Date: March 2014
Destination: Disneyland, Anaheim California
Activity: Disneyland of course!
I love to visit a Disney park just like most of America. The excitement of the rides, meeting the characters, and all the spectaculousness of Disney has my mouth agape every time I visit. However, the thing I hate most are lines and crowds. I just can’t stand it. For this reason I have found the need to visit a Disney park less and less. Now if I could have the place to myself and a few good family and friends I’d go all the time but needless to say that only happens in my dreams. Like many of you know I have six kids and going to a Disney park every now and then over the years seems to be a right of passage so I’ve had to find a way to take them and still enjoy it.
I am grateful that my handsome hubby feels the same way I do, therefore we have decided to only visit once every three to four years but when we do, we do it right! Through the concierge program at Disney anyone can rent a tour guide for the day. I’m not going to lie… it isn’t cheap. Pricing on guides can be found at Disney VIP Tours. However we rationalize the cost by not going very often and the fact that we have so many kids it makes getting on rides even that much more laborious without a guide.
So this year we were set up with Aaron. He was about the coolest guide we’ve ever been paired with. Our day with Aaron was his very first day being a full-fledged guide. Don’t get me wrong not everyone can just be hired to be a guide. There is an 18 month probationary period in which the guide must work in the public relations department and then they must also memorize and give two different tours for a period of time before being paired up for personal guidance. I was concerned when Aaron mentioned we were his firsts patrons but I was pleasantly surprised with his aptitude. He was fantastic!
I think since we were Aarons first opportunity to guide he rose above and beyond the challenge. He was ready to make it the best tour day ever! We met up with him at the Disney hotel at 9:00am. He was soon leading us past the lines of people waiting to get into the park. Soon we were in front of the rope holding the crowds back as the park was just about to open and he was leading us to the first ride in California Adventure park. We went straight for the Hollywood Tower of Terror. From there the race was on! We were going every minute for the rest of the day. When we got to a ride with a long line (which all of them had one) he’d either take us to the fast pass line or up the exit to get on just like the VIP’s we pretended we were!
He was able to make lunch and dinner reservations for our party of 9 with no problem and he made sure to schedule in shows here and there to give us a chance to get off of our feet. At one point we were at the Star Wars Patowan training show in the Disneyland park and I urged Clay my 11-year-old at the time to volunteer to be in the show. Clay saw all the hands go up and was hesitant to raise his hand and decided to give someone else a chance. Little did I know Aaron had already talked to the show volunteer selector and soon he called Clay from the audience to be in the show. It was hilarious and a true highlight to Clays day.
Besides testing our Disney knowledge while waiting in fast pass lines Aaron also did great character imitations and had Colton and his friend “M” cracking up laughing with his Eddie Murphy Donkey imitations from the movie Shrek. We were all cracking up! Since we were an odd number Aaron volunteered to go on all the rides with us to even out our numbers. It was also nice to have another adult in our group wrangling the seven kids we had with us that day. I also appreciated not having to decide the strategy of where to go next. Aaron had the whole day planned out and based his selections on what the kids wanted. Trent and I only had to follow along and enjoy the day just like one of the kids.
We went during Spring break so the park was pretty busy. We saw many signs reading that the wait from the end of the line would be about two hours. With our ten hour day that would have given us the opportunity to only go on five rides! With Aaron we rode on:
Tower of Terror
Radiator Springs Racers
King Tritons Carousel
Toy Story Midway Mania
Saw the Muppet Show
Monsters Inc Ride
Pirates of Caribbean
Star Wars Jedi Patawon show
Saw the Aladdin Show
Imagination Academy Show with Crush
Goofy’s Sky School 2 times
Soarin’ Over California
and Ariel undersea adventure
That’s 16 rides and four shows plus time for a sit down lunch in the New Orleans Diner and a sit down dinner at the Pasta Place over in California Adventure. It was a full packed day and with Aaron we had the chance to see everything we wanted. We even stopped at the end and watched the Color World show with reserved seating and had a few minutes to shop when the show was over. The kids had a magical day and thanks to Aaron I did too! Granted this isn’t a cheap way to see Disney but it ensured us Texans a full day to remember for the next four years!!
Have a Safe and Magical Travel!!