Stepping where Walt had once walked

Our second trip to a Disney park was once again in conjunction with a trip to Europe.

Because we had points to use to offset the cost, we decided to fly around the world and include a stop in Los Angeles where we visited Disneyland and then Universal.

While Disneyland was amazing and Universal was enjoyable too, LA was difficult on that trip.  We pushed ourselves too hard in the parks and our time in Disneyland could have benefited from more planning, better footwear and, to be honest, a slightly better level of fitness.

But it didn't tarnish our memories of walking where Mr Disney himself had once walked.

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While in some ways we got it wrong on our first morning in terms of getting onto the Radiator Springs Racers, but we lucked it nicely with this old beauty (yep, worst selfie in the world, but it was back in the days of no front screen!).

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Most importantly, in planning this trip, Lewis was given two options: 

1) Have the longest birthday ever by flying on his birthday (we can't remember the maths, but if we'd left Auckland on his birthday, he would have got an extra 6 hours or so to celebrate!); or

2) Check into Disney, then the next day celebrate in the park.

No brainer, right? 

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While we thought it was quite cute indulging this big kid in a birthday badge, we didn't realise that this meant birthday acknowledgements from the Cast members that saw him throughout the day.  Lewis took his badge off before the sun went down, but not before we had a lunch at the Wine Country Trattoria, which ended with this treat:

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And what better way to celebrate than on the rides of DCA!?  We soared through the air on the Golden Zephyr, got soaked on the Grizzly River Run, played Toy Story Midway Mania and rode Mickey's fun Wheel.

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And Kat was kind enough to not ride California Screaming so she could take this snap. 

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But the icing on the cake (does that even work when you're already had cake!?) was over in Disneyland, where Tomorrowland was hosting some of Tony Stark's builds:

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We couldn't help but compare the differences with Disneyland Paris.  For one, C3PO spoke english! 

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There was no roof over the tea cups!

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Oh and Lewis was really happy with this frozen chocolate coated banana snack.  Couldn't get those at DLP! 

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Alas, this trip was once again plagued by a lack of photos being taken (we suspect we spent too much time in awe of where we were and too engrossed in what we were doing).  There were so many wonderful moments.

One of the best was Lewis shuffling Kat along to see World of Colour.  Once the show started we were amazed by the water projection show.

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We can't wait to go back!  We'll be able to ride Guardians of the Galaxy and promise we'll be much more organised this time (saving our feet!)!

The Tip of the Iceberg

After trips to the UK (and a little of Europe) in 2010 and 2011, Lewis floated the idea of visiting Disneyland Paris.

So with nothing more than bookings for the hotel and park tickets, we embarked on our first Disney adventure...

Looking back, there really weren't that many photos.  We've got no idea why (bad tourists?Not enough memory storage?) and apologise for the distinct lack of images in this post!

The magic began when we stepped out of the train and saw this sight.

Katherine's imagination (recalling her childhood favourite, Brock the Balloonist) was captured immediately and, as soon as we could offload our bags, this was our first Disney ride.

While it wasn't as organised as it could have been, it was certainly a magical trip.

The iconic tea cups were an instant favourite and no matter which park we visit are a must ride for us!  Day and night they were there to ride or just admire with that beautiful roof and those coloured lanterns.

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Of course, Kat didn't just get into a spin.  She rode her first roller coaster.  Even if it was with her eyes shut and a grimace.  Gosh and in the days before PhotoPass, too!

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But it was worth it and meant that we could both enjoy rides like Tower of Terror together as well as some of the more sedate rides!

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Lewis was quite taken with some of the snacks on offer.

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And Kat got into the Disney spirit.

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But let's face it, the DLP castle is a pretty thing, be it day, night or in between.  

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We talk about this (and our second) trip to Disneyland Paris in Episodes 3 and 4 of our Dis Down Under podcast.