I think I was struggling to write this post because I said pretty much everything I wanted to say about Disneyland in the last one. I didn’t want to write a boring run down of our trip, especially now that I probably wouldn’t remember all of it in order. Instead, here’s a list of tips to remember on your own Disneyland vacation:
DO stay at a Disneyland hotel if you can. Yes, it’s spendy, but in my experience, it’s worth it. Why? Because you get into the park a whole hour before anyone else! Disneyland was as empty as I’ve ever seen it on our first day and California Adventure was so dead, Tim and Ted were the only riders on Screamin’.
There are other perks, too – it’ll save your feet because it’s so close by, you get to ride the monorail, the rooms are way cute and the staff are super nice. Just do it.
DO visit the Lego Store in Downtown Disney. They always have really cool displays of Lego sculpture. I envy the people who get paid to play with Lego blocks and build giant dragons. There are some other good stores in the Downtown area as well – I love the Sanuk shoe store (those shoes are stupid comfortable, even after two days of walking) and Tim loves the shirt selection at D Street.
DO take a bunch of pictures before your make up sweats/rubs off. The pictures taken of me at the end of the day always look miserable – in part because I’m inevitably exhausted, but also because make up just isn’t built to last. Don’t bother hauling your make up around or taking time to reapply – just be sure you get your photographic moments out of the way early.
DO NOT wait to do Fantasyland. Yes, it’s all the kiddie rides – which, for the record, I totally love. But since they’re not the “big” rides, you’re going to have the urge to leave them until after you’ve already gone on Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Big Thunder, etc. DON’T! By the time you’ve done all that stuff, Fantasyland is going to be packed and the Peter Pan ride will have a 50 minute wait. It takes a lot of time to get little kids ready to go (amiright, parents?) so take advantage of Fantasyland before they make it to the park.
DO have breakfast at the River Belle Terrace. Not only do they have an excellent hot breakfast, but it’s in the perfect location right between Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean. On your way, swing by Indiana and grab a fast pass. By the time you’ve eaten and ridden on Pirates (and maybe Haunted Mansion, too), your fast pass will be ready to go!
DO try on silly hats. Do I even have to explain this one?
DO NOT put all your stuff in a double stroller and use it to bash the ankles of other guests. Again, do I have to explain? Because it makes you a jerk wad, that’s why. Don’t get a stroller for your 7 year old, either.
DO ride on Pirates if you have to kill time before using a fastpass. The line always moves quickly, it’s cool inside, and it’s one of the longest rides in the park.
DO buy some Honeycomb from the Penny Arcade store on Main Street. It’s my favorite!
DO ride Star Tours multiple times. I was under the impression that there was one ‘tour’ so we only rode it once last year. This year we took a second ride and it was a completely different mini movie! Turns out that the ‘tour’ is made of different clips that come up at random, so it’s worth it to go more than once!
DO NOT compete against Ted on the Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters ride. You rack up points for shooting targets and he’s Level 5 good at it. He also knows which shaped targets are worth more and actually shoots at them – whereas I forget which are which as soon as the ride starts.
DO take a look at the plants in Tomorrowland. They’re all edible! The concept was that in the future, we wouldn’t waste farming space on non-edible plants, but instead make edibles look pretty.
DO eat a churro. Or three. Disneyland somehow manages to produce the best churros I’ve ever had.
DO NOT be fooled the by vendors in Downtown Disney – their churros just aren’t the same, man.
DO NOT visit California Adventure in the afternoon. That park has very little shade and it’s killer, even in January. In fact, if you only have one day at the Disney parks, don’t do DCA at all. Not worth it.
DO make your boyfriend take pictures inside Tower of Terror because you’ve heard it’s really cool but you’d never go on that ride in a million years. This one might be specific to me, but hey.
DO ride Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train in the Bug’s Life themed section of DCA. While the ride is definitely for kids and lasts about two minutes, it’s worth it to hear the safety instructions read in Spanish with a flamboyant German accent. Also it blows smells at you and there’s a giant cupcake, so.
DO NOT go to Six Flags after two days at Disneyland because you’ll want to die. This is double plus true if you don’t even go on roller coasters – like me. If you don’t do thrill rides, that park is boring, dirty, ugly, and there’s a distinct lack of easily accessible sweets. Seriously, I couldn’t find a single thing covered in chocolate. SKIP IT! (Unless, like me, you have a really wonderful boyfriend and you want him to have a good time with his family. Then you go and only complain enough that he knows how much you love him to be there in the first place.)
Here are some other fun pictures from our trip. There aren’t a ton, simply because I didn’t have a lot of time to take photos. We didn’t do much standing in line – which is awesome, except that’s usually when I do a lot of picture taking. I also didn’t want to slow anyone down or annoy them with too much, ‘Will you take a picture of us please?’ So, here’s what I got:
In other news, I’m all signed up for my glass class! YAY! Looking forward to getting started on Thing #1 in a just a couple of weeks.