Posts Tagged by attractions

5 Reasons I Fell In Love with Disneyland

On my first trip to Disneyland last year, I didn’t understand the love everyone had for the place.  Yes, it is Walt’s park, the original, but there was no “bubble” feeling like you get in Walt Disney World.  Oh man I love that bubble.  But on my most recent trip, that completely changed.  I think being more familiar with the parks played a big part in that, but there were some specific things I really came to appreciate and love.  Sigh…

5-Reasons-Disneyland-Love

1. The Disneyland Hotel

I had always heard that because of how small the resort is, staying at an off-property hotel really won’t make a difference and you will end up saving money.  This is what we did on our first trip.  Nope.  Bad idea.  Yes we saved money, but the experience of having to leave the resort just put a bad taste in my mouth.  So this trip I knew I had to stay at a Disney hotel.  Yes, it was significantly more expensive, but staying on Disney property makes ALL the difference.

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We were lucky to stay in the Adventure Tower which is the closest to Downtown Disney and the parks, but it is also just upstairs from Trader Sam’s and the pool.  Everything was right outside our door!

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And the room was so wonderful!  We were able to get a King room that overlooked Downtown Disney.  The details in the room were so fun.  From the light fixtures, the faucets, and all the classic Disneyland photos that adorned the walls.

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On our first night, we were able to watch the firework show Magical! from our room.  Plus, you can access the music from all of the nighttime shows right on your TV!

But did you know that there is a fireworks surprise in all of the Disneyland Hotel rooms?!  Yup…right there in the headboard!

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2. Everything In Close Proximity

Being able to walk everywhere is wonderful!  No waiting for buses or other transportation.  Nothing took more than 10 minutes to get to by foot!  And I love how the 2 parks are right across the Esplanade from each other, which makes park hopping a breeze!  Plus having Downtown Disney right outside our hotel made it easy to grab a coffee at Starbucks or get some quick shopping in.

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However sometimes we didn’t feel like walking and were able to jump on the Monorail for an express trip right into Tomorrowland!

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3. Details, Nooks & Crannies

Disney is know for detail in the parks.  Everything tells a story.  There is something charming about all of these details in Disneyland compared to those in Walt Disney World.  Many can be found in all of these little nooks & crannies though out he parks.  Here are some of my favorites:

New Orleans Square

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Pixie Hollow

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Snow White’s Grotto

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The Popcorn Cart Turners

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Heimlich Hiding in the Candy Corn Bushes

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In Fantasyland alone, I could’ve spent hours just looking at every detail.  And don’t even get me started on Main Street USA!

4. The Attractions

Since Walt Disney World is basically my second home, I hate to say it but hands down Disneyland has superior attractions.  Ok…got that off my chest.  But really whether it’s versions of the same attraction like Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain.

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Or the abundance of dark rides.

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Or the charming family friendly attractions.

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Or the stellar original attractions that can only be found at Disneyland.

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Disneyland-Love-Radiator-Springs-Racers

Disneyland-Love-AladdinOr Heimlich

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Everything just seems to be well…better.  I can’t believe I just said that…who am I?!?

5. Nighttime

Something magical happens at night in Disneyland.  This was something I hardly experienced on my first trip because I had to get up so early in the morning to race, so I made sure to take it all in this trip.  And I’m not even talking about the nighttime shows…however Fantasmic! along the Rivers of America blew my mind!

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There is just an added sense of magic in the air when the sky gets dark and the lights come on.  Just look at all that neon in Carsland!

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The trolley coming down Buena Vista Street just screams old Hollywood!

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All of the tiki torches around the Disneyland Hotel completely transport you to the islands!

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Sleeping Beauty Castle…no explanation needed.

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But my favorite thing to see at night was definitely the Mad Tea Party.  I just stood there and watched because it was so whimsically beautiful!  LOVE!

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So there you have it…why I am now madly in love with Disneyland.  Walt Disney World will always be my one true love, but sometimes you just can’t help the charms of its older and wiser counterpart.  Now…when can I go back??

Share your thoughts!!  What do you love (or not love) about Disneyland?

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A Return Visit to Disneyland

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Next week I am returning to Disneyland for 3 days, a trip I honestly thought I would never be making again.  I love Disneyland, but living on the East Coast makes it very difficult to travel there mainly due to the expense.  I can take multiple trips to Walt Disney World for the price of one trip to Disneyland.  After last year’s Disneyland Half Marathon trip, I really didn’t think I would ever visit again or at least not for a very long time.

Well as luck would have it, I AM returning to Disneyland and this time I don’t have the added stress of running.  I can just enjoy the parks, the food, the history…everything!  Since last year was my first trip ever to Disneyland, I put together a post from a newbies point-of-view.  (Ironically, I wrote it on the same date I’m writing this!)  I put together a lengthy list of “Must Do’s” for my trip, many of which I never got to.  Let’s take a look at the list and how I did:

MUST DO DISNEYLAND

  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • It’s a Small World
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (squeeeeeeee!!!)
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
  • Storybookland Canal Boats
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Space Mountain
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

MUST DO DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE

  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue
  • Aladdin Musical
  • California Screamin’
  • Radiator Springs Racers

MUST DO DINING

  • Blue Bayou
  • Carthay Circle Restaurant
  • Napa Rose
  • Trader Sam’s
  • Flo’s V8 Cafe

Wow…not so good.  I got the dining down pat, but I only hit 50% of the attractions that I wanted to!  I have to admit that the races took up a lot more time than I expected and it was also exceptionally hot and humid while we were there, which made all of those outdoor attractions seem unbearable.  This trip will be hot, but it looks like the humidity will be at or below 50% which will make a HUGE difference.  So here are my goals for this trip…

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This is a lofty goal, but seriously, this will probably be my last time in a VERY long time that I visit Disneyland.  Well, that is unless I win some other contest…no one could be that lucky…so you can see why I want to be cramming everything in.  One thing I know for sure is that there will be MANY trips on Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train…I can’t wait!!

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So what do you think?  What would you do if you had 3 days to spend in Disneyland?

Next week I’ll be talking Disneyland food as I take a look at a few of my favorites and what I will be trying on this trip so stay tuned.  Also, make sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can check out all the Disneyland shenanigans!

Oh and last but certainly not least…HAPPY 59th BIRTHDAY DISNEYLAND!!

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Countdown to Disneyland: Same But Different

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Disneyland might be the original park, but the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World is MY original park.  I have attachments to so many attractions and experiences there. So I am excited and a bit skeptical to visit some of my favorite attractions in Disneyland.  Will they live up to the versions I know and love?  Will I end up liking them more than my originals??  Oh the guilt!

Here are some of the “same, but different” attractions in Disneyland I’m looking forward to experiencing:

Pirates of the Caribbean

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It’s pretty unanimous that the Disneyland version of Pirate blows the WDW version out of the water (get it…).  The bayou, two drops, a longer ride…how can that NOT be better!  This is one of my all time favorite attractions and it’s B’s favorite as well, so I’m sure we’ll experience this one numerous times!  My only fear is that I will be very disappointed with the WDW version going forward…

Haunted Mansion

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The stretching room goes down instead of up?!?!  Can’t wait to experience that!  I’m sure there probably isn’t much of a difference, but it’s still pretty cool to this Disney nerd.  I’m also excited to see the New Orleans style mansion and see how it differs.  However, I’m nervous that it will be closed as they get ready for the Nightmare Before Christmas holiday overlay because I heard that it happens around this time.  Does anyone know the dates on that??  Please Disney…hold off until after I’m there!!!

It’s a Small World

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While this isn’t one of my favorite attractions (that song REALLY gets on my nerves!), I’m really looking forward to experiencing this in Disneyland.  I love how you actually board the attraction outside here!  It seems to add such a unique experience.  I’m also looking forward to seeing the addition of the Disney characters on the ride.  Why didn’t they do this in WDW?  They seem to be incorporated perfectly!

Space Mountain

Similar to Pirates, I’ve heard that the Disneyland Space Mountain is out of this world compared to WDW (get it again…I’m just cracking myself up over here!).  Not only is the ride smoother, but I LOVE that you get to sit next to the people you’re with instead of behind them.  Hopefully that also makes the cars easier to get into…the WDW vehicles are horribly awkward!

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Look how young we are!

Look how young we are!

Ok I’m not thrilled about this version and I know it’s not in Disneyland Park or the Magic Kingdom, but I need to add it to my list.  I’ve heard that the Tower in WDW is MUCH better, but since it is my favorite attraction, I need to experience the differences.  Honestly, I’m expecting to be disappointed by this one and then appreciate MY version even more 🙂

Other same but different attractions I’m really looking forward to are:

  • Jungle Cruise
  • The Enchanted Tiki Room (with a Dole Whip!)
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

Am I missing anything?  What is your favorite same but different attraction in Disneyland or Walt Disney World?

Countdown to Disneyland: A Newbie’s Point-of-View

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Well the countdown is officially underway!  In six weeks from today I will be arriving in Disneyland for the very first time!  I am both excited and a little over whelmed.  As a Walt Disney World veteran who knows the the entire 42 square miles of Disney property like the back of my hand, I’m actually overwhelmed by this much smaller resort…go figure!

Disneyland is like the motherland for Disney fans everywhere.  It’s the Happiest Place on Earth.  It’s Walt’s park.  I want to see and do EVERYTHING!  But where do I begin?  What do I do?  Most importantly, where do I eat???  Not only do I have these things to worry about, but I will be running in the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge while I’m there!

So I’ve come up with a list of a few MUST DOs while in Disneyland and I’ll be going into everything in a little more detail over the next six weeks as I countdown to my trip…so exciting!

MUST DO DISNEYLAND

  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • It’s a Small World
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (squeeeeeeee!!!)
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
  • Storybookland Canal Boats
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Space Mountain
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

MUST DO DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE

  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue
  • Aladdin Musical
  • California Screamin’
  • Radiator Springs Racers

MUST DO DINING

  • Blue Bayou
  • Carthay Circle Restaurant
  • Napa Rose
  • Trader Sam’s
  • Flo’s V8 Cafe

Now my hope is to get to ALL the attractions, but these are the things that must happen or I will be inconsolably sad.  We will be there for 4 1/2 days, so I’m hoping this is possible and that I won’t be too exhausted before and after the races to get everything done.  And let’s not forget about those races!  I am beyond excited to run a brand new course through 2 parks, the city of Anaheim and Angel’s Stadium.  I’ve heard the half marathon is flat and fast and I can’t wait to take that on!

As I mentioned, I’m going to be diving into each one of things in more detail over the next few weeks as I prep for my trip, but what I really need is YOUR help.  I want to hear what your Disneyland must dos are.  Are you a newbie with the same overwhelming excitement as I have?  

Oh and how fitting that I’m starting this series today…Disneyland’s 58th Birthday!!  Let the party begin! 🙂