Cross another thing off the bucket list! We went to Disneyland in California!
It was so amazing to see Walt's original park.
I went with the same Disney mindset I always do and I was not disappointed! There are many things that are similar, but there were so many things that made Disneyland stand out.
We stayed at Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel, which is a Disney Good Neighbor Hotel. This hotel is one of the few good neighbor hotels that offers free transportation to the park--which was a selling point for me. The bus came every 30 minutes which was pretty convenient.
The hotel is themed as if it's a castle. It has a story written throughout the hallways, which I thought was creative.
The only thing I didn't like about this hotel was there are no microwaves in the rooms. But they do have microwaves you can use in the lobby. So, if you've got little ones that need bottles, consider that for sure. Definitely consider this hotel for a budget stay still in the magic.
Our room was huge. We got a themed queen which included two queen beds. The bathroom was on the smaller side, but we're park people and really don't stay in the room too much. We just want somewhere to shower and sleep at night.
We went during the Halloween season, so we were able to see the park in all of its Halloween glory.
We went and explored the three Disney Hotels there. I must say, The Grand Californian may have been my favorite, but Disneyland Hotel was right there too. I would definitely stay at either of those hotels. When we went the third Disney Hotel, Paradise Pier, was under construction, some parts were closed, but it really didn't give me that Disney vibe that we all know and love.
The Grand Californian also has its own entrance to California Adventure.
The biggest difference in Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort is the location of the parks to each other. Disney World, obviously the parks require transportation to get from one park to another. This is not the case in Disneyland. Disneyland, California Adventure, and Downtown Disney (yes, it's still Downtown Disney there in California). All three of these are in the same entrance and are steps away from each other.
The drop off area for the busses and shuttles is the same for whichever your destination may be. This is also where, if you drove to the park, you'll possibly be entering the park. This also means, everyone is going through the same security. We did have to wait in some lengthy lines for security. It's not like Disney World where you just walk through a metal detector and get randomly selected for a search. They actually search every person's bag, stroller, everything.
Disneyland itself was amazing overall. Obviously there are some differences (the castle itself). The castle was a lot smaller than I thought it was going to be, but it was still spectacular. The imagineers made up for the size with actually being able to walk through the castle and enjoy the entire story of sleeping beauty.
Disneyland park has nearly all of the rides that Magic Kingdom has, but with each of these same rides I noticed differences in them all. Disneyland park had small, short little rides in Fantasyland, which I really appreciated. These include: Storybook Land Canal Boats which takes you through small little replicas of all the Disney Princess lands as well as a few more stories, Pinocchio's Daring Journey, Snow White's Enchanted Wish, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, and Alice in Wonderland. AND, Disneyland has 2 trains! There's the big train that goes around the park, but there's also Casey Jr, Circus Train. Great for the little ones who are obsessed with trains.
Disneyland park has Galaxy's edge, which mimics the one in Hollywood Studios. Speaking of Hollywood Studios, anyone miss pizza planet? Well Disneyland still has it in Tomorrowland. We didn't eat there, but it was definitely on my list to try.
Disneyland also has/had Toon Town, which was under construction when we went.
Haunted Mansion during the Halloween season has a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay. And let me tell you, this cannot be missed! The outside of the mansion was decorated as well as the entire inside.
Right near Haunted Mansion is New Orleans Square. Which, being from Louisiana, I'll most likely never eat at the restaurant there called Blue Bayou, but Blue Bayou in Disneyland is the Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom. You go for the experience. Walking through New Orleans Square it really did remind me of the French Quarter.
We also were able to attend Oogie Boogie Bash which is a California Adventure. I absolutely recommend this! Especially if you have little ones that love cars! Even going just for the short ride lines made it worth it for us! We didn't bring our little this time, but he will most definitely be in attendance next time!
California Adventure was spectacular! Though, I do wish I would have been able to go to the park before going to Oogie Boogie Bash. I'm the type of person who likes to know where I'm going, what I'm doing, and have a game plan. This was new territory for me, but I enjoyed the new experience.
I ended up loving Pixar Pier. It was so cute! And Incredicoaster was so amazing, we rode it twice! But my all time favorite ride is Toy Story Mania. Mostly because I can beat Blake EVERY time!
Avenger's Campus was pretty amazing. This is where the best ride in the park is. Spider Man Web Slingers. So sad we won't get to have one in Walt Disney World. BUT this is just another reason among many to go back!
We can't wait to take Kason to Disneyland!