Exciting early morning start today, it was time for Disneyland. Kids were super excited, all ready and out of the hotel by 8 am. Took the Disney shuttle that seemed to come around every 15 minutes, ride to Disney was only about 10 minutes. Even at this early hour, droves of people were coming into the park! Picked up the hired stroller for Pooja and headed into Disneyland, we had done extremely well for time, it was only 8:30 am, and we were already here. This was mine and Nita’s third Disneyland experience and the second for the kids. So far we had done the Paris Park in ‘98 and Hongkong Park in 2011.
Kids were lucky to catch Mickey and Daisy Duck close by!
Pooja had a great start with two autographs already in her Disney Autograph book which she had purchased in Las Vegas Disney store just for this!! First stop was to get a Fast Pass for the Space Mountain ride, locked that in for 11am. Next was the Buzz LightYear ride, time to shoot the badies!
I came out happy, had the highest number of kills!! Neha was not too happy with me, she thought she had won and had the higher score, until I told her my score! Vik next suggested we complete the Fantasy land (mainly to do with Princesses). Going to that, we noticed the first PhotoPass Photographer. For anyone not familiar with that, these are Disney Photographers spread throughout the park and essentially are there for people with a PhotoPass. The Photopass itself is a creditcard sized card with a barcode you purchase, that allows, firstly the use of the Disney Photopass photographers and secondly all your digital prints are available on the Disney Photo Site, it also includes some of the ride photos. We showed our Pass to the photographer, and then he got about directing us to pose in all sorts of manner in front of the Disney Castle. This was great, we could get all 4 of us in the pic finally! He even mentioned at times, how my girls were natural at posing for pics….. LOL, only I know!
Next it was time to enter the Fantasy land, lots of kiddy rides here, lucky the queues were short and we managed to get through them all fairly quickly. The Merry-go-round was a must go.
The classic Cup Saucer ride had us all spinning around!
Finished off fanstasy land and headed back to the Space Mountain ride, using the fastpass, we were able to get to the front of the queue in no time! This was Neha & Pooja’s first roller coaster in this trip, the ride was GREAT, with loads of dark turns.
Time to grab a quick bite. Whilst at lunch @ Tomorrowland, the Star Wars Jedi Academy show started directly opposite where we were seating, had a great view of it. Obi-wan was selecting young Jedi’s from the crowd to tackle the dark side! This was a fun show, especially seeing the young ones take on the full size VADER and DARTH MAUL.
Post lunch, we split up with Vik, kids now wanted to cover of other areas of the park with more WILD rides, whilst Aaria was enjoying the fairy rides and attractions.
Next stop was FrontierLand, followed by the Tarzan Tree house (Adventureland)
On to the Disney train, our shortcut to Toon Town from New Orleans station @ FrontierLand.
Getting off at Toon Town station, the timing was super, Mickey and Magical Map show was just starting, were lucky to get seats in there.
Into Toon Town, the place was made of little cartoon structures, Neha & Pooja were more interested in lining up for the Roller coaster there! Lines were unfortunately long, with wait times now exceeding 30 minutes. (Too many kids in the park ,the last week of local school holidays was not helping us)
Post the ride, I left Nita and Neha in Toon Town and headed back to AdventureLand to get the Fastpass for the Indiana Jones ride. Pooja wanted to come along, she was not too interested in Toon Town, that also meant, I had to wheel her around the park, not an easy task when the park is absolutely crowded! This gave Neha lots of opportunities for pics.
Got the Indiana Jones fastpass for 8:30pm, we had loads of time to finish everything else, first another autograph opportunity for Pooja with Merida.
Next was queuing up for the Frozen show. We did not get a seat in the arena but were lucky to have the very first standing rows at the back. A funny take on the Frozen movie.
Post show, Pooja spotted Ariel, chance for another autograph.
It was now 5:15pm, time to head to the main street for the 6:15pm parade. Weather was not favourable, it was getting windy, cold and cloudy. Neha and Pooja found a good position to sit on the kerbside with front view of the parade! Was hoping it would not rain.
The Disney Parade is a must watch, highly highly recommended!! Parade finished around 6:45pm, Nita suggested we move quickly to the Finding Nemo ride, which earlier on had a queue time of around 2 hours.
Was she right!! Seems like most of the people were still at main street post the parade, we got into the queue which was only about 20 minutes wait!
Nemo ride finished just after 7:15pm, Nita was not feeling too well, but was adamant to complete the last remaining ride – Indiana Jones, we had covered all the other KEY rides. Our fastpass was not till 8:30pm, we tried our luck, by this time it had started to drizzle. The lady at the fast pass entrance did not mind us being 30 minutes early and let us through. Very lucky, the normal queue was over 90 minutes and fastpass allowed us to get through in under 15 minutes. This had to be one of the best rides of Disneyland a must visit for all!
Stepping outside, we walked into pouring RAIN!! And it was not light, this was heavy rain, not good at all, we had to rush into the side stores and buy ponchos for Nita and Kids, I had an Umbrella but not big enough to cover more than one person!
Making out way out of the park was not easy, seems most of the park visitors were now exiting due to the rain, which also caused a major bottleneck at the shuttle services, decided to skip that and go direct to the Taxi’s. It was not much better but going back was worse, a further wait of 5 minutes in the rain, finally got a Taxi to the hotel.
Reached the hotel around 9pm, had not had dinner yet, lucky the restaurant at the hotel was still open, ordered a couple of Pizza’s for room service and headed to the room. Time to dry up everyone, the ponchos did well, but our jeans and shoes were soaked. Pizza’s arrived soon after, they tasted so good, maybe because we were so hungry! Kids ate and were sleeping soon after, the day had taken soo much out of them, loads of walking, even Pooja who had sat in the stroller for most of the day was super tired!
Nita wanted to finish off the washing and we ended up staying up another hour to wash and dry the clothes, lucky this hotel had a self serve laundry!
Were happy we had managed to finish off Disneyland, tomorrow we would do California Park and hopefully have the last day to repeat the rides from both parks that we like!
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Day 1 – Disneyland
* Toon Toon