For Michael’s 30th birthday we went to California. He had never been that far west before. The plan was for us to both experience Disneyland for the first time together (my family went to California Adventure the year it opened).
My very kind and generous parents kept our 1 year old, since I was not about to fly cross country with him.
We flew Richmond to Dallas, Dallas to Los Angeles since the Santa Anna flights weren’t at great times or prices. I opted for a car service in advance since we hadn’t used Uber before and didn’t want to attempt to drive ourselves.
The trip out was uneventful. We landed around 10am local time, dropped our luggage at the hotel and ran to Downtown Disney. It was amazing how different it was from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. So different!
A quick lunch at the first place we saw, then some shopping. I snagged us last minute reservations at Napa Rose for dinner.
Our first park day was of course, Disneyland. It’s hard to describe how much a place you’ve never been can mean to you. I truly didn’t know what to expect, and the whole day was quite baffling.
Baffling because I hadn’t used paper fast passes in years. And because Disneyland is so familiar feeling due to it’s similarity to Magic Kingdom Park, but nothing is the same. And because we walked on the first 4 (?) rides, but then were overwhelmed by crowds. Completely overwhelmed. And because with our Fantasmic dining package at the Blue Bayou we got a cushion. A literal cushion. To sit. In the sitting area. What.
I loved it. But I don’t like feeling confused and lost! My own fault for assuming my Disney World expertise would help me in any way. I am very, very grateful we were able to get MaxPass (it launched that day) since in eliminated the frustration of finding the blasted Fast Pass distribution kiosks. Also with MaxPass you could literally get your next FastPass for almost immediate use as soon as you were scanned to ride.
Fantasmic was incredible.
Our second park day started EARLY since I was determined to do the DVC Member Morning Powerwalk thing. That was pleasant, and a brisk jaunt around the park before it opened help us get our bearings. The cast member leading the walk discouraged pictures however. Oh well.
It felt like we accomplished more at California Adventure since we were able to more efficiently utilize MaxPass.
Sadly, I was sick so we left early for nap with the intention of coming back in time for lobster nachos and World of Color.
Convinced that liquor would cure what ailed me, I headed to Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar while Michael picked up some gifts at Downtown Disney. After a few friendly drinks we realized World of Color was not going to happen, so we went back to the hotel for bed. Tragically, Michael later came down with extreme food poisoning and we ended up spending the night at the ER. But that’s another story for another day.
Because of our night in the hospital our explore LA day was cancelled and we just slept and ate pizza. We eventually made it back to Downtown Disney and saw Spiderman: Homecoming which was lovely. But at this point we both just wanted to go home, see our baby, and sleep in our own bed.
The trip home was a bit more arduous since we were woken up with a call from the airline saying our flight was cancelled, then we had to scramble to pack and get an earlier flight out of LAX.
It’s hard to leave your child on the other side of the country, no matter how happy and well cared for he is.
It can be traumatizing to have a hospital visit in very unfamiliar territory.
Uber is actually great.
I wish I had done more planning in advance and that fireworks at Disneyland hadn’t been canceled for wind.
I’d like to go back, in about 10 years. The crowds aren’t for the faint of heart and if I’m going to travel that far again, we might as well go all the way to Hawaii.