Day 11 had us – well at least us Goodreaus – waking up VERY excited.
On account of it was our first official day in Disneyland!!!!
Well, I guess it wasn’t just us Goodreaus that were excited.
Tony the Mouse was also excited.
And settle in everyone, because this post is my longest of this trip so far. Yeah, I know. I can’t believe it either.
I mean, OF COURSE we woke up early on Day 11. It was a Disney Day! We were up around 6AM or so. And it’s funny on a Disney Day. Waking up early just seems so much easier. I mean, at least for me. And Tony the Mouse up there.
The Nerneys were up early as well so we opened the adjoining door while we all got ready. And then we headed out to meet the Falzones at the Coffee House at the hotel for some caffeine.
I got an Americano, as I recall. And it was…ok. I think this actually ended up being our first and last time getting coffee at the Coffee House. I mean, you literally pass two Starbucks on the way to the parks. And the Coffee House ain’t got no Cold Foam. So I declare Starbucks the winner.
Coffee in hand, we made our way out of the hotel and into Downtown Disney. And within minutes, we were at the park entrance. Of DISNEYLAND PARK!!
As Galaxy’s Edge was top priority today, we wanted to be amongst the first in line. And we were pretty close to the front, but the line filled up behind us rather quickly.
Our time in line gave us a chance to set some things up. At Disneyland, things work a bit differently than Disney World. This definitely held true for Galaxy’s Edge.
Once 7AM hit, we were able to make reservations for both Oga’s Cantina (the bar inside Galaxy’s Edge where they allow you to pay ridiculous prices for alcohol) and Savi’s Workshop (where they allow you to spend $200 on a light saber.) We made a pre-lunch reservation at Oga’s and a post-lunch reservation at Savi’s.
Although the park was officially scheduled to open at 8AM, they started letting us through the turnstiles around 7:30. And within minutes, we were turning the corner to see Disneyland’s itty-bitty castle. But the new paint job looked super duper.
While we were let into the park at 7:30, it was only to go wait in another line in front of Frontierland to be led into Galaxy’s Edge. Which makes sense. I mean, it does cut down on the Main St. dash as some people did end up lining up for other lands.
And as you can see from the picture above, we weren’t too far back either. Look at us. With the winning.
We were let into Frontierland at 8ish and guided down towards Galaxy’s Edge. I took a video of it to show the throngs of people that joined us.
I must say – this was an exciting moment. It’s not often we experience a “Disney first” along with our friends and family these days. And this one felt pretty big. As we turned into Galaxy’s Edge, it was pretty impressive. You really do feel as though you leave Disneyland Park behind and are entering a whole different place. I mean, a different planet maybe? Though I didn’t notice any difference in oxygen levels or temperature.
You can tell the amount of care and precision that went into creating Black Spire Outpost (on the planet of Batuu in Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge…I know, it’s confusing.) As we walked through the land, it really did feel like we were experiencing something special.
Well, it sort of did. My brain had to deal with juxtaposition of awesomeness and Owen’s anxiety-ridden cries of “Hurry UP! Everyone is getting in front of us!” Ah well, kid was excited.
And I mean, can you blame him? Because soon enough, we turned a corner and came upon this.
Ho. Lee. Tauntan Crap.
The Aluminum Falcon. Amazing.
Wait…that’s not right.
But yerp, the Millennium Falcon. I will get into the attraction itself in a second, but wow man. This thing was impressive. According to reports, this is actually the first-ever complete Falcon built to scale.
I love you, Millennium Falcon.
And not only did we get to SEE the Milennium Falcon. We got to ride the thing. First order of business was hopping into the queue for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.
Ugh, this queue was incredible tho. Not only did it afford us some closeup views of the Falcon…
But it really immersed you into the whole story of the attraction. Oh, what is the story? Well, pull up a mechno chair – Glayvin! – and I will tell you.
Basically, the story takes place after the events of The Last Jedi and Chewbacca has brought the Falcon to the Black Spire Outpost for repairs. In exchange for these repairs, he agreed to let the smuggler Hondo Ohnaka borrow it for his obviously and completely legitimate business dealings. He is looking for you to help him retrieve some coaxium from Corella to help the Resistance.
The Hondo animatronic is a legit huge leap in animatronics. Dude thinks he’s people.
While the line was short when we were there, I assume this whole queue would make waiting around a little easier. There are things to see around every corner. Plus, while I didn’t get the chance to use it while I was there, the Disney Play app offers tons of interactivity for those stuck waiting in line.
Thankfully, this was not us. We reached the ship in minutes and were handed cards to designate our role once in the cockpit. There are 6 to a cockpit – 2 pilots, 2 gunners, and 2 engineers.
After we were handed our assignments (we made a pact to take whatever you were assigned, but you can switch with others in your party if you want), we were allowed to walk around the ship for a little bit before boarding.
And then our parties were called to board.
In one cockpit it was Nickie, Larissa, Tony, Mia, Laura, and a rando dude. But said rando dude gave Mia his pilot card as he had already ridden Smuggler’s Run before and wanted to give her a front-row seat.
In the other was me, Myles, Owen, Matt, Jack and Will. Owen and I were pilots, Jack and Myles were gunners, and Matt and Will were engineers.
I snapped one pic in the cockpit but the cast members were kind of rushing us off and on so it came out…merp.
The attraction is definitely unique in that it allows for interactivity I have never experienced on any other attraction. Your performance as a pilot, gunner, or engineer really do affect the outcome of the ride. In fact, when we got out, we noticed it took a while for the other team to finish. This was due to us doing such a good job on our mission. As Mia was one of the pilots on the other team, I guess they crashed a little bit so that extended their mission a bit.
So pro tip? Don’t be like…all that good.
When we got off Smuggler’s Run, I saw there was a line forming for PhotoPass pictures in front of the Millennium Falcon so we hopped in line and while we waited, I used our MaxPass to secure some FastPasses for Big Thunder Mountain that started about a half hour from then.
Soon enough, it was time for our photoshoot. Which was exciting. Because we are vain.
Speaking of loving ourselves, here are a buttload of pictures of us.
And of course we snapped a quick selfie.
We still had a little bit of time before our Big Thunder FastPass was up, so we spent a little time exploring Galaxy’s Edge.
First stop was the Milk Stand.
Eh, when in Batuu.
We ordered some blue milk and some green milk.
The blue is a semi-frozen mix of pineapple, dragonfruit and watermelon while the green has some more tropical, citrusy flavors. Both are a made with a mix of rice and coconut milk.
And erm. I mean, I wanted to like them. Of course I did. Its frikkin blue and green milk. But eh, butterbeer this ain’t. I dunno. Disney can’t seem to get the in-theme frozen beverages correct. LeFou’s Brew, anyone?
Myles seemed to like the Blue Milk. But he also likes LeFou’s Brew. So I wouldn’t trust him if I were you.
But that wasn’t it for beverages. Nickie also got a Diet Coke thermal detonator.
Even the Dasani water Mia got had some Aurebesh written on it.
Since we had reservations at Oga’s for later, we felt ok leaving Batuu for the time being. Plus we had a FastPass for the wildest ride in the wilderness.
Nickie and Laura didn’t want to ride so they went ahead to meet us at our next destination. The rest of us hit the bathrooms on the way out and headed out into Frontierland. Well, so we thought.
When we got to Big Thunder, I used my phone to enter all our FastPasses, looked back, and there was no Tony to be found. I think, in our excitement to go mining, we left Tony behind at the bathrooms in Galaxy’s Edge. Larissa called him and we told him where we were.
The FastPass operator thankfully let us hang out while we waited.
We called again and gathered from his description where he was so we gave him directions on where to go. Poor Tony the Mouse.
But while we were waiting, it did give me a chance to get FastPasses for us all on Indiana Jones Adventure to be used after Big Thunder.
And we waited.
We sent Myles out on a rescue mission to find him and he did return, successful. Maybe ten minutes later or so. But whatever, We were FINALLY ready to ride Big Thunder Mountain AND we now could make “Where’s Tony?” jokes for the rest of the trip. So win-win. For me at least. It was a win-win for me.
With our FastPass, we were on in no time. Well, outside of the whole search-and-rescue.
I love the Disneyland version of Big Thunder. On account of it has explosions. And no matter the thing, if it has explosions, I like that version better. It’s a scientific fact.
After Big Thunder, it was over to Indiana Jones. The Rivers of America looked beautiful this morning.
When we got to Indiana Jones, it was broken down of course so our FastPass changed to an anytime FastPass (to be used at any point for any FastPass ride). Now that I didn’t have any time window restrictions, I secured a FastPass for Matterhorn Bobsleds for a little bit later.
On my app, I noticed Pirates of the Caribbean had a 5 minute wait, which basically translates to a no-minute wait, so we walked over.
Pirates is another ride I prefer at Disneyland over Walt Disney World. While most of the ride is similar, the Disneyland version has a bigger drop at the beginning. Yup, drops and explosions. I am a pretty easy guy to please.
When the ride was finished, the app indicated Indiana Jones was back up so we walked back over. Unfortunately, Mia wasn’t quite tall enough to ride.
Nickie saw this as an opportunity to not have to ride so she took Mia to ride Jungle Cruise while the rest of us went on Indy.
And while Nickie and Mia were on Jungle Cruise, Mia kept telling Nickie she thought she might be tall enough at that point. Unfortunately, she didn’t grow enough by the end of her Cruise. Fortunately, she did see a monkey with a gun.
We all met up in Adventureland and most of us minus Nickie and Laura went over to Matterhorn Bobsleds in search of the Abominable Snowman.
Owen was excited, obviously.
As was Jack. Oh, and me. I was excited.
Once we conquered the mountain, it was back to Batuu.
We needed some “medicine” for the back pain incurred during the Matterhorn so it was a perfect time to head to Oga’s Cantina for our reservation.
It was an interesting situation. Even though we already had a reservation, we had to wait in line. With other people who also already had a reservation.
We were handed menus to look over while we waited.
But I mean, I didn’t need a menu. I’ve known what I was having for months now, of course. But I suppose maybe normal people might need one.
We were inside within maybe 5-10 minutes or so. And this place was a whole bunch of coolness.
As much as the entirety of Galaxy’s Edge felt all kinds of immersive, Oga’s was the pinnacle of this immersion. It 100% felt like we were in a cantina in the Star Wars universe. In addition to the look of the place, the sounds surrounding us helped put is in the middle of it all. The music was being spun by DJ-REX (RX-24 from the old Star Tours ride).
The place was also packed. Pretty much standing room only. We ended up finding some room at the bar as well as a high top to stand at nearby.
While we were there mainly to imbibe, we did order both of the “snacks” offered at Oga’s – the Batuu Bits snack mix…
…and Oga’s Obsession, this sort of jello-like mix of lemonade, cotton candy flavor, blueberry pearls, and dried fruit. Sounds odd, I know…but it was pretty tasty.
The Batuu Bits were good, I thought but they def had some spice to them. I actually preferred the Oga’s Obsession, but I liked both.
Like I said, I knew what I wanted months before visiting Oga’s – the Outer Rim. Patrón Silver Tequila, Cedilla Açaí Liqueur, Lime Juice, and Pure Cane Sugar topped with Black Salt and Exotic Fruit Purée
But that wasn’t all I tried. We all sort of tried each others’ drinks. Like the Bespin Fizz (Bacardi Superior Rum, Yuzu Purée, Pomegranate Juice, White Cranberry Juice, and Cloud Swirl).
And the Jedi Mind Trick – Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit and Rose Vodka, John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum, Bols Blue Curaçao, White Grape Juice, Lime Juice, and Grapefruit Bitters.
And the Jet Juice – Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur, Cedilla Açaí Liqueur, White Grape Juice, and Lemon Juice.
Of all them, I think the Outer Rim was my favorite. While I enjoyed the spectacle of the Bespin Fizz and the, well, bourbon of the Jet Juice, the Outer Rim had a good combination of taste and uniqueness.
I feel like I’m forgetting something.
Oh right, the kids. The kids also got some non-alcoholic drinks.
Like the Blue Bantha Myles ordered – Blue Milk served chilled with Bantha-inspired Vanilla-Butter Sugar Cookie.
Which Myles, being the only one among us that really liked Blue Milk, said he preferred the version at the Milk Stand, because it was more frozen. This was more just like standard milk consistency. So I don’t know. Milky, I guess?
And the rest of the kids got Carbon Freezes (Powerade Lemon Lime and Wild Strawberry with Blueberry and Green Apple Popping Pearls), which were sort of like non-alcoholic Bespin Fizzes.
After Oga’s, things became a little Two Towers, as we split off into groups to have some separate adventures.
Nickie, Laura, and Larissa had booked the Very Merry Unbirthday Tea at the Disneyland Hotel. So they went off to do that while the rest of us had other plans for lunch.
All three of them said the tea was great and they did send me pictures. But apologies for not knowing what anything is. At least this time I have an excuse.
I believe that last one is a “sandwich” shaped like a rabbit. See? I’m helpful.
Also, while the tea they reserved also came with champagne, the girls of course ordered a bottle of wine. The waitress informed them this was the first time she was ever asked for a bottle of wine at the tea. The girls were surprised by this for some reason. Even though this was a “tea.”
Larissa did end up needing a nap afterwards. So maybe the waitress had a point.
The rest of us went to lunch at Café Orleans.
To start with, we ordered the Pommes Frites for the table, with extra Remoulade of course.
Pro tip – if you have the option to do so, always order extra Remoulade. It’s like doubling down on 11. Always.
The main reason ANYONE goes to Café Orleans is for this situation.
The Monte Cristo. Served with a Berry Puree, this thing is BIG. Which is why Tony and I split one and the four boys split two between the four of them.
Matt ordered a Nicoise Salad. I tried to take a picture of it but my phone’s camera has a “no salad” setting on it.
For dessert, we got some Mickey-shaped beignets.
Of course they were good. They were beignets, dummy.
And then? It was back to Galaxy’s Edge for us still in the park while the girls (well minus a napping Larissa) put some laundry in and hit the pool at the hotel. Laura and Nickie did God’s work that day, lugging 10 days worth of laundry to the laundry room.
But while they were doing God’s work, we were doing Jedi’s work. Because yup, after lunch it was back to Galaxy’s Edge.
And wookie who we ran into.
We still had a little bit of time until our planned stop in Galaxy’s Edge so we walked over to the Marketplace to check things out. We peeked in the Creature Stall and the Toydarian Toymaker.
The Marketplace is super cool because while you might expect to find the normal Disneyland-type souvenirs like a Galaxy’s Edge mug or a “A Long Time Ago In a Galaxy Far Far Away…Was Where This Line Started” t-shirt. But instead, everything is on theme. At the Toydarian Toymaker, for example, they sell toys but toys that feel more homemade, like wooden toys or yarn plushes. So it really feels like you are in a Marketplace on another planet.
But alas, our money was already spent at Savi’s Workshop, where Myles, Owen, and Will had reservations to build their own light sabers.
At this point, Tony and Mia went off on their own for a little bit and Matt and I took the boys to check in at Savi’s. At check-in, they chose their hilt from four different choices. Myles went with Elemental Nature, Owen got the Power and Control, and Will chose Protection and Defense. And they were each given a pin to signify their choice.
And then we were led inside. Each person making a light saber could bring one person in with them to observe, so Matt, Jack, and I could see the whole process as well.
It was a pretty cool scene. Once inside, you are greeted by The Gatherers, collectors that have traveled all over the galaxy to collecting parts and junk used to forge light sabers. The first piece they present you with is the Kyber Crystal. The boys had a choice between red, blue, green, and purple.
The boys were then presented with a tray of parts designed specifically to build their hilt.
The Gatherers took them step-by-step through the process of building their saber, until their hilts were complete.
The builders were then instructed to place their hilt in the…I don’t know, hilt-holder?…and they got a message from Grover from Sesame Street about the Force and asked to turn on their sabers and raise them in the air.
Wait. That was Yoda? Hm, sounds just like Grover. I wonder if they’re related.
But overall, it was a neat experience. Being a Disney experience, the amount of detail and immersion was top-notch. I suppose the wand-choosing experience at Ollivander’s in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal is the closest approximation. And I would say Savi’s BURIED Ollivander’s. But I mean, at a price of $200 per light saber, I would assume it should. Yeah, $200. So will be build another light saber? Doubtful. But I am glad we did it. And it’s high-quality. It’s definitely the best light saber I’ve ever held.
Since we were on such a Star Wars high coming out of Savi’s, I secured us a FastPass for Hyperspace Mountain.
On our way out of Savi’s, we saw Kylo Ren and some Stormtroopers marching up to the stage in the middle of the Outpost and caught a little of their “show.”
We then walked over to Tomorrowland to use our Hyperspace Mountain FastPass. Tony and Mia were going to meet us, but Mia was not in the mood to do any more rides that afternoon to Tony brought her back to the hotel.
When we arrived in Tomorrowland, our Hyperspace Mountain FastPass was ready for use. So, erm…we used it.
I swear Owen and I also rode it. I also swear…that guy in the back is having a REALLY good time. It IS a really fun attraction. The Star Wars overlay works very well. I love me some old school Space Mountain, but it was nice to do something different.
When we got out, I got us a FastPass for Star Tours: The Adventure Continues that was immediately available so we walked right on. Did I mention how much I love MaxPass? Gaming the system like a MoFo.
Onto Star Tours we went…
After we exited, we all decided to head back to the hotel to relax for a bit before dinner. Translation: pool and beer. Well, not for the kids obviously.
Nickie, Laura, and Tony were already down at the pool and Jack was the only kid I could convince to join me in meeting them. The other boys wanted to stay behind and have a light saber fight. Eh, seems safe.
We went down to the pool, met up with everyone else, and had a swim.
I also had a video chat with my mom at the pool to check in on her and Lilo. As I was down there, Nickie went to get the last of the laundry and I ordered us a couple beers. I of course didn’t realize how hard it would be to video chat AND carry two completely full beers in plastic cups to the laundry room.
By the time I reached Nickie, I smelled like a brewery. So obviously, nothing was all that different.
Soon enough, we were back up in the room getting ready for dinner since we had an earlier reservation at around 5:30.
Dinner that night was at Napa Rose, another Disneyland favorite.
While I talked about how much I love the dimly-lit old Hollywood vibe of Steakhouse 55, I can also get behind the bright, airy feel of Napa Rose.
Nickie and Larissa like it too!
Right off the bat, I want to mention how amazing the service was at Napa Rose. I really wish I remembered our water’s name, but he was attentive, knew the menu and wine list back and forth, and was super personable. While I still would probably give Steakhouse 55 the edge in terms of my meal, I think Napa Rose won out on service.
First thing that was brought to our table was the bread basket, which was filled with all different types of carb-based goodness.
This meal was another one where I mainly got pictures of my own food. I snuck a few others here and there but prepare for a journey. A journey into my stomach.
I started with the Central Park West – Basil Hayden Bourbon, Punt E Mes, Benedictine Orange Bitters.
Pretty much a Manhattan-y type of flavor but I am really digging the whole flavored bitter movement of late. Well, unless they’re grapefruit flavored. On account of grapefruit tastes like vomit. When I am drinking, the only thing I want vomit-flavored is my vomit. And even then, I wouldn’t mind a bit more orange.
To start with, we ordered a couple appetizers – the Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks with Herb Dumplings….
…and the “Carbonara” Handcrafted Chicken Agnolotti.
Both were exquisite. I think I would give the edge to the Agnolotti, but I was glad we ordered both. I also pushed for the Frogs’ Legs, but no takers. Pfft, peasants.
And of course, for our meal, we got some wine. We ordered a bottle but I honestly cannot remember what we got. It was wine-tastic though.
For my entrée, I went with the Duck a l’Orange – Duck Confit, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Braised Chard, Grilled Endive, and Tangelo Essence. Duck. Confit. I don’t know if I can ever NOT order duck confit if its on the menu.
Since he was sitting next to me, I also snapped a picture of Myles’s Cedar-Smoked Berkshire Pork Chop.
And course we ordered some Truffled “Mac & Cheese” Orecchiette.
As we were finishing up our meal, Mia did a quick video review of it for her “vlog.” So I guess she must have liked it.
And being that we were still celebrating Owen’s birthday, they brought Owen a special chocolate dessert.
Sorry, I meant Owen and Tony.
I know Steakhouse 55 is probably my favorite restaurant in all of Disneyland, but Napa Rose definitely gives it a run for its money. I feel like both are must-do’s whenever we are out there. And since there aren’t many of these types of restaurants in Disneyland (at least not as many as there are in Walt Disney World), it’s a pretty easy decision to just do both. Both is good. I recommend both.
As we were walking back out into the lobby of the Grand Californian, check out who we ran into.
I love that about Disneyland. You definitely see more characters walking around the hotels here than you do in Walt Disney World.
We needed to walk off our meals somehow. But where? Oh right, Disneyland.
While we were finishing up at Napa Rose, I got us all MaxPass FastPasses for Haunted Mansion. So we made New Orleans Square our first destination.
Ugh, love the Haunted Mansion. Like, so much it’s spooky.
And since I hadn’t eaten in like 30 minutes, I was feeling a bit rumbly in the old tumbly so I decided to get a refillable popcorn bucket at one of the stands. Wait, did I say “refillable?” Because, much like refillable mugs, those don’t exist at Disneyland. Oh, they sell mugs and buckets, they’re just not refillable. I get it. I mean, I guess since Disneyland is a ‘locals park,” there is probably a lot more chances for abuse of the system. But I ain’t buying no bucket that ain’t refillable.
I mean, I still got popcorn. I’m not some sort of savage.
Then it was over to Tomorrowland to ride Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, which I prefer at Disneyland because the blasters are detachable from the car, but it does seem harder to score in Disneyland’s version.
Whatever though – look how great this picture is.
After Buzz, it was onto the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Which is a real impossible place to take pictures. But trust me, we rode it. I also think I am the only one that enjoys this ride. Maybe it’s just because it’s probably the closest I will ever get to riding 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, or maybe it’s because I find the whole thing so relaxing. I dunno. I just dig it.
When we got off Nemo, it was close to 10:00 so most of the group left. As would become the norm for the rest of our time at Disney, I stayed behind with a group of children. This time around, it was me, Myles, Owen, and Will.
The Disneyland app confirmed there was no wait at the moment for Autopia and since we were already in Tomorrowland, that seemed a good choice for our next attraction.
Owen drove me, while Myles and Will each had their own cars.
I think around this time, Nickie had a bit of a scare. As she was getting the room situated back at the hotel she noticed the light sabers were nowhere to be found. Right. The $200 light sabers. She frantically searched the room and came to the frightening conclusion she left them on the elevator. So she ran down the hall, in her pajamas, to the elevator. No light sabers. Finally, she decided to text me and ask in one last hopeful text if we had them.
I mean, in that picture Myles and Owen are holding churros but still. Whatever. We had them.
Poor Nickie. I mean, she got a hilarious story out of it so it wasn’t a total loss.
I checked the app and noticed another attraction had no wait…
In fact, look at that picture. There wasn’t just no wait. There was literally no one surrounding It’s A Small World so we walked right on.
And of course this version is the superior version. There are Disney characters in it. Whatever, purists!
While we were all getting a little tired at this point, Fantasmic was just starting and we had grabbed FastPasses earlier in the day for it just in case. So we walked over to the FastPass section and ended up with a pretty good view for getting in there right when it was starting.
This was actually my first time seeing Disneyland’s version of Fantasmic. I LOVED it. I don’t really care all that much for the Disney World version. I mean, I don’t hate it but for the hassle it takes to see it, it never really seems worth it.
It was close to 11PM by this point so it was time to leave. Fantasmic was a great end to an amazing day at Disneyland Park. But yeah, time to leave. We walked out of the park and made the short walk back to the hotel.
I know. It was a long post. But if it helps at all to justify it, my Samsung Health app counted over 28,000 steps that day. So yeah, we did a lot. I think you can deal with reading about it.
Day 12’s post promises to be just as long since its our day at California Adventure. So I suggest you mentally prepare.