‘Laughter is timeless, Imagination has no age, and Dreams are forever’
– Walt Disney
Magic. Happiness. Love.
These are the three words that come to mind when I think of Disneyland. I have been fortunate enough to have been to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and Disneyland in Anaheim, Los Angeles and even now, the memories I have take my breathe away.
In 2013, I went to the USA for 3 weeks (Before heading to Europe) and on the first day of this once in a lifetime trip, I went to a place I had been dreaming about since I was 5 years old – Disneyland. The original park, the same park Walt Disney walked through and designed. When I stepped through those gates, my eyes started watering and all I could think was, I did it. After all these years, dreams, wishing, I got to experience the magic.
In 2015, I went to Walt Disney World, known for the 4 parks, all different and once again, every time I entered each park, I was in awe. I decided to fully embrace the Disney experience and stayed in one of the resorts, which was not only like being in a bubble but made getting to the parks and airport a lot easier!
I have had a different experience at every park I have been to, each have it’s own highlights and disappointments. One thing that I have to mention is the food – I am gluten intolerant and every single person I talked to went out of the way to make sure I had something healthy and enough to eat.
Disneyland – Anaheim, CA
This is the original park, with the original Sleeping Beauty Castle. I found it felt the most special and I felt the magic as soon as I walked in. Unfortunately I underestimated how large it was, so I wasn’t able to see it all in the time I had. Each park has it’s own end of night show and as this was my first one, it was emotional and exhilarating. The parade at the end of the day was everything I had imagined, I felt like a child with toffee apples and Mickey Mouse chocolates.
California Adventure – Anaheim, CA
Unfortunately I went to California Adventure at the end of a long and tiring day (which I loved!) but it meant I didn’t enjoy it – the roller coaster and Twilight Zone especially, even though they were a little terrifying, they were great fun.
Walt Disney World
Magic Kingdom – Orlando, FL
This was 18 months after I had gone to my first Disney Park and I was most excited about visiting this one out of the 4 at Walt Disney World. It was similar to Disneyland but smaller, with a Cinderella castle and didn’t quite have the same magic as Disneyland. But then came the fireworks and somehow, it was more beautiful then I remembered. If you go to a Disney Park – try and go to a magic moment show which is just before the fireworks at the castle and it was moving and not going to lie, made me tear up a bit!
Hollywood Studios – Orlando, FL
I was a little unwell the day we went to Hollywood Studios but It was interesting to see a lot of the history of movies. They had a lot of the sets from movies through out the park and it was a lot of fun to figure out what movies we had seen it in. We watched a show with the Indiana Jones stunt people and it boggled my mind how they are able to move the way they do. It was a nice relaxing park and great to look around and see something informative no matter where we went.
Animal Kingdom – Orlando, FL
I am someone who is a little hesitant about animals being used for public amusement but I enjoyed the Safari for the most part. I didn’t feel as though most of the animals were in small enclosures but as with all Disney parks, you don’t really know what goes on in the background but for what I could see and heard, they are treated quite well and seemed relaxed. Don’t forget about the rides and tree of life! I enjoyed Animal Kingdom immensely and would recommend it!
Epcot – Orlando, FL
I enjoyed walking around and seeing the different areas which represented different countries but as I had such a great and exhilarating time at the other parks, also this being the last of the Orlando trip, it was a little bit of a let down. It was very relaxing and great if you just want to try different flavors from each country.
Downtown Disney – Orlando, FL
This isn’t a park but a really cute area that I recommend going to. It has HUGE Disney stores that will blow your mind as well as a lego shop and just a beautiful atmosphere and view.
Where to Stay: When in Orlando, I stayed at the Coronado Springs while I stayed at Andaz West Hollywood In LA. I recommend trying to stay at a Disney Resort as you get Magic Hours (You get to go to the Parks earlier then General Public), Airport and Park Transfer.