We just got back from 5 park days, December 1-5. Crowds were AWESOME. I was expecting it to be a bit crazy but we had no issues. ^^^^ Awesome, right? Maxpass is amazing. I don't know how I'll ever go back to FP+ at WDW. I remember our last WDW trip just not being able to do anything at some points because the lines were so long and all the fastpasses were gone. That definitely wasn't an issue at Disneyland. With a bit of planning ahead of time, we were able to do whatever we wanted. We flew in and out of SNA and oh my gosh that is so much better than LAX. The weather on our departure day (December 6) was awful so our take off was super bumpy. That plus what seemed like an accelerated take off from SNA made that experience unsettling but we survived. We used Lansky for transportation to/from the airport and it was a great experience. The driver was waiting at baggage claim and handled our bags for us. We had a Suburban that was nice and clean. The driver was polite and knew his way around. We stopped a grocery store with no problem. The driver called the night before our departure and suggested an earlier pick up time since it was going to be raining in the morning. That was appreciated. We definitely needed it. I really enjoyed their services and not having to lug a car seat through the airport was priceless. We stayed at the Tropicana. We had a bit of a mix up with the room. We booked a room with a sleeper chair and did not receive one upon check-in. They were able to remedy that quickly and we ended up with a first floor room near the front of the building. The room was clean, but smaller than I expected. One day I'll learn that internet pictures make rooms look bigger. When planning the trip I had a hard time decidign between Tropicana and Candy Cane. I was glad I went with the Tropicana when it came time to walk back to the room. My group would have been grumpy about walking further or having to wait for a shuttle. The water pressure in the shower was lacking but that was our only real issue. Last trip we stayed at Best Western Park Place Inn. I think I'd probably go back to BWPPI over Tropicana next time but it'd be a close call. We had so much fun at the parks. It was so nice to leave the worries of everyday behind and just spend some quality time with the family. My youngest was just tall enough to ride the Incredicoaster, which he did willingly... one time. He says never again. It was nice not having to mess with parent switch and strollers. Yay, big kids! If you're reading this you probably already know the headliners and their popularity but I wanted to point out some "hidden gems" that we enjoyed: Luigi's and Mater's (sure they're no RSR but we had so much fun whipping around on these) Autopia ("Yo Soy Bird" became our catchphrase) Silly Symphony Swings (great views) Turtle Talk with Crush (Crush asked my husband what his hobbies were. He said "hunting and fishing" without even thinking about where he was. That became the running joke for the rest of the show. "Squirt, stay away from Texas!") Sorcerer's Workshop (my kids went down there twice to play with the animation things and take that silly quiz. They loved it) We did two table service meals while we were there. Blue Bayou Fantasmic package dinner and Goofy's Kitchen breakfast. Blue Bayou: I really enjoyed the ambiance (of course) and the meal was okay. I had the surf and turf and loved the potatoes and vegetables. The steak and lobster were mediocre but not terrible. The gingerbread creme brulee was good but I would have preferred regular. My daughter, who usually likes steak, took one bite and didn't eat the rest (yay $72 meal). She didn't like the potatoes either so she just ate the lobster and veggies. My son had the kid's mac and cheese and seemed happy. He didn't like his chocolate mickey dessert at all though and shared my creme brulee. The service was great and my kids loved waving at the boats passing by. We asked for a waterside table and waited a total of 2 minutes to be seated. Our reservation was for 4:30pm. We'd go back but not with a Fantasmic package. Goofy's Kitchen: I mean it is what it is. The characters were fun. We had Chip and Dale, Donald, and Pluto w/ Goofy at the front of the restaurant. No Mickey or Minnie. The food was run of the mill buffet. I enjoyed the chicken and waffles pizza. Our reservation was at 10:30, so when were going back into Downtown Disney afterwards, the security lines were very backed up. For some reason I wasn't thinking about having to go back through security, so that was a bummer. We're probably good with not going back here. We ate at various counter service/snack locations throughout our stay. Favorites: Jolly Holiday Bakery (Reuben was great and the tomato soup was delicious) Flo's V8 (loved the Tuna sandwich) Bengal BBQ (you HAVE to get the pork belly skewer) Bing Bong's (slow burn memory refresher... we had it twice it was so good) Pooh's Corner (my kids had a great time making jelly bean bags and getting Tigger Tails) Clarabelle's Ice Cream (the hand dipped ice cream was great) Corn Dog Castle (hot link corn dogs all day. They had problems with their fryer so opened later than normal and we opted to wait around for them to open.. worth it. I also ended up buying sunglasses from the Sunglass Hut right there while we were waiting. They had a $35 off of polarized lens special going.. in case you're in the market for new shades). Misses: Pizza Planet (we should have known better. I think our total was like $62 for bleh pizza) Cozy Cone Churros (the churros were fine but the poor guy in there by himself moving at negative speed kind of ruined it) Chocolate covered pineapple skewer (good in theory but blegh) All in all, we loved the counter service options at Disneyland. Now for the nighttime entertainment... so basically Fantasmic and the Fireworks. We had the Blue Bayou Fantasmic package and lined up at 8pm for the 9pm show. There were some ladies in line being very territorial about their spot in line by telling anyone who walked up there was a line. I didn't think it was that serious and it turned out it wasn't. There was plenty of room. We ended up basically right in the middle next to the railing. My kids started melting down waiting for the show to start because they were tired and cold. They enjoyed the show but we don't feel the need to ever do it again. We stayed after for the fireworks and they were kind of torture. Fireworks set to Christmas music just don't do the same thing for me as shows like "Believe" or "Wishes". So we were just cold, getting sprayed on by the water screen, and stuck there because of the mass of people behind us. On that note, it was COLD while we were there. We live in Texas, so take this how you will but I wish I would have packed heavier clothes. We had light jackets, scarves, hats, etc. but were still cold at night. If I could do it again I would have packed puffer jackets (not the super heavy ones but the lighter ones). I think those would have been just right for the nighttime. Overall we had a great time and made some amazing memories. I think our next Disney trip will be to Walt Disney World in 2020 so it could be a few years before we make it back to Disneyland. Next time we'll probably do 3-4 park days instead of 5 and take some time to see more of Southern California. We'd also try to go another time of year. I missed hearing the normal Esplanade music. I didn't get my fill of "All in the Golden Afternoon" from the Storybook Canal Boats and Alice. Plus Haunted Mansion Holiday just isn't our jam. It's a Small World Holiday was beautiful though.