A Year of Disney: "Let's Pretend We're Not Parents for a few Days" Jan 24-26 2020

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
My goal for this trip was to stick closer to 20k steps instead of 30k. In other words, take it a little easier, not so guerilla-style. Stop and enjoy ourselves, and not wear our(old)selves out! Kiiinda failed on Friday.


Though I didn't get to sleep until after midnight, we slept decently. I told DH it was okay if he was exhausted and wanted to sleep in a little the next morning, since we had already made it on ROTR. He said I could even go over without him if I wanted to try for a boarding group again. We left it up in the air, but he ended up getting up with me (more or less) and we made it to security at 7:18 (for an 8 am Saturday opening). As you can imagine, the lines were insane. We got in two different lines (one of which was/was not an EE line, according to different cast members - the line right down the middle at the handicap accessibly gate). His line ended up moving way faster once they started letting people in, so once he got ahead of the monorail, I joined him in his line. We got through the gates at 7:42 AM. I hung around for about 5 minutes, then I decided to hop over to CA and try my luck there, with less people. He stayed in DL, just for fun. (We're both a little introverty, and don't mind splitting up occasionally.) I was more than happy to skip over to empty entrance lines while we waited in the crush of humanity.





California Adventure was as empty as I've ever seen it, and that was at opening on a Saturday morning. I had zero trouble getting group 38, and was soaking in all the people-less-ness. :) I got onto the Guardians ride at 8:10 AM, and our elevator wasn't even all the way full...








DH said he was already over in CA and would be on Guardians soon, so I ran over and had my very own the-car-formely-known-as-a-Superstar-Limo to myself on Monsters, Inc (8:19 am). DH didn't care to ride that one, and the lines had always been way longer than I was interested in the day before, so that was fun. I've definitely never gone on Monster's Inc in the first half hour of opening! Then I made my way down Main St. and jumped in line super fast to get some pictures with Goofy. I don't think I have any pictures with him, actually. Maybe ever. (I have one of my kids with him) And DH got to skip that line (about 5-7 minutes) and the picture-taking, which made him happy. 🤣







DH joined me, and we headed for the Pier. We had a fastpass for TSMM, and took advantage of the short Incredicoaster line before that (8:40 am). We usually waited for the front, but not this time. Still a great ride! It was cold that early in the day though!




Our FP wasn't up for a few more minutes, so we went to check out the new Emotional Whirlwind (no wait really, 9:07) ride up close. Not any more exciting than in its previous incarnation, but very, very cute. We saw Bo Peep strutting around, and considered playing a boardwalk game, since we've never done that. But decided to just go ahead and use our TSMM fp (9:15 am), since it was time for that.






I aaaaalways lose to DH on TSMM, and I came so flipping close this time! Right up until the end I thought I was going to win, but he was faster/smarter at the last bonus round. Argh. Maybe next time. (I usually win at Buzz, and when we went and did Laser tag the other night, I was number 8 out of 35 players, many of which were tweens and teenagers. Not bad for an approaching-middle-age mom...)





We grabbed another quick ride on The Little Mermaid (9:35 am) on our way over to Carsland, and then waited about 25(!) minutes for Mater's Junkyard Jamboree(10:12 am) while we waited for our RSR fastpass to come up. Despite a quiet start, the crowds were building fast! DH enjoyed getting some looks at the Avenger's Campus construction. He loves construction and buildings. I've learned to appreciate them. More or less.




We got in the RSR fastpass line, and stopped (like that's how long the line really was) closer to the entrance than I ever have before! I was nervous, but it only took us a little over 15 minutes to get on. (10:47 am) Then we were ready to head over to Disneyland for a while!

 

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
We entered Disneyland at 11:12 AM and jumped directly on the railroad. I think we probably rode it around to Toontown, because we were walking into Galaxy's Edge at 11:35 on our way to redeeming our boarding group.


We scanned into ROTR at 11:45, and the line was moving fairly well, and seemed shorter than the day before! Ha. Until it completely shut down at 12:00. I knew that this was a minimum 45 minute wait, so we settled in, got comfy, and broke out the snacks an entertainment. We were supposed to meet up with friends at California Adventure for lunch at about 1 (we used to go to church with them, until we moved this summer, and have known them for like 7 years) so I texted them to let them know there was a good chance we wouldn't make it. We made a delightful friend during out wait, Emiliy, who was there for a morning solo trip. By the time the line finally started moving at 12:57, we had become a party of 3 instead of a party of 2, and had fun riding together. :) Those are my favorite parts of Disneyland: the unexpected connections. The only downside to that wait is that DH dropped his iPhone XR and now has a big crack across the screen. 😢 It's not quite bad enough that he wants to spend a couple hundred to fix it, so he's just dealing with it.





We were pretty hungry by now, so we mobile ordered some food from the Bengal BBQ. My beef was somewhere in between the amazing medium that it was in November and the "meh" well-done that it was in December.


We were kind of trying to figure out what we were doing with ourselves, but decided we were going to be smart old people and go back to the hotel for a couple hours to make sure we would feel up to staying late-ish that evening. I can't remember why, but we split up to wander for a few minutes on our way back to the entrance. I rode the horseless carriage from the hub to city hall, which I'd never actually done before. It's been fun with this AP getting to do some of those things!


DH was waiting for me on the train station platform by the time I got there, and was enjoying taking some pictures. So glad it was just his screen that cracked, and that his phone didn't get any other damage!




We left the park at 2:15 and took the (seemingly) long walk back to the Wyndham, where we rested for several hours (neither of us are nappers more than 1-2 times a year) before heading back into the parks just before 4:30. I did take that time to stack a few FP's for later.



It was weird to see the scrim all up over Snow White, and on the Carousel as well. Really impacted the feel of Fantasyland. :-/ We had a FP for the Matterhorn (4:55), which is usually a one-and-done for us because of how rough it is! But I still enjoy it.



We wandered over through Frontierland on our way out of the park, on our way to CA to use our Guardians fastpass. That time of day is so beautiful!


 
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hpygrll

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 6, 2000
I just love Disneyland! Your trip looks like so much fun. It's so nice to have an AP and be able to really take your time and enjoy knowing you'll be back.
 
  • Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    I just love Disneyland! Your trip looks like so much fun. It's so nice to have an AP and be able to really take your time and enjoy knowing you'll be back.
    It really is! I still go often with people who haven't been or for whom this is an infrequent trip, so we hit it all hard. But it is nice to be able to relax and enjoy the small things here and there too.
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    I don't know about the rest of you, but we've been a little numb lately, just watching the world fall apart a little bit, and suddenly without the constants our life held before. We always go to church, and now we don't go TO church. The kids have school, but now they don't really, at least until fall. Business has been steadily improving for 5 years, but suddenly that's a little iffy too. Thankfully, my husband is technically healthcare, so no one should tell him he can't work, but obviously people are staying home unless they are having a problem. I'm always looking forward to our next Disneyland trip, and now that's unknown. I had a trip planned for the first week of May with 3 high school friends that I was looking forward to a lot that's totally not happening. I have a trip planed with my 9-year-old mid June that we're waiting to see what happens with. It's just weird, and none of us are sure what to do. So, I guess I'll try to catch up and get this trip report finished, and maybe someone will enjoy it. And hopefully things will settle down soon!

    It was time for my favorite ride again! (5:30 PM) It never gets old! (unless my stomach isn't cooperating, but it mostly behaved itself this trip, thankfully)



    We grabbed some more Photopass pictures with our 2nd day shirts (DH ordered his, and I made mine. I thought I could make it look like his, but when I actually started doing it, it was going to be a HUGE mess to try to accomplish that. So I scraped everything off and started again, and just went with a galaxy-ish look with some of the same shades)



    We also had a FP stacked for Incredicoaster, so we headed over to the Pier. Really, really hoping Marvel land or whatever will open sometime this summer still, and that that opening will be such that they can open up the path to Carsland again!! The Incredicoaster (6:17 PM) at night is awesome. I'm glad we got to do that!




    It was time to meet up with our friends from home (the ones we used to live near and go to church with, but we moved across town this summer). We were supposed to meet at the Pacific Wharf. It was a little insane seating-wise there 6:30 PM, especially looking for a table for 6, but we finally found a seat and ordered our food. (Jeremy and I) I got this lovely little salad from Cocina Cucamonga, which I really enjoyed, and healthy-ish, which my body appreciated.)

    Our friends showed up (One couple have Deluxe AP's along with their teenage kids, and love Disney. The other couple have adopted 8 kids through foster care, and don't get to go very often, but use credit card rewards to save up for fun trips like this, and are good friends with the first couple). We had a delightful dinner, and laughed and talked for over an hour and a half before we went our separate ways.


    We wanted to head back over to spend the rest of our evening in Disneyland, and we found a remarkably short line at the Carsland sign on our way out (8:25 PM), and another short line at the entrance to Main Street. DH was such a trooper about pictures, haha.




    We had time before our Big Thunder Mountain fastpass, so we decided to see something DH had never done, and I hadn't done in many years: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. A show was just starting as we went in (8:45), so we didn't have time to check out the inside of the Opera House. It was interesting to think about how they used an actual life mask made of Lincoln just weeks before his death to make his animatronic face. So much interesting history there.



    We saw Mickey and Minnie together (running around having fun more than stopping and taking pictures - I love that about Disneyland!) and I can't remember what else we were going to do before our fastpass, because I got distracted by this:

    I didn't realize there were still live dance events that happened at Disneyland, and I was entranced. I sat and watched the dancers for probably 15 minutes while DH found a bathroom. It's possible I could have sat there all night. I am not skilled at dancing, but I love to watch people dancing like that, especially when many of them had awesome costumes going on as well! I didn't take any pictures, but I have some video.

    At 9:10 it was time for our fastpass on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Yay! Fantasmic was happening during our ride, which was awesome.



    After that, we decided it was finally time to stand in the line for Smuggler's Run. The wait time had been 45-50 minutes most of the day, but said it was down to 30 minutes. (accurate) It was interesting to wait in the regular line and see the theming and animatronics finally. AND we got chosen to be the pilots, which I was also psyched about. A 30 minute line, at 9:30 at night, for oldish people who are almost done with their second day at Disney is a bit of a sacrifice! 🤣 We were well-rewarded though, and I even ended up right-hand-side pilot (10:03 PM) and got to take the ship to hyperdrive, which thrilled my inner Star-Wars-geek-from-high-school self. I think we did a pretty decent job of piloting, and we didn't crash too often. It was a little crazy to try to figure out where we were supposed to be going though. I'm not great at video games...






    We walked over through Fantasyland, and had a walk-on ride on Dumbo (11:02 PM). I love anything in Fantasyland at night, and was feeling a little sad that the carousel was closed. That's so pretty at night with all the lights.


    We had a fastpass to ride Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters (11:30), and then did a walk-on for the Astro Orbiter (. I wasn't sure my stomach would handle it, but I was careful, and didn't move it around too much, and it did okay. I was glad, because DH didn't remember ever riding that one.




    That was our last ride of the night, and we trekked back to our hotel, completely worn out. :) I also failed at my "goal" of staying closer to 20k steps Saturday. By the time we got back to the hotel, I was actually at about 34k steps...
     
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  • Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Day 3!
    You see, I wasn't sure which days we were going to end up being in the parks, so just in case, I had reserved Sunday as well. (Friday was a "free" day on my flex pass). DH had a chiropractor in the area that had been wanting to get together with him and exchange some starting-a-business ideas, so they arranged to have breakfast at our hotel, and off I skipped to the Parks at 7:25 AM! (For an 8 am opening)
    I actually made rope drop, which surprised me. I had originally considered scanning into Disneyland to just observe the craziness that is/was boarding passes, but the lines were way too long to tempt me. I scanned into California Adventure and waited for just a few minutes until we were let through towards Guardians of the Galaxy! (8:15 AM)





    And one more time! (8:35 AM)





    After my second Guardians ride, I finally decided to take this little Groot friend home with me. I've always worried about the magnetic shoulder one (even though he's super adorable) because I didn't want to be messing with trying to take him off before a faster ride, or worrying about losing him halfway through. This one was better because he can grab onto my backpack instead, and I always have a bag with me!


    I don't mind waiting in line for characters when I'm by myself, so I jumped in a pretty short line for Minnie (8:50 AM), and then had a nice awkward encounter, as I usually do when I'm alone. :P




    I headed over and walked around the Pier, then did an immediate FP return on Goofy's Sky School (9:15 AM), since I hadn't ridden that one in a while. I rode with a cute little kid, with his dad and sibling behind me.



    I wanted to ride Soarin' again, and had grabbed a FP for it a little earlier, and it was time to ride (9:35)! So, you know how you should always shoot for B1 if you can to get the best ride? You should also really avoid being on the very bottom, very side. Worst view of Soarin' ever! It was fine, but I would aaaalways wait for the next set of people if I was going to get that seat with someone who has never ridden, or will only have one ride that trip. It was a little crazy. No big deal, since I had already ridden this trip, but it was a totally different experience.




    I had heard I should try a breakfast at the Jolly Holiday (I'd never eaten any kind of breakfast in the park - we're always taking advantage of prime time for rides!) so I mobile ordered a delicious-sounding croissant sandwich, then hopped over to Disneyland!


    It was so weird to be there for just a few hours and not really have much on my agenda. Nice, but weird. There was already a wait on the mobile order, and I had about 20 minutes still, so I hung out and stood in line to meet Goofy. I don't think I've ever had my picture taken with him before, but this trip I did it twice, in two different styles! I was really happy to get his classic look.



    I headed over to the Jolly Holiday and found a table I could wait and and people watch. Also, the Dapper Dans came out and were singing over on Main Street, which was fun. My croissant was delicious, of course, and I got a cute AP mobile order pin with it!







    It was 10:30 AM and I had probably another hour and a half before Jeremy would be ready to pick me up. What to do next?


     

    disneycat321

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 13, 2013
    We ran into one of those swing dance events back in October, and it was so fun to watch! We had never seen it before. We've been to Disneyland many, many times, but never managed to be in the right place at the right time, I guess!

    I am a trip report lurker, but I always love yours. This trip looks like it was so much fun! You're making me really want to do a trip that's longer than 2 days, which is the most we've done. We were locals with APs for 5 years a few years back, so our DLR experiences have always been more of the quick trips, sometimes a full day, and only up to 2 full days at a time since then. I love the idea of being able to take the 3rd+ day(s) at a much slower pace and enjoy all the little things. Like eating breakfast - we love DLR breakfast, but like you, never want to use up that prime ride time!
     
  • Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    I like the Mickey head Galaxy t-shirt you made. great job.
    Thanks! I like how it turned out, but I wish it was on a better (read: more comfortable) t-shirt. I need to get some good blank ones. This one is from Wal-mart, and it's a men's shirt, since most of the blank women's shirts are more knit and don't have a great surface for decorating.

    We ran into one of those swing dance events back in October, and it was so fun to watch! We had never seen it before. We've been to Disneyland many, many times, but never managed to be in the right place at the right time, I guess!

    I am a trip report lurker, but I always love yours. This trip looks like it was so much fun! You're making me really want to do a trip that's longer than 2 days, which is the most we've done. We were locals with APs for 5 years a few years back, so our DLR experiences have always been more of the quick trips, sometimes a full day, and only up to 2 full days at a time since then. I love the idea of being able to take the 3rd+ day(s) at a much slower pace and enjoy all the little things. Like eating breakfast - we love DLR breakfast, but like you, never want to use up that prime ride time!
    Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! It really was a nice trip. I'm so glad we took it, especially how things are now. :-/ It may be a while since my husband is back there, since he gets slight panic attacks when he tries to wear a mask, and strongly disapproves of sanitizer-anything-not-natural. :P He would probably enjoy more social distancing in lines though, haha! I'm hoping to get more of those half days in the future where I just chill!

    Great TR! Thanks for sharing your fun, it's definitely nice to be able to live through others right now.
    Right? I've kind of been avoiding thinking about Disneyland because it makes me kind of sad right now, but I'm trying to think more positively!
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Time to check another "I've Never Done That!" off my Disneyland list: I headed over to wait for the Sailing Ship Columbia (10:50), which was making the rounds this trip because the Mark Twain was under a short refurbishment. Something else I've never taken the time to do, especially considering I barely rode the Mark Twain a full circle for the first time during the last year. I don't like being "trapped" somewhere like that if I suddenly realize it's taking far too long, I think! Does that even make sense? But I thoroughly enjoyed my ride around the Rivers of America, and enjoyed checking out how it looked below deck. I really can't imagine living on a ship like that with a bunch of other people for weeks and maybe even months at a time. There's just not that much room down there! It was super interesting though, and I recommend it if you haven't done it!







    I had a fastpass for BTMR, my favorite at Disneyland, and boarded at 11:25 AM. Such a great ride. It never gets old!


    I wanted one last Disneyland treat before I headed out to meet my husband. Enter popcorn. I love baked goods and chocolate/nuts/ice cream, and I'm not a fan of hard candy or sugary drinks at all, but salty or savory snacks are kind of my favorite! And since I was by myself, of course I had to do a small photo shoot with (what was left of) my popcorn before I left. :)



    I'm a horse freak from way back, so I always get a little thrill when I see these beautiful giants!


    Time to say "so long for now!" I headed out of the park (11:50) AM and went to the World of Disney, where Jeremy was puzzle shopping. He loves puzzles. I do not. We do have one of a map of Disneyland that I don't mind helping with, but I just don't enjoy them... I had to grab a picture of the fun Honda Odyssey on my way over. I think we have one from last April of the Get Your Ears on one.


    We also stopped in the Lego store and bought a bunch more minifigures (we have a full complement of each Disney set thanks to much package-feeling when they came out) because they were on sale and we wanted to bring one to each of the kids. Then we walked through part of the Disneyland hotel on our way out, and used this awesome tiny bathroom. It was seriously so cool.




    We also walked through the Frontierland? tower and I loved this model!


    We were soon on our way home, and enjoyed some yummy lunch after driving a few hours. It's always fun to pay regular food prices after being at DLR for a few days. Everything seems so affordable! 🤣 I had also taken -two- Bonines to see if they helped my motion sickness even more, and apparently they can make you sleepy, because I totally slept for 45 min or so on the way home, and I rarely sleep in the car. We'll have to try more experimentation. I only went on 4 rides that morning, so I didn't have any real effects.




    Well, that's it! It was a great trip! I don't know if I took enough video to make a little video clip set yet, but we'll see. I still need to do it for my last two trip reports from November and December and I need to get working on my most recent trip from March, a few days before the resort closed!!



     

    tenneycjt

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2016
    Thank u so much for posting this. I was there march 8th thru march 12th. With my mom who is 82 and on oxygen, we try to go twice a year and have a trip planned in nov, But now with my diabetes and her high risk status, who knows when we can go again. It brings a tear to my eye, she has so little to look forward too and she loves dianeyland. Our lasttrip was so nice too,I hope Disney will look out for high risk guests too. I've read many of your other reprts and enjoyed them all.
     

    RedHotMama

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 5, 2016
    Oh, Jaina (Sara), I don't know where to start! I loved reading your trip report over the last two days! I laughed, and even cried a little.
    I haven't visited the disboards for over a year and a half. Two weeks after our last trip in Sept 2018, my husband lost his job of over 16 years. He hated his job, but it was still a huge blow for us, since I'm a SAHM. I couldn't even think about DL, not knowing when we would be able to afford to go back. It just made me sad. We had it really rough. Until the quarantine started, actually. My husband has had so much work the last few months that we're financially better than ever. And I picked up a flexible part time job that is really fun for me and all my money is going to our vacation fund. So now we have money for a trip!... and everything is closed. Lol. But at least I can look forward to a trip eventually!
    Anyway, I think the thing I missed most about the disboards was your trip reports. You're very relatable. And I feel we have a lot in common. I have a feeling we would be good friends in real life.
    And so it made me so happy to see that you have been having a fantastic Disney year! (Sorry the lockdown has messed up some of your plans! I hope you can reschedule!) This is the first report I've read and I'm looking forward to catching up on your Nov and Dec trips.
    Also, I LOVE your copper ears!
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Thank u so much for posting this. I was there march 8th thru march 12th. With my mom who is 82 and on oxygen, we try to go twice a year and have a trip planned in nov, But now with my diabetes and her high risk status, who knows when we can go again. It brings a tear to my eye, she has so little to look forward too and she loves dianeyland. Our lasttrip was so nice too,I hope Disney will look out for high risk guests too. I've read many of your other reprts and enjoyed them all.
    Thanks so much for commenting! I was actually there March 9th and 10th too, and need to start my report! I hope they can get a good system figured out soon so we can all still have some magic while staying safer!

    Oh, Jaina (Sara), I don't know where to start! I loved reading your trip report over the last two days! I laughed, and even cried a little.
    I haven't visited the disboards for over a year and a half. Two weeks after our last trip in Sept 2018, my husband lost his job of over 16 years. He hated his job, but it was still a huge blow for us, since I'm a SAHM. I couldn't even think about DL, not knowing when we would be able to afford to go back. It just made me sad. We had it really rough. Until the quarantine started, actually. My husband has had so much work the last few months that we're financially better than ever. And I picked up a flexible part time job that is really fun for me and all my money is going to our vacation fund. So now we have money for a trip!... and everything is closed. Lol. But at least I can look forward to a trip eventually!
    Anyway, I think the thing I missed most about the disboards was your trip reports. You're very relatable. And I feel we have a lot in common. I have a feeling we would be good friends in real life.
    And so it made me so happy to see that you have been having a fantastic Disney year! (Sorry the lockdown has messed up some of your plans! I hope you can reschedule!) This is the first report I've read and I'm looking forward to catching up on your Nov and Dec trips.
    Also, I LOVE your copper ears!
    Aw, you made me tear up a little too! That is so sweet of you to miss me, haha! :) I totally understand though. There are -years- where I've mostly avoided this board, because a trip was just NOT in the finances and/or life stage (ie pretty much any time I'm pregnant or have a baby, though I got a little optimistic/crazy in 2016 and took a baby anyway, haha). Though finances have been looking up the last few years, we're in a downturn right now (like many people) and it's been a little stressful. I'm glad the quarantine has actually helped some people - that's good!! I'm glad we took a family trip last April, and I'm so grateful for my pass (and my own part time job) so I can make a bunch of little trips once it opens again. I still need to get solo trips in with DD9/10 and DS13 and a double trip with the littles (DS6 and DD4) while my pass is valid. And a trip with 3 of my best high school friends that we had planned for May, that we can hopefully reschedule. That was a sad one to miss!
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Oh, I also made a little video of our trip the other day. You can watch it HERE!
     

    CO2CA

    Perpetually Planning
    Joined
    Aug 16, 2018
    Fantastic trip report! I love reading these when the park is closed, looking at the pictures gives me enough to keep the magic alive :)
     

    CandyMouse

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 21, 2008
    Thanks for sharing your trip reports, they're fun to read and I enjoy the pictures! Looks like you and your DH had a great time! It's fun reading TR's before our next trip and makes me more excited to go. Hopefully we'll be able to go September, since we had to cancel our April trip. I just hope things will work out! Thanks again!
     

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