Disneyland and SoCal Trip Photoblog

I had been waiting for this trip for a very very long time! This was our first Disneyland/Southern California trip with each other.  We bought 2-day park hopper passes.. I think 2 days is enough time to complete everything on our Disney experience wishlist.

Justin was a trooper… we woke up at 3 AM and he drove us the entire way to Anaheim.  At the 100 mile mark to LA County, the sun was just rising.

When we finally got there I felt like I was dreaming.  :) I really couldn’t believe that we were there… yup I was that excited.  Mornings were cloudy and sometimes drizzly!

A view of the Matterhorn ride from the Finding Nemo submarine ride:

The submarine ride was one of my favorites as a kid.  I was sad when they shut it down for a few years.

I wore my DIY Minnie Mouse ears 😀  Here we are in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle… Justin is looking quite tired.

We were running on very minimal sleep yet we were too excited to even nap!  And we definitely tried mid-day but sleep wouldn’t come.

Waiting for the Tiki Room:

This was also my first time visiting Disneyland complete with Halloween trimmings!    They had a special Halloween event under this big tent with performers, evil villains and pumpkin carving displays.

Mickey said he liked my UNIQLO pixellated Mickey shirt 😀

Unfortunately once Donald saw my shirt later that day he put his head and his hands and started crying.. LOL!!!!

Later in the day we took a quick break at the California Adventure park.  I tried to dress comfortably with legging jeans and workout shoes.  I think no matter what I do my feet will always be killing me at the end of a Disneyland day.

California Screamin’ is one ride that I will never get sick of… When I was in high school our choir group would make a trip there every year together and this ride makes me think back to those goodl ol’ days :)

Disneyland is really going crazy with the variety of hats in their stores!  Most are $20+ (*cha-ching!*) and it looked like at least 60% of park visitors were sporting one.  It seems like they have a pair of Mickey Mouse ears for every character/theme imaginable.  Justin was particularly excited about the Star Wars hats!

I liked these guys :)  The Vinylmotion line is right up my alley

Space Mountain had a long queue time… I’m really glad they have the Fast Pass program.  The ride was changed to “Ghost Galaxy” for Halloween.  :)  So fun!  I miss it already.

We stayed at the Orange County Hyatt just a few blocks down from Disneyland, using Chase Ultimate Rewards points for the two nights.  All we had to pay for was parking! :)

After we had our fill of the parks we stopped by Downtown Disney for a much needed smoothie…. and hat test drives.

The next day we woke up bright and early to get a Cars Land Radiator Springs Racers Fast Pass at the California Adventure park.  The line to get a Fast Pass was over 45 minutes long. Ridiculous!  But if you’re not waiting in some sort of line I guess you’re not getting the theme park experience, right? -_-

Even the line for Starbucks coffee took at least 15 minutes to order.  In the meantime, I ogled some fun Halloween-themed pastries.

Toy Story Midway Games is sooo fun :)  Justin beat me in this one… Our arms were hurting by the end of it!

BUT!!! I did manage to beat him at the Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters game.  I have never won before!  He said he wished he let me win… but I won fair ‘n square ;D

Our strategy was to get Fast Passes for the major rides as quickly as possible.. and then do the minor rides and viewing experiences (like the Sleeping Beauty Castle) while we waited for the FP’s to activate.

During this trip I visited the Tom Sawyer island for the first time as well… In all of my years of visiting Disneyland I never thought to check it out.  The island is much bigger than I thought it would be.

I was itching to check out the Haunted Mansion ride!  They update it to include The Nightmare Before Christmas for the holidays.  Needless to say the lines for this one were very long.

When I was a kid my parents bought me this Disney Singalong VHS tape and the “Grim Grinning Ghosts” song was one of my favorites:

After 80 minutes of combined Fastpass and regular queue time, we experienced the new Cars ride.

The queue was over 120 minutes on the Saturday that we went! So we skipped it and waited until the next day. And trust me the ride was not worth a 2 hour wait!  It was fun but it was basically a fast paced kids ride, or a stepping stone to much faster rides like Space Mountain or California Screamin’.

On the way home we visited the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica! It has changed drastically since I was attending UCLA wayy back when.  That janky enclosed mall is gone and I really like the outdoor mall opposite the beach.

We also stopped by Venice beach & Sunset boulevard :)  I miss southern California and I’m excited to go back.

Some quick Disneyland tips:

  • Take a break in the middle of the day if you can… you can do the most in the mornings and the evenings anyway.  And you can get a reasonably priced meal outside the park!  I cringed at the ~$10 clam chowder bowl :(
  • Download apps like MouseWait and the Lines Disneyland app to get an estimate for wait times before you trek across the park. They’re not perfect but they can give you a good idea on what to expect before you waste your time
  • Iced water is free!
  • You don’t have to use your Fast Pass in the allotted time frame.. you can go way past that until the end of the day, or in some instances you can ask nicely about using a pass from the day before
  • Bring lots of snacks!  The night before we left I bought a bunch of fruit snakes and baked chips to eat in line.

♥ E&I