20th Anniversary of Our First Trip to Disneyland Together (#FlashbackFriday)

Our 20th anniversary continues with remembering our first trip to Disneyland together. As I might have mentioned a time or two, I grew up near Disneyland (saw Walt in the park and even watched Disneyland being built), and Rich first went there with his family when he was six. They came all the way from Delaware. After he moved out to the San Francisco Bay Area after college, he went to Disneyland a few times with some friends.

So in October, just two months after our wedding, Rich and I were snuggling together on the couch in our Redwood Shores apartment, and he was reading a brochure. He showed it to me and said, “How would you like one of these?” What was it, you might ask. It was a brand new Mustang.

Of course, I said, “Yes!” pretty much the same way I said “Yes!” when he proposed – lol!

So we bought the new Mustang and decided we needed to take it on the open road. South on I-5 would be the perfect place to drive a new Mustang.

mustangFor some reason I can’t remember now, we planned to go to Knott’s Berry Farm. Maybe because of the stories we’d told each other about how that’s probably where we’d met on his family trip. Why not Disneyland? I have no idea now. Maybe we were looking for a smaller outing on such a last-minute trip.

So, here we were, blasting down I-5 when Rich asks, “Can you go all the way to Southern California and not go to Disneyland?”

“Yes,” I lied (why, I do not know).

So Rich said, “Well, I can’t.” lol!

“Me neither,” I confessed.

So off we drove down I-5 and checked into our hotel near Knott’s Berry Farm. We started early in the morning with breakfast at Mrs. Knott’s. Somewhere we have a photo of Rich all dolled up in a pink boa onstage with the Calico Saloon girls. That’s when I realized my new husband was a ham. Ha! Don’t know why it took me so long.

That breakfast filled us up until 4 p.m. when we finally had a small snack before heading off to Disneyland. By the time the park was about to close at midnight, we were exhausted but determined to buy Rich a Mickey watch. I don’t think we did, though, but he’d find one on another trip.

No wonder we felt like we should cancel our WDW trip this fall for a Disneyland trip. It marks the 20 year anniversary of that first trip together.

Besides, after two big cruises this year, we were trying to do it on the cheap with very few vacation days. A better-planned Spring trip will be a better time to go when we can do it right.


Life’s a Beach, Final Thoughts

We can’t help but notice how different our experience is visiting Disneyland this time around vs. the first time we lived in Las Vegas. Back then we stayed onsite – at the GC quite often – and DCA was our relaxing place. This was before Cars Land, the GC DVC Villas, and the Disneyland Hotel refurb.

It was quiet and much more affordable back then. Plus, we’d just moved back from Florida and were far more connected to Disney. The GC gave us a piece of WDW in California – it seemed like the best of both worlds.

Upon our return to Las Vegas, Cars Land still draws huge crowds to DCA, prices have skyrocketed, and we’re just not that into the things we once were. For example, before, we loved the whole Nor Cal vibe at the GC and the Pier area of DCA. Since then, we lived in the Bay Area again and revisited Monterey and the wine country and the redwoods, etc., so it’s not that special.

And now we’re living in Las Vegas again, the whole Cars Land isn’t that special – in fact, it’s like commuting to Rich’s job – not much of a getaway there.

So, as we were talking this morning, we’ll probably return to doing Disneyland the way we did before when we lived in the Bay Area pre DCA. We made one trip a year, usually in October, and that was all we needed.

While I’ve always loved Disneyland because it’s part of my childhood, we only became Disney addicts once we visited WDW for the first time together and it was so amazing, we had to move to Florida. WDW has so much to offer, you almost need to live nearby to do it all. We’ve done that twice now.

Retiring in Florida is still part of our conversation. But until then, we don’t really have to do Disneyland that often. We’d rather focus on the beach, although I wouldn’t mind another meal at Napa Rose. 🙂

But, if we’re going to splurge on a big Disney trip, we’d probably choose Florida over California. There’s just so much more to do and I’m not even talking about the parks. 🙂