If home is where the heart is, I learned on our Californian Adventure that a piece of mine is in Georgia, BUT I also know that a piece of it is at Walt Disney World. I have had the pleasure and great fortune of being able to go to Disney World more than any person could ever dream of going. If there is anything to know about Disney World, I know it. My family is so fanatical that we can take anything in this world and twist it to be something that reminds us of the place.
"Do you smell that smell?"
"Yeah, that reminds me of Norway, in Epcot, at sunset!"
"Look at that color, what does it remind you of?"
"Oh, it totally reminds me of the 5th building to the right on Mainstreet USA."
Yeah, we are nutty about all things Disney World. So when I found out that Disneyland was a mere 40 minutes from where we were staying in Cali, I told my husband that I didn't care what it cost or how we'd get there, we were going. Period. He obliged, because he's drank the Disney Koolaid, or as I would say, smelled that "Disney Air." I saved my pennies and we made it happen.
I had asked my Cali-friends about their DL tips, read blog after blog, watched the planning videos and studied the park maps. I had prepared myself for the differences and I was READY to go!
When my family travels to WDW we stay on property, at a Walt Disnet World Resort. It's a sin not to, and you might as well not even bother to go if you can't. Well, Disneyland is a tad different. I'd have to sell my right arm and all of my teeth to afford a night at a Disneyland hotel, but I knew I wanted to be there when the gates opened and I wanted to stay as late as our feet would allow, so I saved a few more bucks and found the nicest of the dumps that I could find. It was very much a one star motel, but the things I'll do for Disney. It looked like a snow capped, Alpine Inn (which, ironically, is what it was called) but I told Coop that we were staying at Oaken's Sauna, like in frozen, except the front desk guy did not say "yoohoo." And if you've never seen frozen, you have no clue what I'm talking about, so never mind.
After a very uncomfortable nights sleep, we were ready to get to Disney. I had a lot of anxiety about making the most of our day, but I am so pleased with how it went. At the end of our week in California, I was ready to see if Disneyland felt as much like "home" as WDW does. People laugh at me (i.e. my father-in-law) about how Disney makes me "feel" just by smelling the "Disney Air" and I was dying to see if it was the same.
After a mile walk from our hotel, we entered the Downtown Disney District, and instantly, I felt "it." They played the same music, had the same stores, and it totally gave off the same vibe. After grabbing our Starbucks, Downtown Disney literally dead-ended and dumped us right at the gates of Disneyland and California Adventure. We made it!
I'm not going to bore you with all of my tit-for-tat details between the Florida and California. The list would be about as long as the distance between the 2. I'll save that for my family who wants to know every.last.detail. But I will say that Disneyland is small. Very, very small. It is sweet and quaint and full of happiness and just as busy as it's Eastside counterpart but not nearly as hot. As I walked around the place, I often forgot that I was not in Florida.
While it is vastly different, it was much the same. Coop felt it, I felt it....but Mr. Clean? Well, he prefers the Big Kahuna.
What was the biggest surprise? The castle. Definitely the castle. I knew it would be small, but I wasn't prepared for how small.
What was an even bigger surprise?? These folks showed up!
When they mentioned that they might join us, I think I keeled over and died for a minute. I never thought I'd see the day!! But they made it and while we wore them slap out, don't let them say they didn't have fun. I have pictures to prove it!!
Now I just have to talk them into going to The World with us....wishful thinking, I'm sure.
One day was not nearly enough but maybe we'll be fortunate enough to make it back someday. It was a great end to our trip and gave me a little taste of "home"