Mornings at Disneyland are special times. If you are like me you could have the most comfortable bed in the world, but the excitement of what lays ahead will give you a fitful if any sleep. Waking up on a Disney morning I am always raring to go.
This last Saturday was no different. Waking up at 5:30 in the morning it would be a good 2 and half hours before the park would even let us in. With morning light barely shining I dawned my tennis shoes and set out for a run around the kingdom. It was a very interesting run. From our hotel and around the park was a perfect 3.5 round trip run. Kind of short for most of my morning runs, but considering all the walking I would be doing it was more than enough. It was a very quiet run, it wasn’t until I got to the end of the run did I see the many cast members getting ready for work. While jogging past Disney’s California Adventure I was able to catch a glimpse of the Ferris Wheel that was still lit up.
Coming back to the hotel I had enough time to take a leisurely shower and have a big breakfast. Having a good breakfast before going to Disneyland is a good thing. For one thing, you need the energy and for seconds, the less you pause for eating the more time you have for attractions (those in the know call them attractions not rides). Along with that if you can you should get your tickets before hand, it will save you a lot of pointless ticket booth waiting. Any ticket you can get at the ticket booth you can also print online at home. Just print the ticket and you will be good to go at the turnstiles.
Unless you are lucky enough to pay for a magical morning ticket (lets you get in one hour early), you will be allowed into Disneyland a half an hour before the park officially opens, but you will not be able to get to any attractions.
It was at rope drop that we met some very nice college interns for rope drop. One of the ladies we met told us she was from New Mexico and it was her first time at rope drop. I wasn’t sure who was more excited, her or us! Depending on your strategy is where you will want to position yourself for rope drop. If you get to the park right at opening you can guarantee yourself an easy entrance to at least one attraction. The top three opening attractions are the Flying Dumbo Ride (stay towards the middle), Indiana Jones (go to the left), and Space Mountain (go to the right). What we ended up doing is getting a fastpass for Space Mountain and then headed straight towards Finding Nemo.
Careful use of the fastpass system is key to making the most of your Disneyland visit. You are allowed to get a fastpass as soon as you current fastpass is active. If you play the game right you can have up to three fastpasses at a time. At the very least you should always have two fastpasses in your hand. Do this and you will never have to wait more than 15 minutes for most attractions.
The natural tendencies for most parks is that the attractions in the front of park fill up first, so to beat them we went to the back of the park first. After we got off the Finding Nemo submarines we headed straight to Big Thunder Mountain. As predicted there was hardly any line, we didn’t even have to use a fastpass for that attraction. We headed back to Space Mountain but first got a fastpass for Star Tours and took a detour to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. The first time AJ rode on the Buzz he was very scared, but after he found out they gave you a laser gun he was very excited. He kept on saying for the rest of the day “Buzz has a job for me.”
We decided we wanted to have a fancy lunch so we went on the Pirates of Carribean attraction and on the way out made a reservation at the Blue Bayou Restaurant. Making our way across the square we went to the Haunted Mansion (where AJ was not afraid), Splash Mountain (Denise sat one out), Winnie the Pooh (I liked it better when the bears were there). Finding Denise back at the perfume shop we rode the train around to ToonTown station. At ToonTown we took a spin on Roger Rabbit’s Toon Spin, rode Gadget’s go coaster and met three of our favorite characters (Minnie, Mickey, and Goofy).
After sailing the “happiest cruise that ever sailed…” (still can’t get that song out of my head) we were very hungry, but we still had enough time to see Captain EO (a tribute film to the late Michael Jackson).
Four and half hours and we had already seen 15 attractions. That is what I love about Disneyland mornings, a little bit of planning, and a lot enthusiasm and there is so much to be done. There was still lots more to do at Disneyland but we had a good start to our day.