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Rockin’ My Disney Side – 24 Hours At Disneyland!

I can’t hold it in any longer… I had SOOO much fun at this event. This was not my first 24 event but like the others, it will hold a special place in my Disney memories.

On Feb 29, 2012, me and my Walt Disney World intern friends went to the Magic Kingdom before work and then went back in the evening to experience the parks until 6am. Last year, I went to Disneyland for rope drop and some quiet time in the park before going back to my hotel to relax and then a friend met up with me and we made it to about 3am before calling it quits. This year though, I was all in. All 24 hours on Disney property!

This all got started when I saw some of my Twitter friends talking about the day the Monday before. I then decided, I needed to be there. I messaged some friends who might be able to play hooky with me and then got things sorted out with work and it was on! I was totally down for a dirt cheap, totally ridiculous, 20 year old style 24 hour day!

I also worked it out that I would do a promo for Bia and take it on the rides as I went so people could see the auto-upload and how well the GPS worked in a place that generally, has spotty cellphone reception. More on that later!

So Thursday came, I had talked one of my Disney friends into coming with me, she got caught in some traffic, so we ended up hitting the road around 7 which meant it was going to be a late night driving. We arrived at the hotel around 1am meaning we were looking at only about 3 hours of sleep to make it to rope drop. I had booked us a hotel about 15 min away from Disneyland up the 5 in an effort to save some money… but can’t say I’d recommend this place to anyone. Whatever, it was one night and all we needed was a few hours sleep and a shower.

Ready to hit the road!

We drove to Disneyland, parked and were on the tram by 5:50!

Trams are more fun before 6am!

We arrived at the bag check right as the parks were opened and the fireworks went off. Josh Gadd (voice of Olaf) was there to open the park too. It was so cool!

Josh Gadd with the Olaf “sand”man

The esplanade (the area between Disneyland and Disney California Advenure) was PACKED! I feel like there was more people than the year before, but maybe it was my memory tricking me. One thing that was awesome about the 24 hour day was all the AMAZING Disney cosplay! It was awesome! My friend and I felt left out that we hadn’t gotten costumes together.

All the people!

We entered the park, already bustling with excitement and people and decided to start off our adventurous and crazy day with some characters that might be equally mad!

Good Morning!

 We entered the park, made a beeline for merchandise, both of us getting the sweatshirt, and then headed to my favorite ride… BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN! Nothing like the wildest ride in the wilderness first thing in the morning!

My Bia track while riding Big Thunder!

This is the thing they use to film people on Big Thunder!

One of the themes for the day was, ride rides we had either A) not ridden ever or B) hadn’t ridden in a long time. So next up was PETER PAN followed by some other favorites!

While Bia was getting a little confused, it still was performing well either completely indoors or on semi-indoor attractions.

Next up, it was time to hit some big kid rides. We grabbed a fastpass for Space Mountain and then hopped on Star Tours! No surprise here, once we entered the building I couldn’t find any GPS.

After a spin we then hopped over to Astro Blasters! We got stuck in a great location and ended up racking up 630k points! Booyah!

Bia did surprising well inside on this attraction! We then had some time to kill before our Space Mountain fastpass so we went over to Fantasyland to see if we could catch some dark rides. We got over there and look who we found!

After listening for a bit, we then decided to do the Sleeping Beauty walk through instead. I LOVE this little experience. So many fun details!

 After our quick tour, it was time to go to Space! This is still such a great ride! Somehow, we ended up in a pretty empty car too! We also stopped for a Churro on our way over!

Where did everyone go?

Mmm… churro…

It was then time to do some classics! Pirates, Haunted Mansion, and Winnie the Pooh! We were going to do Splash but the wait was long and the fastpasses were for an odd time so we were going to come back for that later. We then went over and grabbed some Indy passes for later that evening and decided it was time for lunch!

Hurry baaaack, hurry baaaack…

Special of the day! Fried chicken and Mickey waffles!

Time to head across and grab Radiator Springs Racer’s fastpasses! Better shot of the Olaf sand sculpture! When we entered, the Red Car was boarding and we hopped on!

 We hopped off, grabbed fastpasses for RSR that night and then decided to see what the Maleficent preview was all about. They were using the It’s Tough to Be a Bug theater all day to show the 10 minute preview.

So, I’ve been pretty freakin’ excited for this movie. The more I saw, the more I got excited, and the more I was worried it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. This extended preview definitely got me more amped for the movie. IT MUST BE AWESOME!!!

After the preview, we were both starting to drag a bit so it was time to go back to the car, regroup, power nap, and generally refresh for the evening. We left the parks around 2 with the goal to make it back for at least the last Mickey and the Magical Map at 5:45. We were back on the move after napping at this cozy spot near outlets at the Grand Californian.

We went back to Disneyland and entered the parks around 4:45, just in time to see the special Memorial Day lowering of the flag ceremony. This is something I”ve never seen at any park and I”m so happy I got to see it on this day/weekend!

We then decided to hit Autopia to burn rubber!

Now we had 15 minutes to hurry across the park and grab Splash Mountatin fastpasses and then make it to Mickey and the Magical Map. We ended up making it just a couple minutes late and was able to catch up my friend. We got there at the tail end of the opening musical number.

After some Map Magic (LOVE this show) we headed to Toontown to see what was up! Roger Rabbit was having some technical difficulties so we just bopped around and was the different houses. We also ran amuck and got some ice cream!

At this point we ran into some evening crowds and the parade, so we made a beeline for the Fantasyland dark rides! Pinocchio, Snow White, and Toad all accomplished! I love these dark rides, they are just classic.

It was then time for our Splash Mountain fastpass time. I have a love hate relationship with Splash. I love the theming and everything about this attracion, but I hate getting wet and I hate the final drop. The first time I went on the Disneyland version I had gotten completely soaked and so I wasn’t too keen to get on it again, but a friend of mine put me in a “less likely to get soaked” seat and away we went!

I still stand by that the WDW version of this attraction is far superior. The show scenes are better and since the boats are wider, they move slower through them so you can really appreciate all the details. We were going along, the final drop came, I freaked out as usual, and then it was time for the Zip-a-dee-doo-dah scene and we sat and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, a cast member came and we had to evacuate. In all my years going to Disney Parks this is the first one I’ve really been evacuated from that I remember. It was kind of cool!

 After getting evacuated, it was time to go find a spot for the fireworks. They brought back the Magical fireworks from last summer which is a really cute show! Tink and Dumbo both fly!

After fireworks, I followed my SoCal friend’s lead and we found our way to the seated Fantasmic area. This is seriously the only way to watch this show. This was the first time I’d actually stopped and watched this show and it is WAY better on the River’s of America than it is in the amphitheater in DHS. Just saying. That pirate ship is AMAZING!

After the show, we headed back over to DCA to ride Radiator Springs Racers! As we were waiting in line though, the lights came on on the track, and we saw some people getting evacuated. Dun dun dun… we decided to give it 10 minutes before moving on/coming back later. In about 8 minutes the lights shut off again and the cars started moving! Yay! A quick spin with our car winning!

Both of us had never ridden Luigi’s tire, because we had heard mixed reviews but we wanted to give a try and it didn’t have much of a weight. We were either really good at this or just the right weight because we had so much fun! We were zipping around like no ones business. I love that it was kind of a game!

Next up, Mad Tea Party! My friend is a huge fan of theirs and so we went over to check it out. This was their last set of the night and they totally ROCKED! They were having so much fun, the crowd was having so much fun, and I’m so glad we went! You should totally check this out when you are there next!

We then left the party and headed to Tower of Terror to see what the wait was like. 105 minutes at 2am?! Oh man, no fastpasses left so we decided to check back later. As we were exiting the Bug’s Land area we noticed a Maleficent meet and greet going on, so we went around to the entrance to see what was up. They let us in so we got this awesome picture!

It was then almost time for the 3am World of Color so we were nervous we wouldn’t get on Screamin’, we hustled over and unfortunately had just missed it. They were unsure about when it would reopen and for how long, so we moved on. There is always another day for riding Screamin’!

We went over and took a spin on Goofy Sky School and then my friend wanted to go rock our a little more to the White Rabbit DJ, I however wanted ice cream so I let he go in hopes that ice cream would lift my spirits a bit.

White Rabbit DJ

After eating my ice cream and getting over the grumps, we jammed out for awhile, got some adrenaline pumping and decided it was time to make our way back to Disneyland to make sure we go into the villain meet and great in Fantasy Faire!

When we got there the characters were sporting their sleep over wear!

We got in line for the villains and waited over an hour (took some micro-naps) but it was totally worth it. We got great character interactions and some great pictures!

We got out and had a little under and hour. We ran to Indy but they were already closed so we asked them what was still open. They directed us to Tomorrowland. A quick trip on Star Tours and then it was time for our final ride!

Coordinating pictures is hard at 6am

After our trip it was time to say goodbye. What a fantastic time!

Did we really just do that?

Yes we did!

I loved this event. This year felt extra Disney with all the people dressed up in costume! It was so amazing to see the fans really showing their Disney Side. I had a blast and I can’t wait until next year when we can do it all over again! 4 hours of sleep in 55 hours was totally worth it. Waking up Sunday with what can be described as a Disney hangover, totally worth it. It was an amazingly magical time!

Thanks Disney!

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