Travel Journal: Disneyland 2019

May 31, 2019

It's been a whirlwind of a month, friends! But in the very best way!

As you probably have already seen on my Instagram, I kicked off May with a trip back to Disneyland to celebrate my birthday! This year, I stayed for a whole week. Last year's two days just weren't long enough. Five whole days at the parks meant a lot more time to dedicate to activities, as well as a lot more time to relax and take it easy.

Today on the blog, I'm journaling all about the trip- all the things I did and how I still managed to make a busy schedule feel like a vacation!

For starters, I stayed at a different hotel this year. This hotel was a bit farther from the parks- about 1.2 miles. The walk was no problem during the day, but being by myself at night, I preferred to Uber. Although the hotel was a greater distance than I would have liked, I truly can't complain. It was very clean and cozy, plus they offered a continental breakfast each morning, which helped me save some money. They even had a hot tub, which I took full advantage of at night after a long day of walking. It was also a block from the Anaheim GardenWalk, which is an outdoor shopping center that has a lot of great dining options. I ended up at Johnny Rockets the night I arrived, and I went to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. one night when I wasn't feeling like walking back to the parks for dinner.

Because I had a 5-day ticket to Disney, I decided to split my time between each park to really get the full experience. Monday/Tuesday were spent at the Disneyland Park (DP) and Wednesday/Thursday were spent at Disney California Adventure Park (DCA). Friday was open for doing whatever I was feeling.

Here's some of the fun stuff I did:

  • Got my free birthday button.
  • Picture with the Partners statue,  of course.
  • First ride was my favorite one: Alice in Wonderland.
  • Next up: Mad Tea Party teacups.
  • Tried a Matterhorn Macaroon. Took the cliche picture of it.
  • Ran into Mary Poppins.
  • Explored Pixie Hollow.
  • Caught the Tangled show at the Royal Theatre.
  • Rode Peter Pan's Flight for the first time.  (Loved it!)
  • Wandered around Frontierland.
  • Listened to the Disneyland Band outside the Golden Horseshoe.
  • Stumbled upon new parts of New Orleans Square.
  • Ran into Mickey, Minnie and Goofy.
  • Found the bench where Walt Disney first dreamed of Disneyland.
  • Saw a sneak preview of the new Aladdin movie, as well as props and costumes on display, including the magic carpet.  (I was FREAKING. OUT!)
  • Made my way to the Downtown Disney District (DD); something I didn't get to do last trip.
  • Devoured the Brinner pizza from Napolini Pizzeria in DD. Cheese. Bacon. Potato. Egg. Yum.
  • Sat on the terrace and ate a pulled pork sandwich for dinner at River Bell Terrace in DP.
  • Hopped on the Mark Twain Riverboat and enjoyed a nighttime tour.
  • Watched the fireworks show from the middle of Main Street.
  • Finally got to see  (and ride)  the teacups at night. It's even more magical with the lanterns glowing.
  • Found the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and went for a ride.
  • Grabbed a chocolate marshmallow wand  (my favorite)  before heading back to the hotel.

  • Caught a glimpse of the castle that has been covered and under renovation since the winter. One of the spires was revealed!
  • Visited my favorite princess in her tower, Rapunzel.
  • Got a picture in a teacup wearing my teacup shirt like the super nerd that I am.
  • Ate breakfast at the River Belle Terrace with the prettiest window view and the yummiest Mickey pancakes.
  • Rode Pirates of the Caribbean for the first time. SO worth the wait.
  • Saw what the Jungle Cruise was all about. I was blown away.
  • Found the magic carpet in Adventureland and had to get a picture with it.
  • Climbed up Tarzan's Treehouse.
  • Took a ride through the Haunted Mansion.
  • Ate my very first churro. Banana pudding flavored.
  • Next up: It's a Small World.
  • Strolled through Toontown.
  • Bumped into Aladdin and Princess Jasmine.
  • Fastpassed it to Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters.  (Not my favorite.)
  • Tried the Jungle Skewer from the Bengal Barbecue. Bacon-wrapped asparagus. Easily the best thing I've eaten at Disney.
  • For dessert, my most-wanted item: a root beer float in WOODY'S BOOT from the Golden Horseshoe.
  • Took a stroll through the Hundred Acre Woods and bumped into Tigger, Rabbit and Eeyore.
  • Couldn't leave Pooh's Corner without trying a Tigger tail.
  • Oh, and I couldn't pass up the Mickey donut sugar cookie.  Did you know I like food?
  • Called it a day and headed to the hot tub. Ordered takeout for dinner. The good life.

  • Made my way down Buena Vista Street.
  • First ride at DCA: Monster's Inc.  (Another fave!)
  • Stepped inside the animation building. I can't describe how amazing this is- just go see it.
  • Learned to draw Mickey Mouse at the Animation Academy.
  • Hiked through Grizzly Peak and took in the trails and waterfalls.
  • Barely contained my excitement when I reached Pixar Pier for the first time.
  • Took PLENTY of pictures with the Fun Wheel.
  • Explored Knicks Knacks and Bing Bong's Sweet Stuff. Bought neapolitan taffy!
  • Played carnival games on the board walk. Did NOT win a Jessie the Cowgirl doll.  (Not bitter.)
  • Got in line for the Pixar Pal-a-Round and CHICKENED OUT.
  • Ate a corn dog instead from Corn Dog Castle.
  • Bumped into Mike Wazowski.
  • Headed over to Downtown Disney for the Pop-Up Disney! tour.
  • Took pictures inside a giant Mickey balloon and with the Mickey snack wall. The experience was SO cool!
  • Made my way to Radiator Springs because I couldn't wait any longer! It's my favorite part of Disneyland.
  • Obviously Fastpassed it to Radiator Springs Racers, the best ride EVER.
  • Grabbed a strawberry milkshake with road gravel from Flo's V8 Cafe.
  • Took a ride on Ariel's Undersea Adventure.
  • Went back to the hotel for a dip in the hot tub and Bubba Gump Shrimp for dinner.

I had one Magic Morning pass with my ticket, which meant I could pick one day to go into Disneyland Park an hour early. I used this on Thursday. With the extra time, I:
  • Took flight with my pal Dumbo.
  • Rode Pinocchio's Daring Journey and Snow White's Scary Adventures.
  • Ate breakfast outside at the Carnation Cafe and watched people stroll down Main Street. The best Mickey waffles in the biz!

Then I headed back to DCA and:
  • Took another ride on Monster's Inc.
  • Explored more of Radiator Springs.
  • Fastpassed it to Toy Story Midway Mania- a really fun arcade game experience!
  • Saw my pal Woody pass by.
  • Another ride on Radiator Springs Racers was in order.
  • Ate a bacon mac and cheese bread cone from the Cozy Cone Motel. A DCA must-have.
  • Headed back to the hotel earlier to change for my dinner reservation.
  • Made my way back and strolled through Hollywood Studios.
  • Ran into Buzz Lightyear.
  • Had dinner at the Lamplight Lounge. The restaurant is all Pixar-themed and I was in heaven.
  • Ate ratatouille for dinner in honor of one of my favorite movies. It was so delicious.
  • Went back to Radiator Springs just in time to see the lights come on.  (Hint: ask a worker in RS what time they will turn on the lights/music. It feels just like the movie!)
  • Devoured a twist soft serve ice cream cone from the Cozy Cone Motel in RS.
  • Strolled under the starry string lights on Pixar Pier. It's even more magical at night.
  • Had a late night snack- a warm, gooey cookie from Jack Jack's Cookie Num Nums over by the Incredicoaster.
  • Watched the World of Color show.
  • Shut down the park and headed back to the hotel.

  • I took Friday nice and slow. Woke up and lounged around before heading to the parks right before lunchtime. I started the day in DP.
  • Got a Fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I promised my mom I would do at least one scary roller coaster. I surprisingly loved this one even though I was a nervous wreck beforehand.
  • Discovered the Snow White fountain near the castle.  Had no idea it was there!
  • Strolled through Adventureland and ran into my niece's favorite, Moana.
  • Took a seat in the Enchanted Tiki Room.
  • Bought a Mickey Pretzel and a Coca-Cola. My favorite combo.
  • Grabbed a seat and watched Mickey's Soundsational Parade march by.
  • Headed to DCA for a Mickey ice cream bar. A stomach ache could not stop me from eating all the Mickey-shaped things.
  • Took a spin on Jessie's Critter Carousel.  Had to.
  • Had one last stroll down the boardwalk at Pixar Pier to take in the magic.
  • One last ride: couldn't close out the trip with anything but Radiator Springs Racers.
  • Then a late night dinner at the Plaza Inn- the BEST fried chicken!
  • To wrap it all up, I had one last Mickey treat- the Mickey ice cream sandwich. I could barely eat half of it but I DID IT.
  • Said my goodbyes at the main gate and closed out another incredible adventure.

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