Disneyland is more than just a paradise for kids, it’s also a place where you can humour your inner child and opt for some activities that don’t only cater to that age group. Consider this your go-to guide for exploring Disneyland as an adult. By Vishwaveer Singh
The Hotels Are Breathtaking
I was put up at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, my hotel made me feel like I was back at the safaris at South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Surrounded on all sides by water bodies, where animals laze under the sun, the lodge is a great way to be transported to a whole new world. Themed like a traditional castle, it is conveniently located in the centre of Disneyland, allowing guests to use the resort’s shuttle-service to reach any of the four major theme parks pretty quickly.
If you’re in the mood for something more classic, check out Disney’s Grand Floridian, which is the hotel version of Florida’s Governor Mansion. Clad in white, it offers guests all the amenities one could expect from a world-class hotel. Across the lake on which the Floridian is located is the Polynesian Village – a resort that’s an ode to everything Hawaiian.
The Wilderness Lodge is another great example of Disney’s ingenuity. Modeled on an Alpine ranch, the hotel boasts of villas that come with their own plunge pools and game zones. On the other hand, The Contemporary Resort is an option for those who want to keep things simple yet classy. With a chic, edgy rooms, it is conveniently located a stone’s throw away from Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
The Rides Are For The Adrenaline Junkies
There’s no point going to Disneyland if you’re planning on staying put at your hotel. The rollercoasters, the 4D experiences that leave you dazed and transport you inside your favourite cinematic blockbuster, all of these are curated to such a detailed degree that calling them ‘immersive’ doesn’t do them justice. Disneyland, Florida, has four such major parks – The Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and the larger-than-life Magic Kingdom.
Here you can ride a banshee (the scary bluebird from the movie) that transports you to the world of Avatar, thanks to your 3D glasses; experience one of the most exciting roller-coasters, Space Mountain; freefall from a six-storey elevator ride called the Tower of Terror; or fly above some of the world’s most majestic sights on a simulator-based flight called Soarin’. There are myriad options, but one suggestion would be that you register for a Fast Pass +, a band that allows you to skip lines and get ahead without spending hours waiting.
It’s Not Just About Fun & Games
A vacation to Disneyland can offer you whatever you want: a safari where you spot the Big 5, a spa treatment that will have you feeling like a new-born or a perfectly prepared Manhattan that will leave the cocktail connoisseur in you truly impressed.
Epcot, for me, was a marvel that left me awe-struck. Where else can you see so many wonders of the world, all within walking distance? Their British village transported me to London; Paris was just a bridge away, with its very own Eiffel Tower; and on the other side of the lake stood an impressive Japanese Castle, next to a Chinese Pavilion that looked like it had been transported straight from Beijing. At the end of your day, the park organises fireworks show that is just mesmerising. You can get a drink at any of the bars and pubs they have conveniently located across the parks, or pick up a souvenir from one of their many stores while you take a break from the amusements and watch the fireworks illuminate the Orlando skies.
Another facility Disneyland offers is the VIP tour, where guides take you around the parks. It’s a great way to beat the queues and get stories you normally wouldn’t hear. Mine had taken Princess Diana along with William and Harry around Disneyland. If you’re not one to wait for shuttles, Disney also offers chauffeur-driven Minnie-vans that can take you around from the hotel to the park at your own schedule.
How to Get There
Emirates is excellently connected via Dubai, offering the Boeing 777 that is amply equipped to handle your long-haul needs.