I recently renewed my annual pass for Disneyland. The level of pass that I have is only available for renewals, so I wanted to make sure that I renewed in time. I also made the decision to pay for the parking add-on, so I don’t have to spend $17 to park every time I go. I’m super glad I made that decision because just the other day, Disneyland eliminated the option to do a parking add-on (it’s only available now with the highest level pass which is about double the cost of my pass).
Right after I renewed my pass, I got a text from my Evil Twin Shey asking if I still had an annual pass. I told her I did and she said that she had been invited to an annual pass holder event and wanted to see if I wanted to be one of her guests! It was on this past Monday, which worked out perfectly for me!
When I got to the park, I took a few moments to enjoy the lack of crowds inside.
Good to know that Monday afternoons are pretty empty. I’ll have to go to Disneyland more often then!
Shey and her friends who were joining us weren’t at the park yet, so I decided to do a trip around Disneyland on the railroad.
I love the circle tour around the park. It’s so nice and relaxing and I get to see how crowded different areas of the park are that day. And my favorite thing is between the Tomorrowland and Main Street stations. They have the Grand Canyon and Primeval World dioramas! The Grand Canyon diorama was looking great. But when we got to the Primeval World section it was dark and covered by tarps. I guess that they were doing some work back there, but it was sad that we still were hearing the audio for the dinosaurs without getting to see them.
After getting back to the Main Street station, I realized that the parade was about to start. Since none of my friends were at the park yet, I decided to see if I could find somewhere to sit and watch it. And there was actually a bench right on the parade route with one seat left! So I sat back and watched the entire parade (I can’t remember the last time I did that).
The parade was pretty cute and as soon as the last float went past me, Shey texted me to say that they were all outside the gates of the park ready to get our wristbands for the event that evening! So I headed out to meet them and get checked in for the private event.
Since the private event in Disneyland didn’t start until 8pm, we decided to spent the first part of our time at California Adventure. Most of us wanted to ride on Tower of Terror, so that’s where we headed first. 4 of the 5 of us went on and I think we got a pretty funny photo (we are in the first row).
Next, we headed over to one of my favorite rides, Radiator Springs Racers. Again, only 4 of us rode and I think 2 of the girls in the group had never been on the ride before. We all had a great time, and our car tied in the race.
We also rode The Little Mermaid and Toy Story Mania. I rode alone on Toy Story Mania, so I couldn’t do some of the cool Easter Eggs on the ride (you really need 2 shooters for those), but I did get the second highest score in our vehicle.
Before getting some dinner, we went on California Screamin’. To make the wait shorter, we all went in the single rider line. I sat next to a guy who didn’t seem as enthusiastic about the ride as I was.
For dinner, I got baked potato soup in a bread bowl. It isn’t the healthiest thing I can get at the parks, but it’s definitely far from the worst. Plus, I kept my calories low for the beginning of the day and I know that I usually walk over 5 miles during a day at Disneyland. So the splurge was worth it (plus it was getting cold so soup warmed me up)!
Then we headed over to Disneyland where there was only about an hour before the private event started. Our first ride was Space Mountain. I decided to tell all the girls about my mom’s rule how you have to ride with your hands up the entire time. They all decided to try it and I think we all had a great time on the coaster.
After that, the park was starting to clear out. Only guests who had reserved spaces for the party could stay, and it was shocking how few people remained in the park! Our next stop was Star Tours, where we basically walked right on.
Followed by Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. I don’t know if I’ve ever walked on a ride as quickly. Shey and I rode together, and this was her first time on this ride. So I tried to help guide her to find the good targets, and I’m super impressed by her score! I never did that well on my first few times on the ride.
After Buzz Lightyear, I wanted to get an evil photo with my Evil Twin. So we found some pretty awesome evil hats for a quick photo.
One of the features of this private party were some awesome photo ops with characters that aren’t always out. We decided to check out the villains photo-op but the line was pretty insane. We guessed it would take us about an hour to get through the line, and since we wanted to maximize our time, we didn’t wait. Instead, we went on some more walk-on rides.
I love Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and I haven’t had a chance lately to ride it at night. So of course, that was next. The ride instead is already amazing, but what made it magical was what happened at the top of the mountain. The fireworks for Fantasmic were going off as we were on the ride! It was a super cheesy and magical moment that I loved!
We followed that up by riding Pirates Of The Caribbean where we got stuck for 5-10 minutes in the very beginning of the ride. It was right next to the Blue Bayou restaurant which is usually pretty busy. And it was closed during this event so it was completely empty and quiet. That was a little creepy. We finally got moving again and by the time we got off the ride, I realized that I only had time for another ride or two before I wanted to head home.
I really wanted to ride the Storybook Canal Boats at night to see all the buildings lit up. Plus, they recently added a “Frozen” section and I wanted to see how it was done. As soon as we got into the main part of the ride, I gasped. It looked amazing and beautiful!
The archways were all lit up with fairy lights and I really enjoyed the new “Frozen” castles.
I was planning on leaving then, but as we walked by Dumbo we realized that nobody was in line! I’ve never seen Dumbo without a crazy line, so of course we went on Dumbo!
I got my elephant all the way to the top and just spent the ride up in the air checking out all the amazing lights and sights of Fantasyland.
And as we were leaving the park, we noticed a dance party going on with a princess DJ and a guy walking around with a glass slipper. So we got a final group picture with the glass slipper.
By then, I had been at Disneyland for about 10 hours. It’s not the longest I’ve been there, but it was almost midnight so it was the latest I’ve been there. Plus I still had a drive home and had to work the next morning. But even though I left before the rest of my group, I felt like I had a super wonderful and full day at Disneyland!
I’m so grateful that my Evil Twin invited me to this event. It’s a rarity to see the parks so empty and I got to ride pretty much all of my favorite rides! This was the perfect way to start another year of having an annual pass!