02
Nov
15

West Coast Chronicles: Disneyland

They say nothing beats the original, and I’m so lucky to have had the chance to visit the original Disneyland, on its 60th anniversary, and just in time for Halloween!  Here’s my quick but memorable tour of Disneyland Park, Anaheim, California.

Welcome to Disneyland! 😀

As I mentioned earlier, Disneyland in Anaheim, California is the first Disneyland ever built and the only one designed and built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney.  It is separated into two distinct parks: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.  They’re right across each other and it’s a tough choice if you only have a day to spend in either one.  Eventually, we opted for the Disneyland Park.

View of the entrance from the Disneyland Railroad

Tickets to the happiest place on earth! 😀

Disneyland Park, like other Disneyland resorts around the world, is grouped into several themed “lands.”  In Anaheim, these are Adventureland, Frontierland, Critter County, New Orleans Square, Fantasyland, Mickey’s Toontown, Tomorrowland, and Main Street, USA.  We didn’t exactly go through these lands in this order, but let me tell my story in this order. 😀

We were in Disneyland just in time to celebrate early Halloween!

Adventureland

Adventureland is where you can find the prominent Tarzan’s Treehouse and Indiana Jones Adventure, among others.  It has a jungle theme to it and if you have some time to spare, a Jungle Cruise.

Adventureland during sunset

Tarzan’s Treehouse

View from the treehouse

Selfie at the hanging bridge 😀

Doesn’t this look like a scene from Disney’s Tarzan movie?

On our way to one of the last rides we had: Indiana Jones Adventure

Frontierland

Frontierland is the Wild West of Disneyland Park.  This is actually the first land that we visited, riding first on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  It is also where we had our lunch.  Among the other attractions here are the Mark Twain Riverboat ride, Pirate’s Lair on Tow Sawyer Island (where the riverboat circles around of), and Splash Mountain.

Entering Frontierland feels like going back to the days of the Wild West

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The lush greens of Frontierland

Signs near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Inside Splash Mountain

At the Big Thunder Ranch where we had lunch

There are some food options here

Our lunch

Don’t be surprised to see these guys roaming around as you eat

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This is where they hangout, right beside the dining areas

New Orleans Square

New Orleans Square is themed around the old New Orleans.  Among the more popular attractions here are the Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion.

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Our first ride in New Orleans Square is the Pirates of the Caribbean

Queue to the ride

One of the first and last item you’d notice in this ride is this animatronic parrot

Meanwhile, on the outside is this lovely boat

…which is used in the Mark Twain Riverboat ride

It uses these interesting propellers

And that is the Pirate’s Lair on Tow Sawyer Island

More of Tow Sawyer Island

And this is the really fun Haunted Mansion, recently opened just in time for Halloween!

Travel Tip: Disneyland does not have a “Front of Line” pass but they do have an equivalent “FASTPASS.”  These are limited-issue tickets that allow you to skip most of the lines, but you have to avail of them at least an hour ahead of time.  FASTPASS is available for the following attractions:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Fantasmic!
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours
  • The Royal Theatre

Our FASTPASS for Haunted Mansion

Critter County

Critter County is a small section tucked away behind Splash Mountain.  It has many shops and features The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Yes, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is for little kids, and we rode it

Fantasyland

Fantasyland is something that seemed to came out from Fairy Tales.  It has attractions for both young kids and adults alike, and even the prominent castle that serves as the centerpiece of each Disneyland (also known as Sleeping Beauty Castle) belongs to this land.

View of Fantasyland from the Disneyland Railroad

King Arthur Carrousel

Mad Tea Party

Stroller Parking 🙂

Do these guys seem familiar?  Hint: “Mine! Mine! Mine!” 😀

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

The “submarine” ride starts with all these bubbles that make it seem like we’re sinking into the waters

At first, I actually thought we’re going under the water and seeing real sea creatures, but then later it got obvious…

…nonetheless, the sights are quite interesting…

…yes, some of them move…

…and got more exciting when these guys came in! 😀

Mickey’s Toontown

Mickey’s Toontown meanwhile looks like something out of a cartoon.  Everything is kind of crazy, but in a cute way.  We didn’t have much time to look around this land.

Mickey’s Toontown

That car does not work but it looks cute 🙂

Doesn’t it look fun? 🙂

Tomorrowland

Finally, Tomorrowland.  It’s the only place in this entire trip to get to drive and where I got to see Jedis and Storm Troopers.

Welcome to Tomorrowland!

A typical vehicle in Autopia

Traffic 🙂

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

The ride is interactive and you get to shoot Evil Emperor Zurg and his underlings from your seat

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Our final scores (mine is the higher one, hehehe)

C-3PO entertaining guests of Star Tours—The Adventure Continue

Now look who’s here…

Jedis in training, confronting Darth Vader and Darth Maul

The classic ride Astro Orbitor

Main Street, USA

Main Street, USA is the first and last place you’d see in Disneyland Park as it serves as the main thoroughfare.  It is also the site where the parades are held and great spot to witness the fireworks.

Upon entering the park you’d see the carriages pulled by huge horses (the largest I’ve ever seen!)

There’s also this vintage-style double-decker bus

The street is lined with stores where you can buy souvenirs like these

Halloween-themed souvenirs

At the end of the street is a rotunda fronting Sleeping Beauty Castle.  At the center of this rotunda is a main statue surrounded by small statues of popular Disney characters.

Pluto, Mickey Mouse’s dog

Donald Duck

Pinocchio

Minnie Mouse

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Mickey’s Soundsational Parade

Mickey’s Soundsational Parade is held daily, 4:30PM on Fridays to Mondays and 4:00PM on the rest of the week and features our favorite Disney characters.  It isn’t that long and it’s a great way to catch Mickey Mouse.

Here’s the start of the parade

And already, here’s Mickey and Minnie!

Pluto

Goofy and a chipmunk

The genie of Aladdin

Ariel of The Little Mermaid

Donald Duck

The Disney Princesses

Simba of The Lion King

Tiana of The Princess and the Frog

Mary Poppins

Approaching the end of the parade

Colorful balloons

Paint the Night

There’s another parade at night that is even longer and more colorful than the afternoon one called Paint the Night.  It is held 8:45PM and 10:45PM every Friday to Sunday, 8:45PM every Monday, and 8PM every Tuesday to Thursday.

Sleeping Beauty Castle at night

The chaos before the parade

The start of the parade

Tinkerbell and Peter Pan

Aladdin meets Beauty and the Beast

Monsters Inc.

Cars

Toy Story

The Little Mermaid

Here comes the princesses

Belle of Beauty and the Beast

The Princesses

The Princesses of Frozen

The dancers all wear colorful costumes which were obviously not justified in my shots 🙂

The Gang

And for the finale, Mickey on his incredible float!

Disneyland Forever Fireworks

Capping that magical night is the Disneyland Forever Fireworks Spectacular.  I tried my best, but none of my photos could capture the stunning fireworks that we saw.  A spectacular way to end this Disneyland visit.

Fireworks!

Another shot of the fireworks approaching climax

* * *

I may no longer be a kid, but a visit to Disneyland is always special to me.  And this time I got pretty lucky to have been able to visit the original Disneyland on its 60th anniversary and in time for Halloween.  (Come to think of it, I’m pretty lucky to have visited Disneyland twice in two different locations!)  One day is definitely not enough—hope to be back in the near future to see the other side of the park!

Happy Halloween!

* * *

West Coast Chronicles:


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