Travelogue: Disneyland, Day 1

April/May 2023
Where We Stayed: Howard Johnson Anaheim

Bethany and I were supposed to take this trip in January. But then my dad died. *saddest of trombones*  We rescheduled the trip and had such a great time!

  • We arrived on a Saturday and departed on a Wednesday.  It was uncharacteristically cool and a little cloudy, which we loved — but the locals were melting down. June Gloom came early and to the extreme!
  • We had three days of park hopper tickets.  I don’t believe park hopping is necessary at Disneyland, but we enjoyed the ability to be able to float between the parks and take things at a more leisurely pace.
  • Both of us had been to Disneyland before (and WDW many times), so we were frantic about trying to do all the things and ride all the rides.  It was the laziest Disney vacation I’ve ever taken and it was delightful.  We people-watched.  We rode rides that had a wait time of less than 30 min.  We took our time.  We took mid-afternoon naps back at the hotel.
  • Which brings me to my next point: our hotel.  We stayed at the Howard Johnson and I LOVED it.  When I booked I requested a room in the newly renovated tower.  Our room was clean, cute, and the walk to the park took literally 10-12 minutes.  Cannot be beat!  You also walk past McDonald’s, Panera, and a handful of others so you can grab breakfast on your way to the park instead of spending $27 on a Mickey waffle.
  • Our special activity for this trip was a tour of Walt’s apartment on Main Street USA. Bethany had wanted to do it forever so we booked the tour. It was so sweet and surprisingly emotional — to be in the apartment where he slept and lived and played with his grandchildren. If you’re a Disney fanatic, I’d highly recommend.
  • So now, onto the photos!

First things first… the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport therapy dog, Jasper. He and his handler were just roaming about, so I got a little snug to start my trip.
Second stop, Starbucks! When on vacation…
I found this piece in an airport gift shop and it just hit my heart. Reminded me of my sweet Denny so I bought it immediately.
The airport bathroom lighting was ON POINT.
Minneapolis airport bathroom art.
Finally arrived in California. Ubered to the hotel. Love the birds of paradise!
Howard Johnson Anaheim!
My Loungefly bags were ready to roll!
My other Disney accessories for the trip.
Our first stop was Downtown Disney to assess the Disney merch.
Not all heroes wear capes.
We were so lucky to be there when the pink trees were blooming.
Our first park was DCA.
Day 1 Loungefly!
Time to grab lunch at Flo’s!
The Cozy Cone Motel is my favorite part of DCA. It’s too cute for words.
Mr. Potato Head’s eyes look weird in photos.
Did I need a Mickey sourdough?  Yes.  Yes I did.
The mosaic wall has some unique items cemented into it.
A gigantic RICE KRISPIE TREAT Disneyland. Woah.
Then we popped over to Disneyland for a minute.  I had a moment with pink Dumbo.  *I MISS YOU, DAD*
That evening we had dinner with Gregory and Stephanie! Friends for almost 20 years!