Balderramas in California 2024: Day 4 – Back to Disneyland

We were burning the candle at both ends as we woke up early on Thursday after a late night on Wednesday. We aimed to be in the park by opening to catch shorter line waits. We bolted toward the Indiana Jones Adventure, which had incredible detail in its queue area:

There was a family directly behind us whose son was scared of the surroundings, but we happened to have a glowstick in our backpack that we could offer to help alleviate some of his fears. As for the ride itself, we loved it. At one point, a giant boulder was rolling towards us, and the girls were convinced it would hit us. With it being our first ride, we got through the line in less than 20 minutes, including a brief breakdown.

Next was the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, at the top of Clara’s “Disneyland bucket list” items. The ride did not disappoint and solidified the girls’ love of roller coasters. As soon as we got off, they both wanted to go again later today.

With the park relatively uncrowded, we hit Peter Pan’s Flight, which had the most extended wait thus far. We liked the ride, but the girls didn’t have much of an affinity towards the movie and didn’t appreciate the nostalgic factor of the ride. However, this ride is on the “must do” list for many, so now we can say we did it.

Having completed our “must do” list, the rest of the day was just bonus time – not bad for 10am. We started chasing short lines again, starting with another ride on Micky & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The queue was much shorter than the other day and we picked up on some other details, including the girls reacting to my “ketchup vs. catsup” dad humor.

Having ridden the ride once before, I got to focus on taking videos of the girls reacting to elements of the ride.

We then went right next door to Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, which had a longer line than advertised. Given that the girls have no affinity for Roger Rabbit (I haven’t seen the movie), the length of the ride, and the underwhelming of the ride, they were glad to be done.

We decided to take a snack break and bend the “lunch at the hotel” rule in favor of some turkey legs. We purchased three legs, found a shaded bench, and chowed down.

We followed that up with trying Blue and Green Milk at the Star Wars Edge of the Galaxy.

We had one last task before heading to the hotel for our afternoon break. While the girls weren’t too keen on meeting characters (although they’ve reluctantly posed for photos with some), Mariana had her heart set on meeting the Mandalorian (along with Baby Yoda). In her excitement, she colored a picture of Grogu, packed it in her backpack, and brought it all around the park to give to him. Unfortunately, her picture (along with the backpack) got wet during Wednesday’s Grizzly Run River ride, leaving the picture tearing at the creases.

To top it off, we couldn’t find Mando at the scheduled time and place in the app. In frustration, Mariana tore the picture into four pieces and immediately regretted it when she finally saw her favorite character. While emotional, Mariana and I went to the Mandalorian’s handler and asked if we could still give the picture. The cast member was sweet and offered to present the picture with Mariana. I captured it on video:

R2D2 even showed up at the end:

While I was rolling the video, I was simultaneously taking pictures, and I got this shot where it looks like Grogu is giving Mariana’s picture a side-eye. You’ll need to check it out below! At this point, we were more than ready for our afternoon naps.

After an early pasta dinner, we returned to the park at 5 p.m. and immediately ran into Goofy.

All throughout the trip, Clara wanted to ride The Matterhorn. Mariana was highly reluctant, but after doing Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain Railroad, she mustered off the courage and said she would ride with us. I had no choice but to go, but like Mariana, I’ve conquered my fear of roller coasters and enjoyed the ride. They would have wanted to go again if the line weren’t 50 minutes long. However, the line to Thunder Mountain Railroad was only 30 minutes long, so they opted to ride that again and get their coaster fix.

At that point, we were chasing short lines, which made the Mad Hatter Tea Party an appealing ride. We also took this opportunity to tease my girlfriend, Shannon, back home, who could never go on that ride due to motion sickness. However, karma did bite us, as Mariana didn’t feel great after the ride.

I asked the girls if they would be willing to ride my favorite childhood ride: Star Tours. They ended up loving the ride, and the queuing that featured R2D2 and “that gold guy”.

We ended our ride excursion with the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, which was a pleasant surprise, especially at night.

Our night was capped off with watching the fireworks and then picking up some souvenirs before closing our time at Disneyland. Both girls got sweatshirts, Mariana got earrings for her newly pierced ears, and Clara got a stuffed Olaf. I must admit that we were all running on fumes as we headed back to the hotel, but luckily, we could sleep in the next day.

More pictures from our last day at the OG Disneyland: