Since I was a little child watching Walt Disney on a Sunday evening in front of the television, I have dreamed of going to Disneyland – “The Happiest Place in the World”.
As the years have passed, the desire to go there never left me, but the likelihood that I would get there, seemed remote. Opportunity presented itself, when my son Josh went to study in LA and I could combine a visit to see him with my long awaited visit to Disneyland.
The morning started early with a 30 minute Uber ride out to Anaheim. Having purchased tickets online, it did not take long to get through the gates, after passing through security, where the staff were very pleasant.
Then there it was in front of me. That familiar building with the face of Mickey in flowers in front.
We quickly made our way down Main Street with it’s dizzying array of shops, towards Tomorrowland. They have a terrific system called “Fast Pass” where you can get a ticket for your chosen ride, come back at an allotted time and be in a fast queue.
That was one of the downsides about Disneyland, the queues, but given the amount of people that visit, it is to be expected. Between Fast Passes and an app that let’s you see the wait times on all rides, it doesn’t become a huge issue. The other thing that helps is that the park was open until 11pm.
After a mad car ride (son was driving) and a submarine trip to see Nemo, we were off to Storybook land where the tune of “It’s a small world” is on perpetual loop.
Seeing this was having one of my childhood memories materialise before my eyes. We joined the queue to hop into the little boats that would take us on our world tour.
From Fanatsy Land, thru Toontown, to Frontier Land, Adventureland, New Orleans Square and Critter County, we did it all. Zipping around on Rollercaosters, Climbing through Tarzan’s tree house, then visiting the Haunted Mansion, meeting Mickey Mouse, it was like being a child again.
Late in the evening we found a good vantage point to watch the Eletcrical Parade. What an explosion of colour and light. Truly magical.
And that is the thing with Disneyland, it is truly magical. Walt Disney’s vision has made a place that I believe, if you still have a child within you, should be on your list of things to experience.
Did it live up to my expectations after a 50 year wait – NO. It exceeded them on every level. If you get the chance to visit, I believe you too will find it “The happiest place in the World”.