Receive updates via email:

 Updates via RSS

Tag Cloud

Blog Archive

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving at Disneyland, 4th Annual Trip

Today was our fourth annual Thanksgiving celebration celebrated at Disneyland in Southern California. Four years ago, this all started on a whim. Looking for an alternative to spending all day in the kitchen, that could be better spent with the entire family – we decided to give the Disney Resorts in Southern California a try.
Ashley & Ken in front of Snow White's Castle Thanksgiving Day at Disneyland in Anaheim, California
Disneyland for Thanksgiving was great year one, better year two, and still great last year.

We were anticipating a larger crowd this year – Disney had heavily advertised Thanksgiving at Disneyland and California Adventure last year and the crowds had picked up some. While we did not see any advertisements this year, we were thinking the crowd growth could continue.

For that reason, we left the Doubletree Guest Suites just before 8:00am to catch the Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) to the Disney Resorts (an all-day ticket costs just $3 for as many round trips as you need up until 3:00am). After waiting a few minutes, all eight of us arrived at the park around 8:15am. The only item worth of note here is that passes for blackout days for Annual Pass holders are now $40/day rather than $30/day, a pretty large increase over our last visit.
The crew in at the Disneyland entrance on Thanksgiving day at California Adventure
While it was too late to locate a DreamPASS or get in line for Finding Nemo, we started off with the usual collection rides. Luckily, the rides had minimal waits and included Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, Indiana Jones, and Pirates of the Caribbean. We were also able to grab a FastPass for Space Mountain so we could come back later. By the time we finished the rides, the California Adventure Park was opening.

We headed over there because we wanted a free snack at the Mission Tortilla Factory right near the Paradise Pier, where you can see my personal favorite video. The kids are presenting the importance of the tortilla itself as well as tortilla making. With, of course the dog saying my favorite work – Maseca!

After enjoying some rides at California Adventure we headed over to the StoryTeller CafĂ© in the Grand Californian Hotel. Our “reservation” or preferred seating time in Disney-speak was for 2:10pm – just a short time after the Thanksgiving buffet opened. At $29.99, it is hard to beat the meal and options included for their Thanksgiving feast. While the quality of the food (noticeably the Prime Rib and the stuffing) were not as good as previous years, it was still an enjoyable meal and better than many alternatives.
The Holiday Parade - A Christmas Fantasy - at Disneyland on Thanksgiving Day
After filling up, we spent a little more time at the park before we sneaked back to the hotel to “rest” and really watch the USC vs. Arizona State game. We all know how that turned out.

Once the game’s outcome was no longer in doubt we headed back to watch the Disneyland -- "Believe...In Holiday Magic" fireworks show. Most impressive this year is the new appearance of the “snow” on the castle as well as the new lighting. And of course a great fireworks show and snow (er, soap) falling from the sky.

Nice reflective shot of Snow White's Castle at night with lights at Disneyland on Thanksgiving

Finally, we used our FastPasses at Space Mountain before heading back to the hotel for the evening. Next year we'll need T-Shirts for our 5th year of having a Thanksgiving celebration at Disneyland