TRAVEL WEEK: Adventures in Anaheim
Anaheim is the City of Angles and it is home to Disneyland, the most magical place on Earth. While many children dream of going to the park, but the high cost of the tickets and lodging in the park is often prohibitive. We took the less expensive route where we had my sister, a California resident, get the tickets and only spent one day at the park. Another tip if you are looking to keep it cheaper, bring only cash. There are so many things that you can buy at the park that are entirely unnecessary. Limit the amount of money that you have and it will help to curb spending.
When you go to Disneyland, there are two parks that you can visit: Disneyland and California Adventure. If you are looking for the classic Disneyland experience, visit Disneyland. If you are looking for more rides, then California Adventure is the way to go. Of course, the best option is to get the Park Hopper pass so that you can visit both parks in one day. It makes for a long day but it is well worth the experience.
We first arrived when the park opened on a Tuesday. We chose a Tuesday because it is less busy than the weekend dates, especially in the summer, but there were still hordes of people waiting to ride the tram to the park entrance (you have to ride the tram if you do not stay at the park).
I wore my current favorite romper because it is both comfortable and light to wear during a hot day in June. It is from Banana Republic and has simply been a wonderful addition to my wardrobe. I did not wear the hat or the shoes seen here but I also did not get a great photo of everything else that I wore (sorry guys).
I also made sure to have appropriate skin protection because it is a long, hot day spent in the sun. You can check out our previous post from last week on skin protection here. I use the Pacifica stick and the Kiehl's SPF ultra face cream. Both are wonderful and I never had a sun burn. Besides my face, I also used the Pacifica spray sun screen from Target. It is water resistant and perfect for long days. Just make sure to reapply after 80 minutes.
I also made sure to wear water resistant make up to prevent it running or coming off while we were wandering through the parks. I just both simple l'Oreal waterproof mascara and Nars eyeliner and wore it with my usual foundation and blush (without blush, I actually have no color in my face... like at all).
Once we were in the parks, we were with a seasoned Disneyland professional, my sister, who knew all of the best rides to ride. I had been there once before when I still lived in Southern California but once is not enough to take in all that Disneyland has to offer.
Guardians of the Galaxy Ride
This use to be Tower of Terror and is where the theme park obsession with free falling comes from. The ride was recently refinished to be themed with Guardians of the Galaxy characters and 6 different stories for you to adventure through. I have never in my life wanted to go on a ride where you free fall, but James loved it so much he had to go on twice. Even though the line was 75 minutes long.
Get hot chocolate and watch the fireworks
At the end of every night in the park, there are fireworks over main street and the central area in Disneyland. You can get some magical hot chocolate at local vendors and find the perfect place to see the show from.
Every day, there are parades in the Disneyland Park. The streets are cleared by the employees to make way for floats with Disney princes and princesses that look just how you imagined. The last parade of the night is the electric lights parade, where the floats are adorned with light so that the are bright and colorful in the evening. For those of you from Minneapolis, it is a lot like the Holidazzle parade and we did find it quite dazzling.
Get as many pins as you can
At Disneyland, there are pins that you can recieve at shops to commemorate your visit to the park. On your first visit, you can get a First Visit pin (seen on James). We were also recently married (November is still recent) so we got Happily Ever After Pins. It is a wonderful way to mark the occasion and remember your visit to the park. We also enjoyed having them to wear as we went around because the staff would make comments and tell us congratulations everywhere we went.
Take Pictures in Front of the Castle
When you think of Disneyland, most people thing of the enchanted castle. It sits and the center of the park and you can walk through it to transition between areas of the park. It is the perfect photo location and you can get a clear view of it if you go right before the start of a parade when it is roped off from the public.
Nice To Do
This ride has been in the park since the 1970s but it is still a classic to go on. The line for it can be excruciating. We got Fast Passes but they were for 11:30 at night, a full 4 hours after we had went to get them. When you get on the ride, it is really built to accomodate smaller frames. James had a hard time fitting into the seat and getting the bar to close over him. However, once you start going, it goes faster and faster through a tunnel of lights that make it feel as though you are whirling through a worm hole in deep space. One of my favorite rides for sure!
In California Adventure, there is a ride in the cars area where you can go through a leisurely ride through the desert. On it, you go through some of the famous spaces from the movie. When you are in Luigi's shop though, they change the tires on the car to race treads and then you are off on a race with another car. As you can tell from the image, it is no longer a leisurely ride at this point. You are barreling through the desert and taking sharp turns in an effort to out pace the car next to you. It is a thrilling ride, despite the faces that you see in the photo on the side. We certainly enjoyed it and it was well worth the wait for the ride!
We decided to go on a theme park classic, the log flume, in the late afternoon. Heather is not fond of large drops so she decided to get a caramel apple and wait for us to finish the ride. We had taken the precaution of getting fast passes for this ride so we only had to wait about 10 minutes to go on the ride. It was a wonderful log flume but we had noticed as we got on that it does not have seat belts. For some reason, this was the most frightening part of the ride. I spent the entire time trying to wrap my arms around the bars on the side because I thought the laws of physics would disappear and I would fly out of the log. Honestly, the sheer terror did make it more fun.
The most important thing it is to have fun. Disney's dream for the park was as a place of happiness. They do a wonderful job of accomodating everyone and it is hard to have a bad time. Next time you are in Southern California, definitely make sure that you stop at Disneyland!