As a Southern California native, you would think I have this undying passion for Disney, simply because I grew up close to the parks. And while that may be true today, my passion for Disney actually started when I lived over 300 miles away from the park in Northern California.
My family moved to the Bay Area when I was three years old. I don’t remember much about the move, nor the years before it, but what I do remember is that our new house seemed ENORMOUS to little ol’ me. And my brother and I made the most of it with our make-believe adventures.
About two years after we moved in, my parents decided we were old enough to appreciate a spontaneous trip to Disneyland. And since my cousins lived close by in Monterey, they tagged along. Thus began our annual family trips to the Happiest Place on Earth.
If you ask me what my favorite childhood memories were, hands down my top choices would be our Disneyland vacations. We would always stay at the Hilton Suites (now the Embassy Suites) off of Katella, take the park shuttle at 6:30 am to make it to Magic Morning, and spend fourteen hours straight going on rides, seeing shows, eating all the snacks, and of course, getting autographs from our favorite characters.
I mean, how can you beat those days as a kid? We were very fortunate to have such amazing experiences at a young age.
Then, when I was nine years old, we moved back to Southern California, and the Disney magic grew even bigger within our family. Annual passes were introduced, and you bet your tigger tail we were some of the first to purchase them. (Ahh $300 Premium Pass, how I miss you). My mom even bought our family a plaza brick for Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary (peep the Heneghan Family brick, straight back from the center of the park gates).
We visited the Disneyland Resort almost weekly between ages 9-13. Whether it was shopping in Downtown Disney, dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen, or a quick ride on Splash Mountain after school, we used those premium passes like nobody’s business. It was just me, my mom and my little brother, living our best Disney lives…
And we never got tired of it :)
Fast forward to high school, when I was able to visit the parks with my friends a few times a year. Going to Disneyland when you’re a kid versus going as a teenager is a completely different experience, but definitely just as fun. We would spend our Disney days going on all the rides we possibly could, eating practically every snack you could imagine, and laughing until our stomachs hurt (from the junk food or laughter, hard to tell).
From that point on, even into my adult life, Disneyland has continued to be my happy place. It’s the place where all my worries seem obsolete; the place where my heart is completely full (and not to mention my stomach). When I walk down Main Street and see Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, I am immediately brought back to my blissful childhood, enjoying a delicious churro while watching the parade. That kind of joy is unrivaled anywhere else.
When the social media storm swept in about five years ago, I upgraded my annual pass to be able to go with my Disney bestie, Jackie, whenever we wanted. With each visit, we learned something new about certain lines for the attractions, food options, merchandise, and shows. And although we are still learning more tips and tricks at the parks, we think we have learned a thing or two over the years :)
Sometimes we spend twelve hours in the park, sometimes two. Either way, we always have a wonderful time and truly make the most of our visits. That’s kind of our thing :) And that is what we want to provide for all guests who enter the Disneyland gates.
We are using our experience and knowledge of Disney magic to give you the best possible visit imaginable. From birthdays to bachelorette parties to anniversaries, we make sure your special moment is sprinkled with pixie dust, and that you leave with memories that will last you a lifetime.
Times are a bit different now with limited capacity and no annual passes, but we cannot wait to get back to the magic and give you all the updates from Disneyland and Walt Disney World! Stay tuned!