Disney_3_Reasons_LDisneyland. Just the name conjures us images of magic and fun. But if you’ve been there before, do you need to go back? Yes–for these three reasons:

1) The Newly Renovated Royal Hall

This is the Fantasyland home of the Disney princesses. It’s the place to go to meet the Disney princesses.  And I don’t mean a wave-by as you see a princess across the street.  I mean a real-life intimate conversation, hug and picture with 3–that’s right, 3–of your favorite princesses.  Guests are invited, not crammed in or rushed through so lines could be long.  Once inside, it’s a royal experience with velvet ropes and red carpet so that everyone feels special – even the cool teenagers could not resist.

Next to the Royal Hall is the Royal Theatre, a venue for two new princess-based live stage shows, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Tangled.” Sound redundant?  It’s not. I was assured by moms in the audience that “Tangled” was as good or even better than “Beauty and the Beast.”  And I LOVED the “Beauty and the Beast” show because it was well done, includes humor for kids and adults and has some terrific music.   It’s a great opportunity to introduce young kids to live theatre.

2) Mickey and the Magical MapDestinationReview

This is another live theater venue in which technology meets live actors for a well-done production of select Disney stories and characters that literally come to life.  Top-notch music, graphics, animation and a morally thoughtful storyline combine for an entertaining show for all ages.  These days, it feels like every new movie has more tech than acting. I appreciate that Kevin Eld, creative director for Disney Worldwide, is passionate about introducing young audiences to live theatre

Mickey_magical_map23) Build Your Own Droid

After the Star Tours ride, plan to spend some time in the gift shop if your kids spot the droid-building station there. Thousands of droid pieces are set up LEGO-style in bins where little hands can reach them.  Actually big hands too.  I saw plenty of 20-somethings and parents digging for the perfect piece to complete their personalized Star Wars-inspired Droid to take home.