Travel: Disneyland {Without Kids} and Newport Beach

When my former neighbors and I went to West Palm Beach last year, we decided to make a girls weekend a yearly tradition.  As we discovered with our last trip, it can be hard picking a destination and getting the schedules of four busy moms to line up for such a trip.

Disneyland without kids

When East Coast-based Kelli had a work trip in Anaheim, she asked if we’d like to meet her there and do Disneyland without our kids.  Sounded amazing to the rest of us and it so happened we were all free the same weekend. We decided on one day at Disneyland and a second day in Newport Beach.  While it wasn’t beach weather, we at least wanted to be near the ocean, because we were near an ocean.

Where We Stayed

For two nights we stayed at the Hilton Anaheim.  It’s about a 20-minute walk to Disneyland, but it was the closest hotel that was reasonably priced.  We didn’t know it at the time, but there was a cheerleading competition in town the same weekend, and those high school girls were taking all the hotel rooms within a five mile radius of Disney.

I’ve stayed here before with my family on a Disneyland trip a few years ago, so I knew it was clean, close and there’s a Starbucks in the lobby.  The room was nice and Kelli had coupons for free breakfast, so yay Hilton Honors!

The third night, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach.  It’s a little off the beaten path, but we were able to Uber where we wanted and we walked down to the marina for lunch by taking some weird back entrance that seemed to only be for employees.

Hyatt Regency Newport Beach

This hotel was also clean, and it had a great bar and patio area.  And this was the view from our room.

Where We Ate/Drank

Back Bay Bistro – When we arrived at the hotel in Newport, it was lunch time.  The closest restaurant was at the marina behind the hotel. It required us to take the weird back entrance, climb down a hill and cross a busy street without a crosswalk. The food was good, the drinks were good and it wasn’t busy, so we got to pick our table and our view.  It was National Margarita Day, but we chose to have a martini lunch.

Back Bay Bistro Newport Beach

Chinese Takeout – We had a later lunch and more snacks, so we weren’t that hungry.  We ordered Chinese takeout for a late dinner.  I had too much wine at that point, so I don’t know where it was from.  It was recommended by the hotel and it was actually very good.

Javier’s – We decided we wanted to continue our day drinking after the Back Bay Bistro.  We picked Javier’s because we did want to partake in National Margarita Day.  Bonus, it’s a hot spot for the Real Housewives of Orange County.  The view was outstanding and so were the margaritas.

Javier's Newport Beach

The Blind Rabbit – The first night, I was last to arrive and by the time I got here it was quite late.  The other ladies had eaten dinner elsewhere, but we had fancy drinks and snacks at this speakeasy.  You have to make a reservation because they take the speakeasy theme seriously.  It’s a very cool atmosphere and it’s hidden, like a little secret only you know.

Blind Rabbit Anaheim

Wilma’s Patio – Kelli and Diana both had flights that left at dawn.  Myra and I were leaving in the afternoon, so we headed over to Balboa Island for brunch.  We sat on the patio after a short wait.  I love a good, casual breakfast place and this fit the bill perfectly.

Wilma's Patio Balboa Island

Disneyland/California Adventure

Blue Bayou – I had eaten here before, but none of the other ladies had and it was a bucket list item for them. I made reservations, but we were a little late in planning our trip, so we got a later reservation, which actually worked out well for us.  Hey, no kids! We didn’t have a thing to worry about.

Except getting to our reservation on time.  I was the one worried about it when the others wanted to ride the Haunted Mansion before we ate dinner.  We had a specific time to check in or our reservation would be let go, so I opted to sit back.  They convinced me it was all going to be fine, and as part of my new “go with the flow” and “be more spontaneous” spirit, I went with them.  It was worth it and we made it to our reservation on time.  Kelli and I both had the pork chop and it was delicious!

Blue Bayou Disneyland

Gourmet Coffee Cart – After we rode the roller coaster twice, we decided we needed another drink, but we wanted a warm one with caffeine this time.  This coffee cart is at the end of Pixar Pier across from Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.  You can add a mixer to your coffee, like Bailey’s perhaps.  It was delightful.

Disneyland without kids

Hollywood Lounge – After our coffee, we headed to Guardians of the Galaxy.  We had a Fast Pass for around 7 p.m., but the wait was about 45 minutes, so we decided to wait and forgo our Fast Pass.  That way, we could get back to Disneyland.  When we were about half way through the line, one of the elevators broke.  This slows the line down considerably, but we decided to stick it out.  We waited. And waited.  And waited.  Myra and Kelli ran to the bathroom and came back with Frosé from the Hollywood Lounge.

Disneyland without kids

We ended up waiting for two hours to ride the ride.  When we got off, it was time for our Fast Pass, so we just turned around and rode it again.  Our backs hurt from standing in line for so long because we’re old, but it was worth it.

Little Red Wagon – We ate lunch at the corn dog cart.  They are delicious!  And huge. But, I got an apple with mine, so it offset the fried goodness that is a Disneyland corndog, right?

Sonoma Terrace – We made it to the Incredi-Coaster right as a huge storm was coming in.  We were almost last in line when they shut the ride down due to lightning.  We decided to go hit up Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.  It’s indoors and there’s always a short wait.  When we got out of the ride, we scoped out a place to grab a drink.

We each got a drink and sat on the semi-covered patio waiting for the storm to pass.  When we heard the coaster going again, we headed back over there {I had to slam my champs because I wasn’t done with it yet and I wasn’t wasting it.}  Since most people left when the rain came, we rode the coaster twice in a row, and no one threw up.  Maybe we’re not so old after all…  Never mind, yes we are because our faces were getting pelted with rain and we couldn’t stop simultaneously complaining and laughing about it.

Sonoma Terrace California Adventure

What We Did

California Adventure/Disneyland – We rode all the rides.  Or most of them anyway.  We rode some kids rides, and most of the big kid rides.

Pixar Pier California Adventure

We didn’t have to coordinate with another parent so we could ride the big kid rides without the kids. We didn’t have to listen to kids complaining about waiting in line too long or having to go to the bathroom at the most inopportune time.  We didn’t have to deal with meltdowns because of messed up sleeping and eating schedules. We laughed our asses off on Space Mountain and Guardians of the Galaxy {Kelli and Myra have the best laughs and they’re very contagious.}

We took pictures with characters, we ate cotton candy for first dinner since our Blue Bayou reservation was so late; we screamed until we cried, and we laughed until we cried. And we took advantage of every second we were at Disneyland without our kids.

Disneyland Balloons

Newport Beach – We drank at lunch, we drank at happy hour, we returned to our hotel and drank wine at our hotel.  We sat in the hot tub.  We did sheet masks and played Cards Against Humanity.  And we laughed our asses off because one of us drops really messed up cards {I won’t say who, but isn’t that the point of the game?}

Newport Beach California

We always have the best time together.  When we were in line for the Peter Pan ride we all mentioned that we’d like to take a Disney Cruise.  It’s a bucket list item for me and Ella.  We all thought it was a pie in the sky idea until we started to really think about it.

We contacted our favorite Mickey Travels agent, and she told us our options.  Within three days, we had coordinated all four families, kids and husbands included this time, and we had paid our deposits.  Girls trip next year, will actually be a family trip on a Disney Cruise in the Caribbean.

The tradition continues and so will the laughs!  I love you and miss you #PoundTheKnolls!

P.S. – Myra took a lot of these photos.  She’s very creative and has a better phone than me…

Disneyland Fire Station

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