First Trip Back Part 2: “Disneyland or the Beach?” Day 1, Part 2

We left for Disneyland at around 5 p.m. but the carpool lane was so backed up and the traffic so bad, it was almost 6 p.m. by the time we arrived at the Downtown Disney parking valet. Now this is Rich’s new favorite thing – valet parking at Downtown Disney. This certainly beats the parking garage – especially since we only spend about 3 hours at a time at Disney. The first three hours are free for self-park and $6 for valet and after that, you pay for every 20 minutes additional. But should we need an extra 2 hours, we can always get validation at any of the bars/restaurants at Downtown Disney.

We enjoyed our walk through Downtown Disney to get to Disneyland front gates. There were lines waiting to get into the park but that’s what we expected with the Haunted Mansion overlay. We also noticed the Halloween decorations on the Disneyland side.



We made our way to the Haunted Mansion and got in line. We noticed that both wait time aps showed an hour wait but when we arrived, it was only a 30-minute wait. Two years ago, my knee hurt so badly, we had to get out of line. Earlier my back was threatening but it was fine and the 30 minutes flew by. We had a great ride!!

By the time we exited the ride, the lights were coming on – a very special time in the parks. And we noticed the Harbor Galley was nearby and I was thinking about their new “Lobster Roll.” Rich is allergic to lobster but he was dreaming of that chicken sausage with sauerkraut on a pretzel roll at Village Haus.

So we got the Lobster roll for me – which was absolutely amazing!  Lobster isn’t something you get all that easily on the west coast. When we lived in Ohio for that year, lobster was everywhere!


 We then walked over to Fantasyland for Rich’s sausage pretzel roll. We stopped by Frontierland to see if the decorations were just as fab as they were before but they really weren’t. It was just a place to pay for a Disney Photo Pass. Ick!

We continued on our walk around the back way past the boarded up Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. My goodness – it’s going to be down for at least a year and you can’t see a thing – wonder what they’re doing to it – rebuilding it from the ground up?

We enjoyed our walk and made it to Fantasyland and on to Village Haus for Rich’s sausage roll. He announced it delicious!


We strolled some more of the park but didn’t ride anything else. Just getting back inside Disneyland Park and riding Haunted Mansion was “mission accomplished.” As a bonus, we stopped by the dance floor for “Date Night at Disneyland.” No, this isn’t something we’re calling it – it really is date night.” lol!

The music and atmosphere was awesome and we couldn’t help but do a little dance ourselves. We must come back – it is so worth it just to do this! So much history here and it was heartening to see that all is well, even though they did a rehab of the area and use it for some sort of kiddie something during the day. At night, it’s still a fabulous dance floor from the Big Band era of the past.


We stopped by World of Disney and got the 16-month Disneyland calendar that we were hoping to get. And a couple of Halloween “graveyard” decorations for home. We were able to use our points, which is always a fun thing!

We listened to some of the musical groups in Downtown Disney and oh my goodness! It’s the same WOW it’s always been. What a fabulous vibe! Love it!

About Kathy

Novelist & Music Producer