Our First Trip to Disneyland
My family and I recently visited the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California for the first time.
My girls (now grown) have been visiting Walt Disney World since very young ages; we still love going to the Walt Disney World theme parks and resort hotels each year and looked forward to experiencing Walt’s original theme park in California.
We stayed at a Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotel, and while it didn’t have the same magic as staying at a Disney resort hotel, it had the advantage of being adjacent to the main entrance to Disneyland. The day we arrived we enjoyed walking across to Downtown Disney and visiting shops and a delicious lunch at the newly opened Black Tap. We had a great dinner at one of the original Black Tap locations in New York City this past winter and were excited to visit the Disneyland location. It was delicious! Black Tap is famous for their scrumptious burgers and Instagram-worthy shakes. I highly recommend the “Greg Norman” burger; wagyu beef with arugula and blue cheese. Yum!
We started out early the next day since we had Early Morning Magic hours included with our tickets and Max Pass. Max Pass is like FastPass but utilizes the Disneyland app to make FastPass reservations once you are in the park. It was a very efficient way of adding FastPasses, and you can add extra FastPasses once you have used your current three passes.
One of the first things you notice is the size of the castle and the park. It is much more compact than in Walt Disney World and simpler to navigate. Sleeping Beauty Castle had just been revealed after an extensive refurbishment and re-painting and was beautiful. I love that you can do a complete walk-through of the castle, enjoying scenes that correlate to the pages of “Sleeping Beauty.”
Disneyland has most of the attractions of Walt Disney World and other originals such as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Storybook Land Canal Boats, which is an original 1955 attraction. It’s a magical cruise through Disney movie locales-in miniature! We enjoyed the extended version of Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, which is set in an antebellum New Orleans mansion.
Disney’s California Adventure Park is themed after the history and culture of California. Upon entering I was reminded of Disney’s Hollywood Studios with its streets of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Pixar Pier combines the rides and games of boardwalks once located along the coast of California. My favorite attraction was The Incredicoaster.
Based on The Incredibles, it’s a very fast (!) chase to catch baby Jack-Jack, including enclosed tunnels, special effects and inversions! You’ll need to hang on to your hat and any other loose articles!
One of the things I enjoyed most about Disneyland was the weather. We had perfect 70-degree weather while we were there in June. For me, it’s an advantage over hot and humid Florida weather. The weather, smaller parks and original attractions were all positives of this wonderful park experience. We all enjoyed our first visit to the Disneyland Resort, and we would definitely like to return someday. I loved experiencing the vision of Walt’s first theme park.
Leslie Bowman, Concierge Agent
Wishes Family Travel