Fresh Eyes Friday: Do Disneyland Like a VIP

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Theme Parks

mickey and minnie

Credit: Disney

It’s well known that a trip to any Disney Park is expensive, and the internet is brimming with articles about how to save some coin and still do it right. What if we throw budgeting out the window and try to spend as much money as possible? Let’s VIP this thing. Here’s what a $7,000 day at Disneyland looks like.

If you’re throwing cash around like confetti, the first place you’re going to want to aim it is at an amazing crash pad. While you’re at Disneyland, shack up at the Grand Californian, but not in any old room or suite. Connect with the signature suites for space to sleep up to twelve, elaborate stained glass windows, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, and bathrooms that are straight ridiculous. These rooms are named after California landmarks and decorated in arts & crafts and mission styles reminiscent of California architects Greene & Greene.

When you’re booking your rooms (plural, because each suite has a living room, dining room, kitchen, office, bathroom, and bedrooms), make sure to get in on the club-level or concierge experience as well. With this bonus, you’ll get complimentary food service four times a day, free drinks, and fireworks viewing – plus a posh, private place in which to enjoy it all.

The Mount Whitney Suite needs no clever caption.
I bet you Brewster’s Millions those flowers are fresh.
Where does this thing even end?

Once you hit the actual parks, make sure you have your entourage with you. As a VIP, that means your personal tour guide (or Plaid, as they are sometimes referred to by curious outsiders who admire their smart, plaid outfits), who will make sure you get good seats at restaurants and shows. He or she will also drop insider info about the park as you stroll along.

If you don’t need a private experience, you probably aren’t a real VIP. But just in case you are a real VIP and want to walk among the worker bees for a day, jump in with one of the regular Disneyland group tours: Cultivating the Magic, Walk in Walt’s Footsteps, or Welcome to Disneyland. They’ll each take you and select group around the resort with about the same benefits as private tours.

At the very least, grab yourself some FASTPASSES to cut wait times at popular rides. Your time is Very Important, after all. FASTPASSES are available to everyone, but keep in mind that even Princess Jasmine needs to put on a shabby cloak and sneak out of the palace every once in awhile. It’s okay.

Feel free to venture away from wrinkle-free fabrics when dressing for your VIP tour.

When your Very Important tummy starts to growl, head for one of a few schmancy restaurants at the Disneyland Resort. If you’re not park hopping, it’s Steakhouse 55, a much more private alternative to Napa Rose. This establishment is decorated with photos of fellow VIPs and is the new home of Club 33’s former chef. Order some crab cakes, a lobster tail, and the outstanding Delmonico guyere casserole for your main meal, to be followed with a cheese course and the 24-layer chocolate cake for dessert.

If you’re in-park, the top bet at Disneyland is the Blue Bayou. In all-day darkness, savor the surf & turf while you watch boats glide through the swampy Louisiana twilight. Over at DCA, duck into Carthay Circle. Start with some life-changing fried biscuits, the ceviche, and a bottle of Kurt Russell’s Gogi pinot to share. For your entrée, how about the angus steak with mashed potatoes? And you’ll definitely want to celebrate Disneyland’s 60th with some diamond truffles and a diamond Manhattan for dessert. The drink comes with Very Important “diamond-shaped ice, made from locally-sourced, purified water.”

Not that you need to choose restaurants based on anything other than awesomeness, but Carthay is an excellent value. The service, atmosphere, and cuisine are tops.
In real life, it’s very dark inside Steakhouse 55. They just don’t like to photograph it that way.

End your VIP park day with a unique, in-park experience. Request a ride in the captain’s wheelhouse aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat or in the pilot’s cockpit of the monorail. While the rides are free, you’re more likely to secure them as a VIP.

If you roll in the wheelhouse, you’re in good company. Johnny Cash rolled in the wheelhouse.

Burning dolla billz is hard work, so when you arrive back at your signature suite, call down for a spa ritual at Mandara. You and your other Person need the combination facial and massage to reinvigorate you for the Very Important things that lie ahead. Enjoy!

Definitely add on some warm bamboo shoots, whatever those are for.

Up next week: Do Disneyland Like a Magic Kingdom Fan

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Theme Parks

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