June 2015 Disneyland Daily Blog

Click here to see a sampling of pictures - June 2015


“To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land.” –Walt Disney
Today’s the day -- we’re going to Disneyland for the very first time! Having spent the last 15 years vacationing at Walt Disney World, we decided to travel to Disneyland this summer as well. We have lots of big milestones to celebrate in 2015, with Bonnie and Neil’s 25
th Wedding Anniversary, Courtney’s 21st Birthday, Megan’s 18th Birthday, Megan’s graduation from high school at the end of May, and Courtney’s early graduation from college this upcoming December. We thought that coast-to-coast Disney trips during the summer would be the perfect way to celebrate. We have always wanted to see Walt’s original park, and Disneyland is celebrating their 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration this summer.

We left for the airport bright and early and flew into John Wayne Airport. When we arrived in California, we took a taxi to the Disneyland Hotel, our home for the week. We were extremely excited to be staying at this resort, because the theme is Disney! The lobby is filled with Disney heritage photos, and the chairs are even shaped like teacups. After checking in at the front desk, we were excited to find out that our room was in our requested location, the Fantasy Tower, and that it was ready! We went up to our beautiful room which is filled with Disney details. There are pillows that say “a dream is a wish your heart makes” and “when you’re fast asleep.” The headboard is absolutely stunning, with Sleeping Beauty Castle carved into the wood. There is a switch that turns on the light-up fireworks and plays an instrumental version of A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.

We spent some time taking pictures of the room and unpacking before heading to Downtown Disney. We went to Naples for lunch, which is the sister restaurant of Epcot’s Via Napoli, one of our favorites in Walt Disney World. We had a great lunch, and then did some shopping at World of Disney. Megan was excited to visit Marceline’s Confectionery and watch the Cast Members making treats in the show kitchen. Courtney was excited to see Disneyland's Vacation Planning Booths. When we came back to our hotel, Goofy was at the entrance! This was so neat for us because in Walt Disney World, they don’t have any character meet and greets in the hotel lobbies.

We freshened up and walked around our hotel, before going to explore Disneyland’s other two hotels, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. We walked around and took some pictures, before going back to our hotel for a character dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen. Goofy was waiting for us when we arrived, and Minnie, Chip, Dale, and Pluto visited our tables. The food was buffet and everything we had was great. Some of our favorites were the prime rib, fried shrimp, carved turkey, and the dessert bar. We had really fun character interactions at this meal, the favorite being when Dale helped Courtney and Megan pick our filters for their Snapchats. We also had a really awesome waiter. One different thing about Disneyland’s character meals is that they give out neat buttons featuring the main character and the restaurant’s name. After a wonderful dinner, we went back up to our room to get a good night’s sleep for our first day in the parks!


We woke up extremely excited for our first day in Disneyland!! We just have a short walk from our hotel to the esplanade, where both parks are located. We arrived at Disneyland before rope drop. It was an amazing feeling to walk down Disneyland’s Main Street for the first time. Disneyland is the only Disney park that Walt actually created and enjoyed, since he passed away before Walt Disney World opened. We got to see Sleeping Beauty Castle for the first time, and while it is much smaller than Cinderella Castle in Florida, it is beautiful in its own way. Our first attraction in Disneyland was Space Mountain, which in our opinion, was much better than Walt Disney World’s version. It was really neat because it had music and a more intensely designed track. We also liked that the rows are two-seater, instead of one-seater. After our journey through space, we went to Fantasyland to enjoy some attractions unique to Disneyland, Alice in Wonderland and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. We took some photos in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle and then went over to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which is similar to Walt Disney World’s but has a smoother track.

We then decided to have a classic Disneyland treat for breakfast, Mickey beignets in New Orleans Square, which were delicious! As we walked back through the park, we had our first of what we would learn to be a common occurrence, spontaneous character meet and greets! In Walt Disney World, all of the meet and greets are very structured and scheduled. Here in Disneyland, some are scheduled, but lots are random! We found Mary Poppins and Bert, and they wished us a jolly holiday here in Disneyland! We were excited to head back to Mickey’s Toontown, because we no longer have this area in Walt Disney World. We went on Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, and then visited Mickey Mouse in his house. After taking some pictures, we park hopped over to Disney California Adventure. Park hopping is extremely easy in Disneyland, because the two parks are just steps away from each other. We had lunch in Cars Land at Flo’s V8 Café, where we enjoyed French dip sandwiches and ribs. We had an incredible view from our table overlooking the Radiator Springs attraction. We explored Cars Land and went on Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. Afterwards, we went on Soarin’, a favorite of ours which was recently refurbished to HD screens. This enhancement made the experience even more amazing, and we can’t wait until Soarin’ in Epcot receives the same upgrade. We went over to the Paradise Pier section and rode the Golden Zephyr.

After that, Courtney and Megan convinced Neil to ride California Screamin’ with them, a huge high-speed coaster with a loop. We went to meet our favorite snowman, Olaf, which we were very excited about since he is only in California. Then we went on the Monster’s Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue attraction. We walked around and took some pictures, and found Jake from Disney Junior. Then we went to the Hyperion Theater to see Disney’s Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular. This show was absolutely incredible, with neat special effects like the Genie appearing from the ground and Jasmine and Aladdin flying through the theater on a magic carpet. The Genie is one of the best parts of the show, mixing hilarious pop culture references into the show. After the musical, we went back to the hotel to change and then returned to Disney California Adventure. We had dinner at the Paradise Pier Boardwalk, which includes Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta and Paradise Garden Grill. After our meal, we got to see our friend Jess, who is currently doing a Disneyland Summer Alumni College Program. We were so glad we got to visit with her! Then we entered our Fastpass viewing section for World of Color, a nighttime spectacular featuring colored, synchronized fountains. This special version, Celebrate, is hosted by Mickey Mouse and Neil Patrick Harris as they honor Walt Disney’s legacy and 60 years of Disney Parks. It was an amazing show and a wonderful way to end our first full day in Disneyland.


Today began with the resort guest Extra Magic Hours at Disneyland Park. We headed straight for a Disneyland classic, the Matterhorn. We found Peter Pan roaming around Sleeping Beauty Castle, and he loved that our green shirts matched his outfit! Then we went and had breakfast at the Market House Starbucks on Main Street before checking in for our guided tour. Today we went on the Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps Tour, a journey through Walt’s own park, exploring the history, heritage, and legacy that still lives on today. We had an awesome tour guide, Phillip, who did a wonderful job of leading us through the park and sharing lots of exclusive stories and trivia. One of the neatest parts was that as we were walking from land to land, we got to hear audio clips through our headsets, mainly of Walt speaking. This really helped to put what we were seeing in perspective. We got to stand underneath Walt’s apartment in Town Square and hear him give the Dedication Day speech, which was an emotional experience.

Our tour included a private lunch at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe, where we enjoyed delicious sandwiches. We also received what is now one of the best pins in our collection. It has the name of the tour and a photo of Walt walking through Disneyland on the front. When you open the pin, there is a silhouette of the Partners Statue and a quote from Walt about his intentions for Disneyland on the left. On the right, there is a replica of the Dedication Day plaque. After lunch, we got to tour the Disneyland Dream Suite above Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square. This incredible executive suite was originally planned by Walt to have a place for his family to stay in the park. He worked with an artist to create renderings of the suite, but when he passed away, the suite was never completed. In the past few years, Imagineers have worked to take Walt’s original renderings and make his Dream Suite a reality. The rooms are absolutely incredible and filled with Disney magic. We got to take a photo in the main living room before the conclusion of the tour. 

We boarded the Disneyland Monorail in Tomorrowland, which took us to the Downtown Disney station right near our hotel. Bonnie, Courtney, and Megan went to enjoy the incredible pool, which is themed to the monorail system.  After some fun in the sun, we got ready for our dinner at one of the signature restaurants, Steakhouse 55, which is located in our hotel. We began our meal with Caesar salads and onion soup, and enjoyed amazing filet mignons. After a fabulous dinner, we went back over to Disneyland to enjoy the brand new Paint the Night Parade and Disneyland Forever Fireworks Spectacular. Both of the shows are outstanding and really showcase the magic of Disney. The technology used is revolutionary and we absolutely loved both nighttime experiences.


We started off in Disney California Adventure and got fastpasses for Radiator Springs Racers, before riding California Screamin’. We went to A Bug’s Land and rode the Tuck and Roll bumper cars. We then went over to the Hollywood Land section to say hello to our favorite Arendelle friends, Olaf, Anna, and Elsa. We went over to Buena Vista Street to meet Oswald for the very first time. Oswald was Walt’s character before Mickey Mouse, but lost the rights to him due to a loophole in a contract. When Bob Iger became CEO, he reacquired the rights to Oswald to restore a piece of history into the Disney family. We also got to see the News Boys Trolley Show and see Mickey and Minnie in their Hollywood outfits. We had lunch at Smokejumper’s Grill, where we enjoyed chicken and hamburgers. We went back to Cars Land to use our Radiator Springs Racers fastpass, which was an amazing attraction, before returning to our hotel.

We rested and relaxed, then went to Disneyland to see the daytime parade, Soundsational. We went to Fantasyland and rode Pinocchio’s Daring Journey and It’s a Small World. The entrance for It’s a Small World here is absolutely beautiful, and the attraction even includes Disney characters as dolls, in the location where they are from. Dinner tonight was at the Plaza Inn, a restaurant famous for their fried chicken. The restaurant is beautiful, and the food was incredible. We walked around Main Street before finding a spot to watch Paint the Night and Disneyland Forever. After the nighttime shows, we had a very special meet and greet with Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy in their brand new outfits for the 60th Diamond Celebration. It was an awesome opportunity to meet these three characters together and we got fantastic photos with them. It was the perfect way to end another great day in Disneyland!


We started off the morning at Disneyland by meeting Daisy in her Diamond Celebration outfit. We went back to New Orleans Square to ride Pirates of the Caribbean and enjoy more Mickey beignets. We took some photos as we made our way over to Tomorrowland to meet some of the Avengers, Thor and Captain America. We then rode another classic Disneyland ride, the Autopia cars. Following our ride, we went over to Main Street where we rode some of the vehicles, the Omnibus and a Horse-drawn Street Car. After our leisurely rides, we rode Indiana Jones Adventure, an awesome ride travelling through the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. We had lunch at The Golden Horseshoe, which is actually where Walt and Lillian had an anniversary party, just days before Disneyland opened. We got to enjoy The Laughing Stock Company show while we ate our lunch.

After lunch, we went back to the Big Thunder Ranch where we got to visit the Disneyland goats. We went to Fantasyland where we saw Ariel, and got a snack of cotton candy. We went to the Fantasyland Theatre to see a musical, Mickey and the Magical Map. This show combines favorite Disney songs and wonderful dancers as Mickey tries to complete the last piece of his map. Afterwards, we went back to Mickey’s Toontown to take some photos before taking the monorail back to our hotel. After relaxing, we went to have dinner at Downtown Disney. Neil and Bonnie had shrimp po-boys from Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, and Courtney and Megan had sandwiches from Earl of Sandwich. We went back to Disneyland where we visited the Disney Gallery. This gallery had lots of awesome displays about Walt and an exhibit called Drawing Disneyland: The Early Years. They also had the actual bench from Griffith Park, the local amusement park where Walt would take his two daughters on Saturdays. He wished that there was a place where he could have fun with his daughters, instead of sitting to the side and watching them have fun, so he dreamed up Disneyland. It was really neat to see this bench! We went to Critter Country and rode The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Afterwards, we went to the fastpass viewing section for Fantasmic on the Rivers of America. This show was awesome and while it is similar, it had lots of neat elements that Walt Disney World’s version doesn’t have. We saw the Disneyland Forever fireworks before heading back to our hotel for the night.


We were sad that this was already our last day in the parks, but we were ready to make it a fun and memorable day! We started off at Disney California Adventure for the resort guest Extra Magic Hours. We went straight to Cars Land to ride Radiator Springs Racers. After riding, we got to meet Lightning McQueen and Mater. Then, we went to Pacific Wharf to do the Boudin Bakery Tour, where you get to see how they make sourdough bread and sample it. The bread was delicious, and we even bought a really neat Mickey-shaped loaf of sourdough bread to bring home with us. We ate breakfast at the Pacific Wharf Café, where we got to have their famous bread bowl breakfasts and cinnamon rolls.

After that, we went to Paradise Pier, where we rode the Silly Symphony Swings. Then we went on Mickey’s Fun Wheel, the giant ferris wheel which is the centerpiece of Paradise Pier. This isn’t just any ferris wheel, because you can choose to ride on the swinging gondolas, which intensely slide as your bucket moves around the wheel. We met Sailor Donald and rode California Screamin’ one more time. Then we took some photos on the pier and met Flik in A Bug’s Land. We finished up taking the last of the map pictures that we needed for the website, and then had Asian stir-fry for lunch at Lucky Fortune Cookery. We got to meet Goofy, Chip and Dale in their Hollywood outfits, who were all very energetic and fun to see. We had sundaes at Clarabelle’s Ice Cream before hopping over to Disneyland.

We took some pictures in front of the train station and also got to meet Snow White. When we got inside the park, we saw Cruella de Vil, a character that we have not met in years. As we walked down Main Street, we found Alice and the Mad Hatter at the Corner Café. We loved how different the character experience was from Walt Disney World, seeing such rare characters or characters meeting in random locations such as restaurants. We did a photo shoot in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, and then did the castle walkthrough experience which highlights the story of Sleeping Beauty. We walked around and took the last photos that we still needed for the website, and then headed back to the hotel to relax. We came back to Disneyland for the evening and had dinner at Carnation Café on Main Street USA. We all enjoyed salads and the chicken-fried chicken, but what really made our dinner here so fantastic was the service. Our waiters Abdul and Tim were absolutely wonderful, and really made our experience at Carnation Café so amazing. We made sure to tell their manager and Guest Relations about the amazing guest service we received. After dinner, we went back to Fantasyland to ride the Mad Tea Party. We ended the night by watching the Paint the Night Parade and the Disneyland Forever Fireworks. We headed back to our hotel, sad to be leaving this magical place, but thankful for a wonderful trip!


We started off our last morning in Disneyland by attending the Disney Vacation Club Royal Member Gathering. This members-exclusive event was held in a ballroom at our hotel. We had pastries and coffee, got to mingle with other members through fun activities, and even had a surprise visit from Mickey Mouse! As a thank you for attending, we received a pin from the event and we each got DVC hats! After the DVC gathering, we went over to Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel for a character breakfast at Disney’s PCH Grill. The breakfast theme was Surf’s Up and we got to see Lifeguard Mickey as we entered. Minnie, Daisy, Pluto, and Stitch visited our table during the meal. The breakfast buffet was wonderful and we all really enjoyed the omelet station.

We finished packing up our room, took some more pictures around the resort, and even found Goofy in the lobby! We also did some final shopping in Downtown Disney. After we checked out, we took a taxi to LAX airport for our flight back to Texas. While we already miss Disneyland, we won’t be away from the magic for too long as we will be in Walt Disney World in less than a month! We hope you enjoyed reading about our first experience in Disneyland! While Walt Disney World is still our home, we absolutely loved exploring Disneyland, finally visiting Walt’s original park, and getting to experience the 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration. It was a magical vacation filled with lots of memories and fun!

Until next month,

The Suchart's

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