Disneyland “Plan” vs. Reality

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I had posted about our plans for he Disneyland trip, so here's I'll give the rundown of how things went; both according to and off of the plan.

First up, “THE GOALS”
Jamie wants a Monte Cristo

We did indeed have the Monte Cristo for lunch on Friday, at the Blue Bayou and everything. (Yes, I know it's cheaper at Cafe Orleans, but that was closed when we were there!)

The meal was Jamie's belated birthday gift from my folks, so he enjoyed the heck out of that sandwich. As good as it was, he says it wasn't as good as one he's had before, at a place called Bennigans. I had a bite; thought it was OK but not amazing.

To be totally honest, one of the highlights of the meal was our friends going through Pirates while were at our table, so we suddenly heard, “Hey Porters! How's the Monte Cristo?” from across the water.

But it was on top of our list of goals and something we checked off on our last day in the parks.

Up next…

Space Mountain I can't recommend enough, visiting Disneyland after Labor Day… the park was at about 25% capacity (I've been there when it's at 90%… this is WAY better!) and our time in line generally topped out at about 20 minutes, with Cars Land attractions being the exceptions. Anyway, for the whole week we were there, both Space Mountain and the Haunted Mansion were closed while they were transformed for their Halloween themes… we were lucky that they were both open that last day in the park, so we saw them both all decked out, along with massive other crowds.

Jamie and I both love Space Mountain, and Max was looking forward to it, as he looked forward to all of the “40 inch rides,” since he's just barely big enough. We were a little leery of him liking the “Ghost Gallery” theme of Space Mountain, but in the end he loved it.

One random aside: The official Disneyland app said that there were no Fast Passes for the ride, but there totally were! My dad and I went on it while Jamie took a nap at the hotel, and my mom took Max on Nemo… I was surprised to see the FPs available, contrary to the apps info. It worked out well for us though, since I was able to snag them for the whole family and we rode together later in the evening when Jamie rejoined us.

Now, the only bummer on the list, but with an added bonus:

Meet up with Leila So sad this is the thing that *didn't* happen. 🙁 We were in Anaheim in the middle of a freak heatwave (For serious. Over 100 degrees every day!) and that messes with Leila's kiddo, so they were forced to stay home. I get to spend some time with my snarky soulmate next month though, and it only motivates us more to get together so that she can meet Jamie and all the kids can hang out, since they had so much fun last summer, when we went camping.

Related to this though, I did manage to (very quickly) meet a Twitter and Clickin Moms friend, Dana, so that was a bonus!

Date night We had originally hoped to get out for a nice dinner, and didn't do that, but we did get some Max-free time, thanks to my parents. The first night we were there, Tuesday, my parents stayed with Max at the hotel while Jamie and I ran back to California Adventure… we'd hoped to grab a ride on California Screamin, but it was closed early for World of Color, so instead we took a quick lap through Cars Land and got even more excited for Max to see it the next morning!

We also got some time on our last night, Friday, when my parents took Max back and put him to bed after Fantasmic, and the park was still open until midnight… we actually ended up watching the late fireworks show and then heading to Downtown Disney for a beer… it was a nice little bit of relaxing at the end of a hectic trip, and before the long drive home on Saturday.

Can you tell it was still over 90 degrees at 10pm? I'm glowing like a pig.

Take pictures This was so fun! On Tuesday afternoon, everyone wanted to go back and take a nap… we'd been up since 4am, but I was more excited about playing with the fisheye and wide angle lenses I got from BorrowLenses.com… so I headed back to the park, sans family, armed with my DSLR and not much else. It was so nice to be able to play around a bit without having to worry about keeping an eye on Max or anyone else, and just take some photos! Here's one, but expect a bunch more in tomorrow's post! 🙂


Went pretty much as planned; I found that I was reluctant to take a break back at the hotel, even though I would have loved to go for a swim… my brain kept thinking, “I spent SO much money on these tickets, I need to stay and get my money's worth!” If I were to do this same trip again, I'd take a cue from Dave and Ann Marie; they bought a 3 day Park Hopper and stayed out of the park on Thursday; they did a character breakfast in the morning, and spent the day at the pool. Kind of “forcing” a day off would have been a good idea… we'll never do this long of a trip again, at least not to Disneyland, but I'll certainly keep that free day plan in mind for future amusement park trips!

So there's a most general overview of the trip… on a scale of 1 to 10, we came in at about 9.5, with that .5 being deducted for the insane heat.

Check back later this week for more photos, stories and tips!

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  1. I’m loving your fisheye len pictures…so fun and different. Glad your trip went well. We were there last October and it was SO HOT…like miserable hot. But still a fun trip.

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