Thursday, May 5, 2011

To all who come to this happy place, Welcome!

I <3 Disneyland so very much! Yes, I am 26 and there are no small children in our family, yet it is still possible to have a fantastic time there. 
My Happy Family
First you ave to understand that Disneyland isn't all about the big rides, its about the overall experience.  You should go see shows and attractions that aren't rides to give you a full magical experience.  Some of my family's favorite non-ride attractions:

Animation (in California Adventure) - First, you walk into a big room with scenes of Disney animated movies playing and music from those movies. There are comfy benches and it is very relaxing.  There are two "shows" you can go to here, turtle talk with Crush and Animation Studio (or something).  Turtle Talk with Crush is so cool for kids and adults. Crush (the turtle from finding nemo) shows up on the screen as his computer animated self and interacts with the people in the audience.  My sister answered a question from him and he gave her the nick name Kickin' it Casey! The other show isn't quite as cool, but you do get to learn how to draw a Disney Character (and compare it to your family's interpretations :). The last part of the animation attraction is a walk through type of thing where you get to do cool things like see which Disney character you are most like (I was Jane from Tarzan) and put your voice to a Disney song or scene (we did Hakuna Matata).  I think we spent about 2 hours here and it was so fun, as always!
Blue Sky Cellar (In California Adventure) - This is a small room that talks about coming attractions to California Adventure and information from Disney Imagineers.  There are some really cool models and videos of plans for the new rides.  This time it was focused on the new Little Mermaid ride (opening in June) and the new Cars Land (already in construction and opening in 2012).  You learn some cool stuff!
Fireworks (Disneyland) - Nothing beats the fireworks in Disneyland, they are coordinated to music so well and always have a theme. We watched them from the middle of main street in good view of the castle.

Fantasmic (Disneyland) - A great 20 minute show with cool effects and lots of Disney characters, its shown on the rivers of America by New Orleans Square and you can sit down to watch the show.  Sadly, we didn't watch it this time but I usually recommend going to the late show.

Tiki Room (Disneyland) - A classic animatronic show.  The birds sing, the flowers sing, even the totem poles on the wall sing! And while you are waiting you can get a pineapple whip, yum-zo!
There are also some fun rides that aren't "thrill" rides, that contribute to the overall experience.  Here are some of my favs:

Toy Story Mania (California Adventure) - its a 3D video game on a ride!  So fun, and if your family is competitive (who us?) its even better.  Unfortunately, I got last in my family first time we went, but improved and got second to last the second (Ha, Dad, beat you!).
Astroblasters (Disneyland) - Same idea, but you don't wear 3-D glasses and you are shooting at moving targets, I do much better at this game, for some reason.
Peter Pan (Disneyland) - Yes, its a kid's ride, but it is such a good idea for a ride it still remains one of the best!
And then there are the thrill rides and ones everyone knows about like Space, Thunder, and Splash (closed while we were there) Mountains, Indiana Jones, California Screamin and Soarin, and the Tower of Terror.

One disappointment from this trip, World of Color.  Its a water, light, music, animation show on teh big pond in California Adventure.  It was so hyped up, and we got our fastpasses, like we were told to.  But we really couldn't see the animation projected on the water and we had to wait and stand an hour in our area before it started.  They really need to fix the viewing area...put in bleachers or risers that come out of the ground (you're Disney, you can do it).

The only other disappointment was that we really only spent 1.5 days there :(  Just one more night and half a day at the park would've made all the difference and we could've gone back to the hotel and napped without feeling like we were missing anything.

Ok, last disappointment was that we didn't stay at the Grand Californian.  If they are having a special, stay there, it's worth it!

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