We visit Disneyland a lot. Living in Arizona, just a six hour car drive away, most spontaneous weekend plans land us in Anaheim to visit the Happiest Place on Earth. We are annual pass holders. We were on the Club 33 waitlist for over 7 years. Our oldest daughter had her first visit to the park at nine months old. Our baby has been visiting since last year at just four months old. We are the ultimate Disney fans and have a great love for Disneyland. My husband has entered the Disneyland Diamond Days Sweepstakes each visit this year by texting the word of the day at the park entrance. Calling ourselves the Disneyland Diamond Days Sweepstakes Winner is not something I ever imagined would happen. Last week our family was given the most magical Disney experience when my husband actually won the Disneyland Diamond Days Sweepstakes daily prize. Already lifelong Disneyland fans, I can’t imagine anything more magical.
We were staying in Carlsbad for the week with some planned SeaWorld visits, a beach day, and a few potential free days to spend at Disneyland. The drive was just over an hour and we had already been to the park once that week. Oddly we were all up early and I had wrapped up most of my necessary work for the day. My husband suggested a Disneyland day and we all quickly got dressed to be there with time to enter the Disneyland Diamond Days Sweepstakes before 11:00 am, a goal my husband has made a priority every visit this year. As we entered the park I was juggling the stroller, my bag, a baby, and the excitement of being at the park again. Our oldest daughter and my husband had ran ahead to see the word of the day and text it to “CASTLE”.
My phone was long gone buried in the bottom of my bag before I caught up with my husband and daughter. I did not text the word of the day and laughed to myself when my husband reminded me you can’t win if you don’t try. We started our day at the park just as we would any other.
After a few attractions and family photos, we stopped for a snack and bathroom break. My daughters and I walked out of the bathroom to my husband on the phone giving us a big thumbs up. We knew he was excited but had no idea it was because he was the Disneyland Diamond Days Sweepstakes Winner. He received a text advising he was the potential winner then a follow up call declared him as the Diamond Days Sweepstakes daily winner. He received notification by 11:30 and had just 30 minutes to respond.
Daily prizes differ and according to the Disneyland Diamond Days Sweepstakes online page, 217 Daily VIP Experiences are awarded during the sweepstakes period February 5 – September 9, 2016. My husband won an experience for him and up to three guests. His experience package included a VIP tour guide for up to seven hours, his selection of reserved viewing for shows or parades that evening, and meal vouchers for $60 per person (totally $240 for our family of four).
We reported to the Guided Tours booth near the front of the park at noon and met our VIP tour guide. He was awesome and immediately made our family feel like extra special guests. We received Mickey Ears for the entire family dated with the 60th anniversary: July 17, 2015. We were also given “I was there” pins and autograph books for our daughters. We learned our guide would be spending the entire day with us providing walk on attraction access and assistance for a great day. No more lines for the entire day! I should add we were very familiar with the VIP tour guide experience being Disneyland fanatics but had never reserved a guide for the day. This was a spectacular prize!
So what do you do as the Disneyland Diamond Days Sweepstakes Winner? EVERYTHING!
We started by visiting the princesses.
Then we had lunch at the Plaza Inn. Although we go to the park frequently, our last visit to the Plaza Inn was celebrating our daughter’s fourth birthday at Disneyland.
Next we walked onto Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant was our older daughter’s next attraction choice. She said her baby sister would love it; and she was right!
Having our VIP tour guide also act as photographer was a big bonus for our family. We rarely have photos of all of us together.
Next Stop: It’s a Small World.
We walked to Toontown to visit Mickey Mouse. Our baby was fascinated by Mickey’s ears but didn’t like when we asked her to stop pulling them.
At the suggestion of our VIP tour guide we went on Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. It had been years since our last ride and I’m so happy we went again!
The question I’ve been asked most about this day is how we were able to be so busy with the baby. She is truly the happiest and most easiest baby. She smiles, laughs, talks, eats, and then sleeps when she’s tired. She was just as excited about this day as her big seven year old sister. She sat in her stroller with her daddy while I went on the Matterhorn with our older daughter and VIP tour guide.
Then we swapped and my husband was able to ride with our older daughter while the baby happily sat with me.
By midday, baby was ready for a nap so her and I waited while my husband, older daughter, and our VIP tour guide rode Thunder Mountain.
They all waved to us as they passed by.
While the baby was napping, they also rode Star Tours. All week long my husband wanted to ride Hyperspace Mountain but hadn’t yet because of the long line. Today was his day!
We started making our way over to California Adventure but stopped for the girls to watch the parade.
We made it to California Adventure just as the sun was going down.
Our first attraction in California Adventure with our VIP Tour Guide was Radiator Springs Racers. My husband and the baby went to get snacks so it was just my older daughter, our guide, and myself riding the Racers. We love this attraction but it’s even better when you don’t have to wait in line!
A Disneyland Cast Member gave our daughters Mickey stickers as we walked to our next attraction.
Toy Story Midway Mania was a great time because my husband and I were able to sit next to each other with the baby on my lap while our older daughter rode with our VIP tour guide. We are always split up between children and it was nice to be able to sit together for this attraction. Our older daughter also loved the extra attention from our tour guide.
I took a quick break with the baby while my husband, older daughter, and tour guide went on Goofy’s Sky School together.
The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure doesn’t normally have a line but definitely can’t be missed if you have daughters.
Next we walked across California Adventure to Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sully to the Rescue. The long line kept us off this attraction earlier in the week so it was a great choice for the night with our VIP tour guide.
My husband, older daughter, and tour guide went on Soarin’ Over California while the baby and I looked at lights. She is at the perfect age to stroll around and be in awe of everything sparkly.
They went on to ride Radiator Springs Racers so baby and I went to get a seat for dinner at Flo’s Cafe.
Our time with our VIP tour guide had ended so he escorted my daughter and husband to the Racers and then came to say goodbye. By this point the baby absolutely adored him!
After dinner, we ended our magical day with VIP seating at the World of Color show.
I’m still in complete awe we are one of the daily Disneyland Diamond Days Sweepstakes winners. Happy 60th Disneyland and thanks for the many many family memories we’ve created including the most magical day as the Disneyland Diamond Day Sweepstakes winner!
Enter the daily sweeps by texting the word of the day by 11:00 am PST as you enter the park or enter the weekly sweeps if you are not at the park by 11:00. Remember to take my husband’s advice: “You can’t win if you don’t try.”