We went to Disneyland in October 2015 (and I already want to go back!). It was during the 60th anniversary and what-not, as well as a Utah school break (UEA or cleverly known as Utahn's Escape to Anaheim) so it was crowded! But honestly, when is Disneyland NOT jam packed anymore am I right?
Despite the crowds we had a blast! Most days we ended early, opting to go to sleep on time and be in the park at opening. One day we took a break for a few hours in the afternoon and then went back for an evening in the park. I had a few items on my bucket list for the trip
+ Try a dark chocolate covered pineapple skewer
+ Try an Olaf marshmallow treat
+ Stay off my phone as much as possible to really enjoy the experience
+ See the new Paint the Night parade
I crossed off all these items on my bucket list! One of them I sincerely regretted. Can you guess which one? If you guessed watching the parade, you'd be right!
I am the farthest thing from a Disneyland scrooge! Crowds, heat, high prices, rain, annoying people with strollers, closed rides, I can handle it all. But the parade? It maxed me out to my very limits. Our group was heading to ride Tower of Terror when I decided, "It's our last night, and I REALLY want to see the parade. I'll just stay here and try to save a couple of seats instead of riding Tower of Terror." Everyone was fine with that, Colten decided to stay with me but went to purchase a snack first. I scoured the parade route. It was still THREE HOURS to showtime and there were hardly any spots available.
I found a spot that was already three families deep. I asked a cast member if I could sit there and he said I could. So I laid out a few coats saving room for our group. Colten came back shortly. We were fine waiting for awhile, talking about the trip and if there was anything else we wanted to do and how our minds were blown at how busy this parade was. Shortly after we sat down, many other families starting smashing in too. We soon realized there was no way we'd be able to save these spots for our friends. We texted them to let them know that if they wanted to see the parade they'd have to come hold their own spot and they had already turned around deciding to come watch the parade instead of the ride.
After sitting cross-legged for so long our legs would get tired. Whenever any of us would stand to stretch out our legs, a parent would send a child to sit in our place. Making it nearly impossible to sit back down. We were getting frustrated. There was a lady in a wheelchair near us too and she kept running over the coat I was sitting on trying to get closer and closer to the front.
When the parade was about to begin, we all stood up. The three hour wait was over! And wouldn't you know it, but people started shoving to the front. Some really tall adults who were there after us smashed in front of me making it almost impossible to see. Besides that, many were videotaping with phones and other electronic devices which also blocked my view.
I couldn't see well, I was frustrated at the people around us who were so inconsiderate, and I was tired from 3 full days at Disneyland. I tried to enjoy it, (The music was awesome! Literally the greatest soundtrack ever!) but I was so happy when it was over. Colten and I didn't even stay for fireworks. We were both so frustrated we just headed back to the hotel. It was kinda a bummer way to end the trip!
I totally wish we had just watched the parade on YouTube and took advantage of rides during that time. All in all we probably missed out on 4-4.5 hours of ride time watching the parade. If I had had VIP front row access to the parade it would totally have been worth it! But the fact was, I wasn't willing to wait more than 3 hours for the parade, and so we got crappy spots to watch from.
Disneyland is so magical! Magical enough that I am willing to overlook so many of the issues that other people have with it. But whenever we reminisce with our group of friends on that parade, I promise them I will NEVER make anyone watch a parade with me at Disneyland ever again. Next time, you'll find with me a Mickey ice cream bar waiting in line for Tower of Terror instead. ;)