On Saturday morning, after a full day of California Adventure, we were exhausted. We woke up bright and early to get a boarding pass for the new Star Wars ride, Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland. Like WEB Slingers, you have to check-in for a boarding group at 7:00 am for Rise of the Resistance. After getting our boarding passes (which we never ended up using), we got dressed, grabbed coffee from GCH Craftsman, and made the magical walk from Grand Californian to Disneyland.
Walking into Disneyland always makes me tear up; it is truly such a magical place. We got into the park around 7:40 am, so we decided to rope drop Indiana Jones Adventure. But, as soon as we got to Indiana Jones, we found out that the attraction was experiencing technical difficulties, and we had to come up with a new game plan. We ran to the other side of the park and rode Space Mountain. If you didn’t know, Space Mountain is better at Disneyland than at Disney World (this is a recurring theme for all of the rides at Disneyland).
After a quick trip through the galaxy on Space Mountain, we decided to hit up some Fantasyland rides before the park got too busy. We rode The Mad Party teacups (that my husband hates, but rode for me, bless his heart), Alice in Wonderland, and then jumped in line for Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones (that was finally open). After five rides, we were starving and wanted to grab something to eat.
If you didn’t know, my husband is from South Louisiana, and when you marry someone from Louisiana, their food becomes your way of life. We love Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, and we love making beignets at home, so we knew we needed Mickey Beignets from Mint Julep Bar. We ordered a bag of beignets and a Strawberry Mint Julep (so good) and grabbed a spot in the shade at French Market Restaurant. It was the perfect mid-morning snack. Also, as someone from Louisiana, my husband loves the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees (you might need to know that if you keep reading, haha).
I really love Disneyland, especially when it isn’t busy, because it can feel so laid back, and you can take it slow. So after the beignets, we watched a Mickey Mouse cavalcade and sat on Main Street for a while. We people watched and enjoyed the cool weather; then, when we were ready for some fun, we rode Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, better than Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, and then Autopia (much better than Tomorrowland Speedway).
We ordered Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland for lunch; I had the Safari Skewer, and my husband had the Banyan Beef Skewer. It was one of the best meals I have had at Disney. Around this time, we were exhausted from nonstop Disney and wanted to head back to our room to chill out for a bit. On the way out, we stopped on Main Street and grabbed the famous Churro Toffee, which was incredible. I’m still trying to find a great copycat recipe, so if you have any recommendations, let me know.
We walked back to Grand Californian, which, let me tell you, the quick walk is the best part about staying there. After naps and coffee, we went back to Disneyland and decided to hit up Star Tours, Matterhorn, Small World, and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
We had dinner reservations at Blue Bayou, but my husband wanted to go to Galaxy’s Edge first. When we got to Galaxy’s Edge, I was able to grab a walk-up reservation for Oga’s Cantina so that we could have a drink before dinner. We love Oga’s at Disney World, and Disneyland’s version is exactly the same. While at Oga’s, I checked the Disney Parks Blog Instagram and noticed that they had shared that Drew Brees, the former quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, was at Disneyland with his family. I finished my Fuzzy Tauntaun drink, and my husband finished his Jet Juice, and then we walked to New Orlean’s Square for dinner.
As we approached New Orleans Square, we walked right into my husband’s hero and the man himself, Drew Brees. My level-headed husband didn’t miss a beat and walked up to him and said, “DREW! It’s so nice to meet you!” and they fist-bumped. I wish I could’ve taken a picture, but it happened so quickly that I couldn’t. Later we laughed about how ironic it was that my husband met Drew Brees in New Orleans Square; that might’ve been the highlight of his entire trip.
After the hype from meeting Drew was over, we had a delicious dinner at Blue Bayou, and then we watched the fireworks (I haven’t been back to Disney since fireworks came back). Our last ride was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which is also better at Disneyland and even better at night. The next day we would be leaving to head home, but we knew we would have a couple of hours in the morning at the park, so we decided to head back and get some sleep to make the most of our last morning.
On Sunday, we got up, packed our suitcases, grabbed coffee, and then took one last magical walk to Disneyland. We planned to get in some rides we missed, so we rode Peter Pan’s Flight, Snow White’s Enchanted Wish, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, and Dumbo after rope drop.
We had some more time, so we rode Splash Mountain (literally the only people on the ride) and then Jungle Cruise. We planned to ride a few more rides after Jungle Cruise, but alas, that didn’t happen. While on Jungle Cruise, there was a medical emergency on the boat in front of us, so after we made it all the way to the dock to unload, we had to back up and do the entire ride backward…and then forward again. Luckily, we had a great Skipper who, although out of the typical corny jokes, told us so many fun facts about the ride as we rode back and forth.
With the Jungle Cruise fiasco over, we knew it was time to go. So we grabbed one Matterhorn Macaroon from Jolly Holiday Bakery and headed out of the park. We went back to Grand Californian, grabbed our bags and rental car, and headed back to John Wayne Airport. It was such a whirlwind trip but so much fun, and I know we are looking forward to when we can go back.
Sending love and magic.