Our last day at Disneyland… let the tears commence. It is always sad the last day of the theme park vacation because there are so many things that you wanted to do before you arrived that you ultimately didn’t have enough time to do. Although we have Walt Disney World right in our backyard, there is still something about being relaxed and on vacation at Disneyland that you just don’t want to end.
We arose relatively early on our last day so we could finish getting packed and then hit a few of our favorite things before departing for our second leg of our vacation in Scottsdale, AZ. We got the boys some cereal as we crammed the last remaining items in bags. Emily, who is always the planner, had our Back to the Future shirts ready to go for our last day of theme parks and photos. My shirt fittingly said, “OUTATIME.”
To make the most of our remaining time, we agreed that we would all go together to get into the park, secure FastPasses for Radiator Springs Racers, and then I would head back to the room and get our bags loaded into the car while Emily and the boys played at the park. I got to the room and called bell services who luckily had a Masters Degree in Tetris so he was able to fit all of our junk onto one cart. He took the cart down, and I went to pick up the car and we met in the front of the hotel. After a second round of Tetris getting the luggage crammed into the rental car, I was ready to park the car and meet the family at Disney’s California Adventure Park. He did leave me with some sage advice as he told me if we weren’t on the road by 2 pm we should wait until 7 pm to leave because the highway would basically be a parking lot. This ended up changing our plans a bit but gave us more time to play on our last day at Disneyland.
While I was getting the luggage set to go, Em and the boys were able to ride Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. These two rides, along with Radiator Springs Racers, have become the fan favorites of the group. I met up with the group just in front of Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction where I spotted Emily carrying Sawyer because he had taken a spill while running through the park. A quick bandaid and diversion and we were off to go for a spin on Mickey’s Fun Wheel.
The last time we visited Disneyland was the prior year in a trip very similar to this one. During that visit we also agreed to brave the tallest attraction at Disney’s California Adventure Park, Mickey’s Fun Wheel. After that particular visit and ride, we didn’t all leave that attraction agreeing with the “Fun” part of that title, as the height got to most of us more that we had anticipated. With that experience still relatively fresh in our minds, it was with a bit of hesitation that we eventually approached the Wheel of Terror on our last day (with Sawyer leading the charge) to give it another go. Well, maybe the stars were aligned for us on this particular day, because I would almost say that we enjoyed the Wheel of Worry this go-round.
With our fears behind us and our hunger needing some satisfying, we headed to our favorite spot, Steakhouse 55, for our final breakfast of the California portion of our trip. We enjoyed the walk to the Disneyland Hotel through Downtown Disney, pointing out the shops that we wanted to hit on our way back. Breakfast was amazing as it was another quiet morning at the restaurant and our server was awesome. Emily licked her plate clean of the delicious Eggs Benedict that she enjoys so much. The waitress gave us some fun tips and was really good with the boys.
We said our goodbyes to both Steakhouse 55 as well as the Disneyland Hotel and set our sights for the LEGO store at Downtown Disney. The boys and I (I think we even hooked Emily) have a love for everything LEGO. This was just a looking visit as, having just packed the suitcases and car, I can confirm that there was absolutely no room for anything else in our luggage. The LEGO stores are always so impressive as they build different characters that are beyond life size and fun to imagine how they might be constructed.
Another last day need that we required filling was taking the Monorail from Downtown Disney to Tomorrowland in Disneyland Park. I absolutely love the fact that you can take the monorail right into the park… So cool! The entrance to the Monorail is literally right across from the LEGO store.
We departed the Monorail in Tomorrowland and quickly made our way through the park, grabbing some Fastpasses for Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters as we navigated down Main Street and out of the park. That is another interesting occurrence at Disneyland that there are times and reasons where you are only in one of the theme parks for literally minutes. We were limited on time because we had to hit our window for our last trip on Radiator Springs Racers in the amazing Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure. The ride did not disappoint and will be one that we will be excited to return and ride again.
We bummed around Disney’s California Adventure for a bit before crossing back over to Disneyland Park to use our Buzz Lightyear Fastpasses. Although we have a version of Buzz Lightyear’s ride at Magic Kingdom in Orlando, this California ride has some character, and is different enough to warrant the experience. After we saved the Galaxy from the Evil Emperor Zurg, Emily took the boys to do a little shopping while I took the opportunity to meet my California Compensation work peers. I have recently switched jobs at Disney and have been working in Compensation since September of 2015. In my job I am constantly talking and web conferencing with the team in California, so I wanted to take the opportunity while I was out here to meet them all in person. One of my coworkers met me in Toontown and took me backstage to the Team Disney building to see the team in person. They were all extremely welcoming and it was great to finally meet them all in person. The team also agreed with the Bellman that it wouldn’t make sense to leave any time before 7 pm or we would just be stuck studying license plates on the interstate.
I said my goodbyes to the team and navigated through the sea of Guests to Emily and the boys who were in Adventureland, trying to figure out what we would have for our last meal at Disneyland. Because it was so busy at Disneyland Park, we agreed to get a churro to hold us over, and we would spend the rest of our time at Disney’s California Adventure Park, where you could at least see your shoes. There is something about those California churros that Florida just hasn’t quite figured out yet.
We were happy to be back over at Disney’s California Adventure Park because we had so many great memories from our trip there. Since the troops were getting hungry, we came up with the brilliant plan to grab some food and a seat back by Paradise Garden Grill so we could eat and watch the Pixar Play Parade. We got Hunter his last round of corndogs for the trip and Emily and I got this really delicious kabob meal from the Paradise Garden Grill. Definitely worth a stop if you are looking to change it up from your normal theme park food. We finished up our meal just in time as the parade was rounding the corner for its last leg. The boys loved it, especially Sawyer because the parade was filled with all of the characters we have been reading about in our nighttime stories at home.
After the parade it was getting close to our departure time so we agreed on one more experience, the Redwood Creek Trail, before we said our final goodbyes. The boys had a blast the previous day climbing around the immense playground, and today was no different. Hunter tried this really cool tire rope slide that he thought was really fun. It was the perfect end to a great day and vacation at Disneyland. The boys got to wear themselves out a bit before the five plus hour car ride to Scottsdale, AZ.
We headed back through Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, and I went to bring the car up while Emily and the boys did their last lap around the lobby and shops. At this time we were almost out of sunlight so we navigated most of the way to Arizona in the dark. Although we didn’t hit much traffic as promised by our trusty Californian experts, we did end up rolling into Arizona after 1 am, and we were exhausted from the long day. Lucky for us, my parents have a casita at their house which is a detached bedroom from the house, so we didn’t have to wake anyone as we stumbled in at that ungodly hour. Happy to have arrived, sad to have said goodbye to Disneyland, looking forward to a relaxing rest of the week in Arizona.
As always we would appreciate your comments and thoughts so please feel free to leave them below. If you have not read the previous posts from our fun family vacation, you can start with our day 1 blog and video of our travels to Disneyland Resort. We have posted pictures, and video from the first four days of our trip which is bound to provide endless entertainment!