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The Magic of Disneyland

by Cari Moreno
(Santa Maria CA )

About 3 years ago, we went to Disneyland for our daughters' birthday. After a long day of fun, we decided to ride the train to rest a bit. In front of us on the train was a little boy about 4 years old with a pair of Mickey ears with his name ("Sergio") stitched on the back. We were waving to him and playing peek a boo.

At one point I said "Hi Sergio!" His eyes got as big as saucers. He looked at his mom and said, "She knows my name!" He turned to me and asked, "How do you know my name?"

I replied, "This is Disneyland. Everything is magic here." He thought about it for just a split second and then smiled and said "You're right. Everything IS magic here."

When he got off the train we once again waved to him and he left with an ear-to-ear grin. I hope that no one ever clued him in on how I knew his name. I'd like to think that the magic Disney holds over all of us will remain in his memory forever.

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Left Alone in the Magic Kingdom.

by Eric
(Mesa, AZ)

I had the great pleasure of going to Disneyland several times as a young child. One particular time, age 9, upon entering the park my Mother and Father pointed out the security station at the end of Main St and said, "If you get lost, go to this station." They left out a few important details, but I will get to that later.

A short time later, the family and I were trying to get into the 'Bear Jamboree', but since I was eating an ice cream cone, I had to wait outside. Well, I got turned around and missed my family exiting the event, and didn't know what to do. I searched for them for a bit, then decided that I had better go back to the security station, per earlier instructions.

I went to the 'little station' and sat outside of it for about an hour waiting for my parents to come get me. I visited with another Mother who had lost her child. I remember feeling bad for her that she hadn't told her child about the 'rendezvous' point like my parents had done. I started to get hungry, but didn't want to leave the station... so I ran to the shop next door and quickly purchased some licorice. Well, it took longer that I had hoped to buy the licorice, but I made it back to the security house and waited another hour or so. At this point in time, I began to get very upset. I never felt scared or concern about being separated from my parents and siblings, but I was beginning to feel a panic that by the time my family did find me - I wouldn't have time to go on all the rides!

After being separated for about 3 hours, my parents finally showed up at the security station. There were overwhelmed with joy, then upset that I hadn't followed their instructions... apparently I was supposed to tell the security officials that I was lost. That hadn't even occurred to me, the whole park was looking for me and I was sitting on the 'porch' eating licorice waiting for my parents to come get me.

Now that I am a father, I can understand the panic that a parent would have in that situation. But for me, I was at Disneyland, the Magical Kingdom. Nothing bad could happen here, right?

BTW, I have since taken my kids to Disneyland (and am planning another trip this year) and show them the same station... but I give better instructions.

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How I Went to Disneyland

by Jasmine
(Fremont, CA, USA)

When I went to Disneyland on July 4th this year with my family, I was happy to see the fireworks in the sky on top of castle. It was the most colorful display I've ever seen. Mickey Mouse and Minnie also saw the fireworks with us.

We really enjoyed the rollercoaster. It was an exciting experience. I was not scared at all but my dad was. He closed his eyes and held my hand firmly.

All the princesses I loved appeared live in Disneyland. I took pictures with Tinkerbell and one of her sisters. They even taught me to dance. They were nice and beautiful.

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Dragonflies at Disneyland

by May
(California)

I worked at Disneyland one summer in a Fantasyland food stand. This was 40 years ago before air conditioning. Our food stand was packed with customers 5 and 6 deep. The only time they cleared out was when they lit off the fireworks.

My favorite thing to do was on a break, I went backstage between Fantasyland and Frontierland. At that time there was some unused space. There was a small hill with a path that led up to the landing platform for Tinkerbell. Once you started up the path, you felt like you were in the country. I remember there being real dragonflies flitting about a small stream.

It was so strange to be in the middle of Disneyland at a very quiet, meadow like location. Sometimes, at night, on a break,I would climb up to the landing platform and have a fantastic view of Orange County lights at night.

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The Pirates' Treasure

by Juliana LeRoy
(Windsor, CA)

When my daughter was 5 and my son was 2, we spent a lot of time "wishing" for treasure because, of course, Disneyland is the most magical place on earth. The second my daughter heard that there might be treasure on Tom Sawyer's Island, she was CONVINCED she'd find it -- after all, she'd wished and wished and WISHED for treasure, right? We went all over the island, but alas, no treasure.

Later I secretly bought a bag of "jewels" and hid it in the bottom of the diaper bag. The next morning when my daughter woke up, I showed her the little bag and told her REAL PIRATES had come by the hotel late last night, looking for their treasure.

"They banged on the door, and hollered for us to open up, but course we didn't open our door -- since they were pirates -- and we told them we didn't have any treasure. They said SOMEONE had found it while visiting Disneyland, and they were going to find out who it was so they could get their treasure back!"

My daughter's mouth was hanging open in amazement as I continued, "So then I thought, well, hang on, since we DID wish SO HARD, I wonder... and I looked in the diaper bag, and WHAT DO YOU THINK I FOUND?!" I held out the bag of jewels and her eyes went as round as one of the rubies.

"Oh, man, I KNEW my wish would come true!!"

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Fantasmic?

by a Disneyland Fanatic

When I was about 7 years old, I went to Disneyland with my family. We had the best time ever.


As a little girl I spent hours walking around meeting princesses but also enjoyed the rides. We wanted to see something out of the ordinary, something amazing but not just the ordinary fireworks. So we went to see Fantasmic.


We got there about 30 minutes before the show started and found a crowd so huge we couldn't even see past it. We found a small place right up against one of the buildings in Frontierland. I couldn't see over the crowd but luckily there was a barrel right near us. My dad lifted me and my friend up on the barrel and we had an amazing view. We towered over all the people and saw the show. Our eyes glittered with amazement as we sat there listening to the music and watching the effects.


I left that night with a look of amazement and wonder on my face. Fantasmic is an amazing show and if you go to Disneyland, go watch it. It takes place on the Rivers of America in the Frontierland/New Orleans Square area.

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You See the Magic in the Children's Eyes

by Auntie Lori
(Pacifica, CA)

Years ago, I went to Disneyland with my sister and her girls (my nieces, ages 6 and 10). At that time Disneyland employees would pick out guests, both adults and children, to participate in the parade as sort of a cute and comic addition. As luck would have it, my 10-year-old niece and I were chosen! This is living life!

They took a busload of us guests-turned-performers to a side area and organized us in groups. Of course my group was the one getting to wear the tu-tu's and learning the twirly-frolicking dance. Great, I thought. I'm definitely part of the comic addition!

We started out down Main Street, following our leaders-- the costumed bears-- doing our little dance. Then the magic happened.

Everyone was smiling (and laughing) at us. But the children lined up on Main Street and beyond were waving at us, looking at us like we were princesses. They had awe and wonder in their eyes. They were really looking at me!

Now I *knew* I was comic relief, but I (all 33-years-old of me) absolutely felt and couldn't stop feeling like a princess, special and unique. It lasted the entire parade long, this little magic going on between the children and us. And I got to share this most wonderful experience was my niece.

It is one of the best memories I have, and hold near to my heart. And it even gets better ...

At the end of our trip, we all shared our favorite parts of Disneyland. My 6-year-old niece said her favorite part of Disneyland was watching Auntie and her sister in the parade! Out of everything we did at Disneyland for 3 whole days, we were her favorite! How special is that!

Sure, Disneyland is a business, and we all know they make lots of money. But they make little miracles too. They bring true joy and wonder to young and old alike. I love Disneyland!

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A Fine Finish

by Cindy
(Morgan Hill, CA)

After a glorious day at Disneyland, my son (age 12) and I shared our first time seeing Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. We decided that would be our last event because it was truly magical and we did not want the impression to be eclipsed by "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" or some other fun but silly ride. We then walked down Main Street and I bought a treat for us to share. We sat on the curb and shared a "Matterhorn Macaroon" and ice cold milk.

You just can't get those magical moments anywhere else.

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Sword Out of the Stone

by Melanie
(Bremerton, WA)

When our daughter, Kiran, was 7 or 8 we visited Disneyland and she had the joy of pulling the Sword out of the Stone in front of King Arthur's Carousel. She was thrilled as her picture was taken with Merlin and she was given a button and fancy scroll proclaiming her queen. She even had other guests recognize her around the park.


Our next trip was when she was 11 and her brother, Kalen, was 8. He was so excited to take his turn at trying to pull the sword from the stone. After being at the site a time or two, Dad was chosen to be the poor weak adult who couldn't pull out the sword, but our son was only an onlooker. We went back again and again.


Finally Merlin realized he wasn't going to evade this family and asked our son to give the sword a try. Kalen was so proud when he pulled out the sword; he had equaled his sister's fete and become king!

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The Happiest Place on Earth

by Karen
(Glendale, AZ)

It wasn't actually my child, but I still found it hilarious...

I was standing in line to purchase something at one of the souvenir shops and observed a frustrated mother's conversation with her son. 

The little boy was begging to be able to have a toy and the mother said he couldn't have it.  He kept asking and she kept saying no.  Finally, he started with the fake tears and said, "But it's the happiest place on earth." She turned away, smiled, straightened her face and turned back to insist that this was the end of the conversation and he wasn't getting the toy.

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Fascinated by Disneyland

by Cari Moreno
(Santa Maria CA)

Courtney & Dilli Mickey Ears

Courtney & Dilli Mickey Ears

The first time we took our little girl (now 21) to Disneyland, she was only 2 years old. She's gone back at least 10-12 times since.

We arrived at the park at 7:00am and literally went non-stop till around 4:00pm when we stopped to eat at the Blue Bayou. We ordered, and when our food arrived I turned to give Courtney her food to find her fast asleep in her highchair. I didn't have the heart to wake her so we let her sleep.

When we got up to leave the restaurant we woke her, and she wasn't the least bit fussy; she immediately opened up her big blue eyes and was raring to go for part 2 of Disneyland. We continued on and didn't leave the park till well after midnight.

Just as we were leaving the park, I once again looked down and she was nodding off to sleep. She was so fascinated by every sight and sound that she didn't want to miss out on anything.

To this day, Disneyland is one of her favorite places to be, and every time we go, my husband and I can still see that awestruck 2 year old. Brings tears of joy to our eyes!!

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A Christmas to Cherish

by Dara Nelson
(Burnaby, BC Canada)

Oh I have many stories!! I am Disneyland fanatic!!!!

I have been several times since I was 10 years old. I took my sister there this past Christmas for her very FIRST time (she is 26 years old and I am 27). It was a first for me at Christmas and OH how magical it was!! The decorated trees and fake presents and snow accompanied by Christmas carols over the loud speaker...I will never forget it! Not to mention Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto all in their festive sweaters. I recomend this as a great time to go (if you don't mind waiting in line a bit longer).

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9/11 at Disneyland

by Samuel Jackson
(Visalia Ca.)

When I was seven years old my Dad came home one day with a grin on his face and a cash bonus and told me and my other three siblings that he was going to take us on the ultimate vacation. And indeed it was going to be: Four days to Disneyland and the new California Adventure Park while staying in the Disneyland Hotel, something we had never been able to do before. I never remember being so excited about a vacation.

So we were set, hotels booked, tickets bought and our ton of stuff loaded into the Suburban. We were off. But something was going to happen that would make this vacation something really unforgettable. Our check-in date was September 11, 2001.

We had gone down the night before and stayed in the Embassy Suites planning to check into the Disneyland Hotel the day after, to save a little bit of money. That morning, my dad turned the TV on and screamed for my mom and grandma. I had no idea why my dad was so dazed and mom and grandma were in tears. I was just upset because we were going to be late for our day at the park.

After having a talk about what to do, my parents decided that we might as well go over to the Disneyland Hotel since we had already paid for it. As we neared we were only let through a security checkpoint because we had a reservation and when we hopped out of the car in the hotel carport, we saw FBI agents swarming everywhere with large machine guns. When we got inside the hotel, every character from the park was in the lobby and the Disney staff was at the top of their game helping the flustered families decide what to do. This was one of the only days in Disneyland history when the parks had to stay closed.

After many incentives from Disney, my family decided to stay, and there began the most amazing vacation of my little life. All the food and games in the ESPN None and the movies at the AMC theater in Downtown Disney were free. The next day the parks were fully staffed yet there were no more then a couple hundred people in them. We could go on rides like the Matterhorn and Big Thunder Mountain again and again because there was absolutely no one in line. You see, I couldn't understand what was going on or the magnitude of the situation, I didn't know why we would go back to the hotel in the afternoon to watch the news, why everything in the park would stop for a moment of silence or the playing of the national anthem. To a seven year old it was just the ultimate vacation.

That was the first Disneyland trip I really remembered and it completely spoiled me. In the next couple years when we went back I couldn't figure out why all this stuff wasn't free or why we had to wait in line for things. I look back now and see that i would have seen things in a whole different manner and would have just wanted to high tail it out of LA, much less go to Disneyland. Even so, i still think i will look back at this for the rest of my life as one of the best vacations I have ever had.

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Year of a Million Dreams

by Greg
(Bend, OR)

Some friends of ours once got "Dream Passes" while at Disneyland during the "Year of a Million Dreams" promotion. Cast members randomly pop out and give them away.

A Dream Pass is the equivalent of getting a Fast Pass on every ride that offers Fast Passes all at one time. (Normally you can only have one Fast Pass at a time.)

Our family was at Disneyland on New Year's Eve during the "Year of a Million Dreams" promotion. We were told later in the day that they had stopped selling tickets because the parks had reached capacity. (I've read that it's 80,000 people.) Long lines? That day, the lines were KILLER.

Suddenly my daughter saw a cast member handing out Dream Passes and she RAN over and snagged them for all seven of the people in our group that day. On the busiest day of the year, we went on 18 rides! People saw the Dream Passes hanging from our necks and asked, "How do you get those?" We just smiled and said, "Keep your eyes open!"

I wonder if Disneyland will ever give them out again.

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Ice Cream???

When I was six years old, my mom told me that if I got ladybugs all week long (my school's version of the gold star) we would go get ice cream on the weekend.

So I get all ladybugs, and then I don't remember much, except for riding in a train and then being in front of this huge red gate. Everyone's taking pictures, and I'm just wondering where my ice cream was. My aunt asked me where I thought we were, and I could hear very faint music so I guessed... "Circus?" Not so much.

Suddenly a big yellow dog appeared in front of me. It was Goofy! I couldn't believe it. My family had taken me to a completely different state, under the guise of ice cream, only to ambush me with Disneyland.

Happiest. Six year old. Ever.

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Disney World Dining

We went to Walt Disney world in December of 2012.
We got a good deal and got free dining while we were at the resort, what a treat! We were able to book our meals at the table service places in advance and we loved that many of the meals had characters with them.

The best was Akershus in Epcot. The staff was great and my kids loved it. Even my 16 year old boy had a good time. The food was great and we got to have seconds on dessert.

The dining plan is the way to go! When we booked we got the quick service meal plan for free but we upgraded on the website for a small cost, about $200. This plan saved us over $1000 for the meals we ate. We have 4 kids so 6 people gets expensive. The snacks are great and all of it can be stored up to use later in your trip.

You can use 2 table service meals in one day and 2 quick service meals the next day. We looked into buying the meal plan on our next trip and it would still save us money and get us great service.

If you are looking for a place to eat with table service I recommend Beaches and Cream at the Beach Club. You get a great meal and awesome dessert. You can even see if they will let you combine the desserts to get a Kitchen Sink. We could!

Do the dining plan. It is worth the money!

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Is this it?

by Ava Zorn
(Riverside, CA)

I went to Disneyland last year for my birthday. My sister was DYING to go on Splash Mountain because it had been a good 13 years since she'd gone.


So for those of you who have been recently, you know that there's a very small drop at the very, very beginning. (It's like three feet.) Well, first you go up this really big hill. So we were going up that really big hill, and my sister goes, "Is this the big drop?" So I say,"Yeah. It's sooooo big." So she smiles, and her eyes get really big, and then we go down this little three foot drop, and she looks at me and goes, "So the other one at the front is fake? That's it...wait...HEY!! LIAR!!" My dad and I just cracked up.


Another funny thing that I did (that has now turned into a tradition) is the lederhosen thing.


Well, that same day, my sister said ,"When we get to a part that's outside, let's yell something in German." (We were mixing up Germany and Switzerland.) My sister had taken German in high school, and my dad speaks it ok. I only know four words. So we get to an outside part and they both yell something, and I, in a panic, yell,"LEDERHOSEN!!!" They both looked at me like I was crazy....

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4 straight years of Disney Glory

by Ronnie
(Oakland, CA)

Hmmm..well one year I was doing great in my job and saved about $7,000 for a VIP vacation. We flew first class w/limo, had a suite at the Grand Californian with lake view, VIP tickets to all the shows, 5 day hopper passes,gift shopping and reservations to all the best restaurants in and out of the parks. It was a great week (My kids still remember those days).

What did I learn??...you don't have to spend that much to have a good time. The Grand Californian was great but you can enjoy the place just visiting the lobby and eat at the restaurants. I prefer a hotel room right across the street (almost as close to entrances from the Disney hotels anyway and a lot cheaper). Don't need VIP tickets..really..it's a little inconvenient but cheaper to just find a place on your own. Food? Find a hotel with good breakfast, bring your food in a cooler and store in locker for lunch and then eat cheap for dinner.5 day hopper is not necessary. With Good strategy you should be able to cover both parks in 3 days (4 if you pace yourself).

One interesting tidbit. I spent sometime in the business center (Grand Californian) and struck up a great conversation with one of the cast members there. She was so nice she gave me like 10 free ride passes to any ride at either park. I thought that was so cool. These passes were like the fast passes. So be nice to the cast members and you never know... but www.disneylandvacationtips.com is the best site I've seen for great tips... enjoy the parks.

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A Birthday To Remeber

by HB
(CA)

It was my 7th birthday and my parents spent the whole time telling everyone who worked at Disneyland. At the time I was so embarrassed, but because my mother loved to talk so much I was allowed to skip some of the lines, go on rides I was too short for, ride Astro Orbit with Mickey, and be in the parade at the end of the day. I am 18 now and I have a feeling no birthday will ever be as good as that one and its all thanks to my loud mouth, pushy, loving mom and dad.

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