We’re at it again! We decided to take advantage of the long weekend and take a mini trip to Disneyland for Labor Day.
We were a bit skeptical about congestion when going around the holidays, but surprisingly both parks where not packed with people! We had been used to not buying the hopper pass anymore because it was always so busy, that going back and forth between parks in one day was not worth it. The only thing I wish I had known prior to our trip was that Monday (since it was a holiday) they did extend the park hours to Midnight, on Tuesday, Disneyland Park closed at 8pm! I didn’t realize the park would close early due to it being low season and it being a weekday. I suppose in the summer the weekday are extended. Since the park did close at 8, that meant there were no fireworks show or Fantasmic shows. Those experiences are important if you haven’t visited Disneyland in a long time, but for us the tradeoff was well worth it. The wait times for attractions were very reasonable and the congestion was minimal. The whole atmosphere was more pleasant and less hectic, which is always nice when you are on vacation.
On Monday (Labor Day) we drove down from the San Francisco area and arrived at the park by 1pm. We spent the rest of the day in California Adventure. We enjoyed a few rides and decided to indulge in our never to be missed Ghirradelli sundaes! I had the Peanut Butter chocolate sundae and Jabi had the “Treasure Island” sundae – both had vanilla ice cream, whip cream, chopped nuts, hot fudge, and a cherry! The only difference was that I had peanut butter and he had a warm chocolate brownie to top his off.
For dinner, we decided to check out the Pacific Warf Café. I opted for the clam chowder soup in a bread bowl and Jabi had the Chicken Apple and Walnut Salad that also came tossed in its own bread bowl. The café also provided an array of other soups, sandwiches, salads, along with sweet treats and the biggest cinnamon rolls I’ve seen in a while! Since we had the sundaes earlier we passed on any desserts that night.
On Tuesday morning, we had breakfast at the always-delightful Carnation Café. Jabi enjoyed a Ham and Cheese omelet with a side of chicken apple sausage and potatoes. I had the Classic Eggs Benedict with a side of fruit and potatoes. Before Lunch I managed to sneak in a Dole Whip float – located right next to the Tiki Room in Adventureland.
For lunch we made it to Café Orleans – and it was a winner. Jabi had the “Crescent City” Salad with Blackened chicken and I enjoyed a cup of the New Orleans Gumbo made with chicken, Andouille sausage and Tasso Ham, mixed in with some dirty rice! It was delicious and had the right amount of kick to it, not overly spicy. Along with that I also ordered the famous Monte Cristo Sandwich, which is turkey, ham and Swiss cheese fried together in a corn-like batter, dusted with powdered sugar and berry sauce. This sandwich can easily fit any breakfast, lunch or dinner category- definitely a must try!
Some simple tips and tricks to remember for your overall Disney trip is:
1. Bring panchos - for the wet rides! Yah it’s fun to get wet, but sometimes it’s easier to wear the pancho and avoid having to wait for your clothes and shoes to dry off. You might get some people calling you ‘cowards’ (playfully, of course) but who cares! They’re just mad they didn’t think of it! Typically Disneyland does sell panchos but I’m sure you can save yourself a few bucks if you purchase the non-fancy panchos from Target for $1.99.
2. Single Rider is the way to go! Even with the downsized crowd because it was off season, there were still some rides with a 20-30 minute wait time. The still popular ‘Cars’ ride had a 30+min wait time. Jabi and I always go single rider when possible, for the Cars ride, we used single rider waited a short 5 minutes and still ended up in the same care but just in different rows. A good majority of popular rides have the single rider option; you just have to check in with the cast member at the beginning of the ride. Sometimes single riders are given a bright ticket identifying them as single riders. Sometimes the ticket isn’t necessary, for example Splash Mountain, you just follow the exit back to the canoes and wait in your own little line.
3. Lilly Belle Train Car - Don’t waste your time asking if you can experience a ride in the train car – they will say NO. According to the captain of the Mark Twain Riverboat, Disneyland closed the cart to the public due to disrespect from guests. It was a combination of guests not appreciating the importance of train car and spilling food and drinks while on board. I totally understand.
4. Mark Twain Riverboat – if you want to ride in the wheelhouse ask the cast member left behind to close the gate as the boat is leaving. When you see the boat sailing off ask the cast member if you can visit the wheelhouse for the next tour – this ensures you are the first to ask. Then you have a short wait for the next tour to roll around. The wheelhouse is not that big, but enough to fit a couple of adults and one or two small children. Our captain allowed us to ask ALL and ANY questions relating to the park – so if there are things you are curious about, here is your chance to get the answers. Last but not least, you are able to sign the captain’s log and you get your own souvenir sailing license.
5. Disneyland Railroad Train – the ‘tender seat.’ You need to ask a cast member at the Main Street train station. The time I did it, they were training a new conductor so they asked if I wouldn’t mind coming back after a certain hour so I could do it then. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to go back.
*all opinions are my own*
Lastly, let loose and have fun!!
*all opinions are my own*