Our final Disneyland visit for the year was magical in many ways. The weather finally fit the season, it was chilly which made it possible for my husband, daughter, and I to wear our ugly Christmas sweaters. We arrived at the Mickey and Friend’s parking garage at 7:30AM and made our way through the new security checkpoints. Disneyland has expanded their security perimeter which allows guests to now go between the parks and Downtown Disney easier than in the past. It had only been a few days since the new checkpoints opened and there were a few complications at this particular point. Although the changes to the tram route were minor, they slowed down the flow of traffic making the wait to board a little longer than normal. Hopefully Disney will find their groove and transportation from the parking garage to the parks will improve.
Once in the park we had to stop by guest services to replace my annual pass. During my last visit a cast member cracked my pass. Disney charges annual passholders a fee if they need to replace their passes if they are lost or stolen. But the good news is that there is no fee to replace a damaged pass. This meant more money to spend on gifts for my family in the parks. With my new pass in hand we entered Disneyland. First stop was to the Marketplace on Main Street to get our caffeine fix. Instead of starting our day like we usually we do, we chose “it’s a Small World” for our first ride. The reason for this is because the lines for this attraction are typically VERY long during the Christmas season and it requires a DRT (Disabled Return Time). On our way we passed through Fantasyland and popped into the Mad Hatter to purchase our daughter a Stitch hat to keep her head warm. When we arrived at “it’s a Small World” a cast member shared a holiday secret. It was my daughter’s Stitch hat that prompted the conversation. After quizzing us about the movie Lilo and Stitch, he told us to look closely at their scene inside the attraction as Stitch’s favorite singer was added this year. Check out this clip to see for yourself!
Afterwards we made our way over to Hyperspace Mountain. Wait times were still relatively low and we were able to get right on. Before leaving the area we did a little Christmas shopping and had our picture taken with Chewbacca. Our next stop was the Haunted Mansion. This attraction is always busy during the holiday season and we received a 40 minutes DRT. We used this time to do some more shopping and have a snack. We enjoyed Candy Cane Beignets and popcorn before visiting Jack Skellington and friends.
Surprisingly, the line for Thunder Mountain was short and we were able to get right on. After, we received a DRT for the Jingle Cruise. This time was used for more Christmas shopping. If you visit Disneyland during the Christmas season, I highly recommend that you make time for the Haunted Mansion, “it’s a Small World”, and the Jungle (Jingle) Cruise as all three are made over for the holiday. While waiting to board Thunder Mountain, a cast member shared a holiday secret regarding the Jingle Cruise. He told us to look closely at the gorilla scene as this year the leg lamp from A Christmas Story was added to the scene.
Before hopping over to Disney’s California Adventure (DCA) we made our way through the shops of Main Street. We finished our Christmas shopping soon after entering DCA. We chose to have our late lunch/early dinner at the Pacific Wharf Café. My daughter ordered the Turkey Pest Club Sandwich, my husband wanted to try the Oriental Chicken Salad, and I wanted something warm in my belly so I ordered the Cheddar Broccoli Soup in a sourdough bread bowl. All three dishes were fabulously delicious!! The portions were huge and one bread bowl with salad or soup could have easily filled the bellies of two!
Just before sunset we rode California Screamin’ and had fun taking a few silly photos. My husband headed over to ride the Tower of Terror for what may be his last time if we don’t make it back to the park before this attraction closes in January. My daughter and I hoped to ride Radiator Racers but the ride shut down for technical difficulties just as we arrived at its queue. While waiting for my husband we warmed up with some hot chocolate and just enjoyed the beauty of all the lights and decorations.
Our last attraction we rode for the year was Flik’s Flyers. Before calling it a day we stopped by one of the Festival of the Holidays food carts to indulge in a Yule Log. Some of the holiday food offerings were overpriced and the portions were small, but not the Yule Log. It was only $4.75 and one was more than enough for the three of us.
And that wraps up another year at the Disneyland Resort! I am looking forward to making more magical memories with family and friends in 2017. I also plan to continue sharing tips for planning a Disneyland vacation. Be the first to find out when my 2017 edition of my Disneyland Guide will be available and to receive a special savings by subscribing to my weekly newsletter.
Wishing you a magical day,
The Disabled Diva