Hello, my lovebugs! I’m so excited to be able to share this week with you. Hopefully I’ll be getting back into rotation with the team moving forward, so we’ll be seeing a lot more of each other! This week I visited the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and had a surprise two night adventure at Disneyland. (I know, right??) So let’s get started with one of my favorite views in the Magic Kingdom.
I know, it’s a bathroom, but doesn’t it look majestic? Of course, I was excited to see anything after 67 days away from the parks. We decided to downgrade to silver passes this year and while I had a couple of tough days missing my “home” over the summer, it was overall a positive experience. I think we’ll continue with passes at this level in future years. What would you do? Do you think we’re crazy skipping the summer and peak holidays? Let me know in the comments.
There’s so much more to see – click to read more. 🙂
I pulled this photo from last week because you can see heat lightning glowing in the distance. While we haven’t gotten as much rain this summer, the lightning has been impressive! You can also see the Main Street Electrical Parade in the distance. What do you think of this parade leaving the Magic Kingdom? Personally, I don’t really mind but I wish we were getting something new. Maybe there will be an announcement soon!
Before we move on from Magic Kingdom, we have to take a quick spin on Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. Mainly because it’s Cleo’s favorite, but also to ask all of you what you’d like to see in the future. I’d love to have your feedback and requests. These little posts are all about you and making you feel like you’re here with me. So let me know where you’d like to visit in the comments section.
I made it to Epcot on a warm afternoon last week. The rain had just cleared up and the weather was almost perfect. Plus, as you can see from the photo below, the crowds were slim. The park attendance seem to be much lighter this year. We were able to ride pretty much everything with no wait with the exception of Test Track, Frozen Ever After, and Soarin’ Around the World. (but more on that later!)
Of course, you didn’t really go to Epcot if you didn’t ride Spaceship Earth! This was the first ride we went on with no wait. I finally managed to get a decent photo of this guy. I love this scene! (Fun fact: if you Google “oopatay oopatay” there are literally no results. LOL.)
Over at Living with the Land we were able to walk onto our favorite boat tour. We spotted a few new plants, but lots of displays were almost empty. They must be replanting in the houses. If you feel like riding this one I have a full ride through for you here. And while you’re over in Youtube-land be sure to check out the TouringPlans channel.
The reason for our visit was to finally ride Frozen Ever After. It opened over the summer while our passes were closed out and I couldn’t wait to see the new ride. As we walked back to cash in our FastPass+ we got the notice that the ride was closed due to technical issues. A bit deflated we decided to shop in Norway and see if the ride would reopen. After just a few minutes we heard the crowd cheer and bolted to the ride. I have to say, I really loved this attraction. I have Frozen overload like everyone else, but I was delighted with this ride. Plus the ride breakdown resulted in my first Laila purchase, so bonus!
I was looking forward to riding Frozen Ever After again since I was able to score another FastPass+ last week. However, right on time we received another notice that the ride was closed. We decided to cut our losses and head for Soarin’ Around the World for the first time. I really like the updates and the screen was crystal clear. I also loved that the ride ended with a view of our beloved Spaceship Earth. The Disneyland castle never really made sense. Photography isn’t allowed on the ride, but here’s a shot to give you an idea what it looks like!
And before we hop ahead to the next park, here’s a shot of your TouringPlans blogging staff working tirelessly for you! 😉 It was a sleepless night last week when my hubby asked if I wanted to go to Disneyland for the weekend. I thought he was joking as he’s not a fan of long flights for short stays, but I figured I’d call his bluff anyway. Well, less than 48hrs later we were on a plane!
We arrive in Los Angeles at 8:30am in the morning and were at Disneyland by 10:00am. Since it was such a crazy, last minute decision we didn’t have any plans and I was just happy to be there. We strolled around Main Street for a while trying to pick a first ride to head towards.
Of course, it wasn’t long until Haunted Mansion started calling my name. We later learned that we were there just days before the ride closed to install the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay. I’m a huge Nightmare Before Christmas fan, but also love seeing the mansion in it’s normal state. What a treat to catch it right before it goes down for the season.
We took our time going through the dark rides in Fantasyland. The only exception was Peter Pan’s Flight, which seems to always have a 40min+ wait. During a weekday morning most other rides were a walk on. We even rode Pinocchio’s Daring Journey twice so I could get this photo of Jiminy Cricket.
After our adventures through Fantasyland, it was getting a little warm out. We found refuge somewhere I would never have thought of, The Golden Horseshoe! Since this location is often closed at the Magic Kingdom or only serving table service I tend to forget about it. We also timed it to catch a super cute show. This was a highlight of the trip and we’ll go back for sure!
The show wasn’t the only selling point, feast your eye on ice cream nachos! While we were in line trying to decide on a treat to share a cast member told us about this secret menu item and we were sold. Why are these a secret?? They should be required eating! So be sure you check them out next time you’re in the park and a BIG thanks to Francis for letting us know about these.
Our next shady spot was The Enchanted Tiki Room. Do you ever take a photo as a throw away and then it ends up being a favorite from the trip? As we were exiting I lifted my camera over my head and snapped a quick shot of the centerpiece fountain. I always loved the fountain as a kid and miss it in our Tiki Room here in Orlando. Below is the result and it makes me feel like I’m back watching the show.
Looking for short lines as we crept towards the heat of the day we headed over to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Proving that we’re totally cheaters at the Magic Kingdom location, neither one of us even broke 200k! No galactic heroes in this house.
Since we were up so very early to catch our flight we decided to head back towards the hotel for a little rest. Of all the Disney owned hotels, The Disneyland Hotel is my favorite. I honestly prefer to stay off property, though. Where do you like to stay when you visit Disneyland? I’m always looking for suggestions. I wrote this article about The Park Vue hotel which might be my all time fave.
By “rest” you didn’t think I meant a nap did you? Heck no! We were heading to Trader Sam’s to finally get my shipwreck. I’ve meant to get this little, barrel mug for my last 5 trips but there has always been a reason it didn’t work out. The top of my list this time was to make sure I didn’t leave without it again. Isn’t it the cutest? As far as I can tell this is the only mug that doesn’t have a similar equivalent here at Grog Grotto.
To save a few steps we decided to Uber from the front drive of Disneyland Hotel back to the park entrance. This was a great hack and saved us time too. My hubby was very uncomfortable trying Uber for the first time, but now he loves it. I can’t recommend the service enough. Besides, if nothing else it gave me an extra five minutes to stand around and photograph the statues in front of the hotel!
Back at the parks we decided to head for Disney California Adventure. Once inside we rode one of the most underrated attractions on property, Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! I’ll never understand why this ride isn’t more popular. Even in the afternoon there was only a 5min wait. I think if it was here at Walt Disney World it would pack in the crowds.
Next was our main reason for the trip, Frozen – Live at the Hyperion. I’ll be right up front and say I wasn’t a fan. It was incredibly frustrating trying to get paper fastpasses for the show. Rather than letting you pick the time you’d like, the machines spit out fastpasses one at a time until each show is filled. This is very inconvenient when guests have dining reservations that can’t be cancelled without a fee. Further, you have to arrive an hour early to get a decent seat with your fastpass. The show was fine but I don’t think we’d do it again. (Though I am totally in love with the actor that played Olaf. So cute!)
As we left the theater the sun was setting making The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror look all kinds of awesome. I’m a big time roller coaster chicken so I won’t miss this ride, but I’ll sure miss the view. I can’t even picture how this will look with a Guardians of the Galaxy overlay. What do you think? Are you excited or concerned about this change?
While we waited for sunset we killed a little time in a bug’s land. I know it isn’t a popular opinion, but I really like this area. I’d certainly take it over DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Finally we couldn’t wait anymore and headed for Cars Land. Below is a photo of Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters, the newest addition to Cars Land. It seems like it would just be a little, silly ride but it’s actually so much fun! You guys will also have to help me settle a bet on this one. My hubby asked why I chose a “blurry” photo for this ride. I explained that it was a slow shutter speed, but then I realized you guys might think it’s just blurry too! So what do you think? Artsy photography technique or blurry photo?
After watching all the neon come to life in Cars Land we decided to try our luck at the Radiator Springs Racers single rider line. It looked pretty long so we ended up shopping our way out of the park instead.
Before leaving I had to snap one last photo of Walt and Mickey to share. We totally need this statue in Walt Disney World. Maybe it will show up once Disney’s Hollywood Studios finishes all their renovations?
We headed back over to close Disneyland and end our very long day. However, we learned quickly that it isn’t easy to get around the park at parade time. This ended up being a blessing in disguise because the rides will be there, but Paint the Night is going away soon. We took a quick stroll and found a nice spot to wait for the parade.
I’ll wrap up today with a few photos from the parade. I was lucky enough to have adorable little girls next to me, so there was lots of attention near us! Starting first with a visit from Rosetta. Isn’t she pretty?
I can’t believe this parade is going to be put in storage and only brought out for holidays. I wish we could get a parade like this at the Magic Kingdom. Just look at this Beauty and the Beast float. It absolutely rivals the Dreamlights parade in Tokyo Disneyland.
One last photo, after this hug Elsa looked at the little girls beside me and said “Look, they’re sisters like us!” The little girls shrieked and I got all misty eyed, but isn’t that what Disney is all about? If Elsa ever reads this, good job! You’re making magic like a boss up there!
And with that we’ll wrap up this week. I always love to hear from you in the comments below. Please give me your feedback and let me know what you’d like to see in future weeks. Until next time, I’m wishing you the BEST WEEK EVER!