There is nothing like a text from the airline the day before departure that notifies you that your flight is cancelled (due to weather). In this case it is best to contact the airline an be firm. I was originally asked to take an evening flight, but was insistent that because it was ONLY a weekend trip, that would not work. We got moved to a different airline at a similar departure time
Day 0: Travel and 100% Disneyland rain
We knew were going to have 100% chance of rain, but were going to make the best of it. The unexpected of the Airline, was that we were not at a terminal with an accessible lounge due to the airline change. *I am very loyal to airlines. We also did not have seats assigned. When I got to the gate, the gate agent was extremely friendly and issued ticket for me and one child, and my mother and my other child. As I do not have status with this airline, I was one of the last groups to board. I soon realized there was someone in my seat—who was sitting next to his girlfriend. After the flight was about to leave and me and my youngest were not seated, a gate agent came on and informed the gentleman they had changed his seat without letting him know. I felt bad, but I did need to sit with my 4-year-old. During the ascent, we did a sudden drop…I fly a lot and it was one of the scariest moments experienced on a plane. Luckily, we did make it safe to LAX
For the ride to the hotel we used an uber black as the normal ride program pick up was too far to walk to. It worked out perfectly and my kids got to practice Mandarin with the driver who was a native speaker.
Arriving at the Disneyland hotel is pure magic. My kids skipped the carpet and you can just tell you are in the land of Disney. We got to our room and figured out a plan for the weather. Luckily, I had bought rain ponchos for an earlier trip to Costa Rica, so we were prepared in that aspect. Some things to note about the hotel rooms, they are not super big—and very standard and no great place to sit and eat a meal. The backboard against the beds has lighting to emulate the Disneyland fireworks (very cool). We had a view of Disney but not a very pretty view.
One thing to make sure is that you have downloaded the Disneyland app (available on iphone and android)—this will be your guide while at Disney for all wait time, mobile food ordering in the park, reserving ride times and even your room key if staying at a Disneyland hotel.
We had just bought the single park pass per day, vs the hopper pass (which allows both California Adventure and Disneyland in the same day). This worked out perfect for kids 7 and under. Our first day (which was mostly late afternoon was planned for Disneyland)
The hotel is just footsteps away from downtown Disney. The security to get into downtown Disney is very thorough. All bags must be checked and pockets emptied. To get to the monorail (which will get you into Disneyland Tomorrowland ), you must pass by the Lego store (which is really difficult to do for a 4 and 7 year old). The monorail is accessible with a scan of your mobile Disney pass and takes less than 10 minutes. This was exactly where we needed to be…and there were no lines. First up was the Matterhorn. And we did that 3 times in a row in less than 30 minutes (unheard of for usually wait times). Albeit, it was a soaking wet experience and my mom hating me a little bit for having her go on it. We next did space mountain ---which we used our Disney Genie+ fast pass for and got in right away. This was indoors away from the rain and very fun. Several rides have photopass (part of Disney Genie) with them, so make sure to stop and get your code after the ride to get your picture. If you decide to do the same ride a second ride, you can pose the next time---as the photo spot is a huge flash of light usually towards the end of the ride. We decided to head back to the hotel as it was long day and we needed dinner. I easily mobile ordered from Tangaroa Terrace Tropical Bar & Grill which was on hotel property and kids got chicken strips and I had a salmon salad. My oldest was ready to retire for the evening, but my youngest is a die-hard like me. So, we trekked back out with our ponchos and took the monorail back to Tomorrowland. We did another round of Matterhorn, autotopia, and the finding nemo submarine, and ended the evening with two more times on Space mountain. I had all the tickets on my phone, so reserved for 4 and then used the fast pass again to expedite the lines (it worked). The little one and I got back to the hotel around 11pm. Note, Disneyland closed at 11pm due to the weather which is a very unusual thing (this is one hour earlier than normal times)
Day 1: California Adventure in the Rain
The Disneyland hotel gym is open 24 hours, so I got up early for some time of solitude and day planning. When I got back to the room, everyone was ready for a Starbucks fix. Luckily Starbucks was a quick 0.3 mile run in downtown Disney, so I was able to make a mobile order and run their and quickly run back to the room (but did have to go through security).
California adventure was the plan for the day. If you are staying at the Disneyland hotel, you must walk through downtown Disney to get to this parks entrance. Frist stop was the Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. We then went to Guardians of the Galaxy (again my mom was not happy with me)…but oh so fun. We then did Web-slingers the Spiderman inspired ride. My mom got the boys Spiderman ears (ears and headbands are spendy). I used my vintage cars ears.
We took a break thinking we would go back to the hotel. We each got a Wetzel pretzel (my first ever). I got the jalapeño cheese and it was delish. Salted Straw ice cream was close by, so everyone got two flavors in a cup. We then got ready for the pool, but due to weather and because the temperature was below 50 degrees, all the lifeguards were indoors assisting with games with the kids. My kids were the only ones there and ended up playing chase (which one life guard got in trouble for doing), dominoes, and battleship
The plan was to head back out and have fun after our little break at the hotel. We did the Soarin around the world ride, which was pretty cool and then decided on an early dinner. For kids, splitting an order of chicken and fries was plenty. For my mom and me, splitting an impossible burger and onion rings was plenty. There was also beer served at Smokejumpers grill. We had a brief torrential downpour including hail and ducked into a shop. I got talked into a set of Fox and the hound pins for each kid. The pin collection thing is big in Disney—something I did not know about. Starter sets are available for purchase.
My oldest was finally tall enough (although just turned7) for the Incredicoaster. I can’t tell you how happy this had made me to be able to go on upside down rides with my child. I love crazy roller coasters. You start out at 55 mph. My mom did the carousel and the little mermaid ride with my youngest.
We stopped by woody from toy story to get pictures with him and went on the toy story ride. My youngest then decide he wanted to do the Pixar Pal swinging Ferris wheel. I feel somehow this is the scariest ride in both parks combined.
We did the golden Zephyr and monsters inc before retiring for the night. We took the trolley back to the main entrance. As we were walking back to the hotel through downtown Disney, it started to rain again, so we definitely ended the night at the right time.
Day 2: Thankful for a day with no rain in the forecast
We wanted to leverage the early entrance as being a Disneyland hotel patron. Unfortunately, there were issues with the monorail, so we had to walk to the park, but that was just a way to hype up for the day ahead. It was very cool to go the special entrance lane and go to whatever rides we wanted on opening. We did millennium Falcon first. Next on the list was splash mountain (one of my all time favorites). The haunted mansion was on our walk so of course did that too. Then Pirates of the Caribbean was right there as well and no line. We had to head back to the hotel to check out and we wanted to try out the water slides since they had been closed the other two days. The pool was staffed to the max, had life jackets available. I did not see height restrictions on the water slides, so my kids were overjoyed with that. Towels were readily available and the hot tub was feet away. Of course, I had to try out all the waterslides. After the quick trip the pool, we packed up and left our bags at the valet, then headed back for to the park for the afternoon.
We ordered some food at Galactic Grill. And then went on the river boat ride. My youngest insisted the caribou were real and that it was Disneyland magic (I agree). We visited Star tours and then more space mountain I then decided I should pay for the Star Wars rise of the resistance. My kids legitimately thought we had gone to outer space It was pretty cute. This ride was an extra $100 ($25 per person) despite having the Genie Plus, but was worth it rather than waiting in line for 80 minutes. My kids then wanted the food sticks (aka Churros). So, they each got one. I was overall happy that the food was not overly expensive and felt much more reasonable that the likes of local state fairs. We had run out of time as our flight was an early evening one, so took monorail back to downtown Disney. Grabbed our stuff and a regular uber van to head to the airport.
The LAX delta lounge is quite nice (and familiar to my kids) so we camped there for an hour before our flight and grabbed a light dinner. I was impressed that they now offer chick’n (for no- meat eaters)as a salad topper. There was also a very delicious tomato garlic bisque. The drinks are always good as well (but the better ones are paid—worth it).
We made it home tired but happy. No amount of rain can ruin the happiest place on earth….and I think we got to go on at least twice as many rides as we would have otherwise.