First Trip to #Disneyland with #MagicKey, Day 1

As a side note to yesterday’s drama, one of the recommendations the Disney Food Blog had made regarding getting in touch with WDW when call volume was high was not only email and text but social media. Yeah, right, I thought.

But I was ready to try anything so I went over to the Twitter account and sent WDW a private message and when I woke up this morning, there was a response. I was really surprised, but, thankfully, the chat had worked just last evening.

Anyway, on to our first trip to Disneyland with the Magic Key. The biggest question, when you’re not staying onsite, is how to get to Disneyland. The garage parking trams are not running yet and we’re not the only ones who are not a fan of that situation. Check out Adam the Woo’s Why I Regret Buying the Disneyland Magic Key video.

I don’t mind that too much – we used to walk it instead of taking the tram anyway. However, with the last trip in mind when my shins started cramping, I realize I need to use as much transportation as I can get. Note to self: use the boats getting to/from Epcot at upcoming WDW trip.

The biggest problem with the garage scenario is the confusing and ridiculous way they route you. So after driving the 4 hours, we checked into our hotel, unpacked, rested, and then drove over to the Disneyland parking garage, which requires making a u-turn – access is so unclear from the direction of our hotel or most hotels. It’s designed for exiting from I-5.

We parked the car, walked to the escalator, arrived at the bottom of the garage and headed toward the CM sitting there. He redirected us back into the garage to loop around and go into the second garage to go through security and then back to where he was sitting before even embarking on this mile-long walk. That’s two miles round trip not counting the miles you rack up inside the park.

Our usual hotel no longer has a bus stop (most hotels use the ART (Anaheim Resort Transportation) service, so we would have to either walk to a neighboring hotel, use Uber, or park in the parking garage for $25 (only the top-tier pass has full paid parking included – the second tier has parking at half price. We’re the third tier with no parking included).

We called the neighboring hotels for information but the ART app seemed confusing. We looked into Uber but it would cost $25 each way during the times we would need it. So off to the parking garage we went.

It wasn’t too bad once we were past the security maze, but I had to keep reminding myself not to walk too fast. We veered off when we reached Downtown Disney because we were headed for DCA and the former AlFresco Lounge (now specifically reserved for Magic Key holders). We hated being locked out of there when we didn’t have an AP! That alone would make the Magic Key worth it – lol!

But first, we were craving that “Ocean Beach” Sundae at Ghirardelli that we’d had at “A Touch of Disney” last April. Besides, it was hot out. The sundae was just as amazing as we’d remembered. Yum!!

Then we walked over to the Dia de los Muertos section of DCA, looking for their Halloween offerings. We were especially interested in the steak taco plate, which we shared. We enjoyed the entertainment while we ate.

Then it was getting close to our Magic Key Terrace ressie. We were a bit early but we decided to show up to see if we could be seated early. We had to wait for 5 minutes or so and then were seated.

It was so awesome sitting with other Magic Key Holders up on the Terrace. For cocktails, I had the “Stinger” and Rich had a gin flight, which I also tasted.

“The Stinger”

Dulce Vida Pineapple-Jalapeño Tequila, Cointreau and House-made Orange-Habañero Simple Syrup

“The Ultra Flight”

Trio of Gin-based Cocktails featuring flavors of Orange, Pine and Sea

Rich preferred the Pine and the Orange, while I liked the Sea the best.

We also ordered the Charcuterie board, rather reluctantly for me, but I absolutely loved it!

Bountiful Valley Charcuterie

Chef’s selection of Cheeses and Meats

By this time, we were pretty tired after the drive, so we walked around the park and darted into the GC to sit a bit in the lobby, admiring the Halloween decorations and treats.

Earlier in the evening, we thought I might have to wait for Rich at the GC while he hiked back to the parking garage but after the cocktail fortification and some relaxation in the GC, I was up for walking back with him. We actually enjoyed the walk back, taking our time, soaking up the nighttime atmosphere.

However, we would have to come up with a different plan for tomorrow.