(continued from yesterday’s post, Disneyland Part 1) …well, we made it to Disneyland for our Disneyland Family Vacation. Whoo! We had tickets for 5 days, and spent 4 of the days there (I’ll tell you what we did on the last day, tomorrow.) It was a great time to go. It wasn’t too hot, the crowds weren’t too bad. It was way fun. Just looking at these pictures makes me want to go back! The boys knew right where they wanted to go first, California Adventure…home to Screamin, the most thrilling roller coaster of the two parks. Can you find Dan and Caden in this picture?? Row 4. I like the older guy in row two…praying that it will be over soon. They were a super nice family that we ran into several times during our stay. This is the part where it does the countdown, “3…2…1…” and everyone SCREAMS.
While Dan and Caden were on Screaming (one of the two rides that my little Isabelle wasn’t tall enough for), we would visit the neighboring rides, like the carousel, Toy Story, or just grab a churro or cotton candy.
While waiting for Dad to come back, the girls wanted to surprise him with their painted faces. Isabelle wanted the swan face, and Audrey wanted mermaid eyes.
Tower of terror is one of those rides where you are sitting in a seat, in a really tall building, and they drop you, over and over again. It’s pretty dang fun, but Shane absolutely hated it. We kinda, well…made him go the first time, thinking he would decide he liked it. It didn’t work, at all. It scared the pants off him, and it didn’t help that his little sister kept rubbing it in, and asking to go again.
This picture was taken the very moment that Shane heard everyone say they wanted to do Tower of Terror again, while devouring a delicious bread bowl. We tried changing the ride’s name to The Terrific Tower of Tulips. But, that didn’t help either. In all the 4 days we were there, Shane refused to go again.
While mostly for the younger kids, we love taking a stroll over to Mickey’s Toontown. You really feel like you are walking in a cartoon! It’s crazy.
In the past, we bought Character Dining to Ariel’s Grotto, so that my girls could see most of the princesses. But, we decided to switch things up this time and do the Character Dining at Goofy’s Kitchen. Luckily, we randomly saw princesses walking around the park.
Here are the kids at Goofy’s Kitchen. They loved it! To me, the food was pretty blah, BUT the kids were in heaven. There were several buffets filled with all the foods that make kids squeal. Chicken nuggets, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, and endless ice scream with a whole slew of toppings. There were lots of funky items like macaroni and cheese pizza, pudding cups “dirt cups” with gummy worms, and so on. Oh, plus they loved the endless refills of chocolate milk. All the kids were asking to eat there again, by the next day.
One of my most favorite parts of Disneyland was riding the roller coasters with my 3 year old, Isabelle. She had me cracking up the whole time. She wasn’t scared even a bit, and had her hands held up high in the air the whole time. I would reach over to make sure she didn’t fly out of the seat, and she would brush my hand away. She was having a blast! Here’s Caden and Audrey sitting in front of us, gearing up for Thunder Mountain Railroad.
I think the most ideal Disneyland trip would be at least 3 days. That way you could do Disneyland one day, California Adventure the next day, and hit all your favorite rides again on the 3rd day. But, if you don’t quite have 3 days there, my kids came up with a list of their favorite must-do rides for you:
Disneyland – Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain Railroad, Small World, and Indiana Jones.
California Adventure – Screamin, Toy Story, Tower of Terror, Soarin Over California.
On this trip, I made a point to try LOT of Disneyland food, so I could give y’all a few recommendations. We had a lot of crappy stuff, but I’ll just tell you about our favorites. I finally went to Cafe Orleans, specifically to try the Monte Cristo sandwich, that I’ve heard so much about. Okay, it was insanely huge…and, I actually didn’t love it. I loved picking off my husband’s plate of dinner crepes, but most of all, we were obsessed with the Pommes Frites. It’s basically french fries with a strong garlic flavor, and Parmesan all over them. They come with a yummy dressing to dip them in. We had an order of them, then had to order more! One of these days, I’ll figure out how to make them. 🙂 If you go to Cafe Orleans, plan on a wait, or I heard you can make reservations. We had to wait an hour.
The whole family loved the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. It was pretty pricey, but it was nice, because it was all you can eat. They brought out ribs, BBQ chicken, baked beans, cornbread, coleslaw, and we loved it all! The only thing that stunk, was the rain. It was pouring on us, and we were eating outside!
Outside of Disneyland, in Downtown Disney, we decided to try out the Rainforest Cafe. We all loved it there. The atmosphere was awesome. They had several huge fish tanks, with some really funky fish. The whole place looks like a rainforest. The ceiling is covered in tree branches and leaves, there is a waterfall, and lots of animal statues to check out. Every 20 minutes (I think that’s what they said), there is a thunderstorm…the lights flash and the thunder rumbles. It’s fun. To top it off, we liked everything we ordered there.
Oh, and I finally got my hands on a Pineapple Float. Hard to share and highly recommended.
After we left, I heard about this place I wish I would have tried…White Water Snacks. Several people say it’s one of their best tips for eating at Disneland. Except, actually it’s in California Adventure. Actually, that’s not quite true, either. It’s by the pool of the Grand Californian Hotel, that is accessed through California Adventure. Essentially, it’s for the guests of the hotel, but other people can walk through to get to it. Apparently, they have the BEST chicken or steak nachos, that have some amazing seasoning, and they beat the park prices. Dang. I’m sad I missed out. But, it’s on my list for next time.
After the 4th day of Disneyland, we decided to venture out a little bit, and spend a little time doing a couple other things that California had to offer. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow!
For even more Disneyland tips and tricks, check out these posts: (Also, be sure to pin my Disney Everything! page for all Disney and family vacation ideas in one place!)
Our Disneyland Family Vacation, Part 1
Guide to Disneyland and California Adventure
Our Favorite Disneyland Tips and Tricks
More Disneyland Tips and Tricks
Avoiding the “Gimmies” While Vacationing at Disneyland