Once upon a time….in a country far, far away… there was a German girl named Lara who wanted to see America and go to Disneyland. She heard it was the Happiest Place on Earth… and her mother collects Mickey Mouse….so it was only right that she travel to America to fulfill her wishes…and that her Host Family cooperates! So, on a chilly Saturday morning of April 14, 2012 in Anaheim, California…the German girl, her Host Sister, and her Host Parents stepped into the magical world of Disneyland!
Now…. Imagine the song “When You Wish Upon A Star...” playing softly in the background right now as you read this!!! Got it? Can you hear the music? Great! We walk through the entry gates where Mickey Mouse is drawn in the grass in colored flowers… just below the train station. Then we step onto Main Street USA where children are smiling ear-to-ear and running, Goofy is signing autographs in Town Square, a horse drawn carriage is passing by filled with passengers.. There was just so much happening at one time! Lara and Brittany were like 8-year-olds filled with excitement! Moments later… we walk around the curve of the street and into the straight away… and there… off in the distance…at the end of Main Street…. sits the infamous magical Disney Castle!!! It’s something everyone looks forward to seeing in real life after seeing the castle in movies, commercials and cartoons! But wait…. STOP THAT MUSIC I TOLD YOU TO IMAGINE HEARING EARLIER!!! The next words out of Lara’s mouth was, “Wait. That’s the castle? It looks so small.” Terry and I burst into laughter! Because you know what? She is 100% right! It DOES look small! We’ve seen it so many times that we’re used to it! But for someone experiencing it for the first time, it looks nothing like what you’d expect! Such a funny moment!
And actually, the castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida is much bigger! And did you know that the REAL Disney Castle is in Germany? Here is an article about that! http://travel.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977432733
We proceeded into Tomorrowland where we went on the new Toy Story Buzz Lightyear ride, the Star Wars Tour, Space Mountain and Autotopia…where the girls got to drive a car on their own. We laughed about that because they both have their permits now! They each wanted their own car, of course! Lara liked all the rides! But Space Mountain might be the most memorable for the girls because… just as their roller coaster car was ready to enter “Space”… an employee pulled their car aside because they detected something was wrong with it. The girls were put on another car and away they went! The biggest disappointment in this area was not being able to ride the Mattehorn Roller Coaster. It’s being worked on and is closed right now!
I should mention this is where Lara and Brittany got their Minnie Mouse ears! I mean, really…. how can you go to Disneyland and not get your ears! Brittany got a red and black sequined headband. Lara got the Minnie hat with polka-dot bow and her name embroidered on the back. After all, she may only visit Disney;and once in her lifetime! Might as well go all out!
Next…. we headed for “It’s A Small World”. We warned Lara….when you leave this ride you will have that song singing in your head for the rest of the day! The exciting part of this ride was finding the German scene. For those who have not been to Disneyland, this ride features animated characters from every country around the world singing “It’s A Small World” in that country’s language. Lara was a little disappointed that the Germany display was not as large as others and it showed a man in the mountains. I teased her saying it should have had girls dressed in Bavarian outfits holding mugs of beer…because that’s how Germany is often portrayed to people in America! LOL
Next stop was Toon Town. That’s where I knew we would have our best chance at getting a picture of Mickey or Minnie Mouse! We saw Minnie Mouse outside of her house but the line was so long to see her so we went to Mickey’s house. We took a lot of pictures there, mostly for Lara’s mom since she is such a Mickey Mouse fan. Not only does she collect Mickey items, she even has their bathroom decorated with Mickey! After taking pictures there were two places to leave Mickey’s house. One exit was obvious. But then I saw a sign that said, ‘Meet Mickey This Way”. I poked my head in the room and saw just a few people waiting in a line and a man standing at a door. I thought, “Let’s see what this is for.” The man then opened the door and ushered four families into a room. A few minutes later, he opened the door again and ushered in 3 other families in front of us….and us! Inside the room was Mickey Mouse for our own private photo shoot with him! Oh my gosh! We were in shock! When it was our turn, we introduced ourselves to Mickey and told him Lara was from Germany as our Exchange Student and her mother was a big fan of his! He was so cute, posing for several pictures with all of us! We walked out and were still in shock at what just happened! But not too hocked to run over to where Goofy was to get our picture with him too! I guess we were just in the right place at the right time! Certainly some special moments!
As we came out of Toontown, the Main Street parade was starting with loud music and dancers and huge, colorful floats! It’s also about the time my camera battery died! We snapped a few pictures of the Little Mermaid and some Princesses on floats! Another magical moment indeed!
We then entered Fantasyland, home to he Carousel and the infamous Teacups. Lara and I are not fans of spinning in circles but we went on the ride anyway, as Brittany promised she wouldn’t spin the teacup a lot! It really didn’t matter. Lara and I got very dizzy anyway but not Brittany. She went on the ride again, while Lara and I recovered our dizzy vision!
From their, Frontierland and New Orleans Square where we went to the Haunted Mansion and then to Pirates of the Caribbean. Lara and Brittany loved it! I think it’s one of my favorites too! Did you know that ride is 15 minutes long… the longest in the park?
Soon, it was time for the infamous Disney Fantasmic show. While Terry and I secured a spot to wait 20 minutes for the show to begin, the girls took advantage of the time and rode Pirates of the Caribbean once again. Waiting 20 minutes for the show was nothing compared to some people who we saw waiting in the area 3 hours BEFORE the show started! Here’s a link of a video someone recorded to give you an idea of what it is. Trust me, it’s not even comparable to the real thing! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlJGFHFPf6c&feature=related
After the show, we stayed to watch an amazing fireworks show to music and narration and then we started to make our way out of the park through Adventureland where we climbed Tarzan’s Treehouse and went on the Jungle cruise.
As we made our way down Main Street USA again to leave the park, we made several stops in the shops for souvenirs. And then… just as we were ready to leave… there was Minnie Mouse taking pictures and signing autographs! I told the girls to get in line to meet Minnie and then stressed out! Remember? My camera battery died after the parade! I thought I’d try one more time and fortunately I was able to sneak out two more pictures! Terry got the picture of Lara with his phone! Whew! I couldn’t miss that magical moment!!!
After 13 hours in the park, we were exhausted and freezing! But memories of a lifetime were made, I had two happy 15-year-old girls…one of which did something she only dreamed of before! She truly wished upon a star and dreams came true! Enjoy the pictures! We took plenty! Next stop…. and next Blog…. Universal Studios and Newport Beach!