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 Ten | Disneyland
We arrived at Disneyland at around 10 am. Zoë was all dressed up for our second last day in the Snow White costume, I had bought a few days earlier from the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. She looked gorgeous but needed a little something for her hair, so our first stop of the day was to the Boutique to get a matching headband.
Then we headed over to Adventureland for an Indiana Jones Adventure fastpass. As the kids were new to rollercoasters, just Greg was going on this ride.
But the kids and I weren’t going to miss out on all the fun, so our next stop was Big Thunder Mountain Railway. We all loved this ride. So much fun. Max loved spotting the dinosaur bones too!
It was now time for Greg’s ride on Indiana Jones Adventure. While we waited, the kids and I had another look through Tarzan’s Treehouse. They really enjoyed being able to climb up into the tree and spot all the different attractions from above. The playground at the base of the tree was lots of fun too. Zoë loved the instrument that changed her voice into animal sounds. Greg loved the Indiana Jones Adventure ride and was able to get on even faster as he was a single rider.
As it was now lunchtime we headed to the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country for lunch. We had previously had dinner there and it definitely one of my favourite restaurant’s in Disneyland. I just love how peaceful it was sitting amongst the treetops looking over the river. It’s a great place to stop and catch your breath when the park is busy. We had burgers and chicken nuggets for lunch.
After lunch we grabbed fastpasses for the Haunted Mansion before stopping by Pixie Hollow for a meet and greet with a real fairy. Zoë absolutely loved it and Pixie Hollow is a great place for some pretty photos.
By now Zoë was feeling a bit hot in her costume, so we stopped by the castle for some last photos before she changed into something a little cooler. It was definitely worth bringing a change of clothes in our backpack.
After checking the Disneyland app we noticed the line to Peter Pan’s Flight was pretty short at 25 minutes wait. So we hightailed it to Fantasyland. After a 10 minute wait in the sun the ride was closed for maintenance. We like most people decided not to wait in the queue and headed off. But a short time later the ride reopened with almost no line. So we ended up getting on in approximately 5 minutes! Very lucky. We all enjoyed the ride very much. It felt almost magical, flying over the lights of London and the flying sailing ship were so cute!
Next we headed over to Pinocchio’s Daring Journey which the kids found a bit creepy and then to Snow White’s Scary Adventures which would definitely be a bit scary for younger children. The dwarfs were our favourite part of the ride. The evil queen’s apple at the entrance to the ride is a bit of fun too!
It was now time to use our Haunted Mansion Fastpasses. This was our second ride on this holiday and we loved it just as much. It was lots of spooky fun and the kids loved looking for Zero and seeing Jack Skellington. Max would love to come back and see the ride without the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay.
After the Haunted Mansion our next stop was Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. The little tropical garden setting outside the Tiki Room was very pretty and the kids loved watching the fountain. The Tiki Room was nice and cool on a hot day and Zoë found the birds singing so relaxing that she nodded off during the performance.
It was now time for a cool treat from the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor. The icecreams were huge and very yummy. We bought premium single scoop ice creams in a chocolate dipped waffle cone.
After our yummy treat we headed over to Star Tours. Once again, this was our second time on this ride. But we loved it just as much as the first time. We loved seeing elements from the new movies in the ride. We then crossed the street to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. This was our third turn on this ride and the kids especially loved it. Max tried to beat his previous scores, while Zoë had the best time spinning around.
We now headed back down Main Street U.S.A stopping by Esmerelda the Fortune Teller to get a little keepsake to take home with us. It was now almost 8 pm so we made our way back to the bus stop to wait for the shuttle bus back to our hotel.
Day Eleven | Disneyland
Day Eleven was our last day in Anaheim. Luckily our flight home wasn’t leaving until 10.45 pm so we were able to head back to the parks one last time.
Max was dying to get a Star Lord figurine he had seen in California Adventure, which we hadn’t seen elsewhere. So our first stop of the day was California Adventure to purchase this must have item. We basically just popped in and then popped out again and back over to Disneyland. This was the only time we used the park hopper function on our tickets for our whole trip.
Today’s mission was to get some last minute souveneirs including a lightsaber from Savi’s Workshop and a droid from the Droid Depot. We had booked in these experiences a few days before using the Disneyland app.
On entering Disneyland we headed to the Silhouette Studio. This was something I had read about on Pinterest and for the price it was definitely worth it. The cast members in the shop were very funny and the lady who cut the silhouettes was very talented. She completely blew Max’s mind, he couldn’t work out how she had done it. The images looked just like the kids too. A must have souveneir and experience. They even held the framed silhouettes for the rest of the day, so we wouldn’t have to lug them around.
We also made use of the lockers located in Main Street for the same reason, no one wanted to carry Star Lord and some of our other purchases around for the rest of the day.
Our reservation at the Droid Depot was for 11.40 am so we shopped our way to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Our first stop was the Adventureland Bazaar. There was lots of different merchandise in this shop and the kids loved the pressed penny machine. The machine had an elephant statue on top that made a stamping motion as the penny was stamped. So cool!
Our next shopping stop was in New Orleans Square where we picked up some pirate themed souveneirs, a t-shirt for Greg and a Mickey Mouse spy glass for Max.
It was now time for us to head over to the Droid Depot. The Driod Depot has a retail area and a zone for building droids. The droid building area is really cool to look at with parts of droids and complete droids decorating the room. When we arrived we lined up to check in. At the check in point we chose the type of droid we were going to build – an R unit and purchased a personality chip. We were then handed a basket and directed to the parts conveyor belt.
I had wanted to build a droid similar to R2D2, but I wasn’t able to choose parts of those colours, so instead I built a black droid. He still looks very cool. The experience was lots of fun, and the droid was easy to build (even though we did put the legs on backwards). The best part of the experience was when the droid was activated. The kids loved it! Once complete the droid was placed in a cardboard carry box, which came in handy for transporting him around Disneyland, in shuttle buses, at the airports and of course on the planes. He got a fair bit of attention going through customs, but not as much as the lightsaber! All the attention was positive though and we didn’t have any issues.
After completing our droid it was time for our next experience at Savi’s Workshop, where Greg made his very own lightsaber. This experience was very immersive and lots of fun to watch. On reaching the check in point Greg was asked to choose which type of lightsaber he would like to make. He choose green.
When we entered the building each person participating in the experience chose a workstation where they began assembling their lightsabers. Greg was able to choose from 2 options for each part of the hilt and which colour kyber crystal he would like. Once again the best part of the experience was when the lightsaber was activated. It was all very cool and even though the kids and I were just watching, it still felt as though we were a part of it. The lightsaber came in a padded black bag which was very useful. Just as a side note – the lightsaber batteries went flat fairly quickly and while that was happening the lightsaber would make sounds, generally in the middle of the night. It took us a while to work out that it was the lightsaber making the noises and why.
After we had finished our experiences and were the proud owners of our own droid and lightsaber we headed round to the Milk Stand for the last green and blue milk of our trip. We all found the milk quite nice to drink, especially Zoë who just loved the blue milk. It was really refreshing on a hot day.
Milk in hand we joined the line for the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. The wait was about 35 minutes, but the time went fairly quickly, there was so much to look at. We absolutely loved being able to walk around inside the Millennium Falcon it was so surreal. The ride was very cool. Greg and Max were Pilots and Zoë and I were Gunners and another 2 girls finished off our party. Each of the party received a coloured card, ours was Green and the position they would be during the ride. Our party was then called up and we followed the cast member through the Millennium Falcon to the cockpit. It was lots of fun, but I think Max and Greg got more from the experience being the pilots.
As we had basically missed lunch, it was now time to say goodbye to Stars Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and we headed over to Frontierland for a snack. Before Max decided he really did need another lightsaber. So off we went to The Star Trader to build yet another lightsaber.
With a very happy Max in tow we made our way back down Main Street shopping for all our remaining souveneirs on the way. In retrospect I wish we had bought souveneirs for family and friends as we saw them during our stay instead of trying to get them during our last hour at the park. It made for a bit of an anxious rush instead of a more relaxed farewell.
We said our final goodbyes to Disneyland at 4 pm as we caught our shuttle bus back to the hotel. It was a bittersweet moment, both wishing we could stay longer and looking forward to going home.
We picked up our luggage from the hotel and rushed out the front to catch the last Disneyland Express Shuttle of the day back to LAX. Our return flight was at 10.30 pm with Air New Zealand. Luckily our return trip went smoothly with none of the hiccups we had experienced on the way to America. With a brief stop in Auckland, we arrived back in Australia at 10.45 am. We loved every minute of our first family holiday in Disneyland and can’t wait to return! Time to start saving again…