Who knew that Disneyland really was magical?
Well Clark knew – he once went there for his Anniversary! And my aunt knew. And those dozens of people on the Internet that replied to me knew. Even the backpacker we met in Vietnam knew.
When asked what’s so special about Disneyland (just another theme park to me) every single one of them said…”you’ll realize when you get there, it’s just…..well…magical!”
And you know what? They were all absolutely right!!
There’s no way you can describe Disneyland as just another theme park!!
That would be like comparing the Tour De France to
your local 10km bike race!!
No people, Disneyland is bloody awesome!
I’ve had a good think about the differences between the home of Walt Disney and our own local theme parks in Australia. We have a few quite near our house and the kids usually buy themselves a yearly pass and get the train to and from. So we’ve got a bit of experience in these things!
After much discussion with myself, I’m pretty sure the difference is in the small details. Those tiny things that add up to an amazing experience rather than just an ordinary day out.
For starters, the park is clean, clean, clean!! The only time we actually saw any cleaners was after the parade – there was a pile of rubbish left by the spectators and a big group quickly moved in to clean it up.
The Disney motif is on EVERYTHING! From napkins to window etching to the bricks on the ground. Everywhere you look there is a Disney insignia or Mickey’s head!
I’m reliably informed that there is even a plaque that shows the exact centre point of the park. A bit like this inviting you in to another world!
The characters at Disneyland are 10,000 times better than any you will have in your local theme park at home!
The costumes are clean and shiny – like they were just taken out of the wrappers! No worn elbows or torn materials. Nothing that has faded in the sun! (Unlike our local Dreamworld where Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick are looking decidedly shabby!)
And the effort put into depicting the characters is truly Academy Award winning stuff!
Goofy is Goofy, right up until the last second he falls through a doorway.
Mickey and Minnie are announced as just popping off for some cheesecake when it is time for them to take a break. Helpers alert people that the line is ending and assure people the characters will be back in 5-10 minutes.
The Disney Princesses swirl their skirts and skip along even when they are behind a wall where no-one should be able to see them (yes, we were peeking!!) They are in character the entire time there is any chance of little eyes seeing them!!
Kate was all about the princesses. She made us line up for 45 MINUTES so she could get her picture taken with them. Yes she really is 15!
I didn’t know which one was which except for Snow White, but she rattled them all of!
Then she thought she was one……
I’m pretty sure princesses don’t wear their socks pulled up!!
The other thing that makes Disneyland different is the visitors attitude to it. We’ve grown up with Dreamworld at home but we don’t ADORE the place.
Visitors to Disneyland are literally IN LOVE all day! There were various groups of people celebrating events.
This lot had T-Shirts made stating they were there for their grandparents anniversay!! I was amazed that grandparents would choose Disneyland as their celebration venue!
The other thing that staggered me was the whole Disneyland Pin collection thing. Get this – people collect the usual hatpin type of thing. They are all kinds of intricate and went up to about US$25 each for some with moving parts! (I wanted me one of those!)
The deal is that if you want to swap a pin with a Disney employee they have to trade with you – or something close to that! Pretty cool it seemed. Nice side thing to do at Disneyland.
But then we discovered that people wear the pins around their neck on lanyards. All day. Even from the carpark!
And not just 3 year olds dressed as Disney princesses. Or 97 year old grandmas who will be holding coats all day!
There were young people, old people, middle aged people, people with punk mohawks, people covered neck to toe in tattoos, people with black goth makeup and jeans pulled down showing the tops of their undies.
All wearing their cheesy Disney pins on Disney lanyards around their necks!
Right then I realised that Disney has managed what very few other businesses ever do. They are in the HEARTS of their guests. No matter the age, gender or punk-like persuasion.
Everyone, it seems, loves Disney!
And all of those people were at the Disney parade as the day started to slip away. Dads cheering for the parade. Small princesses squealing when their favourite waved at them!
Once again – a parade 10,000 better than anyone else has. Longer, brighter, more smiling in one place than any toothpaste commercial has ever seen!
It’s all very civilised and it makes the $670 price tag for 2 days more than bearable. In fact, after the time we had, it was almost worth more! (Don’t get any ideas Disneyland!)
I haven’t even mentioned the rides. Suffice to say they are longer, faster, better than anything you’ve been on. Even waiting in line is a pleasure!!
Right before we left the park Kate squealed and went running across the Park. She had spotted Mickey!
You may like these!: