All images were taken by me, by the way, from various trips this year, using my iPhone and Instagram filters.
I've been going to Disneyland in California since I was pretty young (thank you Mom!) and I'm definitely sure my love of the place stems from the nostalgia of my youth, and while some things are unfortunately not the same (the lure of some of the Fantasyland rides has faded) there is something about the joy in the atmosphere of the place that remains. I think Disney does theme parks the best because of the theme immersion. Each park captures the time or place they are going for completely, down to little details in architecture, costume, food, and even the things you can get in the shop. I love that each 'Land' is so clearly demarcated and you know when you are going from one to the other. With a little suspension of disbelief this theme immersion makes me feel like I've gone into the past or future (real or not!) and it is really fun to pretend!
And you have to admit Disney has a goldmine of characters to fall back on. While other theme parks have mascots or some films and cartoons to represent them, there's something special about Disney. They have a strong and diverse legacy that is appealing to children and adults and Disney can build on their own legacy so well. There's more of an emotional attachment to the brand that is very lucky for the company. This has certainly helped them revitalize Disney's California Adventures, with the excellent Toy Story Midway Mania and what I think is the best ride in the two parks - Radiator Springs Racers in Carsland. And I don't even like the Cars movie that much!
Aside from the great rides which all have their own immersion quality to them (I especially love how the waiting area of so many ride lines perpetuate the theme of the ride) just the beauty of the park brings me back. I often think it would be fun (though I haven't had the experience yet) to just go to Disneyland by myself and sit around taking in the shows (especially the ones that occur in the Park walkways), the parades and people watch. Because the surroundings are so gorgeous, and the Disney resort must take a lot of time and effort to make sure everything unwanted is screened, and everything around us is blooming and smiling and pretty. It's just wonderful to take it all in!
And now for some hopefully helpful tips if you plan to visit the Park:
- Get there early!! I know people like to sleep in, but the best time is the morning, when it's not too crowded and not too hot. Get there before they open and make sure you know what rides you want to hit up first. Usually the most popular ones would be a good pick.
- Take advantage of FastPass. Get a FastPass for a popular ride, and then get in line for another popular ride! Or get a FastPass and have lunch and then it might be time to get on your ride. Because of the pass, my family has gotten lazy and we never wait for a ride if the wait is longer than an hour. And an hour is kinda pushing it. Most likely we won't wait more than 30 minutes.
- Mid-day heat is awful, but if you plan some downtime in the middle of the day, it is perfect. Go see Aladdin the Musical Spectacular which is 45 min, or go have a cool snack and sit in the shade and people watch. Also go souvenir shopping, which even though I don't buy many things, I just love looking around. There's also a little walkthrough of Sleeping Beauty's Castle which would be cool to check out and all indoors. Also bring a fan or your own portable battery-powered fan (which is super expensive in the Park)
- For the readers of this blog, this is the best tip - bring a book to read! It's a great way to spend line-waiting time, and I get some valuable reading time in. Having an e-reader and a book light is recommended for convenience.
And that's it for my Disney Resort love post. I wish I could post about Walt Disney World in Florida but I've never been which is tragic. I will go someday though, and I can't wait to see what it's like!
Thank you to everyone who entered the Giveaway for signed copies of "Legend", "Shadow and Bone", "Possess" and "Harbinger"! The winning entries are:
#167 Angie from Angela's Anxious Life and
Congrats you guys! Check your emails!
And thank you to all the participants of the Book Cover Game! It was so fun to see people get what I thought were the difficult ones. And people did really well overall with it! Alice Liu, Aman @ Enticed by Books, Delaney @ The Awkward nerdy unites-Ness and Danielle @ Love at First Read all got the best scores - 13 out of 15! And here are the answers (and the original post to refer to)
- The Fault in Our Stars
- The Hunger Games
- Lola and the Boy Next Door
- Shadow and Bone
- The False Prince
- Pushing the Limits
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone
- Anna Dressed in Blood
- The Scorpio Races