So I think it’s quite fitting that the last edition of our honeymoon travel diary was our visit to Disneyland California.
I have only been to Disneyland California once when I was about 9 I think and so had only been to the main park. California Adventure was a new one for both of us. Being a massive Disney (and Walt Disney of course) fan, I was so excited to see where it all began – at least when it comes to the theme parks.
Once again, #sorrynotsorry for the vast amount of photos!
Our Disney trip actually began the night before when we finished at Universal and drove over to Anaheim (do NOT do that during rush hour). As soon as we checked into our hotel which was just off property, we walked to Downtown Disney to get our personalised Mickey ears.
We ordered them there and then at the counter and they only took about 20 minutes despite the World of Disney shop being a mad house. It turns out that the minute we arrived, California Adventure had closed for the night so the whole park emptied and a few thousand people came straight to Downtown Disney. Anyway, lesson learned we headed back to the hotel with our ears to get some sleep. We got our initials and our wedding date embroidered on them btw!
Hello dodgy mirror shot!
And of course a Mickey ear shadow shot!
We started off with California Adventure as it turned out that a few rides in the Disneyland Park were closed that day because they were having their halloween overlays added. Luckily they would be opening the next day so I’m glad I did my research! California Adventure was actually closing at 5pm that day because of a staff party but we decided we’d rather do that then miss out on the Halloween rides at Disneyland park. That make sense? Ok, let’s dive in!
Knowing that the Radiator Springs Cars ride was the most popular, we decided to grab some fast passes for that. Then we headed over to the boardwalk area below and pretty much walked onto California Screamin’ – a rollercoaster. It was awesome!
Next, I was really surprised to find a super short wait for Toy Story Midway Mania. Apparently even though it’s exactly the same ride as the one in Florida, it just isn’t that big a deal here. For those who don’t know, in Hollywood Studios in Florida, TSM is the ride you definitely need to grab a fast pass for as soon as you arrive in the morning.
We decided to get in line for the Cove Bar as we really wanted to eat here and I read that the wait times can get really long. It was like 11ish at this point but with the park closing early and us wanting to also have our dinner inside, it worked out pretty well.
It’s more like a bar than a restaurant but their food is really good too. We got two starters to share between us which may not sound like much but look at these photos! They were the perfect lunch. First was the lobster nachos which were the best. I loved these things so much and they definitely lived up to the hype.
Then we also had some chicken enchiladas which were pretty damn tasty!
The best part of the meal (just by a smidgen) had to be the lemonades we got each. As you can see, they are blue and then garnished with cotton candy.
After that we used our Radiator Springs fast passes and then tried to figure out what to do next. I can see what people mean about this being a half day park but the rides that are here are very high standard. Note to people who are planning on visiting, the app is good for wait times but isn’t always accurate. After leaving Cars Land, we headed over to the Guardian’s of the Galaxy ride (formerly Tower of Terror) with the app saying that there were fast pass tickets left. Unfortunately they were long gone.
Not the end of the world, we just stood in the hour queue which isn’t bad going considering we’d practically walked on everything else all day.
Instead we grabbed a Soarin’ fast pass which was due to come into play around 4pm. So to kill time, we went to the Animation Academy and drew Jack Skeleton as well as grabbing a Starbucks and wandering around Downtown Disney for a bit.
4pm came and we went to Soarin’. I was really looking forward to this as they have the new Soarin’ round the world version (the previous was just over California). Unfortunately as we got into the line, the ride broke down and they literally sent everyone out of the building. Gutted.
We decided to go get dinner and try Soarin’ again just before closing. We got Cozy Cones from Cars Land and they were really good. They’re basically a bread cone filled with tasty stuff like mac and cheese or chilli. With cheese on top of course. Plus, while we were eating, we ended up on a table with an older couple and the lady not only had visited Disneyland in it’s opening week but she also met Walt Disney. How awesome is that? I’ll never be able to meet him myself but it’s so cool to have actually met someone who has. Disney nerd alert.
So we went back to Soarin’ to try our luck just before closing and by some miracle it had just started working again. I was so happy as that was our only chance to ride it. And it was awesome.
On the way out of the park, we stopped at Downtown Disney again and picked up a churro ice cream sandwich. Nom is all I can say. But how awesome is this? Look at all the different flavours they have! Next time I’ll be trying those!
Second day and last day. This was Disneyland Park day. I can’t do as in depth as I did for Day 1 as this park has so many damn rides that I can barely remember so I’ll just have to talk you through my photos!
The castle is super pretty though yes it is a great deal smaller. Not surprising really as this was the first park.
All the halloween decorations were up too which I loved.
I do remember that we started the day by getting a fast pass for Space Mountain. Damn that was a long line. I say line, it was more like a hoard. It was crazy but I’m so glad we got them because the queue was super long all day. This was one of the rides that had opened back up with a halloween overlay.
Then we headed to the Matterhorn which I have to say was rather disappointing. It was really rickety and jerky. Luckily this was the only bad ride we had all day!
The It’s A Small World ride is so pretty from the outside and they even have disney characters inside which they don’t at the Florida counterpart. I also liked that this one starts outside as the other you practically have to go underground to get to it.
As one of his souvenirs, Topher bought a Yoda backpack that makes it look like you’re Luke when he’s carrying him around. I’m not sure if I would have encouraged him to get it if I knew he’d be treating it like his child for the rest of the day.
Lunch was at Cafe Orleans and yes Topher did this and left me with him to go to the bathroom. It’s safe to say I looked pretty special dining with a bag!
We had monte cristo sandwiches (classic ham for him and just cheese for me). It was really nice though the portion was a bit too large – I felt a bit ill from all the fried stuff and couldn’t finish it. Topher couldn’t even finish his.
Jumping photos of course!
And one to show off our ears!
We rode Splash Mountain and got soaked to our skin from head to toe. Brrr. You do NOT get that wet at the Florida one.
We went to Mint Julep Bar for Mickey beignets and a Mint Julep which were both super tasty though very messy! Powdered sugar everywhere.
We made what turned out to be an excellent decision on getting fast passes for Haunted Mansion earlier on as the line when we got there around 4pm was insane. We even waited about 30 mins at least in the fast pass line. It was totally worth it though – the house had been given a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay which was so cool!
Dinner was at a Mexican place that I can’t remember the name of but it was near Frontierland. Right next to Thunder Mountain. Nom – burritos.
Then it was time to get ready for the fireworks. I hear there is usually a parade but there wasn’t one this night. We usually go near the castle but even getting there an hour early it was all full up – at least the good spots. As it turns out, having a small castle is nice but then when you have massive trees in front of it, your options get limited fast.
We decided to head to Main Street and we sat on the side of the road where we were lucky to find a space. There was a cast member right next to us the whole time and he didn’t think to tell us what happened next. About 10 minutes I think before the fireworks started we were told to move by another cast member as they were going to fill the street up with people. I really wish we knew that as us and the rest of the people who had gotten there early thought we were sorted. I think you’re usually fine if there’s a parade but as I said there wasn’t one that night. If someone could confirm that for me? So confused.
It wasn’t the end of the world as we were lucky to end up near the front of a section that was cut off so people could cross over but it was annoying due to the many people putting their (massive) children up on their shoulders in the section in front. It wouldn’t be so much of a problem in Florida as the castle is huge but this one is tiny and easily blocked. I did manage to get a few photos of the castle though. I’m just glad we weren’t further to the left as the kid in neon yellow/green was especially big! Lesson learned, next time get there even earlier to get a better space in front of the trees.
Anyway, grumbling aside, the fireworks were awesome – I wouldn’t expect any less from Disney!
On the way out, we managed to find the real bench that Walt sat on in Griffith Park so yay! Goal met.
I really enjoyed our trip to Disneyland California overall and I just want to visit them all now! One day 🙂
So that was the last of our honeymoon – we headed back to New York the next day which is included in my New York post – see below for the other instalments if you missed them.