Disneyland was amazing!! We had the best time... we didn't want to leave!! We flew from Oakland to Long Beach early Thursday morning and got to Anaheim at 9 AM. The flight was so cheap out of Oakland through JetBlue and it left early enough in the day to get to Disneyland on time. But I think next time, we'll spring the extra cash to fly out of Sacramento. Oakland is a nice airport, but the BART ride over to the airport left lots to be desired. AND we'll probably go the day before, so we can be well rested for Disneyland (we were soooo tired all day Thursday!!). Why Long Beach? Long Beach Airport is 14 miles away from Anaheim, whereas LAX is 18 miles away. LGB was closer to our hotel and cheaper flights! BTW, I enjoyed JetBlue, the staff was nice and the flights were fast, though they ruined my Kathy Van Zeeland luggage.
When we arrived at our hotel, Cortona Inn and Suites on South Harbor Blvd., the staff was sooo friendly!! We were able to check our luggage with them (for free) and head off to Disneyland. How did we get to the hotel? Well, they have a shuttle service they contract with, called Karmel Shuttle and they do airport transfers. It's a little pricey ($28 per person, per trip) but if you don't have a car it's cheaper than a taxi from Long Beach Airport (over $100 to go 14 miles and thats with no traffic!). Our driver was super friendly and showed us the area around our hotel (I know that area around Disneyland pretty well already, I grew up going to Disneyland and I have family there too). When we got back on Thursday night, we got to check in to our room. All we wanted was a nice bed to lay in, we were soooo tired! Not only was check in fast (and friendly!), they hooked us UP! I reserved a King Room, but we got a King SUITE!! Whoo hoo! It was huge!! We had a separate bathroom, vanity, and a jacuzzi/spa bath (amazing for my blistering sore feet!). We also got a microwave and mini fridge. I can't say enough good things about this place... we will definitely be staying here again in the future!
Now, on to the park tickets. Normal retail price at the gate for a 2-day park hopper is $161 per person. I bought the tickets online through eBay, through a sort of "ticket exchange" company. You go to the office in the morning pick up the tickets and drop them off after the you're done at the park. Normally, I don't go for this kind of stuff, but we saved about $100 using this service. We actually lucked out because we were given tickets that had 2 days left on them anyway so we didn't have to go back to that office. After two days of walking around at Disneyland, I would've have found it very inconvenient to walk back to that office, had we had to, and return the tickets. Even though she claimed the office was across the street, no, it wasn't. It was located above a Chevron on the other side of the 5 freeway overpass....I don't recommend this service unless you drove to Disneyland.
Disneyland. OMG. How can you NOT have a good time here? Every one is always smiling and welcoming. Its the beginning of holiday time so everything is decked out in Halloween stuff, it's soo pretty! Thursday was awesome, there was hardly any wait time in any of the rides, we got to ride the popular ones like Space Mountain, twice and even three times. Though, on days when its not busy, they don't have the horse drawn carriages running, or more than one train going around the park, or the popular shows like Fantasmic or the Fireworks show. Plus the hours are shorter, Thursday the park was open from 10 AM to 8 PM. Our favorite ride was definitely Space Mountain, though it was changed for Halloween to "Ghost Galaxy" it's kind of scary, I thought. I highly recommend sitting in the front, if you're willing to wait, the experience is way different!!
You gotta love Disneyland and their FOOD selection!! Our first Disneyland food experience was at the Blue Bayou on Thursday night. For the purposes of this blog, we'll consider food anything that is a sit-down, restaurant experience. We made reservations in early September for the Blue Bayou restaurant, the one located in Pirates of the Caribbean (Nathan's favorite ride). The setting is beautiful, the food is awesome (though limited selection and pricey), but our waitress could have been way better. Oh well, at least she remembered our anniversary right? Hahaha she gave us anniversary buttons that say "Happy Anniversary" in Disney insignia, but she wrote "3 years" underneath it. I haven't even known Nathan for that long, but we just laughed and ran with it. One place that is a MUST try, is the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. Holy Cow the food is amazing! Their was a live Jazz band and the Gumbo is to die for. I don't like fried bananas, but the people next to us ordered the fried banana dessert, which they cook table side. Have your camera ready, because they pour something on top of it while its cooking that sends a 6 ft flame up... pretty cool! Great service and great food!!
The SHOWS are amazing here!! We saw the Hill Billy show, very very funny! We also got to see the re-opening of Captain EO, yes, it is still lame but it was cool to see Michael Jackson in his good years. However, the best show, was definitely "Fantasmic", the light show they do over the water. I still get goosebumps just like I did when I was younger!! It just gets better and better! The firework show "Remember... Dreams do come true" is pretty awesome I have to say. It is definitely a force to be reckoned with. They have all the classic Disney movie music and sounds playing with the castle and fireworks lit up to match the setting!
Last but not least, I have to tell you about our shirts. We came up with the idea a couple weeks ago to wear matching shirts, it was our first time together at Disneyland so we wanted to be funny. No, Nathan was not forced into it, haha. He was just as much involved as I was, he even came up with the saying. You can see in the pictures but, my shirt said "My first time with Him" and his said "My first time with Her". On the back we had "Disneyland", I drew a Mickey on his and a Minnie on mine. They were so freakin' cute, seriously though, everyone LOVED them! We got compliments allllll day on them, especially from the Disney Cast Members and characters, including one from an elder lady who caught the "double" meaning. Anyhow, who thinks we should copyright that phrase and make shirts out of it?? Haha, I doubt Disney will ever agree to something like that.
What an amazing time we had, I'm so happy I got to spend this time with Nathan. We hardly get to spend days off together, with our new jobs and different schedules, and we really needed the stress release. I mean, how can you stay stressed at Disneyland? Well, until next years trip, goodbye Disneyland!