We absolutely love Disneyland.
I was reading an article about the things people hate about Disneyland. It was funny, but I’ve had a VERY different experience there. I freaking love it! I wasn’t always a Disney Freak, but this year we decided to get passes, despite the astronomical cost, and have been enjoying them immensely.
Here are 11 reasons that we absolutely love Disneyland (hey, I had more than just 10):
11. The play areas.
If your kids get tired of waiting in line and just need to burn off some energy you can take them to Pirate’s Lair (formerly Tom Sawyer’s Island), Goofy’s…what, play area? And in Disney’s California Adventure (the park right across from Disneyland) they have a really fun adventure camp where you can run and climb and swing and slide and even earn a badge for completing wilderness activities!
10. The clientele at Disneyland is different from that at other theme parks.
Also the environment is a lot more family-friendly. I’ve never heard swearing in line at Disneyland (I can’t say that about the teenagers at six flags) and I’ve never encountered line jumpers (except that one guy trying to get his family of 5 on the tram before anyone else).
9. They have rides for the whole family.
Roller coasters for the big kids and rides the whole family can go on together, even the babies.
8. They allow monthly payment plans for annual passes.
This is how we handle the astronomical cost. For the cheapest passes it’s only $80 down and $10 a month. Which ends up being a lot when you add it up for 6 people, but it’s a whole lot easier than paying for it all at once.
7. The lines aren’t nearly as bad as when I was a kid, even though attendance to the park is higher than ever before.
This is probably due to Fast Passes, which are free! It’s a pain waiting for them to be activated and having to wait awhile to get a new one, but it’s worth it to either walk right on a ride or only have to wait 20 minutes for the really good rides. When I was a kid I waited 2 hours for Splash Mountain. Now we can get on in 20 minutes in the middle of the day, and if you wait until the end of the day, you can ride over and over without even getting off. The longest I have waited for a ride the past few times I’ve gone, is about an hour. And that was riding a ride that had Fast Passes available, but we thought it was worth it to ride right then instead of waiting for a Fast Pass time.
6. The cast members are ALWAYS kind, courteous, sweet, conversational, and happy.
At least they ACT it. Which is really all that matters. I guess that’s why they call them cast members. It’s their job to wear costumes and be not only helpful, but fun and happy. Disneyland really goes above and beyond to make your experience “magical”. We’ve had cast members hand out stickers, start conversations with the kids, and once we even had a cast member approach us at about 10 p.m. asking us if we wanted a Fast Pass good for the whole family to ride almost any ride. It was awesome, and totally made our day!
5. It’s a great place for meeting friends and family.
It’s reasonably close to anywhere in Southern California, and when people from out-of-state visit California they almost always visit Disneyland. Just a few days ago I met up with my best friend from when I was 12. Our kids had so much fun together, and we had a great time laughing, talking and catching up.
4. The pins!
I never thought of myself as a Disney Collector, but I am super into the pin collecting. You buy a lanyard and some pins and you can trade them with any cast member wearing pins. It’s SOOOOO fun! The boys love trading so much that they don’t care WHAT they get, they just want to trade it back out again. I, on the other hand find myself buying pins I really like and not trading them. Either way, it’s a fun hobby!
3. Everything is so well-kept.
The plants are intricately trimmed, the rides are updated (the boats on Small World are newer than the ones I remember from when I was a teenager and have plastic instead of metal bars to hold onto), paint is rarely chipped, it is rare to find trash on the ground, trash cans are EVERYWHERE, there are a lot of new rides, attractions, shows and fun themed restaurants for the rare occasion when you want to buy food in the park, AND the trams are new fancy-shmancy trams, unlike the ghetto ones at Six Flags. Disneyland really goes out of their way to create a nice atmosphere.
2. They allow you to bring in your own food.
This is huge. We save hundreds of dollars every time we go by bringing in our own meals, drinks, desserts and treats. And by bringing in our own candy, I can always say, “I already got you a treat.” when the kids start whining for cotton candy. And as for the $3.50 churro, we just wait until afterwards and get them at Del Taco for a buck each. With a family of 6, bringing in our own food is no small task, but it’s totally worth it. Plus you can eat whenever and wherever you want and don’t have to wait in long lines for overpriced food.
*Update* They’ve changed their official policy on this, but I also found them to be not that strict with it either.