Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Disneyland Park- Attractions Not at WDW

We arrived at Disneyland Park bright and early, and armed with a plan. Our main goal was to experience as many attractions not found at Walt Disney World as we could.

Indiana Jones Adventure

At Disneyland Park, you can enter Main Street prior to the park's official rope drop.  After wandering around Main Street for a bit, we joined the crowd anxiously awaiting the opening of Adventureland.

The target, ride Indiana Jones Adventure, first thing, before the line gets too crazy. Joy abounded as the countdown approached.  It was pretty fun bonding with strangers over mutual anticipation. The cast member, who was keeping park goers at bay, stressed that it was not Black Friday. 

"Please do not trample your fellow park goers. I promise everyone waiting here will have a chance to ride Indy and/or get a fast pass." Everyone chanted,

 "10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!" We were off. 

Because Disney peeps are good peeps, everyone was polite and respectful. There was no trampling.

We weaved through the queue quickly, which was a little sad, since the queue is impressively themed.

For those who have been to Animal Kingdom in WDW, Indiana Jones Adventure is a ten times better version of the Dinosaur ride.  Since we love Indiana Jones, we loved this attraction. You can't beat riding through the temple with all of its cool details, and of course, the boulder escape. It was probably our favorite Disneyland Park attraction. 

It went by so fast, we felt like we missed a lot of the details, so as we exited, we picked up a fast pass so we could ride it again.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage 

I wonder if the ocean has a Delta Quadrant

Though not for the claustrophobic, this is an enjoyable ride.  It is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea re-purposed using the Finding Nemo story.  As you ride under the sea in your submarine, the story unfolds through your port hole using a mixture of real life theming,

and screens.  It's a good long ride that gives you the chance to get off of your feet and relax.  My favorite part of the ride is the music (I sometimes listen to the ride's soundtrack on my ipod because it makes me smile).  At the end, as effervescent bubbles fill your port hole, and Frank Sinatra's Beyond the Sea plays, you can't help but feel happy.

Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin 

We zipped into Toon Town to ride Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin. We planned on returning to Toon Town later, but alas we never returned.

Don't let the wait time fool you.  When we saw 5 minutes, we jumped right in line, but I think someone was a little lax on the red cards, because we probably waited a good 25 minutes, if not more.  

Not forever, I know, but when you're expecting to practically walk right on, a slow moving queue can feel like forever. 

This dark ride felt like a mix of the Tea Cups, Mr. Toad's, and The Cat in the Hat ride at Universal.  It is a bit more thrilling than your average slow moving dark ride, and there is a button on the steering wheel that allows you to spin your car as much as you want. 

Sleeping Beauty Castle

A lot of Disney Worlders scoff at the small size of Disneyland's castle.  

Maybe it was because the castle was dressed up in all of its 60th Anniversary bling, but I didn't think the smaller size was that big of a deal. It's a castle people. Pretty much any castle deserves a measure of awe.  What's great about Disneyland's castle is the walk-through, complete with Sleeping Beauty scenes.  

It was fun being able to walk through the castle, and the scenes are lovely pieces of art.  I could see the narrow passages and stairways getting claustrophobic during  crowded seasons, but the castle seemed like something a lot people bypass, so we were free to gaze at the scenes for as long as we liked.

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

Okay, so this one used to be at Walt Disney World, but now you  have to travel across the country to see Mr. Toad.

Maybe it's nostalgia talking, but this is a fantastic dark ride, especially the part where you drive through hell. 

Pinocchio's Daring Journey

They were doing a refurbishment on the outside of Pinocchio, so there were construction walls everywhere.

It's a cute little dark ride that has a short line. It's worth stopping in.

Alice in Wonderland

After Indiana Jones, Alice in Wonderland was the attraction I was looking forward to the most. I love all things Alice, as Alice was my first introduction to imaginary worlds. In honor of the riding occasion, I wore my Alice in Wonderland-Spirited Away mash up t-shirt and my Cheshire Cat earrings. 

The theming all around the Alice dark ride is great. 

Honestly, I wish that there was more.  I would go nuts over a full Wonderland (I know Tokyo Disney is working on something, but it's based on the Tim Burton version, and I'm not sure I'm quite as excited. I'd rather explore the classic). 

The dark ride is so much fun, and who wouldn't want to ride in a caterpillar? 

The scenes are well done, and outside, you get some nice views of the park.

I wish that we could have gone on it again, but the line is always super long (especially since it broke down throughout the day), and the hot, outdoor queue, is quite unforgiving.  So unforgiving, that my face started to fry, so I had to stop into Mad Hatter to pick up some hat based sun protection. 

Storybook Land Canal Boats

12:30 pm seemed to be the time when everything broke down at Disneyland. Space Mountain, Alice in Wonderland, and The Haunted Mansion all broke down at exactly the same time, so we queued up for Storybook Land Canal Boats.

It is an absolutely charming, relaxing, ride.

Pretending to be swallowed by marine animals is always a good time.

The ride floats around a meticulously landscaped area, filled with miniature versions of  fairy tale and story book lands.

If only shrink rays were real, then you could run around mini-Agrabah

Casey Jr. Circus Train

This is another attraction with a long line in an unforgiving queue.

The choo-choo ride is very short, and takes you around the same area traversed by the canal boats.

The train does offer different views, and it's a nice ride, but if you only have time to do one, I'd go with the canal boats.  

One of the best parts about Disneyland, is being able to ride things like Mr. Toad and the Story Book Canal Boats, that have been in the park since opening day. Things that I am sure Walt rode. 

There were a few things that we didn't get to, but overall, I think we did a stand up job of ticking the majority of Disneyland only attractions off the list.  Of course the things we didn't get to do are a great excuse to return. 

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