Adventures in Disneyland | Sights + Sounds

Friday, 27 November 2015











I keep coming back to this post and today I've been sat here for just about 20 minutes, and I genuinely don't know where to start. Disney was such a special and magical trip that it is so hard for me to narrow the experience down to just a few posts.
You might have seen my posts about our accommodation and dining experiences whilst at Disney. But today I'm focusing on the park itself; wonderland, freedom and the stuff childhood dreams are made of.

I'd never been to Disney before our trip, and somewhere in my mind, I did wonder whether it was going to be as good as I'd built it up to be in my imagination. How could it possibly meet those expectations? I had dreamed of going there for years and only something truly magical would do.

When you wish upon a star ...

We hopped off of the hotel shuttle bus and the air smelt like a mix of anticipation and sweet treats. We walked through some security scanners and on to the sight I had seen so many times on screen - there it was, Disney in all its splendor, and my eyes began to fill up. I don't know if I was overwhelmed with excitement or that I couldn't believe I was finally there and part of it, but something in me sparked and my heart lept. I was here. Disneyland! As my eyes scanned around the amazing festive decorations, the adorable scenery and people buzzing around smiling, I suddenly felt as though it was worth every second of waiting.
Children were pulling balloons along, grown up children were eating pretzels and wearing various head accessories and families were taking  pictures which they would look back on for years.
I ran around from pillar to post, taking it all in (dragging Dan behind me) and watching the back end of the Halloween parade trail off round the corner, and then I saw it. Sleeping Beauty's castle. And it was perfect.
My dear dad worked here and was part of the team who painted the castle (amongst other things) before Euro Disney opened its doors on April 12, 1992 and that made me feel proud. He was part of something which has bought joy and happiness to an untold amount of children (and grown up children), and now I was standing here, with it right in front of me. I looked down and my heart skipped a beat - a plaque in the pavement, dedicated to Walt's father 'Elias Disney'. The reason we named our own son Elias. I was filled with emotion - not the usual reaction to being in Disneyland, I'm sure.

Rides

Before we went, I was adamant that I wouldn't go on any rides. I was simply going for the atmosphere and sights - and to have a picture taken with a few characters, of course. But as we walked around the park, I couldn't resist it. Roller coaster tracks tucking in and out, twisting and turning, teacups spinning wildly and carousel horses bobbing elegantly all drew me in and made me want a taste. 
There were queues were, of course, but the waiting time was short. The longest we spent queuing during our whole stay was 45 minutes, with the longest queues on the Friday. But really, you didn't even notice the wait, each ride was decorated with corresponding memorabilia, set-like surroundings and fun music was playing throughout.
My favourite rides over the 2 parks were 'Crush's Coaster', 'Ratatouille; the adventure','Big Thunder Mountain' and 'Tower of terror', but my absolute favourite was the 'Le Carrousel de Lancelot' - it was Walt Disney's favourite of all his rides and it was so special to see it through his eyes.
I hated 'Space mountain', let's never mention it again.
It was a slight disappointment that 'Its a small world', 'India Jones and the temple of peril' and 'Cars; stunt show' were all closed, but I understand that maintenance is essential, and perhaps its another incentive to come back again (as if I really needed one).
I wont say too much about the rides as I don't want to spoil the surprises but they really are worth the wait.

Surroundings

As mentioned, Disney was set for Halloween when we arrived! What more could I ask for? There were character shaped pumpkins, black and orange buntings and banners, ghosties, pumpkin people and golden bouquets as far as the eye could see. A special Halloween parade toured main street and a 7 piece band dressed as scarecrows played Disney favourites ('Topsy Turvey' was a personal highlight). Even the castle had adopted some rather intimidating thorn sculptures! Literally everything had been thought of, and it was glorious. There was something to see everywhere you looked and even some of the characters were dressed for the occasion.
A special 'Disney Villains' show took place daily next to the castle, in which villains would parade around on stage singing their evil song before running amock in the crowds and posing for pictures.It was fantastic.
There was points set up around the park where you could queue for a photo with your favourite character. Its a shame we didn't see more of the characters wondering about, but I understand that they could get pretty overwhelmed with little fans, so this is obviously a safer alternative.
There's something unexplainable (is that a word?) about the atmosphere at Disney. In that moment, anything feels possible; you can dream bigger than big, you can fly, you can become a princess. Your hearts wishes are realised and everyone has that in common. Its special, magical, memorable.

I could sit here for hours (and pages) reminiscing about our time at Disney, and as exciting as it is to read, I feel like its something you have to experience for yourself to truly appreciate. That being said, I hope this series of posts has helped answer any questions you might have had about the place. You can read part 1 and 2 of the posts by clicking the links below. If there's anything else you'd like to know, please leave me a comment and Ill answer as honestly and helpfully as I can.


1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post!! I love when people appreciate the details and little things. I know what you mean about narrowing it down into posts and I ended up with 15 posts full of photography from my 2014 trip haha.
    I have never been and never plan to go on Space Mountain so I'm glad someone else wasn't a fan haha but I love the Carrousel and Ratatouille too, Dumbo is another fave! Ratatouille had only been open a couple months when I was last there and so the queue was like 2 hours but it was more than worth it :P

    Looking forward to checking out the other posts!

    Danielle xo
    www.underlandtowonderland.com

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