My American Adventure Part One - Disneyland
I have been meaning to write this blog post about my holiday for such a long time but it's taken me ages to get round to it.
I wanted to go back to LA and Disneyland since visiting back in 2013. I really enjoyed it there when I visited for the first time as there is loads to do, plus it gives me a chance to get a Disney fix. I went for 15 days and decided to spend the first 4 days at Disneyland, then visit Las Vegas for 3 days and finish off in Hollywood.
This gave me plenty of variety on my holiday. I decided to do Disney first as if you have visited yourself you will know it requires a lot of walking vast distances and a lot of early mornings. Jet lag is your friend for a Disney holiday as it gets you up early. I was up at around 5 or 6am most days I was at Disney and popped out for breakfast every morning. I went to IHOP the first morning as I wanted to try the French Toast or Pancakes, but to be honest the portions are so big once was enough. The rest of the time at Disney I just went to McDonald's, which was just around the corner from my hotel. This was perfect for a quick breakfast before heading to the parks. I think I was there at park opening all 3 full days I stayed there.
I must admit for some reason I didn’t take my camera to the parks at all, so I didn’t get any photos of the first part of my trip. I also have no photos from the previous visit as my sister managed to accidentally delete all my Disneyland and Hawaii photos on the 2013 holiday (she got too distracted watching the filming of Hawaii 5-0 and accidentally pressed the wrong button. She says it was because the sun was in her eyes, but I haven’t let her forget about it yet!!).
I got a 5 day hopper so I could move between the 2 parks (there’s no 4 day ticket and the 5 day wasn’t much more expensive than the 3 day). I love the fact that unlike Walt Disney World in Florida you can walk between Disneyland Park, California Adventure Park and Downtown Disney. It's tiring walking everywhere, but I prefer it to catching the buses like you need to in Disney World.
On the first day I arrived we got to the hotel at about 4pm and once we had checked into the Tropicana Inn & Suites (which is right across the road from Disneyland) we went straight across to the park. I always stay until park closing on the first night and by the time I went to bed I had probably been up about 24 hours but it's worth it.
I love Disneyland and my favourite park is California Adventure Park as it has 3 of my favourite rides – Soaring, Radiator Springs Racers, & Toy Story Mania. I always go in the single rider line for Radiator Springs Racers so I can visit multiple times throughout my holiday without spending 2 hours queueing in standby or queueing for ages in the line to get a fastpass. Usually it’s about a 20 minute queue in the single rider line so it's definitely worth doing if you don’t mind not being in a car with your friends/families.
I always use my fastpasses for Soaring as it's my favourite ride. I usually go on at least 2 times per day. I love this ride especially when you are on the top row as you go so high. The first time I rode it I really panicked as I didn’t realise how high it went but it is a great ride.
Toy Story Mania is the other ride I like to go on. It’s always busy at this ride as there is no fastpass. Unless you go there early in the morning there’s usually a queue of 45 minutes, so I only go on this when I first get to the park while everyone else is riding Radiator Springs Racers.
The best thing about California Adventure is the food. My favourites are the Pacific Wharf Cafe for soup in a sourdough bowl, the Lucky Fortune Cookery for the Chicken Thai Coconut Curry and I must give a big shout out to the Corn Dog Castle where they do the best Corn Dog (how can anything that looks so wrong taste so right). I definitely eat well when I visit this park. Ghirardelli’s is the best place for ice cream sundaes and also the free chocolate you get when you go into the shop. I make sure to visit at least once a day.
I must admit I didn’t stay for the World of Color show at the end. I did have a fastpass, but the area was so crowded and I hate standing around waiting for things to start and I was tired so I just ended up leaving as I had seen the show before on my last visit.
I like Disneyland Park as well as there are some great rides there – Space, Splash and Thunder Mountain as well as Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. My favourite ride here is probably Indiana Jones Adventure, followed closely by Thunder Mountain. There are so many great rides in this park it's definitely one you can keep coming back to.
There is a fireworks show at the end of the night, but I was usually too tired to stick around so what I ended up doing was going back to the hotel room and then when the fireworks were due to start I went to the area where people catch the buses and watched from there. It was a great view and meant no waiting around in the park and then having to leave the park with everyone else.
I also went to Mickey's Halloween Party one evening. You can queue for sweets at different stands throughout the night, but I mainly went on the rides as there aren't normally long queues. It's cool as a lot of people dress up so it's a totally different experience.
I went to Downtown Disney most days as well. I love shopping at Sephora and although it’s not the best stocked shop I still managed to buy a decent amount. I also love eating at the Earl of Sandwich so made it a point to stop there most days as well. Yes I did eat a lot on this trip.
There is a Cheesecake Factory not far away from Disneyland but I didn’t visit on this trip as I was always full.
I would definitely recommend visiting Disneyland in California. It doesn’t quite have the Disney World sparkle, but all the best rides are there and the 2 parks are within walking distance so you don't have to get on buses everywhere.
I must admit I didn’t have a great time at the hotel I booked. It’s in a great location and is basic which is what I expected, but on one occasion there was a cockroach in the bathroom. I had never seen one before and it was massive and fast moving. I was too scared to go near it at first and I didn’t want to stamp on it with my shoe but it was too fast to catch, so in the end I had to put a book on top of it and stamp on it. I do not want to come across one of those again.
Also on my last full day I couldn’t get back into my room. When I went down to reception I was told they were expecting me to check out that day. I wasn’t and told them so, but it was a computer says no experience. The receptionist was just like well you rang and cancelled your last night (we didn’t). We even had a special offer rate which didn’t allow cancellations as it was through Expedia. It took ages to sort out and he went into the back with a manager who just ignored us. We were a bit panicked at this point as all our stuff including passports was back in the room. Eventually it was sorted out, but they weren’t exactly apologetic. I must admit there was another guy on reception who wasn’t even dealing with us and he was very good and reassured us that it would be sorted and even called the room when we got back in it (after the 3rd attempt) to check if it needed housekeeping (which it did). The person who actually dealt with us was really rubbish even though it was their error he kept saying we had cancelled the room. I wouldn’t stay there again just because of those 2 experiences. There are loads of hotels in walking distance so there’s plenty to choose from. They are all basic (unless you can pay the big bucks for the Disney Resort Hotels) but they are just a place to sleep really so no point spending loads on the rooms.
Sorry I don’t have photos for this part of the visit, but I have posted about the Las Vegas and Hollywood parts of my trip soon and there will be loads of photos included.