It has been 3.5 years but I took my boys back to Disneyland the first week of 2022, and we had an amazing time!
We bought the 3-day military salute tickets, and here is how it went!
First of all, this is what we did to get the tickets and get ready for our trip. Now, as someone who grew up at Disneyland, the idea of reservations completely freaked me out. The idea of planning freaks me out. You don’t have to plan very much for Disneyland. You just show up. But things are different now.
- I went to the travel office at Fort Campbell and purchsed four 3-day Disneyland tickets. I got a print out of each ticket with a bar code.
- I then pulled up the Disneyland app and added these tickets to the app, and made reservations for the dates we wanted. As these are hopper tickets, meaning you can go to both parks, whatever park I chose was the park we had to start at and we could go to the other one after 1pm each day. We had a day starting at Disneyland, a day starting at California Adventure, and another day back at Disneyland. Ideally I would have loved to spread out our dates but since you can’t use the salute tickets from December 16-December 31st, we had to go three days in a row in January as school started back the 6th.
- When we got to the park, we got in the front gate line. When we got to the front of that line, the guy was able to scan our tickets from the app, took our pictures, and gave us each a card to use for the rest of our trip. When we came back the next day, or when we switched parks, we just had to show the gate person that card.
- Keep in mind that you have to purchase your tickets before you get to the park. This is a change from before when you could walk up and buy them that day. You also have to have a reservation for each day for every person in your party. You can check on the Disneyland website if your dates are avaliable. I do think most dates are and you are probably good as long as you don’t wait until right before your trip to reserve them.
That was basically it! If you want more of the details on the price, where to buy your tickets, and all that, head on over and read Disneyland Military Discount or for Disney World, Disney World Military Discount.
Now, let’s talk about our days at Disneyland!
Day one was Disneyland. My brother was able to go with us, which was so nice. It was great to spend that time with him, especially at a place we have a lot of childhood memories at. We had passes to Disneyland from when I was about 10 until I left for college. So many amazing memories. The best was when my mom would wake us up and surprise us with a trip to Disney.
We got to Disneyland about 7:15 am, parking wasn’t an issue although it was $30. There were no trams so we had to walk, which really wasn’t a huge deal. It was kinda fun as we got more and more excited the closer we got.
There was a bit of a line at the front gate and then we were in. We knew where we were going to go first, the place everyone was looking forward to…Galaxy’s Edge, Star Wars Land! When we were at Disneyland in 2018, they had started building this new land and that got us super excited. Our plan was to head on over to the Rise of the Resistance. They did not have a virtual queue for the ride, so we had to wait the 90 minutes standby.
You can read more about Galaxy’s Edge here!
After Star Wars Land we went back into regular Disneyland and did a lot of our favorite rides. The Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
We decided to have lunch at the Hungry Bear Restaurant. We always eat at least one of our meals here. Have since I was a kid. I LOVED bears as a kid and this place was perfect for a bear loving kid. They have burgers and chicken sandwiches.
After lunch, we split up a bit and went on more of our favorite rides. We headed back to Star Wars Land a few times. Everyone loved it so much, and that Blue Milk…we LOVED it!
One of the strangest things about our visit was the line for snacks was out of control. I have never seen them so long. Like 20 minutes for a churro. And I couldn’t seem to order any food on my app. I am not sure if it was the places I was trying to order from or something wasn’t working right but that was pretty frustrating.
For dinner that night we had such a yummy fried chicken dinner at the Plaza Inn. So good!
We were planning to stay until midnight, but we only made it to 10 because well, two of us are in our 40s…but we gave it a good try. Our feet were so sore at the end of the night but all the walking was worth it.
The next day we were going to go to California Adventure, I let the boys sleep in and had breastfast with my parents and brother before we went so we ended up getting to the park at about 11. Our first ride was Guardians of the Galaxy, which is such a cool yet strange ride. And then we explored the new Avengers Campus. Very cool and we started talking about ways they could expand it.
We had lunch in Cars Land which I think is so fun, and then used the single rider line for the Radiator Springs Racers. If your kids are old enough to ride by themselves, always do the single rider line. It was only about 10 minutes and the regular wait time was about two hours.
We went on a few more rides but I started to get pretty frustrated. It was so crowded. I don’t even think it was that crowded when I went in previous years July. I found that so weird because I thought one of the reasons for the reservation system was fewer people. I just wanted to go back to Disneyland.
We decided to head to Downtown Disney for a bit, my middle son got a cool Lego set at the Lego store, and then we took the Monorail back into Disneyland, which my kids have never done before so that was fun. We split up again, I headed to the Starbucks because I really wanted a Disneyland Starbucks cup, and the boys headed into Tomorrowland.
We met back up, did Toon Town, and back to Star Wars Land. We headed home about 7 and got dinner on the way home.
The next day we got to Disneyland about 9 or 10 and decided to start with Fantasyland. That was fun because I haven’t been on a lot of those rides in a long time. We ended Fantasyland with It’s a Small World and then had lunch in Star Wars Land. It was SO good! More about that in my Star Wars Land post.
We started the afternoon with Indiana Jones and the Jungle Cruise, which we all loved. Then we had a plan to wrap up our visit. We would do Splash Mountain, then head on over to Star Wars Land to ride Rise of the Resistance one more time. But, when we got there…they were shut down! Oh no!
This kind of broke our hearts a little so we had an early dinner at Hungry Bear again and decided to round out the trip with one last ride on Pirates of the Caribbean. That ride always makes me feel so good and I love the smell. Yep, the smell. If you know, you know.
By the time we were done, I was done. I was good. I had my fill of Disney and don’t feel like I need to go back anytime soon. I am not sure if it is because I am older, or the crowds, what is going on in the world right now, or what but I just didn’t feel like I normally do after a visit. I had such a good time and made some amazing memories with my boys but not sure when we will do it again.
We decided not to pay for Genie+ even though I know that could have saved us time in the lines. I am not sure how I feel about Disney charging for a fast pass type system. Maybe it is just going to be one of those things we have to do at Disney, cost or not. We will see.
Have you ever been to Disney? When do you plan to go again???