Saturday, April 7, 2018

Spring Break 2018: Disneyland

Spring has sprung and I couldn't think of a better way to spend spring break with my little guy than at the happiest place on earth. I booked a stay at the Paradise Pier Hotel, one of the Disneyland Resort properties, so that we could take a break from the action and recharge our batteries in middle of the day. One of the nice things about staying at a Disney property is that we got to visit the park an hour early on Magic Mornings even on our check in day- we just arrived to the hotel around 6:30 to complete preliminary check in, collected our room keys and tickets and we were off! This allowed us to get on some of our favorite rides with minimal lines before the park opened to the general public. 

We only stayed at Paradise Pier for one night, visiting Disneyland on our arrival day and California Adventure on our departure day, so naturally we wanted to maximize our time. Enter MaxPass for $10 per person per day. It allowed me to secure a FASTPASS for popular rides from anywhere in the park instead of going to the ride itself to collect a FASTPASS. This was really helpful, but my favorite part about the MaxPass is it that it includes unlimited PhotoPass downloads from character interactions and photo spots throughout the park. These photos are taken by Disneyland photographers with cameras that far surpass the quality of those taken with my phone. This feature makes the MaxPass worth its weight in virtual gold. 

I did have a specific agenda when planning this trip. As many times as I've visited the park, there are so many things that I've overlooked or simply haven't experienced throughout the years. I wanted to see and do as much as possible. Ever since I was a toddler I wanted to eat at the Blue Bayou Restaurant, adjacent to Pirates of the Carribean, so I made reservations about a month in advance. New Orleans Square is easily my favorite part of the park so I'm not sure why I'd never tried a Mickey shaped beignet, but I made sure I crossed that item off my list. I had also never ridden The Disneyland Railroad. We did this on the recommendation of Crystal, the concierge at Paradise Pier. She kept telling us how Disney was so great about creatively filling space and she was so right. I won't spoil the surprise, but if you never have then you really should. 

My son's favorite part of the park is Toon Town, so I made certain we stopped by, using our MaxPass to avoid the line for Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin. While there we had to visit Mickey's house to meet the big guy himself and took advantage of our PhotoPass feature to preserve our memories. I could go on all day about how happy I am about this MasPass. Seriously. 

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention some of the delicious treats we indulged in during out visit. For me, no trip to Disneyland is complete without these three things: a churro, a caramel apple, and hot chocolate in a souvenir mug. I make a point to try a different caramel apple each visit. This time I tried the Apple Pie Apple. It was absolute perfection! A fun spin on the churro is the sparkly Rose Gold Strawberry Churro available for a limited time for $5.25. We enjoyed our hot chocolate while watching Fantsasmic. What an incredible show! I'd never seen it. I'm so glad I made a point to get a FASTPASS early. It was a great way to end an amazing day! 

Check out Part 2 of our Sping Break Adventure here.

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