Captain America & I just returned from an incredible trip to Disneyland!
I had the most incredible time and I want to tell you why Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth (or at least one of them!)
This was my very first visit to Disneyland, at the grand age of 34! Let me tell you, it was well worth the wait and I now fully understand why people rave about this place and return year after year. I was a little skeptical, although I did count this as one of the things on my bucket list.
I expected a theme park with way too much schmaltzy child-friendly antics mixed with a HUGE helping of consumerism, aimed primarily at children who would then hold parents to ransom, tantrums, excessive heat, long lines and a huge let down to be honest! Don’t get me wrong I’m sure this is some people’s experience, but it was not mine.
What I actually found was a wonderful theme park, with rides suitable for all ages, lines that were short, slightly longer and manageable (especially if you take full advantage of the Fastpass system) and many rides with no line at all.
Yes there are definitely things to purchase, and the prices are high (although not as high as I expected or rumors lead you to believe), but it is all well masked behind beautifully themed shop fronts AND most of the stores stock the same items so when you have seen one of the larger stores you have seen most of what they have to offer.
The entrance fees are high, especially if like us you want a multiple-day park hopper ticket that allows you to come and go in both parks (2-day park hopper $218), however the cost is not too much higher than other similar theme parks.
Disneyland and California Adventure are both easy to navigate too, much simpler than many other theme parks I have visited both here and in the UK. There are maps and information points throughout both parks and lots of friendly staff to help you out.
I LOVED the themes in each ‘land’ and that most of the rides being so much more than ‘just a rollercoaster’. All of the rides in Disneyland do not even go upside down, which may be a let down for the daredevils out there but I liked that about them as they made the whole park much more suitable for all ages. Our group consisted of 8 people in total with the youngest being 11 and the oldest 75, we could go on most of the rides as a whole family and we all really enjoyed ourselves.
I also liked the attention to detail that Disneyland and California Adventure has created and maintained. Each ‘land’ has a well thought out and executed theme where EVERYTHING fits the theme, even the controversial addition of Starbucks to the parks is well masked so you have to look carefully for it.
The parks are exceptionally clean, the staff are in character, very helpful and everywhere. The food is excellent-ice-cream, turkey legs the size of your head, corn dogs, beignets (to die for!) and almost everything else you can think of – at all different prices!
The atmosphere is hard to beat and it ensures that people come happy and stay happy!
Overall, the parks are wonderful places to take the whole family. Yes, the costs are high especially when you add in all the other expenses (travel, lodging, food etc) but it really is the trip of a lifetime, a great place for families of all ages and so much fun it’s ridiculous!