Tag Archives: roller coaster

One More Disney Day (or Yummy Food and Roller Coasters)

With my surgery coming up in about 2 more weeks, I’m trying to get a lot of fun stuff in before I have to take time to recover. And of course, this list included going to Disneyland. While I’m recovering, I won’t be able ride roller coasters for a while. I might be able to walk around Disneyland and do some of the easy rides, but since I love roller coasters I wanted to make sure that I did my favorites before I had to take a few months off.

My favorite Disney buddies Dani and Michelle were with me this time and we were also joined by Michelle’s friend Lauren (who fit in perfectly with our Disney craziness). All 3 of them knew that I was on a mission to ride the roller coasters I love the most and I’m so grateful that they let me decide most of the rides that went on that day. And besides my mission to ride a bunch of roller coasters, this was the only time I was going to be at Disneyland during this year’s Food and Wine Festival. So we all wanted to make sure we tried a bunch of the offerings that they had this year.

When we got to Disneyland, we headed to the California Adventure side first where we went on Toy Story Mania first. I used to be so much better at this ride, but I think I’m overconfident in my ability to play the games within the ride. I didn’t get that great of a score, but as always it was fun to ride. And right after that we had Fastpasses for California Screamin’ which is one of the roller coasters I love and had on my bucket list for the day. We all wanted to do some great poses for our ride photo, and this photo makes me laugh so much! And thanks to Lauren, who has Photopass on her annual pass, I was able to get great copies of all of our ride photos that day!

Our next ride time wasn’t for a few hours after that, so we decided to take some time to check out the Food and Wine Festival and get some lunch. Last year, I got one of the cards Annual Passholders could buy to save a little money on food. But I wasn’t going to eat that many things so I ended up just paying for each thing I got one by one. I got the deviled eggs, a beef tenderloin slider, and tacos.

The servings are small, but that was fine with me because I could try those 3 things and not feel too full. Each thing was really good and I feel like the food was even better this year than it was last year. And hopefully next year will be even better!

We also did some sightseeing around the park. They have been busy working on changing the Tower of Terror ride to the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride. This will be opening soon and there is a chance I might be able to ride it before my pass is blacked out for the summer. But if not, I’ll totally be going on it in August!

We also made a stop at the Animation Academy where we drew Hei Hei from “Moana”. I actually have not seen “Moana” yet, so it was weird to draw a character that I didn’t know what they looked like. But I think we all did a pretty good job with our artwork.

Our last ride in California Adventure was Radiator Springs Racers. The 4 of us ended up getting a car to ourselves so we were trying to plan something funny to do in our ride photo. Dani, Michelle, and I are so used to just thinking of what we can do with the 3 of us so it took a moment to figure out what could work with 4. And we decided to do the YMCA poses in our photo. We weren’t totally successful in doing that, but again it was an awesome photo!

We headed over to Disneyland after that ride to get in the rest of the rides we were hoping to do. I had a couple of rides on my list, but we ended up just doing 2 rides and riding each one twice. We did Buzz Lightyear twice because Michelle and I have our points competition for this year and we wanted to see what we could do. She ended up beating me both times, but this is a ride that I can go on while I’m recovering so I’m hoping to get some good scores soon.

The only other ride that we did that night was to ride Hyperspace Mountain. This is probably my favorite ride in the park and I am honestly a bit sad that I will have to take a few months off from riding it. One time we rode it Lauren was with us but she had to leave before we were able to ride it the second time. I was wearing my new I’m A Liver Not A Fighter shirt and was hoping to show it off in the ride photos. It didn’t quite work out that way, but that’s ok.

After our last ride, we were a bit stuck in Tomorrowland because of the parade and the fireworks. So we decided to see if we could find a nice spot to watch the fireworks and then we were going to take the Monorail to Downtown Disney to miss the crazy crowds trying to leave the park. But that ended up being a great decision because we found an almost empty area to watch the fireworks from that also got us to the Monorail quickly when it reopened.

Even though we weren’t expecting to be at Disneyland for a full day, we ended up being there for about 12 hours. That really helped me get my Disneyland fix in and while I probably will be antsy to get back I think I’m good for a little while now. It felt weird being there knowing that I might not be able to do a day like this again for a few months, but I’ve been preparing for this and this was just another thing in my pre-surgery countdown.

Thank you Dani, Michelle, and Lauren for making my day so awesome! Thanks for letting me take charge a bit to pick out our rides and being just as silly and ridiculous as me in our ride photos. Now I’m just counting down the weeks until surgery is done and I can get back!

Day 2 At Disneyland (or Gardens and Roller Coasters)

Monday was another fun-filled day at Disneyland. After going to bed pretty late due to the evacuation of the hotel, I was pretty surprised that I woke up early and feeling pretty well rested (those hotel beds are pretty awesome and magical that way).

My parents and I started our day with breakfast in Downtown Disney before heading over to Disneyland for our first adventure for the day.

While planning this trip to Disneyland, I knew that my mom would love it. She’s a Disneyland person like I am. But my dad really isn’t a big theme park person. But I saw that Disneyland had a tour of the gardens of Disneyland. And my dad is a big gardening person. He has a really green thumb and takes a lot of pride in making the front and back yard of their house look really amazing. So I got us all signed up for the Cultivating The Magic tour.

As soon as we checked in, we got name tags and a headphone/audio set up so we could hear our tour guide without her having to speak too loud. I felt a little touristy in my getup, but I was super excited to do something at Disneyland that I’ve never done before.


We had an amazing tour guide, Amberly. She was super knowledgeable about all of the plants and really made the tour a lot of fun.


Part of the tour included going on a few rides. First, we were taken on the Jungle Cruise. Our tour group got a private boat and instead of hearing the usual Jungle Cruise jokes, Amberly gave a tour of the plant life in and around the ride. That was pretty amazing!

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Next we went on the Haunted Mansion. We did learn a bit about the plants in front of the ride, but inside the ride we just rode it like everyone else. I’m not sure why that ride was part of the tour, but I’m not complaining since that’s a ride I go on anyway.

The last ride included on our tour were the Storybook Land Canal Boats. This ride is another favorite of mine and I was so excited that this was a part of the tour. Again, like the Jungle Cruise, instead of hearing the usual spiel, Amberly gave us a tour of the gardens on the ride. My favorite (and I think my dad’s favorite) is the succulent patchwork garden.


Our tour pretty much went into every land of the park. We learned that all the plants in Tomorrowland are actually edible or usable in some way and that in Fantasyland by the Dumbo ride, there is a rose that is named the Disneyland rose.


Our tour ended over by Tomorrowland which was perfect because my family’s plan was pretty much to do all the roller coasters in the park. Because that was our plan, my mom decided to not wear her wig at all during the day. This was the first time she has been wigless for an entire day since losing her hair, and I thought that was very brave. Her hair is growing back and I think it looks great!

We rode Space Mountain first and then we headed over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Big Thunder just reopened after a long refurbishment, and this was my first chance to get to ride it.


It was really great and I love the improvements. The only problem I had was trying to keep my hands up for the entire ride. My parents rode together so I rode alone. And since the restraint in the ride is a lap bar for the entire bench, there was a lot of room next to me. And whenever the ride took a turn, I flew across the bench. I ended up having to hold on with one hand.

Our next coaster was the Matterhorn. I personally don’t love this ride, but my mom does and she really wanted to ride it. I got a great picture of the three of us before the ride started.


I’m glad I took a picture before the ride because my dad really didn’t like the Matterhorn. He had the same complaints that I have: too rough, too little padding on the seat, and it makes your bones hurt.

After the Matterhorn, it was getting really hot inside the park so we took a lunch break in Downtown Disney (where it was nice and air-conditioned!). After lunch, my mom decided she wanted to rest and my dad and I headed back into the park for one final ride.

I wanted to take my dad on Star Tours. It was redone a few years ago, so obviously my dad hadn’t been on the new version yet. And I don’t know if my dad and I have ever ridden Star Tours together. As a kid, I was terrified by the ride. So my dad would take my brother and my mom and I would ride the People Mover while we waited for them.

Fortunately, I’m over my Star Tours fear so my dad and I got to enjoy the ride.


After that, we joined my mom back at the hotel where she was resting by the pool in the shade.


We relaxed at the pool for a while. I had to head back to LA that evening, but I wanted to wait until rush hour traffic died down.

We had a very busy two day trip, but it was so perfect! My parents had a great time and I got to spend some nice quality time with them. I’ll probably see my parents again sometime this summer. I’m hoping to make it to Tahoe and my parents might be coming down here to see a show at the Hollywood Bowl (my dad has never been and my mom hasn’t been in 50 years).

I know that my mom and I will do another Disneyland adventure in the future and now I’m thinking maybe my dad will join us for it as well! And if not, at least I got to show him why I love Disneyland so much and I know that he at least understands it a little bit.

Vacation At Disneyland (Celebrating My Mom’s Badassness)

Once my mom was done with her treatments for cancer, I knew that I wanted to celebrate with her somehow. I knew my parents would be headed down my direction (they wanted to see my grandparents first) so I tried to think of ways to celebrate in LA. But then I decided that we should celebrate at Disneyland instead (why not be at the Happiest Place On Earth to celebrate?).

I thought that we’d do just one day (and go to both parks), but my mom decided that we would do 2 days at the parks and they would get a hotel room there. And to save me from driving back and forth, I could stay at their hotel room with them for a night.

I was super excited to go! I recently got a new backpack at The Container Store that seemed perfect for Disneyland and I couldn’t wait to try it out.


We all met up at the hotel on Sunday morning. My mom decided that she wanted to stay at the Grand Californian, which is the hotel connected to California Adventure. I had never actually been inside the hotel, and I was super impressed by how amazing it was as soon as I walked inside.


My parents got there shortly after I did, and after a quick stop to put all our things down in our hotel room, we were off to California Adventure. I had gotten my parents 2 day 1 park tickets, which meant that we couldn’t do both parks in one day. But we wanted to spend time in each park so Sunday was devoted completely to California Adventure.

We met up with my mom’s friend Roberta and her family once we got inside the park, but we only really spent the day with Roberta (her son, daughter-in-law, and young granddaughter didn’t want to ride the rides so they walked around on their own).

One of our first rides was the tires in Cars Land. My mom loves this ride because it’s so similar to the flying saucers that were in Disneyland when she was a kid. My dad had only been to California Adventure once (and it was when the park opened so there weren’t a ton of rides there) so this was all new stuff to him. My mom rode with Roberta and I rode with my dad. Somehow, the tire that my dad and I got was a total bust. We couldn’t make it move at all. My mom and Roberta on the other hand we flying around really fast.

Next was on to one of my favorite rides, Radiator Springs Racers. My mom and I both love this ride so much, and in all the times I’ve ridden it, my car has always won the race (I’m sure I jinxed myself now). Before the trip, I was a little worried about how my mom’s wig would do on the rides (because like me, she likes to ride with her hands up). She wore it on Radiator Springs Racers, and as you can see from our ride photo, her wig stayed on without a problem!


And I was super happy that my dad decided to ride with his hands up too! Even though my face is covered up by the photo number, I still think this is a pretty amazing photo. Roberta also took this really great photo of me with my parents while we were waiting in line.


We also rode Soarin’ Over California (the music from that ride is the ring tone for my phone) and Toy Story Mania (where for the first time ever I had the highest points in the car).

Next was another roller coaster, California Screamin’. Neither Roberta nor my dad do upside down roller coasters, so they waited on a bench for my mom and I to ride. We ended up riding twice, the first time in the front row (which is my favorite) and the second time in the second row. Again, I was worried about my mom’s wig on this ride, and so was she. So while we got ready to leave my dad and Roberta with all of our stuff, my mom decided to leave her wig with my dad as well.

It was actually pretty funny when she took it off because my mom said that some lady walking by her gave her a double take when the wig came off. My mom is getting her hair back, and if you didn’t know what she looked like before or with her wig, you’d think that this was just the style that she wanted to cut her hair in.

Both rides on California Screamin’ were awesome, and my mom and I agree that it is one of the best roller coasters out there.

Next we met back up with the rest of Roberta’s family and went to dinner. And after dinner, my mom wanted to rest before World of Color, so we headed back to the hotel.

On the way, we passed all of the bear sculptures that are near the hotel, and since my mom loves everything to do with bears, I took her picture with them all.

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I also found the coolest hat for my mom, but she didn’t think that she’d wear it at all.


After resting for about an hour, my mom decided that she didn’t want to stay up for World of Color (the show was at 9:45pm). But my dad and I both wanted to see it so we headed back into the park. But since we had some time to kill before the show, we decided to ride Radiator Springs Racers again. In the dark, the mountains are all lit up and are really pretty.


Then it was time to get into our section for World of Color. I’ve seen the show a couple of times, but my dad had no idea what the show would be like. He was pretty impressed by it, but we got pretty wet while watching it (I guess we were in the splash zone).


After World of Color, we headed back to our hotel to get some sleep before we had our next big day at Disneyland. But while I was in my pjs and getting ready to brush my teeth, the fire alarm went off in our hotel and we were evacuated. The evacuation waiting area was actually right next to our room so we didn’t have to walk too far in our pjs (and I was glad that I brought pj pants instead of a nightgown). We waited outside for about 30 minutes before we could go back into our room. I have no idea if there was a fire, but we never saw the fire department while we were outside the hotel.

Finally, when we got back inside around 11:30pm, I was ready for bed and for our next adventure the next day!