Day 1

airport breakfast

For me, no feeling on Earth compares to that of waking up – way too early in the morning – and coming to the groggy realization that the day has finally come for THE Disneyland Vacation.  This year was no exception, and while my alarm was set for 4:30 AM (!), it was the only day this year that I had no trouble jumping out of the bed. One hour later, we were out the door, and just a short while after that, breakfast (or an airport McDonald’s version of it) was served… the fairies even came out at Denver International Airport to wish us “Bon Voyage!”

The highlight of Day One?  World of Color, hands down, without a doubt.  We had a great day prior to our preferred dining reservation at Ariel’s Grotto before the show… we were even upgraded to a theme park view at the Paradise Pier Hotel (where we were, unfortunately, only spending one night), but that show topped it all.  Yes, we did have to line up in a crazy pile of people and wait, on our feet, for over an hour… but the end result?  PRICELESS.

World of Color

As I’ve said before, World of Color reminds me of my beloved Fantasy Waters show, now gone, from the Disneyland Hotel. But, I really had no idea how magnificent and grandiose World of Color would really be… sitting just feet from the spray of the fountains.  It is mesmerizing and captivating.  My best tip for enjoying the show is to splurge for a preferred dining package, get to the “line” (mass of people) early, and walk really fast (read: politely sprint without having the World of Color “guards” catch you) to the front rail in the preferred dining section.  Trust me, it will be worth the wait, the cattle prodding, and the strange looks when you find your spot and do a little victory dance.

Day 2

The only other excitement that can rival waking up to go to Disneyland, is the first day you wake up at Disneyland.  As Five for Fighting said, “It’s a nice day when you wake up in Disneyland.”  Yes it is… and our second day dawned with great anticipation for what was to follow.  We actually spent a bit of the morning repacking our essentials and making the quick trip from the Paradise Pier Hotel to the Grand Californian.  No experience rivals staying at the Grand Californian, in my opinion.  If I were oh, so terribly wealthy and could live anywhere in the world, I would pick the Grand. :-)

GCH View

We got a bit of a surprise at check-in here to, as they had us booked in a room with one king bed.  When we requested to be moved to a room with two queen beds, the only option they could find was to move us to a standard room in the new DVC Villas wing with a “semi-theme park view.”  Fine with me!  Our view was actually of the back of Muloholland Madness, but we could still see Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Ariel’s Grotto, the Zephyr, and part of the pier!  In fact, at night, we could hear World of Color and see part of it! :-)

The highlight of Day Two was meeting Tinker Bell and her friends in Pixie Hollow.  Yes, I’ve done this once before, and call me crazy, but this is an extremely magical experience for me, and I even got a special treat this time… because Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue had come out just the day before, Tink AND Vidia were appearing together in front of Tink’s teapot house.  Plus, Silvermist was still greeting fairy fans in the area just before you get to Tink.  It was wonderful.

Meeting TinkTink and Vidia told me lots of stories about their adventures on the mainland and even taught me how to properly drink tea at a tea party.  These memories, and the pictures that accompany them, rank as some of my favorites from any Disney trip… EVER.  It was especially lovely to have Tink and Vidia treat my mom and me like any of their other guests, even though we are slightly older. ;-)  The Hollow was even decked out in full regalia from the new movie – too fun!

Coming up next Tuesday… Spending my birthday in the Land.

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