Last month, the Saturday before Christmas to be exact, my sister treated me to a day at Disneyland! If you read my 36 Things post you may know that my only sister lives outside of Seoul, South Korea which means we don’t spend a lot of time together…especially since her trips home are so quick. Sometime in the Fall we began talking about a sister’s day during the Holidays and since she loves Disney (and I hadn’t been in nearly 17 years) it felt like the best spot!
If you have never been to Disneyland in California (i.e. the ORIGINAL) let me break it down for you. First of all I remember going to Disney for the day (you know, one day in the park) which apparently is the least popular ticket option these days. Most people opt for 2 or 3 day Park Hopper tickets. In case you missed it Disney opened a second park right next door to Disneyland called Disney’s California Adventure. I had never been to CA Adventure so we did a 1 day Park Hopper ticket that allowed us to go between the two parks as often as we wanted. This ticket option will run about $165 per person but does depend on the day you are planning to go.
Since we have both spent a considerable amount of time at Disneyland over the years we had a pretty solid plan of attack to make the most of our day. Did I mention we went the Saturday before Christmas? I was prepared for 2 hour waits on every ride but was pleasantly surprised. We were in the Mickey and Friends parking structure by 8:15am (Starbucks in hand) and in line for the trams to the gate right away. By 9:20am (after security checks, bag checks, and a tram ride) we had tickets in hand and were walking into California Adventure. We grabbed a Fast Pass for Guardians of the Galaxy (a Fast Pass is basically a ticket that tells you what time to come back so you don’t have to wait in line) and then walked right onto California Screamin’ Coaster (which is now officially the Incredi-Coaster named after The Incredibles). We then hit the Rootin’ Shootin’ Gallery ride from Toy Story before getting our turn on Guardians. I will admit that I have never seen the movie so some of the theme and video references were lost on me but the ride was SO FUN!
By 11am we were walking into Disneyland (for fear of them hitting capacity early we wasted no time). We made a point of grabbing a Fast Pass for Indiana Jones (our fave) and then spent time getting on as many rides as possible…Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Tea Cups, Small World, Big Thunder Mountain. By the time it was time to ride Indy the ride was down so we were able to use our Fast Pass on any ride we wanted. At that point Space Mountain had the worst wait time so we took advantage of our pass and went there. We also made a quick stop at Star Tours before leaving Tomorrowland in search of photos. No joke, we made it on every ride we wanted except for The Matterhorn (because it went down for the entire evening). Some snack highlights of the day (because it was cheat day) were the churros in New Orleans Square, the Mickey Mouse Pretzels in Frontierland, and the super amazing cookies that my sister kept telling me about on Main Street. I also went in search of the grilled cheese and tomato soup at the Jolly Holiday to warm me up! Overall we made it on every ride on the list with the exception of Matterhorn which was closed all evening and only waited in a crazy line once (for Indiana Jones). We watched a few minutes of the fireworks show over Cinderella’s Castle before heading home to get some much needed rest.
Now that I have been back to Disneyland I can’t wait to plan a trip where Chris and I can take G…I would love to experience the Happiest Place on Earth with a kid just once!