Home TravelDisney Parks Enjoying Disneyland Every Time Like It’s the First Time (2012 Update)

Enjoying Disneyland Every Time Like It’s the First Time (2012 Update)

by TerriAnn
Disneyland California 2012

2012 Disneyland Visit…

Last September, my family and I spent a whole day at Disneyland. It had been a few years since our last visit and we were due for some Disney-themed fun.

Since we’ve gone there so many times already, we decided on a different plan of action so as to keep the experience fresh. Instead of rushing to see every attraction, getting signatures from every costumed character, and standing for hours on end to go on every ride, we were just going to focus on a few things we wanted to do or had never tried. The result? We had such a fantastic time!

Disneyland California 2012
There were several things I learned on this particular trip:

  1. Tweens are not too old to want autographs if there’s no line. But, if your child has seen Chip ‘n Dale’s Rescue Rangers (90’s cartoon), they will feel uncomfortable with the fact that this set of Chip and Dale have no clothes on…
  2. If you ride on the Mark Twin Steamboat, you’re give nan audio ‘tour’ with animatronic displays along the riverside. Similar to the Jungle Cruise but featuring Indians (Native Americans). How did I never know about this?!
  3. The Sleeping Beauty dioramas can be seen in the castle again – I totally forgot the area was even there.
  4. We found a spinning teacup that did not make my husband sick.
  5. Splash Mountain has a camera which shoots souvenir shots and you can get VERY wet.

“It’s a Small World” is, expectedly, a family favorite. No matter how old I get, ooh-ing and aah-ing over the singing characters always make me feel like a kid again. Seeing the outside structure with the mini parade of wood-like figurines beneath the clock face engenders such nostalgia. The monstrous Disneyland version completely dwarfs its East Coast cousin. As this is such a classic ride, some have been less than pleased with the new Disney movie additions. We loved it! There was an extra level of excitement added as we searched for and spotted the familiar faces. It was so impressive how they stylized the characters to match their corresponding country’s section. Very tastefully done! My favorites had to be the way Pinocchio was displayed in Germany, Timon and Pumba in Africa, and Alice and the white rabbit in England.

Disneyland California 2012 Small World Changes

We also tried the Nemo ride but it was even more boring than when it was the Nautilus. I miss the mermaids. Astroblasters was fun as usual but my husband was bummed because his score somehow got recorded as ZERO but my daughter got 8,200. The new Star Tours 3D is not nearly as good as the original. With my daughter being older, we were able to bypass most of Fantasyland but we did go on Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland, two dark rides we always like. My daughter did want to get Rapunzel’s autograph while there, though, since she wasn’t able to at Walt Disney World. We finished off the night with the parade and checking out some shops on Main Street.

Our visit this time was so much more memorable. It made a huge difference not getting all stressed to cram everything in. Plus, it allowed us to really look around and see little details we had always missed before.  I would highly recommend buying multi-day tickets and taking advantage of longer opening hours. Even though it’s not very big and most of the park stays the same, there’s something about Disneyland that makes you want to keep coming back even if you’ve seen it all before. That said, there will likely be more updates to my Disneyland posts for years to come.


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Jenn @therebelchick January 20, 2013 - 9:10 am

I want to visit Disneyland so bad, but it’s hard to make it a priority when we have Disney World so close!

TerriAnn van Gosliga February 4, 2013 - 10:44 am

Hey, it took me 32 years to make it to Disney World and that was only because we (I) invited ourselves on my mom’s trip 😛

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