Hi, Trip Advisor was invaluable in helping with my planning, so I thought I would share our holiday that started in Anaheim in mid September…
My family (myself, husband and two girls 12 &14) started our one month USA adventure with four nights in Anaheim. Our Air New Zealand flights from Adelaide via Auckland were as comfortable as a long haul flight could be, we chose to book two sky couches (equivalent of six seats) and having the extra space definitely made things easier. We booked a Karmel Shuttle from LAX and after an easy transfer we arrived at Disney’s Grand Californian – our home for the next 3 days!
The hotel was amazing and we are so glad we chose to stay there, it made a relatively short trip much easier, the DCA magic mornings allowed us get through heaps of rides and having fantastic pools to relax in each afternoon was great! In saying that, our previous trip to Disneyland was also fantastic and we stayed at a much more reasonably priced hotel.
After checking in and freshening up we took the ART to Outlets of Orange to get our US sim cards, we chose the AT&T 30 day prepaid, which gave us unlimited data, text and US calls, which was really useful throughout our trip.
With our jet lag catching up with us we made a quick stop at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner before grabbing cereal and milk for breakfast at 7 Eleven , and heading back to our hotel for an early night.
Our plan was to use our magic morning at DCA and be at the gates by 8am, however we woke well after 9:30 and made it to the park just before 11! Entering the park through the hotel was so easy and after arrival we added Max Pass to our tickets and started our day. Because we wanted to use photo pass getting Max Pass was an easy decision for us and we found it so useful in getting through lots of rides, with minimal waiting. We spent the day in DCA , getting through all the big rides except Guardians of the Galaxy. We had lunch at Flo’s diner in Radiator Springs which was really tasty. Late afternoon we headed back to the hotel to chill out by the pool before spending a couple of hours in Disneyland. We used our Max Pass to book a fast pass for the Haunted Mansion (loved it!), and explored the park until it closed at 8pm. Dinner was at Naples in Downtown Disney for tasty wood fired pizzas.
Today was a Disneyland Magic Morning and we arrived at the gates at 8am ready to explore. In the first hour we were able to complete Star Tours, Space Mountain and Toy Story, before heading over to Pirates of the Caribbean and booking a fast pass for Indiana Jones ( 2 of my favourite rides!). We tried to get a table at Carnation Café for lunch but it was fully booked so we booked for the following day and headed out to La Brea for lunch (anther great meal). After lunch and some time at the pool we headed back to Disneyland to explore some more and were lucky enough to run straight into Mickey and get some photos! Dinner tonight was at the Cheesecake Factory again – its one of our favourites!
Our last day in the parks and also the night of Mickey’s Halloween Party!!! Our day started with the DCA Magic morning at 7am, and we headed straight to Guardians of the Galaxy – we all loved it, probably our favourite ride in either park! We spent the rest of the morning visiting our favourite rides for one last time (the girls did the Incedicoaster twice) before heading to Carnation Café for lunch. Lunch was yummy, I love the baked potato soup and we had a great table near main street to watch a small parade that went through. After lunch we headed back to the hotel to chill out for a couple of hours, as we had a late night ahead and a 4:30am start to get back to the airport! We arrived back in the park around 4pm, got our bands for the party and wandered around until the trick and treating started. The girls loved collecting all of their treats and the park was quite enough that we could walk on to most rides without waiting. The atmosphere was also wonderful, lots of people were dressed up and there was great sense of excitement. The parade and fireworks were amazing and the highlight of our visit, it really was a special night…. Exhausted we headed back to the hotel for a short sleep before our early departure back to LAX to begin the next leg of our journey in Colorado…