Hey Friends! We just got back from a very unique Disneyland trip that almost didn’t happen at all. About 5 weeks before our planned Disney adventure, I slipped on some good ol’ fashioned Chicago ice, and broke my right arm. Literally, the first thought I had after the doctor told me I had a fracture was “Ow” and “What about Disneyland?” My doctor cleared me to go, with the understanding that I couldn’t go on any roller coaster-esque rides (see you next time Big Thunder Mountain Railroad). This was our first time going to the park with any kind of serious injury, but it ended up making for a slightly more slow-paced, but also more relaxing trip. Time to get our ears on.
After a leisurely drive down the 101 (with a stop in Santa Barbara for some killer burritos- everyone check out Los Agaves!), we finally made it to the park around 4 pm. On our last few visits, we’ve made it a point to try out new restaurants (Big Thunder Mountain Ranch). Often, we get stuck in a bit of culinary rut (hey, who wouldn’t want to eat Plaza fried chicken everyday?). We strolled down Main Street and made a stop at the Carnation Café to see if we could make some last minute reservations. The wait was about 20 minutes, which actually worked out perfectly because the parade was going on right outside.
We hadn’t been to The Carnation Café since it recently reopened. The menu features a wonderful blend of down home cooking and fresh takes on old favorites. Hayley ordered the vegan burger and she was extremely pleased. According to her, it was the best veggie burger she’s ever had. Mom and I split the chicken fried chicken. It was delicious. For a Friday evening, the crowd level was really reasonable. We walked right onto Haunted Mansion & Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
We always follow this rule: WATCH FIREWORKS ON YOUR FIRST NIGHT! We’ve learned from past experience that if you get the chance to watch the fireworks, do. There are never any guarantees with wind and fire danger in southern California. We got the perfect spot right in front of the castle and finished our day with “Remember…Dreams Come True.”
The next morning, we opted to sleep in a bit and then went over to DCA for some Midway Mania (yes, you do not get a very high score when you have to play one-handed) and then stopped by Animator’s Academy (yes, you do not draw as well with your left hand when you usually draw with your right).
A quick stop at Monster’s Inc. and then Soaring Over California.
All that drawing and flying made us pretty hungry. Time for Cafe Orleans and a prime seat next to the Rivers of America. Tip: GET THE GARLIC FRIES!
And the ragout (a great vegetarian option)!
Mom treated us to two minnie pins. How sweet is that? Mine’s the old-fashioned pinkie and Hayley of course is sequined Minnie 🙂
Mom and Hayley went on BTMRR. They said that it’s a much smoother ride and they loved the new padding in the seats.
Then a stop by The Big Thunder Mountain Ranch to pet some goats and see some bunnies (the large kind that give you their autographs).
After Pirates, Pinocchio, and Tea Cups (oh, my!), we took a leisurely walk down Main Street. It is so beautiful in the spring.
After a ride on the “nap ride” back at the hotel, we returned to Disneyland for an evening of Rancho del Zocalo, a tour of Tomorrowland, and of course, Fantasmic! Oh and somebody got her highest score ever at Astro Blasters.
The next morning, bright and early, we headed over to DCA. We thought by getting to the park early, we had a good shot at a shorter wait for Radiator Spring Racers…nope. We hate to complain, but what is with all the line cutters?! It seemed like each person in front of us was saving a spot for their 20 closest friends. But, on the positive side, we made friends with the coolest middle-schooler ever. Emily was spending the day with her dad and we got to talking about favorite and least favorite rides. We all agreed that the Matterhorn, while thrilling, hurts like heck! Post Racers, we all went on Midway Mania together. Yay, Emily!
Before heading home, we made one quick stop by Main Street to acquire some souvenirs and we got to see Mickey and Minnie dancing with the Main Street Band. Can we just say, Minnie does a mean Charleston.