Hi, everyone. This will be a trip report of my family's first-ever Disneyland trip after many Walt Disney World vacations. We spent most of the time at DLR, but also visited the Reagan Library and took Adventures by Disney's Lights, Camera, Magic tour, so those will be included along the way, as well. The logistics Who's traveling: Me and my two grandparents The occasion: My graduation Accommodations: Howard-Johnson I will get to the title's meaning eventually in the trip report. It is worth the wait. Everybody ready? Please take small children by the hand and stand clear of the doors. Por favor mantenganse alejado de las---oh wait, wrong coast... Table of Contents Day 1 - Traveling and Downtown Disney Part 1: Be Our Guest Day 2 - Disneyland Part 2: A Whole New World Part 3: Let the Memories Begin Day 3 - Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Part 4: Life Is a Highway Part 5: Welcome to Radiator Springs Part 6: I Love to Laugh Day 4 - Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Foundation featuring D23's Treasures of the Disney Archives Part 7: Step In Time Day 5 - Adventures by Disney's Lights, Camera, Magic featuring Hollywood and the Walt Disney Studios Part 8: Jolly Holiday Part 9: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Day 6 - Disney California Adventure Part 10: Poor Unfortunate Souls, or Everybody Has a Laughing Place (depending on your opinion of Mickey's Fun Wheel... ) Part 11: Movin' Right Along Part 12: Something There Day 7 - Disneyland Part 13: Go the Distance Part 14: Part of Your World Part 1: Be Our Guest Day 1 Traveling Downtown Disney I was thrilled to finally be visiting Disneyland, the place Walt had built, seen, and experienced himself. I was definitely excited to see all of the expansion of California Adventure, but I was more excited for just being in new Disney territory in general. I knew there would be plenty of similarities to WDW, but I also knew there would be many unique things and was so excited to walk through new (to me) Disney parks. Warning: the first portion of our trip was decidedly unmagical. But thankfully it was out of the way and the rest of the vacation was wonderful. Our flight was on a Monday morning, which unbeknownst to us is typically one of the busiest travel periods of the week. We arrived early enough for most flights, but since it was Monday morning there were delays and crowds, prompting a sprint to catch the plane! [Insert Home Alone music.] The flight was fine (there were quite a few hidden Mickeys in those crop circles ) and actually turned out being a little shorter than we expected. Next for the part that made me feel like with a slight touch of : the Disneyland Resort Express. What a fiasco that was. The driver didn't seem to have answers to Guests' questions, some seats on the bus were dismantled and Guests themselves had to put them in place, it seemed like it took forever to leave the airport, and absolutely no welcome video. Compared to WDW's Magical Express, the DLR Express was a joke. Definitely un-Disney service and not a great first impression at all. (Oppositely, though, our ride back to the airport at the end of the trip was the exact opposite and was one of the best examples of the Disney Difference I have ever experienced, so I guess it just depends. I'm very glad the poor service was at the beginning of the trip and not the end, though, because I was so excited that I was going to Disneyland that I somewhat didn't care how I got there.) Anyway, the first Disney sighting to be had was the Tower of Terror! It was truly like nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing.... woah the Tower of Terror, when did that get there?! After dropping off at the DLR hotels, we headed toward the offsites including the HoJo. It quickly became clear, as I had read on the DIS, that offsite was not the same term I was familiar dealing with in Florida. For WDW, offsite means alienated from the Disney magic as you watch everyone else ride monorails and Disney motor coaches. DL offsite was more like a backyard view of the park even closer than the Contemporary is to the Magic Kingdom! From inside our HoJo room we could hear the train whistle and Tomorrowland background music, which I thought was just awesome. (It was at a level where you could hear it if you were listening, but could easily tune it out if you wanted quiet.) The rooms were comparable to a WDW moderate resort--comfy beds, fridge, coffee maker, porch. I felt the atmosphere was less than that of a WDW value resort, but you're really paying for location (about $150 a night in peak summer when we visited, pretty reasonable especially compared to DLR hotels). I soon grew to love being able to walk 10 mins back to the room instead of waiting for a crowded bus ride like at WDW. Our first day was meant to be just an exploration day--I didn't want to waste a full Park day with just a few hours, and knew we would want to look around anyway, so we headed to Downtown Disney. Passing through the Esplanade was surreal for sure. It's one thing to drive a couple of hours from home and be in WDW, but an entire other psychological beast altogether to fathom I was at my own house all the way across the country that morning and at that moment I was setting eyes on Disneyland. DISNEYLAND. We entered World of Disney first. At the beginning of any Disney trip, I feel like you're still pinching yourself that you're actually there, and thus want to take pictures of everything. So I have pictures of things that I saw in World of Disney that I thought were really cool, but didn't want to buy lol I love this shirt, but... does it really make sense anywhere but Florida? The parade doesn't start at 3:00 in Disneyland! Or did it once used to? My family has a plush Perry the Platypus that we carry around in the Parks and pose in different fun places, sort of like Flat Stanley. We just think his expression is so funny that it makes any picture of him immediately funny even if the picture wouldn't have been funny in the first place. Perry was very humbled when he saw the display of his merchandise in World of Disney: We strolled around Downtown Disney a bit more, popping in and out of stores and soaking in atmosphere but not really looking for or buying anything in particular. We quickly discovered that we wouldn't need nearly as much time walking around as we thought... we soon came to the end of all we wanted to see with a few hours to spare before our Rainforest Cafe reservations. I was afraid they wouldn't be able to be changed, but another thing learned about DL--dining is not such a big deal, again as I had read here on the DIS. Not only were we able to change our reservation, but a table was available within 10 minutes of our inquiry! I like Rainforest Cafe, but eating there this time made me realize it sort of loses its touch after the first visit (for me at least). The food was good--I got the ravioli--but admittedly a bit overpriced and not something I would go back specifically to eat. We ate upstairs, right up close with an elephant. Even though it was around 4:00 by the time our meal was done, we were dead tired and decided to turn in early for the night. (And without a Park ticket for that day, it wasn't like we could do much more anyway.) We all fell asleep very quickly and probably got close to 13 hours of sleep! The fireworks did wake me up, but I'm not going to lie--being woken up by the sound of a Disney chorus singing "Magical" in the distance is pretty sweet, if one must be woken up. It really solidified that I was actually there and made me smile before I drifted back to sleep. We woke up bright and early the following morning to head to Disneyland! We chose to use or Magic Morning later in the trip, so for the first Park day we entered at 8 a.m. We ate at Millie's on Harbor Blvd. on the way to the Park... it was good I guess, I honestly don't even remember what I ate because I was so excited. I do remember it was filled with Disney plushes everywhere, though. I thought it was cool how you can see the Tower of Terror from right outside the HoJo. We approached the Esplanade... went through the security check... passed through the turnstiles... here it was. Entering Disneyland for the first time is a moment I will never forget. We took our picture in front of the Mickey floral and walked toward the left entrance tunnel, and at that moment an instrumental version of Be Our Guest starts playing on the loudspeakers. Wowww. It was all I could do to keep it together. This was Walt's dream come true. This was the original. This was Disneyland. And I was about to step into its magic for the first time.