When one thinks of visiting Disneyland, it instantly brings up the thought of family. A day in the park with family includes strollers, meeting characters, juice boxes and tired kids holding a plush and dozing off while heading back to the bus that takes you to your hotel. You have thoughts of planning your trip like a well oiled camping adventure. You can’t forget the extra shoes, or the bib or heaven forbid the container of Goldfish crackers! Rarely do adults even dare to dream about what it could be like going to Disneyland WITHOUT children. It’s like the unspoken rule that has been ingrained into our brains, Disneyland without children is absolutely not allowed. What if……..just what if you jumped out of the box and grabbed your sweetie and headed the the Happiest Place on Earth sans children? What would that date be like?
I have made that journey and I lived to tell about it. I admit the first time we took the plunge and went to Disneyland without the kids I did feel a pang of guilt. Seeing the children all around laughing and glowing with that Disney magic really was hard at first. I quickly realized that we take the kids multiple times a year and to go on a grown up date to Disneyland is just fine. So on our adventure we went. Preparing for the day was much easier. I only needed to pack for myself. Provisions for two adults really are nothing compared to two adults and three kids.
As we entered the park for our first grown up Disney date I found that I had that excitement and anticipation that I had not felt since I was little. When you have children you are in survival mode. You want to make sure you know where they are, where they are going, what ride they want to visit, what character do they want to see and how long the line is and are they hungry. When you don’t have the children, you remove all that brain work and can focus just on yourself and your date. Steve and I walked down Main Street holding hands. We stopped and got coffee and slowly browsed through stores and looked at merchandise, something we can’t do with the children.
Everything is different doing Disney without kids. You can have adult conversations while waiting in line for Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters, or have a childlike conversation while eating dinner at Napa Rose. The possibilities are endless.
The guilt of enjoying Disneyland without children could possibly weigh heavy on parental hearts. I look it as recharging yourselves as Disneyland beacons. Our jobs as lovers of all things Disney is to never lose sight of the dream that one man had. Never lose sight of the power and the magic that has captured your heart, that has become the keystone of your lives. The love of a Disney life is what we are passing on to our children, and to take a day to visit Disneyland or Disney World…or hey, even Disneyland Paris (now THAT is a date!) and center yourselves again is the best way to continue teaching and living the Disney way. So pack your (very light) backpack, grab your sweetie and run, don’t walk to your nearest Disney park!