Day 4: Disneyland

O.K., so technically it’s not in Los Angeles, it’s in Orange County, but having spent the entire day there yesterday with my two girls I need to weigh-in while it is all fresh in my head…

We arrived there around 11:00, missing the rush-hour traffic.  We have season passes, which are highly discounted for Angelenos. The girls like to go there on those weird “in-service” no school days and Superbowl Sunday when the park is less crowded and there is no summer heat.  Since our spring break is different than most, we seemed to miss the throngs of visitors who will most definitely show up at the end of the month. 

One of the things we like most about both parks, Disneyland and California Adventure Theme Park is the cleanliness and cheerful attitude of the “cast members”.  While discussing one of my daughter’s college options and how beautiful the campus was, she remarked “it’s Disney clean”.  I learned at a real estate leadership seminar once that Disney strives for perfection, but settles for excellence.  Excellence works for me!

If you haven’t been since your folks took you and you ran out of “E” tickets,  or if you’ve never been at all, there is one thing you should definitely know about and that is the Fastpass.  You put your entry ticket into a kiosk located near the ride and a pass prints out with an allotted time for you to visit that attraction.  For us, we always get one for Space Mountain because the wait is usually an hour long (we got the pass at 11:30 and it told us to come back between 6:10-7:10 p.m.).  One thing we discovered, was that you can show up after the allotted time and they will still allow you in the fast pass line.  The fastpass on that ride meant a 10 minute wait instead of a 55 minute wait.  The proximity of the two parks is great too, because you can go get fast passes in each park and easily move between the two.

The other cool wait eliminator we tried for the first time was a Single Rider Pass.  Some rides feature this and some don’t, and you get a single rider pass from the person who is working at the entrance gate of the ride.  You need to agree to ride alone, but you bypass the whole line and get the next single seat available.  We used this for Soaring Over California (which we all got on together but in different rows) and has to be one of the coolest rides ever! It is located at the California Adventure Park, saving us 40 minutes.  We used it for Indiana Jones, in which we all got to sit together and cut the wait by one hour!  And we used it for California Screamin’, a roller coaster with a 360◦ loop (call me crazy, but I like to look sideways as we pass through it).

I’m not sure if it’s because my older daughter’s pending departure for college is making us nostalgic, or the fact that we got on every single great ride in both parks, watched fireworks and ate cotton candy.  But twelve hours later, with sore feet and the wafting smell of sugary goodness on Main St. greeting us on the way out, we all agreed this was one of our best trips ever!

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