1. Go to Disneyland, it's pretty obvious why that's #1.
2. Visit New Orleans. I am drawn by the architecture, the history and of course, the music
3. Go to the top of the WTC in New York. Sadly this dream never came true, but I have made it to New York and loved every fast-paced minute!
Since those far away dream-times, I have achieved the other two and the little kid me knew exactly where it's at! On a side note, one of the most exciting things that happened to me as a child was meeting Mickey Mouse at my local video store. I have a picture, but I'll have to dig it out another time.
My first Disney experience was not at Disneyland as I had hoped, but Euro Disney, just outside of Paris. The first thing I saw was two little girls entering the park dressed in their fairy princess dresses. That was it. I was officially in Disney cuteness overload.
Euro Disney is obviously not the same as Disneyland, but it was pretty fun! I loved the Alice in Wonderland maze and the Star Tours ride was incredible, even though it was bizarre hearing C3PO speaking in French! Also, Space Mountain II was so much fun! I do love a good roller coaster. We were sure to eat in the Pirates of The Carribbean ride, which is a family tradition from my fiance's dad. To this day I am reminded that I danced the whole way through Euro Disney. It was so exciting to be there! Interesting fact: They serve alcohol in the Euro Disney restaurants, so we had a tropical cocktail which seemed fitting, really.
A couple of years later, I finally lived my dream of going to the one and only Disneyland in California. I also got tickets for California Land, which had some pretty cool rides as well. I was able to go on the Haunted Mansion ride, which was closed in Paris, and it was amazing! Unfortunately we were out of season and on the wrong day for the evening parade, but it was pretty much everything I dreamed of. I love all of the old Walt designed 'rides' like the household of the future and that kind of thing. It might be dorky, but I love the 60's-ness of it! So much fun :)
I have an insider tip for you. You can get into the Grand Californian Hotel from the park and sit down in the majestic lounge area for a cool, quiet drink away from the crowds. Don't tell anyone I told you, but when we left at the end of the day, we went through the hotel and out past the lobby to catch a cab, away from the huge queues at the front of the park! Shhh.
Last year I was lucky enough to visit Disney World in Florida on the 4th of July! After seeing the beautiful Grand Californian Hotel, we decided to stay in the most similar one in Florida, the Wilderness Lodge. It was so beautiful in there, we actually spent a lot of time inside the hotel and not in the park (oops) The highlight of this trip was most definitely the 4th of July fireworks. I love a good firework show, and this one was pretty fun. It was over the top patriotic with lots of red, white and blue explosions in the sky, and some awesome audio to go along with it. I finally saw the electric light parade as well. If you want a special experience, save your pennies to stay in one of the themed hotels onsite. It costs a lot, but it was a really special once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Thanks Kitty for sharing your Disney vacations! I love seeing it through other peoples eyes!!
This is a scheduled post while I am on vacation at Disney World! Be back soon!