Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Happiest Place on Earth

We've made it! After a very very long flight and a prompt pick up by the car service we arrived at the Desert inn and Suites at 5am UK time and our Californian adventure had begun.

The hotel is only 5 minutes walk from the gates of the parks and although I miss the Disney theming of an onsite one it is clean and the beds are comfy.

An advantage of jet lag was that we were awake nice and early and got into Disneyland for 8am and it was lovely and quiet.

The park was built in 1955 and was the only one that Walt saw open before his death in 1966 so it's pretty special. I decided we should be proper Disney geeks on our first day and booked on the Walk in Walt’s footsteps tour ($109 each). Definitely worth the money, not least because it includes a trip up to Walt's apartment. This is where he and his family used to stay and it is gorgeous and being in there was magical.

Disneyland Park itself is lovely, the castle is minuscule but being 5 foot nothing I definitely think that good things come in small packages! To give you an idea of the size at 77ft it is a more than 100 smaller than WDW Magic Kingdom's castle!

As the second gate park, Disney California Adventure, is only 100 yards from the Disneyland Park it would have been rude not to pop across on our first day. This park opened in 2001 but it did not have much love until last year and the introduction of Cars Land. The big draw of this area is Radiator Springs Racers and I can happily report that it is absolutely amazing. Having queued for 50 mins I would have got straight back in the queue and waited all over again if I wasn't in need of dinner.

Speaking of dinner, it was time for a Jenni first! At this wonderous place called the Corn Dog Castle they do vegetarian corn dogs!! The queue was massive but it was worth it. Matt had a normal one and reported that it was very tasty too.

Our second day was Halloween so it was time to don costumes and go trick or treating. Disneyland has an extra ticket event for Halloween several nights a week from September and the cost is up to $79 each. We pretty much made this back in candy! Around the park there were treat trails where you walked round and collected chocolate in the bags they provided (too small- we had to go back to the room to empty them and start again!). The park was really atmospheric especially the rivers of America in frontier land which was covered in fog and lit up in spooky green hues. There were some amazing costumes, definitely put my cat outfit to shame! Two rides have a bit of a make over to celebrate the season with Haunted Mansion playing host to Jack Skellington as Halloween and Christmas collide (really fun) and Space Mountain is taken over by Ghost Galaxy (not very scary but a great twist on the classic).

The night ended with fireworks, which had Zero from a Night Before Christmas flying around the castle. I have to admit that I wasn't blown away by them but the music was great!

So we are now two days into our trip and we have four more park days, Hollywood and the zoo still to come. I may need new feet by the end of it but it's so worth it!

Next time - bye bye Disney
Jenni Weightman

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