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disneyland diaries – may 2022

Every visit to The Happiest Place on Earth is truly magical. This was our family’s third visit (my fourth!) in the last year that Disneyland has been reopen so, we are starting to get some opinions! This trip was special as it was Watson’s fifth birthday; it was fun to spend the day in the magic.

Before I start, I want to emphasize when we do Disneyland, we do Disneyland. Our trip is very centered in and focused on The Happiest Place on Earth and we like to spend as much time as we can in the parks!

Ok, let’s dive in:


Where We Stayed:

The Westin

This time we stayed at the Westin. I heard great things from an local influencer, and found a great deal on our stay, via Getaway Today. This is our third visit using Getaway Today & can’t recommend this company enough!!

So, we booked it! We stayed 5 days/ 4 nights.

First off, The Westin is more business-friendly; close to convention center and has beautiful conference rooms. However, for a family, it wasn’t the best. It was farther from Disneyland than previous hotels we have used, with 15-20 minute walks either way around. It would be great for a staycation, if you are from the area, with maybe one day in the park. However, I found myself dreading the walk to and from the hotel to the parks; we always come back for naps!

Cons: 

  • Far from the parks
  • There are no microwaves in the rooms. 
  • Parking Garage situation is annoying; Self Parking is on levels 4/5, having to take the elevator all the way to the ground floor, walk inside through lobby to inside elevators, and elevator to your hotel floor. 
  • Sucky Water Pressure 
  • Wifi/Internet connection sucked and we often lost service in our room

Pros:

  • Hotel staff were all incredibly friendly; always willing to help!
  • There are elevators on both sides of the hotel (East and West)
  • Deep Bath Tub
  • I liked that you had to scan your room card to be able to go up to your room
  • fancy & modern aesthetic

Overall, it was a positive experience, however, we will stick to closer hotels in the future for Park trips!

What We Ate:

Disneyland Park:

  • Mickey Pretzel & Cheese (Pretzel Cart in Fantasyland) – we always grab this & head into a longer line queue!
  • Blue Milk (Milk Stand) – we are a blue milk family, but if you haven’t visited Galaxy’s Edge before you definitely have to taste test both!
  • Cakepops (Cheshire Cat & Minnie Mouse from Candy Palace)This is what Watson picked for his birthday treat! It was nostalgic because when we came for his first birthday we got him a Pixar ball cake pop for his birthday treat!
  • Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Croissant (from Jolly Holiday)- It was good, but not great. I wish it was warmer, and the eggs were more well-done. Also, we split 2 croissants between the 4 of us. 6/10

DCA:

  • Cookie-dusted Churro (Cozy Cone -Churros) – I typically don’t do seasonal churros but this was a 15/10; comes with creme dipping sauce that isn’t pictured!
  • Mac & Cheese bowl (Pacific Wharf Cafe) the myth. the legend. the food I get (& dream of) every trip! It never disappoints!
Pyms Test Kitchen: We ate about 11:30am & it was still considered part of the lunchtime rush. It took about 10-15 minutes into our mobile ordering time to actually get our order. If you eat here consider a considerably early lunch to get it without the rush!
  • Not so Little Chicken Sandwich – this was so so yummy. I will be getting this again!
  • Quantum Pretzel – chad’s favorite from the whole trip; he has been so excited to try it & it lived up to the hype! He really liked the beer cheese, whereas I prefer the normal cheese that comes with a mickey pretzel.
  • Side Potato Bites – also so so good!
  • Freestyle Drink more options here than the normal coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite throughout the parks!

What We Rode:

Just a reminder there are four of us: a 2 year-old, a 5-year-old, and two adults! We only did Genie+ the last day and only got to use it in Disneyland; we really liked this as we were able to get the rides we wanted to do earlier in the trip and save the last day for focusing on rides. Genie+ is a great option if your family (or yourself) can do back-to-back rides and/or you’re only in the parks for one day!

Disneyland:

  • Small Worldall can ride; I think we rode this six times in the course of three days! It is a crowd pleaser for us, as both kids LOVE it!
  • AstroBlastersall can ride; 5 year-old’s favorite ride of the entire trip! We rode this everyday of our trip. Wait times for this ride REALLY vary throughout the day and night so, if you see the wait at 5-10 minutes, I would book it over there to ride it!
  • Haunted Mansionall can ride; We are going to retire this ride for our family for a bit, unless the kids ask to go (which for our 5 year- old will probably be with the NBC overlay haha). It was a bit too much for both kids this trip!
  • Many Adventures of Winnie the Poohall can ride; a fast, walk-on ride!
  • Indiana Jones* – switch off; has a 46 inch height requirement, which our 5 year-old could meet, however he didn’t want to ride it!
  • Big Thunder Railroad* – switch off/5 year-old rode too! This ride is now lovingly referred to as “The fast train ride” by the 5 year-old. Has a height requirement of 40 inches, so 2-year-old couldn’t ride.

*We didn’t ride my FAVORITE ride this time: Rise of the Resistance. Wait times never went under 60 minutes and I walked by several times when the ride was down only to see a bunch of people (like 40-50 people) waiting to jump in as soon as the ride was back up. It just wasn’t in the cards this time!

DCA:

  • Monsters Inc Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! all can ride; 2 year-old did not love, but 5 year-old did.
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jaboreeall can ride; 5 year-old’s second favorite ride! He is more hesitant towards fast-moving, but REALLY enjoyed this ride!
  • Webslingers all can ride; my favorite DCA ride! We actually rode this twice! I noticed that about 5-close wait times typically went down. “Low wait times” for Webslingers is anything 30 minutes or less!
  • The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventureall can ride; our most ridden ride at DCA; 2 year-old’s favorite ride!
  • Art of Animation *not really a ride, but love the space to sit, relax, and watch the amazing show!*
  • Turtle Talk with Crush*this is also not a ride, but SO fun! This was my first time doing Turtle Talk and was laughing the entire time! 10/10

Entertainment:

Disneyland

  • Main Street Electrical ParadeIf you want to catch the first show of the night (8:45pm) people start saving their seat starting at 5/5:30pm. We weren’t willing to wait that long, so we caught the second show (10:45). We sat in our spot, across from the train station, starting at 9:30/9:45; so only an hour for saving our spots. Chad went and rode Indiana Jones while the kids played with their bubble wands & danced around. It is my favorite moment from the trip! We got to relax & hang out, while still getting AMAZING seats!
  • Disneyland Forever Fireworks We were trying to get into DCA, but it was grad night so we couldn’t get in. We stayed outside the parks to watch the Disneyland Forever Fireworks. Our 2 year-old hates fireworks so it was great as she stayed in the stroller, with the cover over her, holding our hands. Our 5 year-old loved watching it from his bench seat and we had a great time! It would also be fun to watch it via a hotel room/balcony with a park view!
  • Met Tinkerbell in Pixie HollowThis was a first for me & my kids; we typically don’t wait to meet characters! It was so fun even though both kids were more introverted. Tink was so patient and no one rushed us! It was so fun & the 5 year-old couldn’t stop talking about it!

DCA

  • Characters in Avenger’s Campus – I love that if you sit and take a break in Avenger’s Campus, a superhero is bound to come by! I was simply sitting with our 2 year-old when Thor & Loki walk up and starts talking to the people next to us. Then within minutes Black Widow & Ant Man joined them! Ant Man was showing the others the shrunk-down Bugs Land. The only complaint I have is very specific: If you have a child, PLEASE DON’T PUSH THEM NEXT TO THE CHARACTERS. Let the characters come to them or ask before shoving a child in front of a character.

Downtown Disney

We stopped by the Lego store! They were decked out in fun Star Wars lego creations for May the Fourth.

Favorite Outfit of the Trip:

Dress: Ivy City Co

Necklace: Disney x Kate Spade

Fanny Pack: Stoney Clover x Target

Shoes: Tevas

*referral links used!

I wore a dress almost every day this trip! Especially during the upcoming summer months, dresses are the way to go!

I hope this post was helpful to anyone going to Disneyland/DCA soon, especially anyone going with kids! We just got Magic Keys so this definitely won’t be the last Disneyland Diary! 🙂

You can check out more Disney lifestyle & tips content on my IG! @glitterandhappiness

xoxo, Lauren

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