Disneyland in Anaheim, CA is the original most magical place on earth. Although the two parks, Disneyland and California Adventure, are located right in the middle of the city, once you are on the property you are lost in the magic. I have to admit there is a certain something in the air, knowing that Walt Disney himself walked the streets, rode the rides and talked with the guests in this place.
When you enter Disneyland you pass under a tunnel with the famous words “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy” with the Disney Train running above you.
Walt Disney felt that the train surrounding the park provided a boundary, keeping the outside world with its stress, trouble and pressure out while keeping the magic in. At the end of Main Street you see “the hub”. The idea behind the hub was to provide people a central point in the park. Everything veers off from this point. It also serves as a great meeting point. No one can miss Walt and Mickey Mouse standing in the center.
From this Hub, visitors can venture out to the various lands in Disneyland: Adventureland, Tomorrowland and Frontierland. Sleeping Beauty’s castle provides the entrance to Fantasyland. Further into the park you can find Critter Country, Mickey’s Toontown and New Orleans Square.
Inside the castle is the most amazing place to take your princess or prince. The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is home to Fairy Godmothers’ in Training. It is their job to find and bring out the princess or prince in your child; an experience they will not soon forget. Reservations are highly recommended – call (714) 781-7895
Disneyland offers a lot to entertain both young and old alike. To help you out, I’ve outlined some of my favourite attractions below.
Must See Rides and Attractions in Fantasyland
Fantasyland has rides geared toward younger children, but by no means does that exclude the adults. Imagine flying over London with Peter Pan and friends, not to mention seeing that evil Captain Hook and his sidekick Smead! That’s just what you’ll do when with you take Peter Pan’s Flight. The King Arthur Carrousel has roots in Canada. Purchased from Sunnyside Beach in Toronto, Ontario by Walt Disney himself, the King Arthur Carrousel was overhauled to make it Disney-worthy, with 68 prancing horses and 9 hand painted vignettes from the movie Sleeping Beauty.
A definite must do is It’s a Small World, sail along and see over 300 animated dolls that represent over 100 regions of the world. Created originally as an attraction for the 1964/65 New York Worlds Fair, visitors to It’s a Small World sail along a winding canal while viewing over 300 animated dolls, representing over 100 regions of the world in honour of UNICEF. Walt Disney personally supervised the construction of this attraction. Be warned however that you WILL sing the song for the rest of the day!
The Matterhorn Bobsleds actually sits between two lands – Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. This short, but amazing ride will take you 80-feet up and then bring you back down through sharp twists and turns, but watch out for the Yeti.
Must See Rides and Attractions in Adventureland
Adventureland offers just that – ADVENTURE. The Jungle Cruise, one of the original rides from the park’s 1955 opening, is a definite must-do. As you travel four famous rivers you will see hippos, elephants, giant butterflies, snakes and even some hostile human inhabitants.
is wonderful, no matter how many times you have seen. Originally designed to be a restaurant, the Enchanted Tiki Room was one of the first attractions in Disneyland to use audio Animatronics technology.
Join Indian Jones on a thrilling adventure to discover the Temple of the Forbidden Eye treasure on the Indiana Jones Adventure ride. Expect to be tossed around as you speed over rough roads, but it is SO worth it. I tried (unsuccessfully) to take pictures during the ride. If you look at the picture below, I swear Indie is just off to the side….
While in Frontierland and New Orleans Square you cannot leave without visiting the 999 spirits, ghosts and ghouls that inhabit the Haunted Mansion. Be sure to check your “doom buggy” on the way out as spirits have been known to try to hitch a ride out of the mansion.
Get on board and enjoy a beautiful ride on the Mark Twin Riverboat. This lake is connected to New Orleans LA. When the square opened, the mayor of New Orleans was invited to the ceremony. With him he brought a bottle of water taken from the Mississippi River and poured it in.
No Trip to Disneyland is complete until you have experienced the Pirates of the Caribbean (at least once!). An already all-time favourite to so many, it has been updated to include the loveable Jack Sparrow who appears several times throughout the ride Be sure to join the pirates in singing “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!”
When in Tomorrowland be sure to blast off into space on Space Mountain and the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Space Mountain will send you into the vast darkness of space while still seated and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters has you joining forces with Buzz as he tries to defeat the evil Zurg. You can even play online at home? Give it a try!
After Hours at Disneyland
What to do when the sun goes down? How about some Fireworks and Fantasmic. Seen nightly high a top Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is one of the most spectacular fireworks displays set to various well known Disney songs. This show will take your breath away.
After the fireworks are finished make your way to the Rivers of America over near New Orleans Square to watch Fantasmic. Join Mickey in a dream in which good and evil are battling. Watch as pink elephants, along with other characters, appear against a backdrop of water conducted by Mickey himself. Will good win out over evil – guess you’ll have to see with your own eyes! For an added treat you can reserve Premium Viewing by calling (714) 781-4400 up to 30 days prior to the date. Premium viewing seats you in an elevated section to see the show while enjoying a yummy sampling of desserts and a non-alcoholic beverage.
Trip made possible through Air Canada, John Wayne airport, Anaheim Orange County Convention and Visitor Bureau and Disney Parks (Canada).