I finally got to get my happy butt to the original Disney property this year. It was pretty cool to see finally, especially with the Disney craze that has been this house the past few years. It got even better when I had company, who happened to be an experienced Land-goer. Honestly, Disney World is still tops for me, mostly because it’s my first Disney memories, where I’ve taken my kids…but Disneyland most definitely now holds a special place in my heart. Disneyland: Walt walked these streets. He lived in the apartment above the fire station when he did. He mingled with guests. His light is still on, always on, to show that he’s there. Always there. Disney World: Walt inspired the concept of the parks, he was in the minds of the designers, and remains so, as they expand and change. He never walked the streets, he unfortunately passed away before it was built. Disneyland: California Adventure Park. Once a bit of an embarrassment, it is pretty awesome these days. (Let’s just not talk about what they did to the Tower of Terror, ‘kay?). Cars land was really neat to see, as immersive as Hogsmeade at Universal…so, so cool. I spent a bit of time in Cars Land. The pier with the fair themed games and rides really made me happy. I loved every ride I went on here, pretty much. Disney World: Epcot. Animal Kingdom. Hollywood Studios. Three parks to one. It’s sort of tough to beat. I have always been a huge fan of Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. Not so much Animal Kingdom, but it hasn’t really managed to get a good, thorough visitation from me for many reasons. Although, Mt. Everest is way, way at the top of my favorite rides. We’ll talk about the construction downsides soon. Disneyland Magic Kingdom: Cramped. Nostalgic, yes…but cramped. Dead ends everywhere. Weird rides bundled together in a loosely-tied theming…just to keep ‘up to date’. Really liked my guided tour with my buddy learning the facts and one word: Matterhorn. I don’t know, it just felt like a cramped mishmash. I did really enjoy going on several classic rides and the Matterhorn, though. Single Rider is a lifesaver there, though. Do it, even if you’re in a group. You’ll save a TON of time. Disney World Magic Kingdom: More open, less confusing, and really, I just prefer it, even if they don’t have the Matterhorn. 😉 The lands make more sense with the theme tie-ins, and the rides feel like they haven’t been shoved in because there’s no room to grow. Downtown Disney vs. Disney Springs: No comparison. Disney Springs (although at times seems too big) wins. The end. Construction in the midst of magic: We all know Disney has to innovate. I was fortunate enough to not see too much construction in Disneyland (I didn’t approach the SW or GotG construction areas), but scuttlebutt going around is there is about to be some pretty hefty work going down in DCA in 2018. Disney World has been overrun with construction. Last time I went I didn’t even venture into Hollywood Studios but for about two hours to do Star Tours and have lunch because there was so much closed. In the coming years, Epcot will be seeing a ton as well. Although, that needs it…but still. It’s a lot. A lot, a lot. Clearly, going as an adult has its downside. You’re an adult and you notice these things. My kids? Not so much. Still, I love both parks in their own way. I can now say I’ve been to Disneyland, enjoyed myself, and it will hold a special place in my heart. I’m not in a huge rush to return, though. Disney World, on the other hand…I’m going later this month, and I just went in September…so, I think it’s still a winner, winner chicken dinner in my book. Read more »
To have heard Denver tell it way back in 2014, Kennedy made a “stupid” wish. How could he, a 16 year old, ever expect to have fun at Disney World? This picture he almost appears to be smiling, but he wasn’t. 1, because he hates pictures, and 2, because we were at Disney. Can I tell you how much magic Disney World holds? It holds enough to take a teen so dead-set against going to Disney, and in three little days turning him into a die-hard Disney fan. It turned him so quickly and completely that he wanted to change his wish, but didn’t think he could. We were all slightly giddy when his original wish fell through and we were able to return – because of course the teen picked Disney for his second wish. From that point on, all Denver has wanted is to move to Florida and work for the mouse. A week ago today, his dream came true. Denver is moving to Florida. He’ll be working for Disney – and you’ll be able to find him at Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Cafe. From a Make-A-Wish kid…into a Disney Cast Member. Living proof that dreams can come true. (And let’s not talk about the fact that the next day as he was on the phone with Disney, Give Kids the World Village also called to request an interview for a job there, as well) I’m so excited for him, it’s easy to hold off the tears (mostly). He is the inspiration to all of us in this house that we can achieve our dreams. I can’t wait to follow the kid to the land of sunshine and magic. For now, I’ll rest happy knowing one of us made it out of the land of winter. And look forward to visiting him as often as humanly possible. Read more »
by Sarah CassMulti-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.
2014 – Disney, Universal, Make-A-Wish…My dear sweet Molly. Oh, how she loved so much about the parks. The princesses, the speedway (because she can drive!), the ice cream (because, DUH). Just about everything was just AWESOME. There was one thing that held her back. One thing that kept her sitting on the sidelines about 50-75% of the time. She was afraid. Of the rides. Of the roller coasters. Of anything that left the ground in any fashion. Lucky for her, her brother wasn’t too keen on the rides either. They sat out most of the rides. Fast forward one year. 2015. The year started out much like the year before. Molly holding back. Then something changed. Something small. She noticed the Barnstormer. She was afraid, but jealous of us going on all these rides and coming off super excited. And so she took a chance. She rode the ride. And came off exhilarated. She wouldn’t ride one that went upside down, but she went on every roller coaster from that point on. We went on the Barnstormer three times. She even, on the last night, went on Space Mountain. It terrified her, but she ended up loving it. Little by little she went from Molly the Meek to Molly the Daredevil(ish). It was so much fun watching her emerge from that little ball of fear into eagerness. She admitted after our last roller coaster (Space Mountain), that every ride scared her, but that was half the fun. Molly stepping out of her comfort zone is a huge deal. So thank you, Disney. Universal. For bringing out the daredevil in this one. It’s awesome. You’re awesome. Read more »