Adventures in Disneyland – Day 1 Part 1

Like most our trips to Walt Disney World, our trip to Disneyland started in the early hours of Monday morning.  Though we live only a short drive away from the Albany Airport, we rarely fly out of there due to the high ticket costs.  Fortunately, Albany is near many major airports so we have plenty of choices to shop around for airfare.  This time, Newark came up as the fare winner and luckily for us, I have friends who live near the Newark Airport and they were willing to drop us off and pick us up from the airport.  A nice savings from having to spent a night in an airport hotel and then spend more money to park the car.

Our flight was at 7 am and we took off right on time and even arrived in Los Angeles ahead of schedule.  The major disappointment was the flight was not equipped for streaming video or even an in-flight movie.  Combined with the Disney Movies Anywhere app not working on my daughter’s iPad, it made for a long flight that was made up for by plenty of naps.

As I mentioned many times, we did not go with one of the major rental car companies.  We chose a newer company called Silvercar which provides a concierge level of service at a low price.  The company picks your party up and only your party (no bus to an off-site location) and drives you to the Silvercar location.

Silvercar #1

It doesn’t look like much but this is how they keep their costs down.  A small location, you have the option to drive the car that they pick you up in (their fleet is entirely Audi A4s), GPS and EZPass come with the car (you pay for only the tolls – no rental fee).  Our car cost us $59+tax per day.  A very reasonable price for a high quality rental car.  We finished up at Silvercar and we were on our way to…..THE TARGET IN GARDEN GROVE!  Sorry, we needed to pick up some drinks and snacks for the room.

After that, we were at Disneyland.  We had heard from friends of ours that it’s easier to use the valet service as opposed to self parking because the self parking for the Grand Californian is far away from the resort and it was only $7/day more expensive.  It was worth it to us to valet park the car.

The Grand Californian is along the lines of Wilderness Lodge in Walt Disney World but on a grander scale.  We check in and it was like checking in at WDW pre-MagicBands.  We received a text when our room was ready.  Before heading into the parks, we stopped in White Water Snacks for some lunch.  Burgers for me and my daughter while my wife got a chicken sandwich.

On to Disney California Adventure!  Entering through the Grand Californian is a nice perk (except first thing in the morning – more on that later).  After some debate, we decided to go MIke and Sulley to the Rescue! for our first attraction.  I’ll have to say that I was kinda disappointed with the attraction.  For an attraction that was opened in 2006, there is so much more technology available to make the attraction a better experience.  It felt dated and old.  But my disappointment was short-lived because we got to give somebody a warm hug!

Who wants a warm hug?
Who wants a warm hug?

After getting warm hugs from Olaf, we made our back to Paradise Pier and ran into another of my favorite characters.

Somebody teach this duck to wear some pants!
Somebody teach this duck to wear some pants!

Sailor Donald welcomed us to Paradise Pier and then my daughter and I made our way back to Mickey’s Fun Wheel for a spin.  At the top, the wheel has great views of both Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure as well as the surrounding area.  The wait can be bit a long due to the long load and unload time for the attraction but the views more than make up for the wait.

By now, our room was ready so we made the walk back to the Grand California to check into room 3114 a Woods View room with a grand view of the Disneyland Monorail attraction.

Grand Californian #1

I would have gotten a picture with the monorail in the shot but the monorail was so quiet that we never heard it go by.  The room at the Grand Californian was big and never felt like that we were on top of each other.  The bathroom was large as well with two sinks and full bathtub with shower.

We took some time to get cleaned up from our flight and our afternoon in the park so we could be ready for our dinner at the Blue Bayou Restaurant in Disneyland that evening.  And we will continue our adventure there in an upcoming post.

Thanks for reading!

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