My first DL trip

This is copied from my Disboards on FB post, but I just wanted to share here, and thank all of you who answered my questions. We had a GREAT time, and it was everything I’d hoped it would be.

"So, for those that asked about my first trip to Disneyland, here goes. (If you don’t like long posts, stop here.) My first trip to WDW was in 1975, when it was just the Magic Kingdom. I have stayed both on and off property, gone with my parents, my kids, just my husband, and now 2 trips with grandkids. Still always wanted to walk where Walt walked, and got my husband to agree for our 35th anniversary.

We arrived at the Grand Californian a little after noon on Saturday, and our room was ready. While I wanted to run right into the park, hubby felt the need to unpack first (grrrr). Headed into DL to start day 1. Maxpass is the way to go. Love the fastpasses, love that photos are included, loved it WAY more than FP+. We had no problems with the app, with WiFi, or getting what we wanted, even on a VERY busy day.

Dinner at Blue Bayou was every bit as wonderful as you all told me. However, HOW did I miss that “preferred seating” for Fantasmic! meant a cushion on the ground? My bad…but it was pretty awful for two chubby middle-agers with back and knee problems. The SHOW was wonderful, not awful, but I still like the one @ WDW better. That being said, the fireworks were AMAZING, and the castle overlays projected onto the water brought tears to my eyes.

Day 2 @ California Adventure with EMH. We were there @ rope drop, rode the Incredicoaster twice in a row (front row!) and did almost everything we wanted by 10:20 am, except for our Radiator Springs FP @ noon. Early lunch at Lamplight Lounge was perfect. Ran back to DL for Haunted Mansion before naptime for hubby and pool/hot tub time for me! Dinner @ Carthay Circle and preferred seating for Paint the Night (in real seats!) What an amazing parade! I LOVED California Adventure. Loved the “private entrance” from the hotel, loved that it felt SO much like Hollywood Studios one minute, and then I would turn around and realize, oh no, definitely not Florida!

Day 3, back to DL. My niece and her husband and almost 2 year old joined us for the day. Got stuck on the Casey Jr. train, but no worries! Ice cold water and extra fast passes made up for it. Family pool time, and then hubby and I went to Napa Rose for our anniversary dinner. Chef’s counter was worth every penny.

I tried to experience the things that are unique to California…Storybook land canal boats, the Halloween overlays, Cars Land, etc. (Matterhorn and WOC closed, boo hoo!) I tried not to compare CA to FL. DL has so much less acreage, and yet has SO much to do. I loved Maxpass. I loved not taking boats/trams/buses/monorails. I loved being so close that scheduling a little “downtime” was easy. We splurged on a lot of things; hotel, meals, etc, but for us it was a once in a lifetime trip.

On our last day, we had a character breakfast @ Storytellers with my niece and her family. My most magical moment was when Minnie Mouse began signing with my great-nephew, who is deaf. I was just stunned. Brings me to tears whenever I think about it. Disney magic is Disney magic, no matter what coast you’re on, y’know?

So we packed up, headed to Las Vegas to continue celebrating…but that is a trip report for a different board! Thanks for reading!"


What an awesome trip! Thank you for sharing! I am in the process of doing the opposite… I am DL veteran and I am in the process of planning a trip to WDW (my first to the beast coast).


Have a magical trip! I will be taking a little break from Disney for the next year or so…Disney Cruise, 2020, I hope!

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I am trying to squeeze in as many trips as possible before SWGE opens in each park, then I will be taking a break as well. I want to start saving for Tokyo in hopefully 5ish years.

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Aww, happy (belated) anniversary! And such a great reason to come out to such a special place. but hopefully it won’t be another 35 yrs (or even close) before you consider coming back :wink:

The projections come out best in the Rivers of America than anywhere else in the park (IMHO) so I always feel the most emotional about the projections here. Everywhere else, I’m also moving back & forth between watching the FWs themselves & the projections both so I maybe that’s why I feel that way. But yes, I seem to cry every time I watch the projections from Rivers of America but not as much as everywhere else.

Quite the nice seats too!:wink: I always jealously stare at them when we watch from one of our favorite spots just across from entrance to Carthay Cirlce.

This is probably one of my favorite pro’s about DL being so compact.

:heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes: What an awesome pixie-dust-filled moment here. Warms my heart.

^^ TRUTH ^^

:laughing::laughing::laughing: What a great celebration (both in Disney & Vegas)!

Sounds like you had an amazing time & did Disneyland right with focusing on what is unique & enjoying the beauty of the Grand Californian. Thanks for sharing!


Thank you for the well wishes! While I may never get my husband to do the trip again, my daughter would love to go! So, we’ll see… :grinning: