Written by Caitlin Fisher
In May, I had the opportunity to attend an Agent Education Program at Disneyland Resort in California. Through the program, I was able to experience the resorts, parks, and all of the special events surrounding the spectacular Disneyland 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
This beautiful resort was my home away from home for two nights, and it put me right in the middle of the action. It has the relaxing, homey atmosphere of a mountain lodge, yet it is steps away from the parks; in fact, it has its very own entrance directly into the middle of Disney California Adventure!
I stayed in a Standard View room with a queen bed and a bunk bed. My balcony provided a lovely, quiet view of the courtyard below, and to my surprise, a nice view of the fireworks at night!
As a mother of three children, I am always on the lookout for rooms that easily accommodate five people. This room would have been perfect for my entire family: not only was there a bunk bed, but there was a trundle underneath the bunks as well!
This resort is just a few minutes walk away from the parks, and it is the resort that felt the most “Disney” to me. With separate towers for Adventureland, Fantasyland and Frontierland, you feel fully immersed in the theming through amazing artwork and fun touches.
The monorail pool is amazing as well, and who can turn down an evening at Trader Sam’s, with live music and a tropical atmosphere.
We toured the E-Ticket Lounge, which is the resort’s concierge lounge, and discovered a gorgeous panoramic view of the entire Disneyland Resort. If you are planning on spending time away from the parks and relaxing at the resort, this is the perfect choice.
All Disney parks are full of endless opportunities for fun and entertainment, but there is something unique about Disneyland Park in California. It is the park that Walt Disney himself built, where he walked and where his influence and vision can still be felt today. I had the incredible opportunity to participate in a Heritage Tour, where we visited Walt’s apartment above the Fire Station on Main Street as well as the Dream Suite.
Walt used his tiny apartment as a place where he could stay to oversee his park. From his window, he could watch all of the people coming into the park, ready to start their adventure. The lamp that you can see in the window above the fire station is a tribute to Walt. When he was alive, the light was on as a signal to park employees that he was there. Now, it stays on 24 hours a day as a reminder of his legacy.
The Dream Suite is an incredibly beautiful apartment situated above Pirates of the Carribbean in New Orleans Square. Originally designed to be used for the Disney family, it is now used as accomodations for special contest winners. It has incredibly themed rooms based off of original designs from Lillian Disney, all with special magical touches throughout. What an incredible sight to see each room come alive with Disney magic!
As part of the 60th anniversary Diamond Celebration, the nighttime shows were reimagined, and they are spectactular! Paint the Night Parade is full of vibrant, beautiful floats full of favorite Disney characters and memorable music.
Disneyland Forever, the nighttime fireworks in Disneyland Park, now includes amazing projections not just on the castle, but down main street, onto the Matterhorn, and on It’s a Small World. It’s a different experience depending on where you are in the park, and you need to see it to believe how beautiful it is.
Last but not least is World of Color. This incredible water projection show has even more impressive effects and new content, including added scenes from Star Wars and Frozen. It is the perfect end to an evening at California Adventure Park.
I have been an avid Disney fan for a long time, and love vacationing at Walt Disney World in Florida. However, this was my first opportunity to experience Disneyland Resort in California. It did not disappoint! While the overall resort is much smaller than its east coast counterpart, it manages to still fit in all of the Disney magic and fun into the smaller space. It feels easy to navigate and intimate. I found service from the cast members to generally be excellent, and could sense their pride and commitment to honoring the heritage of the original Disney park. A visit to Disneyland Resort is a must do for families, or adults who are big kids at heart.