In a land filled with mouse-shaped accents and magic, you find a world of endless possibilities. Once upon a time, a very wise man roamed the streets of Anaheim, California, with a dream of creating a family friendly park that was fun for parents and children to attend together. That man was named Walt. (You might have heard of him. Hint: his last name ends with -isney.) With a spoonful of sugar and a dream, Disneyland was born. Yup, that’s right folks. Disneyland is the original once upon a dream. It even includes that same sleeping princess’ castle.
Disneyland is often over-looked when travelers plan their great Disney adventures. It’s always perceived as the ugly stepsister to Magic Kingdom and Disney World. Its quaint size and cast of friendly faces will make you second guess yourself. Here are ten reasons why Disneyland should never be skipped by true Disney lovers!
1. Walt actually walked the streets of Disneyland. It’s the only park he actually saw completed, and there is a feeling of Walt’s presence the moment you step into the park. You can see his vision and his dream at every turn.
2. Disneyland is the eldest of the Disney Parks. This year marks its Diamond Anniversary with 60 years of magic under its belt. Impressive stuff, right? 18-months of magical happenings begin on May 22,2015. It’s going to be an anniversary to remember. Decked out with a brand new nighttime parade called Paint the Night, a whole new fireworks display, a brand new World of Color experience and a diamond-encrusted castle, it’s an experience not to be missed. I’m not sure supercalifragilisticexpialidocious actually covers how amazing it’s going to be.
3. There are characters to meet and greet at every corner. Though you meet many characters on your trip through Disney World, Disneyland really shines with characters absolutely everywhere. They pop out of every nook and cranny. So always keep your eyes peeled because you never know who you might see or who’s ready to hand you a nice red juicy apple! Tip of the day: Be sure to stay close to the fence if the Evil Queen comes lurking your way. You have been warned.
4. Disneyland is filled with locals. One of the most fascinating parts about Disneyland is the people. It’s filled with Southern California natives who often dress up right out of the time period of the park opening. They even have a bi-yearly celebration called Dapper Days in commemoration of the parks early days.
5. It’s condensed. It will take a full two days to cover Disneyland in its entirety. She’s tiny but mighty!
6. It holds the key to some of the most beloved Disney rides. It’s where they all began including Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World, and a small gray elephant named Dumbo just to name a few.
7. Disneyland is known for its fantastic merchandise. Unique hats, cups and even ears make it a shopaholic Disney-lover’s dream come true. Don’t forget to get your classic Mickey Ears embroidered for just $3, and it only takes twenty minutes.
9. Cats. Seriously, there is an entire feral cat community that roams Disneyland at night. Talk about prime real estate. They are afraid of humans, though, so you won’t see them out and about during the day.
10. You will want to go back over and over again. In all its petite glory, you will want to pop up a tent and live with your newfound feline friends because Disneyland will touch your heart. You will forever understand how truly lucky we were to have Walt Disney touch each and every one of our lives, and you will want to experience it all through his eyes over and over again.
Disney planner and blogger Alycia Raisanen says, “I can’t hold it back anymore. I’m scarf wearing bubbly, fun Mom of one. I have over 25 years of Disney vacations stuffed into my purse pockets. In my spare time I plot ways to take over the world, ponder which came first the chicken or the egg and question how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Oh, and I can also sing any Disney song on queue. I will pin trade with you any time too!”
You can contact Alycia to help plan your next Disneyland vacation at Alycia@wishdrawals.com.