The Happiest Place on Earth

Day 29

Our Dodge accessible van was a great choice for our road trip from Vegas to Anaheim. With a few stops it took about 5 hrs and with Google maps it was a relatively easy but scenic drive. Arriving at the Marriott Resident Inn Convention Centre we were greeted with one of the most accessible, clean and modern units we’d ever stayed in. More details at the end of this post.

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Our trusty (not dodgy) Dodge van

Day 30

Just a 10 minute wheel from our apartment we arrived at the iconic Disneyland – a lifelong dream come true for me, but more like a nightmare for Steve (think crowds and 42 degrees)! But he was a great hubby and came along for the ride.

After a 1 hour queue to get tickets and go through security, we explored the park by monorail, train and paddle-wheeler, its funny it was smaller than I had imagined.  The excitement of Main Street was fun, and I met Goofy and Donald Duck! The Jungle Cruise was a hoot and such a novelty to be able to drive onto my very first accessible theme park ride!  Of course not every ride was wheelchair accessible but we did get to skip the lines at a few of the attractions. Magic Kingdom was like stepping into a fairy-tale – but not enough Princess’s! I felt like I was a kid again, the buzz was unreal.

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The entrance to Disneyland.

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Main Street

 

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The Jungle Cruise – fully wheelchair accessible and this guy was hilarious!
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While in the US ….. Steve tried his hand at the rifle range
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About to board Mark Twain’s Riverboat
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All aboard!
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Disneyland Rail Road is fully wheelchair accessible too!

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Thumbs up from Goofy
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Storm Troopers near Space Mountain. This is for my nephew Mackie!
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Now that’s my kind of shop!
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The best tasting Corn Dogs (Pluto Pups, Battered Savs) – no calories in Disneyland!
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Magic Kingdom…every princess’s fantasy. Wish you were here Miss Sophie.

Day 31

Day trip to San Diego on 4th July – this was one of our favourite days of our entire trip! The drive itself was so fun, pumping up the tunes and checking out the beachside towns along the way. Less than 2 hrs later we had arrived in San Diego – only 20 miles north of the Mexican border. We loved the chilled family vibes and people setting up their picnic spots to watch the fireworks along the waterfront. We met the nicest couple sharing our lunch bench – they were doctors at San Diego Hospital and had just visited Sydney! And the food….. we ate the best pulled pork and guacamole tacos – delicious!

A quick jaunt around San Diego was not long enough, but we did get the feeling that this was one cool, laid back city. On our way back to the van we stopped for an ice-cream, only to find out a lovely man ahead of us in the line had ‘paid it forward’ to cover our ice-creams! We were flawed by the generosity of spirit of the Americans throughout the entire trip.

Didn’t think it could get any better but the absolute highlight was driving across the spectacular Coronado bridge – a real thrill going so far up and out across the ocean, and onto the gorgeous Coronado Island. All the quaint military homes were decorated with red, white and blue banners, and the smell of BBQ was in the air. We did not want to leave and have vowed to return!

Fireworks back at Disneyland made for an unforgettable Independence Day in California!

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We were so saddened by the amount of homeless people in every city we visited.
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Buzzing along the bike-lane in sunny San Diego!

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Spectacular Coronado Bridge (ok so this is borrowed from Google)
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Happy Independence Day!

Day 32

Another hot and crazy fun day at the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ for me, while Steve took his RC car to the best track in the world Orange County RC (OCRC)! Yes his RC car had its own suitcase and had traversed the States waiting for this moment……

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Meanwhile…….

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I was Finding Nemo – the Submarine Experience
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and the famous Teacups!
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Its A Small World was my favourite ride!
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How cool is this???

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Toon Town
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I was so lucky to be taken into Mickey’s house via the back door…..and skipping the line. Mickey was so beautiful, I think I cried the whole time (mainly because his helper’s name was Dan). After our photo shoot I asked him where Minnie was, apparently she was out shopping!
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My Fantasia moment with Mickey

Day 33

Drive up the freeway to the City of Angels – To Be Continued…….

Transport options

 

Wheelers Accessible Van Rentals – outlets across most states, but we paid a little extra to take the vehicle from Las Vegas to Anaheim, and then drop off in LA. More details coming in future post about accessible transport during our trip.

Reservations: +1 866-859-8880

5757 Wayne Newton Blvd,

Las Vegas, Nevada 89119

Accommodation details

 

Residence Inn at Anaheim Resort/Convention Center

640 West Katella Avenue Anaheim, CA 92802 USA

+1 714-782-7500

Executive suite for 8 people. Large kitchen. 2 bathrooms, 1 with roll in shower. Spacious, clean, modern and great location in easy walking distance to Disneyland. Could easily roll hoist under bed. Parking onsite for van. Additional cost. Free breakfast. Only problem was that we discovered the gym was located above our ceiling, and we were woken by dumbbells crashing at 6am! We managed to get 1 nights charge waived and free parking after our complaints. And they are relocating the gym! Highly recommended accommodation.

Length of stay 4 nights was a good amount of time for us, but it depends on how many days you want to spend at Disneyland etc
Attractions

 

Disneyland

California Adventure Park (next time)

San Diego Zoo (next time)

Note to anyone planning a trip to Anaheim – don’t go to the happiest place on earth in holidays or heatwaves, or if you do, just push through and you will absolutely love it!

Accessible tips

 

I was surprised there was no reduced fee for people with disabilities or carer companions at Disneyland. Make sure when you buy your ticket they give you the access map. Not every ride is accessible, but they do have alternative experiences and also some rides are accessible if you use a manual chair or can transfer/be assisted. So you really have to check it out yourself. I found just soaking up the atmosphere was great, chasing characters and of course seeking out the rides where you can stay in your powerchair. This took a bit of extra time. Navigating crowds can be tiring and a bit frustrating but just keep on going. Given it was my first time I didn’t plan my route in advance as I just wanted to see where it took us, but there would be benefits in getting a map and doing some planning. And then there was the shopping – too many options so if you want to buy gifts/souvenirs take a list! Take your charger!
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Our executive apartment at the Marriott Resident Inn Convention Centre Anaheim

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