Disneyland Resort is like no other place. There’s something about it that keeps making you want to come back and it definitely stands on par with that of Walt Disney World, in my opinion! The fact that it is not as large size-wise may actually be the reason I even like it a bit better.
Is Disneyland the happiest place on earth? Well, they certainly try to be! There’s great entertainment, rides for everyone in the family, and the employees (known as cast members) really seem to enjoy working there. If you’ve ever been on the must-do-at-least-once Jungle Cruise, the enthusiasm and cheesy humor of the captains scream “I love my job!” While Disney tries to keep it fresh but updating various attractions and constantly adding new ones, I love that there are some ‘old’ favorites that keep the history and childhood memories alive. I do miss those Country Bears though!
I was never much into Swiss Family Robinson so the switch to making it Tarzan’s Treehouse was a welcome on and so appropriate. For the first time I actually WANTED to climb the tree and thought it was done very well. Much of the charm of Disneyland lies in the intricate, and many times subtle, details. Walking along Main Street and seeing little movements in the upper windows, enjoying the theming of Adventure Land, the artists in New Orleans Square and other bits really make it enjoyable.
There are a few attractions that only Disneyland has including the Matterhorn and Alice in Wonderland. This “It’s a Small World” is extremely special as the ones in Florida and Paris can’t even compare to this one. Just make sure you check the schedule to make sure it’s open as we just always happen to visit when its down for maintenance or such. One of our favorite rides here is the Indiana Jones Adventure ride. Just the decorations and features in the line are fantastic but the ride is even better. This is one my husband and I will try to ride over and over again. By the way, as the closing of the park gets nearer, the lines are almost nonexistent and you can immediately get off and run back through the empty line again!
To say there are several places to get souvenirs would be an understatement. A somewhat inexpensive idea is to buy (or make) an autograph book. Even if your child is a bit scared of the giant characters at first, they will treasure having the autographs with a corresponding picture of them with the characters. The absolute best memory maker is getting a personalized mouse-ears hat with your name on it. There was one shop on Main Street (I can’t remember the name right now) that even allowed you to completely customize your hat with different bases, ears, patches, and more. My daughter still has her hat hanging in her closet and remembers our last trip vividly every time she sees it, as do we. For more shopping goodness, be sure to check out Downtown Disney which is outside the park and has no admission charge!
For food, we really enjoy the barbecue in Adventureland. Nothing else really stands out as being spectacular but it is overall pretty good but expensive. A fairly inexpensive snack can found at the corn dog cart on Main Street and that tasted pretty good too. Oh, make sure you get a churro from one of the carts found throughout the park. They are perfectly crispy on the outside, soft but cooked thoroughly on the inside, and are generously coated with cinnamon sugar – nom nom!
Living in California most of my life, Disneyland has become a kind of staple for me. Every year or two I get this crazy urge to visit and that time is starting to come up now. The nice thing about Disneyland resort is that is is doable in 1-2 days so you don’t get a Disney overdose. On our next trip I will do a more detailed review of each ‘land’ so keep an eye out for that!
Read about Disney California Adventure Park.