Hey gang! We made our first trip to Disneyland in 12 years. We're Midwesterners so WDW is an easier, cheaper, and therefore more often made vacation. Not wrong with The World, but like many on here DL holds a special place in my heart.
We arrived on Saturday, July 5 around 6:30pm, had a delay in getting our luggage and missed the last DLE bus of the day. I was propositioned by a shady guy in a white van who claimed Grayline would reimburse me but I didn't bite. We took a taxi. That's what I'll do in the future. It was $40 and we didn't have to make any additional stops. I didn't have any luck with Grayline in several facets and would not recommend them based on my experience. A taxi was slightly more money but way more convienent. I'll consider my $70 lost, a donation to Grayline.
The taxi got us to the Howard Johnson Hotel & Water Playground. We ate at Mimi's and my family sacked out. I was too excited and had to at least walk through the Esplanade. After all, it was my first time there in 12 years!
The next morning we grabbed some food from the room -- I cannot recommend Von's grocery delivery enough -- and headed to DL. My daughter had been to WDW before although doesn't remember much. Neither she nor my son have been to DL. Their only "experience" is the repeated watched of 1988's Disneyland Fun Sing-A-Long. We headed to Tomorrowland and caught rides on Buzz, Astro Orbitor and Space Mountain. Walked to Fantasyland and Toontown riding IASW, RR Cartoon Spin, Gadget's Go-Coaster (a favorite among my kids), Storybook Canal Boats, Alice, and Mad Tea Party. I miss the Jolly Trolley. A train ride around took us to NO Square where we had lunch at the French Market. After that rides on POTC, HM, SM and Pooh. Actually, my son and I got 4 rides on Pooh and several character photos while my wife and daughter rode Splash. My son is 39 inches at a resort where most everything "cool" is 40 inches :( Luckily it was all new to him and he was a good sport. We headed back after for a nap. We attempted to go back in the evening after dinner, but my son fell asleep in the booth at IHop so they called it a night. I about had a heart attack; $9 for one chocolate pancake from the kid's menu? At any rate, I tucked the family in bed and headed to DCA. I took the single rider line and finally got a long-awaited ride on RSR. Wow. What a great ride. No let down, despite all the hype. Seeing RS all lit up was something to see as well. I walked around a little bit taking it all in, knowing that with little kids in tow the next day, I wouldn't have so much attention to give. After a ride on Soarin' I headed back.
Monday, we headed to DCA. We grabbed FPs for RSR and headed to Carsland. We rode Mater and Luigi then took turns riding RSRs with our daughter. Meanwhile my son enjoyed Flik's Fun Fair and we all took in Aladdin (fantastic show). After lunch at the Mexican place at Pacific Wharf, we headed to Paradise Pier for rides on CS, TSMM, the carousel and Mickey's Fun Wheel. My 3yo son LOVED it...my 6 yo daughter not-so-much. However, my daughter couldn't stop talking about her first rides on a "loopty loop" coaster"! Took a break and then returned to DCA for the evening riding Goofy's Sky School, CS, and Monsters, which my son slept through.
Tuesday we returned to DL. After meeting Minnie in Town Square, we started rides with PP, SW, Dumbo, Mr Toad and more rides on GGC. That was the only wild thing my son could ride so we rode it several times. We visited Frontierland; wife and daughter rode BTMRR while son and I rode Mark Twain. We hit IJA Adventure next, again splitting up and entertaining my son with the JC. After a long nap, we returned for Autopia, Buzz, Star Tours and fireworks.
On Wednesday, we started with DL again with many re-rides including Gadget's Go-Coaster, of course! We met Mickey and played around TT. We ate at Redd Rocket's and continued re-rides. We used the train several times simply as transportation but every time had to ride through the dinosaurs at the request of my son. Who knew it was that cool? We took a break. My wife opted against returning that evening so I took the kids myself. Was I thinking straight? More rides on Gadget, IASW, POTC, dinner at French Market, and F! I had never watched it before...what a treat! We headed home.
Thursday was our last day. We started in DCA with GRR, Soarin', Disney Jr show, Trolley, Tough to be a Bug and numerous re-rides. After a nap we returned to DL. We actually only rode IASW and then shopped. Right before midnight, we stopped in the Disneyana Store and looked at the old photos and models. That's always one of my favorite parts. We had a great convo with the CM who was extremely knowledgeable. The whole resort seemed to get busier as the week went on. Sunday, July 6 seemed to be the slowest day of our stay.
Friday, we walked through DTD, ate at La Brea and headed to SNA, via a taxi. It was a great trip! DCA 2.0 is really great and there is just something special about Disneyland. Sorry it was so long and thanks for reading.