On Monday, June 10th, we headed to Disneyland Park at 6:45 in the morning. The park opened at 8 am, but we wanted to get near the front of the line so we could beat the crowds. We noticed that there was a Cast Member and Guest drop off on Harbor Drive, so I had hubby drop me and the kids off while he went to park the car in the Mickey Parking Structure. It was a good plan as he didn’t make it to the gates until 7:20.
We lined up in the center of one of the gates and sat down to eat our breakfast. The kids were so excited to head into the park, but they were very patient while we waited for 8 am to get here.
When they open the park at Disneyland, it is nothing like what they do at Walt Disney World. They just invited a group of guests to stand inside the gates and the Cast Members all counted down from 10 to 1 and opened the turnstyles and let us through.
When we got back to the castle, there was another rope that we had to wait for them to drop. We struck up a conversation with an older Cast Member who had worked for Disneyland for years. He told us some of the Magical touches that Walt added to the parks. It was a nice way to pass the time while we waited.
Finally it was time to drop the rope and we made a mad dash back to Peter Pan where we were shocked by the slow load time. We are used to how quickly Disney World loads their version of the ride (it is a continuous load with a moving sidewalk). Disneyland loads one boat at a time and they have to stop the boat completely for the guest to board.
Peter Pan was absolutely amazing though. The ride is similar to Disney World’s, but it is very different at the same time. They have more sparkling lights which seemed to make it a little more magical as you flew over London. Having rode WDW’s over 30 times, it was interesting to compare the two. It really plays with your mind when you expect a scene to be one way and it is different. For example, Peter Pan and Hook fight in a different location and the Mermaids are located closer to the end of the ride instead of in the middle.
Next we dashed over to the Matterhorn. Emily was the most excited to ride this one. Jacob was skeptical. He is not into roller coasters and dark rides like Emily was. And he hated the ride. He closed his eyes and flinched throughout the whole thing. I was very concerned for him. I don’t like how the Matterhorn seats are single file so I couldn’t even manage to put a hand on his shoulder to comfort him because I was in the 4th seat which was in a back car. He made it through the ride and informed me that he didn’t like it and wouldn’t ride it again. I enjoyed it but found it to be very jerky. It was neat to ride such a classic attraction though that isn’t found at Walt Disney World.
Then it was on to Dumbo which made Jacob very happy. We loved this ride and were able to get on within 9 minutes of getting off of the Matterhorn. That was pretty good for how busy the park was already getting (there was quite a line to Peter Pan that grew in the 2 minutes we were on that ride).
After Dumbo, we rode Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. I knew that Pooh had replaced this attraction at Walt Disney World so I was excited to ride something that I had heard so much about but had never experienced. The kids loved this ride and the fact that they could ‘drive’ their own car. I thought it was very well done for the time when the ride originally debuted, but I had long forgotten the story so it didn’t make a lot of sense to me.
Next it was on to Snow White’s Scary Adventures. The kids loved this ride at WDW (before it closed) and were excited to see that it was a lot like what they remembered. They were freaked out by the queen peeking out of the window though. That’s a nice touch that Disney added.
Then it was on to Pinocchio’s Daring Journey which was another great ride for the kids. They were able to ride together in the front car so they thought they were hot stuff and declared this to be their favorite ride so far. I liked it, but it was one of those ride it once and you have seen it all kind of rides.
Then we rode Alice in Wonderland. I love that she got not one but two rides in Fantasyland in Disneyland. We even passed Alice and the Mad Hatter on the way to the ride and they cheered us on as we entered the queue. The kids got to ride together at the front of this car too and they giggled the entire ride like they were doing something naughty. The ride was wonderful and I loved being able to be part of her story.
We then walked across the way to Mad Tea Party. It was fun to ride this one in the sunshine. We are used to it being covered (like at WDW), but it did make for some great photos! I always love snapping photos on the Mad Tea Party because they turn out so fun.
Hubby took the kids to ride the Carousel while I ran to get Indiana Jones Fastpasses. The plan was to then ride the Nemo Submarines, but it was down for maintenance so instead we jumped in line to meet Tinker Bell.
The wait for Tinker Bell wasn’t bad and when it was our turn, the kids proceeded to tell her all about our cat who is also named Tink. See, the kids believe that Tink climbed through our fairy door one day from fairy land. So they told Tink all about it which really excited her. She claimed that she was going to come thru the fairy door at our house to visit Tink as soon as she met all the guests that day. That really excited our kids and they talked about it for the rest of the day.
By the time we returned to normal size and excited Pixie Hollow, it was time to redeem our Indiana Jones Fastpass. Let me tell you, this ride was amazing! We had so much fun on this one. It is a lot like Dinosaur at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but it was neat to have it themed to Indiana Jones, a story that all of us know. The kids got spooked a couple of times, but they claimed they liked it and would ride it again.
Next it was time to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. I was so excited about this one because I knew how amazing it was. I didn’t tell my family to expect 2 drops though, so it was fun to hear them all squeal when it dropped our boat the second time.
We then made our way to Haunted Mansion. It is neat because the Stretching Room actually lowers at Disneyland. There were a few things that made it different from the Walt Disney World version and it was fun because at moments it felt like we were at Disney World instead of Disneyland.
We grabbed a Fastpass to Splash Mountain on our way to the Hungry Bear restaurant. I had heard about their Fried Green Tomato sandwich, and being a Southern Girl, I had to try it. It was very…. interesting. I can’t say that I loved it, but it wasn’t too bad. Jason looked at me like I was crazy and refused to try it. I didn’t even tempt the kids. We split one of the popular Honey Bee Cupcakes (yum!) and enjoyed the nice break from the crowds and the sun.
We then headed over to Winnie the Pooh which is located by Splash Mountain instead of Fantasyland. It has an outdoor queue and load area which is so different. The line also doesn’t get very long for this attraction, so we rode it once as a family and then Jacob and I rode it twice while Jason took Emily on Splash Mountain with the Fastpasses (they rode twice, using mine and Jacob’s Fastpasses too because he hates Splash Mountain).
Emily and Jason declared that Walt Disney World’s version of Splash Mountain was better. They were not crazy about the single file logs and they even said the ride felt shorter. You also didn’t seem to get as wet on this version because the log lands inside a tunnel instead of out in the open.
We then made our way to California Adventure. We heard the Aladdin Show was amazing so it was a must do on our list. We got there with PLENTY of time to spare and ended up waiting 45 minutes for the doors to open. It was nice though because we sat down and played a game on the iPad together and struck up conversations with the people around us.
Aladdin did not disappoint! The Genie had us in stitches. He was so funny and he totally stole the show. In my research I learned that he changes up his jokes frequently so the show never gets stale. My husband has never laughed so hard in his life. It was definitely awesome and worth the wait.
We then rode the Lady Bugs in Bug’s Land (it was a short wait) before making our way to Ghiradeli for milkshakes. Yum! I loved the Fisherman’s Wharf area and all the different San Francisco touches they added to the area.
While they finished their ice cream, I dashed over to Fastpass Soarin and then met them on Buena Vista Street.
We spent about an hour exploring Buena Vista Street. Imagineers put so much thought into designing this area and it was fun to hunt down the special touches. We even traded a few pins while we were exploring it. I took some great photos and notes about this area that I will be sharing with you all soon so that you can explore this area and enjoy it as much as we did.
We absolutely loved the Pixar Parade so even though we had already seen it once, we grabbed a seat and watched it again. Jacob had decided to buy a bubble gun, so he spent most of the parade blowing bubbles, much to the delight of the children around us.
After the parade, we made our way to the back of the park to eat at Boardwalk Pizza. It was really good and the seating area was nice. There was even a live band that we were able to enjoy while we ate.
Then we were able to drop into the Little Mermaid. If you are a Disney World fan, you know how long the line is at The Little Mermaid in the Magic Kingdom. At California Adventure, it has less than a 10 minute wait for the majority of the day. So at 6:45, we were able to walk on this ride with no wait! The ride was almost identical to Disney World’s version but Emily could ride it over and over again.
Finally our last ride of the day was Soarin over California. We used our Fastpass so we didn’t have to wait too long but we did get to enjoy the queue and all of the historical touches. When we went to get on the ride, we told the Cast Member that we were excited to compare the two and he gave our party a pass to ride it again later so that we could throughly compare them.
Well it was the exact same as Disney World. But we did notice at the guy during the intro video said Soarin’ Over California (instead of just Soarin’ as it is known in Epcot). But really that was the only difference we noticed.
While we had waited, we had struck up a conversation with a woman who was celebrating her 60th birthday at Disneyland. We gave her and her family some tips on which rides to ride and encouraged them to see World of Color as it is absolutely amazing. I love sharing my knowledge with people when they ask. I had done so much research on Disneyland so it was great that she was able to use some of it too.
Finally it was time to head back to the room. We decided to save our bonus Soarin’ Over California pass for another day as it was already close to 7:30 and we still had to get back to the car.
They do a very good job of loading people onto continuous trams to the Mickey Parking Structure and we barely had to wait to get on board and head to our car.
Just to recap, here’s what we were able to accomplish on this day:
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Matterhorn Bobsled
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
- Snow White’s Scary Adventures
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
- Alice in Wonderland
- Mad Tea Party
- Get an Indiana Jones Fastpass
- Meet tink
- Indiana Jones (Use Fastpass)
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Haunted Mansion
- Get a Fastpass to Splash Mountain
- Lunch at Hungry Bear
- Winnie the Pooh
- Use Splash Mountain Fastpass x2
- Hop to California Adventures
- Aladdin at 2:20
- Lady bugs
- Fast pass soaring
- Explore Buena Vista st
- Dinner at boardwalk pizza
- Little mermaid
Hope that helps your family! I take the time to write these posts so share the magic with all of you and give you an idea of what to expect on a busy day at Disneyland or California Adventure.
Catch up on all of my Disneyland Trip Reports.