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Lessons at Disneyland + Chicken's Guide to Surviving

Last week we went to Disneyland for the first time in several years! So much has changed and we learned so much about prepping for your trip and schedule management while we were there! I also have reviews for the rides we rode! I am a wimp when it comes to rollercoasters and I have the low down for what to ride or not!


All of my outfit can be found on Amazon! This swim skirt was one of the best decisions I made! It looks like activewear but did great with the water! It also kept me cool and because it’s a swimsuit it has swimsuit bottoms underneath! This backpack worked like a charm because it’s bigger than it looks on the inside! It was really comfortable on my back! Tap image below to shop!

BEFORE YOUR TRIP: When you get your tickets, make sure you pay for the Lighting Lane Passes and have the Genie+ app downloaded! This will allow you to get in a faster lane one time for each ride each day! (Fast passes are a thing of the past now!) Hands down the best thing we did! We actually didn't buy the passes before hand because we didn't see them at check out but we were assured the option is there! When you buy ahead of time you can use the Genie+ app and schedule your rides before you get there! Since we didn't grab when we purchased our tickets, we had to buy the passes from the app each day when we got to the park and couldn't schedule any rides until we were IN the park! It worked out OK but would have been nice to do it before!

WHEN YOU GET THERE: You can do more in the first 2 hours of the park opening (8am) than the rest of the day! Most rides are only 5-15 minutes wait WITHOUT your Lightening Lane pass! So do all the rides you want to do more than once during this time! That way when the rides have 60-95 minute wait times in the afternoon you can use your passes then and ride again! We made the mistake of using our passes in the morning on the first day! Rookie mistake!! We didn't realize you could only use one pass per day per ride! Also, not all rides can be used with the pass (Jungle Cruise, Star Wars: Rise, and some of the other smaller rides) so do these at the beginning of the day too because they do get long later! Remember you can only have a ride booked every one hour. So if you have Haunted Mansion booked for 10am, you can't have anything else booked until 11am. As soon as you scan your pass for the ride or cancel it, you are free to book again. This made it hard to get everything in for the day! One last rule, if you book a ride for 3pm, you have until 4pm to show up!

ORDER FOOD THROUGH THE APP: Make your trip great and do this! You order on the app and you can schedule a pick up time! They let you know when to come up to the window to grab! This was amazing!!! We ate yummy pizza at the Pizza Place the first day and walked right up and passed the HUGE line! You can order ice cream this way too! We just hopped in the place the second day and had hotdogs, chips and cuties quickly before moving back along! But this feature is awesome!


- Mickey ears are so pretty in the park and were only like $29. They had SO many different designs and were so much better than the Amazon ones! They actually stay on even in the wild rides!

- Churros, Churros, Churros. Please!! Try them!! They were so good! We might have had a few each day!

- We did not stay in a Disney hotel. My husband's 96 year old aunt has a house in Anaheim that we stayed at! I wish I had lodging tips for you but I don't!

- After our last day, we went to Downtown Disney to have dinner but WOW! We went a few years ago and it was not that busy! It was crazy! But we ate at UVA Bar & Cafe and our wait was like 10 minutes! You wait in the outdoor area in the middle of the central area and we lucked out! Our kids were starting to get rowdy and tired so that 10 minutes felt like an hour but it was quick and the food was amazing! We ate the guac and ordered burgers and fries that were awesome!

OVERVIEW OF RIDES: Wimps Guide to Disneyland!

- Haunted Mansion: We did this one 4 times! It was so fun! My kids (5 & 8) loved it! It is spooky but more of a fun spooky! Part of it you walk through and some of it you ride in a little carriage cart. It is very slow and not a rollercoaster at all! Its basically a seat to show you around the house! You don't even have to think about this one! It's great for all ages and braveness!

- Jungle Cruise: Super easy boat ride through the water! You see animals and all kinds of faux wildlife! Even wheelchairs can load on the boat! Nothing to worry about here and my kids thought it was really fun!

- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad- This was our first ride in the park! For someone who does not love rollercoasters, it wasn't TERRIBLE! There were no major drops, just pretty fast at times and had some very quick and sharp spiral turns. My oldest and husband liked it but my 5 year old thought it was scary! Although, I was OK during this ride, I wouldn't do it again!

- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance: This ride was awesome!! It was more of an "experience" than ride! You walked through the first part and got in a moving cart that moved all over the floor! Forward, back, turning (all on level ground)! You do get in a chamber at the beginning and it locks you car down and you basically are on an elevator and you go up several feet really fast! It does give you tummy a bit of a jolt but not bad and super quick! What comes up must come down so at the very end you get in there again and you drop back down! For a wimp like me, it was fine! I read about it before and knew it was coming and that made it OK! There are a few parts with virtual simulation. If these kinds of rides make you sick, this one will be ok! The parts are short and if you close you eyes, you aren't moving much! The whole ride is about 15 minutes and was my 5 year old favorite ride! You can not use a Lightening Lane pass for this ride but you can pay an extra $20 per person to schedule it. This was worth it for us! make sure to schedule ASAP in the day because it books out quick! Before you know it, its booking at 7pm! haha

- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run - This was a full on simulator! You walk into a capsule in groups of 4-6 and you each have a job (two drivers and two shooters). Tip: make your kids shooters, for the love. My 8 year old drove us side to side and my husband had up and down. It was a catastrophe!!!!!!! This can be a decently easy ride or really rough!! It was AWFUL! I was a shooter and just pressed the button the whole time while closing my eyes! But your moving around a lot in your capsule and blasting forward and back a lot. Even with my eyes closed the whole time (4-5 minutes), my husband and I were both queasy after and my husband will ride anything! My kids were fine though! They had a blast! But for sure the worst (as far as making your sick) ride we did! Fun, but beware!!

- Space Mountain: It was a hard NO for me! It's entirely in the dark! Fast, turning, drops, etc! My husband loves this ride but my 8 year old HATED IT and he had been really brave in Disney and Universal Studios on a lot of rollercoasters with big drops and turns! He liked everything but this was one too much just because it was in the dark and couldn't see anything. He didn't know what was next and its pretty intense!

- It's a Small World: This is purely nostalgic! It's one of the oldest rides in the park and it simply a bit dated for our kids. My little one liked it OK because there is a lot to look at and cute songs but my 8 year old was not enjoying himself! You sit on a boat and stroll through different themes from places around the world. I'm glad we did it once, but once it was!

- Autopia- We loved these cars! Its like go carts but there is a tall wall in the middle of your wheels so your little ones can drive and stay relatively on track! We had to push the peddles for our kids as they are pretty far away and hard but they were goo to steer! No thrills here but a lot of fun for everyone!

- Astro Blasters: Definitely a crowd pleaser! Straight flat ground and you just are in a car with one other person with guns! You shoot targets and can see your score! There is a joy stick so you can spin around and see targets better, if you would like! This is good for all ages and thrill levels! We did this several times and all had a blast!

- Splash Mountain: You know when your getting close to this ride because you can hear the screams of the big drop off! My little one and I sat this one out but my oldest and husband loved it! It's a very easy ride with minimal action until the HUGE drop at the end! You get a little wet during the drop but not drenched! My 8 year old said it was a good scary and super fun! This would not be for the wimps like me, but if you even a little brave, this drop is fast and not too crazy! You can watch the drop off before you go! It's right in the front of the ride! My husband says it looks scarier than it was on the log! It was just enough thrill for my oldest! It was in his top two favorites with The Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance!

- Indiana Jones- I loved this one!! I like a little fun but don't love but drop offs and twisty cork screw turns! I got off the Harry Potter kiddie rollercoaster at Universal Studios SHAKING! I'm as big of a wimp as they come! This one is pretty bumpy and your in what seems like an adventure jeep or something and your going through the caves and adventure! You do make some sharp turns and your bumping all over but for the most WIMPY person alive, it was fine for me! It gave me some thrill and a lot of fun. Like my oldest says, its a good thrill! My youngest didn't like it because he said the sounds and visuals were scary! He watches the Jurassic World movies like they are a cartoon! He's not scared of much but this was pretty intense visually for a little one! We did this one at the beginning of the day and although it said 35 minute wait, we did not wait that long! We saved our Lightening Pass for the second half of the day. My oldest and I were going to do it again together but it booked up fast and didn't have time!

- King Arthur Carrousel: Although I thought my kids seemed too old for this, they loved it! We had a fun time on it and the line moves really fast!! My 5 year old and I did this again the second day while the other two rode a big ride and other then Autotopia, I hadn't seen him smile that big all day! Definitely a great thing to do while there!

- Mr. Toad's Wild Ride: This ride was fun and appropriate for even the biggest wimps! There is a steering wheel and they make your kids feel like they are driving the two person car! They had a blast! Nothing scary or tummy twisting here! Just a lot of fun!

- Mark Twain Riverboat- This is another that my youngest and I did while the other two were doing bigger tides! It was nice and great views! We went up to the third deck and found a bench! Nothing thrilling happens but a nice ride!

- Monorail and Train ride- Don't forget about these! My kids love this kind of thing so we gave them a loop and was something fun and you were able to see a lot of the park this way!

Hope these tips and guide to the rides were helpful in making your trip amazing! We made a lot of mistakes but by time the second day rolled around, we had it down!

XO, Stephanie


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