You hear, read and see a lot about Walt Disney World and up until this very moment this blog has been somewhat “WDW centric” but as of now things are changing! I want to talk about Disneyland and why whenever I think about it I get a little sentimental.
A few years back my husband and I were living in a place that for lack of a better word, we hated. We had moved for a job (okay mine I admit ALL my fault) and so we were not living the dream. We decided we needed to get out-of-town a little more than just flying cross-country for the holidays (not that the holidays did not already suck enough vacation time and money – when moving cross-country you need to think of these things) but regardless, we needed to do it for ourselves. We took weekend trips to San Diego, Seattle, and various other fun places and then one year, for our wedding anniversary, we decided to go to Disneyland for a long weekend in April 2008.
Yes, I was hesitant at first because I had heard from many true Disney fans that if you love WDW you will not love Disneyland…but I thought how can anything related to Disney not be wonderful? Note that this trip was before I was a travel agent, so I had to figure out myself the best hotel for us and how to do it all, and I wish then I had known just to use a travel agent. But alas, I did not and booked us a vacation package staying at one of the two Embassy Suites. We are Hilton Honors followers (probably because after living in a Hilton for three months we had enough points to stay one night, okay two.) Also, the Embassy Suites are always nice, have a great free breakfast and had room service…plus you can not beat the extra space. My husband needs a lot less sleep than a normal person and he likes to watch TV late into the night, so extra room – check!
We flew into John Wayne airport located in the OC and we skipped the madness of LAX. I decided we did not need a rental car (though at WDW I ALWAYS get a rental car) and hired Super Shuttle to transfer us to our hotel. I am not a fan of Super Shuttle, whilst in college, it was a great service in Dallas but the Anaheim Super Shuttle really was dirty and took forever and waited on people landing 45 minutes later….but, live and learn. We finally got checked into the Embassy Suites and went to find out when the shuttles left for the parks. We were on the main road but a little too far to want to hike it there and back every day but hey, no problem the hotel had shuttles (just like the hotels in Downtown Disney, right?) Well, yes right and these shuttles go about twice a day to the parks and you do not get to choose when you go and also you get picked up about the time the Early Bird Special is being served at restaurants. At that point, we decided we were not shuttle people so we taxied it to the parks each day there and each day home and it was about $5 plus tip and so no big deal.
We spent four full days in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure and yes, it can be done in two or three days, but we like to meander. We do not like to wake up too early (unless we have rope drop plans) and we like to stay at the parks really late (no children make us a little different in the ways of the Disney days). So, we meandered through Disneyland first and loved the castle…did you know in Disneyland you can walk all through the castle and they tell you a story? It is so cool, for more info click HERE! We also rode It’s a Small World and talked all about the major facade differences. We compared Pirates and Haunted Mansion and we ate dinner at the Blue Bayou and watched the Pirate Boats go by…
We did not plan or do much research and we knew we had enough time to do everything so we decided to head over the second day to Disney California Adventures and we stood in line for 45 minutes for “Soarin'” excited because we had never ridden it before…it had just come to EPCOT when we were leaving the East Coast so we had never really even heard of it. We waited in line and I was nervous because I get sick on simulators. We waited for about 45 minutes (and we NEVER wait that long) so we kept saying it better be worth it…and as most of you know it totally was! The one thing that was different was we were in California so “Soarin’ over California” made sense…EPCOT you know what I am saying here!
We also explored the rides at the pier and played all the carnival games and we did everything they had to do! Unfortunately this was right before World of Color and prior to Cars Land – so all this means is even though we are back on the East Coast and rapidly making up for those few years we missed going to the World, we still are planning our trip back to Disneyland…where it all began. We loved it and never imagined how anyone could not love it and feel the heartbeat of Disney. No, it was not WDW of course, it was different and there is nothing wrong with different, in fact there is something great about it.
I still smile when thinking about that trip! People, listen up, if you have not made the trek to the original Disney, where Walt had an apartment and walked the streets it is past this time! I can help you book a fantastic trip and make memories that make you smile years later.
If you have any Disney needs or travel needs in general I would love to help…email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment here!
Always wanted to visit Disneyland as I’m a bit of Disney History fanatic. Lovely to see you still enjoyed it even though it’s not on the scale of WDW. Top of my Disney to do list…!! 🙂