Whenever a big school break is on the horizon, I usually come up with a plan to try to make a Disney vacation happen. And while my kids used to always love the idea, they've recently started having other interests that are very far outside Mickey, Minnie, and the rest of the crew. "Can we go to Legoland instead?" my 6-year-old will ask. After hearing their "protests" I immediately ask myself, "What is wrong with my kids?!" I mean, how can they not want to go to Disney at all times?
But then it got me thinking. What is it about Disneyland that I love so much that every other trip pales in comparison? I suppose Disneyland reminds me of my childhood, a happier time when I had no cares in the world. Now, when I visit Disneyland as an adult, I find myself in that same state of euphoria. At Disneyland, there are no work deadlines to meet, no bills to be paid, and no cleaning to be done. And when there's so many yummy Disney treats to enjoy, I'm not worried about my waistline, either. In the park, I truly embrace the Hakuna Matata philosophy. Being at Disneyland is a great escape from reality, and as a stressed out mother of two, I need that.
Of course, my family has vacationed at other kid-friendly places, including Legoland, and while switching it up is awesome, Disneyland is still the only place that sparks real joy and magic for me. As soon as I hear that tweet noise when I enter the gates (you know the one), I'm captivated by the beauty, fantasy, and wonder. When I walk down Main Street USA, smell that delicious vanilla aroma, and catch sight of the breathtaking view of the castle, I'm overcome with excitement. The amazing part is that the feeling stays with me throughout the entire vacation. Just like me, Disneyland has changed throughout the years — it's grown and adapted while never losing its enchantment and charm. Walt Disney said it best at Disneyland's grand opening when he declared, "Disneyland will never be completed, as long as there is imagination left in the world."
Although my kids may have initially preferred a new destination for our family vacation, they never regret coming to Disney once we're there. They scream their heads off as we plummet down Splash Mountain, squeal with delight at the sight of their favorite Disney princess strolling through Fantasyland, and savor every delicious bite of Disney's famous churros. By the end of the trip, they are whining that they don't want their fun vacation to end. Me too, babies. Me too.
I maintain my sense of wonder, and I have Disneyland to thank for that. My kids may not be as obsessed as I am, but they still have the best time. We create such special memories as a family, and while we'll definitely travel to other places, I want to try to keep Disneyland as a yearly tradition. Because to me, Disneyland is and always will be "the happiest place on Earth."