I may be biased but the best way to do Disneyland is with one child who has the willingness to walk all day long!
Cannon was finally able to cash in on a Disneyland trip he should have had almost a year and a half ago, but thanks to COVID was delayed until now. We have a tradition of taking our kids to Disneyland by themselves when they turn 7. It’s a day where we focus solely on one kid and we are “yes” parents for the day. You want a churro at 9 am – sure. You want to stop after two rides and pay $.50 to shoot toy guns when all the lines are short in the park – sure. You want to run back across the whole park for the star wars ride again – sure. The park is closing and you want to get on one last ride at 7:58pm but the Matterhorn was closed due to maintenance issues and the only ride you could get on was Astro Orbiter – sure.
It’s their adventure day and we are along for the ride!
We knew another family in our neighborhood (who happen to be our best friends) were at Disneyland the same day – and although we didn’t make plans to meet up, we wondered how long it would take to run across them in the park by chance. As lucky would have it – an hour and 20 minutes! We had genie pass for the Matterhorn and they were just five people back from the front of the stand by line.
Steve wondered if we could find 3 people we knew at Disneyland the same day as us. The first family was on the Matterhorn. The second family we ran into was mid way through the day when we got off Space Mountain. They were from our neighborhood and have a son Cannon’s age – and neither of us were aware the other family would be there. We kept an eye out for the third person and we were coming up short. Towards the end of the day, we decided to take a break from rides and grab some photos at the popular spots. We waited for a couple to take their photos in front of the castle and as we watched them finish up, it dawned on me that I recognized her. She has a son in Briggs’ class. Steve called my bluff. So once they were done taking pictures, I approached her and made the connection. We found our three people! It made us start to wonder how many people are in the park that you never cross paths with, and yet some people we ran into multiple times!
Cannon was so excited to try Rise of the Resistance. We even got up early so we could be the first people through the turnstyle and first people at the rope drop in the park. As luck would have it, five minutes before rope drop, the cast member informed us that Rise would not be opening with the park. It was a huge disappointment. We had heard it was a temperamental ride and tends to break down but we didn’t figure it would be at the beginning of the day. We checked the Disneyland app all day trying to get onto that ride. It would open for a bit and have an hour and a half wait and then it would shut back down. Then open back up and shut back down. By 6:30, it opened again after being shut down for the afternoon and we ran to get in line. We still waited for an hour to get on, which was crazy considering how few people were in the park, but we all agreed it was worth it. It was unlike anything ride at Disneyland.
We paid for the new Genie+ pass which was new since the last kid we brought to Disneyland. It gets you one fast pass lane to *most* of the rides – which is great. But I was even more excited about the free photos it gives you. As the photographer of the family, I’m taking most of the photos, so it was nice to be in photos as well.
Cannon ranked his favorite rides – three first places awards: Rise of the Resistance, Millennium Falcon and Indiana Jones – Space Mountain still sits at the top of my list!
After running into our friends in the morning, we met up for lunch and rode a couple rides together before breaking off on our own again and letting Cannon set our pace and itinerary and eventually closing down the park. It was delightful on every level.