The Happiest Place
Before going back to my university apartment, I made one last stop at home in California.
The last time I was home in California, my family went to Pasadena for a day trip. This time we wanted to take a day at Disneyland.
My mom and I took a trip to Disneyland to celebrate the end of summer, and to see the Mainstreet Electrical Parade before it leaves the park.
It’s been nearly 5 years since my mom visited the parks, and just over a year for me. We decided on a couple park hopper tickets, and to spend the day at the parks. I was excited to show my mom both parks with all the new changes to both.
Disneyland is one of my favorite places for a number of reasons. I love disney in all shapes and forms, and being immersed in it does make me really happy. However, the reason it makes me so happy is more than just being surrounded by Disney characters.
As I walked around the park, I thought about how Disneyland doesn’t feel like an amusement park to me. Growing up in Southern California, I’ve had my fair share of trips to Six Flags, Universal, Knott’s and Disneyland. Disneyland has always felt more like an experience than a place to see a collection of roller coasters.
It personally feels like an alternate reality, where work and school don’t exist, and I can be 100% present with the whoever I’m with at the parks. It makes me happy and feel very fortunate I live so close to a place where I can spend time with friends or family.
We were lucky the park wasn’t too crowded, and could pretty much move freely around the park. My mom and I both love to ride Space Mountain, and we started off there at 10am on a roller coaster.
One of my absolute favorite rides at Disneyland is the Jungle Cruise. It’s often forgotten because people are so focused on getting on Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Indiana Jones, etc.
Of course the ride greatly depends on your Skipper, since it is an actual cast member taking you through the jungle, and the dialogue can vary. I’ve also been on the ride at night, and I have to say you think it’s going to be dull because it’s dark. It actually really steps up the Skipper’s role and takes it to a whole new level of extra.
One of my other underrated favorite parts of the park is Toon Town. People often don’t get to that part of the park because there aren’t as many attractions in that section.
I love Toon Town because I love the film it was based on, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
It’s also home to one of my favorite rides, Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin. The experience on the ride is greatly enhanced by having familiarity with the film. It is a dark ride with an element of being able to spin your taxi cab (similar to the component in the Mad Tea Part tea cups).
We had a good time making our way through Adventureland and Frontierland with a round up of Indiana Jones Adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion and Winnie the Pooh.
We took a little break from Disneyland in the middle of the day and hopped into California Adventure for a couple hours. It’s been about two years since I had been to California Adventure, so it was interesting to see the changes over there. My mom hadn’t been to California Adventure since the park was remodeled, following the addition of World of Color.
Around 2010-ish, Disney added the night water and light show, World of Color, to the California Adventure park. This was the first attraction completed as the park oversaw rethemeing and rennovation for several years. The California Adventure park was initially designed to pull together all the greatest things from the state of California into one simulation (hence, California Adventure). A large portion of the attractions were under construction from around 2009 to about 2013.
It is complete now, and the park has been expanded to include Cars Land.
I was so excited to show my mom Cars Land, and some of the parts of the park that had been reconstructed. We took a trip through Radiator Springs, so my mom could see how they simulated the town into the park.
We then took a ride on California Screamin’. Aside from the Guardians Mission: Break Out (Formerly the Tower of Terror), it’s one of the biggest thrills in the park. It’s a classic and one of our favorites.
I also had a chance to see the Hyperion theater headlining Frozen (from the outside).
We also rode Toy Story Midway Mania, which is a dark ride with an arcade game theme. Guests wear 3D glasses and play arcade games to compete against each other. My mom and I had a lot of fun and she had never been on the ride before, which made it super fun.
Back to Disneyland
We hopped back to Disneyland for the afternoon, and got in some of our favorites, including the Matterhorn.
For dinner, we stopped by my favorite restaurant in the park Rancho del Zocalo next to Thunder Mountain, and across from the Ferry.
For a little treat before our evening events, my mom and I stopped for some Dole Whip. It’s my favorite treat in the park, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet treat in the park.
While we waited for the parade to start, we got on Small World. I really enjoy Small World, and I feel I notice different little characters every time I ride it. My mom also hadn’t been on it in awhile so we had fun finding all the little character in the ride.
We also got in our ride on Jungle Cruise, with our fantastic skipper, Jon, and his jokes about how he got his boat.
We did a little shopping on Mainstreet and in Fantasyland (which is my favorite land in the park). I picked up one of the Starbucks You Are Here mugs for Disneyland.
Mainstreet Electrical Parade
Paint the Night was my favorite parade, so I was really excited for the Mainstreet Electrical Parade. I saw commercials for it all summer long and I wanted to see it before it ended its run.
It stayed true to the classic Mainstreet Electrical Parade. Disney characters from this century were no where to be seen in this parade. We found an elevated spot because I wanted to try to take photos.
If I was a pass holder again, I’d take a day with my Canon to take photos around the park. It’s bulky to carry the camera around, but I’d really like to take some photos of the parades.
I loved the Mainstreet Electrical Parade, and I thought it was so cute. The music is catchy and the costumes are so cute. We waited over half an hour to hold our spot, so I was glad the parade was a little longer. Sometimes they pass by so quickly it feels like you waited for something so short. This one ran decently long, probably a good 15 or 20 minutes. I’m so happy I got to see it before it ended its run, it was so fun!
After that, we decided it was time to go home. I’m honestly not a huge fan of the Fireworks shows. I hate packing in with hundreds of people to watch, so I didn’t mind skipping the show.
This was one of my favorite trips this summer and it was such a fun way to end the summer! x