RECAP: Southern California & A Disneyland Getaway

For Martin Luther King Weekend, Jen and I took a quick three day trip to Southern California to go on a Disneyland Adventure. Growing up in San Francisco, my parents would take my brother and I on semi-annual trips to Southern California that included visits to Disneyland. For Christmas in 2018, Jen and I made a quick trip to Disneyland, but due to time constraints we were only able to visit the Disneyland Park. This time around, Jen and I were able to visit both parks and enjoy the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

The Stay

While Jen and I stayed at the Hilton Anaheim last time, this time we choose to do an Airbnb as we traveled with several other friends. The daily commute from the Airbnb was roughly 1.5 hours a day round trip, but the spot was nice and we had a house all to ourselves. If you are traveling with a group, Airbnbs are a good option. If you are traveling with just one other person, or small children, I definitely would recommend staying at one of the hotels nearby as there are plenty of options within 10-15 minutes walking distance from the park. Parking at Disneyland was $25 a day and included a tram to and from the park that operated at an insane frequency. It felt like there was a tram arriving or departing every minute.

Disney’s California Adventure

Of the two parks, Disney’s California Adventure has the more thrilling rides. While we arrived in the early morning, most of the rides had lines upwards of 30 minutes. It is Disney after all and lines for their most popular rides are often over 45 minutes long. The first ride Jen and I went on was the Incredible’s Roller-coaster. Luckily the wait was only 25 – 30 minutes, but it was a wonderful way to start my morning. Throughout the day, we rode most of the rides, most notably Soarin and Radiator Springs Racers. The ride at California Adventure were definitely geared towards older kids and they were a blast.

Food At California Adventure

With the Lunar New Year around the corner, Disney did a wonderful job of designing a Lunar New Year themed section with a variety of Asian themed meals to chose from. There were several unique booths serving Asian fusion dishes including Pork Belly Bahn Mi and Garlic Noodles. The typical options are also available by Paradise Pier which includes burgers, a Mexican joint, and Boudin’s Sourdough. While the food options were definitely interesting thanks to the Lunar New Year twist, it was still expensive and I would definitely recommend bringing snacks to munch on throughout the day. Bring a refillable water bottle is a must as well.

Disneyland

Disneyland is typically the busier of both parks, but having been to Disneyland in over a little more than a year, Jen and I did not need to ride every ride. We hit the most important rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, Space Mountain, and for me Toy Story. This allowed us to allocate our time and ride the rides we enjoyed and check out Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Galaxy’s Edge was simply breathtaking and contained an almost impossible level of attention to detail. The buildings and decor all screamed Star Wars, but the Millennium Falcon and the Mos Eisley Cantina were brilliantly designed and blew away all expectations. Even the First Order ship was amazing.

Overall

Overall, this was a wonderful trip on a rather busy weekend in January. As usual, the lines for most rides were long, but Jen and I had a wonderful time exploring both parks and riding the most thrilling rides at each park. We were able to ride both Space Mountain and the Incredible’s Roller Coaster, while also catching both Disney’s World of Color and Disney’s Fantasmic shows. Finding a good spot to view the shows is extremely difficult as multiple sections are blocked off for exclusive pass and ticket holders. In addition, Jen and I were also able to sample limited edition Disney Asian Fusion cuisine. Disneyland has continued to grow in popularity, but the fun and joy of the parks will always remain.

Be sure to check out my future posts on Disneyland CA

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