Field Trip: Disneyland Resort

I have returned from my adventures in Disneyland, although I already want to go back for one more ride on Haunted Mansion Holiday. I’d thought I’d share how my trip went, what I rode, what I ate, and what I bought. 

This was a sibling trip to Disney cause my brother and I don’t take vacations ever, so we planned this trip back in May to force us to take one. And there were no regrets. Another note is that we added MaxPass to our tickets, which is the ability to reserve FastPass on my phone in the Disneyland app and also have access to PhotoPass. I’ll talk more about MaxPass in my next post, cause it was an awesome tool.

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Day 1: Disneyland

With my trips to Disney, I am very much a planner, and this one was no different. We had a lot of things planned out in advance, from dinner reservations to what our first FastPass was going to be. I’ll be talking more about how to best plan your Disneyland trip in an upcoming post so I don’t spend this whole recap talking about it!

Since it is already Halloween Time in Disney, we HAD to go to Haunted Mansion first since it is refitted as Haunted Mansion Holiday. So we arrived before rope drop and waited till we could power walk our way to the ghostly manor. We were the first group on for normal park hours, got to hear the whole narration, and didn’t have to wait long to ride. Truly a great start to the day.

By the time we got off the Haunted Mansion, it was time to make our way to Tomorrowland for our Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy FastPass. Space Mountain also gets a seasonal refitting, although Ghost Galaxy is only for Halloween so it gets removed immediately after Haloween and is darker and scarier than it’s Nightmare Before Christmas counterpart. It’s still super fun and worth riding if you are a fan of original Space Mountain.

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I’m not going to go through every individual ride we went on, but we did do our fair share of attractions, including Haunted Mansion Holiday twice (which is unheard of). Above is our full attraction list and the amount of times we rode them (yes, Splash Mountain is 1.5 times. We got evacuated off the ride and given a free FastPass to any ride with FastPasses, so we rode it later when it reopened). I want to now talk about our smartest decision of this trip: planning and reserving our dining.

For reservations, we mainly wanted to reserve a sit-down dinner and coordinate our other wants around that. We reserved a dinner at Carnation Cafe, which was delicious. I recommend the Chicken-Fried Chicken, mainly cause those mashed potatoes were amazing. I couldn’t stop talking about them. Since we reserved dinner for a specific time, we knew how to break down our day both food wise and ride wise. Plus it cut out the hassle of trying to squeeze in somewhere or wait a really long time for a table.

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Now onto the sweet stuff. I have a sweet tooth, so I was very excited to try the gray stuff at Red Rose Tavern. It is a white chocolate mousse covering a red velvet cake and raspberry filling. It is very light so a dessert and was definitely delicious. My brother also had beignets earlier in the day from the Mint Julep Bar, which were also very good and we’d recommend.

Overall, this is easily one of my top favorite Disneyland visits, if not the number one favorite.

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Day 2: Disney California Adventure

After a full open-to-close Disneyland day, we spent a day in California Adventure. With the newly opened Pixar Pier plus more Halloween theming than the last time I visited, it was an exciting trip to this park.

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We also rope dropped this park, but this time it was less planned as we just happened to get into the park 2 minutes before official opening. We had a plan this time as well which was to get a FastPass for Radiator Springs Racers ASAP. That attraction runs out of FastPasses extremely quickly, and even with my reserving it at 9am on the dot it still wasn’t available until 11:45am. That gave us time to fill, which meant making our way to Pixar Pier.

IMG_20180912_184841_188Pixar Pier is a great update in my opinion. I like the use of intellectual properties in the park, and the old pier was kind of boring to me cause I could just drive a little bit and go to an actual pier. Now Pixar Pier is special. It’s still not finished yet, but it is already a great update in my book. And my favorite part is the Incredicoaster. The new Incredibles themed coaster that took over California Screamin’ made a good ride so much better. It was so fun we rode it 3 times!

A pleasant surprise for both of us was the Cars Land area and how they got spooky for Halloween. The last time I went to DCA was also Haloween Time but Cars Land didn’t get a makeover for it. So the two attractions that were changed were fun surprises, especially Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. We also had lunch at Flo’s V8 Cafe, which we did the mobile ordering for which was very nice and the food was also very good. Cars Land was an awesome surprise for us, with it being only my second visit there and my brother’s first.

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The Spoils of Adventure

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Now for the souvenirs! I went a little bit crazy with these this trip, but I blame it on the fact I decided to start pin collecting again. But first I got this beautiful postcard set of the Haunted Mansion, which is one of my favorite rides in the park. I loved the neon colors and its capturing of the original Haunted Mansion ride, so I got it and the set is now hanging up by my desk.

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I did go pin crazy. 10 brand new pins in fact. I wanted to get pins that represented this specific trip or my favorites of Disney. For my favorites of Disney, I had to get a Mulan pin because she is the number one all-time favorite in my book. I also got a Pirate’s pin because it is also one of my favorite attractions. Another of the favorites is the stained glass rose pin from Beauty and the Beast. I saw that one and instantly awed at it cause it’s so beautiful.

For pins that were trip specific, I got the collectible Disneyland sign pin and a Haunted Mansion portrait pin with Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas, since Haunted Mansion Holiday is already up and running.

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One find I was very interested about are mystery packs of pins. Mystery items, in general, have become very popular, but for pins, it felt more fun and spontaneous especially for me who usually meticulously pick my pins. So I picked up a pack called Disney Mascots, which represent different attractions across the parks, and gave it a go. I got 5 pins from the pack and was quite happy with my winnings. I got a World of Color pin, a Space Mountain pin (also one of my favorite attractions), it’s a small world pin, a Teacups pin, and my favorite one because it feels extra special now a Tower of Terror pin.

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And that was my trip to the Disneyland Resort! I know this was a super long post, but I wanted to share some of the best bits. Look out for my next post where I share my secrets to having the greatest trip to Disneyland. I also have my whole trip captured on my Instagram as a highlight if you want to check that out as well.

What’s your favorite thing to do at the parks? Share it with me with a comment.

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