We're Going to DISNEYLAND!

“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” – Walt Disney, July 17, 1955

When Disneyland Park opened in Anaheim, California, I doubt very much that even Walt Disney himself could have imagined the world renowned landmark it has become. Over the past year, Disneyland Resort has been delighting guests with their Diamond Celebration, to commemorate the 60th year of bringing joy to every family to pass through its gates! They’ve added lots of great surprises for this event and I can't wait to give you a little taste! There are not one, not two, but THREE new nighttime spectaculars to enjoy at the parks! The first is the Paint the Night Parade at Disneyland Park! budding artist Mickey Mouse mixes his vivid imagination with Tinker Bell's magical pixie dust, and in the process, creates a very special paint. With a dip of his brush and a wave of his hand, Mickey conjures up classic Disney visions right before your eyes. Watch in wonder as vibrantly costumed Characters from Disney and Pixar stories glide down Main Street, U.S.A.—including sisters Anna and Elsa, monster pals Mike and Sulley, Lightning McQueen, Ariel, Peter Pan and more—all riding aboard fantastic floats to the sights and sounds of unforgettable music and energetic performances. Be part of the pageantry when this state-of-the art, nighttime parade floods Main Street, U.S.A. with stunning colors, fun surprises and more than 1.5 million brilliant LED lights! Not to be outshined, Sleeping Beauty Castle comes to life like never before as Disneyland Forever—a Diamond Celebration fireworks extravaganza—transforms classic Disneyland Park locations with sparkling pyrotechnics and immersive special effects. Prepare yourself for an enthralling, breathtaking journey as the park becomes an enchanted backdrop, transporting one and all into a world of dreams and classic Disney tales—whether flying high above the London skyline from Peter Pan or dancing with King Louie from The Jungle Book! Overflowing with imagination, Disneyland Forever even features 2 original songs: Its theme "Live the Magic" and its inspiring closing song "Kiss Goodnight," both written by Disney Legend Richard Sherman. Walt Disney once said, "Disneyland will never be completed, as long as there is imagination left in the world." During Disneyland Forever, you'll discover how The Happiest Place on Earth continues to be a home to our dreams and adventure… and why it will remain that way forever! But what about Disney California Adventure Park, you ask? Don't worry – the Imagineers haven't forgotten the newest theme park! To tell the story of Walt Disney's vision for Disneyland Park, you need a canvas as grand and captivating as the dream itself. Enter World of Color—Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney, a special edition of the popular nighttime showcase! While it may have been started by a mouse, Walt's dream soon grew into a worldwide phenomenon of amazing adventures and incredible experiences. And you'll see his decades-long legacy unfold in a symphony of animated imagery, live-action footage, lasers, fountains, special effects and a stirring musical score. This is your opportunity to re-introduce yourself to the man who dared to dream big—and, as a result, created The Happiest Place on Earth. Both intimate and epic in scope, World of Color—Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney is an emotional journey that reminds us: Anything is possible if we never give up on our dreams!

Click for a special video from the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration!

One of the most common questions I get from clients is “How long should I plan on staying?” When Disneyland was just one park with different themed “lands” branching off from Sleeping Beauty Castle, a local family could easily make a day trip of it and successfully hit all the major attractions. Now, with on-property hotels, a second theme park, and the shopping, dining, and nightlife found in the Downtown Disney district, I'd recommend setting aside at least 4 days to take it all in! You'll want to spend the first day exploring Disneyland Park, to walk down Main Street USA just like Walt Disney did all those years ago. Take note as you mosey by the Main Street Fire Station – see that light in the second floor window? It's burning in the cozy apartment Walt Disney himself used to occupy! Can you imagine dreaming up a place as wonderful as Disneyland and being able to look right out your window to see it come true? At the end of Main Street USA sits the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle and from there, you'll have access to the themed “lands” of the park: Adventureland (home of the Jungle Cruise and Enchanted Tiki Room), New Orleans Square (of Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion fame), Frontierland (where you can ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or the Mark Twain Riverboat), Critter Country (where Splash Mountain and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh reside), Fantasyland (featuring the King Arthur Carousel and Peter Pan's Flight), Mickey's Toontown (visit Mickey and Minnie's houses before riding Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin), and Tomorrowland (you won't want to miss Space Mountain or Star Tours: The Adventures Continue)! Enjoy the parades that make their way through the park and be sure to stick around for the nighttime shows and fireworks!

That first day will be hard to top, but if you're up for it, Disney California Adventure Park accepts the challenge! Though the park has only been open since 2001, it has quickly made a name for itself as one of the most visited theme parks in the world! And you'll soon understand why! There is a lot to see and do here, so it would be wise to spread it out over two days! Let's get started! Not unlike Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park is split into a series of themed areas. While Main Street USA at Disneyland Park is reminiscint of Walt Disney's humble beginnings in the midwest, Buena Vista Street tells the tale of his arrival on the scene in Los Angeles in the 1920s! True Disney fans won't want to miss the replica of the Carthay Circle Theater, where the world premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was held in 1937! After your stroll down memory lane, you may want to visit Paradise Pier and ride California Screamin' or the insanely popular Toy Story Midway Mania! Next up is Grizzly Peak, famous for the Grizzly River Run rapids ride and Soarin' Around the World! From there, you may want to stop for a bite to eat and what better place than Pacific Wharf, a district filled with great restaurants, food trucks, a margarita stand, and more! Once you've had a chance to recharge, head over to Hollywood Land for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Muppet*Vision 3D! You'll know once you've reached A Bug's Land because this whole area is seen from the point of view of a bug! While you're there, check out Flik's Flyers and It's Tough to Be a Bug! Just when you think you can't take another second of excitement, the last stop of the day is Cars Land, an homage to Lightning McQueen and his pals! Take a spin on Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters and Radiator Springs Racers before winding down for some of the park's nighttime entertainment!

Both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park have an array of shopping venues and dining establishments throughout. But they last leg of our hypothetical trip takes shopping and dining to the next level! How do Earl of Sandwich, House of Blues, Rainforest Cafe, and Tortilla Jo's sound? Sounds delicious to me!! After indulging in the scrumptious offerings at the local restaurants, you'll want to burn off those calories – and what better way than working out your credit card and these adorable shops! Build-A-Bear, Anna & Elsa's Boutique, World of Disney – need I say more? Looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth? Marceline's Confectionery! Got a hankering for an after-dinner cup of joe? Starbucks! I mean, really – what more could you ask for? How about a live band or a movie at the AMC Theatres? Done and done! Downtown Disney is the perfect way to wind down after your exhilarating days in the parks!

Just think, this is only a glimpse of the wonder that awaits you at Disneyland Resort! We can start planning your family's next trip just as quickly as you can fill in this questionnaire! And hey – while you're in the Golden State, why not extend your trip and see some more of the sights? We can even add on SeaWorld, Legoland, San Diego Zoo, and more! I can't wait to help bring your dream vacation to fruition! Hope to hear from you soon!

"I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing -
that it was all started by a mouse!" - Walt Disney