One of the hardest things about compiling Disneyland Resort lists is that it is so hard to narrow down the things we love the most. There are many aspects of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure park that send our hearts aflutter, from the tiniest details (miniature hidden Mickeys and fragrances) to the biggest rides and shows. There are so many things that make Disneyland magical for me! But we’ve done our best to narrow down the top things we’re looking forward to when Disneyland Resort reopens.
Top 10 Things We’re Looking Forward to When Disneyland Reopens
Smelling of Pirates of the Caribbean
One thing we can all agree on is that Pirates of the Caribbean water has one of the best theme park fragrances ever created. The first thing we do when we enter the building is take a big whiff of that musty sea water/wet wood fragrance and we are home. We love riding the attraction too, of course, and we make sure to set sail on every visit. It’s a relaxing ride to rest tired legs, escape the heat, escape the rain, escape reality … I can go on. But this is one ride and smell we’ve been dreaming about in quarantine. Yo ho! Yo ho! A pirate’s life for me. I’m definitely going to embarrass my family and sing along.
It doesn’t even matter to me which character I see. Whichever character I see first will be my new favorite! Lily prefers princesses and Minnie Mouse. Tad loves the "Star Wars" and Marvel characters. Leap loves the classics: Donald, Goofy, Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale. But I love them all! Mary Poppins and Bert are pretty special favorites, but I love the villains, especially the ones who take some special time to interact with you, such as the Evil Queen, the Mad Hatter and Cruella de Vil. I get especially jumpy when I spot a rare character, though; you know, the ones that do not appear in the app, such as Lady Tremaine with the wicked stepsisters, the Beast, Geppetto or Pinocchio. Those roaming and surprise characters are a big part of my Disneyland magic.
We are not sure what character interactions will look like in the reopening period due to social distancing. We know that the traditional meet-and-greets will be temporarily available. But if I can simply wave to characters, I’m all good with that. I know that someday, my princess will come give me a hug again. Until then, we can blow kisses to one another.
The Shanghai Disneyland opening procedures are giving us a glimpse of what character interactions may look like. The Disney World reopening July 11 will also give us a chance to see how things go there first. In Shanghai, face characters, such as princesses, are not masked, but they are seen from a distance to keep them safe. Expect a royal wave. Character processions allow guests to see their favorite characters go by. And in each land, characters will make group appearances to welcome guests back to the parks. We watched a video of a meet-and-greet with Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore and Tigger. Guests were separated from the characters by a hedge, but guests could still talk to the characters and interact and get that special time together. It's possible that we could see these or similar measures in place during the opening phases. We frogs enjoyed the Band-Tastic Cavalcade in 2019, when many characters paraded down the streets of Disneyland, so we would be hoppy catch a glimpse of characters in a similar event upon Disneyland's reopening. But no details have been released yet.
Eating Our Favorite Snacks
I have spent so much time thinking about our favorite Disneyland snacks in quarantine. I've decided we could easily list the top 10 things we are looking forward to eating when Disneyland reopens! Is there one treat I miss most of all? I quizzed the family on their favorites. Tad misses Disneyland churros and popcorn. Lily can always go for a Mickey-shaped ice cream. Leap would jump the fence for a giant turkey leg or corndog right now.
I have so many favorites, from churro toffee, to the Pixar Pier Parfait, to those huge themed macarons or a warm Jack-Jack Cookie Num Num. I could also go for a Mickey beignet and a Mint Julep (or two) right now. OK, now I am drooling. Sometimes it’s as if I am on autopilot when I pull into the Cozy Cone Motel and order a vanilla soft-serve cone with rainbow cereal. I wasn’t even planning on getting it, and yet there I am enjoying the most delicious soft-serve ice cream with Fruity Pebbles on top. But if I had to choose, I think my most favorite Disneyland snack that I most look forward to when Disneyland reopens is a Disneyland character caramel apple. They are the perfect blend of adorable Disney design and a delicious, sweet and salty snack.
Sitting on a Bench Near Sleeping Beauty Castle
Once I acquire one of my Disneyland snacks, I am going to bring it along and plop myself on a bench and just take it all in. I am going to appreciate being in the “Hoppiest Place on Earth” and watch the Main Street vehicles go by and guests taking pictures Sleeping Beauty Castle. I’m going to wave at passing characters, watch the Disneyland Band and the Pearly Band perform (hopfully with characters) and say hi to the ducks. I’m sure they miss me and my messy tadpoles who spill popcorn for them to gobble up.
Eating Fried Chicken at Plaza Inn
Ding! Ding! We have a winner when it comes to a favorite Disneyland meal. Yeah, the list of favorite meals is almost as long as the list of favorite snacks, but the fried chicken with mashed potatoes, green beans and biscuit is the best!
Riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
This here’s the wildest ride in the wilderness, and we will never get tired of riding this roller coaster. That is all. Go for a virtual ride on this and other rides from our top 10 Disneyland Ride videos.
Trying Not to Say the Ghost Host’s Lines Out Loud in the Stretching Room of the Haunted Mansion
Oh how we miss that delightfully creepy ghost host’s voice as he asks, “Is this haunted room actually stretching? Or is it your imagination — hmm?” Did I say that out loud or just in my head? I mean there’s no turning back now … The Haunted Mansion was undergoing refurbishment when the parks closed, so we are hopping it will return from the grave soon after Disneyland reopens.
Seeing the Backside of Water
We look forward to taking a journey on the Jungle Cruise and hearing those familiar corny jokes and seeing the eighth wonder of the world — the backside of water (O2H! O2H!). Even if other guests are stone-faced through the "dry" humor, we promise we won’t take it for granite.
Getting a PhotoPass Photo with Magic Shot
We love those PhotoPass photographers who are toadally awesome at getting the right angle. But we particularly love the Magic Shots. It’s so much fun to see what magically appeared in our photo. And I’m adding "doing a planned pose for a ride PhotoPass" to the must-do list.
Seeing Christmas Lights
Yeah, Disneyland has not announced when Disneyland will reopen, but we are always looking forward to holiday time at Disneyland. The lights, decorations and entertainment is so beautiful. We are longing for that magical Christmas season and the Festival of Holidays, where we can eat even more food from different holidays around the world and drink yummy drinks while we watch Mostly Kosher and other acts perform at Disney California Adventure Park.
Other Disneyland Favorites We Look Forward to Seeing When Disneyland Reopens
You may have noticed that we did not mention our favorite parades and nighttime spectaculars such as fireworks, Fantasmic! and World of Color. Yes! We are absolutely jumping with anticipation to see our favorite magical shows and entertainment again. But, with social distancing, we are trying to approach the reopening with a some reasonable expectations. We know these shows will not return right away when Disneyland reopens. In the meantime, we enjoy watching our top 10 Disneyland entertainment videos on YouTube. (OK, I do cry a little bit when I watch them.)
Until Disneyland reopens, we will be toadally focusing on the other wonderful things that make Disneyland magical to us. We look forward to checking all of these items off of our list on that extra-magical day when Disneyland reopens!
What about you? What are you looking forward to when Disneyland reopens? Do you already know what you will want to do first? Let us know in the comments section below!