As someone who has been going to Disney since I was four, I have been dreaming of going to Disneyland with my girlfriend for some time. That day has now come, but with a twist I would not have expected: I’m dating someone who has never been to Disney. This has given me the opportunity to experience the magic that is ones first time at a Disney park and talk about aspects of planning I otherwise would not have given any thought to.
The Early Bird Gets The Worm: The Importance of Rope Drop
Rope drop is a normal part of the park-going experience for seasoned Disney fans. As I found out when I told my girlfriend the plan for our first park day, suggesting the idea of getting up at 6:30 in the morning to go to Disneyland so you can be there before it opens makes you sound a little crazy (at least when talking to first-timers).
Rope dropping is more important than ever now in this world of Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes. These changes to the parks have added a new obstacle when getting the most out of your day. If you get there for rope drop, you’re off to a great start.
“The Gods Have Been Angered by All The Celebratin'”: Allergy friend options.
I’m not a person who has to worry about food allergies, but now I have to plan a trip with someone who does. My girlfriend is lactose intolerant and also has a minor pineapple allergy. The dairy issue is an easy fix, but when it comes to pineapple, that was a little harder.
Dole Whip is one of the most iconic Disney treats, so having to find an alternative was not something a first-time guest would know where to find. I was surprised to find that, unlike Magic Kingdom, Disneyland’s Adventureland still only offers the classic pineapple Dole Whip and none of the other flavors available in Florida.
After a bit of digging, I found that Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats now has dairy-free Mango Soft Serve, which, as it turns out, is just mango-flavored Dole Whip. This discovery was great news for my girlfriend, who was upset she couldn’t have a Dole Whip. So, for anyone who either doesn’t like pineapple or can’t eat it, check out Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats over at Pixar Pier for a Mango or lemon alternative.
“There Are People Who Enjoy Disneyland, And Those Who Just Haven’t Admitted It Yet.”: Creating A Disney Fan
My girlfriend is by no means a Disney fan, no more than your average person, that is. This fact has given me the task of trying to show her that there is more to Disneyland than just going on rides and standing in lines. I could write an entire article on this subject which is why I shall make this brief.
Growing up, my mother went to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. These trips turned into a lifelong love of Disney that, in turn, was passed down to me. Just as Disneyland was an escape from home troubles and life for my mother growing up, it has given me the same escape. To some, they hear the word “escape” and assume it’s an avoidance thing. That is far from the truth.
For me, Disneyland provides an escape from life’s trouble but also instills me with an almost therapeutic optimism and hope for the future. It is this ideological aspect that I believe makes Disneyland so special for so many of us. I do not doubt that once my girlfriend gets to experience the magic herself, she, too, will understand this fact.
There is an excellent article on the topic of the psychology of Adult Disney Fans which I highly suggest you read if you would like a deep dive into what makes Disney so special.
Disney can be daunting to those who have never been, and you can miss so much if you don’t know what you’re doing. I am beyond excited to take my girlfriend to Disneyland for the first time, and already I’ve seen her go from being excited to see me in my happy place to asking me to tell her more about things like building a droid in Galaxy’s Edge.