Having grown up in LA and with a mom who worked for Disney during that time, Disneyland has always felt like an extension of my backyard. This has shaped the way I look at the park as well as how I tackle the challenges from ride closures to long lines.
However, my normal pattern was thrown off completely the last time I visited the park with Ryan. As an active member of the military, Ryan was able to get me a three day pass (which let us finish his last two days) for less than a regular park hopper. This meant we didn’t feel all the time constraints that come with the high price tag associated with a family trip to these one of a kind parks.
We don’t live too far from the park – about a 45 minute trip through LA – but because we were going to go two days in a row, we decided to look at hotels near the park. Now, I for one have not researched Disney hotels recently but, my goodness, unless you are willing to sell body parts, I don’t suggest these despite all the perks that can come with these packages.
Instead, we stayed at the Majestic, a hotel shaped like a castle a tiny jump away from the park. With the military discount, we got a deal for a double queen sized room, with free parking and a free shuttle to and from the parks, all for $90, but even without them, this place is beautiful and a steal! I am in love with this hotel and will be going into that more next week because there is so much to talk about.
A small insider tip and a huge trend at Disney that I have been playing with, but is so much fun with someone to dress up with, is Disneybound. The big trouble I have with this is that some people go too far – they end up more in the costume realm than the impression of a character. We did Flynn and Rapunzel one day and Peter and Wendy the next. This involved analyzing shapes and colors and then matching up details so that when you stand together, people can tell based on your joint appearance. Ryan got the best reaction to his detail – a thimble necklace – because cast members loved the attention to classic story details.
The other newer experience I had was taking my time – something I only recommend if you can spend multiple days here. We explored the newly opened Pirates’ Island – old Tom Sawyers Island with a face lift – and had the best time. I’d love to get a group in Peter Pan and the Lost Boys Disneybound to play sardines all over the island – again, the kind of things you can do when you aren’t worried about hitting every ride in the park.
Disneyland is changing all the time whether in big renovations or by the season and while the price tag is steep, there is something special as wither a visitor or local, walking though the gates.
But back to one of those tips: if you are worried about crowds and long lines but feel like you need to do more than just prioritize, consider how you feel about face characters. The busier the park is, the more characters you will see wandering the park and watching them is it’s own kind of fun.
I have other news that and connections to this park, but that’ll be coming out in the next couple of weeks. Until then,
This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.