Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Trip Report Tuesday: California Day 10 // Our First Day at DISNEYLAND!

Today I'm delighted to share with you our first visit to Walt Disney's original park, Disneyland, as well as Disney's California Adventure!  I'm looking forward to recapping all the magical deets in today's trip report!
Day 10 - Monday, September 18, 2016

All set for day one of Disney Park fun!

*All our ears are by AdventuresInDIYShop on Etsy and were gifts from their creator, my blogging bestie, Chrissy!

We stayed on Disney property at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa which allowed us access to extra magic hours.  On this day an extra magic hour was offered at Disney's California Adventure park, which meant as Disney resort guests we could enter the park an hour prior to official park opening.  The Grand Californian has its own private entrance to California Adventure park so we literally walked out of our hotel and right in to the park!  What a perk!

We headed straight to Cars Land!  We'd heard so many great things about this recent addition to the park, and let me tell you, it completely lived up to the hype!

Time for the first ride, Radiator Springs Racers!

The Radiator Springs Racers queue is amazing! 

This ride is so much fun!  It became a fast favorite!

Disney's attention to detail in theming never ceases to amaze me!

Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters

This ride was a hoot!  All the cars basically do a synchronized dance!  A lot of spinning to the music and loads of laughter all the way around!

Princess' all-time favorite Disney animated movie is A Bug's Life, so she absolutely lit up when we arrived in California Adventure's A Bug's Land!  That's right, they have entire land dedicated to her favorite movie.  How fun is that?!

Heimlich Chew Chew Train

This "chew chew train" was absolutely too cute!  He's always been my favorite from that flick.  This may be geared toward younger guests, but being young at heart we enjoyed it just the same!

As soon as official park hours were under way my best blogging friend, Chrissy of Adventures in DIY (& the aforementioned, AdventuresInDIYShop on etsy), met us at the park!

Flik's Flyers 

Tower of Terror
We had to make sure to get a snapshot of The Hollywood Tower Hotel that morning as the next day we'd be there the sign would be removed in preparation for the ride's transition into its upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy theming.   We were thrilled that we got to experience Disneyland's version of Tower of Terror before its final checkout.  

From September through the end of 2016 Tower of Terror offered guest some exclusive experiences, like this live performance from the Silver Lake Sisters in the lobby (aka: queue).  These talented "sisters" were a delightful addition to the attraction experience!

We loved their version of Tower of Terror!  The most noticeable difference was that their "elevator" didn't move forward as the one in Hollywood Studios does.  We also thought it felt as if it bounced a bit between drops.  As always, I can never get enough of those expected drops!  So much fun!

Around lunch time we decided to walk over to Disneyland!  YES, walk over!  This is one of the biggest differences/perks between the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Parks.  Disneyland and California Adventure parks and the Disney hotels are all within walking distance of each other!  There's no time spent waiting for buses or traveling to and from, it's all within a leisurely stroll!

My all-things-fall adoring heart swooned at every glimpse of these magical pumpkins!

"To all who come to this happy place; welcome.  Disneyland is your land." - Walt Disney

Lunch at Disneyland's famed Little Red Wagon on Main Street

Those freshly dipped corn dogs were delicious and made for such a fun first lunch at Disneyland!

Haunted Mansion Holiday
Another very cool thing about Disneyland is that they decorate a few of their rides inside and out for certain holidays!  Each fall Haunted Mansion gets a full makeover for the Halloween through Christmas season in "Nightmare Before Christmas" theming!  

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Look at how adorable their ride vehicles are!  One of the best parts of visiting Disneyland as a Disney World veteran is enjoying all the differences, big and small, of the similar attractions at both!

Theme parking works up an appetite. ;)  Afternoon treat time!

Chrissy got the most delicious looking Poison Apple Sundae that came in a super cool, glow in the dark souvenir mug!  This treat may make another appearance in a future post. ;)

I shared a sweet treat with my sweet hubby.

Meet & Greets at Star Wars Launch Bay
This was easily one of my all time favorite character meets!  To be completely honest I was a little freaked out by Kylo!  He had a voice modulator and spoke exactly as he did in the movie.  If you aren't into Star Wars, I'll just say, he's not someone I want to be BFFs with!

Princess was wearing one of her favorite Star Wars character, Rey, on both her tee and her ears.  Let's just say that Rey also happens to not be besties with Kylo, so it was pretty funny seeing them interact!

These candids kill me!  I was just so amazed by how much it truly seemed that we were there with the actual Kylo Ren as he spoke to us!

Princess posing with a Rey costume

Chewie hugs!

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

The biggest difference in Disney World and Disneyland's Buzz Lightyear rides are that the "guns" at Disneyland are not attached to anything, which makes things a little easier.

Alice in Wonderland

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
This ride was fun for a few different reasons.  First, I remember riding this way back on my first WDW trip in 1989 and it has long since been removed from Florida.  Secondly, the girls had never seen the movie, so it was hilarious hearing their take on the ride, having no idea what it was actually about!

Now this is a wild ride! :)

It's a Small World
As a lover of Disney history, I love It's a Small World.  My mind goes back to the video footage I've seen of Walt talking about his vision for the ride, to be first seen at the World's Fair in New York and then to find a permanent home at Disneyland.  I also love Mary Blair's art!  I could hardly wait to experience this original classic! 

I love that you start the ride outdoors 

Aladdin and Jasmine taking a magic carpet ride!

The Three Caballeros

Princess' favorite, Ariel

Little One's favorite, Lilo & Stitch

This is one ride that I can say, without a doubt, I prefer the Disneyland version of!  I can hardly wait to experience it all decked out for Christmas someday! 

There is a clock outside which features dolls from all the nations that parade around every quarter of the hour.  We were so happy to have caught this cuteness on our first night there!

Gotta love an adorable topiary!

A moving and magical store front window in various Disney movie themes...

Then Mickey winked goodnight to us. ;)

We parted ways with our great and gracious personal Disneyland tour guide (aka: my blogging bestie, Chrissy) and headed back to the hotel where we'd enjoy dinner around the table in our villa.  

This was the first of multiple meals when I'd enjoy one of my favorite Disneyland eats, the Carnitas Angus Burger from the Grand Californian's quick service restaurant, White Water Snacks.  This angus burger is served with jack cheese, seasoned pork, pico de gallo and guacamole, and a side of fries.  If you're ever at Disneyland and looking for an excellent burger I'd recommend ordering this one at the Grand!  So delicious! ...and if you do, please enjoy a bite or two for me too!

I still daydream about that burger! YUM!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I look forward to sharing more Disney goodness with you next Tuesday!

Sometimes snapshots just don't do things justice!  Be sure to check out the video footage from this day and more on my family's YouTube channel, 
Eat, Sleep, Dis, Repeat!

In case you missed the earlier California trip reports and you're interested, here are some direct links for ya!:

Join me in the adventures to come!
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I appreciate each comment, & "like"! They let me know that you enjoyed what you read, which makes it worth sharing! ;)   


  1. Oh my goodness! That burger!!!! I absolutely LOVE that you point out the differences between WDW and DL! What a SUPER SPECIAL trip! I can't wait to see more!

  2. YAY! Another fun day! It was so fun seeing all of your reactions to everything since it was all new to you. I'm so glad I was able to experience your first Disneyland/DCA day with you guys and very glad to have been your personal tour guide! ;)
    If I can tear myself away from the nachos at White Water Snacks, I'll have to try that Carnitas burger sometime. It looks sooooo good. Can't wait to see what the next few days of the trip have in store! :)

  3. Oh you Disney photos make me so happy. But now I want ice cream, that burger and a plane ticket, lololol! What an amazing day and how fun is it that you can walk between the parks! I need to show these photos to Emily when I have an hour to spare, lol. Happy Hump Day!

  4. As always I love all your photos and all the fun you have!!

  5. I love seeing your Disneyland pics. I'm not sure that we'll ever get out there to visit these parks. And how fun that your friend met up and spent the day with you!!

  6. I love that you went in the fall. I love seeing all the fall things especially when we are rather far away from it at the moment. Plus Disney in autumnal mode is just my fave!! I'd sure love to go experience all the differences and similarities one day. And, I remember Mr. Toad's too. So many fun things.


I would love to hear from you today! I enjoy reading each and every comment I receive. (I do moderate them before they're published. Gotta keep it family friendly! ;)) Let's chat! B.Y.O.C. {Bring Your Own Chocolate!}