My first trip to Disneyland was jam-packed. Two of the three of us who went had never been before, so we wanted to be sure to squeeze as much into the one day we had there. We started the morning at Disney California Adventure Park. If you’re just tuning in, be sure to get caught up with the first half our day here.
The second half of our day took us to the OG: Disneyland Park.
We were pretty hungry, so thank goodness for Disney’s new mobile ordering option. We walked up to the Red Rose Taverne in Fantasyland to find a line that almost reached out the door. We placed our orders via the app and were able to get out of the line and get our food in just a few minutes.
Ladies and gents, I present the Poutine Flatbread. It’s kind of like a pizza, except instead of the standard sauce and cheese, it features slow-cooked beef, pommes frites, roasted garlic aïoli, cheese curds, gravy, and herb oil. It was amazing!
My friends and I also shared a Grey Stuff Gâteau – white chocolate mousse and red velvet cake with a raspberry center. I wouldn’t say THAT was amazing, but we enjoyed checking a famous Disney snack off our list.
Once our bellies were sufficiently stuffed, it was time to get back to it and start exploring the park.
Since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to kick things off with another Disney classic: Snow White’s Scary Adventures. My last memory of this ride was riding with my grandmother as a kid… and having my eyes covered the entire time. Long attraction short: Hi Ho Hi Ho, Scary Witch, and they lived happily ever after. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
After all the morning hustle, we decided to take a break with a relaxing ride on the Mark Twain Riverboat. While we were a little bummed that we weren’t picked to earn our pilot’s licenses, we were instead charmed by Tiana. I’m pretty sure we’re best friends now.
Next, we had a FASTPASS for Indiana Jones Adventure, but one ride malfunction later, we found ourselves on Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin instead. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was such a great movie when it came out in 1988, and I was looking forward to checking out this attraction that never made its way east. I wanted to like it, I really did… but I just didn’t. Womp, womp.
We happened to be walking out of Mickey’s Toontown and past the Fantasyland Theatre just as Mickey and the Magic Map was beginning. The show itself was a delightful revue that included many Disney favorites, but the real standouts were the two sign language interpreters. Even though I don’t understand sign language, their message was loud and clear, and it was inspiring to watch them perform so passionately.
And just like that it was time for the first of the two parades we wanted to catch: the Pixar Play Parade! I don’t always LOVE parades, but even I have to admit that it was pretty cool seeing some of my favorite characters that aren’t always available to meet around the park. Um, hi Mike Wazowski, Bing Bong, and Dug.
The next couple of attractions were unfortunately a bit disappointing.
I loved 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as a kid, so it was my call to add the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage to our to-do list. The potential for magic is still there, but relying on screens (many of which seemed to need some updating) rather than the original animatronics made for a less-than-magical journey.
We followed that with the Matterhorn Bobsleds, an undeniable Disneyland classic. I’m glad to have experienced it, but I’m guessing that was my first and last time. I love a good roller coaster, but this one was so jerky that I didn’t really enjoy it. I’ve heard other DL attractions described this way, but the Matterhorn was definitely the worst one I experienced.
The sun set before we knew it, and we hopped back over to California Adventure for the Paint the Night Parade, grabbing food at Flo’s V8 Cafe on the way to our spot near the end of the parade route.
The easiest way to describe Paint the Night is like the Main Street Electrical Parade for the modern age, using close to 750,000 LED bulbs to create a really special nighttime show.
Following the parade, we ran back over to Disneyland Park to squeeze in a couple more attractions: Indiana Jones Adventure and the Haunted Mansion.
Indy was so fun! I’d been wanting to ride it for a while, since all we have in Florida is the Epic Stunt Spectacular and not an actual ride. Luckily, it did not disappoint.
Haunted Mansion was, well, not very different from the Walt Disney World version, which surprised me since the houses themselves seem so different from the outside. Either way, the fun holds up on either coast.
We capped off the night with a little shopping on Main Street, USA before basically collapsing upon getting back to the car. That might have been just me, but I think it only speaks for what a full and fun day we had.
BRB – have to go plan my next trip to Disneyland.