Adventuring to Disneyland in 2016: Day 6, part 2- On Our Own in the Parks

So, here we were – on our own venturing into the parks. It wasn’t too late now- before 9:30am and the parks shouldn’t be packed at this hour. Mike went back to our rooms to get the luggage settled with Bell Services and I took the kids into California Adventure Park. The girls wanted a spin on California Screamin’ and at this hour, the wait was minimal.IMG_2464

The girls went in one direction (at this point they knew the way) and Mikey and I in another. We rode The Little Mermaid- Ariel’s Undersea Adventure (identical the the one in Walt Disney World except without the interactive standby line) and then headed over to Goofy’s Sky School nearby…IMG_2465 IMG_2466 IMG_2467 IMG_2468

Goofy’s Sky School was adorable, but I am not sure I would ride it again- a bit tight and a lot of jerky movements for my liking.

By now, Mikey and I walked over to the girls and then they all took a spin on the Silly Symphony Swings- which they loved.

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As they were getting off the attraction, the green army men came marching by!IMG_2476 IMG_2477

From here we decided to head over to Disneyland Park, through the main gates- which is something we hadn’t done before! The ease of going in and out of The Grand Californian really spoiled us- but we had never done this before, which was odd. The park was still pretty empty and serene too as we made our way down… and we bumped into the Green Army Men again!

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We needed to make a pit stop at the Oswald store just by the gates. Mikey wanted Oswald ears (just like Lo and Michael had the day before), and the girls wanted Diamond Celebrations ears as well- Katie chose a diamond bow (that Michael had actually cleverly used as a bow tie the night before during our dinner) and Jacqueline went for a blinged out set of Mickey Ears.IMG_2498 IMG_2500

Right in the center of the walkway (for lack of a better word) of the two parks is this great mural I was lucky enough to get a foot free picture of- I told you it wasn’t very crowded!IMG_2499

As we passed though the gates, we were pixie dusted by another guest leaving the park!

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How cool is that- a Fast Pass! Then just as we were walking into Main Street USA we bumped into Cruella DeVille- someone in the 15 years we have been taking our family on Disney Destination vacations, we have never met!

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Not to be Fast Pass greedy, but we then decided to walk over to Hyperspace Mountain for yet another Fast Pass…

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Then the 4 of us were off to It’s A Small World and we would meet Mike there as he was able to get everything settled with Bell Services for our luggage.IMG_2508 IMG_2509 IMG_2510 IMG_2511

I have always absolutely loved this ride, dating back to when I first rode it with my parents in 1989 in Walt Disney World. I videotaped one of our many spins on that trip through Small World- but I have refrained this time, wanting to enjoy these moments with my kids- spotting some of the Disney characters sprinkled in.IMG_2514 IMG_2520 IMG_2521 IMG_2522 IMG_2529 IMG_2530

Once outside we made our way to Fantasyland- our goal today was to try to ride as many classic, family friendly rides we could and then end the day with Big Thunder and Hyperspace Mountain before our dinner reservations at 6pm in Downtown Disney.

On our way we bumped into some festive musicians…

IMG_2531Who apparently sparked our appetite, so we headed over to one of my favorite spots from my previous trips, Galactic Grill in Tomorrowland (which really wasn’t far from where we were either).
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As we sat down, with a view of the stage, we were able to watch Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.IMG_2534 IMG_2537 IMG_2541


After lunch we headed over to the Strorybook Land Canals (truth be told, we tried The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and Alice in Wonderland but their wait times were well over 30 minutes, which we decided was far too long to wait for anything), which was a first for all 5 of us. It was cute- very picturesque, taking us through the lands of some Disney classics both old and new:IMG_2544 IMG_2545 IMG_2546

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After our cruise, we met up with Tricia and her family and headed to Mr Toad’s Wild Ride.

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After that, we decided to take a spin on Snow White’s Scary Adventures. Did you know if you rub the golden apple you will see the Evil Queen? IMG_2581

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Then we decided to head inside Sleeping Beauty Castle and too a walking tour as the story is told…IMG_2584 IMG_2585 IMG_2586 IMG_2587


From there we headed over to Big Thunder Mountain (no need to use our Fast Pass), then over to the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean all before using our Hyperspace Mountain Fast Passes (I sat this round out as we only had 4 passes) and saying goodbye to to Tricia’s family as they were heading to dinner and then LAX to head back home. After Hyperspace Mountain we walked through Fantasyland again to ride Pinocchio’s Daring Journey.IMG_2589 IMG_2590

We finally used our Big Thunder Fast Pass and then strolled over to The Enchanted Tiki Room…

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By the end of the show it was time to head to Naples for dinner inside Downtown Disney- trying to take in all of the details from Disneyland as we left.

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We decided on Naples because it is the sister restaurant of Via Napoli in Epcot- which we loved in April. We were expecting great food and great service- and we were not disappointed!

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Not only was dinner delicious- but it was quick. Our reservations were at 6pm and we were out before 7, and we had appetizers, pizza, and dessert!

We gave the kids the option of either wandering and shopping in Downtown Disney or head back to the parks (we weren’t leaving until 9pm)- they chose to head back to California Adventure! Jammin on the Backlot (dance party, very similar to the MadT Party that I saw during my first trip) was in full swing by now!

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The girls decided to head back to California Screamn’ while Mike, Mikey and I tried Monsters Inc (second time this trip for Mikey!).IMG_2620IMG_2621IMG_2622IMG_2624 IMG_2627 IMG_2631

We then walked over to Cars Land and Mike and Mikey took a spin on Luigi’s Rollickin Roadsters while I waited for the girls.IMG_2632 IMG_2634 IMG_2635 IMG_2636 IMG_2637

Before our boys were done, they girls had met me by the ride’s exit and we could walk up Route 66 under the lights all together- which was so cool. We even ran into DJ’s Dance N’ Drive!



Before heading out, we all decided to ride one last ride together- the same one Mikey and I started our day with- The Little Mermaid- Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.IMG_2643 IMG_2652 IMG_2658

Then it was back to our resort, let bell services we were there, and our car was waiting to take us to LAX. One interesting note- the Diamond Celebration decorations were already removed from the lobby of the Grand Californian when we returned. The event ends on September 5th (today) – 17 days away. But Disneyland is forever changing and evolving- just like our trip…IMG_2663

This entry was posted in Adventures by Disney, Adventuring to Disneyland in 2016, Disney Dining, Disney's California Adventure, Disneyland. Bookmark the permalink.

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