“A lifetime of happiness lies ahead of you.”

School’s out…and I’m going to Disneyland! (“The Happiest Place on Earth.”)

It’s been about 15 years since I last visited The Magic Kingdom. I got a twofer deal and saw both Disneyland and California Adventure.

Since I have an amazing friend who works at Disney, not only did I go in on a discount, but the day was efficiently packed with rides.

What spots did we hit? Here’s a breakdown:

Finding Nemo
Space Mountain
Star Tours
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Gadget’s Go Coaster
“It’s a Small World”
Snow White’s Scary Adventures
Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Jungle Cruise
Indiana Jones Adventure
Tarzan’s Treehouse

California Adventure
Grizzly River Run
Soarin’ Around the World
The Little Mermaid
California Screamin’
Toy Story Midway Mania!
Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies
Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train
Radiator Springs Racers
Animation Academy
Guardians of the Galaxy

Highlights of the day?

  • I got stuck on Splash Mountain. This was my first time ever not completing a ride, but I got a nice pass for my time in the sunshine. It let me go straight to the front of the line on any ride. (Note: Does not work across parks, but only the one where the ride broke down–Disneyland in my case.)
  • Favorite rides in Disneyland:
    Indiana Jones: What can I say? I’m an Indy buff, and I love going on adventures with him!
    It’s a Small World: A blast from the past. I know it’s a little cheesy, and the song keeps playing over and over. But I enjoyed seeing all the puppetry and different areas represented. There are even surprise Disney character sightings inside.
  • Magical endings: The fireworks show still delights the child (and adult) in me! The electrical parade brought back nice memories, but it’s not as alluring as when I was a kid.
  • Faves in California Adventure:
    Toy Story: It’s a ride where you have a slingshot device and hit items on the screen, a la the midway carnival games.
    Little Mermaid: I grew up with Ariel, so I knew all the scenes. This peaceful ride brought back sweet memories and toe-tappin’ music.
  • Radiator Springs: This is an awesome backdrop that recreates different scenes from the Cars movies. I loved the idea of “racing” against another car!
    *Guardians: Okay, this is my love-hate ride. The concept is great, and I think it’s thrilling. But it takes the worst part of the roller coaster rides for me (the drops) and multiplies them over and over. However, I think it’s very well-done, and I love the secret opening at the top where you get to see California Adventure from a high height.

Extra tips:
Fast Pass: Use this system to receive slots in advance for a lot of the rides
Single Rider Line: Go alone and skip a bunch of waiting
Snacks: Pack energy boosters, particularly healthier options that may not be available at the park
Souvenirs: Buy in the middle of the day (I made the mistake of browsing at the end, when everybody was shopping)
Straps: Use bags and hats with straps, and hold onto them! (I lost my hat on a roller coaster–and not even a scary one like California Screamin’, but the kiddie coaster in Toontown.)
Clothes: Bring a change for when you hit the wet rides (or at least a dry pair of socks)


Short Story Stats
Foodie Friday: Mochi Donut


  1. Sounds like you had a great time. I’ve never been to Disney Land, only Disney World, but I absolutely love it. Epcot Center is my favorite. It feels like you’re really traveling to all those different countries. I’d love to go back again soon.

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