I knew from the start that my engagement was going to be some sort of Disney proposal. My girlfriend, now fiancé (spoiler alert :)), Meghan, was born to two Disneyland obsessed parents that took her to Walt Disney’s park more than the actual city park. She spent three years during college as a Disneyland Cast Member operating attractions including Autopia and the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Disney runs through her veins.
Theme parks were a big part of our relationship from the very beginning. We met while working at Knott’s Berry Farm in the Marketing department. She was known as the “Disney” girl since her office was jam packed with as much Disney artwork and memorabilia as physics would allow. Our friendship slowly formed into a relationship and naturally our first date was at Disneyland.
Disneyland Proposal and Engagement Ideas
My first idea was for the classic Disney proposal in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. As fate would have it, on our first date, a man asked me to take a photo of him and his girlfriend in front of the castle while he then surprisingly proposed to her. It was a beautiful moment, but … Meghan would later tell me during that same first date that her dream engagement would be Disney related, but that she dreamed of more than the common Disney proposal in front of the castle.
I remembered that nearly a year later when I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her and started coming up with Disneyland proposal ideas. Thanks to a lot of planning, pixie dust, Jennifer from MEI Mouse Fan Travel and an awesome friend I was able to create an amazing plan.
Secrets and Surprises
A big part of my proposal involved the element of surprise. Surprises were slowly revealed throughout the weekend. I told Meghan to keep her birthday weekend completely clear and not plan anything. The night before the big day, I came home early from work and secretly packed her suitcase and hid it in the back of my car. The following morning, I told her I was going to surprise her with a massage.
We drove over to the Mandara Spa located in Disney’s Grand Californian, which we had never been to before. Once our incredible couples massage was over, I told her we had to hurry back to the car to continue our adventure to Los Angeles. I then promptly drove around the block and pulled back into the Grand Californian parking lot. At this point, she assumed I was lost or had left behind my wallet. She was immediately overcome with joy when I told the parking attendant that we were hotel guests. That was just the beginning of the surprise.
Disney’s Grand Californian
I pulled my car forward to the valet and was met by a Grand Californian concierge ready to take us to our room. At this point, Meghan said “Wow, I don’t remember them greeting me like this.” She was about to find out why we were receiving the white glove treatment. Our concierge took us to the top floor of the Grand Californian and opened the doors to the El Capitan Presidential Suite. The 2,000 square foot suite’s jaw dropping 50 foot wide balcony overlooks Grizzly Peak in California Adventure (The above photos were taken from the balcony). The rest of the day was spent relaxing in the room, enjoying the hotel pool and dining in the concierge level lounge. The clock was ticking down to that evening when I planned to propose during the end of the fireworks show.
Once I saw the room’s balcony, I knew that was the best place to propose. The privacy of the balcony would make the proposal that more special. I cranked up the fireworks audio in the in-room sound system, carefully placed the ring in my pocket and headed to the balcony. As the nearly 15 minute show was drawing to a close, I became more and more feverous. This was it. The moment I had rehearsed and thought about for months. I got down on one knee, presented the ring to Meghan and asked her to make me the happiest man in the world at the happiest place in the world. The cheesy line worked (More likely it was probably the diamond ring that worked) and she said yes.
Club 33 and Napa Rose
The next morning, I arranged for our family and friends to surprise her for breakfast in the suite. After breakfast, I convinced Meghan to dress up and go for a photoshoot in the park. At least she thought it was going to be a photoshoot. We took a few PhotoPass photos and then headed to News Orleans Square. I jokingly asked her if she wanted to have lunch at Club 33. She laughed and said she wished. I then pulled out my cheesy “Wishes can come true” and rang the doorbell. Thanks to an amazing favor from a friend, we able to dine at Club 33. The lunch came complete with a special private photo app starring Mickey and Minnie.
After a few hours of playing in the park, it was time for her Mom to surprise Meghan with dinner at Napa Rose. Not just any dinner mind you. Dinner at Napa Rose’s famed Chef’s Counter. We were seated on the edge of the open kitchen and were treated to a three hour six course meal. Each course was customized by the Chef based off of our likes and dislikes. Each course was expertly paired with wine and most amazingly, each of us received different unique dishes. My favorite part of the entire experience was watching the Chef and his team at work.
“A Kiss Goodnight”
We ended the night with reserved viewing of “Paint the Night” parade and the Disneyland Forever Fireworks. The incredible view was a perk of the Presidential Suite and was truly a “kiss goodnight” to the magical weekend.
The entire weekend had gone according to plan thanks to Mouse Fan Travel and the wonderful Disney Cast Members. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect way to propose to the perfect women. Waking up on Monday and having to come back to a reality filled with a little less pixie dust was tough.
My Disney Proposal Advice
The most important part of a Disney proposal is the most important part of all engagements. Make sure that your significant other is going to say yes before you propose. I can’t imagine anything worse than being turned down during a proposal. I had a lot to worry about during my engagement, but that was one thing that never crossed my mind.
Once that’s out of the way, make sure your proposal is fun, uniquely you and private. The magic of Disneyland is made infinitely more magical when you experience it with just you and your loved one.
Please share your Disneyland proposal ideas and stories with me in the comments.