• Isabella Romero

My First Time at Disneyland!

This trip was not like the others, and it was unexpected and in the moment. Last week a friend of mine, whom I was staying with, had to travel for an emergency family situation, and well I could not go with them. I started to think about what I could do to entertain myself for the next week before I had to travel back home.


Friday morning came, and I received a text from a friend asking me to join them on their Disneyland weekend trip. All I could think of after reading that text was that I could not pass the opportunity of going to Disneyland because one, I have never been, and two, well, I love roller coasters! So, as soon as she gave me the flight number she was on, I made sure to buy it before it was gone quickly. It was the weekend of Labor-day, so most of the flights were pretty full, and I needed to hurry up if I wanted to fly in with her. As soon as I got my boarding ticket, I knew that I was all set to travel and just needed to start packing for the three-day Disneyland trip.


I started by checking the weather because I needed to be sure that the clothes I was taking were appropriate not only for the parks but also for the weather. Since the weather called for light clothes, I packed three pairs of shorts and three tops, perfect for the parks. I made sure to include a pair of sandals and a bathing suit for the pool for when we wanted to take a break from the rides. Other things that I had in my carry-on, which in this case was my Everywhere Bag from AWAY, were my toiletries bag, my pink case (holds the cables and chargers for my electronics), pajamas, sunglasses, wallet, passports, and phone.


We couldn’t travel Friday because we had work that day, but early Saturday at 8 am was our flight to Burbank, California, which I figured out later that day, was going to be a 50-minute ride to Disneyland. The flight was not bad at all, it was only an hour, and it felt that as soon as we took off San Francisco Airport, we landed at Hollywood Burbank Airport. I do love short flight times. Arriving at the Grand Californian Hotel, we skipped the check-in and left our bags at the bell service section in the hotel. Here is where I need to clarify that we did not have to check in because the family who invited me had already checked in for us Friday night, and we only just needed to leave our bags at the bell service so we could go straight to the park.


I was very excited because I had never been to Disneyland before and wanted to go on every ride and roller coaster there was. I had researched the night before about Disneyland because I was curious to see how many rides and roller coasters the park had, and well, I was not disappointed. There were so many that I felt overwhelmed, but I knew I was going to get on if not all, most of the rides because the family that invited me were experts when it came to Disneyland. So, I knew that I was in great hands. The Grand Californian Hotel is in the best spot of the parks because it’s right in the middle between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. However, because it is one of the hotels that is like a 5-minute walk to the parks, it is not cheap and ranges from $475–$980 a night. Let’s say that it was worth it because we planned on staying at the park until closing, but to do that, we took a break at the pool mid-afternoon. And it just so helped that the hotel was a 5-minute walk instead of a 10-minute car ride.


Some of my favorite rides of the day were Indiana Jones, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Matter Horn. This was also the first time I stayed until the parks closed, which was 11 pm because with my family in Orlando, we usually just leave by 5 pm, and that’s it for the park. This was great, but it was definitely a different pace and mentality of “okay, what is next ….how many minutes is that one … let’s go to this one instead….” It was a “let’s go” mentality. At the end of the day, I was just exhausted from all the walking, excitement, and food I ate: vegetable rolls and churros and lots of water.

Sunday, we woke up and decided to skip breakfast and go straight to the Disney California Adventure Park. This park, I immediately noticed, was much smaller than Disneyland and feared that there would not be as many rides and roller coasters as the day before, and I was still hopeful that there were going to be a few that I would enjoy. And to my surprise, I was not disappointed at all because the incredi-coaster was the best roller coaster. It even had one loop, and it reminded me so much of the Hulk ride from Universal Studios. Other rides that I also enjoyed were Radiator Springs Racers, Soaring Around the World, Mickey’s PhilharMagic. We ended up staying until closing, again, which was until 10 pm.


Monday morning, we decided to enjoy the breakfast buffet that the Grand California Hotel makes, which was one of the best decisions because it was amazing!! So many choices to choose from, but I ended up with my favorite combination, eggs, bacon, croissant, and sausage with a side of fruit, which in this case was two slices of watermelon. Because I was not able to go on all the rides and roller coasters of Disneyland on Saturday, we started by tackling those first. The runner-up was Space Mountain, a closed-up roller coaster that you don’t see anything but little stars. So throughout the whole ride, I had no idea what was going to happen next, and that is what made the roller coasters so awesome. After I had gone to all the rides I missed, I chose two finish the day with two of my favorite ones, Indiana Jones and Matter Horn.


We left the park at 5 pm and left to do some shopping at Downtown Disneyland before we had to go back to the airport for our flight that left at 8:45 pm at night from Santa Ana Airport. Santa Anna Airport is only a 20 minutes ride from The Grand California Hotel. There are many other nearby airports from Disneyland that you could choose to arrive and leave from, depending on where you are flying to. We went from Santa Ana to Oakland Airport because we were going to San Mateo, a 30-minute car ride from the airport. The closest was San Francisco Airport, but no flights were available, so we chose the next best thing.


Overall the trip was the best, with great memories and new friendships.

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