Walt Disney World ICP - Day 79 - I'm at the original Disneyland! - 20th August 2013

Seeing as yesterday we spent the majority of the day in California Adventure, today was the day to go to Disneyland, the original theme park. We got there for park opening and bee-lined for Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage as I'd heard it was very good. It was - it was a completely unique experience where you go "underwater" and explore the Australian coast whilst bumping into Nemo and his friends. I can truly recommend it but I'd advise you visit it first as it does get some of the longest queues in the park.

Finding Nemo Submarine ride

After the submarines we went on Astro Orbiter and Astro Blasters. Then we went for breakfast in Adventureland. We also grabbed a Indiana Jones fastpass which is meant to be an incredible ride.

One thing that I think Disneyland has done well is not putting Fastpass everywhere which is the mistake Disney World made. It means that the lines are much more manageable with most rides being a 25 minute wait or less. The big rides do have big waits but that's largely attributable to fastpass in my opinion. A good example is Peter Pan's flight which regularly had a wait of 90 minutes or more in Orlando, here it is "only" a 30 minute wait.

After breakfast we rode Pirates of the Caribbean which is much better than the Orlando version but not as good as Paris'. Haunted Mansion was almost an identical clone of Orlando's but it is much darker inside which is cool.

Indiana Jones was an experience. Basically, in line these two women is their mid-to-late 40s asked if it was our first visit - one of them was absolutely crazy. Before we got in the vehicle she said "you've never ridden Indiana, till you've ridden it with me. Last time I got kicked off the ride by security and had to be escorted out." That was worrying. In conclusion, I ended up sitting next to her. Throughout the entire ride anytime we went round a corner she flung herself onto me and put her arm in my mouth and face and tried to do the same to Jack. Then she held my hand and skipped when we got off the ride, told me she was looking for a husband and did I pay child support. At that point I held back as they walked off. Wow. Californians are insane - something they themselves had told me earlier in line. I wish this were made up but it is sadly a 100% true story.

Me in Disneyland!! Look how small the castle is!
We watched the newest stage show in the park - Mickey and the Magical Map - which was cool though the animation on the screens seemed to lag which ruined it a bit.

We explored a land that none other of the Disney theme parks currently have - Mickey’s Toontown Fair, and we visited Mickey's house. Minnie had her own house too - I thought they were married?! The meet and greets had a really fun queue as you go from room to room inside the house.

Inside Mickey's House - how he keeps his gloves clean.
We re-rode Indiana Jones and funnily enough I enjoyed it much more the second time round when I could actually see what I was looking at. The ride uses the same cars as Dinosaur but uses them much more effectively. It’s a really fun ride and it’s probably the only ride I’ve been on at Disney recently that I completely forgot I was in a show building as I was completely immersed in the experience in the temple. I really, really enjoyed this ride and I do sincerely hope that one day it makes its way over to Disneyland Paris.

We explored inside Sleeping Beauty castle which is small but the story is told well there with some cool effects, but it’s nowhere near as lavish as its Parisian cousin.

We also rode Space Mountain using our 6-person anytime Fastpass with my friend Tori who worked at Peter Pan in Orlando as she spent some time with us.

We went back home for a break and took the monorail out of the park to Downtown Disney which is a fascinating idea for me and we managed to ride up front with the pilot! So cool!

In the Pilot's booth on the Disneyland Monorail

For dinner we went to eat at Blue Bayou which is actually inside the Pirates of the Carribbean ride. The food was alright but you're definitely paying for the setting more than the food. I really want to try the one in Paris though as they have a more fish-based menu. Despite the photo below it wasn't actually that dark and you could see perfectly fine.

At Blue Bayou
It was another great day and it was really good to explore the park a bit better. It is surprising how quickly you can walk across the park though, as everything is so close together. It’s clear the park was designed for “smaller” people as well back then - the turnstiles on rides are tiny and definitely would not fit some of the people that came through the turnstiles in Disney World and there are narrower passages which just wouldn’t exist at Disney World. I guess a lot of it is also the fact that the Disney World parks today are also more accessible which they only thought of to some extent in 1955 and I noticed that loading disabled guests can be really cumbersome for them. Hey, Walt even forgot to build water fountains in his original Disneyland theme park when he opened it, so he wasn’t perfect and times have definitely changed!

Next Post: Walt Disney World ICP - Day 80 - Exploring Hollywood! - 21st August 2013

NEW: Want a peek behind the scenes working for Disney? Download my book about 16 months spent living and working at Disneyland Paris now on Amazon.


Popular posts from this blog

Working at Disneyland Paris 2014 - Accommodation Options

A post reminiscing about the Walt Disney World International College Program

London: Things to do and Events in February