chris and I are obviously huge Disney fans, and we felt that this quote does a good job summing up Walt’s vision and ideas of constantly progressing and moving forward. I don’t know why a five word quote resonated with us so much but it so did. Both of us were kind of going through a bit of a rut at work at the time of this trip. Seeing where it all started made us both feel so much more connected to the legacy that Walt left behind and I don’t know – it really just re-energized both of us. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but I guess I’m just trying to say that the Storytellers statue was a great reminder to us of why we were doing what we were, and we both loved it a lot!
ANYWAY. Sorry for the rambling haha. We loved the vibe of Buena Vista Street, with the Red Car Trolley and the live performers. We took a spin on the Trolley and it was so cute, I loved it!!
I also ADORED the little Buena Vista Street newspaper inside the coffee shop!!! Literally my ONLY regret of this trip was not going back to grab one as a souvenir. It’s such a cute touch.
We walked through Bugs Land and stopped there for the first time because I wanted to ride Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train. This was a GREAT DECISION. I have several short snapchat videos of us riding this because it was just such a riot and I couldn’t believe it’s an actual ride in a theme park. I don’t have any photos which I’m sad about but maybe I’ll upload those videos someday because it’s literally just us laughing at Heimlich yelling various foods. So amazing. I want to do all the Bugs Land rides next time!!!!
In Paradise Pier, we saw a photopass photographer and stopped to get a few pics. These are some of my favorites of the trip, it was a beautiful day and the photos turned out so colorful and perfect!!!!
And he awkwardly asked if we were a couple, to which we said yes, and he made us do a kissing one hahaha:
I’ve never been asked to do a kissing photo with Chris in WDW so I like died when he asked us to haha I actually hate kissing pics cuz they always look awkward so let’s just move right along
Somewhere along the way we also realized that we wanted to check out the Animation Building properly again, so we went in there for a few minutes to cool down and check everything out. It was sooo cool and I love it in there so much!
We also went into that little area themed to the Beast’s Library with the character quiz and I died at our results – me on the left, Chris on the right:
Around this time it was approaching mid-afternoon, and we had a delicious lunch reservation planned that we were looking forward to a lot. We headed back into the depths of DCA towards Grizzly Peak, and the second entrance to the park.
I really loved the Grizzly Peak area and I wish we had gotten to explore more during this trip. Grizzly River Run was closed while we visited and we didn’t really get a chance to look around all that much other than walking through. We’ll definitely have to spend more time there next trip.
We headed to the back entrance/exit and found ourselves inside…
The Grand Californian! I seriously LOVED it in here…it was like if our Grand Floridian and Wilderness Lodge had a baby, it would be the Grand Californian. It was beautiful and fancy and homey and I would loooove to stay there next time…hint hint @ Chris
Our lunch reservation was at Storytellers Cafe, which reminded me a lot theming-wise of Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge. Whispering Canyon is one of my ultimate favorite restaurants at WDW, so I knew we were in for a treat if the two were anything alike.
The decor was so cute – it’s a place I think my parents would really like haha
We settled in for our lunch, which consisted of the following…
I had heard great things about the Charred Nebraska Corn Chowder served at Storytellers, and as I am a sucker for corn-flavored things and also chowders, I decided to order it. It was AMAZING….I literally still daydream about this chowder to this day. I’m actually salivating now remembering how good it was omg
For my entree I had a Four Cheese Ravioli which was awesome:
It was very fresh with all the vegetables and surprisingly filling. Chris had a steak, which he ate so fast that I couldn’t even take a photo smh
After our lunch we started to hit the midday lull and decided it was beyond time for a break! We dragged ourselves back to our hotel for a nap.
Taking pictures of the rugs clearly was my preferred way of remembering where we went lol
After a quick snooze, we jumped right back into action and decided to go back over to the Disneyland side:
We strolled around leisurely, mostly just looking for things that we hadn’t done yet. Our stroll took us into Toontown, an area that we really didn’t get to spend much time in…we’ll have to explore more thoroughly next time!
It was here we also used our first and ONLY fastpass of the entire trip (!) at Roger Rabbit!
It’s weird to look back and think that that was literally the only fastpass we used in 4 days… just goes to show how little time we spent waiting in line! Roger Rabbit was so insane, I was like completely lost as to what was happening on this ride but I still weirdly enjoyed it haha
We did a few more rides before heading back to DCA to check out something that intrigued us a lot…the “Food & Wine Festival”. Obviously as Chris and I are HUGE Epcot nerds, we were very interested in the idea of a Disney Food & Wine Festival that existed outside Epcot and not during the fall. It was very weird, almost like we were in a different universe haha. The signage and booths all looked the same as Epcot’s, with similar designs and even the same fonts. We only had a few things on the list to try because we wanted to get a small taste of the festival and see how things compared to Epcot.
First, this is a Triple Cheese Mac with Smoked Chicken. This was amazing and tasted just as good as any of our favorites from Epcot’s festival. I would love if something like this came to any of the WDW festivals!
We also tried the White Cheddar Ale and Bacon Soup Boudin Boule from another booth. I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned that I ate soup a ridiculous number of times on this trip, but it happened. I love a good bread bowl and this was awesome.
We thought DCA’s version of Food & Wine was cute, but we still definitely prefer ours in WDW! I think part of the fun of doing it in World Showcase is that you get to walk around the world and kind of “walk off” all the food and drinks you’re indulging in. The booths are so close together on the pier at DCA that you don’t really have time to do that, so it was harder for me to enjoy it. I think it was a fun small-scale version of what we have in WDW but I’m still partial to Epcot 😉
By this time it was starting to get close to sundown and it was getting a bit colder, so we decided to head out of DCA for the night and go back over to Disneyland to spend our last evening.
Chris enjoying himself:
When we got there I decided to make an important souvenir purchase:
My beautiful Disneyland crew neck ❤ One of my favorite souvenirs from the trip! I did a lot of souvenir purchasing on this night since it was our last night – you’ll see the fruits of that labor later haha
We mostly spent our time doing a few favorites again and checking out anything we hadn’t seen yet. It was very bittersweet because it was around this point that we started to realize our trip was coming to an end and we both began to feel very sad lol
I honestly do not remember if we rode Buzz Lightyear or not. I think we actually got in line and then decided we didn’t feel like waiting and got out of line haha
At some point we also went into Launch Bay – we liked it and I especially liked that cool starry wall everyone takes photos next to, but it was more or less the same as what we have here in Hollywood Studios. I also don’t know how I felt about the area music being straight up Star Wars scores from the movies, but it was fine haha. We opted not to ride Star Tours in Disneyland because we’ve heard it was pretty much exactly the same as it is in WDW, so we didn’t wanna waste time on it.
I absolutely LOVED this teacup photo op!!
Seriously, somebody wanna get us the hookup to eat at Club 33 when we go back???
We had planned on catching the fireworks, but they were actually cancelled again so we weren’t able to. It was a bit of a bummer but we weren’t too broken up about it. Instead we did some more shopping before heading back to the hotel. We also stopped at Earl of Sandwich on the way back and I honestly don’t think there’s anything more convenient in the world than being able to stop and pick up a delicious sandwich on the way back to your hotel.
It was also on this night that I got my biggest purchase of the trip – my birthday present to myself:
It’s so beautiful ❤ I mentioned this in my Disney Dooney collection post I wrote a while ago so I won’t bore you with my pining over a handbag, but omg I love this purse SO much. Every time I carry it I think of how much fun we had there and it makes me so happy 🙂
After a long day of park hopping (seriously, how many times did we go back and forth today haha) we were happy to collapse in our beds one last time before heading home the next day.
My last photo of the day was this exciting shot of the hidden Mickey in the carpet haha
And that’s our last full day in Disneyland 😦 I am dreading writing about us leaving because I literally want to cry thinking about it haha. Spending your birthday in Disneyland is all fun and games until it’s time to leave! I hope you enjoyed reading about the fun we had for my birthday celebration and hopefully I’ll get the next one out sooner rather than later 🙂 thanks for reading!!