Thank you to Disneyland for hosting my family. All opinions are always my own.
I still vividly remember my first trip to Disneyland. I was 4 years old and it was the most magical experience I had ever had. I remember flying on Dumbo and cruising on “it’s a small world”. I remember getting my first Mickey Mouse ear hat and eating at Blue Bayou (I had spaghetti). When I was walking near the castle though I heard this sweet voice say “Hi Emy”. I turned around and there was Snow White! I was star struck. I couldn’t believe she knew my name! It was truly magical and I felt so special. It wasn’t until years later that I realized she knew my name because it was embroidered on the back of my Mickey ears, but that experience was the heart and soul of what Disney magic is.
I grew up with the Disney Magic and I wanted Little Monkey to grew up with those experiences too. Her first trip to Disneyland was when she was 6 months old. Even at that age she was mesmerized by the magic. I will never forget when we pulled into the Disneyland Hotel and walked into the lobby and there was Goofy! Little Monkey was a baby in a stroller and Goofy walked over to her and she just stared up at him in complete awe.
The teacups (or peapups as Little Monkey called them when she was little) were always her favorite. I was never a fan of the teacups because of the spinning, BUT riding them with Little Monkey changed all of that. Just hearing her laugh and laugh as we would spin around made it all worthwhile.
The preschool age is especially magical. They are so talkative and curious at that age which makes Disneyland a perfect destination. Watching my daughter’s face as the parade was coming down Main Street USA brought tears to my eyes. She thought it was the coolest thing she had ever seen.
Ever since Little Monkey discovered the light up castle headboards at the Disneyland Hotel she has asked for one of those beds at home. We had to tell her that it was part of the Disney Magic, so we couldn’t have one at home, but we get to enjoy it everytime we stay there.
In preschool another milestone happened. She was talk enough to ride Radiator Springs Racers and Splash Mountain. She was nervous about what happened on the inside of the ride, the part she couldn’t see from the outside. I knew she would love it, so I actually found a couple videos on YouTube of the rides and showed her ahead of time. After watching those she felt confident she could do it and she was right. That trip holds special memories for both my husband and I. That was the trip where Little Monkey would now ride all the rides with us and we no longer needed rider swap.
The Disney magic is what makes a vacation at Disneyland so much more than just a regular vacation. There is no where else where I can watch Little Monkey’s face light up when she sees Santa at the end of the Christmas parade or celebrate a birthday with a button that is sure to get hundreds of people saying “happy birthday” to you all day long. It is the only place where we can dine with our beloved Disney characters and make magical memories that will last all of us a lifetime. If you are trying to decide what is the right age to bring your child to Disneyland my answer is now. There is no such thing as too young to go to Disneyland because it is magical at every age.
What is your favorite memory of the Disney magic?