Coming from someone who hates change, traditions and routine are huge blessings in my life that in all honesty, keep me sane. One tradition that my sister and I religiously follow is riding Hyperspace Mountain (formerly known as Space Mountain) first. We don’t do this to guarantee that we can ride Space Mountain without an hour wait, and not because it’s one of our favorite rides (okay, maybe that’s not 100% accurate). It’s because we don’t feel like we’re in Disneyland until we ride it. When the familiar music starts playing in our ears, and when the narrator starts counting down the seconds till lift off, I always squeeze my sister’s knee and shout, “We’re in Disneyland!” because at that moment, it feels real, that we’re actually at our favorite place in the world.
With that, allow me to beautifully transition into explaining all of the things you can do in Tomorrowland in a day.
Start your day with riding Space Mountain (what else did you expect me to recommend?). Beware if sitting next to someone who holds their hands up during roller coasters bothers you, I suggest that you sit solo on this one. Because the track curves to the left for most of the ride, guests sitting in the right seats might get irritated easily by their seat partner’s arms in their face (I’ve never experience this phenomenon since I always sit in the left seat, but my sister never fails to chew me out afterwards, telling me that my flying hands in her face are so annoying. So now most times, she resorts to sitting solo; she says it’s more magical that way anyway, so more power to her).
Then, continue your day with breakfast at the Star Wars themed eatery, Galactic Grill. Enjoy either a breakfast burrito or French toast platter while dining outside watching Tomorrowland, one of Disneyland’s original lands, come to life. Relax, people watch, and maybe even feed a few hungry songbirds if you have leftover food.
Maximize your time by grabbing fastpasses for Star Tours—The Adventure Continues, and then get in line for Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. The wait time can be hefty for this ride, but I think it’s worth it, especially after knowing the history behind the attraction. The submarine ride opened in 1959 and mermaids use to occupy the rocks sticking out of the water. The ride however, closed in 1998. Imagineers redesigned the ride shortly after, and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage opened in 2007. The squawking seagulls screaming, “Mine!” every five seconds should keep you pretty entertained so the wait time should fly by.
Your fastpass for Star Tours should be good after the submarine ride. Enjoy walking through the Star Tours queue; some of your favorite characters might even make an appearance while you’re on your way to ride the attraction. Pro tip: if you’re itching to be the rebel spy while you’re on the ride, be sure to look straight ahead at the screen as the cast member is going through the safety spiel. There’s a camera inside the screen and cast members generally pick guests who look directly into the camera (also be sure not to wear your 3D glasses at this time). Just promise to send me a ‘thank you’ card after you’re picked as the spy.
Following Star Wars, walk the short distance to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, admiring the old People Mover track above you. Journey into a far-away galaxy and help Buzz defeat Zerg. Because this ride is like an arcade game where guests shoot at targets, it’s fun to have a competition among your family and friends to see who can get the highest score.
Then, refuel and enjoy a relaxing lunch at Redd Rocket’s Pizza Port. The food here is quick-service style. Chow down on a variety of pastas such as Mars-inara with Meatballs or Forest of Endor or if you’re in the mood for pizza, savor the Mega Pepperoni or Vega Vegetarian. If you’re a health nut, enjoy the Planetary Pizza Salad or Asian Chicken Salad.
Because you’ll more than likely be in a food coma after lunch, sit and relax on the benches outside of Pizza Port and watch children attempt to rotate the huge granite ball. According to hiddenmickeys.org, “The ball weighs 6 tons and is held up by a fountain of water. If it was ever removed, the water from the fountain would rise 210 feet in the air”.
Then, proceed to Star Wars Launch Bay and explore all of the activities available. Here, you can “check out replica movie props, play games, screen videos and encounter Star Wars characters at this out-of-this-world exhibit” (Disneyland Resort Official Website).
After you’ve had your Star Wars fill, head to Autopia where kids of all ages can get behind the wheels of a car! Fun Fact: Autopia is one of only a few opening day attractions that is still running at the Disneyland Resort, so take the time to really admire the attraction in all of its glory.
Then, head to the Monorail Tommorowland Station and take a relaxing ride around the Disneyland Resort. Listen to the announcer spew interesting facts or take this valuable time to rest your eyes. Stay on the monorail for the full trip until you return to the Tomorrowland Station.
After disembarking the monorail, head to Galactic Grill and stake out a spot for the 4:35 showing of Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. Youngin’s will get the chance to train to become Jedi to defeat Darth Vader himself! Pro Tip: If you have a 4-12-year-old who would like to participate in the show, you must register your child prior to the show at the kiosk outside of Star Wars Launch Bay.
After Darth Vader has been defeated, and the Dark Side has been eradicated, remain at Galactic Grill and enjoy an early dinner before the crowds hit. Star Wars fans will enjoy the Cheese-3PO Burger, Whicket’s Whicked Veggie Wrap, and Jedi Order Chicken Sandwich. Savor your dinner while watching as Tomorrowland comes to life at night with colorful neon lights.
After dinner, watch Star Wars: Path of the Jedi in the Tomorrowland theater. This short film compiles your favorite moments from the Star Wars saga as well as the latest film: Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Then, head to The Star Trader and shop for a souvenir to commemorate the perfect day. Build your own lightsaber or purchase one of Disneyland’s famous Chewbacca backpacks.
End the day by hopping in line for the Astro Orbitor twenty minutes before the fireworks are set to go off that night (check the fireworks times at the Official Disneyland Resort Website). If the Disneyland gods are on your side, you’ll be flying high in the sky as the finale to the fireworks show erupt over Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. What better way to end your day in Tomorrowland?
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