A few months ago, I posted my Disney Bucket List in regards to dining at Walt Disney World, and I’m happy to say I’ve crossed a few things off that list since then — I managed to pack Le Cellier, Via Napoli, La Cava del Tequila and Kona Café into my short Marathon Weekend trip in January!
Of course, that still leaves quite a lot of restaurants left on my list. And those were just my highlights, my absolute must-dos. Honestly, I want to go everywhere, eat everything. And the same goes for all the park attractions, all the hotels, all the runDisney races … but I do not live in Orlando and have all the time and money in the universe, so of course this is not exactly feasible.
Things especially aren’t feasible when it comes to California. For the first time since we moved to Brooklyn almost four years ago, my boyfriend and I went back to the West Coast and hit up Disneyland for only my third time ever. I also finally got to see Disney California Adventure for the FIRST time ever. Yes. The first time. I know. I KNOW.
Unfortunately, my trip was over the holidays and EVERYONE IN CALIFORNIA decided to visit the parks on Dec. 27 and 28. We had planned on getting Park Hopper passes for those two days, but judging from the early morning crowds — which, as we rightly expected, only got worse during the day — we wouldn’t be able to maneuver around everyone and get our money’s worth.
While it was incredibly crowded, I did manage to check a few things off my Disneyland/California Adventure Bucket List — namely, dinner at a waterside table at Blue Bayou and doing ANYTHING at California Adventure. On our California Adventure day, my best friend and I wanted to hit up Radiator Springs Racers right away, but by the time we got to DCA — perhaps half an hour after the park opened — the line for Radiator Springs FASTPASSes looked like it was almost an hour long! And of course standby time was always a minimum of three hours. Another time, we ceded.
Of course, that brings me to the other things I haven’t done yet. Time to start saving for my next trip back…
- Radiator Springs Racers. Everything in Cars Land is amazing and I assume this is too. I can’t wait until I can visit during a less crowded time and actually get on this thing.
- Mickey’s Fun Wheel. I took like a million photos of the Ferris wheel but did I go on it? No. I should go on it.
- The Disneyland Story Presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. A classic attraction — two attractions in one, really — with the history of the park and also one of the greatest presidents? How could I not love this?
- Grizzly River Run. It was cold when I was at California Adventure … I mean, cold by California standards, but still a bit too chilly to go on a water rapids ride.
- Disneyland Monorail. When I’m at Walt Disney World, I usually hop on the monorail as a means of transportation. I haven’t been lucky enough to stay at any of the monorail resorts, but I make it a priority to hit up the Tambu Lounge, and my boyfriend and I recently decided to hit up all the monorail resorts for looking-around purposes after our breakfast at Kona Café. The monorail at Disneyland stops at Tomorrowland and Downtown Disney. That’s it. Still. I haven’t done it. And I love the monorail. So.
- Disneyland Railroad. I’ve hopped on the train at WDW before, but never at Disneyland. Seems kind of sacrilegious.
- World of Color. We had to head back to Los Angeles, so I didn’t have time to catch the colorful water show that, as my friend tells me, projects Disney movie moments onto the watery mist. OMG OMG AWESOME. Ughhhhh I NEED to see this! FGIRGKGNRNRG.
- Spend At Least One Night in a Disneyland Hotel. On our first night, my best friend, boyfriend and I crashed in a little hotel in Anaheim around the corner from the parks. There are plenty of these tiny motels just around the corner from the parks, they’re dirt-cheap and have bathrooms and beds, which were basically our only requirements. Unlike at Walt Disney World, where it makes sense on so many levels to stay at a WDW resort, it does not make a lot of economic sense to stay at a Disneyland resort. But oh man, it would be fun, at least for one night! There are only three hotels — the Disneyland Hotel, the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. They definitely don’t fall in the “value to moderate” range, but I’d absolutely love to arrange a wake-up call from Mickey and get to use the exclusive hotel-guests-only entrance to the parks through the Grand Californian. I’d also like to…
- Eat at Napa Rose. There’s no EPCOT at Disneyland, no dozens of world-class eateries to choose from at the parks and resorts. But there is Napa Rose at the Grand Californian, a lauded upscale American eatery that I’m sure I’d be head over heels for.
I’m sure I’m missing something. What am I missing? Tell me. Or don’t. Keep it to yourself, whatever, you selfish jerk you.