I went to Disneyland on Monday with my friend June. She and I both have annual passes that are blacked out for the summer starting at the end of this week, so we wanted to get in one more Disney adventure before we can’t go back until the end of August.
We got down to the parks around 1pm (we both had workout classes that we went to in the morning), and we started things off right away.
Our first stop was at the Haunted Mansion. The Hatbox Ghost was recently brought back to the Haunted Mansion after disappearing soon after the ride opened in the 60’s. I hadn’t had a chance to see him yet, so I was beyond excited to check him out!
As we were getting close to his spot in the ride, I mentioned to June that it would be so amazing if the ride broke down or stopped right in front of him so we could check him out even longer. And about 3 feet before we got to him the ride did break! But it was just before we would have been able to see him, so our view was of the bride instead of the Hatbox Ghost.
Once the ride got started again we finally saw the Hatbox Ghost, and he was totally worth it! I wish we could have ridden that ride over and over again, but we had more Disneyland things to get done.
Next was a stop to get my favorite treat: Dole Whips!
It was the perfect refreshing treat on such a hot day and we were able to find a bench in the shade to relax on while we ate.
After our snack, it was time for another ride that was recently updated. The Matterhorn!
I don’t love the Matterhorn because of how bumpy it is and how it hurts my hips while riding it, but they just added a new animatronic on the ride and I had to see how it looked. I had seen some videos online so I had an idea of what to expect, but June hadn’t and she got a good scare on the ride. And since I decided not to put my hands up like usual, I was able to brace myself a bit better and only hurt a little after the ride.
After those two upgraded rides in Disneyland, we headed over to California Adventure to see the newly upgraded Soarin’ Over California. They had upgraded the screens and cleaned up the film (which desperately needed it). The upgraded ride looked very nice, but we did have a bit of a scare at the beginning of the ride. When the ride was moving up into the screen area, our seats jerked forward and we all had a little moment of panic. But the ride was smooth sailing after then.
After those 3 rides, we had checked off all the rides that we really wanted to do before we were blacked out for the summer. So we just did some fun rides after that. We checked out The Little Mermaid (mainly for the air conditioning) and then watched the Aladdin show (again for the air conditioning).
Our final ride for the day was Tower Of Terror. We tried to do a silly yawning photo this time and I think it came out pretty cute.
After those rides, we walked through Downtown Disney to the Disneyland Hotel for dinner. We got dinner somewhere where I’ve never gone before, Trader Sams!
They don’t have a huge food menu, but I got a really delicious pork sandwich. June got a fun drink (that came with the zombie mug that she got to take home) but I was just drinking water.
After our fun dinner, we did a couple of silly things around the parks like take advantage of the fun photo ops.
And take photos in front of the decorated castle.
And finally a little bit of shopping. We found this ceramic Dole Whip and I knew I had to have it!
And since it was getting close to the fireworks time and there were a couple of spaces right in front of the castle, we decided to suck it up and wait about 2 hours for the new fireworks show.
We got a pretty awesome spot to watch from. Where we were, you were required to stay seated, so that was almost better than having to stand and watch (and hope that you aren’t behind a really tall person). The new show has lots of cool projections on different spots in the park like the castle, the Matterhorn mountain, Main Street, and It’s A Small World.
Sorry for the random Cast Member in my photos. He was there the entire time making sure that nobody stood up or went under the rope. The fireworks were a bit shorter than I expected, but I’m glad that we waited it out. I rarely do that and when I do, I usually am much farther back. So being almost right in front of the castle was a real treat for me!
It was also a great opportunity to take a castle picture at night with nobody behind me in the photo.
After the fireworks, it was time for us to head home (I had to work the next morning). The funny thing was that it took us longer to walk from the fireworks spot, get a tram, and get to my car than it did for us to make the entire drive home!
And as soon as I got home, I found my Dole Whip a place in my living room to live.
Both June and I kept saying on the drive home how perfect this Disneyland day was. We got everything done that we wanted to and we really maximized the air conditioning opportunities and stayed out of the heat and sun for a good chunk of our time there.
I’m sad that I can’t go back until the end of August because of my blackout dates. Especially because the Peter Pan ride is supposed to open in a week! I have to wait it out for my time to go back. But June and I are already planning our return to Disneyland in August and hoping that it will be just as epic as this visit was!