Disneyland has always held a very special place in my heart. I grew up on the west coast, and my parents started taking me to Disney from a very young age. I quickly became so obsessed that I thought life wasn’t worth living without a yearly trip to Disneyland- I even had (and still do have) nightmares about being in California and being unable to get in the front gates. My love for Disneyland and the magic there eventually lead to one ridiculous outcome: I’ve been to Disneyland 15 times.
Now I know what you’re thinking: how am I not sick of the happiest place on earth yet? Honestly though, there’s just something so captivating about Disneyland, something so magical and lovely that I have yet to experience anywhere else in the world. The air smells like sugar, pastels reign, and every little detail has been meticulously created. They say that Walt Disney was the first UX designer, and while they built Disneyland in the early ’50s he lived in a private apartment within the park to make sure everything was being built according to his vision. The idea that one man created a place where dreams come true and fairytales come to life enchants and inspires me to no end, and when Paige and I booked our trip to the west coast a few weeks ago, I knew Disneyland was one place I absolutely needed to share with her.
Paige was as excited to visit Mickey and Minnie as I was, but there was one massive difference: Paige had never been to Disneyland ever before! Sure she’d been to Disney World in Florida plenty of times (which, for the record, is so not the same), but until our adventure she’d never set foot in the magical world of Disneyland, the original Disney theme park, the only park that Walt himself oversaw and managed. I was determined to show her the best of what Disneyland had to offer, and with the help of Christina Winkelmann from Ban.do (a local and fellow Disney devotee), we compiled the perfect little checklist, put on our silver sequin mouse ears, and walked through the gates.
As expected, our day was full of magic, glitter, and a few unexpected screams of joy/terror on the scarier rides. We shared our first ever Dole whip, bought rare chunks of pumpkin fudge (available only in October, this stuff tastes just like pumpkin pie!), and snacked on pretzels shaped like Mickey Mouse heads. We ran around the castle, spun super fast in teacups way too many times, and clutched hands in horror on the Tower of Terror.
It was a truly special day spent spent with one of my favourite people in my absolute favourite place, and as I unpacked my suitcase yesterday and hung up my mouse ears I swear I saw some pixie dust sprinkle out into my bedroom.