My husband, Antonio, is 5 months away from completing his MBA program. His last class is actually 2 weeks after our baby is due – talk about good timing! We (I should say he) basically hasn’t had a weekend off in 13 months. That’s 13 months of homework, weekend classes, night classes, no vacations, no video games, no lounging around on the weekends, basically, no fun at all. After 13 months his program finally offered a “summer break”, which I say in quotations because it was essentially only two weeks without class. Not completely a break but, after realizing we hadn’t really gone away for the weekend or taken a vacation in over a year, we decided to make something happen. Antonio really wanted to take Zano to Disneyland, while my idea of a vacation was to relax at the beach. We compromised and planned a full week away with the first half at Disneyland and the second half recuperating at the beach.
My husband and his family are, in my book, die-hard Disneyland goers. I know there are fanatics out there which are on a whole different level, but his family “vacations” to Disneyland which isn’t exactly my idea of a vacation. Disneyland just sounds like a whole lotta work to me. I’ve grown to appreciate it more every time we go, we really do create some fun memories. And nothing beats bringing your 2 year old to the park for his first time. My goodness, Zano was in shock! He got to meet his favorite characters: Mater & Lightening McQueen.
Zano rode so many rides, more than I would have thought a 2 year old could! It was blistering hot and sooo crowded, so we spent a lot of time popping in and out of air conditioned shops and restaurants to keep us sane.
An all time family fave is It’s a Small World, there’s just something so joyful about this ride. Zano loved it too, I think we took him 3 times!
My favorite part of exploring the parks is checking out all the design details, from the plants they chose for each area to the wall treatments on the buildings. Even Starbucks had a hidden garden wall (first photo in the post) that, unless you were paying attention, you could easily miss. Good design is everywhere, even at Disneyland.
We’ve gone to Disneyland so often we’ve come to know the best places to eat around the entire park, and actually plan our day around it! Here are our favorites:
- the Cobb Salad at the pink restaurant, just at the end of Main Street before turning right to Tomorrow Land (the Fried Chicken is pretty killer too). Perfect first lunch, we always hit this place up first for a meal!
- the Sun-dried Tomato Pasta from the Italian kitchen behind the Mickey ferris wheel at California Adventures, perfect for dinner
- the Mediterranean food (any of it!) right next to the Italian kitchen, I love the greek salad for lunch
- Chicken Skewers from the hut across from Indiana Jones, the different sauces are out of this world, a great protein snack when you’re not quite ready for a full meal
- Pineapple Whip from the dole stand in front of the Tiki Room. The line is always obscenely long, go into the Tiki Room waiting area and order from there, there’s usually little to no wait
- Breakfast Burritos at the cafe in Tomorrow Land. We grab one of these on the day we use our Magic Morning pass
- Beer at Flo’s Cafe (this is my husband’s favorite spot for beer)
- the Banana Hefeweizen at the beer stand directly across (left) from the chowder cafe in California Adventures (my husband’s second favorite spot for beer)
- Outside of the park: we love the Ya Ya Gumbo and the Beignets from the New Orleans restaurant in Downtown Disney, as well as the Italian pizza from Italian restaurant
Now that I’ve made myself hungry.. consider these spots next time you visit Disneyland!
Article Source: A Much Needed Vacation (part 1)