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Seven Reasons I’m Excited to Visit Disneyland Resort (Again)

Last year, I took my then 5-year-old daughter on a quick 3-night trip to Disneyland. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Orange County on points and used Southwest Rapid Reward points to fly for free.

Next month, my entire family of five is going to visit Disneyland for a few days before a nearby conference. My husband and two sons have been to Disney World several times, but never to Disneyland. I’m giddy with excitement!

Why am I so excited when I was just at Disneyland last year? Well, one thing that remains constant about Disney parks is that there is always something new and different from our last visit.

Seven Reason I'm Excited to Visit Disneyland Resort (Again)

California Adventure

This will be the first time my husband and boys will get to experience California Adventure. This park is unlike any other Disney park!

Seven Reason I'm Excited to Visit Disneyland Resort (Again)

California Adventure

Last year when I visited, Cars Land blew me away. Disney Imagineers did a fabulous job with the Radiator Springs Racers ride. I felt like I was in the movie!

Seven Reason I'm Excited to Visit Disneyland Resort (Again)

Transported to Radiator Springs

Seven Reason I'm Excited to Visit Disneyland Resort (Again)

Casa Della Tires

Different Versions of the Same Rides

If you’ve been to both Disneyland in California and the Magic Kingdom park in Florida, you’ve probably noticed that the same rides are different in each park. Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion….they all look different and have different ride features.

Of course, “it’s a small world” is probably the biggest difference! I only wish we were visiting during its holiday transformation.

Seven Reason I'm Excited to Visit Disneyland Resort (Again)

“it’s a small world” ride in Disneyland.

“New” Rides, Plus My Very Favorite Ride

Disneyland has rides not available at Disney World that I’m excited for my family to try. There’s the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Matterhorn, Casey Jr. Circus Train, Storybook Land Canal Boats and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, to name a few. Since Mickey’s Toontown hasn’t been at Disney World in several years, my boys will enjoy exploring this whimsical place.

Seven Reason I'm Excited to Visit Disneyland Resort (Again)

Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland

However, my absolute favorite ride from any Disney park is the Indiana Jones Adventure ride. I couldn’t ride it during my visit last year because my daughter wasn’t tall enough. I’m not sure if she will be tall enough this year, but at least I can do the rider switch pass with my husband this time. I hope the ride is still as good as I remember. It’s been 15 years since I’ve been on this ride!

Blue Bayou Restaurant

I’ve been to Disneyland over 50 times (I used to work for Disney and lived an hour away), but I’ve never had lunch or dinner in the Blue Bayou restaurant. The restaurant is inside the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride!

Every time I’ve gone on the ride, I’ve thought to myself that I should make a reservation at Blue Bayou. This will be our chance! (Readers, has anyone dined here?)

Summer of Heroes with Marvel Characters

From May 27 through September 10, 2017, California Adventure is having a Summer of Heroes. The new Guardians of the Galaxy ride is opening in place of the old Tower of Terror.

There will also be other activities and meet and greets with Marvel characters, including Spider Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Groot! My kids would love to participate in the Avengers Training Initiative, which sounds like a Marvel version of the Jedi Training Academy.

Seven Reason I'm Excited to Visit Disneyland Resort (Again)

My boys met Captain America on a Disney Cruise in 2014

Since Disney does not have the rights to Marvel characters east of the Mississippi due to a previous contract between Marvel and Universal, we can’t see these characters at Disney World. My boys will be thrilled to get their Marvel fix at California Adventure!

New Hotel

Ok, I’m a nerdy travel geek on this one. But I admit, I’m excited to stay in a new hotel!

We are using points to stay at Hyatt House at Anaheim Resort/Convention Center. The hotel just opened last year, and I’ve never stayed in the Hyatt House brand before.

The room is large enough to fit my family of five and comes with free breakfast. We will be close enough to just walk to the parks, so we won’t have to deal with shuttle buses. Woohoo!

Using Points

Of course, I’m excited that we are using points to make this trip happen. We hadn’t planned on going to this conference in California due to expenses from our Alaska cruise. But, using points for flights and hotels made this extra summer trip possible.

I had some leftover Southwest Rapid Rewards points from my Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa which we used for flights. I transferred Chase Ultimate Rewards from my Chase Sapphire Preferred card to Hyatt to book the hotel. We used my husband’s travel credit from his Chase Sapphire Reserve to book a night at Great Wolf Lodge Garden Grove.

This trip isn’t free, for sure. We still have to buy park tickets and food. But, there’s no way we would be making this trip without the use of miles and points from credit card sign-ups.

Are you tempted to visit Disneyland Resort this summer? What do you think about the addition of Marvel characters to the parks in California?

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Author: Nancy

Nancy is a contributing writer for Miles For Family. She enjoys traveling to the beach and is a big fan of Disney. Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids.

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11 thoughts on “Seven Reasons I’m Excited to Visit Disneyland Resort (Again)

  1. I grew up in AZ so went to disneyland often when I was younger. Only this past year did I make it to disneyWORLD and yes IASMW is soooooooooooo different – I am glad you mentioned it cause I thought something was wrong with me.

  2. We have passes, and this is my 2 cents: get fast passes for Guardians of the Galaxy (used to be Hollywood Tower of Terror) and Radiator Springs first thing in the AM (they run out by 11AM). Both rides are averaging 1.5 – 2 hours or more in the regular lines. We have been on Guardians 3X’s, and it’s the scariest ride at both parks. Cars Land is by far the most impressive of all the lands — just wow!

    Someone in your party will get soaked on Grizzly River Run and you will get wet on Splash Mountain (1 of my 2 favorite rides). The 2 rides that don’t offer fast passes (and the lines are slow and long but the rides are a must) are Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Toy Story Mania and Matterhorn are both now offering fast passes. Big Thunder Mountain (offers fast passes, but the line moves fast and you can usually catch it at a 30 minute wait) — my All Time Favorite Ride!!! Get Fast Passes for Space Mountain (they just took the Stars Wars theme off which was the coolest way to see it – bummer) – line is usually 90min or more.

    For Pirates, always stay to the line on the right walking into the building (there are 2 lines)…the cast members will always tell you the lines are the same wait (they are NOT)…the one to the left wraps on the side of the building and is longer. We have been 2X’s to Blue Bayou — 1st time without the kids and 2nd time with (both for lunch) — lunch prices are slightly cheaper with a few items not offered. It’s very expensive…of course, my kids don’t eat off the kids menu. It was fun to try with them, but we won’t be doing it again. My kids are happy with chimichangas and turkey legs.

    If you want a Dole Whip, the only place to buy them is at the Enchanted Tiki Room (always go in the line where people are waiting to get into the Room and not on the outside line) and you can take your desserts & drinks into the show.

    Download the Disneyland app — see wait times & fast pass times, you can make meal reservations, find eateries, etc.

    I can go on and on so I’ll stop. If you have any questions, just email me. My kids could be your special tour guides…they want to work there.

    • Thanks for the advice, Stephanie! I can’t get fast passes for both Guardians of the Galaxy and Radiator Springs first thing, right? I have to choose one? This is my dilemma.

      • Nancy – You used to be able to get a Fast Pass at Disneyland and at California Adventure at the same time — they just put an end to that a month ago — BOOOO Disney!!! Since Guardians and Radiator are both in the same park, I suggest you get Radiator Springs 1st (it’s the closest to the entrance of the park and usually runs out first — and the regular line to stand in moves at a snails pace). Then when the Fast Past prints out, it will give you a printed time on the bottom of when you will be able to get the NEXT fast pass – which may be 1 – 2 hours later of you getting the First Fast Pass.

        They’re doing this because they’re realizing that Radiator or Guardians may print out a 8PM Return Time, and if they didn’t allow me to get another Fast Pass throughout the day, then I’m just standing in lines all day. Soarin’ Around the World also offers Fast Passes – another must see.

      • Thanks. I will probably pass on the Guardians ride, but my boys will probably want to go on that. I can’t wait to take them on the Radiator Springs Racers!

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