I'm going to lay out our planned itinerary, and then when we get home, we'll compare it to how everything actually happened.
- Jamie wants a Monte Cristo. Cafe Orleans is closed for renovations, so we have to go to the Blue Bayou. The MC isn't served at dinner, so it'll have to be lunch. Wednesday is CA Adventure, so I went ahead and made reservations for Friday at 12:50. (Did you know you can make reservations up to 60 days in advance? Just call Disney Dining at (714) 781-DINE!)
- Space Mountain. It's closed for most of the week that we're there; the Halloween celebrations start the day we leave, so there's lots of decorating to do! Space Mountain, the Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm and the Haunted Mansion will only be open on Friday, so we'll need to keep them until the last day! (Max is really excited about Space Mountain)
- Meet up with Leila. She hasn't met Jamie yet, and Jamie hasn't met her. I'm pretty sure there will be fireworks of awesome, so we need to make that happen. She lives in the area, so it's just a matter of the specific scheduling working in our favor!
- Date night. We're going to try to sneak out (Jamie and I) for a grown-up night out for dinner, because… A) Why else bring the grandparents if not to get some time off?? and B) Ee'll be at Disney along with our BFFs, so we'll unload all of the kids with my parents, give them money for a pizza, pop in a DVD and take off!
- Take pictures. I'm *hoping* to get a little free/alone time to take some cool photos… I'm renting a super wide angle lens and a fisheye, so I'm really looking forward to playing with them in one of the most interesting places to photograph! (I'll also be reviewing those later, so keep an eye out for that!)
(Yes, I know I'm putting a lot of things in quotes… this is all flexible and may change at a moment's notice!)
Day 1: Leave my parents' house at 4:00am. A friend, who does this drive several times a year, has said that she finds it to be the best time to leave. Miss the traffic going through San Jose, be on I-5 during morning commute hours, then get to LA after the worst of the traffic.
On arrival: Head to Disneyland! We'll pick up our Park Hopper tickets and spend the afternoon in Disneyland… get the required photos (in front of the castle, the Walt Disney sculpture, the train station) Take the train around the park to get our bearings.
Day 2: CARS Land! We're planning to be there at opening. We'll actually be in line about an hour ahead of time. I wouldn't mind spending the whole day in CA Adventure, but again, we're letting Max dictate the majority of the schedule (as long as he doesn't want to stay in CARS Land, all day, every day) He's really excited about the ferris wheel, and I think my mom will love the Soaring Over California.
Day 3 and 4 we'll be wherever… it looks like the Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain will be closed our whole trip, to reopen on Friday, so we'll try to hit those two, and then just wing it for those 2 days. My friend Leila is hoping to come visit, since she lives in the area and hasn't met Jamie, so I'm crossing my fingers we'll get to see her.
We'll have to see Fantasmic on that last night, since that's the only night it runs while we're there.
We're going to head home on the morning of Day 5… hit the road after breakfast, and get home late afternoon.
So that's the trip! I'm really curious to see how close we end up sticking to this plan!
There is an awesome program called Ridemax that gives you an itinerary based on the rides you want and the hours you’ll be there. It helps eliminate waiting in long lines. You should check it out and have Max help pick the rides that way you can show him the list and that everything he wants to go on is right there. We’ve used it at the height of the summer and never waited more than 30 minutes. Friends used it in Disneyworld and made multiple variations to account for time spent when you spot a character. Also Disney has a mobile app that lets you know where characters are and how long they’ll be in the location. Have an great trip!
I can’t decide if I want to spend the $15 or not… I worry about stressing too much about staying “on schedule” and missing some really magical moments… I have the Disneyland app already!
it’s now available where you can access it from your smart phone via the web and you can tweek your day as you go. I haven’t tried it mobile yet. Having a bunch of different options printed out is a good way to go, you can grab pix with a character and then see what is close by on one of the itineraries and pick it up from there.
We’re so lucky! Almost no lines!!!