The exterior of The Haunted Mansion is specially decorated for the holiday season. The seasonal “The Nightmare Before Christmas” theming of the ride was something my family had never experienced before, so we enjoyed seeing it together. Photo by Addison Whiten
Every fall, Disneyland displays bright orange pumpkins and other autumnal trimmings to celebrate Halloween and the changing seasons. My family and I spent a day in the park this fall and enjoyed the special atmosphere these seasonal decorations fostered.
When we walked into the park, we saw a giant pumpkin in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head, sitting in front of the street that leads to the park’s focal point, the Sleeping Beauty Castle.
My family has been to Disney World multiple times, and we love that park. This trip to Disneyland was my second, but the first for my mother and sister. They were impressed by the castle’s dreamy, soft pink color —a stark contrast from the white walls of its Florida counterpart.
Our first stop after admiring the entrance area was Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, a staple of the park. No one in my family is particularly fond of Pinocchio, so this strangely dark ride was a funny way to kick off our day. The ride’s small cars threw us around, roughly slinging us from scene to scene as blacklight murals and blaring music told the story.
After getting off the ride, we walked around and took in the scenery of Fantasyland. We looked at the Matterhorn for a while, in awe of the mountain’s height and realism, complete with glittery white snow topping its peaks. We watched cars of screaming riders rush by disrupting the picturesque scenery, and laughed at the people yelling onboard.
Later in the day we wanted churros, and as we stood in line to buy them we could smell the deep fried sugary snacks. Our wait felt much longer than it really was because we were hungry and they smelled so good — but once we finally got our treats, the wait was worth it.
My favorite Disney ride is the timeless, It’s a Small World, so the highlight of the day was when we finally arrived at the ride’s sparkly white-and-gold facade. Once we sat in our brightly-colored boat, we went on our way. Onboard, we enjoyed the ride’s signature soundtrack, sung in multiple languages and in varied styles as animatronic children from around the world danced around us.
The big finale of our fun day at Disneyland was The Haunted Mansion. Every year, the ride gets a special “The Nightmare Before Christmas” theme for the holiday season, so we were there at the perfect time for a festive experience. We stood in line for an hour, so we had plenty of time outside to notice all the whimsical holiday decorations on the big old house. By the time we got inside to get on the ride, our feet hurt so bad that we were ecstatic to sit for a while.
My family’s day at Disneyland was a refreshing, much-needed break from my usual life on campus at Pepperdine. It was a colorful, tasty and, at times, sore day that I won’t soon forget — spent with the people who matter most.
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Contact Addison Whiten via Twitter (@addisonwhiten) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org