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Trip Report "It's so dark and my bum goes up!" - A Day in DL/DCA With a 3 Year Old

krause

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello all! This is just a one day trip report for a day we spent in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on March 4. It’ll be short and sweet, feel free to read in between cliffhangers in @Tuvalu and @amjt660 trip reports :hilarious::bookworm:

Who: Me and my husband Lukas and our daughter Kinley (3.5 years old)

Wait a minute,” you might say, “I read your last trip report and don’t you have 2 children?!?

Why yes, yes I do. We were spending a week in Palm Springs with my in-laws, and of course I had to do a day in Disney because it is thisclose. Because we only had one day and our son is a very busy 18 month old who has never been as good of a stroller rider/napper as our daughter, we decided to let him have a day with Oma and Opa at the house in Palm Springs while we ripped through Disneyland with our 3.5 year old. Trust me, he didn’t know the difference, and he was quite happy spending the day here:

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Where: Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. After hours and hours of research (ie. reading @lostpro9het, @ajrwdwgirl, @Doc Disney and many others trip reports), I decided we could “do it all” and booked us a one day park hopper with Maxpass.

DCA had EMH 8-9am and DL was open 9am-10pm. I decided to go to Disneyland first and book our Maxpasses for the afternoon at DCA. According to Google Maps, the house we were staying at was 2 hours from Disneyland so we decided to leave at 6am, hoping to arrive at DL at 8am (positive thinkers, we are). We stopped at Cabazon for Starbucks and gas and were on our way.

Boy oh boy, did I underestimate California traffic. People, I am a simple Canadian girl from the Prairies and this traffic was terrifying. What felt like countless lanes in both directions, carpool lanes (which we did take advantage of), fasttrak lanes, motorcycles just riding the lines between the lanes, and the ever-wonderful coming to a gridlock for no apparent reason.



So, thanks to this wonderful traffic, we arrived at the Disneyland parking lot at 8:40am, and I knew we weren’t making rope drop. The plus side to this was that we didn’t have any major rope drop plans. The main option for rope drop at DL would be Peter Pan which is a hard pass for me. I don’t get the appeal to that ride, it's fine but it does not make sense that the line is always so long. Kinley did just watch Peter Pan for the first time a couple weeks ago and did have hopes of meeting "peter man", but OH MY GOODNESS how racist is that movie?!? I hadn’t seen it in years and it shocked me. I seriously considered just pitching it but I am trying to see the magic instead of just the blatant racism, but it’s difficult. I imagine the second option for rope drop would be Indiana Jones, but Kinley isn’t tall enough for that ride and I knew we could do it single rider later.

Noticed this on our way in. Just gonna leave this here. It has a sunroof, guys.

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So we made it through the gates by 9:20 and were at our “rope-drop” attraction by 9:27. (75% battery, I know, I was already panicking)

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I HATE the queues for character meet and greets, they move soo slow and are terribly boring, so we headed first to Royal Hall. Now, checking the app before arriving it looked like Aurora would meet at Snow White’s Wishing Well a few times throughout the day and we knew we wanted to see her. We were expecting Cinderella, Snow White, and Ariel at the Royal Hall and Kinley was on a huge Cinderella kick this week (it changes week to week) so that was going to be good. So weren’t we surprised when we walked through the door (after about a 15 minute as-posted wait) and saw..

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Aurora! I was happy, but somewhat worried because I knew we also HAD to meet Cinderella, and Snow White and Ariel so I didn’t know who we would miss by having Aurora here.

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A side note on the wand you will notice in most of Kinley’s pictures. The day before this we went to Costco (I LOVE Costco and like to visit in other cities as the selection is different everywhere but prices remain amazing - no alcohol at the Costco in Winnipeg either so that’s a big highlight in the USA Costcos). Anyways, we found this Frozen book that came with this wand and if you hold the wand over different pages in the book it makes different sounds. Kinley became very attached to this wand and had to be holding it constantly in DL. The plus of this was that it gave every princess something to talk to her about because she is a VERY talkative 3 year old, but clams right up as soon as she gets to a princess. They also loved to mention her Mickey “jewel” bracelet that I bought her on our trip to WDW when she was 18 months and she just recently started loving and wearing it every day.

At Royal Hall we ended up also meeting…
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Snow White! Who loved Kinley’s “jewels” - “Did your dwarves get those for you?” :hilarious:

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And..
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Ariel! Who Kinley also loves.


We had them sign a picture frame. I got the idea from @blgauger back in the day when she couldn’t just pop in to say hi to characters whenever she pleased (lots of name dropping in this report, I have no shame:happy:). I also brought her “Junior Encyclopedia of Animated Characters” that we had the characters sign on our last trip, but Aurora was our only “new” M&G so she was the only one who had to sign both.
 

krause

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I’m in - my life will not be complete without hearing the story behind the title 😉
Thanks for reading! Haha oh I'll get there, it was a definite highlight of the day :happy:

Also, can you guys believe she left me behind?!
View attachment 355454
Ummm pretty sure I said you could fly down for the day and come with us and you declined my wonderful offer :bored:

Loving it so far! Your daughter is so adorable!!
Thanks for reading! We think she's pretty great :inlove:

That's great--I love it!!
Looking forward to this!!
Yay! Glad to have you following along!

Excellent start
You have my attention

And I do not leave (all) my posts as cliffhangers!!

Max
Well none of us got arrested, so I really don't have a big cliffhanging moment to leave you on anyways :joyfull:

Looking forward to seeing your adventures in the Land! Feel free to add any thoughts on Palm Springs if you want too. We are planning a trip there this year so it would be interesting to see some of that too if you want to include it.... :)
Thanks! We didn't do a whole lot of touring in Palm Springs, spent most days by the pool. We did go to the Living Zoo which is excellent, lots of the same animals as Kilimanjaro Safari and you get to feed giraffes :inlove:. I wanted to take the tram up the mountain but the road to get there was washed out by all the flooding a few weeks ago, I think it's supposed to reopen around April 1 - apparently that's one of the best things to do there! I'll throw in some pictures later on, I need to get my mother-in-law to send me some :happy:
 

krause

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We were out of the princesses by 9:55 and I was ready for a ride. Avid readers will realize that the park had been open nearly an hour and I still hadn’t made a Maxpass. I had been watching, nay studying, the app for weeks. I wanted a RSR Maxpass for 1pm and I knew that those became available usually between 9:45-10:30am. If I made a Maxpass immediately on our arrival, a) what would I need it for at that point, lines are short; and b) I could only make a 2nd at 10:30 (assuming I didn’t use my first one before that time) and by 10:30 I might miss my ideal RSR time.

So, it was real ride time. Our last (and first) DL trip was 4 years ago and I was about 17 weeks pregnant so missed out on a lot of the rides. I knew I had to get on Indiana Jones because it gets so much love. So while I hit Indiana Jones single rider line (40 minute posted), Lukas and Kinley went on Jungle Cruise (15 min wait)

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For Indiana Jones Single Rider you check in at the entrance and tell them you want to do single rider. They give you a pink card:

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And send you up the exit. Wow, that’s a long exit walk. Luckily I had 3 people ahead of me who had clearly done this before because you walk and walk and go down back halls, up an elevator, then down an elevator and wait in this mini queue until they call you. I would have been so lost by myself.

Noticed this while in line.
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I don’t know a lot about Indiana Jones (never seen a whole movie) and I don’t know terribly much about Star Wars either.. but I think they are the same actor?? Harrison Ford?? Am I right?? I should look it up before I just post this but I'm sure someone will correct me.

The ride was.. good? Like I said, I haven’t seen any Indiana Jones movies, my main knowledge comes from the show in Hollywood Studios (and Steve in Full House, amirite??). I like that style of ride, and I loved that there were no giant dinosaurs breathing in my face :hilarious:

I was in and out in 10 minutes. I managed to go to the bathroom and book our first Maxpass before Kinley and Lukas were off Jungle Cruise. Booked RSR at 10:20 am with a window of 12:55-1:55pm - nailed it!
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We continued up that side of the park, stopped for a must-have snack -
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We didn’t get the special “Get Your Ears On” butterscotch flavour beignets because that sounds gross.

Haunted mansion… still at 13 minute wait but not on the must-do list might do later. Pirates… also not a must-do for me and that outdoor queue looks BRUTAL, skip it…
 

ELeigh

Well-Known Member
The main option for rope drop at DL would be Peter Pan which is a hard pass for me. I don’t get the appeal to that ride, it's fine but it does not make sense that the line is always so long. Kinley did just watch Peter Pan for the first time a couple weeks ago and did have hopes of meeting "peter man", but OH MY GOODNESS how racist is that movie?!? I hadn’t seen it in years and it shocked me
I agree 100% about the ride and the movie. Luckily we bought the combo pack that included Peter Pan 2 so now any time the kids ask to watch Peter Pan I pop in the sequel
 

krause

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We definitely wanted to do Splash Mountain. I had been watching videos of it with Kinley for months to get her excited for it, and she definitely wanted to do it. However, it was around 10:30am which is the time the Winnie the Pooh characters started their M&G and I figured that line would get long and painful, so we headed there first!

The app is super deceiving in how far apart the entrance to Splash and the Winnie the Pooh area are, they look right across from each other but they are not.

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According to my photo time stamps it was only 13 minutes between beignets and Tigger hugs, it felt a lot longer. Kinley had a looooonngggg hug with Tigger. She just wouldn’t let go.

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I asked him if it was getting uncomfortable and he gave me a big “NO” and hugged her tighter :joyfull:

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After the hug that never ended, we met my favourite.. Eeyore! He’s so sad and sweet.

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Then, time for Winnie! Winnie the Pooh is named after our city of Winnipeg, so that’s cool… right?
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Family pic with Winnie!

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Then, it was time for the ultimate test. I knew if Kinley could make it on Splash Mountain, she would do anything. If we could get over that hump of the first “big” ride, we could get on anything we wanted today. I had trained and planned and prepared for this moment. We donned our ponchos and rain jacket (after seeing recent reports of how soaked you get). There was a slight hesitation by Kin during the loading process, but I plopped her in her seat, hugged her from behind, and we talked about how excited we were. (I did have a slight panic Mom-moment when I realized there isn’t even a lap bar - isn’t there a lap bar at least in MK?!?)

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We got soaked!
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And despite how this picture looks, she LOVED it! No screams, no crying, just smiles and laughs afterwards.
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(It looks like that girl in the back is sitting beside her mom??)

This set the tone for the rest of the day, and we were ready to roll!
 

krause

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We were getting close to 11am which was the time Tinkerbell was supposed to start her M&G, so we headed over to that side of the park.

Passed this beauty on the way :bored:
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It was also under scrims on our last trip so I have not yet seen this castle (reason for a future trip, right?)

We were told that Tinkerbell was running errands for Queen Clarion and would be back around 12:00.

Okay, adjust the plans (SO much easier with just the 3 of us than the 7 we had on our last trip).

Tea cups listed at 5 minutes, Lukas loves it, let’s go there!
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I, on the other hand, do NOT love it so I let Kinley and Lukas ride while I scoured mobile order menus because this Momma was getting HANGRY

Line was at least 10 if not 15 minutes, felt way longer (remember how hangry I am), so they FINALLY got off and we headed back to see if Tinkerbell was done her errands.

She was not, but people were starting to line up so we joined the gang.
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Tinkerbell was late (fits her personality right?), and after HOURRRSSSS in line we FINALLY met her at 12:19. It was nice to have a photopass photographer with this M&G, I was disappointed there wasn't one at Royal Hall.
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Hi, hi, hi, wave the wand, sign the frame, take the picture, this Momma is hangry and has to pee
 

amjt660

Well-Known Member
Pirates… also not a must-do for me and that outdoor queue looks BRUTAL, skip it…
When you go back please go on the DLR version of Pirates - so much better

but I think they are the same actor?? Harrison Ford?? Am I right?? I should look it up before I just post this but I'm sure someone will correct me.
@NessNewt beat me to it and is correct
The ride was.. good?
This one is my favourite ride - love the movies and the ride - makes much better use of the ride system (Dinosaur not as good)

Then, time for Winnie! Winnie the Pooh is named after our city of Winnipeg, so that’s cool… right?
Very cool indeed!!

(It looks like that girl in the back is sitting beside her mom??)
Its because she is sitting beside her Mom - the last row is a bench that seats 2!!

Max
 

krause

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
When you go back please go on the DLR version of Pirates - so much better
I knowwww everyone on here loves DL Pirates and I really thought about doing it just for you guys, but one day only leaves time for “news and must-dos” (I made that up - good right?) and pirates has never made my must-do list. Im sure we did it on our first DL trip but I don’t really remember much from that trip (preggo brain)

This one is my favourite ride - love the movies and the ride - makes much better use of the ride system (Dinosaur not as good)
I read so much before going about how this is the #1 ride in DL (I think one blog even called it the #1 ride in all Disney parks around the world which I imagine is a bit of a stretch but only you would know 😜). Next time I will watch an Indiana Jones movie before going and hopefully not have to ride single rider because it’s better with a friend (although you might disagree with all your solo trips)

Very cool indeed!!
😎

Its because she is sitting beside her Mom - the last row is a bench that seats 2!!
Wait, what?!! Howwww did I not know this?? And whyyy would they not tell me this when they see me with a kid who is thisclose to not making the height requirement. Ah well, it’s good for a kid to be on their own right? Independence and all that 🤷🏻‍♀️
 
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