A review of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park from our visit in 2021. Including Disneyland wait times, treats to eat at Disneyland, and our daily Disneyland itinerary!
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I began planning my family’s trip to Disneyland as soon as it was announced that the parks would be open to out-of-state visitors in June. I had been keeping an eye on GetAwayToday.com to decide what hotel we wanted to stay at.
We choose to stay at Cambria Hotel & Suites Anaheim Resort. My husband had time off of work and the end of July/beginning of August, so that is when we planned to go.
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How We Got to Disneyland
We live within driving distance of Disneyland, and for this trip we decided that we would drive. We choose to drive to Las Vegas one day and stay with some friends, then continue on to Anaheim the next day.
We left Las Vegas at about 11:00 am and arrived at our hotel at about 4:00 pm. We encountered a lot of traffic that slowed down our drive.
Because of our arrival time, we were able to check into the Cambria upon arrival. Check in was pretty seamless, because I had booked and prepaid for our vacation through Get Away Today.
We paid for parking at check in for our entire stay. We paid $15/night, which was a $10 discount off of the hotel’s price because we booked with Get Away Today.
Our friends checked in at the same time, and luckily we were able to get rooms right next to each other.
After checking in, we took the kids down to the pool and ordered dinner from the hotel’s bar. My husband and I had Nachos and my boys had chicken tenders and a grilled cheese.
We had groceries delivered from Walmart, and met our delivery driver in the lobby. We ordered snacks and items to pack a lunch for each day at the park.
We put the kids to bed and then I prepared my backpack of items to bring to the Disney California Adventure with us the next day.
Day 1: Disney California Adventure
- 6:45 am – I met my friend and her daughter in the hallway outside of our room and prepared to try and join a boarding group for Web Slingers. The hallway was where both my friend and I had the best service on our phones, which is why we met there.
- 7:00 am – We were able to secure a spot to ride Web Slingers in group 17. I got the boys up and ready, then we had breakfast at the hotel. (Get step-by-step instructions to join a virtual queue for Web Slingers here.)
- 8:30 am – We took an Uber from the hotel, arrived at Disneyland and passed through the security screening and entered the gates of Disney California Adventure.
- 8:40 am – We headed toward Avengers Campus and our boarding group for Web Slingers was called so we headed to the ride. After about a 5 minute wait, we were on. I thought the ride was pretty fun, but not on the same level as Rise of the Resistance. It is definitely a ride that you need to experience once, to decide if it is worth it for your family to try and get into a boarding group on another day.
- 9:20 am – After riding Web Slingers, we immediately got in line to ride Guardians of the Galaxy. The posted wait time in the Disneyland app was 45 minutes. Our actual wait time for Guardians was only 17 minutes.
- 10:00 am – We exited Guardians just in time to watch the Spider-Man Stunt Show.
Buena Vista Street
- 10:15 am – Time for our first Disney Snack! We found Willie’s Churro Cart on Buena Vista Street. My friend ordered a Disneyland Churro, and I ordered a Fluffernutto Churro. The Fluffernutter Churro is a churro drizzled with peanut butter sauce, marshmallow sauce, and chocolate chips and is available for $6.25.
Grizzly Peak Airfield
- 10:25 am – After our snack break, we entered the line for Soarin’. The posted wait time in the app was 35 minutes. Our actual wait time was 36 minutes.
- 11:15 am – The boys were hungry so we found a bench in the shade and ate a snack that I had packed in my backpack.
- 11:35 am – After the kids had a snack, they got in line to ride Grizzly River Run, while the parents took a break. The posted wait time was 45 minutes. Their actual wait time was 40 minutes.
- 12:25 pm – When the kids were done riding Grizzly River Run, we sat on a bench outside the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail and ate our packed lunch.
Paradise Gardens Park
- 12:45 pm – The next ride we rode was The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. The posted wait time was 15 minutes. Our actual wait time was 12 minutes.
- 1:15 pm – We then headed over to Pixar Pier and got in line for Incredicoaster. The posted wait time was 15 minutes. Our actual wait time was 5 minutes.
- 1:30 pm – As we exited Incredicoaster we stopped to get a chocolate chip Incredicookie at Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums and a Frozen Lemonade. A fun fact that we learned from a cast member, is that Disney pumps the scent of chocolate chip cookies in a certain area while riding Incredicoaster, to entice you to buy a cookie after the ride!
- 1:40 pm After our sweet treats, we got in line to ride Toy Story Mania. The posted wait time was 40 minutes. Our actual wait time was 32 minutes.
- 2:55 pm – Our next stop was Radiator Springs Racers. The posted wait time was 75 minutes. Our actual wait time was 60 minutes.
- 4:00 pm – After riding Radiator Springs Racers, we headed back to Avengers Campus. We were able to see another showing of the Spider-Man Stunt Show.
- 4:30 pm – After the show, our mobile order was ready to pickup at Pym Test Kitchen. We ordered a Quantum Pretzel and a Celestial-Sized Choco-Smash CANDY Bar. We liked both, except for the cheese sauce that came with the pretzel.
- 5:45 pm – After a much needed break, we rode Silly Symphony Swings. The posted wait time was 10 minutes and our actual wait time was 10 minutes.
- 6:30 pm – We decided to end the day on a high note, and not push the kids to do too much. We caught an Uber and went back to the hotel to go swimming.
Day 2: Disneyland
7:30 am – We met for breakfast in the dining area of the Cambria hotel.
8:15 am – Caught an Uber ride to the Guest drop off area on Harbor Blvd.
Main Street U.S.A.
8:30 am – Entered the front gates of Disneyland.
8:45 am – Took a ride down Main Street U.S.A. on the double decker bus.
Star Wars: Galaxy‘s Edge
9:10 am – Our boarding group was called for Rise of the Resistance, so we headed to Galaxy’s Edge through Fantasyland.
9:35 am – After riding Rise of the Resistance, we saw in the Disneyland app that there was only a 15 minute wait for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. We headed there and got in line. Our actual wait time was 15 minutes.
10:15 am – When the ride was finished, we decided it was time for our first snack of the day. We went to Adventureland and got a Pineapple Dole Whip Float for $6.49 and a Lemon Dole Whip for $5.99 from Tropical Hideaway.
New Orleans Square
10:40 am – After our treat, we headed to New Orleans Square. The line for Pirates of the Caribbean looked long, but the posted wait time was 15 minutes. Our actual wait time was 13 minutes.
11:15 am – After Pirates, we headed next door to ride Haunted Mansion. The posted wait time was 15 minutes. Our actual wait time was 10 minutes.
11:45 am – Continuing in the same direction, we headed to Critter Country to ride Splash Mountain. The posted wait time was 40 minutes. Our actual wait time was 25 minutes.
12:30 pm – While drying off from our ride on Splash Mountain, we decided to get a treat at Pooh’s Corner. We decided to order some Churro Toffee for $5.99. I definitely give it a 10/10. I highly recommend it.
12:45 pm – Our next stop was Indiana Jones Adventure. The posted wait time was 30 minutes. The lined moved pretty quickly and we actually waited 20 minutes.
1:30 pm – We decided to go to Frontierland and ride Big Thunder Mountain. It had a posted wait time of 25 minutes, but we only waited 7 minutes!
Main Street U.S.A.
2:00 pm – After Big Thunder Mountain, we went back to Main Street U.S.A. to have lunch at Plaza Inn. My boys had the penne pasta kids meal for $6.99 and my husband and I had the Chicken, described as “three pieces of Chicken fried to a golden brown and seasoned with distinctive Herbs and Spices, served with Mashed Potatoes, Buttermilk Biscuit and a mixture of Vegetables” for $18.49.
2:40 pm – After lunch, we happened to walk out on Main Street to see a cute parade with tons of Disney characters.
2:45 pm – It was hot outside, so we headed down Main Street to my husband’s favorite attraction, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. This is a show featuring an animatronic Abraham Lincoln and is a great place to take a break from the crowds and the heat.
- 3:00 pm – We had a little treat from Jolly Holiday Cafe. It was a Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron and it was delicious!
3:10 pm – Star Tours The Adventures Continue was our next stop as we entered Tomorrowland. The wait time was listed as 35 minutes. Our actual wait was 15 minutes.
3:40 pm – After exiting Star Tours, across the way, we noticed that Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters had a 20 minute wait. We got in line and pretty much waled onto the ride with a 5 minute wait.
4:05 pm – Space Mountain had a pretty long wait time all day, so we decided it was a good time to bite the bullet and put in our time waiting. The posted wait time was 45 minutes, but our actual wait time was 30 minutes.
5:00 pm – The kids (and my husband) were tired, so we called it a day and went to hang out at the hotel so the kids could go swimming and go down the water slides. The Cambria Hotel played a Disney movie each night at 8:00 pm over the pool, which we were able to enjoy.
Disneyland Day 3
6:45 am – I met my friend in the hallway again, to try and secure a spot in the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance. Once again, we were able to get into boarding group 15 and new that we needed to get to the parks soon after they opened.
8:30 am – We arrived at the the guest drop off area and headed toward the security screening area. The line to get into the park was longer than it had been previously.
8:40 am – Once inside the gate, we had planned to ride the Jungle Cruise, but before getting in line, our boarding group for Rise of the Resistance was called.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
8:50 am – We walked through Critter Country next to Hungry Bear Restaurant to get to Rise of the Resistance. We were one of the first to ride that day and were with only two other guests outside our group.
New Orleans Square
9:30 am – Mickey Beignets sounded like a great thing to have for breakfast, so we did a mobile order and headed back to New Orleans Square, to the Mint Julep Bar. We ordered 6 Mickey Beignets for $8.49, a New Orleans Mint Julep for $4.49 and a Strawberry Mint Julep for $4.99.
10:00 am – Following our breakfast, we walked back toward Adventureland to get in line for the Jungle Cruise. The posted wait time was 20 minutes. Our actual wait time was 15 minutes. Pro Tip: This line splits halfway through. Choosing the left line has always paid off for me, and it totally did for us this time.
10:30 am – We headed to Fantasyland and decided to get in line for Peter Pan’s Flight. The wait time was posted as 40 minutes in the app. We waited 36 minutes.
11:15 am – Next, we rode Matterhorn Bobsleds. The line looked really long and was listed as being 40 minutes. Fortunately we only waited 25 minutes.
11:45 am – Following Matterhorn Bobsleds, we decided to get in line for it’s a small world. The posted wait time was 30 minutes. Our actual wait time was 15 minutes.
Main Street U.S.A.
12:15 pm – We found a table inside Plaza Inn to eat our lunch. On this day, we had brought our own lunch into the park. We decided to eat inside Plaza Inn because it was hot and there was air conditioning inside.
1:20 pm – We wanted to experience something mild after lunch so we headed to Adventureland and visited The Enchanted Tiki Room.
2:00 pm – Indiana Jones Adventure was our next stop. The wait time was posted as 60 minutes, but we only waited 35 minutes.
2:40 pm – After riding, my son decided he wanted to spend some of his money. Each of my kids had earned $20 to spend at Disneyland. He choose to spend part of it on a pair of Storm Trooper Sunglasses.
3:00 pm – My thrill-seeking boys wanted to ride Big Thunder Mountain again. The app’s posted wait time was 40 minutes. We got in line and only waited 20 minutes.
Main Street U.S.A.
3:40 pm – We did a mobile order at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Ice Cream Parlor., but the pick-up window was about 30 minutes away.
3:50 pm – While we waited for our pick-up time, we decided to take advantage of the air conditioning during the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln show.
4:10 pm – It was time to pick up our order from Gibson Girl. I ordered the Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae for $6.99 and my son ordered and Ice Cream Float with Coca-Cola for $5.49.
4:30 pm – We decided to call it a day because my husband had already taken my older boys back to the hotel and our friends were going to be heading back home to Las Vegas.
7:00 pm – We ordered pizza from The Pizza Press. It was delicious and so was the garlic cheese bread!
Disney California Adventure & Disneyland Day 4
2:20 pm – We decided to spend the morning relaxing at the hotel before heading to the parks.
2:30 pm – My boys were ready for a snack, so we decided to go to Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop. We had just visited Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, earlier in the month and knew we wanted one of their amazing ice cream treats. My husband and I shared a “Lands End Salted Caramel Brownie Sundae for $16.25, and my boys ordered a Cookies & Cream Thick Milkshake for $8.50, and a Magical Sundae for $14.25. One of my boys had already bought a Frozen Lemonade from an Ice Cream Cart.
3:00 pm – After our treat, we went over to ride Incredicoaster. The wait was only 10 minutes, so my boys rode it three times in a row.
4:00 pm – The wait times were longer than they had been on day 1, so we found a short line at Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree with a wait time of 15 minutes and headed to Cars Land.
We utilized our Park Hopper tickets and decided to go over to Disneyland, where the wait times seemed shorter.
4:30 pm – We waited for 5 minutes to ride Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.
4:40 pm – We gave my boys a little bit of freedom and allowed them to go ride Space Mountain without parents (they are ages 14, 11, and 7). They figured out that the Single Rider line would allow them to get on the ride quickly, in about 10 minutes. And they were able to ride at the same time anyway.
5:00 pm – The boys were pretty excited that they had beat the line, they decided to join the single rider line for Matterhorn Bobsleds. They were able to ride it two times in a row in less than 30 minutes.
Main Street U.S.A.
5:30 pm – My oldest son was craving Macaroni & Cheese in a Bread bowl from Refreshment Corner. We headed over there. Unfortunately they would not serve just macaroni & cheese, it had to be half chili for $8.99. They were also not serving bread bowls anymore, so my son was disappointed. The other two boys each had a Mickey Pretzel for $4.79.
6:15 pm – Once again, the single rider line was the right choice for my boys. They chose to skip the 40 minute wait for Splash Mountain, and got on in about 10 minutes instead!
7:00 While they were riding Splash Mountain, my husband and I did a mobile order for dinner. My husband ordered a lobster roll from Harbour Galley for $14.99. I ordered a Honey-Spiced Chicken Sandwich for $11.79 and a Watermelon Lemonade Freeze in a Hungry Bear Mason Jar for $13.99 from Hungry Bear Restaurant.
8:00 pm – We met up with the boys again and waited for 10 minutes to ride Haunted Mansion.
8:25 pm – After the Haunted Mansion, we rode Pirates of the Caribbean after waiting about 15 minutes.
9:00 pm – We finished up riding Pirates, just in time to watch the fireworks. We had an amazing view at the end of Main Street in near the Disneyland train station. I liked that location because we had a full view of the projections on the buildings of Main Street and could still see Sleeping Beauty Castle and the fireworks.
9:30 After the fireworks, we headed back to the guest drop-off area on Harbor Blvd. to catch an Uber ride back to the hotel.
Disneyland Trip Review
Overall, we had an amazing Disneyland vacation. There were a few things that I was happy about and I few things that I would change next time.
Things I Liked
- Wait times were not as long as they were before the pandemic.
- The lines that were long, moved quickly.
- I’m glad that we packed our lunch every day. That way we were not over-full from eating lunch and dinner at the parks and were able to still enjoy some delicious Disney Treats.
- Uber was a great way to get to and from the parks.
- Single Rider lines are an amazing way to pack in more fun!
- Mobile ordering is awesome and such a time saver.
- I didn’t miss Fastpasses. It was kind of nice to just leisurely walk around the park and ride what we wanted to at the time.
Things I Didn’t Like or Would Have Changed
- I didn’t need to spend extra money on Park Hopper tickets this time. When staying across closer, it’s easy to go to one park in the morning, take a hotel break, and then go to the other park in the afternoon.
- The weekdays were actually more crowded than the weekends.
- I would have remembered to freeze our water bottles to stay colder throughout the day.
- I would have brought a portable fan and/or cooling towel.
- I would have stayed in a hotel within walking distance.
Do you have any questions about visiting Disneyland and Disney California Adventure? Let me know down in the comments or send me a DM on Instagram @mommymouseclubhouse! Keep reading to find out how I save on my Disneyland vacations.
Disneyland Ticket Savings
It’s hard to find discount Disneyland tickets, but they can be found if you know where to look. Make sure that if you buy Disney tickets from a third party, that they an authorized ticket seller.
I buy my tickets from Get Away Today. Their ticket prices are always a few dollars cheaper than Disneyland’s gate prices. You can also book vacation packages that include Disneyland tickets from them. Their hotel prices are competitive and offer perks like discounted parking rates!
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