We have just come back from the most amazing trip to Disneyland, California! My family and I spent 11 days in Anaheim with 9 days at Disneyland and California Adventure. Here is how we spent each day, the rides we went on, shows we watched and the Disney food we ate.
To find out how we got from Australia to Disneyland and our first day at the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ check out this blog entry. To continue on with our adventures and read about our first day at California Adventure click here.
Day 8 – Disneyland
After a late night the night before, we had a pretty relaxed start to the morning. Arriving at Disneyland at 11 am, we decided to check out Downtown Disney. We had a nice stroll about the area looking in the various shops. The kids absolutely loved the Lego shop and the Disney shop was huge! We stopped by one of the fountains to have a lunch of hotdogs in the shade, before making our way into Disneyland.
Our goal for the day was to check out Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. We had seen on the Disneyland app that it was going to be closed for maintenance for the rest of our stay, so this was definitely a must do.
As we entered Disneyland Zoë mentioned wanting a ride on the horse drawn carriage and wouldn’t you know it, 2 minutes after saying the words, there it was just waiting for us. The horse drawn carriage was a fun way to travel down Main Street, dropping us off in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
We then continued on foot to Tom Sawyer Island. Max loved riding the little ferry across to the island and the cast members dressed as pirates was a nice touch. The kids had a great time running around the island, exploring the tunnels and venturing across the rope bridges. It was lots of fun and a nice shady spot on a hot day.
After exploring the island we headed into Critter Country, where Zoë made Daddy eat one of the Disneyland pickles. This was funny to us Australians, as pickles aren’t something we have very often. And the funniest part of all was when Zoë tried the pickle, she ended up loving it! So Daddy and Zoë ended up sharing the pickle. So cute!
As we were close by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh we decided to have a ride. This was our second time on the ride and we loved it! A fun ride for young children. Then as we were in the neighbourhood, there was something that I had wanted to try since our first trip to Disneyland, a Tigger tail.
The cast member who served us was a real treat, and made sure Max got his Tigger tail first. Max had been watching his every move. The Tigger tails were so yummy! They were definitely worth the wait.
Our next goal for the day was a ride on the Sailing Ship Columbia. Greg and I had previously been on the Mark Twain Riverboat, but had missed out on the Sailing Ship. It was a fun cruise around the river and the kids just loved sailing on a ‘pirate ship.’ It’s worth a look below the deck to see what life on board was like in the past.
After our cruise we headed over to the Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition. Max had noticed it a few days ago and was excited about playing. He had lots of fun shooting the targets with his Dad.
Once we had used up all our loose change on the shooting gallery, we made our way back to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Ever since Zoë’s princess makeover I had my heart set on getting her a Snow White costume. It was just so lovely I couldn’t leave Disneyland without it. Luckily she just loved it too, and was very excited about getting to wear another princess dress to Disneyland on our next visit.
Now it was Max’s turn for a treat. So our next stop was the Star Trader in Tomorrowland. We had one goal only in this shop, to build a lightsaber. Max was absolutely thrilled with the lightsaber he built, in fact it just made him want to build another one. The lightsaber is pretty good quality and the cast member was really helpful with giving instructions on how to replace the batteries.
It was now time for some dinner. So we went back to one of favourite places, Pizza Planet, for a dinner of pizzas of course.
After tea it was time for a ride on the Monorail. We jumped aboard the Monorail at the Tomorrowland station, where got some awesome images of the Matterhorn. The Monorail was very cool and travelled surprisingly faster than we expected. We loved being able to look down on Disneyland from above. So fun!
We did a complete lap on the Monorail disembarking back at the Tomorrowland station, just in time for the Villians Dance Party. The kids, Max in particular, loved the dance party and had so much fun dancing to some slightly spooky songs.
Before leaving Disneyland for the night, we made one last stop at the Astro Orbitor. I loved the steam punk look of this ride, very cool and it was fun ride to do at night. Max loved it! After the ride we headed back to our hotel at approximately 8.30 pm.
Day 9 – California Adventure
After a bit of slow start to the day, we set off to Target once again to get some more supplies, before heading to California Adventure at 12 pm. Our first stop of the day was to Soarin’ Around the World for fastpasses. The wait was only 30 minutes, so we had a look in some of the nearby shops while we waited.
The Rushin’ River Outfitters had some pretty cool merchandise including the cutest grizzly bear hand puppet. But the items that caught Max and Zoë’s eyes the most, was the boat filled with rocks and gems! They both love finding cool rocks, so this was perfect for them. They filled a little velvet bag each full of rocks and gems for just $6.99. A perfect little souvenir!
Stepping outside of the store we spotted Chip and of course had to get our photo taken with him! So fun! And while the kids and I took photos, Greg snuck off to the nearby churro van for a surprise snack. Disneyland churros are the best. So yummy!
It was now time for Soarin’ Around the World. We all loved it! It’s amazing how free this ride makes you feel, flying above the world’s landmarks and nearly getting splashed by a whale (would have been even better if you could feel the splash). It was a fantastic ride for all ages.
Right next to Soarin’ is the Smokejumpers Grill. This is where we stopped for a lunch of burgers, toasties and salads. It had a very pleasant outdoor seating area in the shade, perfect on a hot day.
After lunch we made our way back towards Pixar Pier, stopping for a quick ride on The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. We had already been on this ride a few days earlier and it was lots of fun. Zoë in particular really enjoyed this one.
As we exited the Little Mermaid we took a right hand turn and ended up at our next ride of the day, Goofy’s Sky School. This was a fun little rollercoaster with a very bumpy end (took the wind out of Zoë and myself, we were seated in the back), but Max absolutely loved it!
Now it was Daddy’s turn. Our next stop, the Incredicoaster. Greg had been on this rollercoaster on our last visit, back when it was California Screamin’. So of course he had to try out the new version and of course he still loved it! Max, Zoë and I had lots fun trying to find Daddy on the ride and then watching him as he flew past.
Checking out the Disneyland app, we saw that Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sulley to the rescue! had a fairly short wait time, so we started making our way over, taking a slight detour through Cars Land. By the time we got there the wait time had increased to 30 minutes, but as we were already there we decided to wait anyway. Even though the kids hadn’t seen the first Monsters, Inc. movie they still really enjoyed the ride and now they are looking forward to watching the film.
Our next must do in California Adventure was Turtle Talk with Crush. I had read lots of articles with people recommending it, but I still didn’t really understand what the experience would be like until we experienced it for ourselves. For some reason I was expecting an animatronic Crush and not the animated Crush we met.
It was a very cool little experience and Max was the first person Crush had a chat with. He was so thrilled! It was really funny and one of my favourite memories of our holiday. Not everyone in the cinema got to speak with Crush, so it was a very special moment. I would highly recommend it.
The Sorcerer’s Workshop and Animation Academy share the same building with Crush. We missed out on Animation Academy during this trip, but it is something we would love to do next time. We did have a look round the Sorcerer’s Workshop and tried out the interactive elements. The Beast’s Library from Beauty and the Beast was a nice hidden feature.
Another moment I had read about online was the shaboom moment at Cars Land. So this is where we went next. We arrived with enough time to grab some dinner from the Cozy Cone Motel. The Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese Cone was so yummy, we have tried to replicate it at home. So good!
The shaboom moment was lots of fun. Right on sunset a group of cast members made their way to the crossroads in the middle of Cars Land and in time with the music they pointed to certain signs just as they lit up for the night. It had an almost magical quality to it and Cars Land at night is definitely a must see. Makes for some pretty nice photos too.
We then had one more spin on Mater’s Junkyard Jam-boo-ree before heading back to the hotel at 8.30 pm. We went via Paradise Gardens Park for a look at Pixar Pier and the Pixar Pal-A-Round in lights. It was so pretty and a great way to finish the night!
*All photos were taken by me, please ask my permission before using.