Walt Disney World ICP - Day 77 - Over to LA! - 18th August 2013

Before hopping on the flight over to LA there was one place I needed to visit and that was Grand Central Station. Even though visiting it would take me out of the way by 30 minutes, that’s exactly what I did. And it was worth the trip - it was beautiful inside and truly evoked an era where train travel was glamorous and really only a domain for the rich.

Grand Central Terminal - stunning.

The station even has a small shopping mall. For lunch it was a nearby Five Guys burgers which ticks another thing off my bucket list - the burger was incredible, by far the best burger I have ever had. The fries not so much, but definitely go there for the burgers - they are made fresh as well!

Waiting for our flight at Newark airport.

The flight over to LA was uneventful which is always nice. United decided it’d be smart to charge for the in-flight entertainment after thirty minutes so that went unused, but surprisingly the 6 hours flew by (no pun intended, ha ha) which really surprised me.

We boarded the Disneyland Express which seemed really dodgy and is totally unaffiliated with the Orlando version run by Disney. Whilst on the trip Jack texted Rachael and Becky who also did the ICP and who were already in Disneyland. This bus service isn’t run by Disney, is charged and has no magic at all - so don’t expect it to be anything like the Disney Magical Express if you’ve used that before. We eventually arrived about 45 minutes later in Anaheim and we had a bit of a surprise as Rachael had offered to “maingate” us into the park to watch World of Color.

We checked into our hotel at the Best Western Plus Pavilions being a bit wary about the outside, but we were very impressed when we went in at the cleanliness and size of the rooms, as well as the amenities offered. Next we speed-walked all the way to the theme parks.

Let me explain “maingating” quickly for those of you who are wondering what that is - essentially as a Disney employee we get a shiny blue card which allows us and 3 guests to enter any of the Disney parks around the world for free for 6 or 12 days depending on your contract length. Unlike the Disney ID which we used to get into the parks in Orlando, the maingate has no expiry date on it and expires one year after issuance. So, we were allowed to use this to get into Disneyland for free! We met Rachael and Becky just after 9:30pm and they main-gated us into California Adventure.

The park is absolutely stunning - I literally cannot put it into words so hopefully I’ll be able to post a lot of photos of the park to show you. Particularly impressive is Cars Land where Radiator Springs Racers allows you to experience the world of cars for yourself as you actually race in Radiator Springs. It is beautiful and looks like so much fun!

We walked over to World of Color and went into the 10.15pm show where they weren’t taking Fastpasses as it was so quiet in the park. We waited for the show to begin and from the moment it started I was mesmerised - it is over 25 minutes of non-stop incredible music, projections and incredibly powerful fountains.

World of Color
Photo: DisneyTouristBlog.com

To end the night we went to Denny’s by our hotel and had a breakfast/pancake thing which was really nice and I can see becoming a staple of our days. We looked into the park schedules whilst there as well and incredibly the parks both open at 8AM every single day with early entry from 7AM - and I thought we were crazy at the Magic Kingdom! Disneyland Park closes at 11PM whilst we’re here and it’s 10PM for California Adventure. On the weekends they close an hour later - that just seems like an incredibly long operating day to me.

Next Post: Walt Disney World ICP - Day 78 - My first visit to Disneyland: The best day of my life - 19th August 2013

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