Disneyland Birthday Trip: Day 4
The last day of the Disneyland portion of our adventure also happened to be MY BIRTHDAY!! We’d already gotten a birthday button for me when we grabbed our 1st Visit buttons, so I was all ready to go!
I’d decided I wanted to start my birthday with a stroll down Main Street and a look at the castle, so that’s what we did. I’d also decided I wanted to wait in line for a few of the more popular Fantasyland rides that don’t offer FastPasses, and 1st thing in the morning was definitely the time for that.
I do love technology, tho. By this point in our trip, we were on our 3rd day in the parks, so we knew our favorites and knew what FastPasses tended to go the quickest. So, despite being in Disneyland, I grabbed a FastPass for Mission: Breakout for our first one.
Anyway, we walked into Disneyland and I was surprised to see how quiet it was. Considering it was a Saturday, I figured the parks would be really crowded. Luckily, with most of Disneyland’s traffic being locals, lots of folks just weren’t around so early. So I took advantage and took tons of castle pics on our way to get in line for Peter Pan’s Flight.
I never use a FastPass for the Disney World version of this ride and I sure as hell don’t wait an hour in line for it, so it’s been awhile for me, but the Disneyland one actually has a few dips that I don’t at all remember from the Disney World version.
After Peter Pan, it was time for an UN-birthday celebration on the Alice in Wonderland ride. This is another storybook ride but it was true to Alice theming, and we even got to ride in a caterpillar.
As far as I’m concerned, if Mickey beignets are an option for a birthday breakfast, there’s really no other choice to make. So we hopped on the train from Toon Town and headed over to New Orleans Square.
I grabbed us a table and hubby got in line for Mickey Beignets (or beignYAYs, as I was calling them all morning).
When we were finishing up, we checked the app and saw Haunted Mansion had a 13-minute wait (I was skeptical of the convenience of that, but whatever) so we hopped in line. While we were waiting, the ride broke down but we were in the shade and had a low wall to sit on, so we waited it out. I forget how long we say there, but it was too long. Plus, a bunch of people abandoned the line after only a couple minutes, so we got into the very first group when things were back up and running.
We were starting to near our Mission: Breakout FastPass, so we went back to the castle for some pictures of us, grabbed some Starbucks (and used a birthday gift card to get the Disneyland Starbucks You Are Here mug), and headed over to Disney California Adventure.
True to the experiences we’ve had the rest of the trip, we stumbled onto a photographer righ by Carthay Circle without a line, so she had us do all sorts of poses and did a magic shot.
As we wandered down the street, we found another photographer without a line by the city backdrop and we got to do more magic shots.
We were about to head for Mission: Breakout but we remembered there’s a Disney Visa character experience right by the little Monsters, Inc. area. There was no line and we walked straight in! And we saw Minnie there, waiting for us!! We were in and out of there so quickly but we still had lots of great interaction with her while we were there.
Hubby decided to run to the bathroom so I sat on a bench without backpack across from the Hyperion. 3 photographers in a row without a line is never enough, so while I waited for him, I asked the photographer right there if she’d take my picture in front of Mission: Breakout while I waited for him.
When he came back, she still had no line, so we did some together, too.
Then, it was finally time to actually ride Mission: Breakout for the 1st time that day! While we waited, we took in more detail in the room with the video and speculated over whether or not there were variations of the ride experience (as far as the music and scenes you see), but when we rode, it was exactly the same as the day prior.
We’d made a FastPass for Radiator Springs Racers, so we immediately headed over to Cars Land!
I was having the best birthday. So many pictures, the weather was perfect, I got to ride my 2 favorite rides back-to-back, and then we went to the Cozy Cone Motel to get bacon mac & cheese in a bread cone for lunch!!
After lunch, we decided to take a swing through Downtown Disney to check out the shops again. We were primarily heading that way to go back to our hotel to drop off the mug I’d bought, and change our clothes. It was actually a bit warmer out than it had been and I had plenty of other shirts and ears to wear, so why not?
We hadn’t yet ridden the Monorail, so we took that back to Disneyland! The Disneyland monorail only has 2 stops: 1 in Downtown Disney and the other in Tomorrowland in Disneyland Park. You can ask to sit in the front, and my hubby went up and told them it was my birthday and asked and the gentleman said it was a possibility. Since we were riding from Downtown, and guests coming from Tomorrowland are not required to get off at the Downtown station, there may already be someone there. Everyone is required to disembark at Tomorrowland station, so if you’re going from there to Downtown Disney, you’ll have a better shot. Anyway, we were 3rd in line and, when the monorail arrived, the people at the front of the line asked to sit in the front, so we didn’t get to. 🙁
But, the Disneyland monorails are situated so differently than Disney World’s! 1st off, you have to sit down – there are no handrails and, therefore, no standing allowed. 2nd, there are seats on either end of the car, facing front and back, and then seats facing side-to-side running up the middle of the car. 3rd, the windows were open! It’s a concept I’ve never even thought about because it’s always so hot and humid in Florida, but, if there is air conditioning in them, it wasn’t on and didn’t need to be.
When we arrived at Tomorrowland station, we saw that Autopia didn’t have too long of a wait (I think it was 20 or 25 minutes) so we got in line for that. Hubby was giving me a hard time because I hate the Tomorrowland Speedway in Disney World, but Autopia didn’t have nearly the same awful smell and the cars didn’t seem as noisy. That did prove to be the case, but it was otherwise extremely similar to the Disney World version.
After we’d used our 1st Mission: Breakout FastPass, we’d snagged another for a little later in the day. So, after Autopia, we headed back to Disney California Adventure, even though we still had a bit of time before the FastPass.
I wanted a beer and to just sit by the water in the Pacific Wharf area of DCA and just relax a little bit. Whenever we travel anywhere, my husband and I make a strong effort to eat at local restaurants (as opposed to nationwide chains) and drink local drinks whenever we can. Even more specifically, we seek out local offerings that are not already sold in Connecticut. Luckily for us, there was a Karl Strauss beer truck in Pacific Wharf, which is local to the area. We both got the Windansea Wheat and a pretzel to share and settled down for a little people (and duck) watching.
When we were done with our beers, we made the quick walk from Pacific Wharf to Mission: Breakout and rode it for our 3rd time. This time, the music and scenes were different! I was so thrilled because the song was a Jackson 5 song that I liked way better than whatever the song was the 1st 2 rides, so I literally danced in my seat throughout the entirety of the ride. We had such a blast and I was a very happy birthday girl!
The next couple FastPasses of the day were in Disneyland, and so was our dinner reservation, so it was back over to Disneyland for us (Remember when I said how easy it is to park hop?? I meant it!). Matterhorn was first, so we went straight over here. We even lucked out that they were looking for a party of 2 and we got to skip ahead even more to jump on.
At this point, you’ve read about every single ride we’ve been on, and we rode everything we liked more than once, which I’m still completely floored by. We went to visit the Small World Wall again, just because.
And even admired the back of the castle some more on our way to Frontierland.
We had time for one more FastPass before dinner, so it was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 1 final time. This is one of those rides that (to me) is pretty tame and yet will always be completely awesome and 1 of my favorites.
Finally, my birthday dinner was in New Orleans Square at Blue Bayou. This restaurant overlooks the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, so I will confess I was a teensy bit disappointed that the ride was closed just because of the dinner aspect (I mean, I was bummed, anyway, because I wanted to ride it).
Regardless, the restaurant has a really cool atmosphere and every bite of food we had was delicious! It was a bit dark for food pictures, but hubby had the surf & turf and I had the salmon. Since there’s no alcohol in Disneyland, I treated myself to this super sweet, fruity lemonade that came with a glowing ice cube, because I’m a 4-year-old at heart. There were only 2 desserts on the menu and it was as if they were there just for us: a chocolate hazelnut cake (hubby’s favorite anything is hazelnut) and vanilla créme brûlée (my favorite dessert ever).
After dinner, we popped over to Buzz Lightyear for 1 final ride. It felt poetic because it was our very 1st ride of the trip, so it was only fitting we finish the trip the same way. I lost, again, but it’s all good.https://magicallylirio.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/img_1041.mov
After Buzz, we went off in search of a sweatshirt because the long sleeved shirt I’d thrown on over my tank top wasn’t cutting it anymore, so we bought a sweatshirt I’d been eyeing before heading to Main Street to wait for Together Forever (the nighttime fireworks show). I knew there were projections on the buildings along Main Street, so even though our feet were pretty tired by this point, we got a spot right near the middle to take it all in. I think one of my favorite parts was, instead of Tinkerbell flying from the castle as you see during Happily Ever After (and, formerly, Wishes) in the Magic Kingdom, Buzz Lightyear took off at the beginning of the show! And, later on, the house from Up flew by the castle! It was really cool.
We popped into a shop as soon as the show ended and found our way to a couple empty chairs off the beaten path to wait out some of the crowds and we opened the app, just for the heck of it, and saw that Radiator Springs Racers only had a 40 minute wait. I figured there was no way that would remain the case by the time we got there. Yes, it’s a short walk, but I was sure we weren’t the only people who saw that short wait time and decided to head in that direction. But, why not? It was my birthday, it was definitely one of my top favorite rides, and we were otherwise just going to head back to the hotel and be sad that the Disneyland portion of the trip was over.
When we got to the ride, it said it had a 65 minute wait. Against all my typical rules, we got in line at 10:45. Shortly after, the ride broke down. We sat and waited for awhile and I said I’d give it til 11:00 and then I wanted to give up. Thankfully, it did start running again in less than 15 minutes (but it sure felt longer than that!). The line moved pretty slowly and we came to realize how my FastPasses really mess with actual standby wait times. We’d see the line advancing the final portion of the queue so many times but it wasn’t our line moving, it was the FastPass line. Since the park closed at 11, the FastPass line eventually stopped and then our line really started moving! We got a maroon car for our final ride and the whole experience was even more magical at night! Seeing the neons in the rest of Cars Land as we cruised around was just so incredible. And we won again!
After that, it really was time to go. But I couldn’t resist a relatively empty Route 66 to snag more pictures. And a kind stranger offered to take our picture for us. It was truly the perfect end to a perfect day and a perfect trip.
Thanks so much for reading about our Disneyland adventures. Next week, I’ll change it up a little and tell you about the 1st day we spent in San Diego!