When you pass through the turnstiles for the first time you can’t help but feel like a sprinkling of magic has fallen upon you. It’s as if Tinkerbell is waving her magic wand over you as you enter. For me it was everything and more than I dreamed of. For Mr H it was magical. For Lil G it was amazing. Such a wonderful place to be and the perfect way to celebrate our boys 4th birthday.
It was inevitable that I was going to share with you our thoughts on such a magical trip to the wonder that is Disney Land. A place where dreams do come true. Does that sound cheesy? A little over the top? Maybe so but for one little boy dreams really did come true. I read so many posts before we went which really helped in our planning and of course we spent months planning the trip ourselves. For this post (and there will be more) I thought I’d share with you what we LOVED…
Starting with Main Street…
Our favourite spot in both of the parks. Even grown ups can’t hide their excitement for walking this path. To stand in front of the band stand, look straight down Main Street with the Castle gleaming back at you. It is such a beautiful sight and one which had our boy jumping with excitement. It made me feel all gooey inside.
It’s like something out of the movies. At quiet times it is a beautiful place to walk, peering through all the perfectly decorated shop windows and at busy times there is no better place to be if you want to truly soak up the atmosphere. And then of course as you reach the Castle you really do feel like you’ve arrived at Disneyland. A Magical place.
And then there are the Character Meets…
I can imagine that many folk choose to avoid these spots because of the queues, but why? For me it was part of the experience. DisneyLand wouldn’t be the same without these opportunities. If you ask our boy what his favourite part of the holiday was, he will tell you that it was meeting all of the characters. He told us each morning who he’d like to meet from the list and so off we went! I’m so glad that we said yes. Said yes to meeting ‘the goof’ and Buzz twice. He he. To our gorgeous boy it was the highlight of our holibobs.
We hadn’t anticipated the character meets to be our favourite part either but actually they were. So so magical. Watching Lil G run up and wrap his arms around his heroes and favourite characters was just one of those moments that I will cherish forever. I may have cried. The crowd cooed. Mr H looked tearful on many occasion too.
And then there was the moment when Minnie Mouse kissed Lil G and he wiped it off … So so funny, he had everyone laughing out loud and despite the characters not speaking you could see from all of their actions exactly what they were trying to say.
Early opening hours
If you stay at a Disney Hotel you are rewarded with two hours private entry. Each morning between 8am and 10am you have the DisneyLand Park all to yourself. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Those precious two hours where the park is calm allow you to really enjoy the start of your days. So peaceful. Well, they certainly are quieter than at 10am!
For Lil G it meant he could meet the characters when the queues were much smaller. For me it meant I could grab some silky shots of the castle and for Mr H it meant he could enjoy those quieter moments on the Main Street.
To Infinity and Beyond – Park Rides
Lil G is in that in between phase where he doesn’t like the baby rides (Dumbo, Teacups, Pinocchio, Peter Pan). He is much more interested in the bigger ones so if truth be told there weren’t many he was able to go on due to his height or ones that he enjoyed. He was a huge fan of the Buzz Light Year Ride (6 times we went on) and the new Ratatouille ride (Mr H loved this one too). The Buzz ride is very interactive and if your boys are anything like mine they will be competing with each other hence the 6 times to see who could beat the previous top score! Both get rather hefty queues so I would recommend hitting them in the early morning or around 5pm when people are off filling their bellies. Alternatively, which is what we did, pick up a fast pass. More on that in the next post!
The Inventions Restaurant
Oh my goodness. A wonderful restaurant. A beautiful setting. We absolutely loved this place. Highly recommended. It is based in the main Disney Land Hotel. Such a treat wandering through this rather grand and beautiful hotel, although it did leave us dreaming about how the other half live. The main reason we booked this restaurant was so that we could meet the characters in a relaxed setting. And relaxed it was. I actually felt under dressed on our first visit. In addition to this the service, food and character experience was impeccable. Food like nothing else we’d experienced all holiday. Restaurants are very much hit and miss. Not this place. It was a hit.
A must. This was the moment our gorgeous boy met Mickey for the first time. I would recommend visiting at the start of your holiday to kick off the fun. There are two sittings for breakfast. The breakfast was superb, not just your standard continental! We had bacon, eggs and sausages! Mickey made a huge fuss for his birthday. He spent so much time with us. Just look at how he is looking at him. Completely in awe. Another of those moments which will go in the memory box forever. I will never forget that look…
WOW. We managed to catch it twice. Both at the start and end of the trail. I wish we had each night. Standing by the band stand is much more manageable with a little one. I love how they take their time around the route. How some of the characters are walking between the floats. How there is a Disneyland song on which everyone sings and dances too. You can’t help but join in. Lil G was just in shock. All of his favourite characters in one place. He waved and waved and waved. And when Tiger spotted him & bounced to give him a hi five, oh my goodness. Oh the Magic.
Such happy happy people. So jolly, so friendly, always with a hello, having a giggle and generally adding to the magic. So patient. So caring. They were just so helpful. Always happy to help. I can’t imagine how many staff they employ. They certainly have their recruitment process right.
And lastly the Disney Dreams Show…
What can I say. It is a must visit however prepare yourself for the time in peak opening and bring layers. We planned our day meticulously to ensure we kept Lil G awake until 11pm which is so late but actually we all coped well. Because of the time it meant that Lil G and I only watched it once. Mr H went back on his own one night! It was worth staying up for it really was. Such a spectacular show. The fireworks, the images displayed over the castle creating a story, the music. It lasted for just short of 30 minutes. I can’t imagine anyone would miss it but if it wasn’t on your list then pop it on. If you love a sunset then what better place to see it than by the Castle of Dreams!
I hope you enjoyed reading about what we loved. What did you love from your trip to Disney?