When you’ve spent your whole life dreaming of going to Disneyland it feels odd to be considered a Disneyland expert on your third trip in three years, but that’s just how I felt when I celebrated Disneyland’s Diamond Anniversary. When this Disney World girl took her first trip to Disneyland in 2013 I had no idea I would have the opportunity to take my kids to Disneyland the following year. And up until a month ago I never dreamed of seeing the castle in its diamond sparkle. Someone pinch me!
Fun fact: on each of my three visits the castle had a different look. On the first, it was decorated for Christmas, my second visit was normal and on my third visit the sparkly castle was draped in blue diamonds. So very neat.
5 Disneyland Tips From A Disney World Pro
For a girl who grew up at Disney world walking through Disneyland has a certain familiarity, and yet, everything is a bit different from Disney World. It is like going through the looking glass and finding everything has changed — ever so slightly. While I appreciate each subtle difference, like a slightly different Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. It is the big differences that really stand out and maybe, just maybe, make me a little jealous we don’t have them at “home.”
According to my local Disneyland tour guide, this is THE ride. And on each of my visits he has insisted on grabbing Fast Passes for this ride before anything else. And you know what, he is right! This ride rocks. For my Disney World friends, it is most similar to Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom, but so much better because – INDIANA JONES! I would trade Indiana Jones Epic Stunt at Hollywood Studios for Indiana Jones the ride in a heartbeat.
Paint the Night Parade
I have an affinity for Disney parades, I always stop to watch in awe. Until my most recent visit to Disneyland I thought no nighttime parade could ever live up to my love for the Main Street Electrical Parade. While I will always be partial to the ELP, Paint the Night has stolen the night. What a parade. Brilliant LED floats and a catchy theme song that had me dancing in the street. A truly “spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination in thousands of sparkling lights.” Magical.
Casey Junior’s Train
The cutest sweetest ride that even adults can’t help but love. I mean, who wouldn’t want to ride in an animal cage? This ride has my heart, it is such a classic ride. Chugging along Casey Junior (from Dumbo) guests can look out at Storybook Land filled with the villages from classic Disney tales. Even Elsa’s ice castle has taken its place on the hillside since my last visit. It is a charming ride that filled with nostalgia even for a fist visit.
It’s A Small World
It’s A Small World has been one of my favorite rides since I was a little girl, but riding it at Disneyland gave me an all-new appreciation for the 1964 World’s Fair attraction. Not only is the Small World building incredible and the ride longer, but I adore the ride’s update to include Disney characters through out. Oh Disney World, bring this feature home! On our last visit my girls had so much fun hunting and searching for Cinderella, Jasmine, Alice, Woody and Jessie, Ariel and more. What a fun tribute to all things Disney
Disneyland has a mountain in the middle of the park! It always looks like a strange sight to me standing just to the right of the castle, but getting over that the ride is fun. It is kind of like a mashup between Space Mountain meets Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train meets Expedition Everest. The bobsleds you sit in are Space Mountain like, it has a story similar to Everest (with an abominable snowman that works – sorry!) and it is a family coast that goes round and round the mountain like Mine Train. All of that combined, it is a great ride! Hot tip: Do not wait an hour to ride. The single-rider line gets you in quick, 20 minutes on my visit.
Each time I have been lucky enough to visit Disneyland I have assumed it would be my last visit, and perhaps this visit will be. But I am so thankful for each visit. Thanks for the memories Disneyland, I am glad I was able to visit three of your 60 magical years!
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