If you’ve been following along for any amount of time, you know we are Disney addicts. We’ve been to Walt Disney World numerous times, have tons of Disney movies, know how to save money on paying for our Disney trips, know lots of Disney trivia, plan for our Disney World trips down to the minute, and now we’ve completed our family trip to Disneyland in California. Keep reading to hear all about our trip and why we’ll be back!
New here? You might be interested in learning more about our Disney obsessed family:
- Our Life Outside The Box
- 5 Must-Dos On A Girls Trip to Walt Disney World
- Travel California: Anaheim Harbor RV Park
- 11 of the Best Disney Vacation Planning Resources
- Top 10 Walt Disney World Pet Peeves
- Travel Disney: Our Love Affair with Fort Wilderness Campground
- Our Family Trip to Disneyland & Why We’ll Be Back
Want to know how you can get your family to Disney on a budget? Grab a $200 statement credit for signing up for the Disney Rewards Credit Card or click here to learn about more ways you can save.
In my chiropractic office, we talk Disney. People ask me for planning tips, I ask them about their trips when they return, everyone shares about their favorite rides and snacks, and from some, I hear about how laid back Disneyland is compared to Walt Disney World.
You see, I’ve been to Disneyland. Brent has been to Disneyland. But our kids had not until this year.
Neither one of us remembers very much about our visit to Disneyland as kids because we were so young. He remembers a train conductor’s hat he got, and I remember the darkness of Space Mountain, the eerie walls in Haunted Mansion, and the awesomeness of It’s a Small World. (It’s still my favorite ‘kiddie’ ride to this day!)
Despite being more addicted to Walt Disney World, I definitely wanted to get us over to Disneyland at some point. It just so happened that Disneyland was running a promo on 3-day tickets while we were in California boondocking at Joshua Tree National Park.
PERFECT TIMING, DISNEY!!!
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Once I convinced Brent to let us go, the planner in me kicked into overdrive. We searched for RV parks near Disneyland to be sure there was availability. The kids and I began looking on Youtube and the Disneyland app to see what rides and attractions they have at each park. Then I spent some time on my favorite Disney planning websites researching food, fun, and more.
After a couple of days of planning and researching, we felt like it was a trip we wanted to make happen. Brent booked our campsite at Anaheim Harbor RV Park. I made the call to our Disney Travel Agent to get the tickets purchased. And I started getting our touring plan put together.
Day 1 – Disneyland Park
Brent was working half days on Thursday and Friday (only until 10 AM Pacific Time), so the kids and I set out to do early morning hours at Disneyland Park to get some of the ‘kiddie’ rides done before he joined us.
Well, that was a mistake!
Most of the rides that we wanted to get accomplished were either down or in Mickey’s Toontown area which was closed until 10 AM. I guess we could’ve stayed in bed a little longer.
Of those that were open, we managed to get on Dumbo, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, the Carousel, It’s a Small World, Mad Tea Party, and Peter Pan’s Flight.
I even caught a smile on the face of our child who hates getting her picture taken. Disney does it again!
Once Mickey’s Toontown opened, the kids spent some time at Goofy’s Playhouse, Donald’s Boat, Chip ‘n Dale’s Treehouse, Mickey’s House, and Minnie’s House. Then they rode Gadget’s Go Coaster a few times before Brent caught up with us.
Once we added Brent to the fun, we started knocking out the rides one by one. With the exception of Splash Mountain (which was down for refurbishment), Casey Jr. Circus Train (which never opened), and 3 or 4 of the rides and attractions which are also at Walt Disney World, we did everything at Disneyland Park in one day.
We ended the night at the Indiana Jones Adventure (which ended up being our favorite ride in Disneyland Park) followed by Dole Whip floats from The Tropical Hideaway.
In most of the Disneyland planning groups, people say to spend 2 days at Disneyland Park and then one day at Disney’s California Adventure. I figured since we got most everything done at Disneyland Park the first day, we would visit DCA the second day and then make our decision later for the third day.
Day 2 – Disney’s California Adventure
Since everyone says Disney’s California Adventure is easy to get through in a day, we decided to sleep in and wait until Brent was ready to go with us. Once he was ready, we set foot from our RV park and headed to California Adventure.
We started our day at the Monster’s, Inc. ride and then headed over to Animation Academy and Sorcerer’s Workshop.
I’m so sad that Walt Disney World decided to remove Animation Academy from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We had the best time drawing Disney characters at this attraction. We ended up doing this twice that day.
And everyone’s right, you CAN get DCA done in one day (less than one day in our instance)! Here’s a peek at our day:
By far, Incredicoaster was a favorite of mine, Brent, and Abi. And Guardian’s of the Galaxy really surprised us as well. It came in a close second. Peyton and Allison loved Radiator Springs Racers the most.
And any Disney evening has to end with a sweet treat! It’s Snow-Capped Lemon from the Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats stand was a little disappointing, but still worth trying once. It is a non-dairy lemon soft-serve dipped in white chocolate. The kids loved the Pixar Pier Frosty Parfait which was made of non-dairy lemon soft-serve and blue raspberry swirled together.
Day 3 – Disney’s California Adventure
We loved DCA so much that we decided to do this park a second day rather than go back to Disneyland Park. I guess we’re spoiled by Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park just didn’t compare. But Disney’s California Adventure was so much fun that we wanted more!
As many times as we’ve been to each theme park at Walt Disney World at their park openings, we’ve never been chosen as the family of the day. But day 3 at Disneyland Resort was our lucky day! Meet the family of the day at Disney’s California Adventure:
It was chilly and raining on and off all day while we were there, which made for our favorite kind of crowds: LOW! We were able to get on and off rides multiple times all day. I think we must have ridden Incredicoaster 6 times, Toy Story Midway Mania 3 times, and Radiator Springs Racers twice. And every time we made a FastPass reservation for Goofy’s Sky School, it rained and we would get an Anytime FastPass for any attraction we wanted to visit.
Here are some of our favorite pictures from day 2 at DCA:
The food here was AMAZING!
For breakfast, we ate at Flo’s V8 Cafe. I figure it’s kind of hard to mess up breakfast, but it was extra good. I had the Brioche French Toast which was delicious. Peyton had the kid’s meal waffles, and the rest of the crew had the American Breakfast.
Dinner was bread bowls at Pacific Wharf Cafe. I want to go back just to eat the bread bowls. I’m bummed I didn’t get a picture, but they are MUST EATS!!!
And we got our sweet treats for the day at Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff.
What an awesome experience on a rainy Saturday at DCA! We love Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, but I think DCA has won our hearts. While we will probably visit Disneyland Park again, we’ll definitely spend more time at DCA in the future.