Straight to the Source

by Jenna Kahl, contributing writer

I realized that I have now written almost a years' worth of articles for MousePlanet, focusing on traveling to the Disneyland Resort with kids, and I have yet to go straight to the source. So, let me introduce you to my 6-year-old daughter, who has requested that she be referred to as "Jasmine" from this point on, with occasional interjections from her 2-year-old sister, who we shall refer to as "Cinderella."

I tried my best to not parse or change any of their answers but I have supplemented their advice and suggestions with the official names of the attractions and some additional clarification if needed.

Question 1: What advice would you give to someone who has never been to Disneyland?

Jasmine: "Have lots of fun, ride lots of rides and stay a long time."

Cinderella: "Yay!"

Question 2: What are the best rides for kids?

Jasmine: "I really like "small world" ["it's a small world"], the Ariel ride [Ariel's Undersea Adventure], and Soarin' [Soarin' Around the World], but lots of the rides are good."

Cinderella: “Train [The Disneyland Railroad] and Winnie the Pooh [The Many Adventure of Winnie the Pooh]."

Question 3: What rides are not the best for kids?

Jasmine: "California Screamin' of course! And I don't like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Cars [Radiator Springs Racers], they both go too fast"

Question 4: What are the best things to pack when you go to Disneyland for the day?

Cinderella: "A jacket, sometimes it's cold -- and a blanket to cover your legs."

Jasmine: "A water bottle is good because sometimes its hot and you should wear good shoes or bring extras if they hurt your feet. I also think it would be good to bring one of those autograph books and a pen if you meet any characters."

Question 5: What are the best characters to meet in person at Disneyland?

Jasmine: "Mickey and Minnie! I like when they wear fun outfits."

Cinderella: "Woody!"

Jasmine: "If you want to meet the Princesses you could go to the Princess Place [Fantasy Faire] and meet lots at once."

Question 6: What are the best things and places to eat at Disneyland?

Jasmine: "Mickey Bars are delicious; churros are good, but really messy, so you should have baby wipes."

Mickey Bars are delicious! Photo by Jenna Kahl.

Cinderella: "Chicken" [Jenna: Speaking from experience the chicken nuggets at most Disneyland Resort locations are yummy, but she seems to favor the Hungry Bear restaurant.]

Jasmine: "I love to eat at the place with the yummy tortilla chips [Rancho Del Zocalo] and the Food Court next to the water [Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure Park]."

Question 7: What is your favorite parade?

Jasmine: "I love the Paint the Night parade and it's even better when you get to wear glow stuff. My favorite is the Ariel float one since it's so beautiful."

Cinderella: "Monsters, roar!" [The Pixar Play Parade at DCA]

Question 8: What is your favorite show?

Jasmine: "I really like The Beauty and the Beast show (at the Royal Theatre), and I didn't like that it went away for so long."

Question 9: What kind of things should people buy at Disneyland?

Jasmine: "Mickey ear hats are the best, clothes with pretty Disneyland pictures and things that glow."

Cinderella: "Candy!" [Jenna: She enjoys the selection at Trolley Treats at DCA]

Question 10: What are the things that sometimes bother you about Disneyland?

Jasmine: "When my parents sing songs or the songs on the rides. I also don't like those people who ask you to stop and take your picture, I rather be on rides."

Question 11: What is your favorite time of the day to be at Disneyland?

Jasmine: "Nighttime because they have the Paint the Night parade and you can ride the rides at night and they are so much cooler."

Cinderella: "Christmas in my stroller" [Jenna: Not really sure what she was going for with this one.]

Question 12: What is your favorite place that we eat outside of Disneyland when we are going back to the hotel?

Jasmine: "McDonalds! But I think you and Dad like Robin Hood better." [Jenna: This actually means Red Robin.]

Question 13: What do you wish Dad and I knew about what you want out of your trips to Disneyland?

Jasmine: "I wish Mom could ride more rides and not wait with the baby."

Question 14: What is your favorite holiday to celebrate at Disneyland?

Jasmine: "Thanksgiving! Delicious food, dancing and seeing Santa"

Cinderella: "My Birth-a-day." [Jenna: Translated to my birthday.]

After conducting this very formal interview, gathering my notes and compiling my article, I realized something very important about the impact that our trips to the Disneyland Resort have had on my kids. They didn't name anything expensive, no elaborate character dinners, and no extravagant souvenirs. However, they did recall memories of their parents' annoying singing, stuff that glows, some special characters, and an overall fantastic time with their family.