Our Favorite Disneyland Memories

Disneyland Memories

Our Disneyland Memories start with our hotel, the Grand Californian, an incredible place to stay!

Hello everyone!  Welcome back to My Dreams of Disney, the Disney fan site that brings you interesting perspectives on our favorite place to stay on vacation!  Today we continue our “Favorite Disney Memories” series by taking a look at the incredible memories that we experienced last year when we went to Disneyland for our first trip there!  There was so much to experience in this trip that this post is going to be a hefty one, full of plenty of photos and memories that I hope you enjoy reading about.  Have you ever been to Disneyland?  If so, you may enjoy seeing these pictures as a reminder of your own memories from your trip!  If you haven’t been, then perhaps these photos will a) give you a small taste of what the experience is like, and b) get you interested in seeing what it would take for you to take a trip to Disneyland yourself!  Please let me know if I can help you with that.  I’d be happy to do so!

Our home resort for our DVC Membership is actually the Grand Californian, so we were able to reserve our room 11 months out — in July of 2012, if my memory serves me right.  The hotel is absolutely incredible, and I urge you to take a more in-depth look at it by checking out my post on the Grand Californian.

Disneyland Memories

Of course, when I say Disneyland, I’m actually referring to both Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure Park, so I guess my post should have been titled Disneyland Resort Memories to be technically correct, but I think you know what I mean.  This first picture is of one of the most relaxing things we did at Disneyland — taking a ride on the Sailing Ship Columbia.

The Sailing Ship Columbia is a relaxing, incredible trip back in time to the era of that type of ship.

The Sailing Ship Columbia is a relaxing, incredible trip back in time to the era of that type of ship.

This next picture is of the location of my wife’s favorite part of the parks — Mickey’s Toontown.  This land is an incredible place, with all sorts of things to fascinate young and old alike!

Disneyland Memories

Toontown is an incredible resource, and one that I recommend you enjoy every trip to Disneyland!

As we continue our look at the memories, I have to look at one of the best memories we have — meeting my friend Sheila, her husband Randy, and their daughter, Miss J.  J and Sophie hit it off so well that we’re getting together again this summer, only this time we’ll stick to the east coast for our Disney adventures!

Disneyland Memories

Sophie and Miss J enjoy Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree!

 

Disneyland Memories

Sophie and Miss J over on Buena Vista Street talking with one of the nice ladies!

In addition to meeting Sheila and her family, I also got to meet one of my good blogging friends Jessica and her boyfriend Shaun.  That was a lot of fun, and Sophie loved meeting them and riding the Tower of Terror with them!

Disneyland Memories

Meeting Jessica and Shaun was great fun!

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.  The first time we rode it, Sophie hated it — it was too noisy for her.  Put in her earplugs, ride it again, and viola! ~ a new fan!  We even have the movie!

Disneyland Memories

Mr. Toad and Sophie posing for a picture!

If you haven’t seen Mickey and the Magical Map yet and are going to Disneyland — go see it!  It is an incredible show, and well worth stopping to see it.

Disneyland Memories

Mickey and the Magical Map — what an incredible show!

The next two attractions are ones that took me and made me feel like even more of a little kid than I already did.  The Casey Jr. Circus Train and the Storybook Land Canal Boats attractions are a lot of fun for me, and they are two of my favorite memories!

Disneyland Memories

Casey Jr. Circus Train goes around the perimeter of the Canal Boat ride.

Disneyland Memories

Storybook Land Canal Boats takes you right into the mouth of Monstro the Whale!

One thing that we did at Disneyland that we can’t do anymore at Walt Disney World was ride in the front of the Monorail.  It was a lot of fun, and brought back old times of when we did do this at Walt Disney World…

Disneyland Memories

Riding in the front of the Monorail is really cool!

Of course I’ve got to talk about Cars Land — that incredible land over at California Adventure Park.  To be honest, though, while I really enjoyed the Radiator Springs Racers ride, I enjoyed just walking around Radiator Springs even more — especially at night!

Disneyland Memories

Radiator Springs Racers is so popular there’s a 15 minute wait just to get a FastPass!

Disneyland Memories

Flo’s V8 Cafe is a great place to get some tasty food!

These next two attractions are favorites because they are located in the same land — New Orleans Square — and when you couple them with the incredible dining we had at the Blue Bayou, they make the perfect Disney Trifecta of favorite Disneyland Memories!

Disneyland Memories

The Haunted Mansion is a great attraction, and one you shouldn’t miss!

Disneyland Memories

Pirates of the Caribbean is, without a doubt, one of the coolest rides at Disneyland!

When it comes to stage shows, Disney’s Aladdin — A Musical Spectacular — is a show that, in this writer’s opinion, rivals shows such as Finding Nemo – The Musical and the Festival of the Lion King over at Walt Disney World!

Disneyland Memories

Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular is a great show to see!

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln — I love it because it reminds me of some of the Walt Disney World history attractions, such as the Hall of Presidents and the American Adventure show.  However, this has it’s own history, and great pieces that show how Disneyland was conceived in the mind of Walt Disney, and this is just a great attraction.  Go check it out!

Disneyland Memories

This model of the United States Capital is made from the same stone as the actual Capital!

One of the best parts of California Adventure is Paradise Pier, and it’s not surprising to me that three of the best memories we had are to be found there.  Starting us off is Mickey’s Fun Wheel, a great ride that is a lot of fun!  After that, I’m sharing a picture of my shot on California Screamin’ when we were upside down — still the best Disney rollercoaster in my opinion!  And lastly, I’m sharing a picture I took during the World of Color — the quintessential show at California Adventure — and the best one on any Disney park, in my opinion!

Disneyland Memories

Mickey’s Fun Wheel was a great deal of fun!

Disneyland Memories

We loved California Screamin’!

Disneyland Memories

Ariel in the World of Color — a great show that is second to none!

The memories that we created at Disneyland and California Adventure during our trip there last year are some of our absolute favorites.  We had such a wonderful time that we know we’ll be back at some point — when, who knows, but we will get back there…it is that cool.

Thank you for stopping by, and for staying through until the very end of this long post!  I hope you enjoyed it!  Tell us in the comments what your favorite memories are of Disneyland, California Adventure, or any of the other Disney Parks, and thanks!

 

 

The Lands of Disneyland: Frontierland!

The Mark Twain Riverboat is just one of the great things to do in Frontierland!

The Mark Twain Riverboat is just one of the great things to do in Frontierland!

Hello everyone, and welcome to our next installment of the Lands of Disneyland!  As you know, we have previously taken a look at Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, and New Orleans Square.  As we continue our path clockwise around Disneyland, we next come to Frontierland!  This land is located right next to New Orleans Square, and has a ton of activities for you to enjoy during your visit.  Take a look at this list, and we’ll elaborate on these further on in our post also:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Big Thunder Ranch
  • Fantasmic!
  • Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition
  • Mark Twain Riverboat
  • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Sailing Ship Columbia

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is near the top of my list of favorite roller coasters!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is near the top of my list of favorite roller coasters!

The big name at Disneyland in Frontierland is probably Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  What is different about Disneyland is that Splash Mountain is located in Critter Country, a totally different land, and isn’t right next door to BTMRR like it is at Walt Disney World.  Unfortunately for us, though, we weren’t able to experience that great ride because of this sign:

Sadly, it was closed until Fall...

Sadly, it was closed until Fall…

Big Thunder Ranch

Big Thunder Ranch is a great little outdoor petting zoo type environment!

Big Thunder Ranch is a great little outdoor petting zoo type environment!

We came strolling into Big Thunder Ranch one day during our trip, and had the best time.  They had lasso’s for your kids to learn how to lasso, they had some of the great horses on display, along with other animals and birds, and while we were there, we ran into our friends, as you can see below — it was so cool because there was hardly anyone around, so we didn’t have to wait at all!

Look who we ran into at Big Thunder Ranch!

Look who we ran into at Big Thunder Ranch!

Fantasmic!

fantasmic_alt

Fantasmic is performed on the Rivers of America in Disneyland!

As you can tell by the map image below, Fantasmic is located right on the shore of the Rivers of America!  However, just like at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the wait for the show is absolutely insane — in my opinion only, of course — so we didn’t see it.  Mostly this is because you would have to get a seat around 5PM and wait for the show time, and I just felt like that was a waste of time.  One year we will see Fantasmic, but it wasn’t this year…

Fantasmic Map Disneyland

Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition

The Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition is of a similar nature to the one at Walt Disney World. Basically it’s a shooting arcade — it isn’t really our thing, so we didn’t take it in, but if you have young hunters or would-be hunters, I’m sure they would enjoy it!

Mark Twain  Riverboat

The Mark Twain Riverboat is a replica paddleboat on the Mighty Mississippi!

The Mark Twain Riverboat is a replica paddleboat on the Mighty Mississippi!

The shot above was taken from the pilothouse (I think that’s the right term) of the Mark Twain Riverboat!  It was great being able to go up there, although it was a little cramped with me, Sophie, and our boat captain up there!

Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island

The Pirate's Lair is part of Tom Sawyer Island, a fun place for kids to play!

The Pirate’s Lair is part of Tom Sawyer Island, a fun place for kids to play!

Tom Sawyer Island is a great little getaway from the rest of Disneyland.  Just like at the Magic Kingdom, access to the island is by way of raft, and it’s a lot of fun to head on over and relax some of the day away.  Look for all the treasure at the Pirate’s Lair, and have fun finding all the passageways!

Sailing Ship Columbia

The Sailing Ship Columbia is perhaps the most relaxing boat to go on at Disneyland!

The Sailing Ship Columbia is perhaps the most relaxing ship to go on at Disneyland!

I really enjoy the Sailing Ship Columbia.  When you board her deck, and get underway, it really feels as if you are back in the age when this ship was sailing around the world!  That is part of what I love about Disney — his true love of history, and how he incorporates that into his parks so that they are so much more than just a place to ride rides.

In addition to all of these, Frontierland is also the home to the Golden Horseshoe, which, while it doesn’t still do Wally Boag’s show, is still a great photo opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up!

The Golden Horseshoe is a great looking building!

The Golden Horseshoe is a great looking building!

The story of Frontierland is so much more than a place to ride a roller coaster, or go looking for Pirate treasure, or pet some animals.  The story of Frontierland really comes down to this quote, spoken by the great Walt Disney himself, on the day of Disneyland’s opening on July 17, 1955:

Frontierland. It is here that we experience the story of our country’s past. The color, romance and drama of frontier America as it developed from wilderness trails to roads, riverboats, railroads and civilization. A tribute to the faith, courage and ingenuity of our hearty pioneers who blaze the trails and made this progress possible.

Thank you for stopping by as we take a look at Frontierland, one of the Lands of Disneyland!

 

Happy Independence Day, America!

Main Street Electrical Parade pays homage to America in their last float, titled “To Honor America!”

Main Street Electrical Parade pays homage to America in their last float, titled “To Honor America!”

Happy Independence Day, America!  Today is the 237th Anniversary of the birth of our country!  Please take time to admire these photos, then go out and make your own memories of this country, and tell your kids how great our country is and can be!  Please be safe while you are celebrating — let’s not turn a celebration into a tragedy!  May God Bless our country, keep it safe, bless our soldiers, keep them safe, and remind all of us of the price that our forefathers paid so many years ago to make this dream a reality!

Main Street Electrical Parade pays homage to America in their last float, titled “To Honor America!”

Main Street Electrical Parade pays homage to America in their last float, titled “To Honor America!”

The Sailing Ship Columbia proudly displays the American Flag!

The Sailing Ship Columbia proudly displays the American Flag!

The American Flag, as it is known in the days of the Sailing Ship Columbia!

The American Flag, as it is known in the days of the Sailing Ship Columbia!

Our nation was grown on the blood, sweat, and tears of many men and women throughout it’s history.  My prayer is that we, as a nation, may remember that commitment that once existed, and work together, side by side, regardless of party or political affiliation, and return our country to the greatness that I know it can achieve.

 

Why Disneyland Resort is Better than Walt Disney World

Disneyland Resort Sign

Hello everyone, and thanks for stopping by today as we talk about why I think Disneyland is better than Walt Disney World!  I know for many people the title of this post is reason enough to switch to another site, but please bear with me and read my reasons below.  What would make a seasoned Walt Disney World veteran make such an outrageous claim?  So, without further ado, here are my top ten reasons why Disneyland is better than Walt Disney World!

Reason #1: It’s the Original

Sleeping Beauty Castle With it’s quaint charm, small sized everything, and yes, even that itty bitty little Castle — by the way, did you know that Sleeping Beauty Castle is only 77 feet tall, which is 113 feet shorter than Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World — it feels like everything is just crammed together.  Of course, Disneyland is the original, the baseline that all the parks that came after it used as a measuring stick to improve upon — but the fact that it is the original, that it was built with Walt Disney’s imagination, drive, and determination — that single fact alone contributes a lot to why it is better.

Reason #2: The History of it all

Columbia

The Sailing Ship Columbia is a replica of the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe!

When I talk about the history, I’m not just referring to the Disneyland History, as incredible as that is.  One of the things that I found astounding during my research was all of the incredible historical significance that Walt Disney placed on preserving and retaining as much history of our great country as he could.  Case in point: the Sailing Ship Columbia — an incredible voyage aboard a replica of the Columbia, the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe!

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln -- a show that inspired other shows at Walt Disney World!

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln — a show that inspired other shows at Walt Disney World!

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is an incredible show — sadly, the show does not get nearly the  interest that it should receive.  Our country, sadly, appears to have forgotten much of it’s history, but my family has not forgotten it, and we are thankful to Walt Disney for perpetuating the history of our nation in such exhibits as Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, which led to such shows as the Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World and The American Adventure at Epcot’s World Showcase.

Reason #3: Pirates of the Caribbean!

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean — what an incredible Disneyland attraction!  My friend Brenda told me that Pirates was going to blow the socks off of me — and she was spot on!  Experiencing Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland in the New Orleans Square area of the park was incredible — and ten times better than Pirates at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.  Topping it all off — eating at the Blue Bayou and watching the boats of the ride come drifting by!

Reason #4: Cars Land

Hitching a Ride into Cars Land!

Hitching a Ride into Cars Land!

Sometimes, something impacts you in such a way that you know that words can not do justice when you attempt to describe it to someone.  Cars Land — especially when seen at night — is just such a place.  Rather than clutter it all up with words, I’m going to let these next pictures do the talking.  I hope you enjoy!

The Cliffs

Just one picture of how realistic this land is!

Ornament  Valley Waterfall

The Ornament Valley Waterfall in the distant

Flo's V8 Cafe

Flo’s V8 Cafe Neon all lit up!

Reason #5: Paradise Pier

Mickey's Fun Wheel in Paradise Pier

Mickey’s Fun Wheel in Paradise Pier

Paradise Pier is the land where so much of the “non-Cars Land” action occurs!  Paradise Pier is located at Disney’s California Adventure, and has such incredible attractions as California Screamin’, Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Toy Story Midway Mania, Goofy’s Sky School, and The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.  On top of that, the land is also the host location for the World of Color!  So much happens in Paradise Pier, it was easily our favorite part of California Adventure, and is a place not to be missed at any cost when you visit Disneyland!

Reason #6: World of Color

The World of Color logo is displayed at the end of the show.

The World of Color logo is displayed at the end of the show.

The World of Color, pure and simple, is a must see show at Disney’s California Adventure park.  These poor photos attempt to share some of the majestic beauty of this incredible masterpiece, and fail miserably, but let me tell you — if you have the chance to see it, do so — at least once — or you will regret your decision.

Wall-E and Eve during the World of Color

Wall-E and Eve during the World of Color

Ariel, as seen during the World of Color

Ariel, as seen during the World of Color

Reason #7: California Screamin’

This shot is not deliberately upside down by some trick -- this shot was taken while we were upside down!

This shot is not deliberately upside down by some trick — this shot was taken while we were upside down!

California Screamin’ was an absolutely incredible ride!  We had so much fun on this ride — it is easily our favorite Roller Coaster at any of the Disney parks that we have been able to visit!  The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith in Disney’s Hollywood Studios attempts to emulate this to a degree, and it is a good ride, but it has nothing on this great roller coaster!  I hope you enjoy these photos!

More Ride Photos

More Ride Photos

This and the other shots were just taken while we were on the ride -- just click, don't even worry about where the camera is focused!

This and the other shots were just taken while we were on the ride — just click, don’t even worry about where the camera is focused!

She liked it -- except for going upside down!

She liked it — except for going upside down!

Reason #8: Mickey and the Magical Map

Sorcerer Mickey

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice!

We happened upon the show Mickey and the Magical Map in the Fantasyland Theater one morning, and decided to stop and take in the show.  We had heard a little bit about it, but I’ve got to tell you — we never expected to be floored as much by this show as we were!  The music, the performances by cast and characters, the story, it all adds up to an incredible show that you will not want to miss — and that Disney should seriously consider bringing to Walt Disney World!

Jungle Book

The Cast Member playing the trumpet during this song from the Jungle Book was absolutely incredible!

Princess Tiana

Rapunzel and Eugene

Pocahontas

Mulan

Rapunzel

 

Reason #9: Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular

The Theater where Aladdin is performed.

The Theater where Aladdin is performed.

Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular — is an incredible show.  Some of my friends think it may be the best show that Disney has, it is that good!  Here are some photos from the show, tell me what you think!

The Cave of Wonders

The Cave of Wonders

Aladdin is in trouble -- again!

Aladdin is in trouble — again!

Look at all the Genies!

Look at all the Genies!

The Kiss -- Princess Jasmine and Prince Ali!

The Kiss — Princess Jasmine and Prince Ali!

Reason #10: Mickey’s Toontown!

The Toontown Letters!

The Toontown Letters!

Mickey’s Toontown — that area of Disneyland that is incredible in it’s design and theming — is the home of all of the cartoons!  Take a look at some of these pictures that paint a better picture than I can of how cool this area is to explore!

Mickey's Toontown!

Mickey’s Toontown!

Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin

Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin

Gadget's Go Coaster

Gadget’s Go Coaster

Minnie's House

Minnie’s House

Mickey's House

Mickey’s House

Thanks for visiting Toontown!

Thanks for visiting Toontown!

As you can see, there is an incredible amount to see and do at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California!  Come back tomorrow to learn why Walt Disney World is better than Disneyland!

 

75 Days til Disneyland – Sailing Ship Columbia!

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

Much like our look at Mark Twain Riverboat yesterday, the Sailing Ship Columbia sails around the Rivers of America at Disneyland.  This classic sailing ship has no comparison at Walt Disney World, and it looks like it will be something that my family will enjoy doing, if for no other reason then because it is something we just don’t do in our everyday life!

If you didn’t know, the Sailing Ship Columbia is just one of the incredible stories that helps to tell the story of America.  The Columbia is a recreation of the ship by the same name from the 18th Century that discovered the Columbia River that serves as part of the border between Washington State and Oregon.  In addition, the Columbia is the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe — so this attraction is more then just a good fun ride, it’s also a history lesson at the same time!

It is attractions like the Sailing Ship Columbia that truly set Disney parks apart from many others.  While many theme parks focus their time and energy on having their visitors ride the biggest roller coaster and have the best thrill rides, Disney parks also go that extra step in bringing an educational experience to their parks, and to do so in a manner that is still fun and entertaining to their Guests.

What is your impression of the Sailing Ship Columbia?  Please let me know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!