Skip to Content

Kiley’s July 4th trip to Disneyland – PREP 417

Kiley’s July 4th trip to Disneyland – PREP 417

Kiley spent the Fourth of July holiday week at Disneyland with her husband, three children, friends, and their kids. It was a hot one! She shares her strategy, special pixie-dusted moments, and what she would do differently when planning her next Disneyland vacation.

Post trip begins: 24 minutes

The Basics

Kiley, her husband, and their three kids (ages 9, 7, and 5) are Disney veterans. They are Disney World annual passholders but also make the trip to Disneyland. This time their trip was over the 4th of July Holiday.

Their trip dates are June 30-July 5. This is their 4th trip as a family to Disneyland. Their friends will be joining them – two of Kiley’s friends and their kids including two 7 year olds and a 3 year old.

Kiley’s family is staying in a villa in the Grand Californian. They will spend their last night at the Disneyland Hotel. They have a standard room for one night. Kiley’s friends are staying at the Best Western Park Place Inn

Kiley and her kids have 3 day park hopper tickets that include Genie+. She purchased her husband Genie+ every morning of their trip as well.

Departure (June 30)

Kiley woke up at 2:30 a.m. to get ready to get her family to the airport. They were all on their way at 4 a.m. and at the airport by 4:35 a.m.

They traveled with a jogging stroller, carseat, inflatable car seat, and 6 checked bags. Their flight was full but left on time and arrived early. 

They waited over an hour for the rental car. Kiley’s husband said it was a long time to get to the rental car area and the process took a long time.

They had a rented Jeep Wagoneer for the week, which was a good sized vehicle for their family. While they were waiting for their rental car, Kiley got a mobile order for some breakfast treats at Porto’s Bakery to pick up on their way. 

They didn’t have any traffic on their way to the Grand Californian. Kiley’s husband dropped them off to go park the car. Kiley went to the desk while they waited. 

She was told that their room was not ready and also that they would not get their room request. She’d requested a park view for their one-bedroom villa. They ended up with a quiet room without much of a view.

Around 10 a.m. they walked through Downtown Disney. As they were leaving, a woman stopped the kids to give them some of her grown children’s pins for trading. The kids were so excited.

They went to the Lego store next and did some shopping. Then they walked to their 10:45 a.m. reservation at Céntrico Bar in Downtown Disney

They had a great experience with a relatively quiet restaurant. They had a great server, Cici. The portions were very large, so they ended up with leftovers. 

They were done with lunch by 11:15 a.m. and went back to the hotel. She dropped their leftovers with bell services to keep cool. She got their pool bag to change and go swimming. Kiley notes that the pool bathroom wasn’t especially large or clean.

They ended up with seats at the bottom of the water slide, which was really fun. They really enjoyed their time at the pool. The weather was gorgeous. 

At 1:58 p.m. Kiley got a text message that their room was ready. They got out of the pool and went to the room. Kiley was able to use her phone to open the door, so they went straight there from the pool.

Their one-bedroom room had a living area with a pull down twin bed, fold-out couch, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a bedroom with a king-sized bedroom. It was a good size and layout but does need an update.

They received their bags within 10 minutes. The kids relaxed while Kiley and her husband unpacked. By 4:30 p.m. they were unpacked and cleaned up.

They’d originally planned to go to dinner with their friends, but they’d ended up eating a later lunch. The kids didn’t know about their friends being there, so they wanted to see everyone today before going into the park. 

When they finally met up the kids were so confused about their friends being there. They were very excited. 

Their friends were staying in adjoining rooms at the Best Western Park Place Inn. They said it was a nice hotel with free breakfast. It was an easy walking distance to Disneyland. 

They did say that the pool was a bit too small, but they enjoyed swimming there anyway. The walk to Disneyland was only slightly farther than Kiley’s at the Grand Californian

Kiley's whole group castle

Kiley’s friends went back to their room and to bed. Her family went to Black Tap for dinner. Kiley is a pescatarian and tries to eat vegetarian as much as possible. They all enjoyed their food. 

After dinner, they went back to their room and went to bed. 

California Adventure (July 1)

Kiley’s youngest was up at 3:58 a.m. and everyone was up by 5 a.m. They were in the security line by 6:34 for an early entry at 7:30 a.m. 

They opted to go through Downtown Disney to go to the California Adventure entrance. Kiley’s husband had a separate ticket so she needed to purchase him Genie+ each day. She did that and then booked WebSlingers

They were the 3rd or 4th family to get through security right at 7 a.m. They were the second family at the center and the gates opened at 7:18 a.m. 

Kiley notes that Early Entry is more crowded than it was previously because it is only available in one park at a time. 

Their plan was to go right to Cars Land, do a few things, and then get in line for Radiator Springs Racers. The kids did Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree twice in a row before getting in line at 7:47 a.m. for Radiator Springs Racers.

Kiley's family on Radiator springs racers

The ride started operating at 8 a.m. and they got on the ride at 8:19 a.m. As soon as the park opened, the posted wait time was 90 minutes.

They met up with their friends at 8 a.m. and got a photo taken with Mater. Kiley notes that there were not any PhotoPass photographers available until 8 a.m. 

Kiley's family with Mater

They did some photos in Cars Land as a big group, which was really fun. Then they went to Luigi’s Rollickin Roadsters and were in line at 8:48 a.m. and waited 29 minutes.  

When they got off they mobile ordered from Pym’s Test Kitchen to pick up later. They met Dr. Strange before getting in line for WebSlingers. The posted wait time was 30 minutes and they were able to walk right on with their lightning lane.  

As soon as they scanned in, they got a lightning lane for Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! at 9:35 a.m. When they got off of WebSlingers they were able to catch the The Amazing Spider-Man!

Then it was time to pick up their mobile order from Pym’s Test Kitchen. They all enjoyed their food. Kiley’s family had already had breakfast, so this was just another snack for them. Her friends had not had breakfast yet. 

Kiley's family Carsland sign

They then caught the Avengers Assemble and took a break before walking toward Hollywood Land. They met Mrs. Incredible on their way without much of a wait at all. 

It was time for their lightning lane at Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! The posted wait time was 30 minutes and they waited 5 minutes. 

Their next lightning lane was IncrediCoaster for an immediate return time. On their way over there, they stopped at the Disney Visa character meet. They allowed 6 people per card, and Kiley and her husband both have one so they could all participate. 

They met Minnie and Pluto and had really great character interactions. The characters spent a lot of time with the kids and no one else was around. 

Kiley, husband, and all kids Minnie and Pluto

While they waited for their IncrediCoaster lightning lane, they got in line for The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. There was very little wait. 

Kiley also stopped by Lamplight Lounge to see if they could get their reservations combined. They were told to come back about an hour before their reservation.

Then they went to IncrediCoaster and it was down. It was down most of their trip and even had some people evacuated from the ride. 

Right at noon, Kiley got blue or yellow entry for World of Color. Their friends knew they would not be staying in the park that late. 

When IncrediCoaster went down, they booked a lightning lane for Goofy’s Sky School. They had a bit of a wait for this so they did Jessie’s Critter Carousel and Jumping Jellyfish with almost no wait at all. 

Kiley’s kids were hungry so they got cheddar cheese corn dog from Corn Dog Castle. Her kids are vegetarian so this was a good meal for them. Kiley’s friends got Paradise Garden Grill and Boardwalk Pizza for their kids. 

The posted wait time for Goofy’s Sky School was 40 minutes but with their lightning lane they only waited 5 minutes. When they got off, IncrediCoaster was back up. There was a posted wait time of 20 minutes but they waited 5 minutes. 

They left the park at 2:05 p.m. and went through Pixar Pier straight to their hotel. They were back to their room within just a few minutes. 

Kiley and her family took a break while her youngest napped. Her husband left to go back to the park around 3 p.m. He got a spot for the parade across from The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.

He brought a blanket to hold the spot for everyone. They all met up again with him at nearly 4 p.m. He also stopped at Lamplight Lounge to merge their reservation and make one reservation for 10 people. 

They waited the parade at 4 p.m. and the kids all really loved it. Kiley said it was very fun and really great. 

After the parade they went to their Lamplight Lounge reservation. They were seated within 5 minutes. They were taken deep into the restaurant beyond the kitchen. 

They were told that they were chosen to have some extra magic and were seated in the office. Kiley hadn’t heard about this before. The door was like a bank vault and Kiley’s daughter volunteered to help do this.

There was a large table and a smaller lounge area. The kids sat at the table and the adults sat in the lounge area. There is also a balcony to watch the IncrediCoaster.

They ordered drinks and the kids were starting to get antsy. They placed their order and after a while their server came in to tell them that there was a kitchen emergency and the restaurant was closed. They couldn’t serve food. 

Kiley's kids at Lamplight lounge

At this point it was after 5:30 p.m. and they couldn’t put the kids through another wait. They mobile ordered food from Flo’s V8 Cafe. It was a fun experience but they were sad that they didn’t get to eat there.

Kiley ordered a plant-based meal from Lucky Fortune Cookery and met everyone else to eat outside at Flo’s V8 Cafe. After dinner, they went to Pixar Pier to go to Midway Mania. The posted wait time was 45 minutes but only waited 10 minutes with their lightning lane. 

They met Bo Peep before saying goodnight to their friends who went back to their hotel for bed. Kiley and her family went to Silly Symphony Swings and didn’t have any wait at all.

There was a posted wait time of 20 minutes for Soarin’ but with their lightning lane they only waited 10 minutes. Then Kiley’s son wanted to stop at Gusteau’s for a macaron. He loved it but no one else really did. 

They got back to Cars Land at 7:45 p.m. waiting for Sha-boom to begin at sundown. A cast member asked if they wanted to lead the conga line for Sha-boom. 

Kiley's kids with McQueen

This is when the neon lights come on in Cars Land. It happens at sundown every night. Kiley and her family has done this before and really enjoyed leading it. 

They took photos with the cast members after that and one of the cast members took them to Radiator Springs Racers and got them into the lightning lane line. The posted wait time was 85 minutes but they were able to ride without a wait. 

They rode on Radiator Springs Racers with a cast member, Robert, who was a Skipper for the Jungle Cruise. They were able to ask him questions and really had a great time. 

They got off at 8:27 p.m. and walked over to the World of Color entry. They were a little later getting into the virtual queue seating area. They had a pretty good view just the same. 

Kiley’s kids don’t like to get wet and started to get sprayed from where they were sitting. After World of Color, they walked back to the resort. Kiley got over 19,000 steps that day! 

Disneyland (July 2)

Everyone slept in a bit and the kids didn’t wake up until 5:30-6 a.m. They went through security at Downtown Disney again. 

They were a bit further back in line and didn’t arrive until 6:30 a.m. There were a lot more people this morning as compared to yesterday.

The gates were opened at 7:01 a.m. and they were through security by 7:08 a.m. 

Kiley went immediately to Starbucks and got an Impossible breakfast sandwich. While she was doing that, her husband and kids walked to the gates. The gates opened at 7:20 a.m. and immediately got photos taken that morning.

Kiley purchased Genie+ for her husband and booked a lightning lane for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. They went to Peter Pan’s Flight. Kiley’s kids love this and like it better than the Disney World version.

They were in line at 7:32 a.m. and boarded at 7:50 a.m. Their next stop was to go to Alice in Wonderland. They waited 10 minutes at 7:54 a.m. 

By 8:10 a.m. they met up with their friends and went on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. When they got off, Mary Poppins was right there at the exit. They had a really neat interaction there. 

They got in line at 8:30 a.m. and waited 4 minutes for Pinocchio’s Daring Journey.  At 8:46 a.m., after taking a brief break for restrooms and snacks, they got on King Arthur’s Carrousel

Their next stop was Snow White’s Enchanted Wish. They waited about 15 minutes at 9 a.m. Kiley’s daughter wanted to show her friends the castle so they did the castle walk-through. They enjoyed showing her friends the castle.

Kiley and her kids in front of the castle

They ended up at the front of the castle and took photos together. They had three photopass photographers together, which was perfect for their large group. They were able to get a lot of great photos.

After their photos, they went to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. While they waited, they booked a lightning lane for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The kids played and Kiley’s husband watched the kids while Kiley and her friends got snacks. 

They all met Pete in Toon Town while they kids were playing. Everyone was getting hot and tired, so they opted to do Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. They were on and off just after 11 a.m. 

Their next lightning lane was Indiana Jones Adventure for 4 p.m. because this was a priority for one of Kiley’s kids. Kiley’s friends had lunch at Jolly Holiday before riding Pirates of the Caribbean. Then they went back to their room to rest. 

Kiley and her family stopped at the Magic Shop on Main Street on their way out of the park. Then they went to California Adventure to meet Anger from Inside Out. They were wearing their Inside Out shirts. 

Anger was only meeting until 2 p.m. and when they arrived, Sulley was meeting but they were told to wait around for a bit. They got some snacks at Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff

Anger came out pretty quick and got in line. They met Anger at noon and it was fun. Anger does not sign autographs. They used the Pixar Pier exit to get to their room within about 5 minutes. 

Kiley's son with Anger

They decided to eat lunch in their rooms to cool off and relax. They were hoping that Kiley’s youngest would nap because was so tired. 

At 1:33 p.m. they went to Downtown Disney. The kids wanted to ride the monorail but they had a stroller, which makes it quite a hassle to fold up. Kiley and her boys got in line at 1:40 p.m. to ride the monorail while her husband and daughter walked over. 

They were all back together and went to the 2 p.m. Pixar Pals Playtime Party. There were different characters with their own choreographed dances that they taught the kids. 

After they were finished dancing, they lined up to meet characters. After waiting for a while, they got out of line to go find a spot for the parade. Kiley’s husband got a spot for the parade while Kiley and the kids went to it’s a small world with a lightning lane.

They were on and off by 2:54 p.m. Kiley had some trouble getting across to get back to their spot with her husband. They were able to get back just before the parade started.

After the parade they had a lightning lane for Star Tours. The posted wait time was 25 minutes. They were on and off by 4:10 p.m. Kiley doesn’t ride this ride so she did some shopping while she waited.

Kiley’s friends opted to not come back for the afternoon but just meet them for dinner. After Star Tours they found the little man of Disneyland’s house. 

This put them right at Indiana Jones Adventure for their lightning lane. Kiley assumed that her son was going to be tall enough because he was at the doctor’s office and she measured him at home, but he wasn’t even close there. 

Kiley rode Indiana Jones Adventure with her son and she’s glad that her youngest wasn’t tall enough to ride it. While she rode, her husband took their youngest to get some ice cream and calm him down.

Kiley notes that Indiana Jones Adventure is pretty dark and scary. Just because a kid is tall enough, it might not be appropriate for them. 

While Kiley was riding Indiana Jones Adventure her husband went to Cafe Orleans to attempt to combine two reservations. They were able to do that and prepare a table for 10. 

Their table was ready by 4:46 p.m. which was even earlier than their original reservation. Their friends were back in the park and made it to Cafe Orleans

Everyone had a really great meal and good service. Their friends were still hot and over the crowds, so they stopped to ride it’s a small world on their way out. 

After dinner, Kiley and her family used rider swap at Indiana Jones Adventure. Then they went over to Pirates of the Caribbean but there was only a posted wait time of 10 minutes, they were on and off by 7:10 p.m.

Kiley’s husband took their youngest back to the room to go to bed. He was tired and needed to get some sleep. Kiley and her kids wanted to ride Jungle Cruise but it was down. Kiley thought it would be back up so they did some shopping to wait and see if it would come back up.

Jungle Cruise was back up with a posted wait time of 30 minutes. They got in line at 7:39 p.m. and were off by 7:58 p.m. They stopped for Dole Whips and rested for a bit. 

Kiley’s son wanted to ride the Casey Jr. Circus Train but it had quite a wait, so they opted to do Storybook Canal Boats. This was their first time to ride and they really enjoyed this.

They had a lightning lane for Matterhorn Bobsleds next. Kiley doesn’t ride this, so she had her kids ride alone. She did wait in line with them. 

Their next stop was to use their lightning lane for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. When they got off, it was time to get a spot for fireworks. It was later than she intended and it was already pretty crowded. 

Thankfully, a cast member opened an area and they got a good spot. However, at 9:30 p.m. the show didn’t start. The kids started to get antsy. It was a perfect night without any weather or wind. 

They made an announcement at 9:35 p.m. that there would be a delay. Shortly after that, they were told there wouldn’t be any pyrotechnics. They’d hoped to see Buzz Lightyear and the Up house flying. 

The kids assumed that this would still happen even without the fireworks. However, they were told by a cast member that it would just be the projections and music, but nothing else. 

Lots of people left at this point so they got to a better spot and watch the projections. They were pretty disappointed that things were canceled but understand that this happens.

Kiley got her son a churro after waiting in line. They got on the monorail and rode it to Downtown Disney. They were back at the room by 10:35 p.m. and Kiley got almost 22,000 steps.

California Adventure (July 3) 

Kiley’s friends opted to change their park reservations from California Adventure to Disneyland. The kids really enjoyed this park and because they took so much of a break the day before, they had things they wanted to do.

Kiley and her family continued with their plan to go to California Adventure. Kiley’s husband and boys got in line at 6:20 a.m. and Kiley and her daughter joined them at 6:50 a.m. 

Early entry was at 7:30 a.m. They were through security at 7:06 a.m. Kiley stopped at Starbucks again while her husband and kids went to the gate. It opened a bit early at 7:18 a.m. 

Kiley purchased Genie+ for her husband and got lightning lanes for Midway Mania. She read that Midway Mania doesn’t open right at 8 a.m. and hoped that it would change to an anytime pass.

It didn’t, so she modified this lightning lane later. Kiley’s husband and kids went on Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Kiley went to get in line for Radiator Springs Racers

The queue opened early and they were on and off by 8:01 a.m. By the time they got off, the big crowds were arriving and the line was all the way through Cars Land.

Kiley's family with Mater

They got some photos taken with Mater before splitting up. Her husband took the big kids to IncrediCoaster while she took their youngest to Luigi’s Rollickin Roadsters. There was a posted wait time of 20 minutes at 8:22 a.m. and they waited about 20 minutes.

Kiley and her family also found some of the Pizza Planet trucks hidden around the park. Kiley says that they are camouflage and very difficult to find. 

Kiley's sons with Luigi

IncrediCoaster was down so Kiley’s husband took their kids on Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind and Silly Symphony Swings three times in a row.

They all met back up together and the kids wanted to ride Pixar Pal-A-Round, but they wanted to wait for a swinging car. They ended up waiting about 20 minutes for a swinging car at 8:59 a.m. 

While her family was riding Pixar Pal-A-Round, Kiley went shopping. Then the kids played some games before going to use their lightning lane at Midway Mania

Because they had lightning lanes that turned into multi-experiences, their lightning lanes were complicated. Thankfully, the cast members were so kind and always let them ride regardless.

While they were on Midway Mania it broke down at the very end and they were given a paper ticket to come back anytime. They didn’t end up making it back but were glad to have been on it.

Kiley’s son wanted to do some shopping to get some car souvenirs. They did some shopping and then went on WebSlingers. Kiley and her kids scanned in at 10:52 a.m. and there was a posted wait time of 45 minutes.

While they were riding, Kiley’s husband got them some snacks at Pym’s Test Kitchen. They really like the Quantum Pretzel a lot for sharing. 

Captain Marvel and Captain America were both out while they were eating their pretzel. They met both of them without any wait. 

They also were able to catch some of the Warriors of Wakanda show at 11:25 a.m. Kiley’s kids didn’t know the characters, but really enjoyed this show a lot. 

They went to Hollywood Land to get on the trolley toward the front of the park. They also got some photopass photos taken on their way. Kiley’s husband and two kids went to use their lightning lane on Grizzly River Run

They really like this ride, but always bring their ponchos so that they don’t get wet. After this, they went back to the room to rest. 

Kiley’s 7 year old son loves trains and they had a 1 p.m. Disneyland Guided Railroad Tour booked for him and her to experience together. On their way, they stopped at Schmoozies! to get coffee and snacks. Kiley likes the affogato  and he loved the Churro bundt cake.

Kiley, son, Lillybelle

As soon as they got their snacks, the trolley came down but they couldn’t bring her drink on it. Kiley put her son on the trolley and she met him at the other station. They walked up to their room to get cleaned up.

They left the room at 12:32 p.m. and checked in for their tour at 12:42 p.m. They were so excited about this tour. When they checked in, Kiley’s son had his train hat and shirt on. The cast member checking them in was Sandra and she was so sweet. 

When they checked in they were told they would not be able to ride in the Lilly Belle because it was too hot and it doesn’t have air conditioning. They offered to refund them or to schedule them on a different tour when it would be cooler. 

Kiley's son with tour guide

Kiley didn’t realize that the heat would be a problem. She booked it at that time specifically because it was rest time for the rest of her family. Rescheduling wasn’t an option due to their schedule. 

Kiley explained it to her son and he still wanted to do it. Everyone else on the tour canceled, so they had a private tour with Nick from California. They had a really wonderful experience. 

They got their headsets and snacks. The snack was a warm cinnamon roll with a warm topping but as soon as they got it, it was time to go. It was difficult to eat without a fork, so they ended up putting it in a bag and carrying it around.

Their tour guide found a spot in the shade for them and told them all about Walt and his history with trains. It was really a wonderful experience and included so much history. 

They also learned about the trains at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. They learned more about Walt’s love for trains and how that influenced Disneyland. 

Kiley and her son also learned about the history of the monorail in Tomorrowland. After learning all of the history, they walked back toward it’s a small world. They went backstage to the roundhouse. 

There were some engineers walking around and they were also able to watch the train go by. They were able to see the Lilly Belle but it was very quick. 

After that, they boarded a passenger train and did a full loop. The tour guide went with them and continued to tell them some history on the train. 

When they finished their tour it was 4:07 p.m. It was supposed to be a 2 hour tour, so he did spend some extra time with them. They also got a parting gift of a print of a map of Disneyland with the train stations. 

Kiley's family at Disneyland entrance with Peter Pan

Kiley’s son really stayed engaged and they both really enjoyed this tour. Kiley has done other tours including the Keys to the Kingdom at Disney World and the tour of Walt’s apartment at Disneyland. 

She does recommend checking the temperature when booking and potentially booking in the morning. It is also for folks who really enjoy the history of Disneyland. 

After they were done Kiley’s son wanted to go back to the Pixar Pals Playtime Party. They did that before meeting up with their family.

Kiley booked lightning lanes for Autopia and Matterhorn Bobsleds while she was on the tour. The rest of her family had already arrived and they went to Tom Sawyer Island. Kiley’s husband spent time with the kids there while Kiley got a snack. 

Kiley enjoyed a sugary snack and some shade. At 5 p.m. her family met back up with her family. Then it was time to use lightning lanes. 

They used a multiple experience at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Kiley didn’t ride, but her family enjoyed it. Then her kids were ready for a snack. They got popcorn and Mickey bars. 

At 6:02 p.m. they used their lightning lane for Autopia. Then Kiley’s husband and kids went on Space Mountain with a lightning lane. The posted wait time was 80 minutes but they were on and off in less than 15 minutes.

Kiley got an ornament at the Christmas shop and had it personalized while they had dinner. Kiley intended to take the print back to the room but it was so hot and she didn’t want to walk all that way. She got a locker for the print and kept it there for the evening. 

They checked in at the patio for their River Belle Terrace Fantasmic Premium package. This costs $89 for adults and $45 for kids. Kiley was able to get this reservation at the last minute. They were seated pretty far away and were worried they wouldn’t be able to see.

Kiley spoke with a cast member and was assured that they would be able to see. They were also told that they could stand up because they were on the back row if they needed to stand.

They had a 3 course meal and were able to pick from a set number of items. This was her husband’s favorite meal of the whole trip. Kiley’s youngest was very tired, ate a biscuit before their meal arrived and went to sleep in his stroller. He slept through the rest of the evening.

Their reservation was at 7:15 p.m. and they had some time before the 9 p.m. show. They didn’t have time to leave and come back because of the crowds. Kiley thinks that they could have had a better view if they had either booked a less expensive dining package or just getting a spot earlier in the evening. 

They really liked seeing Fantasmic and Kiley is glad that they got the package so they didn’t need to stress about getting a spot. They stayed for the fireworks afterward and it was wonderful. Kiley said it was great but not something they need to do again. 

They watched the fireworks from the patio and right at the end of the fireworks, Kiley’s youngest woke up. They opted to go to Pirates of the Caribbean without a wait. Then they went to Casey Jr. Circus Train and waited 16 minutes.

It was time for their Matterhorn Bobsleds lightning lane. They got on at 10:46 p.m. While they rode on that, Kiley went to get their ornament and the things in the locker. 

After that they went back to their room and everyone went to bed at midnight. They walked more than 28,000 steps today. 

Rest Day (July 4)

Kiley’s kids thought they were leaving today because their friends were leaving today. They got the kids in their swimsuits, packed up the room, and loaded up the car at 11 a.m. 

Kiley’s husband drove the car and bags to the Disneyland Hotel. Kiley and the kids walked through Downtown Disney. They met her husband at the hotel and Kiley and her daughter went to the reservation desk. 

Kiley’s daughter requested the Fantasy tower and the cast member asked her questions and she answered them. It was very sweet. Club level was not available but they were able to get a room that was ready and on the 7th floor. 

They had a great view and a really wonderful room. It was very spacious with two beds and a pull-out twin bed. The headboard played music and lit up, which was really cool.

Kiley was impressed with the room. The bathroom was small and the room was dated, but Kiley was glad it was ready. She and her husband changed into their swimsuits and they went down to the pool. 

They all went to the pool. They got wristbands at the pool and it was very crowded at noon. There weren’t any available chairs. Kiley had tried to book a cabana and couldn’t. 

Kiley's kids Disneyland hotel

They were finally able to get one chair to put their things. There were three pools and a splash area. They spent most of their time at the main pool near the fantasy tower. 

Kiley thought her kids would love the water slides, but they didn’t want to wait in the long lines. They ended up just swimming. 

The kids had packed lunches and Kiley mobile ordered Tangaroa Terrace for her and her husband. They ate lunch on the terrace before heading back to the pool. 

Because they ate a later lunch, Kiley canceled their 4:20 p.m. reservation at Palm Breeze Bar. The weather was warm and wonderful for the pool.

By 5 p.m. the kids were done with the pool and they went up to their room to shower. Kiley and her daughter stayed behind and got a Matterhorn Dole Whip. Everyone showered and changed for dinner. 

The kids had been asking about a character meal, but they didn’t have any reserved. Kiley decided to go to Goofy’s Kitchen to see if they had something available. It was a slow night and they were able to seat them right away.

Kiley's family at Goofy's kitchen

The kids were so excited about this meal and it was so much fun. They had really great character interactions and were seated close to the buffet. 

They were able to speak with servers who were there for more than 30 years and it was wonderful. It wasn’t very busy and so the meal was more relaxing than most character buffet meals. 

Kiley was able to speak with a cast member about the best vegetarian options, which was really great. They had a huge dessert bar with lots of different options. 

They got a 10% discount with their Disney Visa card which was wonderful because it was an expensive meal. The kids absolutely loved it which made it worth it. 

They went back to the room at 8:30 p.m. and Kiley’s youngest went right to bed. Kiley had asked a cast member about the best place to watch the fireworks. Sebastian told her to go to the top of the parking garage right next to their hotel. 

They walked up at 9:15 p.m. and there were a few families up there already. They had a 180 degree view of fireworks and it was incredible. Kiley really loved watching all of the fireworks with her older two kids. Her husband was able to watch from the room. He couldn’t hear anything but he could see it.

They walked back over to the Fantasy tower and requested a late checkout which was granted. They got just over 13,000 steps today. 

Departure (July 5)

Kiley’s youngest woke up at 6:30 a.m. She placed a mobile order for breakfast (but forgot to confirm the order). The rest of Kiley’s family woke up at 8 a.m. and they went to get one more souvenir for Kiley’s daughter. 

They went to every shop they could looking for a Disgust toy. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find it anywhere. They were at the Great Maple Modern American Eatery and were able to get right in for breakfast. 

The kids were able to share a breakfast and it was still a very large meal for them. It was a lovely meal. After their meal, they decided to explore the resort. 

They went to the pool area and the Inside Out exhibit. Then they went down to the lobby to see if they could meet Bing Bong. He wasn’t meeting that day but they did get a sketch of Bing Bong. 

They walked through Downtown Disney to get back to their room to pack and get checked out. They checked out at 11:45 a.m. 

They originally planned to do some sightseeing, but they didn’t get out of their hotel in time to do that. They hit quite a bit of traffic to see the Hollywood sign. 

They arrived shortly after 1 p.m. to see the Hollywood Sign and wandered around Hollywood Boulevard. It was very crowded and chaotic. They walked along the walk of fame to the Chinese Theater. 

Then they walked back to El Capitan Theatre. They weren’t able to go in, but they did walk around outside.

They left the parking garage at 1:50 p.m. and it took them over an hour to get to the airport. They arrived at the airport at 2:55 p.m., checked their bags curbside, and while Kiley’s husband dropped off the rental car, she and the kids went through security. 

Thankfully they had TSA Pre-check and they arrived at the gate at 3:30 p.m. They had priority boarding and were boarding at 3:45 p.m. Kiley’s husband met them at the gate and they were able to board together. 

Their flight landed late and they stopped to get dinner on their way home after 11 p.m. at night.

Get a Quote for:


Leave me a message(including trip report submissions)

Please use the SpeakPipe link below to leave us a message with your first name, location, and trip info.

You can do that using your computer or phone at

Subscribe to get new episodes

There are a few ways to get new episodes of WDW Prep to Go (if you’re used to listening on the website, subscribe so you can take new episodes with you on your phone)

Follow on social media

Become a Patron

Get a quote request for a future trip from Small World Vacations

Podcast Episode Finder

WDW Prep Merch

Visit the site

Things we recommend

Affiliate Links: