29 (damn near almost 30) years in the making, and I finally see Disneyland at Winter Time.
This dream coming true was made possible by my boss. He took the entire office to a Disneyland weekend Holiday trip instead of throwing a traditional office party. We were provided two day park hopper passes and two nights at the Grand Californian Hotel. It was pretty awesome.
The Grand Californian does not look very Disney inside…although I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting. Maybe more Hidden Mickeys?
However, it still delivered with their usual customer service and atmospheric awesomeness. For example, every couple of hours they had carolers, actual carolers, singing acapella Christmas songs in the lobby. There are pianists that fill the lobby with Christmas music. There is a GIANT Christmas tree all decked out in the middle, and of course, the service is always phenomenal.
- Have I mentioned that it was FREE?
My boss wanted to forgo the usual Holiday party and got everyone in the office a weekend in Disneyland instead. He paid for the hotel, the park hopper tickets and for those who ran into him, drinks and dinner, or $100 gift cards, or random little gift shop presents. He actually paid for a fabulous dinner at the Wine Country Trattoria (I had some extremely delicious lamb shank).
And if you have the prixe fix menu at the Wine Country Trattoria, you actually get reserved viewing for the World of Color water show. As far as I was concerned, even if we had to pay for it, the good food and great show is well worth it.
Gotta admit, that World of Color show puts the Bellagio fountains to shame. I think my jaw dropped a couple of times, and my front teeth were dry from smiling so much throughout the show.
I also got to experience Magic Hour. If you stay in one of the Disney hotels, you are allowed into the parks an hour before anyone is even allowed to breathe in any disney air. This meant that we got on all the rides we wanted with practically no wait, and also let us get the fast passes for the new Cars Land car race before everyone else.
Then, there’s getting on Disney rides at almost-midnight. There’s something pretty eerie about rides in the dark, especially the Jungle Cruise in Adventure Land. In the daytime, all the creatures are clearly plastic and mechanical. At night, the croc swimming up to your jungle boat, looks pretty darned real. So do the piranhas. And the hippos. Uh…yeah. Creepy cool.
I also forced myself to get on California Screamin’, the one and only real roller coaster in Disney’s California Adventure. In essence, the BF made me promise that if he would be a good sport throughout the Disney weekend, I had to get on ONE scary ride. Fine.
I still refused to get on the Tower of Terror though. And in exchange, he watched the broadway-esque production of Aladdin without complaint. He liked it. He totally did.
And, did I mention that my firm hosted a CHARACTER BREAKFAST? Yeah…more cheese on the weekend of cheesy fun already! It was surprisingly fun acting like a kid again with these characters. Tigger was there…of course.
NO matter how old I am, Disneyland always delivers.
I’m glad I get to see this Winter Wonderland and cross it off my list of things to do in Life.