Disneyland 2020 – Day 1

“I can’t believe that yesterday I was at my office working and today I am standing in Disneyland.”


Adam and I left Colorado after work on January 16th and walked through the gates of Disneyland the morning of January 17th – less than 12 hours after we left. It was an almost surreal experience, but an incredibly joyful one. We were in such a good mood know that it was just the beginning of 3 days in the Happiest Place on Earth.


We were visiting Sleeping Beauty Castle, so we decided to Disneybound as Aurora and Prince Phillip. The skirt I wore was purchased from the Colorado Renaissance Festival the summer before and was so fun to wear around the park!

Funny Story… I have been to Disneyland many, many times and have always found Sleeping Beauty’s Castle beautiful and impressive. However, after seeing Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World, I walked into Disneyland remembering this one to be just as large and exquisite as that one. My first thought upon reentering the park and walking down Main Street was, “Is that it?”

Don’t get me wrong. I still find it beautiful and charming. It’s beautiful up close and fun to take pictures in front of. But they definitely scaled Cinderella’s Castle up in Disney World.

First Impressions of Galaxy’s Edge

As pure coincidence, we planned our trip the opening weekend of Rise of the Resistance. We knew we weren’t going to be up early enough to try to get on the ride the first day (you have to get there at least an hour before the park opens to guarantee that you even get a shot at the ride queue – we planned to do that on Day 2), but we did manage to snag a “Breakfast” reservation at Oga’s Cantina.

Now, I watch Disney Food Blog, so at some point I knew that Oga’s Cantina was a bar with very light, expensive snacks (like trail mix for $7). But the way it said “Breakfast” on the app just totally threw me off (FYI: it refers to the time of day, not to the type of food served). Adam and I came to the park hungry, eager to see what it had to offer. This was my bad for not being detail oriented, but it did not stop the hanger.

We were tempted to buy the snacks Oga’s offered, but couldn’t justify the price. We didn’t even get pictures inside the Cantina, we were so annoyed and hangry. We drank our over-priced drinks (basically Powerade with jelly boba) and went to search for real food. We ended up eating at Docking Bay 7, which we ultimately felt was mediocre for the price.

Due to all this, our first impression of Galaxy’s Edge was… not great. We could appreciate the atmosphere and the detail that went into the land. The ambience is on point. It is uniquely immersive. The star-ships are exactly as Adam imagined, especially the Millennium Falcon and the X-Wing. One nitpick we had was that all of the signage is written in the language native to the Stars Wars universe. We wish there had been English interpretations below to make it easier to navigate the park. Side note: You may be able to decode the signs with the app, but we did not dive that deep into it.

We did some shopping and went on the Millennium Falcon ride, Smuggler’s Run, which was a lot of fun. Click here for the full review. We got to be the pilots on the ship, which was a lot of pressure but also awesome! This is Adam describing Smuggler’s Run to our friend, Dori, after the fact:

Adam: “If you get to be the pilot, be the right pilot. You get to do something extra.”

Mandi: “You get to do Lightspeed.”


Overall, this day we had mixed feelings on Galaxy’s Edge. That all changed on our next trip… but more on that later.

Splash Mountain

Sometimes in life… You kinda want to go on Splash Mountain and you kinda don’t want to go on Splash Mountain. It’s 3 PM and it sounds like fun, but do you really want to be damp for the rest of the day? That’s when you need that person who says… “Yes. Let’s live with no regrets.”

That was Adam this trip and I am so glad we did it. It was announced shortly after our trip that Splash Mountain would be re-themed for Princess and the Frog. We are so excited for that refresh, but are also glad we got to ride the Splash Mountain of our childhoods one more time.

We were damp and cold the rest of the day. #WorthIt

The Best of the Rest

With 3 days planned at Disneyland, we were in no rush to get everything done. We took our time around the park, taking in the ambience, meeting Pooh and gang, enjoying a meal at Carnation Cafe, and hopping on rides easily and quickly using Max Pass.

Max Pass is an incredible tool from Disney that costs $15/day/person (at least it did when we went in January 2020). You can use it to book Fast Passes on the hour and take as many photos using their Photopass photographers as you would like. Adam and I find its convenience well worth the cost.

It was such a fun first day at the park and set us up for an incredible vacation.

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