There’s something to be said about the only park that Walt Disney ever stepped foot in. Disneyland is a magical place, and here are just a few of the reasons why.
1. It’s Unbelievably Charming
Quaint might not seem like a good word to describe one of the world’s most famous theme parks, but that best sums up how I feel about Main Street USA, Fantasyland, and other areas of Disneyland. Everything is just so picturesque and cute. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is small which makes it feel even more amiable, instead of overwhelming.
2. The Characters
We were so shocked when we walked into Main Street and saw Mickey Mouse just chilling alone with no other cast members around. At Magic Kingdom waits to see Mickey (or any character for that matter) are so long there are fast passes. Not the case at Disneyland, where characters roam around freely, interacting with guests and other characters. Dr. Facilier just wanders around New Orleans Square and performs magic tricks for those passing by. Gaston messes with the actors at the Fantasyland Theater. It was such a nice change from Walt Disney World, and really added to the magic.
3. The Matterhorn
It might seem wasteful to use one of my reasons on a ride, but the Matterhorn is more than that. It’s so beautiful and a symbol you can see everywhere from the park. The Matterhorn is so iconic that there is even a snack made after it. Plus the Matterhorn Bobsleds are in fact awesome, even though the yeti is terrifying and comes out of nowhere.
4. The Attention to Detail
If you look closely enough, you realize that no detail is left behind. The trees are shaped to look like the ones in the movie Sleeping Beauty. Rub the apple at Snow White’s Scary Adventures, and you’ll get a fun surprise. Mrs. Potts and Chip play a cameo in Tarzan’s Treehouse just like in the film. The banjo player at the beginning of the Pirate’s of the Caribbean subtly plays A Pirate’s Life for Me. The list goes on and on. Fun little things like this are why I love Disney so much.
5. Mint Julep and Mickey Beignets
6. The History
Did you know that Disneyland contains the First Human Audio-Animatronic ever made? What seems so simple now was at the time cutting edge technology that Walt Disney himself worked tirelessly on. There’s also so many other interesting things to see such as Walt’s Apartment and the original bench where he first thought of Disneyland. Attractions he created over 60 years ago are still alive and well-loved today. When you walk into the park you’re entering a place where history has been made, and it’s an incredible feeling.
7. New Orleans Square
I would be content to spend all day in New Orleans Square just people watching and enjoying the live music. It contains all the infamous snacks and restaurants such as Cafe Orleans and Blue Bayou, and also has arguably the best version of Pirate’s of the Caribbean ever made. It feels like you’re not even in a theme park, instead exploring narrow pastel colored streets and finding hidden treasures (see what I did there). I loved it so much that it’s actually my new favorite ‘land’ at a Disney park.
8. The Shows
There are so many well done shows that it took us an entire day to see them all. What really impressed us was that almost all of the shows were live, no lip-singing whatsoever. Mickey and the Magical Map blew me away, and we were thoroughly entertained by all of the comedy shows. Also, Fantasmic! is better than its Disney World counterpart, no contest. My favorite thing was that everywhere we went there was some form of live entertainment, be it the Disneyland Band or relaxed jazz music.
9. The Walk-ability
While it may not feel like it when you’re in the park, Disneyland is actually smaller when compared to other major theme parks. This makes things more compact and easy to get around, and (bonus) also makes your feet less tired. However, my main reason for stating this is because how easy it is to get in and out of Disneyland. If we wanted to visit California Adventure, we walked out of the gates and another approximately 500 ft, and then entered the other park. At the end of each day, we exited the park, walked across the street, and entered our hotel. Growing up accustomed to the massive size of Walt Disney World, I was so happy with how simple and immediate everything was. No bus, no ferry, just our own two feet. It was wonderful.
10. The Attractions
The reason most people go to theme parks are to experience the attractions. Including rides, shows, and exhibits; Disneyland Resort has a whopping 53 attractions, 32 of which are unique. It’s pretty amazing how many rides they are able to pack into the park, and they’re all worth riding at least once. My personal favorite: Indiana Jones Adventure which I’m pretty sure we rode at least 5 times.
Disneyland really is special, and I feel incredibly lucky that we were able to go. We made memories that we will treasure forever, and one day we will bring our kids and make even more memories.