We are 2 adults on either side of 40 husband is vegan and gf (allergies), I am vegetarian and gf intolerant, 9yo daughter with anaphylaxis to some tree nuts, and 7yo son who is vegetarian, we are tricky to feed!
We got tourist T mobile sim cards, I love taking my sim card ou and becoming uncontactable to my normal life.
I pre ordered a bunch of groceries through Vons/Pavillion, these were delivered and brought to our room once I had notification of delivery. In the parks I used a combination of ridemax for days we did attractions, and the disneyland app. We loved ridemax last time, it wasn’t as useful with the kids that don’t love rides, but I have a yearly subscription to use the next time we go in April.
Flight from Melbourne, Australia to LAX with United, was fine, and came up just under 14 hours. The boys slept around 1 hour, despite being up since 4am, I felt like this was going to go badly for our first day. I had packed two little bags at the top of our suitcases, one was ‘we slept and we are hitting the parks’, the other was ‘we did not sleep and we are resting at the pool until our room is ready’, I was certain at this point that we would be headed to the pool and chilling by the water.
We used Karmel shuttle because I assumed that I would be too tired to find the Lyft/Uber spot, the driver was excellent. Ultimately I don’t like shuttles, it just takes too long. I thought when I had this part booked through flight centre, that we were getting a car, not a shuttle, not used to booking through agents, much easier to book myself.
We arrived at the Grand Californian Hotel around 10 o’clock, it reminded us of Aulani, it is indeed grand, the lobby is beautiful. The cast members were lovely, this was true for the entire stay. It was so great to be in the Disney bubble, we really noticed it when we went to Universal for the day, the world is so abrasive out there. We booked a DVC studio by renting points through David’s Vacation Club rentals and it went well, would definitely do that again. While checking in a woman asked where we were from, I had zero brain power so was struggling to understand was what going on, she was checking out from her room and offered us her room to have showers if we wanted. This woman was the pixie dust people talk about! We had showers, and hit the park! We got our room 3 hours later, it was lovely, the fold out bed was super comfortable, we had a park view which brought me endless joy! The pool was lovely, but the thing that let the hotel down was the awful internet and weird plumbing noises. The pin trading here was lots of fun, and the cast members were always excellent. You can get a wake up call by a Disney character, everywhere I read that you had to contact the concierge to do this, you can do it on your phone, it is automated.
The park, we had a 10 day park hopper which I believe is an Australian thing, that we got through Flight Centre, we exchanged the voucher for tickets at check in at the hotel. We also bought dining vouchers from Getaway today and exchanged those for tickets at the check in too.
We headed straight to Disneyland, had our photos taken and attached to our ticket, this took a minute, no big deal, but I was in a state, I did not ever want to see that photo! We went straight towards the castle and saw the pineapple churros, and had to try one! Here is the kids reviewing it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNs8n5F-TcM We also had a dole whip ( you can split one onto two cups, after the churro my kids didn’t need a whole one each) at the Tiki Room, it was the 55th birthday so there was a celebration button if you bought the tiki cup, which I did. We saw Mary Poppins and the band in front of the castle today.
Lunch at Pizza Planet, they have an amazing vegan/GF pizza which tasted as good as the real thing! And we snacked on the carrot cake churro https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjUP5YQrr-0
We got our room which called for a nap, while napping the hampers I ordered from Disney Floral and Gifts arrived so I gave them out as we woke up. The kids were excited about the autograph books (side note, the ‘girls’ ones all have photo slips so only fit half of the autographs, we had to buy my daughter a second book as the first one filled fast!) Then we went back to the parks. Today we rode
The Little Mermaid
Casey Jnr Train
It’s a small world
Tuck n Roll
Heimlichs Chew Chew train
Buzz Astro Blasters
and hung out in the Enchanted Tiki Room https://www.youtube.com/watch…
We wanted to make sure that we spent time in a bugs land because by the time we take the children back, it will be gone!
Dinner we tried mobile ordering, this was amazing! We had dinner at The Lucky Fortune Cookery and Cocina Cucamonga, last time I had their teriyaki tofu and rice and ordered it again, and again ;)
We didn’t stay too late, as we wanted to do rope drop in the morning.
If you want to check out some of our pictures, they are on Pixiedustadventurers on Instagram, and Facebook.