Have you been to Disneyland? Did you find it to be the “happiest place on Earth?” Well, my husband Steve and I just completed our first ever trip there for the weekend, and I was determined to find out why—and if—this really could be the happiest place on Earth! Here are my top 10 reasons why it just might be true!
- All in the details. Everything in life really comes down to the details, and that is certainly true at Disneyland. Even waiting in line wasn’t all that bad because there’s just so much going on. The smells are there for a purpose. The location and snaking of the lines are all for a reason—look around to see mining equipment while you wait to ride Thunder Mountain, or learn some fun facts and see survival gear while you wait to ride the Jungle Cruise! There’s a rattlesnake that hisses and rattles at you on your way around Thunder Mountain, and all over Frontierland you can see wooden wagon tracks and horseshoe prints on the ground. On many of the rides, there are speakers in each car to give you your own personal soundtrack to the ride!
- Friendly and helpful staff! You know they probably get the same questions from people multiple times each and every day, but the Cast Members (or staff) are all very friendly, helpful, and genuinely seem happy to be there! That makes any place happier.
- The castle! Castles, to most Americans, are special, magical places you only hear about in faraway lands or in fairytales, but at Disneyland, it’s the focal point of the entire park! It’s big, it’s beautiful, it just looks magical! When I looked at it, every time I looked at it, it made me happy!
- The characters! If I lived in Southern California, I would want to be a character at Disneyland! What fun to be a storybook character and delighting (or scaring!) little kids and adults alike! I saw Mary Poppins and Bert and Daisy Duck out and about, but I was just as delighted to see Cruella Deville and almost run right into the Evil Queen from Snow White!
- The sweets! Nothing takes me back to happy memories of childhood quite like sugary sweet treats! I grew up in the South, so sugar is everything and all memories of any sort involve food, but especially happy memories. The candied apples, chocolate covered everything, oversized macarons, the Matterhorn cookies, all of it was delightful! It was as fun watching people make it as it was eating or admiring it! You can even have a sweet for your entire meal if you want—that’s magical happiness to me!
- Christmas! Christmas is a happy time of year to me, so seeing all the decorations, eating holiday foods, and hearing Christmas music made me a happy Disneyland visitor! The decorations really made for a more fun, more delightful visit for me.
- The Enchanted Chamber! This is a delight I was not expecting! There was a sign above this door in the castle that said “Enchanted Chamber.” That maked me think it was something we could go into and see. What makes it enchanted? Well, I turned the nob, and it was locked. I started to walk away, but someone started fiercely banging on the door from the other side! It both scared and delighted me, which made me laugh, which made me happy!
- it’s a small world! Some people find this to be creepy, scary, cheesy, etc. But me? I loved it! As a travel lover, I’m on board for anything having to do with the world! It was holiday-themed while we were there, which made it even more special. This is, to me, the iconic Disneyland ride, and it was well worthwhile! The animatronics were cute, I thought, not creepy or cheesy, and I loved how many countries and cultures of the world they included. So the song gets stuck in your head—it’s part of the fun!
- The majorettes! This one is specific to me and my own happiness—which is possibly part of what makes Disneyland magical for everyone. I was a majorette for a year in high school and again in college, and it is absolutely a dying activity. Many marching bands have done away with majorettes altogether, but twirling remains to this day one of my favorite activities! And when I see even just one majorette in a halftime show or parade, I get really excited. Well, one of the parades during our visit was not only led by two fantastic majorettes, there were also rows and rows of them in the middle of the parade as well! I might have cried when I saw them. Who am I kidding—I cried when I saw them!
- Dark, scary rides. These were probably the most fun rides for me because the darkness and little scary thrills gave me an excuse to cuddle up with my Love! The boat rides like it’s a small world and the thrilling ones like Indiana Jones were fun on their own, but even more so with my favorite travel companion!
What makes Disneyland so special to you? Do you think it’s the happiest place on Earth?