During my second college spring break I visited a friend’s family for an entire week in Arizona and we road tripped to California for a few days to check out Disneyland and California Adventure. Back then, I had been going to Walt Disney World for almost eight straight years and certainly “had the bug” but I don’t think I ever understood the significance of the “first” Disney theme park and all of that kind of stuff. I wasn’t into the history; I didn’t understand the kind of detail that went into these places. It made me feel good, my family was happy when we visited and that was enough for me.
I guess it’s not surprising that I don’t remember much about my trip to California. (I do remember seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time.) Disneyland and California Adventure though? My memory is foggy. I don’t remember the first time I saw Sleeping Beauty’s castle or walked down Main Street, but I do remember checking out the Matterhorn (my friend’s favorite ride) and yelling like a crazy on California Screamin’. It was a fantastic trip, and will always be one of my favorite college memories but I am anxious to get back to the west coast and see if all those memories come rushing back to me.
Today, on the anniversary of Disneyland’s opening, I can’t help but think how lucky I am to be part of a community that is constantly documenting their vacations or everyday trips to these spots. In ways, I’ve visited more times than I ever thought I could through the visuals and words of so many around the web. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Melissa from Rolling with the Magic is a WDW loyalist like I am but took her first trip to Disneyland in 2013. (Part 1 + Part 2 of her recap.)
- My pal Katherine from Food Fitness Fantasy documents her first ever trip to Disneyland in 2012.
- Start with Day 1, but you can cry along with Nerds in Wonderland she makes her first big kid trip to the West Coast.
- How about some true Christmas in July with Emma at Pinch of Pixie Dust? She shares Disneyland holiday decor!
- Sarah at Running at Disney participated in the Disneyland half marathon last year + shared the highlights!
How can I not want to book a plane ticket after reading these?
Here’s hoping James and I can make our trip out west happen sooner rather than later. Until then, I’ll keep reading all of those trip reports and re-read Disneylanders by Kate Abbott any chance I get. (I just did a reread a few weeks ago, and it was just as magical the second time around!)
Enjoy your day, Disneyland!