Disneyland is indeed the ‘The Happiest Place on the Earth’. I can lay a claim for saying so, as I have visited it not once, but thrice. I vividly remember the first time I had visited the theme park; I was a little, awestruck 9-year old kid back then. The second visit was at the age of 12 with my friends. The most recent visit to this lovely park was about three years back with my family. The visits were absolutely amazing, and the experience was mesmerising on each occasion. But, one fact remained true all through; Disneyland is indeed ‘The Happiest Place on the Earth’.
The Maiden Visit – The Magical World
On my 9th birthday, I visited Magic Kingdom, Orlando with my family. Saying I was very excited would be an understatement! The thought of meeting my favourite Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Eeyore and of course, Disney Princesses like Ariel (The Little Mermaid) and Belle (Beauty and the Beast) gave me Goosebumps. As we walked down Main Street, USA, we felt the ‘Disney vibe’ as there were people singing and dancing everywhere. After enjoying the song and dance on Main Street, USA we headed towards Cinderella’s castle. Words can’t explain, how thrilled I was to see the castle in real life. I had been watching Disney Princess movies since I was about 5 years old, and always secretly hoped to see one of those in real life. I couldn’t wait to actually see the princesses! After admiring the castle; it was time for the Disney Princess show. Herein, all the princesses including Ariel, Snow White, Belle, Jasmine and obviously Cinderella made an appearance with their respective princes’. We headed towards Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel behind Cinderella’s castle to know more about the princesses. This carousel was the biggest carousel that I had ever seen! Even, adults could enjoy this ride. After riding the carousel three times, my happiness knew no bounds. The Little Mermaid was my favourite Disney Princess movie (still is, in fact), and so we decided to visit Ariel’s Grotto (the place where Ariel stored all her prized possessions) next. The experience at Ariel’s Grotto was magical to say the least.
We, then decided to experience ‘The Journey of Little Mermaid’ which takes you to Ariel’s home in Atlantica. This slow ride made me ecstatic, as I was able to see my favourite Disney Princess movie in reality and not on a television screen. After a lunch which included delicious hotdogs, we headed towards Tomorrow Land; where we saw ‘Stitch’s Great Escape’. I became sad as I couldn’t visit most of the attractions due to the height restrictions. We decided to visit Splash Mountain but when we got there, I was a little disappointed as I was too short to take the ride. ‘Next time’ I told myself! As fate would have it, I got to spend a lot of time in Fantasy Land with my favourite characters. We continued our journey to visit attractions like the Mad Tea Party, The Haunted Mansion, Aladdin’s Magic Carpets and the Seven Dwarfs’ Mine Train. The experience was amazing, though it left us all a bit dizzy. Soon, it was time for the Evening Parade. Even though we were exhausted, the thought of leaving Disneyland was disheartening! The Parade was the best part of our day (besides seeing the Cinderella’s castle, of course) as we got to see all the Disney characters together. The parade was followed by breath-taking fireworks and classic songs from Disney movies. It was absolutely mesmerising; a sight that I will never forget! That day in Magic Kingdom, was one of the best days of my childhood and hands down, my best birthday.
The Second Visit – Everything for Everyone!
Three years later; at the age of 12, I visited Magic Kingdom, Orlando with my friends. And I was no more smitten with the Disney Princesses! I looked forward to visiting attractions like Splash Mountain and Space Mountain this time. Accompanied by my friends, I knew that this visit to Magic Kingdom would be different from the last time. While walking down the Main Street; I felt nostalgic as my thoughts went back to the time I was here with my parents. We headed straight to Cinderella’s castle and clicked a few photographs, but we decided to skip the show following it. A sea change from the last time, when I waited with eager eyes for the show! We headed straight to Splash Mountain where I was allowed on the ride now as I was much taller. All I can say is, the wait for the ride was worth it (it was one of the most fun rides I had ever been on!).
We headed to Tomorrow Land to take a ride on the legendary Space Mountain after that. It is definitely one-of-its-kind indoor roller coaster that operates in the dark! Imagine not knowing when the roller coaster cars are going to take a sharp turn, or when they’re going to go upwards or go down a slope at a 45 degree angle! This adrenaline-filled ride lived up to its reputation and left us wanting to take a ride on it again. In my opinion, this is one of the best attractions at Magic Kingdom. The Tomorrow Land Speedway was the next in line. The first thing we visited in the Adventure Land, was the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. This ride gave us quite an adrenaline rush! The Jungle Cruise was quite refreshing after all the fast rides that made our head spin. For lunch, we headed to Casey’s Corner (again!). We visited the shops on Main Street, USA next and looked for souvenirs to take back home which have the most wonderful Disney-themed items; ones you will never find elsewhere! We were so tempted to buy everything! Thereafter, we headed to the Hall of the Presidents and listened to a robotic Abraham Lincoln give a long and in my opinion, quite boring speech. After the show, we went to the Haunted Mansion. Even though I had already visited it before, it still managed to scare me. It was time for the evening parade all over again! The fireworks were magnificent and I enjoyed them to the fullest. The experience was a fulfilling one, and daresay much different than the one a 9-year old princess had!
The Third Visit – Gets Better Every time!
Two years later, my family (including my cousins, aged 9 and 3 years old at the time) headed to Hong Kong and I got to visit the Disneyland again! It was my third time to Disneyland, and honestly I wasn’t very excited. I was 14 years of age now and I wondered what I would do there. I kept saying ‘Disneyland is for kids! There’s nothing for me to do here!’ I was so wrong! We walked down Main Street, USA and my cousins were bursting with excitement as they saw people sing and dance. The next thing we saw was Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Since this castle looked different from the one in Orlando, I realised that the experience at Hong Kong Disneyland was an altogether different one from the ones in Orlando. My cousins insisted on watching the Disney Princess Show and so, we had no option. I was surprised as the show was completely different from the one in Orlando! I found the show to be quite enjoyable. Then, we headed to Fantasy Land as my cousins were dying to meet their favourite Disney characters. Over there, they met Mickey Mouse and the other Disney Princesses. They were so excited. After that, we headed to Mickey’s Philhar Magic Show. This was a first for me, too! Fantasy Land reminded me of the time I first visited Disney Land.
At Adventure Land, we went for a show called ‘Festival of the Lion King’. This show was amazing as it was full of stunts with fire, song and dance. We then headed to Tomorrow Land where I took a ride on Space Mountain which gave me an adrenaline rush (once again). The next ride was on the Obitron which is right in the centre of Tomorrow Land. I had never been on that ride before and honestly, it was a lot of fun. After lunch (sadly, not at Casey’s Corner), my mother and I went souvenir-shopping on Main Street, USA. The souvenirs available at the stores were different now and again we were tempted to buy everything. After that, my cousins insisted on going back to Fantasy Land (I completely understood as I did the same when I was 9). I got to ride the carousel (this one wasn’t as big as the one in Orlando, though); visited Snow white’s Grotto and the Mad Tea Party. Soon, it was evening and I looked forward to the evening parade as it was one of my favourite things about Disneyland. This parade was also excellent and the fireworks that followed it were completely mesmerising. There is something about that parade which I enjoy every time, I watch it.
I am lucky to have visited the magical Disneyland three times in my young life so far! I feel blessed as it is not just the fantasy land of the kids but has so much more for people of all ages. Well! Some may think that three visits are enough, but not for me. If given a chance, I would visit the Dreamland again to relive and create so many memories all over again!