Hi GT!! Since you all gave me such great advice pre-trip, I thought I’d update you on how it went! Also, FYI, Kinja was fucking up my notifications so I didn’t see some of your advice until I went back to look the night before, but it was all SO helpful.
We got there at around 7:45 for rope drop and stayed through the fireworks at 9:30, meaning we left around 10:00 pm for a 14 hour day. This is the only thing I would change, because we were a little salty and very exhausted by the end of the day. If we do any Disney parks again (which we will, ha my evil plan to lure Mr. Toad into the hands of Disneyland/World has worked!) we will be sure to plan to leave midday for a nap. Also PSA for fireworks - just hold your child on your hip. It’s fireworks - they will be able to see. When you put them on your shoulders, it just means that no one behind you can see through your kid. You’re lucky he is very cute and claps when they go off.
It was a PERFECT day for Disney - not too hot, we were in jeans comfortably and I had on a sweatshirt for a lot of the day. Every time it got crowded in the morning it would start to drizzle, which I think really kept the crowds down. We only ended up needing fastpasses for four things - Space Mountain, Star Tours, Indiana Jones, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Space Mountain I think was the hit of the day, not least because as we were walking into the line there was a family of ducks ALSO walking into the building, being meticulously guarded by security. Make Way for Ducklings - Disneyland Edition! Finding Nemo’s submarine voyage was also REALLY cool.
We had lunch at Cafe Orleans - highly recommend! I had the three-cheese Monte Cristo, basically swiss, triple creme brie, and mozzarella maybe? in beignet dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar. I managed to eat a quarter of it before I thought I was going to die, but so worth it. If you can afford it, it’s definitely nice to sit down and have a table-service meal after the morning rush from ride to ride.
I also highly recommend getting there early, and using an app to track wait times. We probably got 2/3 to 3/4 of the rides we wanted to do done in the morning hours. We had planned to ride the Matterhorn and Splash Mountain at night, but when we saw they had 5-10 minute waits in the morning we just went for it - which was great, because by nighttime we didn’t want to do any more rides and the waits would have been much longer.
Also! Attached to the building with the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln show is a gorgeous store of Disney artwork, which you should definitely do if you appreciate the art of Disney animation. It’s all crazy expensive but cool to look at, and there’s always someone drawing custom orders in there too, which is neat to watch. There’s also benches to sit on for a while and watch a little video with Steve Martin and Donald Duck about the history of Disneyland. The whole complex doesn’t attract a lot of kids, so it’s quiet and a good way to kind of recharge in the afternoon if you’re not getting a break away from the park.
The wedding we were there for was also amazing and beautiful and just truly about celebrating the bride and groom, so all in all a perfect weekend!
This has gotten really long but anyway, thanks for all your advice guys!! This was Mr. Toad and my first trip away together that wasn’t to see family, so kind of a big deal! I’m really glad it went so well!