Weekend trip to Disneyland

Chelsea and I left Las Vegas around 4:00 and drove to Anaheim for the weekend. We checked into the hotel around 8:30 and got to the park around 9:00. We stayed until midnight Friday, for the full sixteen hours the park was open on Saturday, and for seven and a half hours on Sunday. Here’s a list of all the things we did.

Mad Tea Party
Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Indiana Jones Adventure (x2)
Matterhorn Bobsleds (both tracks)
Space Mountain (x3)
Splash Mountain (x2)
We met Minnie Mouse on Mainstreet USA
Main Street Cinema
Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough
Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Enchanted Tiki Room
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
Haunted Mansion
Jungle Cruise
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (x2)
Snow White’s Scary Adventures
“it’s a small world”
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
Storybook Land Canal Boats
Disneyland Railroad (transportation)
Fire Engine (transportation)
Billy Hill & The Hillbillies
Jedi Training Academy
“Remember… Dreams Come True” Fireworks Spectacular

California Screamin’ (x2)
Grizzly River Run
Soarin’ Over California
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (x3)
Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar
Muppet Vision 3D
Toy Story Mania! (x2)
Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular
Turtle Talk with Crush

To some, that may look like we did a whole lot with our time. To others, it may look like we didn’t get a whole lot done. That said, we only had about 26 hours in the park and we did 48 things. How did we do it? Well, I have a a few tips for getting around and doing all the things you want to do while in Disneyland.

1. Do some research and make a plan.
Make a list of the rides you want to go on most, and the ones you would like to go on if you get the chance. Make sure you are flexible as well. Anyone who has been to Disneyland knows that a good ride sequence would go some thing like this: Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones Adventure. The rides are in the same part of the park and are in that order when walking. If you want to go on all the mountains in Disneyland, you will waste a lot of time walking from one side of the park to the other trying to get to them. You will waste a lot time and walking if you try to go from Space Mountain to Splash Mountain to The Matterhorn to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Make sure you know that before you go.

2. Go with a small group.
I can’t tell you how much better it is when your group is small. You will do so much more. You can get in and out of the larger, slower walking groups much more easily, and you have fewer wants to meet. Larger groups means more bathroom stops, more food stand stops, and more waiting in line so you can all ride together. When you say you have a group of eight, they will stop you at the front of the line and fish the two or three person groups ahead of you and onto the ride. You may only wait two or three minutes more when that happens, but multiply that by ten rides and you have missed out on something else you could have been doing.

3. Learn how to get around.
The map you pick up at the entrance will show you that there is a center hub, and to get to one area of the park to the other, you should go through that hub near the castle. The map is a bit of a liar. If the line is short, the train is a good way to get around. It comes every five minutes and takes you to all parts of the magic kingdom. There are also many secret paths that are much more direct than back out to the center of the circle and across. Cut through shops that connect to two different lands. Find a seldom used path behind a building to beat the crowds. With a little experimentation you will soon know all the best ways around the park. You will be thankful you did and your feet will be too.

4. Speaking of feet, wear comfortable shoes.
I went to Disneyland last month too. I was wearing a pair of shoes that I had worn every day for a little more than one year. That said, those shoes were comfortable. They knew my feet and my feet knew them. I walked around all day and my feet felt great. While on the trip, though, the sole wore through. Because of the holes, I bought new shoes earlier this month and my feet suffered for it in Disneyland this time. After just three hours that first night, my feet throbbed and ached and complained at me, and it didn’t get any better as the trip went on. Even the best experience can be ruined if some discomfort or pain is preoccupying your mind. That said, make sure you wear a pair of comfortable, worn in shoes when you go to Disneyland. You will get more done because you won’t want to quit as early.

5. Be aware of the time.
This is my final tip. There are a lot of shows during the day that attract a lot of people to them. Fantasmic, fireworks, and the parades are the best ones. Because they are the best, the most people are going to go to those ones. If you have already seen them, now is a good time to go on some rides. In most cases, the lines will be a lot shorter. Enjoy two or three rides during this time. There are also times during the day when there will be fewer people. Make sure you are one of those few. Children get up later than adults do, and they call it quits earlier as well. Get to the park as soon as it opens and go on that ride that always has a long line and no fast passes. Save the kiddie rides until late at night. The kids will go home and the other adults will be doing the bigger thrill rides. Go on every ride in fantasy land in little more than one hour. The rides are silly, but a lot of them are original to the park, and if you have never been on them, they are better than waiting in lines.

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