So your girl finally visited the happiest place on earth and well I thought I’d go through what it was like as a first timer to visit not only my first Disney Park but the original one too! Talk about starting off with a bang hey?!
It’s been a few weeks since I got back from California and I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone already. The two days at Disney definitely went by far too fast that’s for sure.
You don’t very often see things online about people experiencing Disney parks for the first time ever because most people went as kids and it’s become a tradition in their family to visit regularly. Well I had to be different didn’t I?! I actually think it would have been nice to read some blog posts or watch some videos on what to expect etc as a total newbie. You know without ruining the whole experience.
Yep I’ve got to the grand old age of 24 and not previously been to a Disney Park. I was a bit late to the Disney party anyway as I never really grew up with it as part of my childhood. I’ve actually written a blog post about falling in love with Disney which you can find here. That’s not a bad thing at all but meant I had a lot to catch up on.
As it was a family holiday and I was without doubt the biggest Disney fan out of all of us we decided to do two days which was a fair compromise. We spent a day in each of the two parks. Oh and I’ve also forgot to actually properly say that we went to the original Disney park of… Disneyland Resort California.
So lets go through my thoughts of finally visiting a Disney park and I’m going to keep this as snappy as I can because I have a feeling I’ll end up making it quite long if not.
- The music…it’s the first thing you hear when stepping on Disney property and confirms where you are. Funnily enough we had the Toy Story theme tune on the first day which just made me even more happy as it’s one of my favourite Disney films of all time. It’s the perfect greeting and way to start your day at Disney. I also love that throughout the park, the music can be heard and is such a massive part of your experience yet it’s done so subtly that most people don’t even notice.
- The cast members…I had nothing but nice and delightful interactions with cast members throughout my days at Disney. They really do go above and beyond creating such a magical atmosphere and experience for everyone stepping through the gates. From the cast member in the World of Disney store at Downtown Disney getting us first visit badges, asking us about our trip and really just engaging with us. To the cast members that fully immerse you in the different areas of the parks, one notably was a lady who served in Galaxy’s Edge who just kept to character so well. I have to give a shout out to all the photo pass photographers because they were great and made you feel so comfortable which ultimately meant you got the best photos in the end.
- The rides…I’ve never been one for theme parks and therefore rides but I really wanted to allow myself to fully experience key areas of Disney and go on some rides. I was conscious of going on rides that were exclusive or different at the California Disney to make sure I was making the most of my time. Wow, Disney do not muck around when it comes to their rides and the themeing even down to the queuing areas. I think my favourite has to either be the Guardians of the Galaxy ride even though I was terrified throughout or Toy Story Midway Mania because it was just so much fun. That was actually the only ride we went on twice.
- Characters…I didn’t really go to Disney with the intent of meeting any characters because I knew we limited on time. However, that’s what I loved about just walking round the parks. You would randomly stumble across a character doing a impromptu meet and greet and if you timed it right you wouldn’t have to wait long at all. I ended up meeting Woody which made my absolute holiday and the interaction I had was just amazing. I wore a Toy Story skirt that was great at creating a conversation with Woody. I also met Mickey and Pluto in their Halloween costumes which was amazing and if you have the opportunity to meet the true original Mickey.
- The food…I feel Disney has become the spot for Instagramable food and the place for over indulging with snacks so I obviously had high expectation and a list of things I wanted to try whilst I was there. I can’t help but be truthful here and say the food I did have wasn’t that mind blowing or worthy of the hype. To be honest I did go with pretty safe and basic options but even then I was left a bit disappointed and felt I had wasted my money. So for me I know where I wouldn’t be spending my money in the future when it comes to Disney parks which I suppose is a good thing to have learnt. Some of the food I tried was a Mickey pretzel which was dry and very doughy, a churro which I actually really liked, a rice crispy treat which was okay but nothing to rave about and chicken strips with waffle fries…pretty standard meal you can’t really get too wrong.
- Shopping…something that took up a large amount of time and money for me. It was amazing to have so much merchandise at my finger tips compared to the UK where it’s pretty limited. I could have spent so much more money in the park shops if I had it but probably for the best that I didn’t. I did often find that the smaller and more out of the way shops had a much better selection of things that were obviously more well stocked which was nice. There was a really cool shop right near Pooh’s Honey Hunt ride in Disneyland Park. I wasn’t at all shocked with prices of things as I was kind of expecting it and I think a lot of it is justified for what you’re getting.
I just have to mention a highlight for me was definitely visiting two amazing lands set within the two Disney parks as the themeing had been done in such an amazing and brilliant way that you were able to fully immerse yourself into the world of the films. The first being a land that is exclusive to Disneyland Resort which is Carsland…a land that you can even appreciate without seeing the films but holy moly, the detail and scale of Carsland is amazing. Be sure to see it at night too as it’s just as amazing if not more all lite up. The other land of course being Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge which has only just opened in California and Florida. Again it’s a land that can be appreciated even without seeing or liking any of the films. You really felt like you’d stepped into the sets of Star Wars, even to the point of eating the food featured in the films.
My overall experience of finally visiting a Disney park was a positive and happy one. I definitely enjoyed the California Adventure park more out of the two because it felt like Disney but just a little more stepped…almost like a cool older brother of Disney. The themeing was incredible and really adds to the magical atmosphere of everywhere, you really do feel like you’re transported to this magical amazing place. It has also really made me catch the Disney bug and I’m already planning my next trip which will be to Flordia visiting the one and only Walt Disney World parks which I can’t wait for.
I can totally relate now when people say Disney is like home for them, even though I only spent two days in the parks I felt so at ease, comfortable and like I was home which was refreshing and amazing to experience. It’s a feeling that is really hard to describe but one that is totally cherished.
I hope you enjoyed reading all about my first experience and impression of visiting a Disney park. It’s been really fun to write and relive so many cool memories that were made on the holiday.
Be sure to check back next week for a brand new post and there is lots more holiday content coming your way.
Until next time,
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