It’s not that I haven’t had the opportunity to go to Disneyland. Heaven knows I’ve driven by it at least 10 times in that 23 month period. But every time I considered visiting the most magical, happy place on earth I kept doubting myself. “Was it really worth the ENORMOUS price tag?” “Is it really THAT fun?” I don’t know why but over and over again I would question if it was really worth it.
Once again this is one of those times that I try so hard to think of creative enough and descriptive enough and wonderful enough words to try and describe such an event. Let’s just put it this way. On October 22nd, 2014 the stars aligned and my world was perfect.
I know there are people out there that don’t get it, people out there that never will. I just hope that somewhere somehow those people can feel the magic that I feel every single time I step under the bridge that takes me into a fairy-tale land.
Saturday was such a perfect day for many reasons:
- The weather was perfect! Not too hot and not too cold. Blue skies and sun for miles.
2. - I know many will disagree with this but I like going to Disneyland on busier days. Longer hours, everything is typically open, more entertainment and shows, and of course my personal favorite more people to weave in and out of. (Clearly I think choosing to go on slower days is prime for kids, easier to maneuver strollers, shorter lines, and no need for longer hours)
3. - Christmas. There are few places I’ve ever seen that have done Christmas as well as Disneyland. This year was no expectation.
4 The most important thing to make my day absolutely perfect were the people I was with. Really this is the key ingredient for a perfect Disneyland day. Because I get it. Not everyone does Disneyland the same. Some people go for the parades, or the shops, or the pins???? I went with a group that had the exact same idea of what perfect Disneyland day should look like. And man were we like a well-oiled machine!
If for no one else, I want to go back and do a play by play of the entire day. Why? Just to relive every moment one more time.
I should probably start with the team members.
1. - Brittney. Brittney is my great friend and colleague I talk about here. It was because of her that this trip was really possible! When I heard Jason had a meeting at the dental school by Disneyland I convinced her to drive down with us, go to Disneyland with me, and fly back to Provo on Sunday for $43… you can’t beat that offer with a stick!
2. - Jake. After Brittney and I made our plans to go to Disneyland I decided to throw out the offer to other members of my family. I was shocked at the response. So when Brittney got back together with her boyfriend and asked if he could come I was thrilled for the magical moment they could have!
3. - Craig and Marcie. They got married exactly 1 year and 6 days previous to our Disney adventure. They had spent their honeymoon at Disney World so Craig had talked of surprising Marice with a Disneyland trip for their 1 year anniversary. Now I don’t know how my parents unconsciously got all of their kids to love Disneyland so much. But it worked. Even Broc, a typically calm chill guy, turns into a different animal at Disneyland. His wife says she’s never seen him willingly get out of bed before 9….. until their first trip to Disneyland. He was bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to go long before the park opened. Craig is the same way. And luckily for all of us, Marcie loves it to!
4. - Lars and Caitlin. First, of course, Disneyland for me, almost has to be tied to Lars. We have so many stinkin’ memories in that park. So I was THRILLED when I heard that he nor Caitlin were working that day so they would join us on our adventure. Honestly, as annual pass holders, I expected them to show up at noon…. Do a couple rides with us, and head on their way. It’s crazy how being a pass holder does that to you. It’s wonderful! You can come to Disneyland for a ride or two…. Maybe hit up a show, or even just come for a snack and leave. No pressure. No hassle. Ah… it’s wonderful. But I was shocked when they showed up early in the morning and stayed with us the WHOLE day! It was so fun to have Caitlin with us for the first time ever. She was such a natural and our style of Disneyland. Itw as so fun watching her cute little frame dart between groups of people through the streets of the park. She was a master weaver. (Which is a huge compliment…. I know weird but true)
The day started early. We were so excited to go into the park even before it opened…. Our plan got a wrench thrown in it when the parking garage was closed………. Lines of cars, 2 miles of walking, and 45 minutes later we finally made it in the park.
We headed straight to DCA. This hurt my heart. I will always think Disneyland and DCA are not the same and that DCA will never be able to compete…. Of course because of the nostalgia for it all for me. But Craig and I had schemed through our plans for weeks and we knew that first and for most we needed two fast passes. 1 to Radiator Springs and the other to World of Color. I was hesitant about the World of Color… because you see the Christmas firework show at Disneyland is AMAZING! But I figured I would go with the flow and do World of Color…. I had no idea who wonderful the World of Color Christmas edition would be! But I’m getting ahead of myself.
After getting both fast passes we headed to California Screamin’. Man I love that ride.
“Second thoughts….. too late!”
Next we headed into Disneyland. You know, you always think you remember how magical it is, walking under the bridge. You start to hear the music, smell the goodies, but it’s not until you make your way around the round about and see the Castle that it hits you. Ah. It’s like I’m home.
Our plan was to head straight to Splash Mt to get fast passes. But when we got there, it was already hot outside, the line was 5 minutes long…. So away we went!
Next we hit up Thunder Mt. I hadn’t been on the ride since the renovation. Sadly, there wasn’t anything to really brag about. But the good news is, they didn’t ruin any of the fun! It’s still one of my favorite rides! Marcie, Craig, and I squished in the back. I turned around the watch the goats…. It was perfect!
After we got fast passes to Space Mt we went on Pirates. Man, that ride never gets old. But at this point we realized we needed to pace ourselves. It was time for a break. So we headed to Coke Corner to eat cream cheese pretzels, drink Diet Cokes, and watch the piano guy. Love that guy. Love that area!
After enjoying Main Street and our break it was already time for Radiator Springs! I have never been on the ride so I was pretty dang excited! It was a really fun ride. I loved it. I wish it was a little bit faster… but overall it was a great time.
We got fast passes to Tower of Terror and went on Soarin’ Over California.
Marcie and Craig had been raving about a sandwich shop in Downtown Disney since their honey moon so we went out there for lunch. It was absolutely delicious! But my favorite part was they had an ice skating rink right next to where we were eating. The ice of course was super wet because…. It was at least 75 degrees outside. But they still let people try and skate on it. It made for a really slippery adventure…. Of course it wouldn’t be California if they didn’t make everyone wear a helmet as they skated…
We got back into Disneyland as the parade was going. I think the perfect way to watch the parade is walking so it was perfect! We walked over to Space Mt and got to watch most of the parade.
After the Space Mt we headed to Indiana Jones to get fast passes and went on the Jungle Cruise. Excuse me, the Jingle Cruise. It was absolutely fantastic! The whole theme of the ride was that the people had to make their own Christmas ordinments because the decorations sent to the Jungle got lost. Then throughout the whole cruise the animals all had found the boxes of ordiments. All the jokes were centered around Christmas. It was fantastic!
At this point it was time for our Tower of Terror fast pass so we hurried over to Tower of Terror. It’s crazy how much more you feel a ride when you haven’t been on it in 2 years. I loved it! I love the feeling of my stomach dropping with each fall! Next we went on California Screamin’ again on our way to Toy Story Mania. I ate my very first (own) churro. It was pretty dang fantastic.
I think it’s at this point I need to explain. Sure the parks were pretty crowded. Sure we waiting in some lines. Never over 40 minutes for a ride I think? But here’s the crazy thing, with the group of people I was with, time flew by! Standing in line, just talking, was almost just as fun as actually being on the ride!
After Toy Story, it was time to use our Indiana Jones fast passes…… of course, no one will be shocked to hear, it was broke down. So instead we figured it was time for dinner. We went somewhere none of us had been before, The Jolley Holiday. It was absolutely lovely! I got a Caprese sandwich that was delicious!
After, Lars, Caitlin and I went on the Tea Cups. I must for Lars and me! It was amazing, as always. I just love the lanterns and the trees especially at night!
At this point it was time for our World of Color show. The World of Color Christmas edition was so stinkin’ fantastic I can’t even explain it! My favorite thing was the sing-a-long where they even put the words up for everyone to sing! At the end there were HUGE snowflakes the flew up into the sky.
But Marcie, Craig, and I didn’t really see the snowflakes very much because…….. we ran to watch the fireworks!!!! It worked out so perfect I couldn’t stand it! Once again I think that walked through the fireworks sometimes provides the best seats. We were actually right in front of the castle as White Christmas came on and the snow started to fall. It’s probably a good thing that we were walking to no one saw the couple of tears fall down my cheeks.
At this point we talked about it. We had been on every single ride we had hoped for…. Except for Peter Pan. So we went and jumped in line for Peter. We were sad when we realized the Pirate Ships weren’t moving. The ride wasn’t working. But people were still standing in line. After 15 minutes or so Craig said, “Let’s give it 5 more minutes” On minute 4.5 the ride started working. So we ended our trip on the very most magical ride of them all.
Disneyland. You did it again. You made me realize no matter the cost, no matter the crowds, no matter the feat to get there….. you will always be the happiest place on earth.