We arrived in LAX at 6:30am after a 14-hour flight. Both of us slept pretty well on the plane, well enough to head straight to our hotel to check-in and then to Disneyland straight away.
Our hotel we’re staying in is called the Annabella Hotel. It’s not bad, like most accommodation in Anaheim it’s more like a motel really; only 2 floors surrounding a car park.
So we head off to Disneyland and line up for our tickets at 10:00 and enter the park by 10:30.
Entering Disneyland always gives me a ridiculously excited feeling. I saw every Disney animation film at the movies since I can remember and saw The Lion King three times, so once you enter Main Street USA (see map below), with Disney music playing and you see Mickey posing for photos, you can’t help that giddy feeling (don’t judge!)
The first thing we do is head to Adventureland to get a FastPass for the Indiana Jones Adventure ride.
Side Note: A FastPass ticket lets you return to the ride at a later time but skip the queue. It’s the best way to ensure you get to go on the ride you want to. You can only get three FastPasses in one day and you can’t hold more than one at the same time.
We get our FastPass for the Indiana Jones ride and open our map to see what’s nearby so we can check out the wait times. Disneyland is really organised and every ride tells you how long the wait will be. There is a Disneyland App that has all the wait times on it to save you walking from one side of the park to the other, but we hadn’t sorted out our phones yet so we did the whole one side of the park to the other thing.
Our first ride we got on was the Pirates of the Caribbean ride which is a boat ride through various robotic scenes of the film (the ride existed before the film but since has been updated). Nothing too exciting about this ride other than a small drop at the beginning, but the detail is Disney’s strength in this ride and they are still some of the most realistic moving robots I’ve ever seen.
Next we attempted to line up for Splash Mountain but the wait was going to be 90 mins, so we thought we’d try later, but on our way back through Adventureland we saw that the wait for the Haunted Mansion was only 10 mins so we checked it out. This was a fun ride where you’re in a booth, which is on a track that travels through various creepy rooms, with some cool special effects. Nothing super scary or jumpy on this ride, but it has lots of charm.
We then returned to the Indiana Jones ride using our FastPass and lined up for 10 mins until we were told that ride had to be closed and that we needed to attempt a return later. We then head to Frontierland and check out Big Thunder Mountain Railroad which is a rattle rollercoaster with a few drops and turns. The wait time for this ride was 25 mins. This is probably my limit as far as sickness on rides goes, I love going to rollercoasters, but for some stupid reason I get sick when there are twists and turns.
Finally we were able to go on the Indiana Jones ride which is still the best ride I have ever been on! You travel in a jeep (which simulates bumps and sharp turns) through the Temple of Doom and you come across all of the hallmarks of the films; a giant snake, blow darts and that giant boulder. It’s soooooo amazing, we ended up going on this ride 4 more times!
So we then made our way across to Tomorrowland where we attempted to line up for Hyperspace Mountain. It used to be named Space Mountain, but since Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars universe they are slowly transforming Tomorrowland into some sort of Star Wars land. We waited for 20 mins and then were told that the ride had been shut down and we didn’t return that day.
Surprisingly the line for Matterhorn Bobsleds was only 30 minutes long so we decided to go on that. It’s very similar to Big Thunder Railroad but it is bobsled themed with snowy mountains and abominable snowman etc.
By that stage we had been up for over 30 hours and exhausted, so we headed back to the hotel and slept till 2pm the next day.
So we had a day which was a complete ride-off due to lack of sleep and jetlag. But the next day we woke up bright and early to get first in-line for Hyperspace Mountain. We were successful and it was amazing, so amazing that I felt like I needed to vomit for a while after.
We then went on some calmer rides like “it’s a small world” and Gadget’s Go Coaster. We then went to go and get another FastPass for the Indiana Jones ride. We also then got to go on a lot of rides which are essentially calm car rides which are themed by the movie they’re based on; Alice in Wonderland, Snow White’s Scary Adventure, Peter Pan’s Flight and Pinocchio’s Daring Journey. All of them had incredible detail and were all amazing experiences. The best one though was Peter Pan’s Flight, where you fly over the rooftops of London in a pirate ship and weave around the mountains of Neverland.
We then decided to head across to Disney’s other theme park across the road called Disney California Adventure Park which is another theme park designed by Disney. It has various themed areas and is designed like a seaside carnival. It’s a bit smaller, but the atmosphere is nice, the lines are shorter and the restaurants serve alcohol.
At California Adventure Park we went on a few more of the story car rides like Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue!, Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure oh and Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train which was the worst ride we went on, to be fair it was designed for children, but it’s just an outdoor car ride with giant pieces of fruit…nothing else…
We made our way to Cars Land which is a section completely dedicated to the worst of the Pixar films Cars (You know it’s true). However we were nice enough to have these random strangers give us FastPasses to go on a ride called Radiator Springs Racers which was AH-MAZING. Essentially it’s like you’re in a giant slot car which drag races with other riders around this artificial (but very convincing) Southern American desert. You go so fast, but the ride is so smooth.
Again, the same nice strangers gave us more FastPasses to a ride called California Screamin’. On this ride you’re strapped into a harness and lifted in front of essentially a giant IMAX screen and swayed from left to right as if you’re hang gliding across various parts of California. It’s a pretty amazing experience ad they spray the scent of the different areas and adjust the fans depending on how windy it is.
By this stage we were pretty exhausted and the fireworks were about to start so, while everyone was on Main Street, we decided to go on all our favourite rides one last time!
So after our Disneyland binge we now head off to Las Vegas and New Orleans for a more adult-ty kind of binge.