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!

 

Pirates of the Caribbean

5 Facts about Pirates of the Caribbean that will Impress Your Friends.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean – 5 Facts to Impress Your Friends!

If you are reading this post, chances are that you are already a Disney fan — some of you may even be Disney Addicts!  If that’s the case, the five facts I’ve got for you may not be anything you haven’t heard before, but it may be something that you can use to explain how cool Pirates of the Caribbean is to your friends, co-workers, family, anyone that isn’t as big a Disney fan as you are!  So, without further ado, here are five facts about Pirates of the Caribbean that will impress your friends!

Pirates of the Caribbean

For Pirates fans, there are a lot of great tidbits that do a great job of adding a bit of intrigue to the attraction.  Here are my top five facts that I find fascinating about this great attraction!

  1. When Walt Disney World opened on October 1, 1971, Pirates of the Caribbean was not one of the original opening day attractions.  The thought was that because Florida was so close to the Caribbean, the Florida residents would not be interested in pirates.  Well, people were amazed that Pirates wasn’t part of the Magic Kingdom, and they petitioned Disney to open it in Florida like it was in California.  Disney listened, and Pirates opened to the general public on December 15, 1973 — exactly 7 years after Walt Disney passed away.
  2. Pirates opened originally at Disneyland, in New Orleans Square.  The attraction was the last one that Walt Disney worked on before he passed away, and it opened 3 months after his passing.  The Disneyland version starts with a slow ride through the Blue Bayou restaurant.  If you are eating there, you can see the boats pass by from your table.  It’s really cool.  Personally, the scene reminds me of the bayou of Louisiana (hence New Orleans Square) scenes from The Princess and the Frog movie.
  3. At the Magic Kingdom, there are two skeletons playing a game of chess in one of the dungeons — you can see them as you walk through the loading queue.  Interestingly, though, the pieces on the chessboard form a stalemate, with no winner possible.  As a result, the two skeletons have been playing the same game of chess since 1973!  This part of the attraction was the brainchild of Marc Davis, one of the Disney Legends and one of Walt’s Nine Old Men.
  4. Back at Disneyland, did you know that there are two drops as part of the attraction, while at the Magic Kingdom, there is only one?
  5. Lastly, did you know that the drop at the Magic Kingdom was done in order to navigate under the Walt Disney World Railroad?

I hope that you have found these facts to be fun and enjoyable!  Leave me a comment and let me know what facts you have to share also.  Thanks, and make it a Disney day everyone!

The Lands of Disneyland: New Orleans Square!

The Haunted Mansion is one of the signature attractions in New Orleans Square

The Haunted Mansion is one of the signature attractions in New Orleans Square

Hello everyone, and thank you for taking time out of your day to visit us here at My Dreams of Disney!  As you may know, we have been exploring the different lands of Disneyland, much like we did with our “Lands of the Magic Kingdom” series that we did a few years back, and today, we are taking a look at New Orleans Square.

Our last exploration was of Adventureland, and before that, Main Street, U.S.A., so as you can tell, we are working our way around Disneyland in a somewhat clockwise order.

New Orleans Square

New Orleans Square was the first new land added to Disneyland, opening on July 24, 1966 — and was the last major public appearance at Disneyland by Walt Disney, who would die in December of that year.  The land is only three acres, but it is jam packed with some of the most notable things in Disneyland.  Contained in the location are the following attractions, restaurants, and even sleeping arrangements:

  • The Haunted Mansion
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Disneyland Railroad Station
  • The Blue Bayou
  • Club 33
  • Disneyland Dream Suite
  • Assorted shops and dining locations

The Haunted Mansion

The Haunted Mansion is one of the signature attractions in New Orleans Square

The Haunted Mansion is one of the signature attractions in New Orleans Square

The Haunted Mansion, pictured above, is themed entirely after New Orleans in the 19th Century, which is the time period that New Orleans Square is set in.  The ride mechanics are the same — although, there is a difference in the way the stretching room operates at Disneyland versus Walt Disney World — and I liked the way that The Haunted Mansion entered the house.  As I wrote in my Top five attractions at Disneyland post, Haunted Mansion isn’t higher than number three only because we had a few issues with the ride starting and stopping.  Otherwise, it would have been at number two on my list!

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean is my favorite ride at Disneyland, bar none!

Also located in New Orleans Square is the famed Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  This incredible dark ride was such a treat for me to ride, it instantly jumped right on up near the top of my all time favorites list for Disney!  With two — count them, two — incredible drops, a leisurely stroll through the Bayou of Louisiana reminiscent of The Princess and the Frog, and the Blue Bayou restaurant off to the right as you start your journey, this attraction truly did live up to it’s advanced billing.  My dear friend Brenda told me that I was going to absolutely LOVE Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland — and boy, was she right!

The Disneyland Railroad

The Disneyland Railroad has a stop at New Orleans Square, and services Frontierland also from this stop.

The Disneyland Railroad has a stop at New Orleans Square, and services Frontierland also from this stop.

In addition to Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, New Orleans Square is also home to one of the four stops along the Disneyland Railroad.  What is cool about this stop is that the train depot, pictured below, actually plays the first two lines of Walt Disney’s opening day speech on July 17, 1955 in Morse code:

“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future.”

"To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future."

The Depot plays the first two lines of Walt Disney’s opening day speech in Morse Code at this station.

The Blue Bayou

Image Courtesy and ©Chip and Company

Image Courtesy and ©Chip and Company

Without a doubt, one of my favorite dining experiences at Disneyland was eating at the Blue Bayou restaurant.  We were seated near the water, and we had a wonderful view of the boats leaving port on their way to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  It was a lot of fun to eat there, the food was incredible, and it truly did feel as if we were immersed right into the middle of the Princess and the Frog.  I know I’ve said that before, but it really was a great dining experience, and I hope to be able to enjoy it again in the future.

Club 33

Club 33 is the most exclusive restaurant in Disney -- and it's located in New Orleans Square!

Club 33 is the most exclusive restaurant in Disney — and it’s located in New Orleans Square!

Club 33 is the only establishment at Disneyland that serves alcoholic beverages, and was built under the supervision of Walt Disney as a way to attract more sponsors to Disneyland in the mid 1960s.  Sadly, the restaurant opened in 1967, about 6 months after Walt Disney passed away, so he never ate there or experienced it for himself that I know of.  In all my roaming around New Orleans Square, can you believe that I NEVER saw the door and the sign?  I guess I was all caught up in everything else that Disneyland had to offer and had put blinders on or something!

Disneyland Dream Suite

The Disneyland Dream Suite is the only accommodations you can get inside of Disneyland Park!

The Disneyland Dream Suite is the only accommodation you can get inside of Disneyland Park!

The only overnight accommodations that you can get inside of Disneyland Park belong to the Disneyland Dream Suite.  This exclusive sleeping arrangement is located in New Orleans Square, and is near the Pirates of the Caribbean entrance.  I have not been inside the Disneyland Dream Suite, but I understand that it was originally built to be an apartment for Walt Disney during the construction of New Orleans Square.  When Walt passed away, the project was put aside and used as the Disney Gallery, but in 2008, it was renovated and remade into the Dream Suite that exists today.  Typically, the chance to sleep here is awarded as a contest promotion.  I would love to spend the night there!

In addition to all that we have examined here, New Orleans Square is also home to some great shops, quick dining locations, and more!  I really enjoyed New Orleans Square, and if you can get there, I think you will too!