I’m not a big fan of crowds. The city I live in – Toronto – is a city of festivals and events, especially in the summertime. To be honest, I simply tend to avoid them because of the crowds, the line-ups and the inability to see anything (I’m only 5 feet tall). And I don’t tend to like amusement and theme parks for the same reason.
So about 18 months ago, when my sister invited me to travel to Disneyland in California with her family, I was willing, but had a few trepidations. I’d be more than happy to spend a week with their family – I just wasn’t sure I’d enjoy the theme parks. My sister assured me that I would be pleasantly surprised.
Last March, I joined them. And I found out I had misjudged Disney. My sister was right. It was kind of awesome.
We went to Disneyland on three different days – traditional Disney and the California Adventure Park (my personal fave). We visited Universal Studios (I really wish the Harry Potter and/or Minions rides had been opened when we were there), and Santa Monica pier. We strolled down Hollywood Boulevard and sunk our toes in the Pacific. I may lose all credibility as a serious traveller, but I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed it all. It was quite fab.
And I had to hand it to Disney – they’ve got it down to a science. Despite all the people, all the strollers, all the crazy, they make it totally enjoyable. Everyone we encountered from the Disney world was friendly, helpful and welcoming. And let’s not forget – I’m childless, so my tolerance for the kind of crazy that family oriented theme parks offer is likely lower than your average parental figure. I was more charmed than I would have expected.
- Watching how excited my niece and nephew got about everything.
- The food was surprisingly good, notably the Princess brunch we had down in Ariel’s Grotto.
- The absolutely incredible evening water and light show called World of Color – riveting!
- Fave rides: Radiator Springs, Toy Story Midway Mania and Star Tours.
So now that my bias against theme parks has been shattered, perhaps I should put my mind to overcoming my other travel no-go: the cruise. Floating around for a week in a giant apartment building with half a dozen pools and a movie theatre has never struck me as the ultimate vacation. But what do I know?! I didn’t think I’d enjoy Disneyland…