My Dreams of being at Disneyland for it’s 60th Birthday!

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

Last night, at a special media event, Disneyland Resort announced the plans for the 60th anniversary of Walt’s wonderful park, Disneyland.  I’ve already been thinking about what a great trip that would be to be able to visit Disneyland this year and celebrate that wonderful anniversary.  As you may remember, we were fortunate enough to travel to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World for the 40th anniversary of that park back in 2011 (here are posts about that trip here and here) — and this would be another bucket list item we could mark off of our list.

With my friend Sheila and her family, who are local to the area, I can imagine that the trip will be a great memory for Sheila, who has grown up visiting Disneyland all her life.  Already I’m dreaming of some of the things that I’d like to do on that day:

  1. In true Disney style, I want to ride the Disneyland Railroad all the way around the park.
  2. I want to visit each of the original, opening day attractions that are still open today.  Can you name them? :)
  3. I want to ride it’s a small world, and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, the Storybook Land Canal Boats, and Casey Jr. Circus Train.
  4. I want to see how Big Thunder Mountain compares to the Walt Disney World version.
  5. I want to ride Pirates of the Caribbean.
  6. I want to enjoy the Mark Twain Riverboat and the Sailing Ship Columbia.
  7. I want to take in the Enchanted Tiki Room show, as well as Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln!
  8. I want to ride Jungle Cruise and Snow White’s Scary Adventures.
  9. I want to walk through Mickey and Minnie’s houses.
  10. Most of all, I want to imagine Disneyland as it was when Walt walked those paths. I want to imagine walking down Main Street, U.S.A., and having Walt Disney hold out his hand to shake mine.  I want to imagine how life could have been so very different if Walt had not smoked, and had not passed away as early as he did…

What do you want to do for the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland?  Do you have plans on attending?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks!

 

Lands of Disneyland – Main Street, USA

Some of the best experiences of Main Street, USA, are at night!

Some of the best experiences of Main Street, USA, are at night!

By Mike Ellis.

A few weeks back, I wrote an introductory post called “Coming Soon: The Lands of Disneyland!”  Well, after what seems like an eternity, here I am, finally writing about the first land you come to at Disneyland — Main Street, U.S.A.

Much like it’s counterpart at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, Main Street, U.S.A. takes all the best traits of a bygone era — when things were simpler, less complicated, and perhaps, more wholesome — and combines them in Main Street, U.S.A.  This street could be found in Anytown, USA, but in truth, it draws it’s inspiration from the town of Marceline, Missouri, the town where Walt Disney spent some of his formative years growing up.

Unlike the Magic Kingdom Main Street, U.S.A., the Disneyland version has quite a bit going on, including some things that you don’t find anymore at Walt Disney World — in fact, things that I wish still existed.  Let’s take a look at some of those in more detail.

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is located in the section of Main Street known as Town Square — that part of the street that you see right after you enter the park.  Officially known as The Disneyland Story Presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, this isn’t just a museum/show about President Lincoln.  Located within this building are some incredible artifacts that you will want to take a look at and examine in more detail when you are there next.

This bench was located in Griffith Park, and was the very park bench where Walt Disney would rest -- and dream up Disneyland!

This bench was located in Griffith Park, and was the very park bench where Walt Disney would rest — and dream up Disneyland!

This Carousel Horse is one of the very horses that Walt Disney's daughters would ride on at Griffith Park

This Carousel Horse is one of the very horses that Walt Disney’s daughters would ride on at Griffith Park

I love models, and trains, so what better to look at than a model of Disneyland with the Railroad on it!

I love models, and trains, so what better to look at than a model of Disneyland with the Railroad on it!

This model of the Capitol in Washington, DC, is made of the same stone as the original!

This model of the Capitol in Washington, DC, is made of the same stone as the original!

This painting of President Lincoln illustrates the decisions that a President must make alone at times.

This painting of President Lincoln illustrates the decisions that a President must make alone at times.

Main Street Cinema

The Main Street Cinema still shows original cartoons of Mickey Mouse and his friends, including Steamboat Willie!

The Main Street Cinema still shows original cartoons of Mickey Mouse and his friends, including Steamboat Willie!

Further down Main Street is the Main Street Cinema, a small theater where you can go and watch some of the great Mickey Mouse short cartoons, including the original, Steamboat Willie!  I remember when you used to be able to go into the Main Street Cinema at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World and see the cartoons, but that is no longer the case, sadly.  Now, the Main Street Cinema in the Magic Kingdom sells art.

Disneyland Fire Station

The Light on in the 2nd Floor is the apartment that Walt Disney would stay at.

The Light on in the 2nd Floor is the apartment that Walt Disney would stay at.

The Disneyland Fire Station is also located in the Town Square section of Main Street.  As you can see, there is a light on in a window on the 2nd floor of the building.  Did you know that this was an apartment that Walt Disney would sleep in sometimes during the construction phase of Disneyland?  When he passed away in 1966, I believe that is when they started turning the light on in the apartment, as if waiting for him to arrive home.  Unfortunately, the Fire Station exists at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, but what began as a duplicate of the Disneyland station gradually was turned into a gift shop, and now it is one of the starting points for the new Magic Kingdom game you can participate in known as Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.

Disneyland Railroad – Main Street Station

The Disneyland Railroad stands tall at the entrance to Main Street, U.S.A.

The Disneyland Railroad stands tall at the entrance to Main Street, U.S.A.

As I mentioned, I love trains, and the Disneyland Railroad is no exception!  We rode the train once or twice, and enjoyed every minute of it!  In case you don’t know, the Disneyland Railroad has stops at Main Street, U.S.A., New Orleans Square, Tomorrowland, and Mickey’s Toontown, so there are plenty of ways to get around that don’t include just walking everywhere!

In addition to the attractions I listed above, we also have the standard gift shops that grace Main Street the world over, and some good dining locations for snacks or even meals.  Most of them are similar to what you can find at the Magic Kingdom, but one, the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe, is not found at Walt Disney World, and is a fun little place to go in and get a pastry from!

I hope you have enjoyed this look at Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Park!  When you and your family come visit Disneyland, how much time do you spend in Main Street?  Is it your stepping stone, your path, if you will, to bigger and better things, or do you savor what you can find here and enjoy every moment you spend here?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks!