Castle at Disneyland
Cinderella’s Castle

With a couple of free days on my hands, I decided to take a little roadtrip to Disneyland and then on to DTLA (downtown Los Angeles). I had not been to Disneyland in a few years, but have loved the place since I was a kid. I also have a history with DTLA, having lived down there from 2009 to 2012.

Disneyland
For me, Disneyland remains the ultimate theme park. We enjoyed a full day visiting both the OG Disneyland park and the new California Adventure side as well. It was the Friday before Father’s Day and although crowded, Disney really handles the crowds well. We went on all the rides we wanted to and didn’t have to wait too long. We used the FastPass system when we could and also waited until dinner time to try popular rides like Pirates and the Haunted Mansion. The park is open until midnight, so after 9:30 it really starts to empty out and we rode stuff like Space Mountain and Star Tours at the end of the night.

 


 

 

Walt and Mickey at Disneyland
Walt and Mickey
Trolley at disneyland
A trolley in the Hollywood section of California Adventure

Blue Bayou
For the first time, I dined at Blue Bayou, the restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. You may have seen it, you float by during the first part of the ride and may have seen people eating at tables under the simulated moonlight. Set behind a plantation mansion, the restaurant offers a limited but nice array of American and Cajun classics. I would rate the atmosphere a 10, the service a 9 and the food an 8. We could not make a reservation online, it was sold-out, but we gave our names at the door and it was only a ten minute wait for a table.

Blue Bayou
Dining inside the Pirates of the Caribbean at Blue Bayou

The DoubleTree Anaheim
Located about 10 minutes from the park entrance and offering a free shuttle every 30 minutes, it’s a great place to stay for your Disney adventure. Rates are reasonable, we used hotels.com to get a rate around $175 per night, including all the various taxes and fees. As a Hilton Hhonors Gold-level member I was supposed to receive some amenities on check-in which never made their way to me. Sadly, the front desk was “out of coupons” for the hotel’s afternoon food service and for breakfast. Although they promised to deliver them to the room, they never were and we missed the afternoon food and breakfast as well.

Hotel Indigo DTLA
My room at the Hotel Indigo
Sliders
Happy hour sliders made me happy

Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown
After Disneyland, it was time to head to our next destination, the newly hip and cool DTLA. Our home in downtown Los Angeles was the new Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown. We had a very nice loft-like room on the hotel’s top floor with great views of the city skyline. The boutique hotel, part of IHG, is right across from the Staples Center and LA Live.

Hotel Indigo Downtown Los angeles
The spacious and stylish lobby and lobby bar

DTLA fun
The Hotel Indigo is close to all the cool new clubs, bars and restaurants in the Historic Core area (Spring, Broadway and Main Streets between 4th and 7th streets). We hopped in an Uber and headed over for a few drinks at The Varnish, the hidden speakeasy inside Cole’s.


The Varnish DTLA
Drinking a fancy cocktail at The Varnish