Also, Test Your Disney Ride Knowledge!
I am so excited to share our Disneyland Anniversary Celebration with you! Yes, we really did Disney with NO kids.
Disneyland. The happiest place on Earth. A place where dreams come true, magic happens and pixie dust is a real thing. Before you cross under the railroad and enter into this land of balloons, cartoon mice, and palpable nostalgia, a plaque greets you with the most accurate quote in all of the park: “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.”
How does Disney do it? If you’ve ever taken your kids to Disneyland, you know it’s an experience unlike any other. From the immaculate walkways to the cheerful employees, to the fanciful rides, you enter into an alternate universe where smiles are everywhere and the smell of delicious churros fill every land in the park. My husband describes the Disneyland experience like this:
“When you see your kid meet Mickey Mouse for the first time, you hand the mouse your wallet and tell him to give back however much.”
We’ve taken our kids twice (We went to Disneyland for the first time ever two years ago!) and we have made some incredibly happy memories there.
So how did my husband and I make the decision to go to Disneyland sans kids for our 20 year anniversary? Well it started a little like this in September:
-“I think we should go to Hawaii to celebrate our 20 year anniversary.”
“Yes, let’s do that.”
In October, we discovered a brand new private school right by our house that was dedicated to helping and teaching children like my 13 year old son who has multiple delays and learning disabilities. We’ve been praying to find a better option for him and this was it. We enrolled him and our Hawaii savings went toward his education. Then November went like this:
“Maybe we should do Disneyland.”
“Without the kids though?… I LOVE it!”
And so the Great Disneyland Anniversary Celebration was born and planned over the Thanksgiving holiday.
So what does a couple with 5 kids do when they go to Disneyland without those 5 kids? They eat. You know how expensive it would be to feed seven people in Disneyland? (We’ve never ate in the park before, my crock pot is my best friend when we do a Disney trip with all of the kids, let me know if you want a blog on what crock pot meals I made!) Well, when you are only feeding two people, Disney food gets a whole lot cheaper. We tried pretzels and churros and the Monte Cristo sandwich at the Blue Bayou restaurant. We had mickey shaped treats and the Grey Stuff at the Red Rose Tavern (“Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious, don’t believe me, ask the dishes!”- Beauty and the Beast).
Not only did we eat, but we rode all of our favorite rides several times over. Because there were only two of us, we splurged and got Max Passes so that we could select Fast Passes from my phone. I rode Star Tours countless times.
Confession time: Last October was my first time ever to gather up enough courage to ride a roller coaster. You see, I suffer greatly from motion sickness, and the idea of a roller coaster always made me feel nauseated just thinking about it. But I always envied the excited screeches coming from a speeding coaster. Now, I didn’t go all crazy and hop on the Incredicoaster, no way. My first ride was Big Thunder Mountain. I know, I know, it’s tame, but hey, after 38 years, I finally rode one!
So this time, for our February anniversary visit to Disneyland, I added the Matterhorn AND Space Mountain to that list of coasters I’ve braved. And I lived to tell about it.
We also shopped! Because we weren’t spending time standing in lines for character meet and greets (though if my kids were there, you can bet your tiara I would have been in every one of those lines), we had lots of opportunities to peruse the long string of shops on Main Street, Disneyland.
I was especially excited when I came across a keychain with the quote from the plaque as you enter the park. And it matched my purse perfectly, so it felt meant to be.
I also discovered the Crystal Arts shop where I could get a glass engraved with our names and anniversary. Yes, I’ll take one of those as well.
We also discovered details that we missed before: like the fact that Frontierland has boot prints, horse hoof prints, and wagon tracks pressed into the concrete walkway. And we stopped by Esmerelda to get our very own fortunes.
This anniversary went down as the best celebration we’ve had in our 20 years. Being in a magical place with my man, holding hands and sharing treats and kisses, it all was a fairy tale come true.
Now, I have a game for all of my Disneyland loving readers out there! It’s called: Name That Ride. I took pictures on some of the rides (not all), can you name them?
-Leave a comment below with your best guesses numbered 1-14 identifying these rides.
-Leave a comment with your favorite thing to do in Disneyland!
-Leave a comment if you’d like to see a blog post about what crock pot meals are our favorite to prepare when we go to Disneyland.