Lost in the 'land: a first-timer's solo, planless adventure

Howdy! I’m boarding my plane to ATL and then on to SNA for the beginning of my first-ever Disneyland adventure. As an east coast gal, ive been to wdw more than a handful of times, but ive spent about 48 hours total in the state of CA. I originally had direct flights to LAX via breeze airways, and they cancelled those last week and delayed their launch from our airport til february.

This trip came about because a) ive been wanting to visit DL forever b) my mom wanted to take DS for a week for some 1x1 time since she had DD for a week while we were in iceland c) my sitter was available for DD and frankly, a short break from parenting would do me a lot of good. She is in a Stage. Woof.

Anyway, i havent had time for a plan. We just finished a 9n Mediterranean-Greek Isles cruise on the Magic, which even my DH adored, arrived home june 27, had 44 ppl at our house on july 3, and all of the time in between was house cleaning, party prep and catching up on work. So, i have 4 day hoppers, 2n at DLH and 2n at GCH, WOC dessert party ticket and that’s it. Gonna test the theory that you don’t need spreadsheets at DLR, i guess :rofl:

Ill be sharing on insta and fb @debwithmat for my TA business but only the good. Will keep any bad and ugly in this here community of problem solvers :slightly_smiling_face:

So far, im in the back of a completely full flight next to a very snotty 8m old with only an hour to make my connection to SNA. I was offered an upgrade to comfort plus for only $29, but i didnt take it because the only option was a middle seat.

Im supposed to land at 1130a and plan to Uber to DLH. I have a park pass for DL and plan to knock out some single rider stuff, anything w short lines, and a lot of general gawking. I will purchase G+ at some point but not today. Dunno where I’ll eat. I just now switched from Italy time to East Coast time, so we will see how my body handles West Coast time lol.

Anyway, would love to say hi to any liners in the parks now through Sat and will gladly accept any tips and tricks!

Wahoo! Here we go!


SO excited for you and to hear about your first impressions of DL. As one that’s been to WDW, too many times to know, my first visit to DL was magical. I did have a local gal tour guide (first time) but the next two visits were better b/c they were on my own time. Enjoy!!!



Please go to Lamplight Lounge. For me. Because I missed it. And hit up the lounge at Carthay Circle for some good people watching in a perfect setting in the evening. Because I didn’t miss it and it was perfect.

Napa Rose by chance???


brunch there is SO good


That is on the short list. The menu looks amazing



All three?

Or is this the short list? LOL


Have so much fun!! I’m a Floridian now but DLR is home! Can’t wait to visit vicariously through this thread!


And jolly holiday! Also any downtown disney suggestions are welcome.

I am not at all anti traveling w kids. At all. But this baby is so congested it cant drink its bottle and is thus having trouble adjusting to the pressure change. Crying babies i can handle. Sick babies when i walked out of the house without my dang mask (which i know is 100% on me)… well, cross your fingers that this baby gets some relief and that i stay well.


Have all the fun!


Baby is sleeping. 8 months. So stinkin cute. SO, dining:

La brea
Salt & straw
Black tap/crazy shake for the 'gram

Trader Sam’s… i set a ton of alerts so :crossed_fingers:
Goofy’s? (OR see below)

Napa breakfast
Storytellers (OR goofys OR see below)

Pym test kitchen for the gram
Adorable snowman (suggestions?)
Lamplight lounge
Maybe an app at carthay?

Character bfast at plaza? (OR goofys OR storytellers… thoughts?)
Jolly holiday
Hungry bear for the peach tea slush


  1. Any glaring omissions?
  2. Which character meal?
  3. Favorites at any of the above?

The buffets i would like to limit because my appetite makes it a bit of a waste (seriously if youre struggling w extra weight try ozempic. Magic.) So i wanna just pick one. I graze pretty well but cant do a big 3 course meal.


Does walkup/wait list too - this was about Trader Sams. Why did it quote the whole post and only highlight what I quoted? Weird.

OK and now it updated so I look crazy


Pixie dust #1 of the trip: i had a tight connection in ATL but we were on time AND this happens to be the plane i will be taking to SNA! no running to the plane train!


Lots of disney shirts and luggage on this flight!


You have to go to Bengal Barbecue in DL. Have. To. It’s required. Definitely the qs I was most jealous of as a WDW regular. I really wish we had something similar somewhere in WDW.


Including my fave walmart find.

Checking out bengal menu now. I read bbq and immediately dismissed because i can get good bbq at home. But seeing @LTinNC82 recommend has me reconsider since, ya know, NC


Oh now that ive read the menu, i might need that TODAY.


I want to see your backpack, are their Mickey shapes on those straps?


I’m freshly back from a trip, sitting in my cube, dreaming about Bengal BBQ meat skewers. Unless you don’t like juicy grilled meat with delicious sauces, you really must go.


It’s from the Lilly Pulitzer Disney Parks collection. I also have the shirt!


Oh that’s pretty and cheerful. I see ppl wearing that collection all over the parks.