One of my few complaints or regrets about our trip to Walt Disney World was that we really didn’t have time to do everything we wanted to. I had hoped to spend a day exploring our resort, and more time at the World Showcase in Epcot. More reasons to go back! For my virtual vacation today, I’m assuming even less time – just a long weekend. Instead of Walt Disney World, where I know the list of things to do would be overwhelming, I’m opting to spend the weekend at Disneyland. It was my “home park” growing up, and I know so much has changed since I was there last in the mid-1990’s!

Friday Morning: Check into our resort.

Grand Californian Hotel lobby. Photo courtesy of Beaster725 via Flikr

For this virtual vacation, I’ve chosen the Grand Californian Hotel. Let’s face it, I’m a luxury kind of girl! There’s something amazingly comforting about the refined elegance of this place. The Arts and Crafts decor reminds me of my Grandfather’s house, which has always been one of my benchmarks for elegance and refinement. This hotel didn’t exist when I lived in California, so it’s also new (to me anyway).

The direct entry into Disney’s Californian Adventure park doesn’t hurt either!

Friday Afternoon: Disneyland!

I’ve chosen Disneyland as our first park, partly because it’s familiar. Since we’ll only have a half day on Friday, it will be nice to get our bearings in Disneyland and hit some of the big attractions – Pirates of the Caribbean, the Jungle Cruise, the Haunted Mansion, and of course, the Teacups!

I’ve made (virtual) Advance Dining Reservations at the Napa Rose restaurant at the Grand Californian. We’ll eat a late dinner, then go back to Disneyland for Fantasmic before bed.

Saturday: Disney’s California Adventure

I’ve never been to Disney’s California Adventure. They were just building it when I moved out to Illinois, and at the time the entire concept seemed a bit ridiculous. After all, why build a California-themed park in California? Why not just go see the real thing? Now that I live half a continent away, I kind of get it. If you’ve only got a few days in California, it’s better than seeing none of the state. I’m kind of interested to see how well Disney’s version of California matches up to my memories of this place.

Sunday Morning: Back to Disneyland

Photo courtesy of Express Monorail via Flikr

For our last day in California, I want to go back to Disneyland to scope out the areas that are different from Magic Kingdom in Florida – especially New Orleans Square! We’ll have a nice, slow lunch at the Blue Bayou restaurant inside Pirates of the Caribbean before reluctantly heading off to the airport to fly home.

Have you stayed at the Grand Californian or eaten in the Blue Bayou? How was it?