Bob surprised me with an anniversary trip to Disneyland last fall and it was wonderful. I personally am very inspired by Walt Disney and actually live in the same city he did when he first created Mickey Mouse (Kansas City). It was so exciting to walk around in his giant brainchild and absorb how a master storyteller/creator like him thinks. Aaaaand to eat a lot of cute food, of course!
So…where did we stay/how did we get there?
We flew American Airlines and thanks to a messed up flight earlier in the year we had a discount voucher. Yay!
As for getting around in California we used Uber for the first time ever. L.o.v.e.d. it. We came back home and were like…um, we have to drive ourselves around now? All the drivers were super nice, very helpful, and honestly pretty interesting. Totally fun experience! The first time you try Uber you get a $30 voucher so we saved $60 by waiting until our vacation to give it a go.
Also…for someone who had never even been to California before it was pretty dang awesome to see this on the GPS!
For our trip we stayed at a charming Long Beach Airbnb which had the most amazing location just a few blocks from the beach. We could see cruise ships and smell salt air from our balcony! I’d include a link to the specific place but the apartment listing said wi-fi was available which was not true. There was another surprise too…no air conditioning. =O
However, the location could not have been better and thanks to a previous botched reservation we had an Airbnb discount voucher. Woot woot!
So…what did I wear?
A costume of course! As soon as Bob told me he was taking me to Disneyland for our anniversary I hopped on Amazon and ordered this wig. It does not look like a wig. I had 3-4 people ask me how I got my hair that shade of red. All my sisters have tried it on for fun and it looks good on anyone! I picked it because it had a ton of good reviews and I can see why…this wig is amazing! My only complaint was it got very heavy as the day went on and by the end of the night I had to take it off due to a headache. I think that is typical of most wigs though?
The top I made myself thanks to a tutorial by this super talented seamstress. I still use it as swimsuit cover up some times – it’s so cute! The phone case is supposed to be Flounder if you didn’t already guess. I already had a blue Otter Box phone case so I just added yellow puffy paint stripes. I peeled them off after our trip and my phone case was just fine.
I made the fork barrette with a fork charm, hair clip, and super glue. It would have been fun to also try a DIY seashell hair bow.
What did we do? Well…
…obviously we tried a bunch of rides! Our absolute favorite was the Indiana Jones Adventure ride. The coolest part was when the jeep goes down a long dark hallway and natives are “shooting arrows” at the riders. The hallway walls actually shot out tiny puffs of air so it felt like darts were whizzing inches away from my face. Amazing design!
The funniest ride was the very retro (been there since the park opened) Mr. Toads Wild Ride because it literally ends with Mr Toad crashing his car and going someplace where there are pitchforks and demons. On a kids ride!! We left shaking our heads and giggling. Can you imagine someone making that type of ride today?
Who did we meet?
The Fairy Godmother had dimples, Ariel invited me to come sing with her at Tritan’s upcoming birthday party, and Snow White taught me how to pose like a princess. Everybody either commented or gestured about my outfit (“You look just like my friend, Ariel!”) which was so fun.
FYI do not listen to the Disneyland App about where to find certain characters, especially the Disney princesses. The Royal Hall is your best bet if you want to snag a picture with Disney royalty.
We also tried to get some cute pictures of us together.
Teen girls take lots of pictures right? They are all on Instagram, right? That was my rationale when I asked a high school aged girl to take our picture. I even started to explain a few things about my camera and she was like, “Oh yeah, no problem…I have my own DSLR.”
Great! I get home and find out she focused on everything except us…including that random guy to the left. Lol.
Thankfully we stepped off to the side and took our own selfies. LPT: Do not trust teenage girls!
What did we eat?
Disneyland does not disappoint when it comes to food porn. All the food was adorable, themed and colorful. We stayed away from the bigger sit down restaurants as they can be crazy expensive but I don’t feel like we missed out on anything at all!
Being the hyper, type-A kind of person that I am I did a ridiculous amount of research on what to eat at Disneyland before we left. There were tons of “must-haves” (Churros! Dole Whip! Mint Julep!) shouted about online but honestly everything was good. The one stand out would probably be Matterhorn Macaroons from the Jolly Holiday bakery. Those were freaking amazing.
What did we see?
It’s Disneyland so everything is pretty. Everywhere you look there is something interesting and whimsical…like Sleeping Beauty’s castle all dressed up for her 60th birthday.
I know it’s cheesy but for me it honestly did feel magical. It’s obvious that tremendous amounts of attention, creativity, and care went into designing each building and ride. For instance, in Tarzan’s tree house there are live potted orchids used to set the tropical theme. While in line for the Jungle Cruise real dust and cobwebs were everywhere on the styled sets. The details were incredible!
What did we buy?
Okay, so as part of my giant Disneyland research project I’ll admit I watched hours of haul videos on Youtube and saw some pretty neat stuff. The shops had heaps of beautiful items loaded with childhood nostalgia and cuteness but I wanted our trip to be about memories not stuff.
In the end all we left with was a free “First Time” pin and an absolutely precious Lady & the Tramp ornament I plan on keeping forever.
I look up to all kinds of creators but Mr. Disney is one of the masters at the top. Who else comes up with a host of characters and then weaves a physical world around them? A world that appeals to all generations with a draw that has lasted for decades? Walt Disney does.
The reality he generated values whimsy, color, family, imagination, humor, and an undefeatable hope for happy endings. Those are all things that matter to me too.
Until next time, Mr. Disney!