California: Disneyland & California Adventure
I don't believe I've been a true southern California blogger until this moment. Because, until this moment, I have never blogged about adventures in Disneyland and California Adventure.
I understand people will come to California for the sole purpose of this. And I also know that there have been many posts, tutorials, scavenger hunts, guides, experiences, all documented and shared on this great topic. So mostly, I just want to say a few words about my personal experience with these truly magical places, and some tips from what I've learned over the years.
1. Go for the single rider line whenever possible.
I actually didn't know this was a thing until a couple years ago. My friend and I went on December 17th and found out that we could skip through almost all the significant rides by asking for single rider. And in the Indiana Jones single rider line, we ended up getting to sit together because they needed two people! It was my best Disneyland & California Adventure experience. (Bonus Tip: any time I've been to a theme park around the 17th/18th, as long as it's not a weekend, it's been the BEST DAY TO GO. The day I went with her, our longest wait for any ride was 20 minutes. Seriously.)
2. Disneyland first. California Adventure second.
I suggest this primarily because you want to go to the World of Color water show at California Adventure. It's the coolest. It might be worthwhile to go to California Adventure briefly just so you can get a FastPass for this (they're given on a first-come, first-served basis) before going back to Disneyland.
And I know Cars Land is this new cool thing now — and it really is — but it's even cooler at dusk when the sun is setting and you get to be in the town when the neon lights come on.
3. Do not waste time in a long line unless it's your absolute favorite.
And by "long line" I mean more than an hour. You can get the same thrill out of other rides and fit five times as many as you would waiting in line for one that's just really popular (I'm thinking of you Space Mountain). Also, rides continuously shut down. Think of your investment time if you were standing in a line when it shut down on you. It's a quick way to put a damper on the day.
4. And if you really do have an absolute favorite that you must go on: get a FastPass.
ASAP. That's really the first thing you should do when you get in the park. And actually get a new FastPass as soon as you use the one you have. More extensive FastPass information here.
5. There's more to Disneyland and California Adventure than the rides.
I realize this last tip may sound like blasphemy to some people, but it's really an entire experience. I mentioned the World of Color above, but being able to see the different parades, theater show on Main Street, the carriage rides, the performances — it's really made each experience unique. And if you've got a super focus on rides, fit in some of these other fun things after lunch and dinner. You wouldn't want to eat and ride anyways right? I hope.
Above all, just have fun. You definitely paid a lot for it, so enjoy all that it has to offer.
Below are some photos from the last time I was there with Matt. So. Much. Fun.
Also, the cotton candy + lemonade concoction below was pretty amazing.