Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.
After a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with family in Arizona, we packed up the rig, and joined by our daughter Jessica and granddaughter Felicity, headed to Anaheim for a few days at the Happiest Place On Earth! Get ready for a LONG blog post! We had a blast in Disneyland!
We checked into the Anaheim RV Park and rested up before our adventures in the park! For a small fee, the park provided a shuttle to the front gates of Disneyland. A few selfies in the resort common room and we were off!
Disneyland is no doubt a magical place. However, Disneyland during the holiday season is made even MORE magical! The iconic castle was decked out in “Frozen” glory with thousands of twinkle lights and baubles galore!
We arrived on one of the lower traffic weeks, the week after Thanksgiving and were pleased with the short time it took to get through security and into the park!
Before long we were walking right down the middle of Main Street USA!
Of course we had to start out our day with an egg nog latte’ from the official Starbucks of Disneyland! It was the holiday season after all!
The park was busy with visitors but easy to navigate during the off season. The first ride we went on was It’s A Small World, which is my personal favorite. There was no line and we jumped right on!
The ride was as I remembered, with one exception; it was beautifully decorated for the holidays with seasonal music playing as we floated along. This was Ava’s very first visit to Disneyland and her eyes actually filled with tears as the Small World boats made their way through the various countries of the world. At sixteen she still beamed with child-like wonder at the magic of Disneyland! Felicity excitedly bounced up and down in the boat, taking in all the sites and sounds!
A trip to Disneyland wouldn’t be complete without a photo in front of the castle, which was just as beautiful during they day with it’s Frozen theme.
The Dumbo ride is a classic that can’t be missed. However, DO pay attention to the signs that tell you how long the wait will be. A line that appears short can wind around and around until you’ve waited nearly an hour to ride those flying elephants!
Mark and I kept ourselves busy taking selfies while we waited for Jessica, Felicity, and Ava to get their turn.
A nice woman who had also been waiting for family offered to take our photo.
It was finally the girl’s turn to take Dumbo for a spin!
No trip to Disneyland would be complete without doing a little shopping and sampling some of the snacks and we did plenty of that!
La Bat en Rouge was our stop for Louisiana cuisine and Mickey Mouse beignets!
Mickey Mouse beignets are delicious! We opted for the traditional but there was also a candy cane beignet for the holidays!
Felicity was absolutely tickled to see a dessert shaped like her favorite mouse!
There was so much to do and see, we weren’t sure where to go next! We had no clear plan; we simply followed the shortest lines.
There is no shortage of shopping choices both outside the park in Downtown Disney, as well as throughout Disneyland itself. We had a lot of fun trying on hats and looking at all the cute souvenirs but we kept to a budget and only purchased a few items.
Felicity’s FAVORITE ride was definitely the Pirates of the Caribbean and we went on it several times!
I remember it from my childhood as one of longest and most creative rides at Disneyland. Everywhere you turn, there is something to catch your eye and make you smile!
Beloved characters are everywhere and the folks at Disney do a great job getting visitors through the lines to meet their favs! On day one we met Pluto and Peter Pan.
Peter Pan was so sweet with Felicity, getting down on her level and talking with her face to face. When it was Ava’s turn, however he was not about to let her stand in front and take away the spotlight! It was hilarious and I wish I had more photos!
On day two Felicity got to meet Jack and Sally from “Nightmare Before Christmas”. All the cast members do such a great job making the little ones feel comfortable. They really do seem like they love their jobs!
Another high point for Felicity was meeting some of the Disney Princesses.
The Disney Princesses were gracious and kind, and they just loved Felicity!
Disney offers so many photo opportunities! We had a great time seeking out different backdrops for photos and the Christmas décor made it all the more festive for this holiday loving family!
Mickey was out doing an appearance so we took a tour through his house!
Mark and I took Felicity on the Thunder Mountain Train ride. It was much faster than I remembered but Felicity had a lot of fun speeding over the track!
On our first evening we stayed for the Christmas parade. The streets fill up earlier than we anticipated so we ended up standing for the duration but made plans to come back the next day and find a spot with a great view.
It had been a full day of exploring and we were tired, but the beautiful lights of the Christmas tree and the holiday parade were worth the wait!
One of Felicity’s favorite Disney characters is Elsa from the movie “Frozen”. She was absolutely tickled when Elsa waved right to her!
The nightly tree lighting was spectacular and photos just don’t do it justice.
After a long day of fun and adventure we headed back to the RV park to get a good night’s sleep so we could come back bright and early the next day.
Once again we were treated to gorgeous, late November weather as we arrived for another magical day at Disneyland!
Our day started out with a stop at the Disneyland Starbucks. It was going to be another full day and we needed our energy!
Once we were powered up we headed over for another ride on the boats of the Pirates of the Caribbean! The early morning crowds were minimal and we had no trouble jumping aboard.
Unfortunately, the Haunted Mansion was having technical difficulties during our stay and we were not able to visit this iconic ride. Looks like we’ll just have to return!
We were, however able to take the teacups for a spin!
As the day got warmer Mark, Ava, and I decided to try Splash Mountain while Jessica and Felicity found Winnie the Pooh.
Sit in the middle, they said. You won’t get as wet, they said!
We lined up early on day two so we could get a prime spot to view the parade and Felicity could hardly contain her excitement!
We took a seat right next to the giant Christmas tree and waited for the parade to begin.
Mickey and Minnie kicked off the extravaganza with a beautifully decorated float accompanied by festival holiday music!
Disney does an amazing job casting their characters! Ava was even inspired to audition for a cast member job as soon as she turns eighteen!
The evil step-mother from Cinderella was so good at staying in character. Felicity kept waving and saying “Hi! Hi! Can you hear me?” and the step-mother just kept going with her sinister look, pausing just long enough to let a smidge of a smile escape as she passed the jubilant Felicity! In true form, sisters Drusilla and Anastasia argued and bickered down the entire parade route!
There were skiers accompanied by dancing snow folk…
And dancing elves!
Not to mention the characters from Toy Story and a visit from Santa Claus himself!
Disneyland did not disappoint! The weather was beautiful, the crowds were managable, and the memories, priceless! We look forward to visiting again soon!
Goodbye Disneyland! We will meet again!
After leaving Disneyland we were really getting homesick and missing the rest of our family. We made plans to return to Washington in time for Christmas.
Even Banjo seemed ready to hit the road! But before we left, I had to leave one last rock at the Anaheim RV Park for another traveler to find.
And we HAD to stop one last time at Porto’s Bakery in Buena Park for some delicious sweet and savory pastries.
Porto’s was born out of Cuban Immigrant Rosa Porto’s love for sharing her wonderful cakes and pastries with family and friends. They currently have six locations in California including, West Covina, Downey, Burbank, Glendale, and Buena Park.
We recommend waiting until after the lunch or dinner rush to visit as Porto’s is a popular stop for tourists and locals alike.
They now ship unbaked, frozen boxes of some of their most popular treats so even if you don’t live in California, you can enjoy a little (or big) yellow box of goodies in your own home!
As we made our way home and traveled further north, the weather turned colder and rainy. The haze over the Lake Minden Thousand Trails RV Park made for an eerie but familiar welcome as we got closer to home and weather more typical of what we see in the Pacific Northwest.
Our first road trip took Three4TheRoad on lots of fun adventures! We saw beautiful beaches as we traveled down the coast. We were all alone as far as the eye could see as we explored the massive sand dunes of Oregon. We were awestruck as we wandered through the majestic Redwood Forests. We enjoyed Thanksgiving poolside in Arizona, and we became children again in the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland. Our travels were shorter than we planned our first time out, but we saw a lot of wonderful things and we can’t wait to get out and see some more of this beautiful country of ours! Stay tuned for more adventures!