I might not be an extreme die-hard Disney fan like some, but I’m definitely an avid MouseLand goer, and Disney parks, in general, are one of my favorite vacation destinations. It never gets old.
Throughout the years, I’ve visited all the Disney parks that were open prior 2000. I’ll be sharing my experiences at each park through the “meerkat eyes” in my upcoming posts.
To start, my very first Disneyland experience was at the age of 6 or 7, when my parents decided to take me to Japan for a summer trip, including Tokyo Disneyland, which was just open for a few years back then.
I don’t remember much, other than…
- getting a pair of Mickey ear headband
- taking the Pirates of the Caribbean ride sans Johnny Depp or Captain Jack Sparrow
- having some burger and fries that I didn’t care for (I think some Michael Jackson concert/tour video was playing at the restaurant/cafe?)
- dancing with one of the cast members of The Little Mermaid sea creature during the parade
(yes, back then, they would pick kids from the crowd to “hang out” at the parade, and I was one of them!! I remember lots of people were whispering as the cast member was a tall caucasian lady, and she totally stood out among the Japanese cast members, and this is the early 90s, when seeing white people is not very common for some people)
- watching fireworks from my grand-aunt’s house, that was close to the park and had a great view (minus the crowds!!)
- purchasing a bracelet with Disney character charms (Mickey, Minnie, and Donald Duck), which broke a few months later on a slide, so grandma had to get me another one when she was in Tokyo. Come to think of it, did I make her go to Tokyo Disneyland just for that?
buying *(again?)* a Minnie plush that was almost the same size as me, but I don’t remember how we got it on the plane on our returning flight.
Okay, it seems like I do remember A LOT and as I’m typing, more memories popped up. To be honest, I think Disneyland, Lake Kawaguchi by Mt Fuji, Todaiji temple and deer are all great memories I still have from that trip and I’m so grateful I got to experience all that.
That Tokyo Disneyland visit made me fall in love with this place! I mean, I grew up reading princess stories/fairy tales, and watching Disney cartoons (my fav was this VCR of 3 short series of Chip & Dale) and movies (Sleeping Beauty all the way!!) that my aunt sent me from the US of A.
Being with “real” characters that would interact with me just made me love the concept of Disney and its magic even more!!
And at this moment, I’m sitting here plotting how to add the Paris park to my upcoming trip to France because it’s been awhile… 🙂
Until then… (meerkat’s paws up!)
And a bonus picture of the little meerkat,