Monday, September 30, 2013

Happiest Place on Earth

The moment I walked through the gates, I was magically transformed into a little kid, all excited and eager with anticipation of the paradise that awaits me. After all, I am in the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH - Disneyland!

 The MOUSE that started it all !!!!!

We have all grown up with Disney's characters as long as we can remembered. In fact, I guessed that the first cartoon character that we were ever introduced to from our childhood would very likely be a Disney character. I even remembered drawing and painting so many of them when I was young. When I was about seven or eight, I remembered Caltex running a Disney's character sticker promotion where for a certain value of fuel pumped, you get a Disney's character sticker. Well, I don't have the privilege of getting my hands on any of them but my neighbor has because his father was a nationwide delivery driver for a certain cooking oil company. I remembered vividly the excitement both of us shared everytime his dad came back with different stickers. I remembered the seven dwarfs, Dumbo the flying elephant, Goofy, Pluto, Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse of course!

It was early October 2012 and Halloween season. Disneyland was decked with colorful Halloween decorations with bright orange pumpkins all over the place, making it even more magical.

 Walt Disney and his partner who together had given us so much joy and delight

Standing in front of the Main Street USA that runs straight down between two rows of colorful and interesting shops and looking directly at the Disneyland Castle at the end of it some distance away, was a dream come true for me, and I am sure to many who have stood in that same spot. How can one forget that scene of the Castle with all the fireworks and Tinkerbell flying with her magic wand and the catchy Walt Disney's jingle.

 The famous Disneyland Magical Castle, seen here with her clear reflections around
the stream that runs around her

Disneyland, Anaheim is HUGE with so many interesting theme parks, each unique and exciting, filled with rides catering from children to those that will get your adrenalin pumping and definitely not for the faint hearted.

This place is definitely crowded and I would strongly advise that you arrive early, firstly to avoid having to wait in long lines to gain entry, to get to the rides besides enjoying the cooler temperatures in the morning. October's afternoons can be rather hot here although the temperature will cool down somewhat towards the evening and night.

 You can spend the entire day at Disneyland and as the sun sets and the lights comes on, Disneyland presents a different kind of FUN and magic!

Stayed as close as possible to the park and if possible within walking distance to beat having to wait in line for the shuttle buses. We were staying just across the park's main entrance which was only less than 10 minutes walk away. There are some rather reasonably priced hotels which have partnered with Disneyland around the area. Don't expect 5 stars treatment nor furnishings but then you are not here for the hotels nor are you going to spent countless hours in your hotel room. You are here for DISNEYLAND!

 The spectacular fireworks displayed at the Magical Castle on weekends. Be sure to catch this ..

You can never finish Disneyland in one day. In fact, you would need a week if you are to really to appreciate and try everything that she has to offer. I would suggest purchasing the 3 days pass and if you can, and if possible, at least one day in the  weekend. Yes. The crowd would be even larger during the weekend but it will be worth your while because of the weekly night firework display that is simply spectacular and magical.

There are definitely two things that you must not missed. In fact, you should not missing anything at all when you are there but be sure that you catch Disney's Stars Parade along the Main Street USA and the Firework Display at the Disney's Castle. Be sure to be there way before the scheduled time to grab a good spot, which often meant sitting on the pavement for hours even before the event starts. I was sitting patiently on the pavement for both events some 3 hours before the show began but it was worth the while being on the front row!

 Beautiful dancers with colorful costumes of every design and the Disney Stars joined in the Disneyland Parade at night, to lively music and popular and evergreen Disney music scores!

"Chim Chim ney, Chim Chim ney, Chim Chim Cher-ee, A sweep is as lucky as lucky can be .."

The Disney's magic is truly undeniable here. Why? Because I find myself, someone close to fifty, getting all excited when the Disney's famous stars kept popping up, out from nowhere. I find myself chasing after them to grab a picture. And of course there was MICKEY MOUSE in person! WOW!

 You know that you are in the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH when even your breakfast comes with a waffle in the shape of Mickey Mouse.....

Breakfast with Minnie and her friends is definitely worth thinking about. It is not exactly cheap for the kind of food that they are serving buffet style but you get to meet and hug your favourite Disney character.

After three days, I left with a heart contended, knowing that one of my earliest childhood dreams had been fulfilled and tune of M..I..C..K..E..Y....M..O..U..S..EEEEE....(from Mickey Mouse club show) ringing in my head.

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