3.18.2015

Disneyland 2015 Review Part 2

Waiting to eat breakfast

Tuesday: 
We were up and at em pretty early again. In fact we were a little too early and none of the restaurants were open for breakfast. We wandered around and checked out a few menu’s and decided to eat at Jazz Kitchen Express.



The kids both had Cinnamon French Toast Dippers, Ryan and I each had a breakfast sandwich, and we got a bag of beignets to share. It was a fabulous sugar overload first thing in the morning!  I had the sausage breakfast sandwich and it was okay. Ryan had bacon rather than sausage and the bacon looked like a much better choice. The french toast dippers were basically beinets cut into dippable strips and were quite tasty. We also hit up Jamba Juice when we were done eating so the kids could have a smoothie to sip on while we waited in line.

TIP: Make sure you know what time things open so you aren’t left wandering around like we were!
Tuesday was early morning entry at Disneyland and the lines were much longer than they were at DCA.  The lines moved quickly though so were in and ready for rope drop.

We hit up Star Tours first and literally walked right on. Surprisingly both kids agreed to try Space Mountain again and had a blast! Then we hopped on Star Tours again before the park opened. We met up with the others in our party who didn’t have early morning entry got Space Mountain FastPasses and headed to Big Thunder Mountain and waited in line for about 10 minutes.


Waiting in line at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
 We decided to head towards Adventureland. We hit up The Jungle Cruise which I think was the longest line we waited in.. Then our ride got cut a bit short due to a scared toddler. At least I got a few nice pictures!

Waterfall on the Jungle Cruise


TIP: Download a wait time app.  We used Touring Plans and the free Mousewait app which helped us decide which rides to hop on next. The Touring Plans app also has menus for both parks, the hotels, and Downtown Disney.

Since we still had time before we could ride Space Mountain we got our Dole Whips and went and saw the show in the Tiki Room. It was just as cheesy and fun as I remembered it to be. The Dole Whips were fabulous as always! These really are a must have treat. Ryan wanted something a bit more substantial so he got a jalapeno cheese pretzel which was just okay. 


Dole Whip!


We snagged some FastPasses to Indiana Jones then we wandered back over to Tomorrowland to ride Space Mountain.  Again it was a hit with everyone! We grabbed some popcorn to snack on and went over to Fantasyland to ride the Tea Cups.  After that we hopped on Pirates of the Caribbean again and that is when I realized that the right line goes faster than the left! 


Our return time for Indiana Jones came and unfortunately the littler one who was with us couldn’t ride since she was too short. Since it was their last day in the parks I offered to hang out with her while everyone else went on the ride. We went and got a pressed penny and found a table near Bengal BBQ. We got a drink and two Tiger Tails to share. Tiger Tails are like large grilled rolls and were passable. 

Once everyone was back together we decided we needed a break. The guys went and grabbed more Fast Passes for Space Mountain (we wanted a better picture of the group) and we agreed to meet back at the hotel. I got the kids cotton candy and we walked back to the room.
On our way back to Downtown Disney we ran into to Goofy at our hotel!




We went to the ESPN Zone to grab an early dinner and were able be seated right away. It’s pretty much basic bar food but it was good and decently priced. Our bill for 3 adults, 3 kids, including three adult (alcoholic) drinks was a little over $100.00. 
Our Space Mountain return time was sneaking up on us so we rode the Monorail back to Tomorrowland and got another set of FastPasses for Star Tours before jumping on Space Mountain.  We got a great photo of our group on the ride!

Everyone's Favorite Ride


We met up with another family after that and decided we would all go to DCA for the Freeze the Night Dance Party after we used our Star Tours FastPasses.  Every ride they choose a random person to be the Rebel Spy Adia was chosen during that ride!  Landon was so jealous!

We walked over to DCA and went to the Freeze the Night Dance Party for a while.   I was expecting it to be kiddie music but it was loud dance music with a DJ, dancers, and people carving ice sculptures with chain saws.  It wasn’t too bad but I think we were all tired and headed back to the room to get some rest.


3.13.2015

Disneyland 2015 Review Part 1



Disneyland really is my happy place.  As usual our trip didn’t last long enough and I am already wishing we could plan another.  Our last trip in September 2013 was so full of wonder since myself and Ryan hadn’t been in at least 15 years and the kids had never been.  Everything seemed new to us especially Downtown Disney and California Adventures since they really were new to us!!  This time around was still magical but we also felt more like park veterans .  We used some tricks we learned on our last trip but we also learned a few new things.  So here is our trip breakdown with some new tips and tricks we learned along the way.

We again decided to stay on property at the Disneyland Hotel even though I swore we wouldn’t do that again.  The be so close to the parks, Downtown Disney (DTD), and the early morning entry was just to temping.  I still think that for our next trip we may look into pricing out Paradise Pier which is still on property but a little farther away.  We saw it though and it’s really not that much further.  I also want to check out a few of the off property hotels but I’m not sure I want to give up our early morning entry each day since we found it to be pretty beneficial.

We also bought park hopper tickets this time.  Such a good decision!  It is well worth the extra money especially since you walk back and forth from park to park.

Sunday:
We arrived on Sunday afternoon and our room was ready.  After we got checked in and unpacked we headed to DTD to explore and have a drink before our dinner reservation.  We checked out The House of Blues and it was almost $40 for two CANS of beer and two sodas. 


Sitting on the Patio at House of Blues

 We won’t be going there again anytime soon… Ryan's brother Charles met up with us and it started to rain so we went to see if we could get seated early at Tortilla Jo’s. 

Tortilla Jo's on a sunny morning

They were quite accommodating, probably because it was before the dinner rush.  The food was so so but the margarita’s were tasty. I was surprised because we all really enjoyed the Taqueria side on our last trip. I’m not sure that I would do another sit down meal here.  An late afternoon snack of margs, chips and salsa, and appetizers on the patio wouldn’t be bad though.  After dinner we went shopping at The World of Disney and went and got some yummy handmade treats at Marceline’s Confectionery.  
Chocolate Dipped Pretzel



TIP: You can make dining reservations through Disney up to 60 days in advance.  Try to make your reservations during off peak times (early or late lunch, early dinner) to beat the crowds.  Around 6:00 PM that same night there were waits of and hour or more at most of the restaurants in DTD.

Posing on the Bridge Over the Monorail Pool

Monday:
We got up and got out the door by 7:30 to find some breakfast.  We ate at the Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel.  There are not a lot of options but the food was filling and good.  The kids and I each got Mickey waffles, bacon, and fruit.  Ryan had a breakfast platter of some sort.  

Mickey Waffles!
We then went and stood in line outside Disney’s California Adventure (DCA) for early morning entry (9:00AM)  We stood outside for about 15 minutes before they started letting people in and we headed to the end of the street for rope drop.

TIP:
Arrive at least a half hour before the park opens
DCA Rope Drop

We headed directly for Radiator Springs Racers which is where everyone goes I think!  We waited approximately 20 minutes in line.  After that we got in line for Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree which ended up being a mistake.  We were in that line forever since they only had one of the three sides running at the time.  The park officially opened while we were still in line.  We were meeting some friends that morning and they were able to hop in line with us right when we go to the front for their first ride of the day.  

B and Justin on Maters Junkyard Jamboree



Next we lined up and got our FastPasses to Radiator Springs Racers then headed off to see Turtle Talk with Crush.  Our Touring Plans app failed us and said that the line for Tower of Terror was only 10 minutes but when we got there it was over an hour.  Since we weren’t eligible for another FastPass yet we headed towards Paradise Pier. 

TIP:  Learn and use the FastPass System! The parks were busier this go round which gave us some new insight into using the FastPass system which we really didn’t need before.  Make sure you get a new FastPass as soon as you are eligible. You can send a runner with all the park tickets to get passes for everyone in your group.

 We rode The Little Mermaid with a wait of about 10 minutes. Since it was now after 11:00 and we were close to the Corn Dog Castle we decided to grab some lunch and take a quick break.  Adia doesn’t like corn dogs but she was able to walk just a ways down and get a cheesburger and fries.  She’s crazy.  These corn  dogs are AMAZING

My Half Eaten Corn Dog

At this point our group separated with three people going to get in line to ride the Jumpin’ Jellyfish and the rest of us just wandering around.  We agreed to meet up to ride Radiator Springs Racers when our fast pass time came up.  My group headed up to Paradise Pier and we played the carnival games with Landon.  He won a ton of prizes!

TIP: The fishing game is guaranteed a prize every time.  We also hung around and made sure that it was just our group of four to play the racing games so we were guaranteed to win the big prize.

Next we headed towards Pacific Wharf and did the Boudin Bakery tour which was interesting and made me really want some bread.  Also go into Ghirardelli to get a free sample of chocolate!  Landon and Ryan’s brother Charles both got cones and Ryan and I had a margarita from Rita’s Baja Blenders.  

Large Dumbo Prize and a Margarita

We sat and enjoyed a break then met with the rest of our group to ride Radiator Springs Racers.  When we got there for some reason the FastPass Line was longer than the standby line????  We decided to skip it and just head across the way to Disneyland.  See those park hoppers are coming in handy already!

Oh Disneyland!  It was perfection as always!  There were a TON of characters out and about when we walked in and I wish we had stopped to visit with a few of them but we headed straight towards Tomorrowland.  We got FastPasses to Star Tours then got in line for the Finding Nemo Subs.   After that we rode Buzz Light Year Astro Blasters.  



By that time we were able to head to Star Tours to ride.  It was nice to walk by that long line of people because we used our FastPasses!  We checked our lines app, by this time I also downloaded the free version of Mousewait, and found that there was a minimum wait for Pirates of the Caribbean.  

TIP:  I didn’t think it was true but it is, the right line moved faster than the left and I know this because we rode this three times over our three day trip!
Next up was The Haunted Mansion.  It was wonderful!  The last time we were there it was all done up for Halloween with The Nightmare Before Christmas and it was great to see all the original happy Haunts.

Then we hopped on the Disneyland Railroad and road to Tomorrowland where we hopped on the monorail back to DTD.



We ate dinner at Earl of Sandwich which was delicious.  Probably one of our favorite (and cheapest) meals.  The kids and I headed to Marceline’s again for some sweet treats then it was back to the hotel for some much needed sleep.


TIP: Sign up for Earl of Sandwich’s email club and get a coupon for a free sandwich.  They usually send the coupon out 2-3 days after you have signed up.


I'll be back later with the last two days of our trip!



 


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