Disneyland: Before Food | Spring Break 2016

Last time on Spring Break 2016, we finally made it to Don and Megan’s wedding! It was a beautiful ceremony, a fun reception, and I was so happy to be able to partake in this wonderful day with my friends. Now, off to the second-best reason to be in LA – DISNEYLAND!

Note: This series of Disney posts will be a recap with a lot of tips, if you were planning your first trip and would like to learn the bit of a scoop I got! Scroll to the end of the post for some overall tips. Let me know if you’d like just an overall tips post for Disneyland?
Also I wasn’t sure how to divide these up, so it’s going to be broken up roughly around the meals we had? … Here we go!

After spending several days in Vegas and a wedding together, there was a small chance that maybe Don and Megan had enough of us. After all, there was a really good chance that Megan had spent more time with me over the past week than we had over the course of our whole friendship? (This is almost definitely true for Don and Ben.) If they were tired of our faces… they were in for a tough break at the beginning of their mini-moon (Minnie-moon!) in Disneyland as I just had to have at least one day at the original happiest place on Earth.

Ben and I spent one magical day at Disneyland, and it started bright and early! We dragged ourselves out of bed to say goodbye to our AirBnB and see ya later to LA before hitting the road and crossing our fingers that traffic to Anaheim wouldn’t be too bad. Luckily, we managed to get there without sitting in too much LA traffic at all! That Disney magic was helping us right along! We checked into our hotel and got our room keys, although our room wasn’t quite ready yet, so we skipped off to have adventures without being tempted by beds.

Hidden Mickey fun started when we parked our car!

The key was having the room key because Disney resort guests are able to enter one of the two parks during ~*~Extra Magic Hour~*~ aka an hour earlier than everyone else! This perk, in addition to the convenience of being right off park property, was one of the main reasons I wanted to spring a little extra to stay in a Disney hotel. On the day that we arrived, Extra Magic Hour applied to Disney’s California Adventure (aka DCA), so we head through the gorgeous Grand Californian (where Megan and Don were checking in later after sleeping in after, uh, getting married), which opens up directly into DCA.

Tip: While there is an entrance to DCA from the Grand Californian, that line gets very gnarly because Disney hotel guests want to use this exclusive entrance. However, there aren’t as many line attendants as there are at the main entrance, so, unless you got to that entrance very early, you’ll get into the park faster if you go through the main entrance, where you can also see all the folks waiting for both DCA and Disneyland to open up the gates. We stood in the hotel guest line, having kids gawk at me in my Disneybound for a bit, before deciding to do that and it was the right decision in the end, for sure.

There’s always time for a photo with Walt! Thank you Christine for these Snow White ears from Modern Mouse Boutique!

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Spring Break 2015: Gators and Sarasota (Day 3)

Last time on Spring Break 2015, we spent a full day enjoying Key West, snorkeling, eating key lime pie and conch, and camping out on a quasi-beach before a big day on the road as we get ready to head up to Orlando with a few stops in between.

Waking up in the tent felt pretty nice as I mentally prepared myself for a long car ride ahead. In fact, I have a bit of a hard time thinking of what adventures we had on this day, as we did spend most of it in the car.

Sunrise from the camground
Sunrise from the camground

BUT we did see some gators! It was exciting! I was told that, in Florida, you would see alligators chilling everywhere and, while that wasn’t quite true, I did see a LOT of them chilling on the side of the highway as we headed off towards Sarasota to meet one of Tim’s friends. We even stopped in a few small conservation parks to get a better view of gators (whizzing past them on the highway isn’t a great way to get acquainted…) and we got to see one big ol’ guy chilling in the marshes.

IMG_1512 IMG_1515

And this GIANT bug that was about the size of my hand chilling there, too

Since we arrived in Sarasota before Tim’s friend was done with working on a project, we hit up Siesta Beach for some cloudy-day splashing about. (Of course, a cloudy day didn’t stop me from laboriously slathering on my SPF 90.) Siesta Beach is a super popular beach in Sarasota and they had some of the finest sand I’ve ever seen! It was like powdered sugar. Tim loved this, to the point where he was really struggling not to start eating the sand. For me, it was fun for all of 2 seconds until I was promptly covered in sand thanks to the power of my sunscreen, and I soon realized our car would be filled with sand. But the sand was powdery, the water felt great, and we enjoyed our short beach excursion before running back to the car to avoid an incoming thunderstorm. I’m sure the beach is stunning on sunny days but we enjoyed what would be our last contact with the sea for this trip.

Some of the seagulls that were chilling by our beach towels
Some of the seagulls that were chilling by our beach towels

In Sarasota, we had dinner at a Square 1 Burgers with Tim’s friend but otherwise, Monday was a very low-key day for us. While the long drive was admittedly a bit boring (I slept through a lot of it, to be honest), it was nice to relax with my friends and just talk about life (when I was awake). After all, we had a big day ahead of us!

We spent the rest of our evening driving to Orlando, where we were going to be staying in a hotel so that we could properly rest before and after a full day at Disney World. Disney’s All-Star Music Resort was great because — as a Disney resort — there was a complimentary shuttle going to and from the parks that we could take. We filled our hotel room with our things (to be sorted and discarded for the trip home later), enjoyed the showers, beds, and AC, and kicked back to watch some TV as we prepared for a magical day.


More on the magic bands in day 4!


Disney magic rising….


A little break before I finish my spring break recaps because I have a lot of Disney stuff to go through, still, and I’m not sure how to break it down to make it more manageable. (I’ve been working through it already!) But I hope you have enjoyed the recaps so far and are ready for some Disney magic!

Here’s Tiny Hamster at Disney World to tide you over until my post is ready!