Disneyland is the park that started it all. The first real theme park, as we know it, in American history began on a park bench in California, where Walt Disney used to bring his daughters to ride the Griffith Park carousel. As Walt sat on that bench watching his children enjoy the ride, he was inspired to dream of a place where the entire family could come together and enjoy a day of rides and entertainment. From there, Disneyland was born.
The park was dedicated and opened on July 17, 1955, and in the decades since has become an icon not just for theme parks, but for popular culture as well. Disneyland has gone through many changes in the over 60 years it has been open, but most of the original layout has remained. Much like it’s younger sister site, The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, the park is based on a “hub and spoke” configuration with a few newer areas branching off from the original line up of lands.
Adventureland brings thrilling tales of jungle exploration to life. Classic attractions like The Enchanted Tiki Room and The Jungle Cruise go perfectly with newer offerings like Indiana Jones Adventure to immerse guests in an amusing and lush atmosphere of adventure.
Critter Country is one of the smaller and more secluded areas of Disneyland. This land is tucked away near the Rivers of America and tends to be a more quiet alternative to the busier areas of the park. Here guests can take a break and ride the charming Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, or get wet with a ride down Splash Mountain.
Fantasyland is dedicated to fairytale adventures and classic Disney stories. This land sits directly behind the charming Sleeping Beauty Castle. Guests can enjoy attractions like “It’s a Small World” and The Matterhorn Bobsleds or take a spin on the teacups of the Mad Tea Party. This land is also home to the popular Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where young guests can get a makeover transforming them into a princess or knight.
Frontierland is an area that evokes the tall tales and rugged lifestyle of the American Old West. This land is most well known for Big Thunder Mountain but also contains classic fan favorites like The Mark Twain Riverboat and the Sailing Ship Columbia.
Main Street U.S.A.
Main Street U.S.A. is the entrance to the park and greets guests with a throwback to an idyllic recreation of small-town America inspired by Walt Disney’s boyhood home of Marceline Missouri. Shops and restaurants are the majority of what you’ll find here. This street leads to the main “hub” area of the park where the rest of the lands can all be accessed.
Mickey’s Toontown is probably Disneylands most lively land. Toontown gives guests the chance to step through the screen and into an interactive cartoon city. The land is especially popular with younger guests with most attractions having no height requirements.
New Orleans Square
New Orleans Square is one of Disneyland’s more popular areas, and it’s not hard to see why. This section transports guests to the grandeur and splendor of downtown New Orleans. The sites, sounds, smells, and tastes of the area are complemented by a few of the parks biggest attractions like The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is Disneyland’s newest and easily most impressive addition to date. Opening its doors on May 31, 2019, it has taken the concept of immersion to a completely new level. This massive land makes guests feel as if they are living an adventure in a galaxy far, far away. The land consists of only two rides, Millenium Falcon Smugglers Run and the upcoming Star Wars Rise of the Resistance, but has so many details and areas to explore that guests can get lost for hours and still not see it all.
Tomorrowland is where guests can explore the hopes and dreams of a fictional future. The land is a shining and bright imagining of what might be in store for our next generations. Attractions like Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster, The Monorail and Space Mountain are among the exciting standouts in the “future that never was”.
Parades and Fireworks
Disneyland Forever is the park’s evening fireworks and projection show. Recently returned from a hiatus during the Get Your Ears On: A Mickey & Minnie Celebration event, the show has been welcomed with open arms for its beautiful castle projections mixed with classic and new songs and dazzling fireworks. It’s a great way to end your day at the park and is not to be missed.
Main Street Electrical Parade is Disneyland’s current nightly parade offering. It’s a Disney parks classic featuring floats illuminated with over a half a million lights and lively versions of classic songs as well as fan-favorite characters. This parade is only back for a short time though and can be viewed until September 30, 2019.
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Some Photos Courtesy Disney