My second adventure into Disney branded happiness was in Disneyland, California a few years ago. For Christmas that year I was gifted a tour of the Disneyland Dream Suite located in New Orleans Square, very fitting. Last I checked it’s not something that you can just book off the website, but my extended family has connections.
Similar to the one in Florida, it was completed fairly recently and a night’s stay in this suite would be gifted to a randomly selected guest in the park. Unlike the one in Disney World the interior design for the space was planned decades before, and you can even see the interior renderings as you walk through the entrance hall. The suite was originally intended to become an entertaining venue for VIP guests to the park, but was never realized. Therefore the space is much larger than the one at Disney World, complete with a living room, two bedrooms, a balcony, and courtyard.
Disney themed artwork, décor, and accessories punctuate the French style of the interiors. Each space comes equipped with a special treat called a “goodnight kiss.” With the flip of a switch the lighting changes, music begins, and certain areas of the room start to come alive. Starry lights appear in the bathroom, a train rolls around a bedroom, and Disney imagery is cast onto the walls. It’s meant to be a special show to say goodbye before leaving a room or as you climb into bed.
Since I wasn’t actually staying in the suite, our tour did not end with me climbing into bed. The final scene was standing on the balcony overlooking Tom Sawyer’s island, and checking out the visitors enjoying their day in Disneyland. People watching from above is people watching at its finest. While in the comfort of the suite it is easy to forget about the commotion below, but seeing the park from the balcony reminded me that I was receiving a rare glimpse into one of the surprises that Disneyland holds.
I feel very lucky to have had this experience rounding out my second inside-look into a space kept secret from most guests. If I could go back I would absolutely bring along a better camera to capture the rooms a little more accurately. Our photography equipment and skills were sub par for sure. Instead I’ll just have to pull the images from my memories and recreate them as I see fit.