Sunday, April 4, 2010
So many blog posts have been written about visiting Disneyland. This post will make no attempt at all to be complete. I spent 2.5 days there this past week with my daughter (almost 8), my childhood best friend and her daughter (almost 6). Both girls have birthdays the first week of April so this was a bit of a birthday trip for both of them.
Katie and I flew down to LAX mid day on Wednesday and took a shuttle down to our hotel, The Grand Californian. Located steps from a private entrance into Disney's California Adventure, this is the newest of the Disney hotels. Unlike many of their properties, it is not filled with character images. In fact, the only Disney image at all in our room was Bambi on the forest scene shower curtain. Instead, the hotel is designed in an arts and crafts style, with exposed beams and multiple fireplaces. Our room featured one queen size bed and a bunk bed, as when informed of the possibility the kids wanted to try one. Although this hotel is often expensive, with the park pass and hotel fees it turned out to be very little more than a less convenient off-site property.
Just a few thoughts on rides:
My favorite was the Grizzly River Run in CA Adventure. Strapped into round "rafts" you cruise through the rapids and down several small and one large drop. We rode it at least five times. Other hits at CA Adventure were Soarin' Over CA, the large ferris wheel and the Muppets in 3D show.
At Disney itself, the favorites were Small World, the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Jungle Cruise and the Spinning TeaCups. The more adventurous almost 6-year-old loved the Matterhorn, Splash Mountain and Space Mountain. Katie avoided those.
The park was crowded as it was school vacation week, so we found it best to start early in the day at the parks and head back to the hotel for a swim before returning to the parks in the evening. Foodwise, well, it is Disney. I had a mediocre yet edible breakfast burrito in Disneyland one morning, a not great not bad club sandwich from room service, surprisingly good nachos at White Water Snacks in our hotel, a buffet with decent sliced beef and roasted asparagus also at out hotel at Storytellers Cafe. Drinkwise, the wine list was over priced and not inspiring. My friend had brought a couple of bottles and it was easier to just open them in the room. I did have a not-bad manhattan at Storytellers.
Other things of note: Great excitement to discover an I-Carly bear at Build a Bear in Downtown Disney. Also, Katie has discovered the joy of pin trading. The search for Hidden Mickey pins provided more fun than I would have imagined.