I recently published this on the "tales from the crib" blog. It is a blog written by group of women who at one point lived in NYC and most of us have since moved away.
Is there still magic at Disneyland?
Is there still magic at Disneyland?
I suppose there is a different kind of magic for different ages and personalities. We spent 3 days in February at Disneyland/California Adventure, with great weather and low crowds and had what I would call a magical/succesful experience.
I remember Disneyland as a place of awe and giddy excitement. I went several times as I was growing up. I wondered if we had waited too long to take our children (it has always seemed like more than I could handle). We recently took our children to Disneyland for their first time. Our oldest is 10, then 8, 6, 4, and twins under 2. Before we left I heard my 8 year old daughter say that she would rather go to grandma's house. I thought maybe they were too old for Disneyland and since we have never talked about it and nurtured excitement for what they could experience, it would not be magical.
My 4 year old boy, W, sat next to me on the "Tower of Terror". His eyes were wide and as we got off the ride and walked outside he looked to the left and to the right and thoughtfully asked me " Mom, are we back on our world?" Oh, Thank You Disney (California Adventure) for a precious memory. He insists that "Tower of Terror" is his favorite ride, but he wouldn't go on it more than once. There was his magic.
My 8 year old girl, H, loves to sing and act. We visited the Disney Animation, Sorcerer's Workshop (in California Adventure)...mostly to let the twins run around in an uncrowded area. They have many computers you can do fun things on. H got to tape her voice singing and talking as Ariel and then listen to herself as part of the movie...that was so cool! It is a magical thing to actually be in a movie. Thank you Disney!
Another really neat experience happened at the Jedi Training Academy in Tommorowland, in Disneyland. Several times a day A Jedi Master Arrives on stage and picks out several younglings to become Padawans and train them as Jedi's. Well, W, really wanted to do this and waited in the designated area for the show to start. All my children were waiting with him. When they started picking kids--so few, from so many. My oldest daughter, S, picked up her little brother as high as she could until he was seen and got picked. (I found this moment quite magical ). W got to fight the real Darth Vader (way cool) and Darth Maul and several storm troopers. Thank you Disney...and yes, W's souvenir from Disneyland is his Certificate from Jedi Training Academy and a Light saber.
Well, Disneyland has changed over the years and I'm happy to say that it was still magical for me (25 years later). My favorite ride has always been Space Mountain... It still is. Except now you rock with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. One of my childrens favorite quotes from Disneyland has become "No matter what planet you are from, get ready to ROCK... in 5...4...3...2...1 AAAHHH" Thank you Disney for making this ride Rock for me and my children.
Because of Stroller passes, DH and I both got to ride everything. The twins were terrified, yet fascinated by the characters that were walking around Disneyland. I also really liked the Aladin show at the Hollywood Pictures Backlot.
6 year old daughter, R, took the Pirate Oath while we were going through New Orleans Square "I swear to run from any fight I cannot win and win any fight I cannot run from". R also wondered why Cruella De Ville asked me "Are all these from the same litter" when we went to take our picture next to her. The ride R picked first, when it came her turn, was the Haunted Mansion. We had told her that a ghost would try and sit next to her so the ghost could come out of the ride with her and leave the Haunted Mansion. She really wanted to see if ghosts were real (there was a hint of possibility). I think R is at the age of unbelieving. Not quite the 4 year old who really thinks its possible that we could be on another world. But not quite the 8 and 10 year old who are excited to be a part of the whole experience and make it good for others.
I can say that it's never too late to go to Disneyland. But the experience is different for children of all ages (as they say). I haven't asked my 8 year old if she would still rather go to Grandma's house than Disneyland. I wonder what she would answer? I'm glad we finally did it. We will go again...soon.