The Happiest Place on Earth – Our Trip + Tips & Tricks

This year for our anniversary, we decided to spend less than 48 hours in California. We are straight up crazy people! All we wanted to do was spend our anniversary weekend in Disneyland, so we hopped a late night plane and headed to sunny LA.

Luckily our anniversary is in January, which is a perfect time to visit Disneyland. The crowds are less but the weather is still divine.

We got a One-Day Park Hopper pass to allow us into Disneyland Park and California Adventure, which means we had a LOT to accomplish in one day. Cue the comfy tennis shoes and yoga pants.

Major key to Disney – do your research beforehand! I found out a week before we left that there would not be a fireworks show at night, and instead they would be performing Fantasmic. The big difference here is that you need a FastPass to get a good viewing spot for Fantasmic, rather than just showing up at the castle for fireworks. So our first stop was the FastPass distribution for Fantasmic (and we ended up with FRONT ROW!!) Then we got straight onto Pirates of the Caribbean (our first ride of the day!)

The other benefit of reading up on the park before we left was that we decided to get a MaxPass. This allows you to use the Disneyland app on your phone to schedule your FastPasses for rides & download ALL your pictures that the crew members take of you at the park.

We scheduled our first FastPass to ride Radiator Springs Racers – because the line is always long and it runs out of FastPasses first.


Sticking to California Adventure for the first part of our day, we also scheduled a FastPass for Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout and Soarin’ Over the World. Between waiting for our FastPasses we got some pictures!


Mickey was SO cute and tried to steal me away because I “looked like Minnie Mouse!”

The new Guardians ride is amazing! Its way more exciting than the old Tower of Terror version and a thrill for a nerd like me to see all my fave heroes!


After we rode Soarin’ Over the World, we had delicious burgers, waffle fries and onion rings at Smokejumpers Grill. Then, we headed back over to Disneyland for more rides and of COURSE a photo stop at the main gate.


We used a FastPass for Indiana Jones and Star Tours (omg this ride was SO cool,) and in between rode the Jungle Cruise, Mad Tea Party, Matterhorn Bobsleds, and OF COURSE stopped for a Dole Whip! Make sure to go INSIDE the Tiki Room area for a shorter line!


Before our FastPass to Space Mountain, we also rode it as single riders. Single Rider is great for rides with really long lines! We only waited about 10 minutes and both rode at the same time, just not right next to each other. We also walked around the Star Wars Launch Bay and got some insight on the new Galaxy’s Edge Star Wars land!!

Space Mountain was by far our favorite ride, and we rode it three different times. For our photo op, we decided to pretend we were asleep.


On our way back to Main Street for some shopping, we stopped and got a picture at the Sleeping Beauty Castle!


With a little bit of time before Fantasmic, we took a break from rides and went shopping  and bought these super cute long sleeves!

Disneyland Jersey Long Sleeve

We park hopped back over to California Adventure to possibly ride Toy Story Midway Mania, but the line was REALLY long and the FastPass was out, so we skipped it. We rode Monster’s Inc and Goofy’s Flight School instead. Then back to the Disneyland!

For dinner we had tacos and burritos at Rancho Del Zocato. Then we spent the rest of our time before Fantasmic riding the Railroad around the park. At 8:00pm we were ready for Fantasmic (which starts at 9:00pm, ) churro in hand!

Fantasmic was such a beautiful show with ALL my favorite princesses! Rapunzel, Jasmine, Ariel, and Belle were all in the show. PLUS – they had a life sized Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean with show on board the ship! It was surreal.

After Fantasmic, we rode our last ride – Indiana Jones (for the 2nd time.) When we found out Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain were closed we decided to call it a night.

Here are our end of day stats:

Total Hours At the Park: 13.5

Total Miles Walked: 12.4

Max Wait Time (with FastPass): 20 Min

Calories Consumed: 1 Billion 😉

Fun Had: Endless

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