For 27 years, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my birthday. AKA, New Years Eve. It never really felt like my special day because pretty much every single human being on this planet was celebrating the day. I could never really plan anything because everyone usually already had plans. But the one thing I loved the most about my birthday were the fireworks. Where I grew up, fireworks aren’t illegal, so it was tradition to light up the sky every year the clock struck midnight on December 31st. Where could I see and experience fireworks on New Years Eve in America? Well, Disneyland of course! Ive always wanted to spend my birthday at Disneyland, and I was finally able to do so for my 27th birthday!
We drove up the morning of, and I was so glad there wasn’t any traffic what so ever. We parked the car at the hotel we were staying at for the night (Red Lion Hotel Anaheim Resort) and took the Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART) straight to Disney. We would of walked any other time, the park was about half a mile away, but it was sprinkling and we made a huge mistake of not bringing the stroller. So the bus it was! The girls really enjoyed it, as it was both their first time riding a bus. Lol.
We got to the park around 11:30am, rented a stroller, and got right into Disney California Adventure Park in a matter of minutes. I was shocked at how quick it was because I was expecting it to be mayhem. I guess the rain was a big reason for that, but we’ll talk about that later. (Tip: download the Disneyland app on your phone before visiting the parks. It has literally everything you need to know in regards to park info, maps, wait times, food, events, etc.)
The second I walked into the park the first thing I saw was the pair of Minnie years I’ve been eyeing for years now! The all silver sequin Minnie Mouse ears. The last couple of times I went to Disneyland, they’ve been completely sold out. I quickly grabbed one with a huge grin on my face and ran to the register. It was just my luck that the same shop was where I could pick up the Disney Birthday pin and the ‘My 1st Visit’ pin for the girls (even though technically Calista has been to Disneyland twice, just never California Adventures).
The first thing we did was get a fast pass to Soarin, Around the World. This is, hands down, one of my favorite rides! The ride was closed for quite a while when they were updating it from “Soarin California” to now feature places all around the world. Since Celine wasn’t tall enough to get on the ride, we got two passes so Cali and I could go on together and would later get another two so Roger could go with Cali again later in the day. We used that strategy for a couple other rides that weren’t toddler friendly. I was worried about having this issue about Celine being too small for most rides, but it really wasn’t a problem at all.
We walked over to the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, and though it was just a walk through, the girls really enjoyed it. Walking through the “forest”, climbing across rope bridges, going down slides, and even a mini zip line for the kids. It’s a great spot for a photo opt. And funny thing, the girls favorite part out of all of that, was the slide. Oh, the simple things in life. Next, we made our way to the Little Mermaid ride, which was only a 10 minute wait (surprisingly!). We got there at the perfect timing cuz the line tripled by the time we were getting on the ride. This one was a first time for all of us and it was really nice being able to all get on the same ride together all in one cart.
By that time, we had worked up an appetite, so we made our way across the bridge to the food hub for a late lunch. It wasn’t hard to decide on the Pacific Wharf Cafe, where we got bread bowl soups and a kids meal for Celine. Clam chowder for Roger and veggie cheddar for me. Celine had mac n cheese with apple sauce and a couple bites from our bread bowls of course. Cali made the best choice and opted for a corn dog from another stand instead, which turned out to be State Fair worthy! Just as we were getting done eating, the rain started to come down. At first it was just a sprinkle, but it started pouring in a matter of seconds and we knew it wasn’t going to ease up anytime soon. Unfortunately, the one other thing we forgot to bring was an umbrella. How convenient. I had no choice but to buy a rain poncho. Literally thee worst fashion accessory anyone could ever own. But hey, when in Rome. Everyone was wearing one and I guess I can admit it was a pretty genius invention. We weren’t going to let a little (or a lot) of rain stop us!
What would cheer up a birthday girl on a rainy day? A nice cold craft beer of course! Now I was pretty much in heaven! At that point it was finally time for our Fast Pass, so we walked back to Soarin. At first, when we were getting on the ride, Calista was a little nervous as she didn’t know what to expect. But the second we took flight and I saw the amazed look on her face, it was one of the best moments ever.
I’m making this a 3 part series, so stayed tuned to see how the rest of the trip turned out!