Solo Trip!

I am in LA for work so I decided to drop by Disneyland while I’m here. I figured out that with all my planned trips over the next year it was economical to get an AP so this was my first visit as a pass holder!

I got out of work meetings around 4 and took an Uber for the 90 minute drive to Disneyland (with legendary LA traffic)!

Upon arrival I went straight to Corn Dog Castle, mobile ordering on the way so it was ready as I walked up!

I snapped a few photos on the way there.

My first ride was Incredicoaster single rider. I was done in about 15 minutes.

Next up was Radiator Springs Racers. With single rider I was done in 15 minutes.

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Next was Soarin’. I had to wait 30 min maybe but I shaved a few minutes off when they called for single riders at the loading area.

Last on the docket before DCA closed was Guardians of the Galaxy! I had snagged a fastpass for this one. By the time I was done, I had ridden all major thrill rides at DCA in about 2 hours (except Grizzly - didn’t want to get wet).

I’ll continue with my next stop - Disneyland - in my next post!

PS sorry if some of the photos are squished or upside down. If anyone knows why that happens let me know. I’m doing this on my phone.


Soooo cool. I love DLR.


Just making me even more excited! Can’t wait to see the DLR pics.

I’ve got 318 more days!


Day 1 Part II: Disneyland

So DCA closed at 8pm but I was done with everything I needed by 7:40 so I went to the ticket booth (no wait) to pick up my new Annual Pass!

I then crossed the Esplanade to Disneyland, headed up Main Street, through Fantasyland, and on to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge! I was able to ride the Millennium Falcon after a 25 min wait or so. I got Engineer - the only role I hadn’t done yet. I liked it but you have the worst view of the screen. Front right pilot is still my favorite.

Our crew was all experienced so we did very well on our tasks. I’m not sure if the plot changed at all but it made it a little more fun.

Next I went shopping for souvenirs in Black Spire Outpost. Had to get stuffed Porg, Rey, and Chewie for my kids! I also checked out the Resistance area to see all the starships and evening ran into Rey! She would stop and pose for pictures if asked but there was no formal line. I also saw Chewie pushing a big cart but didn’t snap a pic.

By then it was time for my reservation at Oga’s. I was seated within 5 min and ordered the Cliff Dweller. It is a sort of citrus coconut grenadine non-alcoholic concoction with lots of fine ice chunks, served in a souvenir porg mug. Tasty! And the DJ droid was really fun. Great atmosphere and highly recommended.

By then it was 9:20 or so. My next stop was a MaxPass for Hyperspace Mountain! Other than Guardians it was the only FP I got last night. Not bad with the timing. The wait was maybe 5 minutes. I love the Star Wars overlay - especially the John Williams score!

My last stop was a ride on Big Thunder. It’s my wife’s favorite so I had to ride it for her. :slight_smile: I waited probably 25 min and was in line when the park closed at 10pm.

After departing the Wildest Ride in the Wilderness, the only thing left to do was to take a few pictures on my way out. Christmas was in full bloom on Main Street! Christmas music was playing and the tree was out. A little early for my tastes but can’t complain at Disney.

I had to take a pic of the sign under the railway bridge of course!

It was a magical though quick trip to Disneyland … but I’m on my way back right now and will update with more later!


Thanks for the report and the pictures! I really enjoy riding MFSR at Disneyland, especially in a small party or single rider. There are so many passholders in DL, I have often ridden with others who have ridden before (many times for lots of them), and is such a great ride when everyone already knows how it all works.


Have you ever tried single rider line? On the TP app it said the wait was just as long or longer so I waited standby. I’m curious if this is generally the case.

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Yes, several times. It is almost always short. I no longer look at the TP app wait times since I have been so many times, I can just eyeball how long it will be for the most part. How long was your standby wait?


My standby wait was probably 20-25 min but if felt super fast cause you’re always moving. Counting the line and ride, I was out 32 minutes after entering.


Pretty good for a ride/land that was supposed to be packed!


Day 2 Part I: DCA

My Uber ride today was about 15 min shorter but still 1hr20min from LA to Disneyland thanks to a driver who actually knew how to avoid traffic and USE HOV! I don’t know why my other driver didn’t. For context, the ride home last night without any traffic was 33 minutes.

Side story: my Uber driver last night (different sort of incompetent than the first one) almost got into an accident. And I mean it was super close. He was turning left and there was a pedestrian he didn’t see when he started the turn so he stopped in the middle of the intersection with a muscle car coming 40mph right at me! The car honked but didn’t slow down! I swore audibly and waited to be crunched, but improbably, the guy braked and stopped on a dime inches from our car. Luckily I was on the driver’s side for some reason so I wouldn’t have been hit, but still. Scary!

Anyway, upon arrival at around 5:40, I repeated my favorite rides from last night at DCA, interspersed by a couple smaller but still fun ones. First up: Incredicoaster! Seriously, my favorite ride at DCA now that ToT is gone.

Next I decided to grab a bite of Pizza at the Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta at Paradise Gardens Park. Such a nice area to eat and not crowded! Secret tip. :wink:

After dinner I rode Silly Symphony Swings. I had the longest wait of the night. Well not quite, but it felt like it. I only had to wait one cycle, but it took forever because a single CM had to check the belts of each tandem swing (two swings connected) and strap a social shoulder belt for kids, while two other CMs did nothing. Must require special training. People were not good at being helpful to this process so it took like 5-7 min just to buckle everyone.

The ride was so thrilling and totally worth the frustrating (though not that long) wait. It’s one of my favorites and at night it is even better. You likely have one of these at your local fair but the Silly Symphony music is fun. And there’s nothing like the feeling of putting your arms out and flying through the air with nothing but a few thin cables keeping you from hurtling through the night air into the lagoon!

Next I hustled over to Cars Land and rode Mayer’s Junkyard Jamboree with a 5-minute wait. It definitely isn’t as fun as a single rider but still a good experience to tell the kids about. :wink: Afterward I waited in the single rider line for maybe 15 min to ride RSR. I FaceTimed my wife and kids at bedtime while I waited. Multi-tasking ftw!

After RSR I made my way to Guardians of the Galaxy for the last ride of the night at DCA. I had to wait in line - no FPs were available for anything other than GRR and Goofy by the time I got to the park. I finished just as the park was closing. After the ride I took a peek at the Marvel Land construction, which is adjacent to GotG as well as Cars Land on the opposite side. I also found this lovely sidewalk impression outside the Sorcerer’s Workshop.

I will finish up Day 2 Part II: Disneyland in my next post!


The conclusion of my trip report is still to come, but I was interested to see that TP rated my days as CL 1. Their forecast was 3 and 2, so not far off and a little better than expected.



Love the pics! Congrats on picking up an AP. I have to assume this will be the first of several trips to DLR for the year. I’m jealous! Have fun!


Day 2: Part II: Disneyland Again!

Ok now for the exciting conclusion of my trip report.

Since there were no FastPasses available at DCA when I arrived yesterday evening, I snagged one for Big Thunder Mountain and also one later for Space Mountain. My BTMRR FP ended at 8:15, and since I didn’t leave DCA till after it closed at 8pm, I was pushing it a little on time. To make matters worse, I had arrived into the exodus of people from WOC and park closure.

But it pays to be solo! I was able to slip through the crowds to exit DCA, cross the Esplanade, and enter Disneyland’s turnstiles in no time. I made my way up Main Street and into Frontierland, snapping some pictures along the way. I was in line when the 8:15 cutoff came (but there is a 15-min grace period so I would have been fine).

As I mentioned above, BTMRR is my wife’s favorite ride, so I knew I’d have to repeat it sometime. It is such a blast at night! I highly recommend you ride when it’s dark at least once.

The first picture here is the back side of the turnstiles. It seems that Disney has added a Frozen theme here for the holidays.

Next was Pirates of the Caribbean. Anyone who has been on the ride knows what it means when you see an empty courtyard like this - no wait! Only about five minutes inside the building. It’s one of my favorites, especially the quaint bayou scene at the beginning with the guy playing his banjo on his porch and people dining at the Blue Bayou restaurant on the other side.

I really wanted to get one of the dog with the keys outside the jail cell, but it was tricky with the low lighting and my mere iPhone 8. At least I got a decent one of Jack Sparrow.

Next I had to make a decision - Haunted Mansion or not? The line was 45 minutes due to the holiday overlay, and it’s honestly not one of my favorites. So I skipped it and went straight to Splash Mountain, which is my favorite ride and one that I wouldn’t dare miss even though it was in the 60s by then. I took a few pictures of the French Market and passed through the crowds gathering for Fantasmic.

There was literally no wait for Splash Mountain. I walked right through the queue and when I arrived at the loading platform, they had just boarded another party but were letting some logs go through empty. I was seated in row 3 with the entire log to myself. This was nice because you are much more likely to get drenched the closer you are to the front, and also a heavier log tends to make things worse (especially front heavy). I got away with a light spritzing, aided by keeping my backpack in front of me (which ruins the “GQ” look I was going for, but better to be dry) and lifting my shoes up on the inside edge of the log. This is essential if you want to have dry feet! A better idea is to bring flip flops, which I usually do.

By the way - I love all the quotes in the queue. It makes me so nostalgic every time I see them.

After Splash I had another big decision - Fantasmic or no? It started at 9pm and the park closed at 10, so it would essentially limit me to one more ride and I’d miss out on a couple of snacks I wanted. I was back at the edge of Rivers of America heading to Star Wars GE and I could see the performers on the barges getting ready to go out in front of the crowd. I could hear the music starting and see some of the lighting and effects. It ALMOST drew me in but I told myself I could watch it on YouTube later.

Instead I went to SWGE again and got the blue milk I had been craving! It’s not spectacular but for a SW junky like me it is a must-do. It’s certainly refreshing. While there I took in more of the sights and sounds of Black Spire Outpost one last time. I wish I could easily post all the videos I took - just short snippets that give you a sense for all the sounds of the land. It’s not music - it’s sounds that make the land feel alive, like engines revving, characters talking, droids beeping, equipment humming, starships blasting off, blasters blasting, etc. It’s a small detail that makes the experience more immersive and which I really appreciate.

Next stop was supposed to be a churro in Fantasyland - there is a stand near Casey Jr that is usually not too busy. SWGE exits right by there, so I thought it would be perfect. Unfortunately, it must have closed at 9pm because the cashier was counting his bills and told me he was closed. :frowning: So instead I went to ride the Teacups since I had time before my FastPass and since it’s my kids’ favorite ride and so I had to send them a pic of me on it!

Next my FP window at Hyperspace Mountain had opened up, so I made my way there via the Pixie Hollow area that is currently vacant. It actually didn’t get me any closer to Tomorrowland by the time I was done (the entrance to Tomorrowland can be tricky - don’t try to take a shortcut - I’ve done this more than once! :joy:). But I snapped some pics to show my daughters when I got home.

The wait for Hyperspace wasn’t too bad, but still longer than I’d like when I have a so-called “fast” pass. A girl passed me by in line looking for her phone along the queue. Apparently she lost it and I’ll never know if she found it. Hope she did!

Incidentally, I did not eat at Pizza Planet this time but the pizza at Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta was identical to the last pepperoni, just FYI. It’s fine but goes south really fast if it gets cold, IMO. It’s probably closest to Pizza Hut in nature and quality.

I had about 20 minutes left before park close, and I had one more decision - Peter Pan or Matterhorn? I really love the magic of Peter Pan but it is a kids ride and I didn’t have my kids, so it was my one chance to ride a thrill ride without having to worry about swapping. So I did Matterhorn. That also allowed me to say I rode all the headliner rides in DLR except Star Tours (which makes me sick) and GRR (which soaks you). Also IJ was closed the days I was there :frowning_face:

Matterhorn is actually much better at night. It helps to have the cool night air whipping past your face and also the darkness to conceal the track a little. Also, several years ago they updated the effects and installed not one, but two WORKING Yeti animatronics. Granted, they’re about a quarter the size of the one at EE in WDW, but still quite effective.

The park was closed by the time the ride was done so I got some ice cream from Gibson Girl through mobile order (no wait - why are you waiting in line, people!) and ate it as I walked down Main Street. I snapped a pic of Alice on the way - one of my favorite dark rides but not one I had time for.

By then I was full from all the snacks and I was ready to go home. My only failure was that I hadn’t gotten a churro.

I couldn’t let that statement remain true.

So I got a churro!

It was a great trip and I made good time back to the hotel.

I’m so glad to be an AP, if only for this one year. More trip reports to come, but not for a few months at least, I’m afraid. Maybe RotR opening?


Great photos. Thanks for taking us along. PotC at DLR is easily in my top 5 Disney rides. Nice to see that empty queue!


I hope so! I have at least a few planned to make it worthwhile and I’m hoping to scatter one or two spontaneous ones as well.

It is truly a special attraction! One of the last with that special Walt Disney touch.


thanks for sharing your trip with us! i hope to make it to disneyland sometime (sooner than later as i’ve never been). it’s so very helpful to read trip reports. hope you had a great time!


Loved all your pictures. I love everything about DLR, but there is something extra magical about it at night and even more spectacular during the holidays.


I agree! Every time I turned my head I just couldn’t get over how sparkly everything is. I only wish I had a better night camera!


Here is a video I made with a few dozen small clips of the sights and sounds I experienced on my trip! Second best to being there yourself …


Love the flavor of nighttime and holidays that you captured in these snippets! Welcome to AP-hood & may you always have a next trip on the books!!! And looking forward to hearing any future reports of them :grin: