published in Activity, Inspiration, Joy, Laughter, Photos, Travel by Maryanne | April 23, 2019

Disneyland For Dummies


MA & Laura on the Dumbo ride

“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.”

– Karl Barth

So I took a little break from unpacking boxes…

And went to Disneyland over the Easter weekend with my niece, Laura, who turned 27 while at the park (she got to wear the Birthday Button). We had a BLAST!!

Our 3-day adventure was as fun as it was mainly because Laura is a Disneyland-guru.

By that I mean she knows Disneyland…where to get the freshest churros (don’t settle for ones that have been sitting around for 20 minutes), how to use the FastPasses AND the FastPass app, which ride to tackle first in the day before the line-up gets too long (Radiator Springs), where to watch the World of Colour show (and to remain seated as long as possible, to rest those aching feet, before the park wardens make you stand up), how to appease an Aunt who is weirdly obsessed with the Star Tours ride (take Aunt on said ride over & over again until she has seen every single variation of C-3PO’s intergalactic journeys), how to make that Aunt even happier (take her on her second favourite ride, Soarin’, over and over again), and so on.

The trick to having a successful visit to Disneyland is simple: go with a pro who makes things smooth like buttah (speaking of which…oh, the popcorn!)

45 hours, 75,0000 steps and 60 rides later (we’re weren’t muckin’ around), I can safely say we got our money’s worth out of Disneyland and California Adventure.

And the food was AMAZING…from churros, corn dogs and hot fudge sundaes to fried chicken, monte cristo sandwiches and deep fried pickles (but for Heaven’s sake, don’t bite into them right away…let them cool a moment. Laura warned me but I did listen? No, of course not…and the roof of my mouth is still sore).

If you haven’t had the Mickey-shaped beignets at the Mint Julep bar, you may wish to add them to your bucket list…yum! Oh, and the Dole Whip (pineapple deliciousness) on a hot day tastes even better while watching the kooky but cheery singing bird show in the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room.

Here are some snaps from our 3 days of fun:

My most Magical Moment: meeting Minnie Mouse 🙂

If you’ve been to Disneyland or DisneyWorld, what are some of your favourite rides, food and/or memories? 

“Laughter is an instant vacation.”

– Milton Berle

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.



  1. Theresa Chevalier on April 24th, 2019 at 3:27 pm:

    Sounds like you’re the Pro now! So happy for you!

  2. Maryanne on April 25th, 2019 at 11:57 am:

    Oh no…not me! Laura did all the actual work…I just went along for the ride(s) and the FOOD, of course!

  3. Elliot | on July 14th, 2019 at 9:38 am:

    Oh wow, this trip sounded amazing…and the food sounds incredible! It’s been almost 30 years since I last went to Disneyland and no doubt it must have changed in a big way. And there was no internet back then, let alone apps! 🙂

    I’d love to think I’ll get back there one day. 🙂


  4. Maryanne on July 16th, 2019 at 1:07 pm:

    Yah…the FOOD at Disneyland was awesome!! I hope you’ll get back there some day. I want to get back to DisneyWorld in Florida…I haven’t been there since I was a kid!

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