By James Hall
Walt Disney’s dream was to create a place where parents and children could have fun together. Disney parks are some of the most popular destinations in the world for families of all ages. They are the perfect destinations for multi-generation family vacations and for making life-long memories. Memories are the most precious souvenirs we bring home, and every Disney Park memory is sprinkled with pixie dust. With multiple generations you can experience everything for the first time again through the joy of the youngest family members. That is just the magical experience my family had on our most recent visit to Disneyland.
As a child, some of the best memories my parents and brothers shared were our twice-yearly visits to Disneyland. My parents said the best part of a Disney trip was watching our faces light up every time we saw our favorite characters or went on our favorite rides. These trips fueled my love for Disney. I've shared that love with my own family as an adult watching Disney movies, seeing Disney live shows, and taking my kids to Disneyland!
When our son was 18 months old we took him to Disneyland and for the first time I felt the joy my parents did on our family vacations. His face lit up at the magical sites, and he loved the rides. His highlight was when a Cast Member gave him Mickey stickers and for the rest of the day he pointed to them saying, “Mickey!”
I have been to Walt Disney World with my parents, but Disneyland is a special place for family memories. My parents haven't been there since Disney California Adventure opened! When we planned our summer visit with them, we knew it would be a great time to continue family traditions with a day at the Disneyland Resort. Our son is three, and our daughter is almost one, so they are old enough to enjoy Disneyland.
We splurged on two nights at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, to be closer to the Parks and stay in the Disney “bubble”. None of us had ever stayed at a Disneyland Resort hotel. The hotel is beautifully crafted in every detail, our kids and I loved the wonderful view of the pool from our balcony. We enjoyed dinner at Storytellers Café and dinner was delicious. You should have seen our son's face when dessert came! He was so excited.
The highlight of the trip was being inside the parks. My dad rented a scooter from Scooter Bug to make mobility easier, and he kept in great spirits. Both of my parents focused on my children’s enjoyment, and were overjoyed to experience the Disney Magic through a child's eyes once again. My son enjoyed it even more than he did on his last trip.
The characters were a real highlight for him! Our favorite character encounter was Tigger because our son got to bounce while Tigger approved and applauded. I loved the new distanced character encounters. This allowed for a more natural experience without the hassle of waiting in line for a brief interaction and picture. There were so many more characters than I have ever seen except in a parade or show, and few long lines. This new form of character interaction was a hit for my family!
The pictures and experiences of all of us together are something I will always treasure because it brought back the memories I had as a kid and made new ones with my own children. Including my parents in this experience was magical. I don't know how many times we will be able to have three generations of my family at the Disney Parks but this will be something that will stay with me till the end of days.
I wouldn't trade this experience for anything else. If you are thinking of a big multi-generation family trip on any Disney vacation, do not wait until it is too late. Do it while you can! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to help your entire family plan one of the most magical experiences you can have.