Where can I start? The Rock Your Disney Side 24-Hour event at the Disneyland Resort was a blast and I will never forget the memories that were created. With camping out at midnight, a full 24 hours in the park and a plan solely dedicated to have fun, this day could have not been better.
On top of the adventure, DAPs Magic live streamed the entire event with a total of 32 hours!
Preparation for this event began long before we made it to the parks. Having packed a backpack with all the necessities, it is a must to come prepared. I stuffed as much as I could carry into my backpack. Food, water, a blanket, an external battery and much more helped me get through the day. With all that set and ready, Johnny 5 and I made our way to the parks. Having arrived to the resort around midnight, we parked at the Simba parking lot. It was a breeze parking and not many people were there, or so we thought. From that point on, we walked toward the east side of the Esplanade. The area known for bus pick up and drop off had turned into a well organized queue line. I believe we were around number 400 in line.
The line was filled with people rocking their Disney Side. Many dressed to represent their favorite character. Around us, I saw a couple dressed like Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. There was several people in pajamas, I wish I wore pajamas! Since it was the best day to show your Disney Side, I represented my favorite character, Goofy. With a color scheme similar to his and pigtails to look like ears, my Disney Side was ready to be seen. Johnny showed his Disney Side by dressing up like Darkwing Duck. It was great seeing people trying to figure out who he was trying to represent.
As time progressed, the line began to grow. There was a group that was brave enough to actually bring a large tent. I also noticed that the cast members were extremely organized this year. It was crazy to see how efficiently smooth things were running. Once the three o’ clock hour arrived, it was time to move into the Esplanade. The first 2,000 guests received a Rock Your Disney Side lanyard. The lanyard was pretty cool and a great keepsake. Bag check was a quick and efficient. Once we passed that point, it was an organized scramble of guests to line up behind the turnstiles.
In the next new area for us to wait, we were surrounded even more by people. It seemed as if the number of guests doubled. The Esplanade had a large media location set up in the center. A live DJ and host were out pumping us all up. Loud music set the mood and made sure that those that were sleepy, were no longer sleepy. The host at the center helped keep us awake by interacting with Disney characters in stage. Cruella de Vil was reciting lines from famous Disney movies and it was our responsibility to guess what movie it came from. Also, characters like Chip and Dale danced on stage, freezing every time the music stopped. One of the things I enjoyed the most was the fact that the host made us stretch it out and dance to the music. It sure did help get the blood flowing and helped us to stay awake.
The 6 AM arrival was soon to happen. The anticipation of the park opening was at an all time high. All to my surprise, actor and voice of Olaf, Josh Gad, made an appearance at the center of the Esplanade. He spoke about how much Disney Parks mean to him and his family. It was also surreal to hear his voice in public. All I kept thinking was how awesome Olaf sounded as he talked aloud. Moments in reach, Josh Gad lead the countdown to the 6 AM opening. Fireworks went off behind Main Street Station. A flood of guests streamed into the park with a full 24 hours on the way.
Arriving into the park, the Disneyland band was out playing some classic tunes. Nothing is better than the Disneyland Band! As soon as we made out way towards the Emporium, a long line of cast members awaited the arrival of guests. Cast members were out giving high fives, or should I say high fours, to all guests making their way down. So many happy cast members greeted us. Such a great feeling.
With all the hype of getting into the park, a quick break was needed. With some snacks in our system and a clear mindset of what to do next, we were ready to venture out. While we were taking a quick break, there was much people watching going on. Looking at how everyone showed their Disney Side was really cool. I saw families dressed up like the Incredibles, the Mad T Party Band and even an entire group dedicated to Peter Pan. People went out of their way to make sure they rocked their Disney Side to the full potential.
The next several hours were all dedicated to exploring the park before the masses arrived in the evening. Johnny and I pretty much completed all of Fantasyland in an hour. We them scoped out Tomorrowland and rode Space Mountain. That attraction is sure to wake you up. After the few hours at Disneyland, we made our way to Disney California Adventure Park. First spot, charging lockers on Buena Vista Street.
So glad to see that Disney California Adventure now has charging lockers. We had to make double sure that all our devices were working properly for the live stream as well as communication with others. While those charged up, it was time for another quick snack. To add to the snack break, we were able to watch the first show of Five and Dime. After that, the Red Car Trolley News made their way down to sell some papers. These two shows are seriously the best. After that, we had a air conditioned filled adventure on Soarin’ Over California. Nothing like the smell of fresh pine and oranges to start off the day.
While this park was pretty empty in the afternoon, it was a great place to be. Pacific Wharf was not that crowded, so we decided to watch the Mariachi Divas play a few songs. Since we were already in that area, Johnny purchased the most amazing piece of sourdough bread I have ever seen. This three pound piece of bread was in the shape of Captain America’s Shield! It was really cool looking and very fresh. Mmmm, sourdough!
Now it was time to go back to the charging lockers and pick up our belongings. Oscar was there to join in on the fun and we caught her up to speed on all the things that happened since we began this adventure.
We once again made a trek across the Esplanade to Disneyland. This time,it was a bit more crowded. A good way to beat the crowd is to visit those lovely toons in Toontown. We made our way into Toontown, mind you, three adults by age made their way into Toontown. Like the children we are in our hearts, it was fun to run around. After that excitement, Mickey and the Magical Map was up.
There are way too many things to do during 24 hours at the Disneyland Resort. To make the most of our time, we rode as many more attractions. Amanda and her daughter joined our party as well. The more the merrier! Haunted Mansion was probably the best way to break away from the crowd. During this time, I could feel myself crashing a bit. We went to the Coke Corner to hear Ragtime Robert play the piano. I couldn’t have helped but catch a quick nap at one of the tables. It is funny waking up with people asking why you have marks on your face, marks caused by the fact that I was face down in dreamworld. Those fifteen minutes or so made me recollect and prepare for the hours at awaited.
At this point in the day, I left the DAPs group for a bit to hang out with my other friends. I felt like everyone I knew was at the parks, so I made sure to stop and talk to each one. On Main Street, we made a stop at the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor. One of the event’s special food selection was the Black and White Ice Cream Sandwich. It was yummy indeed. After that, it was time for some more live entertainment, we caught a few sets of Tomasina at Tomorrowland Terrace. Rocking my Disney Side with some rock music. It was getting even more crowded, so we went into Innoventions to feel that cool air conditioning. Visited a few cast members at this location and chatted up the fact that Innoventions has become so much more popular. That place is awesome!
Next up on my list for the exciting entertainment was the 12:30 AM showing of the Soundsational Parade. With a seat on Main Street, I was extremely excited. I have never seen a more energetic parade showing then I did this day. The entertainers were dancing so well and enthusiastic that it made me so very happy. The tempo was upbeat and it was a blast. I loved this showing. All my favorite characters were in good spirits.
With a following of the parade, I was able to see the dance party that was taking part in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. I have never seen so many people dancing at once, let alone at Disneyland. The music was bumping so loud. There was no way that anyone could have fallen asleep in that general area. Some characters had even made their way to dace on stage. Brer Bear showing off his hottest moves was huge highlight of the night.
I joined back up with Johnny and Oscar at the Golden Horseshoe to catch the 2 AM showing of the Laughing Stock Co. Oh boy, the improv in the show was hilarious. Add in the fact that there were so many sleep deprived guests in the audience, it was the best. Laughs helped us forget that we were completely exhausted.
To add on to the many things that could not been done during normal park hours was riding aboard the Mark Twain so early in the morning. It was a surreal experience to venture on the River of America and see things you could not before. Things like a bunch of ducks sleeping or even the darkness that surrounded Tom Sawyer’s Island.
From around 3:30 AM on, things began to blur for me. It was a long day(s) for me in the park. I was still awake but not really sure what was going on. According to Oscar, I fell asleep on the Disneyland Railroad and was talking to her and Johnny. I have no recollection of that occurring, so I just agreed that our conversation existed. To wake up, we watched the last two sets of the Dapper Dans. These guys are awesome. Their tunes were right on target, even at 5 AM. In between sets I found myself dancing around Main Street with my blanket pretending to have a cape like a super hero. Another clear example of my need for sleep.
The sun started to rise. I could not believe that this 24 hour event in the parks was almost over. A large mass of guests gathered at Town Square. The fab five made their way to the top of the train station to give their goodbyes.And yes, they were adorably dressed in pajamas. Once this happened, I could not help but to feel a tear come down my face. So much history, so many memories, it was a life changing day.
There was no better way to Rock your Disney Side then with a full 24 hour day at the Disneyland Resort. Here are some photos of people showing their Disney Side.
Throughout this entire event, I would like to thank each and every cast member that worked. They all brought smiles to my face as well as the guests. They all went above and beyond to make this experience great.
Thank you DAPs Magic for letting me join in on the fun. It was a great way to bond and get to know others.
If you attended the Rock Your Disney Side 24-Hour event, what was your favorite part?
Also, if you want to see our live steam from the event, check out DAPs Magic on YouTube. Here is part one of five. Enjoy!