My Fantasy Disneyland Schedule
I get to go to Disneyland without children this June. Two days of childless bliss in the Happiest Place on Earth! It’s very exciting. Though I know it’s going to be hot, crowded and exhausting, I’m still thrilled for the chance.
I’ve been to Disneyland a couple dozen times over the course of my life and every time I go I learn something new--a new trick or treat that should make my next visit even more enjoyable.
Here’s my tentative schedule for this visit: (and please, feel free to comment with more advice!)
Thursday: California Adventure
*Since I haven’t spent as much time in the new park as the old, I’m a little less confident about our schedule on day 1.
7:30am - Arrive at Downtown Disney for a quick pastry (?) and purchase tickets as soon as the ticketbooths open.
8am - Parks open. Go straight to get a Fastpass for the Cars Ride, and for World of Color.
10am - Disney Visa Photo: Disney Visa Cardholders get a free character experience and a free photograph. At least, last I checked. I’ll have to look deeper into it when we get a little closer to the actual day. Or I can ask an employee.
12 - Lunch. We’ll be bringing our own lunch and snacks with us into the park, to try and avoid high prices of food. Of course, I’m sure there will be things we’ll splurge on, anyway. But this will help save a couple of bucks! And make sure I (we?) stick on our diets.
Afternoon: Shopping, Shows, non-ride experiences. We’ll make sure to hit the Animator’s Studio, Turtle Talk with Crush, some Parades (Phineas and Ferb!), the Muppet Show, photos with whichever characters we run into and wander through the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.
*At this point in the afternoon, we could go into Downtown Disney to do some shopping and/or wandering around. It depends on how hot and crowded it is, and how much shopping we’d like to do.
Dinner: Boudin Bakery for soup in a bread bowl. Funny, how I live next to San Francisco and insist upon going to Boudin whenever I’m in Southern California. They just do a fantastic job with the sourdough, no matter where they are.
Why no Character Meal? We weighed the pluses and minuses of signing up for a character meal. In the end we decided it was too expensive, the food choices were limiting, and we could meet characters throughout the park. (If I was coming with my kids, I might reconsider. Character meals are so. much. fun. with the little kids.)
We’ll have to get good “seats” for World of Color, which performs around 9:45. It’s standing-room-only (SRO to some people), so I hope that we’re not too exhausted at the end of the day! Then it’s back to the hotel to SLEEP so we can get up early and come straight back to the parks!
Rides to Hit:
Soarin’ over California
Goofy’s Flying School
Grizzly River Run
Toy Story Midway Mania
The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
Luigi’s Flying Tires
Radiator Springs Racers
Monster’s Inc., Mike & Sully to the rescue!
Things to Skip:
Most of Bug’s Land (It’s great when you’ve got little kids, but the rides aren’t especially exciting for two footloose and fancy free adults.)
Upside Down Coaster
Mickey’s Fun Wheel
Disney Jr. Live on Stage (Again, this is a must-see with my 5 and 2 year old. But not without!)
**The reason I’m skipping the Aladdin show is this: I went with some good friends to watch the show, and during the performance Aladdin and Jasmine got caught on the carpet, hung upside-down, 50 feet in the air over the audience. I don’t know if it was because I was there that it happened, but I’m not going to chance finding out.
Friday: Disneyland Proper
7:30am - Arrive early. (Plan to, anyway.) Same as the previous day. Possible pastry in Downtown Disney, or mocha to really get the day started.
8am - The park opens. This is the best time to meet some characters. It’s early, and things aren’t flooded with people yet.
9am - Straight back to Pixie Hollow, Fantasy Faire (as soon as they open) and then to Toon Town to meet Mickey and Co.
Getting character meet and greets out of the way first thing is a great idea, because it leaves the rest of the day open to rides and other experiences. Besides, the further into the day it gets, the longer the lines become.
Rides to Hit:
Alice in Wonderland
Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters
Rides to Skip:
Gadget’s Go Coaster
*Any ride with a long line.
I would be interested in a viewing of the Jedi Training Academy, though I feel like that would be much more entertaining with a child in our party.
Mid-Morning (Depending on how crowded it gets in the park, this may get pushed back to mid-day) - Get on train in Tomorrow Land, and ride it to New Orleans Square. (I would be perfectly happy to spend the majority of my day in New Orleans Square/Main Street.)
Rides to Hit:
Rides to Skip:
Tom Sawyer Island (or whatever they’re calling it now. It will forever be Tom Sawyer Island to me.)
Winnie the Pooh. (Though, we WILL hit the sweets shop next to that ride.)
12:50: LUNCH! Mint Julep! Reservations at the Blue Bayou restaurant.
Afternoon - Main Street Shopping, Touristy photos, Mary Poppins Cafe(?), Tiki Room(?). A Dole Whip is a must.
Dinner - MANY options. We can go pretty much anywhere in the park for dinner, though I insist that when we get our dinner, we go sit in front of the “Rivers of America” and wait for Fantasmic. We can sit down as soon as they rope off the area to foot traffic, and play with our phones and write postcards while we wait. FANTASMIC is a must.
Fireworks - Optional. Main Street will be packed with people. After Fantasmic is a great time to hit rides, while people are watching the Fireworks show. This is an excellent time to hit the rides in New Orleans Square, because the lines are very short. (Also, because families are starting to leave the park to get little ones in bed at a “reasonable” hour.)
10pm - Midnight - The park closes at Midnight. We’ve got from the end of Fantasmic/Fireworks until then to wander and hit anything we may have missed.
What did I miss? Is there anything you’d want to see that I didn’t mention? Hit me up in the comments. :)