August is one of the best and worst months to visit Disneyland. It’s one of the best because with school back in session the crowd level is lower than average. Another reason is that many are waiting for the Halloween season which starts around the 10th of September. This is a great month to enjoy shorter wait times, with the exception of a few of the more popular rides. It also makes finding a great area to view the parades and fireworks from without having to spend hours sitting and holding a spot or paying extra for a dining package to get reserved seats. While Sunday’s are typically one of the busiest days of the week, we were overjoyed to do all that we wanted with ease. The downside to visiting in August is that it is HOT!!
I started my day by applying Mo’s Dream Cream head to toe, paying extra attention to my spine, sacrum, hips, and shoulders. I also had approx. 10mgs of an Indica Cheeba Chew. Knowing that I would want to ride attractions that involved water and wanting to get wet in order to stay cool I wore my hair in pony tail so that it wouldn’t matter how wet I got. While I normally wear a shower cap or rain jacket to keep my hair dry, I didn’t want to be bothered with it today as it would entail removing my Minnie ears that I had secured with bobby pins.
7:30AM We arrived and parked in the Mickey and Friend’s parking garage.
8:00AM On the handicapped bus and on our way to security.
8:20AM We breezed through security and entered Disneyland. Just a reminder, all guests are now being screened through the metal detectors. Click here to walk down Main Street with me.
8:45AM We were given a disabled return time of 9:10 for Hyperspace Mountain. I chose to relax and wait in the area while my husband and daughter rode Star Tours.
9:15AM Checked back in at Hyperspace. Hyperspace closes Aug. 22 to become Ghost Galaxy for the Halloween season. Because there is no word on whether Hyperspace or Space Mountain will be returning afterwards, I will be going back again next weekend to ride it as many times as possible.
9:30AM Click here to walk from Tomorrowland to Adventureland. No return time was needed for Indiana Jones as the wait standard wait time was only 10 minutes.
Most of the time, if you ask to be seated in a certain row or seat, the cast member will make it happen. Most of the time I have to sit in the front row of Indiana Jones. It is not because I ask to, but because when I need to take my wheelchair over to the boarding area the front row is the only one with an access gate to allow me to exit onto the boarding area instead of the regular exit. However, lately I have been able to leave my wheelchair next to the unloading area and stand for the elevator ride and a few minutes until allowed to board. By doing this I am able to exit like the rest of the guests. Whenever I have a day like this I like to request the back row. You may think I am crazy for not wanting to be in the front row, but the back row is more thrilling and extra bouncy.
10:06AM Next up, the Haunted Mansion. No lines means no disabled return time needed. There is one stretch of this ride that I am always wishing the ride would break down at. It is the section in which the Doombuggy goes downhill backwards and relieves all pressure from my spine. Well, for the first time the Haunted Mansion broke down while I was riding it. Only it wasn’t where I have been dreaming of having it happen. As we were making our way back to the boarding area, guests who bring their wheelchairs all the way in enter and exit their Doombuggy at the same spot, my husband and I both heard and felt a thunk. Our Doombuggy had fallen off the track and the ride was immediately shut down. Part of me was relieved that we were already where we needed to be to exit, yet I was also bummed that it didn’t happen in an area where I could get a little behind the scene sneak peek.
10:40AM Pirates of the Caribbean. No cast member was present at the exit so we were able to immediately enter. There are a couple of areas on this ride that use smoke machines. The smoke has been thicker than normal lately causing my throat to burn. So just keep this in mind if you or anyone in your party has any breathing issues.
11:00AM Leaving Disneyland and hopping over to California Adventure.
11:15AM My daughter has been trying to overcome her fear of riding Tower of Terror. She wants to overcome this fear for two reasons. The first is that she is excited that it is going to be changed into a Guardian of the Galaxy attraction and wants to be able to ride it with a little less fear when it opens. Her other reason is because she wants to see and experience this ride as The Tower of Terror. I wish I could ride with my husband and daughter, but it is physically NOT an option for me. So I hung out in Hollywoodland while they got in line. She ended up not riding after all, but I am proud that she even attempted to. Tower of Terror officially closes in Jan. 2017 and I believe she may ride it before then. While too frightened to ride today, she was surprised by how quickly the ride was over with. Later she said that because it is such a fast ride, she may try it in the near future.
11:46AM It was scorching hot so we headed over to get a FastPass for Grizzly River Run. The standard wait time was 45 minutes and our FastPass return time was between 12:50 and 1:50.
12:00PM With some time to kill we decided to have lunch. Today we chose to eat on the west side of the Paradise Pier. My daughter and I shared the Chicken Sun-dried Tomato Pesto $10.99 and the Chicken Caesar Salad $9.99 from Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta. My husband had the Beef Gyro Platter $12.49 from Paradise Garden Grill. The pasta and salad portions were huge and way more than my daughter and I could both eat. We had so much left over that we realized that all three of us could have easily been satisfied by sharing those two dishes. The Chicken Sun-dried Tomato Pesto is one of our favorites as it is tantalizingly tasty and filling. My husband thoroughly enjoyed his Gyro platter. The yogurt based sauce was flavorful and the meat was tender. Again the portion was large and could easily fill the bellies of two. Read about some of our other favorite budget friendly meals by clicking here.
For dessert we all shared the Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Skewer $5.39, also from Paradise Garden Grill. This dessert is absolutely delightful and has become my second favorite dessert; the Matterhorn Macaroon is still my favorite. This dessert has three brownies and strawberries on a skewer with marshmallows and has chocolate and caramel sauce drizzled all over it. We each had one third of the skewer, which was more than enough. This is a very rich and sweet treat. Read about some of our other favorite budget friendly snacks by clicking here.
12:30PM While we were finishing our lunch a few characters came out for meet and greets. I don’t normally see characters greeting guests in that area, so this was a treat. Even more surprising were who the characters were: Stitch, Pinocchio, and Baloo. I have never seen Stitch anywhere besides character breakfasts or the private Chase card holder meet and greet. I have only seen Pinocchio over at the Disneyland Park once in the past 3 years and I have never seen Baloo in either park.
12:40PM I rode the Silly Symphony Swings otherwise known as the swings of death. This is one of the few spinning rides that I am able to tolerate only because it is one of the shortest. By the time the spinning starts to get to me the ride is over.
12:53PM We returned to Grizzly River Run. We were very happy to have our FastPasses, because the standard wait time was now 70 minutes. We weren’t the only ones that wanted to cool off. While I absolutely love this ride, I don’t know how much longer I will be able to ride it. I can deal with getting knocked around, but lately the rafts have been spinning too fast and for too long. I have been riding this attraction since it opened and have never experienced the spinning that I have this past month. I am hoping that I have just been unlucky for the past month because I really don’t want to give this ride up.
1:44PM We didn’t get as wet as we normally do on Grizzly and the heat was starting to get to us. We decided to escape the heat by heading over to watch a sneak peek of Pete’s Dragon in Hollywoodland. We are definitely planning on seeing this movie while it is in theaters. I am so thankful that I saw this sneak peek as it made it abundantly clear that I will need to bring along a box of tissues. I cried during the preview, so I am sure I will be bawling during the entire film.
2:15PM Still wanting to avoid the sun, we went into the Animation Academy to take a drawing class. While there we noticed a few changes. The first is something we love; there is now a schedule of what characters drawings are being taught by the entrance. In the past we had to go all the way inside to ask the attending cast member. The character we learned to draw this day was Pluto. The other thing we noticed is that the large comfy couch-like benches in the courtyard of the academy were replaced with what looks like metal bus station benches. Not only are they uncomfortable, there are fewer benches. The lack of seating makes it a little more difficult to get around in a wheelchair as more people are sitting on the floor.
2:45PM We were done for the day. It was just too hot. It is days like this that staying at a nearby hotel would be better than visiting for a day. If we were on vacation and staying nearby we could have gone back to our room to cool off and take a nap making it possible to return in the evening. However, we have a 45 minute drive home, so going home for a nap is not a possibility. We grabbed some popcorn and sodas for the ride home and made our way to the handicapped bus loading area.
3:15PM Waved good bye to Mickey as we pulled out of the parking garage. I made it through the day without needing extra medication. In fact I didn’t medicate again until I was ready for bed that evening.
End of day tally:
7 hours in the park
Me: 9 attractions, 7 of them being rides
My husband: 10 attractions, 8 of them being rides
My daughter: 9 attractions, 7 of them being rides
Is there a character you wish to see or meet in the parks? While I was thrilled to finally see Baloo, I am dying to meet The Fairy Godmother. The Disneyland app often shows that she is scheduled to be out in Fantasyland, but I have yet to see her during her designated times.
Wishing you a magical day filled with Pixie dust and many reasons to smile!
Tagged: abdominal adhesions, art academy, baloo, California, California Adventure, characters, chronic illness, chronic pain, degenerative disc disease, dessert, Disney, Disneyland, drawing, fibro, fibromyalgia, grizzly, gyro, handicapped accessible, haunted mansion breakdown, hyperspace mountain, indiana jones, meet and greet, MMJ, paradise grill, pasta, Pirates of the caribbean, psoriatic arthritis, salad, skewers, sneak peek, spoonie, star tours, tower of terror, vacation, wheelchair