Let's get one thing straight right off the bat. I love Disney. You probably already knew that, but just in case you didn't, now you do. The first churro I ever ate was after riding Casey Jones at Disneyland when I was 6. One of the very first things I did upon moving to LA (and technically I think I did it even before officially moving) was buy my annual pass to Disneyland. Love. It.
There are many reasons - the movies, the characters, family trips, college internship, unrealistic expectations of love, blah blah blah. Doesn't matter. Suffice it to say that if I could marry Disneyland and move into Walt's old apartment above the fire station on Main Street and raise girls who sang to forest creatures, and boys who wore coon-skin hats or pirate eye-patches, I would.
Now that I live within 35 minutes of Disneyland (without traffic) I find myself there often enough to keep me quite content. Frequently I am there with various and sundry groups of friends. Or occasionally even friends and their families. I have discovered that trips to Disneyland are like Christmas in many ways. Each group brings different traditions to Disneyland and I love seeing what they are.
In my family we are generally open-to-close Disney goers. Desserts are high on the list of must-do's with churros near the top and we make full use of the fast pass system. New t-shirts are frequently seen on our trips. My dad loves the Tiki Room. My mom does not. We tend toward the more classic side of Disney, though we also enjoy the newer things. We rarely - if ever - miss the fireworks.
Being that I now go fairly regularly (I'm up to 9 trips so far this year) I tend to let other's traditions take precedence and I just enjoy being there.
It's interesting to see what other people's must-do Disney items are. Mickey head ice cream. Tom Sawyer Island (which my family never did). Billy Hill and the Hill-Billies. Big Thunder BBQ. The French Quarter. Pictures with princesses. Dole whips. Hidden Mickeys. Some rides are higher on some people's lists than others. Some people need to eat at specific restaurants. Oddly, I have yet to encounter anyone that has a tradition connected with either Innoventions* or Autopia...
Mostly it's fun because walking Disney to the tune of other's traditions allows me to have some Disney firsts. Can't think of anything specific at the moment, but I know it's happened.
So, what are some of your Disney traditions? Anything I should be sure not to miss next time I'm there, which, let's be honest, will probably be next week? Anyone going soon and need a good recommendation?
*If you've never been to Innoventions, I suggest going. At least once. It's pretty relaxed, air-conditioned, and there's some pretty cool stuff in there, though I have to say that Innoventions at Disneyworld is much better than Disneyland.