Disneyland, the happiest place on earth!
The last time I’ve been to Disneyland was after my high school graduation with my family…and even at that age my parents wanted my sisters and me to be at close proximity to them. I love my parents, but I was particularly excited to go to Disneyland without them hovering over me.
To make the most of our one-day Disneyland adventure, we prepared an itinerary to pack in as much fun as possible! Here is what we had planned:
- 6:00 am – Head to Disneyland and catch the Amtrak Train to Fullerton Station
- 7:40 am – Arrive at Disneyland
- 8:00 am – Fantasyland Rides
- 9:30 am – Disneyland Classic Rides
- 12:00 pm – Cafe Orleans or French Market for Lunch
- 1:30 pm – Relaxing Disney Originals and Fast-Pass Rides
- 5:00 pm – Evening Attractions
- 7:00 pm – Dinner at the Plaza Inn
- 8:00 pm – Paint the Night Parade
- 8:40 pm – Fireworks
- 9:50 pm – Head back to the apartment
- 12:30 pm – Arrive at the apartment
Getting to Disneyland
We woke up early to take an Uber from our apartment to Union Station in order to catch the first train to Fullerton Station – which was about 10 minutes away from Disneyland Park. We arrived 45 minutes before 8:00 am (when Disneyland opened) and to our surprise…bus loads of people were already standing in line!
We began our day in Fantasyland. It was a beautiful morning! The air was filled with excitement and all the kids had smiles from ear to ear. As we stood behind the rope in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, I felt like a kid again!
We rode the following rides in the order listed below:
- Peter Pan & Flight
- Mad Tea Party
- Alice in Wonderland
- Casey Junior
- Storybook Land Canal Boats
I strongly recommend coming to Disneyland in the early morning, because lines are shorter and the park is less crowded. Strangely, there was already a long line to Peter Pan & Flight when we got there…so you can imagine how long the lines would be in the middle of the day. The one thing we should have done in the morning was ride the Matterhorn Bobsleds! I had assume the ride had a fast-pass, but we later found out it did not. We passed by it several times and the wait was always an hour long…so, we ended up missing out on that ride. After Fantasyland, we headed to Tomorrowland to get a fast-pass for Hyperspace Mountain.
The Disneyland Classics
We went back to Fantasyland to ride It’s a Small World After All and then headed to Mickey’s Toontown! We rode on Roger Rabbit’s Toon Town Spin, Gadget’s Go Coaster and explored the houses within Toontown. Mickey’s Toontown made me feel like I jumped into a cartoon…I loved it! After exploring Toontown, we headed to Jolly Holiday’s Bakery to snack on their delicious Matterhorn Macaroon. Yum! Then we headed to Adventureland to get a fast-pass for the Indiana Jones Adventure ride.
Disneyland Classics, Relaxing Disney Originals & Fast-Pass Rides
We headed to New Orleans Square and decided to wait in line for the Haunted Mansion ride (instead of Pirates of the Caribbean). Before getting into the Disneyland Classics, we shared a bowl of steak gumbo for a quick lunch at the Royal Street Veranda located within New Orleans Square.
This is what we did for the rest of our afternoon at Disneyland:
- Hyperspace Mountain at Tomorrowland
- Collected fast-passes for Splash Mountain
- Snow White’s Scary Adventure at Fantasyland
- Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough at Fantasyland
- Moments with Mr. Lincoln at Main Street
- Disney Railroad at New Orleans Square
- Enchanted Tiki Room at Adventureland
- Indiana Jones Adventure at Adventureland
- Golden Horseshoe Show at Frontierland
After the Golden Horseshoe Show, we headed toward Main Street to eat some fried chicken at The Plaza for dinner!
At the start of the evening, we squeezed in a couple more rides and activities before searching for a spot to watch the Paint the Night Parade and Fireworks:
- Collected fast-passes for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Shopped at the Mad Hatter Shop on Main Street
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Frontierland
- Splash Mountain at Critter Country
Paint the Night Parade & Fireworks
I love Disneyland at night!
We were a bit late in finding a spot for the parade and settled to stand near the trash bins along Main Street. At first I was bummed out for not finding a spot along the curb, but it happened to work out pretty well.
The Paint the Night Parade was very colorful and fun!
Soon after the parade, people started walking on Main Street to find a good spot to watch the fireworks. We immediately followed the crowd thinking we would find a better spot. However, it was really hard navigating through the crowd and we ended up standing near a tree which was one of the worse places possible, haha! Nonetheless, we enjoyed our evening at Disneyland and hope to be back to the happiest place on earth in the future.
Here are some tips from our Disneyland adventure:
- Go on the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride in the early morning – There is currently no fast-passes for this ride and the line wait was already an hour long when in the late morning.
- Download the Disneyland App! – This app will give you wait times for the rides, fast-pass return times, provide your current location on a GPS enabled map…and you can even locate your favorite Disney characters with it!
- Rent a locker early – If you didn’t know, there are lockers at Disneyland you can rent out. The largest lockers usually are the first to go – so get there early if you need a jumbo sized locker.
- Know your Fast-pass Return Times – You are only allowed two active fast-passes at one time. Therefore, you cannot pick up another fast-pass until the the return time for you second fast-pass has ended.
- Give your feet a rest – A full day of waiting in lines can be hard on your feet. Mix up your afternoon with relaxing rides that get you off your feet.
- Find a good spot for the parade and fireworks – We believe the ideal spot for both the Paint the Night Parade and Fireworks is across Tomorrowland on the round-about island. This way you have a good view of the parade and castle/fireworks. You have to save your spot early because some areas near the round-about are already reserved.