We visited Disneyland with our daughter, Jennifer, and grandson, Andre in April of 2016. This was our first time visiting Disneyland in over twenty years when we visited Disneyland several times with our daughter and son. In addition to some changes made to the Magic Kingdom in terms of new attractions since our last visit, a new theme park California Adventure along with a new Disney Downtown area have been added to Disneyland.
We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel which we have stayed at twice on earlier visits. The hotel is about a fifteen minute walk to the Magic Kingdom and California Adventure Parks. One can also take the Monorail instead of walking, although during our visit the Monorail was closed for maintenance other then the first day were were there. We did take it that first day so that Andre could experience it.
The Disney downtown area featuring several restaurants, stores and outdoor entertainment is located just a couple of minutes by foot from the Hotel.
The Disneyland Hotel features three different towers containing rooms of various sizes from standard rooms to suites. There is one registration desk which was located in the tower where our room was located.
We enjoyed a two bedroom suite for the four of us. This suite can easily accommodate eight or more people. One bedroom has a king bed, and bathroom and the other bedroom has two queen beds and its own bathroom. Connecting the two rooms is a very large living room area. This room contains a pullout sofa which can sleep two people along with a murphy bed. Each of the two bedrooms has its own televisions as does the living room. The living room also had a spacious counter, a refrigerator, and large coffee table.
We also added the concierge room to our reservation. This room offered a continental breakfast followed by late morning and early afternoon snacks, hot items in the late afternoon and desserts in the evening hours. Beer and Wine were included along with coffee, tea, water, fruit juice and soft drinks. Two to three Concierges worked the room at any given time and assisted with answering questions, and booking reservations on or off site. This room was located in one of the other towers.
Most mornings Anne Marie, Keith & Andre enjoyed the daily continental breakfast and then we would bring back breakfast for Jennifer to the room.
We had lunch at four different restaurants at the two parks. We made dinner reservations which could be made two months before our arrival. This included dining at two different restaurants located at the Disney Downtown area, one Character Dining experience at one of the Disneyland Hotel Restaurants and on our final night we ate a Steak 55 (55 is the year that Disneyland opened) at a very nice restaurant located on the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel.
Each park has rides for people of all ages from the very young to adults. The park hours in April were 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM on weekdays. For those guests staying at one of the Disneyland Hotels they had access to one theme park at 8:00 AM before they are open to the public at 9:00 AM. The 8:00 AM special opening alternated between the two parks day-to-day. If you stayed at other sites but purchased tickets of tickets of three to five days you could get into the park one time only one hour before the park opens to the public. During the summer months the parks are open until midnight and during the winter months they close earlier. On weekdays the nighttime parade began at 7:45 PM followed by fireworks.
We spent about half our time at the Magic Kingdom Park and the other half at California Adventure, beginning with the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon shortly after arriving to the Disneyland Hotel.
One of the most popular rides at California Adventure is a ride called Radiator Springs Racers. We enjoyed it so much we went on it twice on Day 2 and another two times on Day 4. It offers a simulation of being in a race with another car and is quite thrilling. Andre loved it and we all did as well. In addition to rides, the park offered a section where one could go down various slides and walk along wooden bridges which moved side by side in a park like setting with beautiful trees and other landscape. Another very interesting attraction was one called Soarin' Over California which is a ride simulating the experience of flying over the beautiful California including San Francisco, Anaheim, Napa Valley, Yosemite and several other of the beautiful areas of California.
Another very popular ride is located at the Magic Kingdom. This one is called Splash Mountain where you go up and down the mountain in a flume. The highlight is the last portion of the attraction as you go down the mountain at a high speed and splash on landing in the water. The first time around Keith went on the ride along with Andre and Jennifer. Andre enjoyed it so much that later he went on that ride with Jennifer and on another day he went on the ride two other times with Jennifer.
We reminisced about our times visiting this park with Jennifer and our son Eric as we took several other rides that we had wonderful memories of taking with them. This included: Casey Jr. Circus Train (we used to love to ride facing backwards in the Caboose), Dumbo The Flying Elephant, It's A Small World, Mad Tea Party, Peter Pan's Flight, Pinocchio's Daring Adventure, and Pirates Of The Caribbean. We also saw The Enchanted Tiki Room Show which also brought back wonderful memories from previous family vacations.
One evening, Anne Marie, Jennifer and Andre viewed the evening parade followed by the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. Other evening's, the fireworks could be viewed from our room. The concierge room also provided an exception location to view the evening fireworks where they also piped in the sounds into the room.
There are a few attractions where you can sign up for FastPass. You would insert your admission card at a FastPass kiosk located near the attraction and it would provide a one hour window when you could return. When you return you would go on a special FastPass line and within a couple of minutes you would be be on the attraction.
We had a wonderful time at Disneyland. For the amount of time we were there and given the age of our grandson, we went to Disneyland rather than Disney World and we feel that we made the right decision. It easily could take one to two weeks to visit all the attractions at Disney World. We had perfect weather as the morning lows at the park were in the high 50's (F), and the daytime highs ranged from low to mid to even high 70's (F). The amount of time waiting in line ranged from no waiting time to about fifty minutes.
These are photos from our trip.