I grew up less than an hour from Disney World. We often had season tickets growing up, and it fed a life-long love for all things Mickey Mouse. But I don’t remember my first visit. I’m not even sure how old I was. Young, but I don’t know how young.
But I will never forget my first trip to Disneyland! Bucket list item checked off! Though I have been to Disney World more times than I can count, I was beside myself walking through the gates at Disneyland for the first time. And I have no shame in admitting that I got completely misty eyed. I am a 100% total Disney dork, and standing there in front of the castle for the first time – my eyes welled up. Of course now that I have been, my resolve to get back and take my girls is even stronger, but I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful first visit.
In a five-hour whirlwind, not only did I make my first visit to Disneyland, but I managed to visit Disney California Adventure. Yep, two packs in five hours! As we rushed from place to place, I lingered just long enough to snap pictures – a LOT of pictures. In awe seeing it all for the first time, I wanted to remember every thing.
This is a small sampling of the absurd number of photos I took.
Treasures of Asgard
Besides going to Disneyland for the first time, the reason we visited was to check out the new Treasures of Asgard exhibit at Innovations. Filled with Asgard relics including Loki’s helmet, cuffs and dagger.
But the greatest treasure of all was a visit to Asgard courtesy of the bifrost to visit Thor himself.
Photo opp!!! Poor Thor, he wasn’t sure quite what to make of our #FreeLoki shirts.
Disney California Adventure
While Disneyland looked and felt very familiar, even though I have never been, DCA was a whole different experience. And the view – WOW!
Christmas Time At Disneyland
We visited Disneyland days after Halloween, but you should have heard my squeals of delight when I learned that Disney worked its magic on October 31 and magically transformed Sleeping Beauty’s castle into a snowy wonderland overnight. While the park transformation to the holidays was not yet complete, Christmas was definitely in the air.
The Christmas transformation is now complete with holiday festivities taking over the parks including a new “World of Color – Winter Dreams” show. The all-new holiday version of the very popular “World of Color” nighttime, water spectacular at Disney California Adventure Park sounds ah-mazing. Another reason I have to go back, we were there during the day.
My favorite holiday touch (that is unique to Disneyland) is Haunted Holiday at the Haunted Mansion. I had no idea that Jack Shellington and the folks from Halloween town regularly take over the Haunted Mansion transforming it into an entirely new ride from September through December. It was serious fun, and the entire time I was jealous. Hey Imagineers bring some of that extra spooky fun to Disney World. It was so neat.
The newest celebration at Disneyland is “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” Inspired by Latino culture and celebrations, it features music, food, dancing and an exciting Street Party multiple times a day at Disney California Adventure.
Like its Disney World counter part, this year the Jungle Cruise received a makeover. Just for the holiday season it is now the Jingle Cruise – decorated for the holidays with some fun new jokes aboard the riverboat tour.
My first visit to Disneyland was extra specially magical because it was part of a much larger and wonderful trip. But those five hours in the parks will always stand alone in my mind as my first visit to Disneyland.
Thanks Mickey. See ya real soon.