Disneyland

Disneyland anaheimer Mon, 02/09/2009 - 18:15

Disneyland - ready for HalloweenDisneyland opened its doors to the public on July 18, 1955. Since then over 500 million people visited the park from all over the world. It is considered the most visited park in the world, second only to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. If you really want to know the history, go to Wikipedia

I live practically around the corner from the Disney Resort and spend a lot of time at the parks. I would like to share my experiences with you. Hopefully, this will make your visit more enjoyable. 

Disneyland - main entranceThe park is usually open from 9 AM to 11 PM, but times may vary. Go here for the latest schedule. Disney hotel guests can enjoy an extra hour of fun before the usual opening time. 

The park is very large. It sits on 85 acres of land with 60 attractions in 7 themed lands. So it is very easy to get overwhelmed by all choice. To make your experience more enjoyable and stress-free, plan your visit by going to Disney’s website. The site allows visitors to filter for attractions by “Thrill Type”, “Interests” or “Age”. For example, you can choose “Big Drops”, “Slow Rides”, “Teens”, etc.

Disneyland - TomorrowlandYou can also download the new Disneyland mobile app which is very useful for locating rides and checking wait times. 

Tip: Avoid going on the weekends and major holidays. Disneyland is a very crowded place during those times. Expect long lines.

So, what is the best way to enjoy Disneyland? It really depends on what you like and the ages of your kids – if any. Yes. you don’t have to have kids to enjoy Disneyland.

Here is one way to enjoy the park. It is most suited for a family with older kids (teens and pre-teens).

Disneyland - main streetStarting your day

The main gate opens 15-30 minutes before the official opening time. Don’t forget to pick up your park map and entertainment schedule.

Tip: If you are staying at one of the Disney hotels, then your opening time is 1 hours earlier. Take advantage of this perk

Once the main gate opens rush through Main Street. Do not stop at any of the shops. There is plenty of time for shopping later. Go all the way to the ribbon and wait until the actual opening time.

As soon as they open the final obstacle between you and fun, rush to your first ride.

Tip: Some rides offer FastPass. It is a way to avoid long lines at some rides.   

The Seven lands of Disneyland

Disneyland attractions are spread out among seven distinctive lands - each with a different theme, shops and dining places.  

Star Wars - Galaxy's Edge

Disneyland - StartWars Land - EntranceStar Wars Land is the newest land at  Disneyland and was both amazing and disappointing at the same time. I loved walking around in this otherworldly town on the planet Batuu.

But after doing that and soaking the atmosphere of being inside the Star Wars movie, there was nothing left to do except indulge in buying trinkets or food.

Disneyland has plans to open a new ride at Galaxy’s Edge in January of 2020. “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” will put the riders right in the middle of a battle between the Storm Troopers and the Resistance.

Read more about Star Wars Land here.

Tomorrow Land

nullTomorrow Land has been my favorite theme for ages. Star Wars could replace it soon when the new attractions are open, but until then I will keep visiting this futuristic area full of thrills and discovery.  

While here you must experience Space Mountain, Star Tours, Star Wars Launchpad and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Other attractions are Autopia and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Find all the attractions here

New Orleans Squarenull

New Orleans Square is a themed land based on 19th-century New Orleans. Along with nice riverfront restaurants, it offers two of the most popular rides: Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. 

The Disneyland Fireworks shows (like Fantasmic) are displayed across from the square on the Rivers of America. See the full details here.

nullAdventureland

Adventureland is designed to take the visitor to a tropical jungle full of surprises and adventure. 

Go on a wild ride on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, climb a tree to Taraz's treehouse, or go on a Jungle Cruise. Read more here.

Frontierland

Frontierland recreates the era of trailblazers and pioneers in the wild west. Running through this land is “The Rivers of America” where steamboats, sail ships, rafts and canoes float by. Froentierland is also home to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and The Golden Horseshoe. Read more here

Critter Countrynull

Critter Country is a small area meant to resemble the woods, with a river, ducks and little critters running around. It is also home to the popular ride Splash Mountain and the rustic restaurant the Hungry Bear.

Read the full story here.

 

Fantasyland

nullFantasyland is home to Disney's fairy tales with Sleeping Beaty's castle, Peter Pan's Flight, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and many more family-friendly rides and shows. It is also home to one of the most popular rides ay Disneyland, It’s a small world. Read more here.

 

Mickey's Toontownnull

Mickey's Toontown is inspired by 1930s cartoons. The buildings, roads and rides all look cartoonish. It is targeted towards younger kids. If you have very young one, they will enjoy Gadget's Go Coaster and Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin. They can also visit Mickey Mouse house and Minnie Mouse house. Read more here.

Disneyland - holiday celebrations - Sleepeing Beauty CastleHoliday celebrations

Disneyland dresses up for the holidays with a huge Christmas tree, decorations, and colorful lights. As you enter the main plaza and look towards main street, you will be dazzled with the displays.

Sleeping beauty's castle gets special treatment too. Icicle like lights cascade from castle walls and spires, while next door a grand dance party is going on. 

Disneyland - holiday celebrations - It's a Small WorldA special holiday parade starts from the main entrance plaza, through main, passes by the castle and ends up at "It's a Small World" ride. During our visit, a dance company also showed off their moves before the parade started.

It's a Small World transformed into holiday world with bright colorful lights outside and reimagined program inside. All the peoples of the world come together to celebrate this special time of the year.

Disneyland FASTPASS and other services

Disneyland - Big Thunder Mountain Fastpass - By Michael Gray - WikimediaFastPass is a way to avoid long lines at some rides. For example, if you go to space mountain and find out that the wait time is too long, get a FastPass. It will specify an appointment time for you to come back. When you come back you go through a different line which is usually very short.

Read more about services like Fastpass, Maxpass, Single riders, rider switch, and Photopass.

Dining Options

At Disneyland, you can find a meal for any taste and budget. You can get a snack or treat on the go or enjoy a sitdown meal at a restaurant. 

See full Disneyland dining guide here.

Adventure Land

Adventure Land anaheimer Tue, 11/19/2019 - 06:29

Disneyland  - Indian Jones - by Josh Hallett - WikimediaThe Disney resort is practically in my backyard. My family and I love to spend a whole day or just a few hours at the Disney parks. Throughout the years we learned a lot about the parks and attractions that we like to share with you.

Adventureland is designed to take the visitor to a tropical jungle full of surprises and adventure.

Indiana Jones 

Disneyland  - Indian Jones - Temple of DoomThis ride is based on the Indiana Jones films. Riders are taken on an adventure in a military transport vehicle through a lost temple with Indiana Jones as your guide. 

The ride is bumpy with a lot of sharp turns. It doesn’t exactly qualify as a roller coaster but comes close to it. <FastPass Available>

Tip: The line for Indiana Jones is usually very long, so if you can, get a FastPass and come back later. Alternatively, you can make it your first ride and avoid the lines

Tarzan's Treehouse

Disneyland  - Tarzan TreehouseIn between rides take the kids to release some energy at Tarzan's Treehouse. Let them climb the tree, cross the ramp to Tarzan’s secret hideaway and bang on the various musical instruments

Jungle Cruise 

The attraction simulates a riverboat cruise down major rivers of the world. Visitors board steamer ships and take a voyage past Disneyland - Tiki Room - by Ken Lund - Flickrmany different jungle animals. The captain narrates the ride and usually crack jokes about the wildlife. 

Enchanted Tiki Room

Enjoy a whimsical Polynesian musical with singing and dancing animatronics. Listen to drum beats and Hawaiian war chants.   

Snacks

Hidden in a corner, behind the Tiki Room, there is a new place called "Dole Whip, I Presume". You get the popular Dole Whip along with many new flavors.

The place also offers other snacks and a large outdoor seating area. 

In case you didn't know, Dole Whip is pineapple-flavored soft-serve ice cream.  

Critter Country

Critter Country anaheimer Wed, 11/20/2019 - 13:56

Disneyland - Critter Country - by Ken Lund - WikipediaThe Disney resort is practically in my backyard. My family and I love to spend a whole day or just a few hours at the Disney parks. Throughout the years we learned a lot about the parks and attractions that we like to share with you.

If you continue your stroll along the rivers of America, you will end up at  Critter Country, the home of Splash Mountain and Winnie the Pooh.

Splash Mountain Disneyland - Splash Mountain

This ride is part log ride and part movie production. The theme is based on the Disney movie “Song of the South”. At the end of the ride expect a steep drop and a big splash. Most riders will get wet! So only go on this ride when the weather is warm. <FastPass Available>

Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes

Disneyland Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes - by SolarSurfer - WikipediaGo on a canoe race through the Rivers of America. The canoes start from a small dock near the Hungry Bear Restaurant. The ride goes around Tom Soyer’s Island and goes much faster than the river ships.

The guides give a quick lesson on rowing – and you are expected to row with the group or the canoe will not go anywhere. Make sure you can handle this task.

Life jackets are mandatory for children and available for adults who can’t swim.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the PoohDisneyland - Winnie the Pooh - by Jonnyboyca - Wikipedia

Go on a little adventure with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and friend in this dark indoor ride. It is full of Psychedelic colors and whimsy. The ride is next to Splash mountain and targeted towards the younger audience.

Hungry Bear Restaurant 

Is it dinner time yet? Have a picnic at this riverside haven nestled among the pine trees. Enjoy cheeseburgers, chicken sandwich or a healthy salad while watching the ducks swim by. 

 

Disney Resort FastPass, PhotoPass and other Services

Disney Resort FastPass, PhotoPass and other Services anaheimer Thu, 11/07/2019 - 15:57

Disneyland - Big Thunder Mountain Fastpass - By Michael Gray - WikimediaThe Disney resort is practically in my backyard. My family and I love to spend a whole day or just a few hours at the Disney parks. Throughout the years we learned a lot about the parks and attractions that we like to share with you.

In this article, I would like to share info about Fastpass, Maxpass, Single riders, rider switch, and Photopass.

Disneyland FASTPASS Attractions

FastPass is a way to avoid long lines on some rides. For example, if you go to space mountain and find out that the wait time is too long, get a FastPass. It will specify an appointment time for you to come back. When you come back, you go through a different line, which is usually very short. Be aware that you can only have one FastPass at a time (per rider), with one exception: If 2 hours passed since you received your last FastPass, you could get another one.

If you download the Disneyland App here, you can use the MaxPass feature to order several Fastpasses ahead of time – once you are inside the park.

Rides that offer FastPass:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Fantasmic!
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Indiana Jones™ Adventure
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. 

Disneyland Single Rider Lines

Another way to beat the lines and Disney parks are the single rider lines. If you are traveling alone (or willing to split from your group when you reach the ride) you can go to the single rider line, which goes faster than the standby line. On a recent visit, the standby line for my ride was 75 minutes. I was able to get in within 5 minutes through the single rider line.

Rides that offer single rider line:

  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Splash Mountain
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Space Mountain
  • Star Tours
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.  

Rider Switch (Swap) Rides

Do you have small children, but you don't want to miss out on the thrilling rides? Line up with the whole group, and when you reach the attendants let them know you would like to swap. One adult will stay with the young children, and the other adults can go on the ride. When the first ride is done, the adult that remained with the children can now enjoy the ride while the others wait.

Rides that offer rider swapping: 

  • Autopia  
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad  
  • Gadget's Go Coaster  
  • Indiana Jones Adventure  
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds 
  • Space Mountain  
  • Splash Mountain 
  • Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

Disneyland Photopass Photographer - by Loren Javier - FlickrPhoto Pass

As you ride your favorite attractions or just walk around the park, you will get a lot of photo opportunities. With Photopass, you can view those photos online and decide if you want to purchase or download. 

Some annual passes include free downloads from the Photopass website

Disneyland Dining

Disneyland Dining anaheimer Sat, 11/30/2019 - 09:51

Disneyland - Plaza Inn - Breakfast with charactersAt Disneyland, you can find a meal for any taste and budget. You can get a snack or treat on the go or enjoy a sit-down meal at a restaurant. 

Breakfast

Plaza Inn

A great way to start your day at Disneyland. This buffet-style restaurant offers the traditional American Faire with a lot of interaction with Disney Characters. 

As you enjoy your made-to-order omelet, pastries, and coffee you will get visits from Tigger, Whinny the Pooh, Mickey, and many more fun characters. They will pose with you for photos.

The food and drink choices were excellent and the service was great.

Snacks and TreatsDisneyland - Dole Whip - by HarshLight - Flickr

Dole Whip, I Presume

Hidden in a corner, behind the Tiki Room, this place serves Dole Whip ice cream along with other snacks. In case you didn't know, Dole Whip is pineapple-flavored soft-serve ice cream.  

Sitdown Restaurants

Tomorrowland Terrace

Conveniently located next to Star Wars Launch Bay, this fast-food restaurant serves fried chicken, burgers, salads, and more.

Tip: Time your lunch with the “Jedi Training Academy” show right there on the terrace. There is usually a showing every hour

French Market Restaurant

This cafeteria-style eatery is located in New Orleans Square and serves Cajun/Creole dishes. On weekends, you can catch some Jazz or Dixieland tunes on the onsite stage.

Hungry Bear Restaurant 

Have a picnic at this riverside haven nestled among the pine trees. Enjoy cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, or a healthy salad while watching the ducks swim by. 

Red Rose Tavern 

At Red Rose, you can order typical American fare, like Cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, or Chef's salad. The food is acceptable but nothing special. 

The Golden Horseshoe 

Disneyland - Del Zocalo Restaurant - FrontierlandIf you haven’t had your lunch yet, this is a good time to stop for lunch or dinner. The dinner and show style restaurant offers fish and chips, chicken breast nuggets, Chili cheese fries, and chili in a bread bowl. For entertainment enjoy the silly shenanigans of the Laughing Stock Co.

Del Zocalo

You can have a delicious Mexican meal at Rancho Del Zocalo. This cafeteria-style restaurant offers tacos, Burritos, and Enchiladas, and daily specials. You can also ask for a secret menu item the hidden burrito (also known as the Zocalo). 

Upscale Restaurants

Blue Bayou

Disneyland - Blue Bayou RestaurantFor a more refined dining experience, go to Blue Bayou and enjoy a meal inside Pirates of the Caribean ride. 

The atmosphere is romantic and the food is first-rate. On our last visit, we ordered the Rack of Lamb and the Veggie Pasta. Both were perfect. Other good choices are the Surf and Turf and the Filet Mignon. 

The only thing missing from this excellent meal is the wine. Blue Bayou does not serve alcoholic drinks. 

River Belle

Disneyland River Belle TerraceThis southern cooking restaurant across from the rivers of America offers great-tasting meals. I especially like their breakfast, but recently I enjoyed a three-course prix fixe menu and loved it. 

Diners pick a soup or salad for a starter, a main dish from 6 choices, and a dessert. We tried the catch of the day and the ribs. Both were delicious. 

You can also get a combo dinner and Fantasmic show at this place. The viewing area for the show is close by on the Rivers of America. The show was beautiful and ended with a high-energy dance party with fireworks. 

Fantasyland

Fantasyland anaheimer Thu, 11/21/2019 - 06:50

Disneyland - Walt Disney and Sleeping Beauty CastleThe Disney resort is practically in my backyard. My family and I love to spend a whole day or just a few hours at the Disney parks. Throughout the years we learned a lot about the parks and attractions that we like to share with you.

A visit to Disneyland is not complete without a visit to the sleeping beauty castle, a ride on the flying elephant Dumbo or a trip around "it's a small world".

Tip: Do you have small children but you don't want to miss out on the thrilling rides? Use the child swap service. Read more here.

It’s a small world 

nullThis ride never gets old or boring. Children and adults of all ages will enjoy it. You ride a toy boat through several world destinations, with singing and dancing dolls representing the peoples of those countries. The music is great and it mixes several famous Disney tunes. Once you pass through the lines, it is time to relax and enjoy the scenery. <Fastpass>

Peter Pan's Flight 

Fly with Peter Pan over London and onto Neverland and through skull rock. Witness a duel between Peter Pan and Captain Hook. You will get a chance to see many more characters Disneyland - Dumbo the flying Elephant - by Carterhawk - wikipediafrom the movie.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant 

The kids get to fly with Dumbo and his friends over fantasyland. They get to control the flight and decide how high to go.

Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter Tea Party

Both rides are adaptations from the wonderful movie Alice in Wonderland. In the first ride, Disneyland - Alice in Wonderland Ride - wikipediayou are going with Alice on a caterpillar buggy through a dark passing by Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and encounter the White Rabbit, worrying about being late.

On the second ride, go spinning with the Mad Hatter at the Mad Tea Party.

Enchanted Cottage, Sweets, and Treats 

The kids are screaming for ice cream? Desert or dinner time, you will find good snacks in this cottage located in Fantasyland. Like most teacup rides, the riders control how fast they are spinning. Great fun for the whole family.

Dining Options

Fantasyland doesn't have plenty of dining options. It packed more with rides and shows. The main restaurants are Red Rose Tavern and Troubadour Tavern.

At Red Rose, you can order typical American fare, like Cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches or Chef's salad. The food is acceptable but nothing special. 

Troubadour pretends to be a medieval-style restaurant where you can find choices like bratwurst on a brioche roll with bacon sauerkraut or a jumbo pretzel. I would still call it American cuisine. 

If you don't feel like a sit-down meal, you can grab a snack and drinks from several stands around Fantasyland.

Frontierland

Frontierland anaheimer Wed, 11/20/2019 - 07:21

Disneyland - Rivers of AmericaThe Disney resort is practically in my backyard. My family and I love to spend a whole day or just a few hours at the Disney parks. Throughout the years we learned a lot about the parks and attractions that we like to share with you.

Frontierland recreates the era of trailblazers and pioneers in the wild west. Running through this land is “The Rivers of America” where steamboats, sail ships, rafts and canoes float by.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 

Disneyland - Big Thunder Mountain rideThis is a fun rollercoaster ride through a cursed mine, bat caves, falling rocks, and waterfalls.

As you enter the cursed mine, your train speeds up along the shaky track, zips under a waterfall, and dodges a falling boulder.

It is considered a mild Rollercoaster, but it does have some twists and turns. <FastPass Available>

Mark Twain Riverboat

Disneyland - Mark Twain Riverboat - by Jonny boyca - WikipediaRide a 105-foot long riverboat through the rivers of America. The big steamship sales from a dock that looks like a real Mississippi dock and goes on a 12-minute journey. Passengers are free to roam the three-levels of the ship.

Sailing Ship Columbia

The Columbia is a full-scale replica of Columbia Rediviva, the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe. 

The ship takes passengers on a 12-minute sail through the Rivers of America. While onboard, they visit a nautical museum below deck, which shows what life was like for the 1787 crew. In addition to the galley, pantry, dry stores, and sickbay, there are quarters for the crew, bosun and bosun's mate, first mate, captain, and surgeon.

Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

Take the rafts to this artificial island in the middle of the Rivers of America. It contains Disneyland - Pirates - Lair - by - SolarSurfer - Wikipediastructures and caves with references to Mark Twain's characters from the novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Quick Tips: The island does have restrooms, but not other services. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes. Your shoes will get dirty.

Kids and adults of all ages can have an adventure climbing, going into caves and pretending to be Tom or Huck.

Dining

Frontier land has several great dining options along with many snack stations and shopping opportunities.

The Golden Horseshoe 

If you haven’t had your lunch yet, this is a good time to stop for lunch or dinner. The dinner and show style restaurant offers fish and chips, chicken breast nuggets, Chili cheese fries Disneyland - Del Zocalo Restaurant - Frontierlandand chili in a bread bowl. For entertainment enjoy the silly shenanigans of the Laughing Stock Co.

Del Zocalo

You can have a delicious Mexican meal at Rancho Del Zocalo. This cafeteria-style restaurant offers Taco, Burritos, and Enchiladas with daily specials. You can also ask for a secret menu item the hidden burrito (also known as the Zocalo). 

Blue Bayou

Disneyland - Blue Bayou RestaurantFor a more refined dining experience, go to Blue Bayou and enjoy a meal inside Pirate of the Caribean ride. 

The atmosphere is romantic and the food is first-rate. On our last visit, we ordered the Rack of Lamb and the Veggie Pasta. Both were perfect. Other good choices are the Surf and Turf and the Filet Mignon. 

The only thing missing from this excellent meal is the wine. Blue Bayou does not serve alcoholic drinks. 

Mickey's Toontown

Mickey's Toontown anaheimer Thu, 11/21/2019 - 11:43

nullThe Disney resort is practically in my backyard. My family and I love to spend a whole day or just a few hours at the Disney parks. Throughout the years we learned a lot about the parks and attractions that we like to share with you.

Mickey's Toontown is inspired by 1930s cartoons. The buildings, roads, and rides all look whimsical and psychedelic.

It is targeted towards younger kids. If you have very young ones, they will enjoy Gadget's Go Coaster and Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin. They can also visit Mickey Mouse house and Minnie Mouse house.

Gadget's Go Coaster

Disneyland - Gadget Go Coaster - by Randomgbear - WikipediaA slow rollercoaster for young children. The seats are meant to hold 2 children or one adult with an infant.

Guests travel through Gadget's salvaged old comb, soup can and thread spool, and over Toon Lake. Near the end of the ride, cartoon frogs squirt water above guests' heads.

Mickey's House 

After you take a tour of Mickey’s country home, meet Mickey and take a photo. While touring the house, spot memorable props from his cartoons like the broomstick from Fantasia, and  Pluto’s doghouse.

Disneyland - Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin - by SolarSurfer - WikipediaRoger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin

Go on a wild dark ride with Roger Rabbit, from the famous movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

After riding the yellow toon cabs, guests careen out of control and slide into dips. At some point the wheel comes alive, allowing the riders to spin the cab like a teacup ride. <Fastpass Available>

Donald's Boat

A fun play area for kids shaped like Donald’s boat. Kids can climb to the upper decks, spin the Captain’s Wheel, ring the boat bell and pull the ship’s whistle to trigger water spouts on deck.

Adults meanwhile can relax in the shaded area and watch their kids having fun and blowing off some steam.

Disneyland Railroad

From several locations throughout Disneyland, you can take the Disneyland Railroad for a Disneyland - Railroad Lilly Belle - by HarshLight - Wikipediatrip around the whole park, or just to hop to another faraway land.

The train ride takes you through many of the park’s attractions. This is a good way to explore the park before you visit the actual rides.

You also get to see a hidden area that is only accessible by train: The Grand Canyon/Primeval World diorama. This is the longest diorama in the world showing live size prehistoric animals in their natural habitat. 

The ride takes between 12 to 20 minutes.

New Orleans Square

New Orleans Square anaheimer Mon, 11/18/2019 - 06:21

Disneyland - New Orleans Square - by damph - FlickrThe Disney resort is practically in my backyard. My family and I love to spend a whole day or just a few hours at the Disney parks. Throughout the years we learned a lot about the parks and attractions that we like to share with you.

New Orleans Square is a themed land based on 19th-century New Orleans. Along with nice riverfront restaurants, it offers two of the most popular rides:

Pirates of the Caribbean 

nullThis ride was always very popular and became even more popular after the release of the movie series with the same name. 

In case you didn’t know, the movie is based on the ride. But the ride benefited from the movie with new upgrades and new characters. 

It is basically a boat ride through Caribbean towns with scenes of pillage and destruction – just like the movie. <FastPass Available>

Haunted Mansion 

If the lines are not too long, this attraction might be worth a visit. Using Disney animatronics nulland visual effects, you get to see various ghosts and goals in action. 

I am not going to describe this ride in detail because part of the fun is the surprise, but watch out for unauthorized ghostly riders in your buggy.<FastPass Available>

Tip: Another way to beat the lines and Disney parks is the single rider line. If you are traveling alone (or willing to split from your group when you reach the ride) you can go to the single rider line which goes faster than the regular line. 

Disneyland Fireworks - Fantasmic

nullIt is not a ride, but it deserves its own section. This amazing fireworks display happens every night at Disneyland and you can’t miss it. Along with the spectacular fireworks show, Disney recently added visual projections throughout the park – best along Main Street. 

<FastPass Available>

The display changes with the seasons, with special shows for Christmas and the New Year.

You can view the display from 4 main areas inside the park as well as the admission plaza between the two parks. 

The best viewing area, in my opinion, is Main Street. Try to get to Main Street before or during the Paint the Night Parade. Wait until the parade ends Disneyland - Fantasmic - by fortherock - Wikimediathen move to the center of the street. Make sure you can see the sleeping beauty castle from your vantage point. When the show starts, you will enjoy the fireworks straight ahead and the beautiful projects on both sides of the street. An added advantage is being closer to the exit – if you plan to leave right after the fireworks.

If you prefer to be closer to the fireworks, then try to find a spot in front of the castle – may be in the center circle between the lands. You will probably have to go very early and wait a while.

Another good spot is at the “Small World” ride. It is even closer to the fireworks, but you will not be able to see the castle and Tinker Bell. 

Disneyland Mickey's Mix Magic with FireworksYou can also view the fireworks from the Rivers of America area. Not the best location, but it is convenient if you are coming out of Pirate of the Caribbean or Haunted Mansion. 

Fantasmic is a separate long-running show highlighting Disney's most favorite stories. It plays above the Rivers of America and utilizes the latest in laser, water, and pyrotechnics. 

Right after Fantasmic ends, another high energy shows starts - with the gang from Disney's cartoons dancing to the beat and the fireworks in the background. This was a wonderful 40-minutes entertaining show - worth the long wait.

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge anaheimer Thu, 11/07/2019 - 16:34

Disneyland - StartWars Land - EntranceThe Disney resort is practically in my backyard. My family and I love to spend a whole day or just a few hours at the Disney parks. Throughout the years we learned a lot about the parks and attractions that we like to share with you.

The newest addition to Disneyland is Star Wars - Galaxy’s Edge, a land dedicated to everything Star Wars.

Star Wars Land at Disneyland was both amazing and disappointing at the same time. I loved walking around in this otherworldly town on the planet Batuu.

The Black Spire Outpost is a town with an intriguing mix of ultra-modern and ancient. You can find spaceships parked near cantinas or old-fashioned bazaars. From this town, you can also board the Millennium Falcon and go on a smuggling run.

But after doing that and soaking the atmosphere of being inside the Star Wars movie, there was nothing left to do except indulge in buying trinkets or food.

Disneyland has plans to open a new ride at Galaxy’s Edge in January of 2020. “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” will put the riders right in the middle of a battle between the Storm Troopers and the Resistance.

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Disneyland - Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Millennium FalconBefore you get on the Millennium Falcon, the queue goes through a shipyard where spaceships are being repaired. The riders are kept entertained with animatronics issuing warnings about mishaps and impending explosions.

Along the way, there are devices and blinking lights that tempt you to touch, but nothing happens. Disney could have made this part more interactive. It would have been nice if when you push a button or pull a lever, you get some reaction.

Note: The lines were very reasonable when we went in September of 2019. But on days with long lines, you can go through the single rider line (Fastpass is not operational yet).

As you enter the ride area, you will get a colored card with your job assignment. Available jobs are Pilot-left, Pilot-right, two gunners and two engineers.

Disneyland - Star Wars Galaxy's Edge FighterIn my opinion, the most fun job is for the right-side pilot. This pilot is responsible for moving the ship up or down and for engaging the hyperspace engines. If you already tried a job in a previous ride you can ask for a different one on your next.

The ride is awesome and worth the wait. It is similar to Star-Tours because is a flight simulator with a Star Wars theme, but the action in this new ride felt more real. Because I was busy piloting the ship, I forgot that I am in a flight-sim.

As a left-pilot, I had control over the ship’s movement sideways (left or right). My daughter was the right-pilot, and she had much more fun moving the Falcon up and down and taking us through hyperspace when needed.

My gunner wife did not fare so well. The buttons were confusing and the job was tedious. I Disneyland - Star Wars Galaxy's Edge - Shipyardfeel even more sorry for the engineers in the last row. They almost had nothing to do.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

This ride will be ready in January 2020 and will be the longest ride at Disneyland. The attraction will put guests into the middle of the battle between the First Order and the Resistance and could last up to 26 minutes.

The ride will have four different experiences with characters from the Star Wars movies appearing throughout the adventure. More when the ride opens.  

Tomorrow Land

Tomorrow Land anaheimer Sun, 11/17/2019 - 16:14

nullThe Disney resort is practically in my backyard. My family and I love to spend a whole day or just a few hours at the Disney parks. Throughout the years we learned a lot about the parks and attractions that we like to share with you.

Tomorrow Land is a futuristic themed area full of thrills and discovery. This land offers a lot of new and original attractions.

Space Mountain

Disneyland - Tomorrow Land - Space Mountain - by Booga Frito -FlickrThis is one of the most popular rides in the park. It is part roller coaster and part Disney magic. Waiting in line is part of the fun. You enter a spaceport – with a huge starship in the center, receive your instructions from Admiral Ackbar, ride your rocket ship and blast off into outer space. 

Your spaceship rockets through space with sharp turns and steep drops while avoiding near-collisions with asteroids and enemy spaceships. The ride is dark on purpose so you can enjoy the cosmic background. 

Tip: For the physically challenged visitors, Disneyland provides powered wheelchairs when needed and a special appointment system so they won’t need to wait in line. The appointment system works for everyone in the party.

Recently, the ride was renamed “Hyperspace Mountain” in honor of the “Star Wars” movie franchise. The ride itself was upgraded to simulate a dogfight between Rebel X-wing starfighters and Imperial TIE fighters. <FastPass Available>

Tip: See full list of FastPass attractions here.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

nullThis is the new and improved version of the old submarine ride. It is very popular and the lines could be very long, especially with younger kids. 

It is basically a submarine ride through the famous animation movie “Finding Nemo”. Once you dive into the depths of the “Tomorrow Land Lagoon”, you will be helping Marlin and Dory to find Nemo.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

nullAnother ride based on a popular movie: “Toy Story”. On this ride, kids of all ages can become junior space rangers, ride the XP-40 space cruiser and use laser guns to help Buzz Lightyear destroy the evil villain “Emperor Zurg”. 

During the ride, you have full control over your cruiser. You can spin around to locate and shoot your targets. Score a lot of points and become a "Galactic Hero". <FastPass Available>

Tip: To score a lot of points, keep firing at all times, try to find the targets with the highest points (like Emperor Zurg), and even when the ride stops, keep firing.

Disneyland  - Tomorrow Land - Star Tours - by Ken Lund - FlickrStar Tours

This is a flight simulator ride based on the “Star Wars” movies. Riders will start on a leisurely trip to the “Endor Moon” and end up in the middle of a space battle between the forces of the empire and the rebels.

The ride is now upgraded with scenes from the latest “Star Wars” movie in amazing 3D. Riders will encounter four different storylines. <FastPass Available>

Star Wars Launch Bay

nullThis section of Tomorrow Land used to house the rotating showcase “Innoventions”. Now it is home to Star Wars - The Force Awakens props, characters, and memorabilia. Enjoy the spaceship models and take a peek at some behind the scene video clips.

The kids and diehard fans can line up for photos with Chewbacca or the fierce warrior Kylo Ren. At the theater, you can watch a 10-minute behind the scene film celebrating the movie franchise and offering glimpses of future releases.

In the hands-on area, you can play the latest Disney video games line “Infinity 3.0”.

Right outside the Launch Bay, you can see “Storm Troopers” terrorizing civilians.  

Star Wars Path of the Jedi

Take an exciting 12-minute tour of the Star Wars saga. Starting from episode 1 and including the latest blockbuster “The Force Awakens”, relive the thrilling moments of the movie franchise with special effects and motion simulation. Your seat would move in sync with the action on the large screen.

This show is located right under Space Mountain – where Captain Eo used to play. The show is not a 3D show, but you will not miss the glasses. The action on the screen and around you in the theater makes up for the extra dimension.

Autopia 

nullYou can’t have an amusement park without a car ride, and this one was around since the opening of Disneyland in 1955.

The adventure starts while you are winding through the long lines. You will pass through the Grand Stand where cars discuss the world from their point of view. 

Then you will get on one of the Honda-powered cars and drive through a maze of roads. Although you do control the gas pedal and the steering wheel, the cars are on a track. So you can’t go too fast or veer off the designated road. null

As you cruise down the highway, enjoy the quirky road signs and the views of other rides.    

Astro Orbiter

Take a ride on a rocket that spins around the solar system. This is the ride the greets visitors as they enter Tomorrow Land. 

Lunch

Tomorrowland Terrace: Conveniently located next to Star Wars Launch Bay, this fast food restaurant serves fried chicken, burgers, salads and more.

Tip: Time your lunch with the “Jedi Training Academy” show right there on the terrace. There is usually a showing every hour

French Market Restaurant: If you feel like something more substantial, then walk across to New Orleans Square and have your lunch at this great restaurant. This cafeteria-style eatery serves Cajun/Creole dishes. On weekends, you can catch some Jazz or Dixieland tunes on the onsite stage.

Matterhorn Bobsleds

nullA fast rollercoaster/water ride that tumbles through the iconic Matterhorn mountain. Jump into your alpine sled, climb to the top of a snowcapped mountain then plunge through the caves and waterfalls. Along the way, watch out for the scary Abominable Snowman.

This ride is located in-between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. It doesn’t belong to either land. It also has 2 different entrances. If you pick the Fantasyland entrance will get a slightly longer with some sharper turns.

The Matterhorn is a real mountain in Switzerland with a 14,700-foot summit.