When we went to Disneyland a few years ago we did one park a day over two days. It was a quick visit tacked on to a long trip, in which we were in other parts of California and Las Vegas.
We thought one day at Disney’s California Adventure park was good, but Disneyland Park? A two day-er for sure!
This time around, we were actually still planning on only one day at Disneyland Park, figuring we’d get to whatever. That soon turned into an absolutely not, no way. We wanted to do as much as possible. So adding on a day very quickly became a no brainer. And today, as we walked into Disneyland park, we laughed, because if you told us the last time we were here that next time we’d be coming with our child, we would have said no way.
So while this time we only did half a day at Disney’s California Adventure (which I admit was a mistake, we should have stuck with a full day), we did two FULL days at Disneyland park. With a one and a half year old. We are not the type of people to leave midday for a nap, so it was a very jam-packed two days, and it was perfect.
We never anticipated Baby A would do as well as she did. Initially, I think that’s why we were a little iffy on what days we were going to do at which park. But not a single meltdown.
The first day at Disneyland Park, she was too excited to nap. She never got cranky, so we just rolled with it. There were times we’d try to take breaks from meeting the characters and going on rides – attempting to get her to nap, but she just ordered us to go “on!” every ride that we passed by. So we did. We kept waiting for the inevitable overtired tantrum, but it never came.
HOWEVER, the second day at Disneyland Park, she thankfully took a little nap. Finally.
We also definitely did not anticipate going on Dumbo, The Carousel, or It’s A Small World as many times as we did. Honestly, we thought we’d be going to Disney for us, and did not expect Baby A to be so involved or demanding lol. When she finally napped, we were so happy that we could spend some time going on the rides we wanted to go on haha!
We met so many characters over these past couple of days. In part because of the character breakfasts. Especially the one at The Plaza Inn, but mostly because it’s just so easy to meet them here! Particularly in Fantasyland. They roam around, and there’s not even a line. You just walk right up to them! The Evil Queen and Gaston always have these insanely long lines in Disney World, but here there were none. It was a breeze.
Anyway, onto the details. It was pretty much Baby A’s game, and I’d say she was a trooper, but that makes it sound like she had to push herself, which wasn’t the case. She had a blast. So much so that my not so talkative one and a half year old came home with such a vocabulary explosion. Most of which revolved around telling us that we should all go back to Disney lol. She lists who she wants to come (of course mama and dada, but sometimes she’s even so generous as to include the dog, because what dog wouldn’t want to ride Dumbo?) People say we created a monster, but she really brought it on herself. It’s amazing to see how she took it all in.
So after seeing what a busy day the day before was at Disney’s California Adventure (granted, it was less than half a day at the park), we were pretty determined to have a plan for these next couple of days, also keeping in mind that a pool day is also a must.
We learned pretty quickly that characters are a big deal to Baby A, so we never put a limit on meeting them. If we saw someone, and she was interested, we would stop. So for our first day at Disneyland Park, we set a goal of half of Fantasyland, Frontierland, Critter Country, and some of Adventureland.
Second day, our plan was the rest of Fantasyland and Adventureland, Toontown, Tomorrowland, and New Orleans Square.
First Day At Disneyland Park
We ate breakfast at the hotel, since the park didn’t open until 10. We missed the opening show by minutes, because of the long security line. Once inside we of course spent time taking all the obligatory pictures. Then Baby A spotted Pluto before we even made it to Main Street, and we had to go over.
We took pictures of her walking down Main Street (and popping into the Disney Arribas store for a princess crown!), and then of course pictures with the castle ensued. I swear by the time we actually got to Fantasyland it was almost lunch time.
We stopped by the Royal Theater, because they were performing Beauty and the Beast, and I wanted to see if it was a “real” Mrs. Potts, because Baby A is obsessed with her. It wasn’t, so we continued on.
First up was Dumbo, and I think this is the moment in her life when everything changed. Suddenly Dumbo became LIFE. And to this day, Dumbo still is EVERYTHING. We have downstairs dumbo, car dumbo, and crib dumbo. Baby A was Dumbo for Halloween. And if it has Dumbo on it, she probably owns it.
I thought we’d never take her away from this ride, but we managed to convince her to go on the carousel, and she realized there’s more to love. But still, DUMBO!
Fantasyland rides all had a huge wait at this point, which made me really nervous. We essentially only went on two things so far. We took a break to get water and snacks, and I felt like we were ALWAYS stopping to buy water and/or some sort of snack, because it was JUST SO HOT.
We had a Fastpass for Thunder Mountain soon, so we put a pin in Fantasyland and headed to Frontierland. Baby A spotted Jessie (this child has never seen Toy Story, and doesn’t even know who she is), but she’s a character, and we LOVE all characters, so she HAD to get out of her stroller and meet her.
Then Mr. ADOL and I took turns going on Thunder Mountain, before lunch at The Golden Horseshoe.
The Golden Horseshoe is a quick service restaurant in Frontierland, and it’s pretty adorable. There’s a little show, and Baby A danced her heart out while we ate. We really didn’t have plans to eat lunch anywhere in particular, and I’m so glad we found ourselves here. Don’t get me wrong, the food is your typical quick service food. It’s nothing to write home about, but the ambiance can’t be beat.
After lunch we gave her the pacifier and tried to get her to nap. We went into a few stores as we made our way towards Critter Country, but she just wanted to go on more rides. Ugh.
So we went on Winnie The Pooh, and then Tigger was right there, as was Eeyore, so we waited in the short line to meet them.
Next, we took turns wheeling her into the stores (for AC!) while the other went on Splash Mountain, still hoping she’d nap. She was still awake and excited. So we changed her into something more comfortable, since it was so hot and sticky out, hoping that would help. But then even the stores got exciting. I mean, did you see that Mickey wand? Ugh.
We stopped going into stores (after shelling out a small fortune), and took the long way back to Fantasyland. We still had hopes that maybe she would nap just strolling around.
By Adventureland we pretty much gave up on pushing a nap. It is what it is, and if she was tired enough she’ll sleep. She never did.
So we went on Jungle Cruise, because we were there and there was no wait.
After that I wanted to go back to Fantasyland, because I feel like that was the big thing on our agenda today, and we barely did any of it! We took some more castle pictures on our way there, because there was a Photopass photographer with no line. Then, Aladdin was hanging out by the castle, so we went and said hi to him, before finally making it into Fantasyland.
Luckily, the wait times were much better now. We went on Snow White’s Scary Adventure, Pinocchio, and the Casey Jr. Circus Train.
I love the Fantasyland stores, so we went into a few on our way to It’s A Small World.
We then went back to the Storybook Boat ride, because the line was a little long before when we passed it.
Next, we headed over to the teacups and had some fun taking pictures of Baby A outside the White Rabbit’s house. We watched a little bit of the parade as we were in line for the Alice In Wonderland ride.
Afterwards, and a million snacks and water breaks later, it was dinner time. We grabbed a light dinner at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe.
After dinner we pretty much just walked around and looked at all the Halloween decor, and popped into some of the Main Street stores. I also stopped at the town hall to get a first visit pin for Baby A’s souvenir collection.
The park was only open until 8, which is really early in terms of Disney parks. But it was also a really good thing, since Baby A was up early and didn’t nap at all, AND we have an even longer day tomorrow.
She fell asleep on the walk back to our hotel, and was not too happy when we woke her for a quick bath before putting her down for the night.
Tomorrow, HalloweenTime at Disneyland officially kicks off, and they are open until midnight!
Second Day At Disneyland Park
So to recap, on today’s agenda is the rest of Fantasyland and Adventureland, Toontown, New Orleans Square, and Tomorrowland. So… a lot.
After breakfast (at the Plaza Inn), we went to Fantasyland first, because Baby A is obsessed. We ran into the Evil Queen on our way, which was so cool. She’s one of the character’s I’ve always wanted to meet (along with her witch version).
I saw on the Disneyland app that the Queen Of Hearts was roaming around Main Street, and I was pretty bummed Baby A wanted to go on Dumbo, because I really wanted to go meet her lol!
My goal for Fantasyland was Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Peter Pan, basically the only two rides we missed yesterday. We ran into the Mad Hatter on our way to Mr. Toad’s and stopped for a picture. Then, Merida pretty much stole Baby A, because she was so in love with her outfit. She paraded with her around Fantasyland, showing her off to all the other characters they passed, for a good 15 minutes!!! Meanwhile, Baby A could care less and just lead Merida over to Dumbo lol.
There is nothing more frustrating than waiting in a 30 minute Dumbo line over and over again, especially since we had already gone on it the previous day. But it made Baby A SO HAPPY, so we did it. Again and again.
Once we said no more she spotted the carousel. Bleh. So much for going on different rides today.
Beauty and the Beast went for a ride too.
We found Peter Pan lurking by the carousel, so we stopped to say hi, as well Gaston, who was roaming around. Between all this with Dumbo, and now the carousel, we missed going on Peter Pan. By now the wait time had hit an all time high. Figures. So we said maybe later, because we were on the brink of another Dumbo ride, and needed to get far away from Fantasyland lol. We also had a Fastpass to get to!… sadly we never made it back to Peter Pan, which is a shame, because I think Baby A would have loved it. Guess she will have to wait until next year when we head to Disney World and can Fastpass it. I really wish they would add a Fastpass to the one here!
Next we set off for New Orleans Square to our Haunted Mansion Fastpass. Today was the first day it opened with all the Halloween decor, and Fastpass was the way to go! Also, today was the only day we both got Maxpass (see here). The lines (in general today) were pretty long, because it was the official start of Halloween in Disneyland. The crowds were not amazing, but still somewhat manageable. We had a very short wait with our Fastpasses, and Baby A definitely did not know what to make of the Haunted Mansion. She liked it, she wasn’t scared, but she also would not let go of the hand bar the entire time.
After The Haunted Mansion, we were about to go on Pirates, but as we headed back to the stroller and placed her in it, within minutes she MIRACULOUSLY – for the first time since arriving in California – started to doze off! Was she actually going to take a nap? I think so! We quickly changed plans. Mr. ADOL and I will finally be able to go on some of the rides we want! Yay! We could not believe she finally passed out!
So we paused New Orleans Square for the time being.
We stopped in Adventureland, but Indiana Jones was out of rider swap for a bit, so we continued onto Tomorrowland with plans to come back later (and we did).
Once in Tomorrowland, we took turns wheeling her through the Star Wars store (because the AC was amazing, and it was SO HOT OUT) while the other one went on Space Mountain and Star Tours.
Then we were kind of stuck in the area until she woke up, because we didn’t want to take away from the AC. We shopped for a while, got a snack, and then got her snack ready for when she woke up.
It was good that she napped, but we also missed out on a good hour+ of doing other things (aside from Space Mountain and Star Tours). Originally, we had planned to take a trip around the park on the Disneyland Railroad, because she would have really enjoyed it, but the nap sort of ruined that. So the railroad and Peter Pan were the two biggest things we missed, and things like the Riverboat (and we never did the treehouse either). So not too many things. Oh, and we also didn’t go on the Astro Orbitor, despite Baby A begging to at breakfast, because after Dumbo over and over again I could not do a similar ride lol.
Once she woke up we did Buzz Lightyear and then the Tomorrowland Speedway, which she didn’t quite hit the height for, but they let her on anyway. I think she was still half asleep for those lol.
After that we did It’s A Small World (again) on our way to Toontown.
We went on the Roger Rabbit ride, and then walked through Mickey and Minnie’s houses, which TOOK FOREVER, because WE HAD TO STOP AND LOOK AT EVERYTHING. For real.
We quickly ran through Donald Duck’s boat before having to dash all the way to New Orleans Square for dinner at Blue Bayou, (which you can read about here). Although we did return to Toontown later that evening, I think a third day here would have been best to explore at a more leisurely pace, as well as account for some of the things we didn’t do (like the railroad, especially since I think it takes a while if you want to ride it all around the entire park).
So after dinner we had a little bit of a nasty cast member interaction, and I’m only mentioning it because it’s so rare. We usually have nothing but amazing interactions. Blue Bayou is SUPER DARK, and also really popular (re: crowded). Baby A got really messy during her meal, so afterwards, because it was so packed (even the bathrooms), we found a private corner in New Orleans Square to change her clothes. It was easier with both of us there. Not change her diaper or anything, just change her clothes. She didn’t want to be changed. She liked the Snow White outfit she was wearing, so she was pretty unhappy about it. I guess where we were standing was near the very exclusive Club 33 restaurant, which we didn’t know. As far as we were concerned, it was just a private corner with no one else around.
In the end it took less than 3 minutes to swap her clothes, and she was happy with her Mickey wand afterwards. But during that time a cast member approached us WITH A BAG, and basically handed it to us and told us to move, because people were dining nearby and the baby was being loud. Had she just said it nicely, it would have been fine. We obviously didn’t realize the location, and it wasn’t intentional. Also, a loud kid in Disneyland? Really? The real kicker though was the plastic bag. She practically threw it and was like here, SINCE SHE GOT SICK.
She didn’t get sick. I love when people assume things. Love it. We were just changing her clothes from a messy dinner. She had pieces of filet minion and bernaise sauce all over her because she has yet to fully master a fork. But thanks lady.
So we went on Pirates Of The Caribbean ride after that. I really thought Baby A was gong to be a little scared, but she LAUGHED during the drops. I think it may have been one of her favorite rides, and if the line wasn’t so long we would have gone on again.
We went back to Adventureland to check on the rider swap status at Indiana Jones, and it was good, so we took turns going on that. I went first while Mr. ADOL took Baby A to look at the Indiana Jones stuff in the store nearby. Then, while he went on I took her to wait in line at the Royal Hall to meet the princesses, and he met us there after.
We met Cinderella, Snow White, and Ariel, and she had the best time with them.
We did another go on It’s A Small World (thanks, Baby A), and then headed back to Toontown, because she wanted to go back to Mickey and Minnie’s house. Then we waited to meet Mickey Mouse, because she hadn’t met him yet!
By now it was her bedtime, and after meeting Mickey she actually started to doze off. Awesome!
So we went back to Tomorrowland to take turns going on some more rides, while the other pushed her around. The Matterhorn, which is my absolute favorite ride, was closed for refurbishment, which was SUCH a bummer. Honestly, had I known before we booked our trip, I may have adjusted our dates. So yeah, pretty bummed to come all the way here and not be able to go on it.
I went on Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea (or whatever it’s called now), because I have NEVER been on. What a long and terrible ride lol. I told Mr. ADOL not to bother.
Soon the fireworks started, and OF COURSE Baby A wakes up all excited… because, fireworks. Ugh. So much for us continuing to go on the rides.
So we went and caught the fireworks. I miss Wishes at Disney World, even though it’s no longer there. I’m kind of sad Baby A will never get to see it.
By now it’s after 10, and the park closes at midnight. We felt happy with all that we accomplished, and Baby A wasn’t going back to sleep at this point, so we were like maybe we should just head out? So we start heading down Main Street, and she starts pointing like crazy at Minnie Mouse. So we had to meet Minnie Mouse again, even though I told her she was going to be at breakfast in the morning. This Minnie Mouse was in her Halloween outfit, so whatever, fine. Not that a one and a half year old knows the difference.
Afterwards, we changed her into her favorite Mrs. Potts PJs, so unlike yesterday we wouldn’t have to wake her again after she inevitably falls asleep on the way back to the hotel.
After we met Minnie, we had about an hour until the park closed, so we thought maybe she would fall back to sleep if we look around in some of the Main Street stores. We tried it for a bit, but she was so excited about what might happen next that she sat wide-eyed. I get it kid, it’s an exciting place. So given the late hour (parenting fail, I know), we headed back to the hotel.
She ended up falling asleep the second we walked through the turnstile, go figure.