Today I wanted to experiment with a different kind of post – one that involves taking a break from anime and blogging about one of the most popular overall blog topics: places traveled to. I’m not much of a traveler and haven’t been to many interesting places. But there are some I would like to share at some point, besides Japan and anime conventions, which I’ve already shared quite a bit of here on the blog. So what better way to start than with the “happiest place on Earth”…
I never went on any family vacations as a kid, mostly because my mom had to raise me as a single, working parent, and we never had the time or the money to go traveling. But as I got older, more opportunities for day trips to fun places with friends came up, and I’ve been to a lot more places here in Southern California in the past few years than I ever had before. While I had been to Disneyland a couple of times as a kid – once when I was too young to remember it and once in 2000 – it wasn’t until 2007 that I started going there somewhat regularly, usually for my birthday. It is indeed one of my favorite places to go ^_^
There’s way too much to see and do at Disneyland to cover in a single post. So I’m just gonna share my favorite things. All the photos on this post are mine that I took during the past six years I’ve been to Disneyland, while the videos are from various YouTube users with better cameras than me XD
Main Street is, well, the main street that goes through the center of Disneyland and leads to all the different areas. There are lots of gift shops and places to eat there.
One of the ways to get around Main Street is to ride a trolley pulled by a horse like this one.
Main Street gets fully decked-out at Christmas time. If you’re there at night during the holiday season, artificial snow will even fall.
They even have one of the tallest Christmas trees you’ll ever see XD
Usually when I go to Disneyland, I head to Tomorrow Land first to get in line for their fastest and most popular roller coaster, Space Mountain.
The Astro Orbiter ride is the first thing you see upon entering Tomorrow Land. I’ve never been on it since it’s kind of a kiddy ride…but it looks cool.
Above is a video of the full Space Mountain experience (the actual ride itself is rather boring to watch since it’s all dark). The great thing about Disneyland is how fun they make the architecture and immersive feeling of the waiting area of each ride, while the ride itself is only a few minutes long. You can see how well they create that “boarding a spaceship” feeling for Space Mountain.
The Finding Nemo submarine is a gentle ride where you get in the submarine, go underwater, and look through a port hole that projects video of the Finding Nemo characters, giving the illusion that you’re seeing them underwater. It’s a great ride for the kids and a good one for us older folks to relax with XD For those of you who’ve seen the movie, they even have a buoy in the water with the seagulls on it that shout “mine” at random intervals.
If you’re a Star Wars fan – or even if you’re not – Star Tours is a must see. You sit in a theater-like room with seats that rumble as you watch a thrilling 3-D movie through space with 3-D glasses. The above video is the newly revamped version of Star Tours they stared last year, where each time you go the events in the 3-D video will be different =)
This is part of the architecture of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, another fun roller coaster.
There’s a big lake in Frontier Land where you can ride around in a canoe, pirate ship, or the big Mark Twain Riverboat.
This is the extremely popular Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It pretty much just involves you sitting in a boat going down the dark waters, with a few drops, and seeing the amazingly realistic pirate puppets and props. Unfortunately it’s another dark ride that can’t be seen well with a camera, but you can get a good gist of it with the video above. There’s also a restaurant right along the waters of the ride, but I’ve never been there since it’s expensive.
The Haunted Mansion is another ride where it’s more about seeing the impressive visuals rather than being on an actual ride. During the holiday time, the Haunted Mansion gets a complete makeover with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme.
Here’s the Haunted Mansion experience during the holidays with its Nightmare Before Christmas version.
The above video is Splash Mountain, Disneyland’s big water ride that features a fifty-foot watery plunge with a Song of the South theme (kudos if you remember that old relic of a Disney movie). A good ride to go on in the summer, not so much the winter. If you don’t want to get wet, you can buy a Disneyland poncho…for like, five dollars XD
Fantasy Land as a lot of the smaller, kid-friendly rides. As such, I don’t care for them except…
…It’s A Small World. This is the most visually incredible ride in my opinion. If you can put up with that painfully catchy song, it’s a must-see XD
The clock tower outside Peter Pan’s Flight, which is another visual-focused ride. It’s not my favorite since it’s kind of short and not that impressive, but it’s good if you like Peter Pan =P
The only attraction I’m interested in here is the Indiana Jones ride. Along with Space Mountain and Splash Mountain, it’s the ride that tends to have the longest wait time.
Tarzan’s Treehouse is located right next to Indiana Jones, with jungle sounds constantly playing. If you’re waiting in line for Indiana Jones, chances are you’ll hear Tarzan scream about fifty times before you actually get on the ride XD
Here’s the full Indiana Jones ride. Unfortunately it’s another dark ride that can’t be seen well via camera. But yes, you do have to escape the famous boulder at the end.
And here some other pictures I took around the park…
Here’s the outside of the Haunted Mansion during Christmas time, with its Nightmare Before Christmas decor.
Some pet tombstones outside the Haunted Mansion.
This is my most favorite non-ride event, the amazing Fantasmic water/light/fireworks/special effects show that takes place every night on certain days of the week.
Here’s the outside of It’s A Small World.
Aladdin and Jasmine signing an autograph for a little girl. Various characters have autograph sessions at various intervals throughout the park.
And I’ll wrap things up with a picture of me and Monstro the whale XD
That’s all I’m gonna share of Disneyland. Honestly, this is maybe a little over half of everything to see and do there, but I’ve covered all the most popular rides. For those of you who haven’t been there, I hope I was able to give you a second-hand thrill ^^,,,
Anyway, I’m not going to do travel posts like this often – my blog is first and foremost an anime blog. But if you would like to see more posts about my travels in SoCal, please let me know in the comments. If enough people are interested, I may do another one some other time =)