Our original road trip plans had us scheduled to hit Palm Springs today. After checking the weather forecast and seeing it was 116 degrees, we decided that a change in plans was in order.
What the hell do we do instead though? An extra night in Newport Beach was tempting, but there just wasn’t enough to do in the area.
On our last visit to Orange County we had one major regret and that was missing out on a lot at Disneyland due to a heatwave and a packed schedule. Since Disneyland Resort was less than 20 miles away, we weighed up the pros and cons and couldn’t resist splurging!
Disneyland, here we come!
But first, we went and visited the nearby Newport Beach.
After arriving at Newport Beach, we quickly realized that beaches like this (and other Orange County beaches) are the Californian beaches you need to visit if you want to relax and go swimming. It was much more laid-back than Santa Monica or Venice Beach, which is just the way we like it.
Unfortunately with Disneyland waiting, we didn’t have the time to relax or go swimming. So instead, we enjoyed a frozen banana (a local tradition on the nearby Balboa Island) before getting back in the car and on the road to Anaheim.
Soon after, we arrived at the Disneyland Parking Lot and were quickly transported to the park in one of the many shuttle buses running. Unlike the last time we visited, the temperature was bearable and the kids were back in school which meant the crowds were much smaller. Perfect!
Now to squeeze in as much as we possibly could over the next 10 hours…
We successfully achieved that, taking in as many attractions and rides as we possibly could. Our favorites were the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Autopia. For the kids inside of us, the Mad Tea Party, King Arthur Carousel and Storybook Land Canal Boats were also a lot of fun!
The last ride for the day was Splash Mountain, which Kieron was to go on alone. Amy had the camera ready to take a photo of Kieron’s big drop, but suddenly terrified screams came from the top of the mountain – a girl had decided to jump out of the ride just before the drop. The crowd outside Splash Mountain quickly grew and worried people watched on in horror as Disneyland staff came to the rescue.
The entire time Kieron was oblivious to what was going on – the ride was stuck inside the mountain due to a “log jam”. Eventually Kieron made it down the mountain around 30 minutes after boarding, losing his newly purchased hat in the process!
Despite this mini-ordeal, nothing was going to ruin our day. We finished the night at Disneyland with their fabulous fireworks display, which have improved significantly since we visited in 2009.
Our day at Disneyland was one of the best days on our round-the-world adventure to date and was totally worth the cost of tickets.
Next stop – Las Vegas, Nevada!
We’re currently road tripping through California thanks to the generous help of Fox Rent A Car.