Disneyland was more than we ever imagined it would be. Not only seeing it ourselves again after a 20+ year hiatus, but seeing it through the eyes of miss Sofia Marie. In awe of everything around us, we took our first moments in the park to just look, soaking absolutely every bit of magic possible. We walked in the gates, and within moments Mickey Mouse walks right in front of us giving us a little wave. SERIOUSLY?! The dream had just been made in all our eyes, we could have walked out the gates right then and there and been completely satisfied with that being our first day; DAY MADE! Walking among the streets of Disneyland is just in-explainable, you catch these little cluster of overly excited people which you can almost guarantee finding a Disney character in the center, loads of ridiculously happy people walking to the next overly anticipated destination, the smell of sweet sweet sugar fills the air; it’s just mind blowing . Disneyland is extraordinary.
I wanted, and promised to dish out on all our favorite parts of Disneyland. Although we didn’t get to see everything, I feel like we hit a good majority, including re-doing a few of our very favorites. Even though Sofia is only 3, which means a lot of the rides were off limits (by choice and by the rules), we traveled with family, my mum, dad and cousin. So with taking turns to switch off riding with Sofia on the rides on her “to do” list, we manged to get in a ton of adult rides too. We’re very lucky to travel with family, it made the trip (including flight) less daunting and if I were to do it again they would be coming along. Nothing better than travelling with family; just ask the Griswold’s.
Sammy said “If I had to choose one ride that stood out I would have to say it would be “it’s a small world” only because it was the first ride we did when we got into the park and as soon as we were on it, it automatically took me back to when I was a child. The magical feeling of knowing that you’re actually in Disneyland, like I had to pinch myself. Of course seeing Sofia’s eyes light up as we went through the ride felt great as a parent to be able to take her there.”
I said “I’d have to say my favorites were Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Mad Tea Party, Space Mountain and of course Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster. I mean the entire experience was just unexplained, magic all around, the rides are literally only half of the experience.”
Sofia said “um like my very love’st rides were the Winnie the Pooh ride, and the, the bongo ride (Dumbo), and the small world, oh yeah! and the rockets (Astro Orbitor), because daddy didn’t like it when I went so really high *insert evil giggles*. But the rides for an X is Splash Mountain, never again we will do that one, okay mama!”
We were told by many that the food prices in Disneyland were crazy expensive and to bring in snacks avoiding eating at the park all together. However we learnt quickly that our take on expensive food was a lot different than others, honestly we didn’t find it bad at all. I mean it wasn’t fast food prices, but then again you weren’t being fed fast food quality. We enjoyed quite a few of the dinning options through out the park, including the Tiki Juice Bar, Blue Bayou, Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, Village Haus Restaurant, and Toontown Dining.
Tiki Juice Bar: I’ll keep it short and sweet, you cannot leave the park without trying one of their famous Dole Whips. I read about it from other bloggers, and even scrolled through many knock-off recipes on Pinterest. Nothing will ever compare I’m sure, a MUST TRY when you are in the park (be prepared to stand in line for it though).
Blue Bayou: A reservation list a mile long, with recommendations of booking a month before you arrive, its exactly what I did to get Sammy and I into a romantic dinner within the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It’s setting is bar none the most amazing experience I’ve had dinning ever. While they tended to Sammy’s dietary restrictions with absolute grace and ease, he ordered the Seafood Jambalaya while I had their Citrus Chicken with Sweet Pea Risotto. Absolutely scrumptious! As many parents can attest, our minds never wandered from what Sofia was up to while we took a romantic break from reality. While dining we saw some adorable cups passing us by for kids that were lucky enough to dine there too, after asking our server about them we requested one to purchase and take with us. She asked what she would like it filled with and we simply asked she leave it empty, as we had plans on stopping by Starbucks on the way back to have it filled with warm milk. She gladly did it all there for us, the fancy flashing cup, the adorable glowing Tinkerbell star holder and the warm milk. The experience is one you will have no where else; I recommend Blue Bayou to everyone and anyone.
Big Thunder Ranch Barbeque: Our first dining experience and quite possibly the tastiest. It was in a western setting, stocked with musical entertainment and service staff that were beyond friendly. If their goals were to have the service match the yumminess of their food, they win! It was an all-you-can-eat chicken and ribs extravaganza, including to-die-for cornbread (now that’s a recipe I want to find a pinterest knock-off of). Overall we would’ve eaten there again given the opportunity. DEE-LISH!
Village Haus Restaurant: We dined her very last minute after looking at the time realizing how late in the day it was. A little late lunch at the Village Haus was a great mistake. From Pizza’s to Sandwiches and Burgers, everyone’s cravings were met, including a gluten free and dairy free Burger for the man. How they managed the dietary concern was brilliant. The chef came right out to talk to my husband and let him know he would be working on his meal and confirmed his allergy. When he was done he came out himself to deliver it; when I tell you the service is impeccable, I’m not even kidding. Great little spot located near the carousel which Sofia thought was just lovely.
Toontown Dining: Setup to feel as though you’re eating within your favorite Saturday morning cartoon, I think Sofia enjoyed this dining setup the best. We stopped here merely to fill her little belly while the rest of us waited on a later dinner reservation. Sofia requested Pizza, and it was big enough to share between two little people (or Sofia and an always hungry entourage). It was yummy and fun all at the same time, if you’re travelling with kids I say it’s another must visit.
ALL IN ALL Disneyland was just amazing! From both an adult and toddlers point of view, no detail in the park was missed, not only the happiest place on earth but cleanest. Take us back Disneyland, we want to forever live inside. Please say yes?!
What were your favorite parts of Disneyland?