The Lands of Disneyland: Tomorrowland!

Image ©disney.wikia.com

Image ©disney.wikia.com

Today we continue our look at the lands of Disneyland Park.  Of the eight lands, we’ve covered six of them, and the only two left to look at are Tomorrowland, that we are focusing on today, and Mickey’s Toontown!

Like Fantasyland, there is a whole lot to see and do at Tomorrowland.  Just take a look at this attractions list!

There are a lot of great attractions, so I won’t touch on all of them, but I will highlight the ones I liked the best, and think you will too!

Space Mountain

Sophie didn't have much fun on Space Mountain!

Sophie didn’t have much fun on Space Mountain!

Of course I’ve got to start with the best attraction in Tomorrowland in my opinion!  I don’t have much in the way of photos, but I do love our ride photo that they displayed.  Cindy loves Space Mountain, Sophie, not nearly as much, and I’m along for the ride, but I love the two behind us!

The big difference here is that Space Mountain at Disneyland is two seats across and Space Mountain at Walt Disney World is single seats.  It was the two seats across that was the only reason Sophie decided to try it out — but she still doesn’t like it!

Star Tours – The Adventure Continues

Just like Walt Disney World, Star Tours is a great attraction!

Just like Walt Disney World, Star Tours is a great attraction!

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

I call this a fringe Tomorrowland attraction.

I call this a fringe Tomorrowland attraction.

Officially, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is a Tomorrowland attraction, but to me, it feels more like a Fantasyland attraction.  I think that it does to me because of the inclusion of the Finding Nemo part of the journey, if it was 20,000 Leagues or so, it would definitely be a Tomorrowland attraction.  In any case, it’s all apples and oranges, what matters is that I like the attraction — I hadn’t ridden in a “submarine” in a really long time, and it was fun to see it go on a voyage searching for Nemo!

Autopia

The Autopia, in my opinion, is better than the Tomorrowland Speedway.

The Autopia, in my opinion, is better than the Tomorrowland Speedway.

You know, I didn’t really have any intentions of riding on the Autopia, but Sophie wanted to go and drive her own car, so Cindy and I went also.  I’ve got to say that I think the Autopia is better than the Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom.  One thing that I definitely noticed was that the smell of gasoline seemed like it was less at the Autopia than in Florida, maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.  But that’s how it felt to me.

Jedi Training Academy

Darth Maul keeps watch at the Jedi Training Academy!

Darth Maul keeps watch at the Jedi Training Academy!

I’m going to close out our exploration of Tomorrowland by taking a look at the Jedi Training Academy.  This is something we’ve never done before at Walt Disney World, and truth be told, we didn’t do it at Disneyland either.  However, we were at lunch when it started up, so we watched it to see what it was like.  At one point in the show, Darth Maul jumped over at some of the other people watching and eating their lunch, and scared quite a few of them!  It was great.  I don’t know if it’s the same at Walt Disney World, but if it is, then we will definitely go watch it again one day!  It was one of my most enjoyable experiences we had at Disneyland.

Thank you for stopping by to visit today as we explored Tomorrowland, one of the lands of Disneyland.  Our last stop on our tour is Mickey’s Toontown, so look for that in the next couple of days!  Thanks, and remember, at My Dreams of Disney, it’s our goal to turn My Dreams of Disney into Your Dreams of Disney!

Your Favorite Magic Kingdom Mountain!

Splash Mountain's 52' Drop!

Splash Mountain’s 52′ Drop!

By Mike Ellis.

The other day on Facebook I submitted this picture of Splash Mountain, along with pictures of Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (see below), and asked the following question:

“What is your favorite Magic Kingdom Mountain? Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad?”

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How to Determine which Disney Parks to Visit

The Walt Disney World Entrance sign on World Drive welcomes you!

The Walt Disney World Entrance sign on World Drive welcomes you!

The Disneyland Resort invites you to enjoy all it has to share!

The Disneyland Resort invites you to enjoy all it has to share!

By Mike Ellis.

Walt Disney World Resort.  Disneyland Resort.  Now that you have learned that there are absolutely incredible things to experience at each resort, and that you can see some truly unique things at one resort that you won’t find at the other, which set of Disney Parks should you choose when planning your vacation destination?

In this post, I’m going to try and help you answer that question.  For many of you, this may be a non-issue; you may, for various reasons, already have chosen one resort over the other.  For others of you, though, this may be more of a question, and the answer may not be so easy.  So, let’s get to work to help you choose the right resort destination for you and your family.

 Criteria #1: Location

The first thought I have is where you are in relation to the resorts.  Walt Disney World Resort, of course, is located in Florida; Disneyland Resort is located in Southern California.  Which location do you live closer to?  For my family, since we live in Raleigh, NC, it is almost a no-brainer for us to choose Walt Disney World as our destination.  If you live in Oregon, Washington State, or other western states, it may be an easy decision for you to choose Disneyland as your destination.  Location does matter a great deal, in my opinion.

Criteria #2: Budget

In many ways, your proximity to Walt Disney World or Disneyland will dictate how much it will cost for you to travel to that destination.  For example, our airfare to LA for us (a family of 3) ran over $1,000 — which was the best we found for our trip, and many people tell us was a very good rate for the three of us.  However, if we had chosen Walt Disney World instead of Disneyland, I know without a doubt that it would have cost us hundreds of dollars less to get to Florida than it did to get to LA.  So location to a resort is a key component in how much your vacation is going to cost.

Criteria #3: Interests

In the posts the past two days, I went out of my way to highlight the attractions that you have at one park that you don’t have at the other.  Keep in mind that there are a lot of attractions that you can find at both parks, such as Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and so on.  I think, though, what it comes down to is what interests do you have?

If you are a food person, and want to experience Disney Dining to a high degree, then I believe that Walt Disney World is for you.  Certainly there are incredible restaurants that you can eat at at Disneyland, and we ate at three good ones — Blue Bayou, Ariel’s Grotto, and Storyteller Cafe — but for the sheer number of choices and the Disney Dining Plan option, you can’t go wrong with the restaurants at Walt Disney World.

Criteria #4: Party Size

The size of your vacation party can be a big factor for which resort you select.  If you are the head of a tour group visiting from Brazil, for example, and you are bringing 500 people to a park, well, you aren’t going to cut it at Disneyland.  There just isn’t enough resort room space in my opinion.  Your only choice is Walt Disney World.

At the end of this mini-series, I hope that I have given you some good, common-sense ideas on how to make a decision on which resort to plan for your next vacation.  Do I believe that someone on the west coast should only visit Disneyland Resort, and someone on the east coast only visit Walt Disney World?  Of course not.  With the right planning, you can visit any of the parks in the Disney system; Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disney, and even Shanghai Disney when it opens — the choices are limitless.

It is my belief that my immediate family, having now been to Disneyland and experienced a lot of what there is to offer there, won’t need to go back anytime soon — but we may very well go back later.  Disneyland will still be there, as will Walt Disney World — so if you can’t make it to one park right now, don’t worry — they’ll keep improving it and it’ll be there when you can make it.

If I can help you in planning any travel adventures, whether they be Disney, non-Disney, Disneyland, Walt Disney World, or anything in between, please feel free to reach out to me.  My services are free to you, and it is my goal to help you plan the best vacation you can — at a price point that will leave you feeling like you totally got your money’s worth.  Just click on one of the images below to submit a quote request, and thanks for stopping by on this journey to Disneyland and back to Walt Disney World!

disney-free-dining-pixie-vacations

disney-cruise-quote260x184

 

Magical Blogorail Red – First Time Planning Tips!

MBRed Logo 2013 Welcome to those of you joining me from Growing Up Disney and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

When it comes to Disney planning, we have all been first time Disney trip people at one time in our lives.  I remember the first trip my wife, daughter, and I took to Walt Disney World and stayed on property, back in 2007.  We were originally going to stay at one of the Value resorts, probably one of the All-Star resorts, but we didn’t like the idea of sharing a bus stop with the other resorts, so we decided to do a moderate resort, Coronado Springs Resort, and had the best time.  So, with all of that being said, here are my top five first time planning tips!

Top Five First Time Planning Tips!

Number 1: Take plenty of notes from Disney websites you frequent.  When we were planning our trip back in 2007, we looked at the Disney website constantly for information.  We looked at all of the different resorts, decided quickly which ones were out of our budget range, and took notes on the pros and cons for the various ones.  In the end we chose Coronado Springs Resort because of the theming, the pool, and because it felt far enough away where we thought we would have our own space.

Number 2: Get plenty of input from everyone on what they are most looking forward to.  Unless it is a surprise trip, you will want to get input from everyone about what they want to do on your vacation.  It’s important to remember that it is everyone’s vacation, so while you may be the one doing all the planning, bring the others into the group as well so that you can make them excited for the trip as well!  If you have a lot of generations going on your trip, I have a special multi-generational trip planning post that I wrote that may help as well.

Number 3: Decide what restaurants you want to eat at, and decide if you want to invest in the Disney Dining Plan for your trip.  Part of the magic of Disney for us is the character interactions we can get with the special Disney characters.  A lot of the time we take advantage of making character dining reservations so we can enjoy our meal, meet our favorite characters, get their autographs, and not have to wait in lines to see them!  It’s the best of both worlds!

Number 4: Take time to stop and see everything!  Far too often people think of Disney World as a place for great rides and shows, and forget that there are thousands of other things to experience and enjoy at the parks.  Take time to stop, slow down, and experience the magic that is created just by being there.  Don’t be in such a rush to go from attraction to attraction to try and get as many thrill rides in as you can that you miss out on the wonderful moments that often last in your memory far longer than remembering your trip on Space Mountain.

Number 5: If you still find yourself stressed out, worried about your vacation and feeling like you are going to spend a lot of money and not get the vacation you want out of it — if you are at that point, feel free to reach out to an Authorized Disney Travel Planner for help.  The beauty of a travel planner is that we will do as much or as little for you as you need; even if it’s just to be there to calm you down.  If you need someone to help you with your planning, a Disney Travel Planner is the right way to go.

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Disney Donna Kay.

Red Map Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Growing Up Disney
2nd Stop ~ My Dreams of Disney
3rd Stop ~ Disney Donna Kay
4th Stop ~ Colorado Mountain Mom
Final Stop ~ A World View

9 Days til Disneyland – Splash Mountain!

Image ©Disney Parks

Image ©Disney Parks

While Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World is an attraction that Sophie won’t ride, Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom is an entirely different story!  Sophie was just acquainted to Splash Mountain when we went in October, 2011, and she has declared it her favorite attraction now!  Today, though, we are going to take a look at Splash Mountain at Disneyland Park, which is our selection for 9 days til Disneyland!

The question I have — although I don’t think it’s much a question, to be honest — is whether Sophie will have any hesitation about riding the Disneyland version of Splash Mountain because it is a single-rider configuration, that is, no one sits to the left or right of you like they do at Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom.  I don’t think she will care in the least, it isn’t like it’s a roller coaster in the dark like Space Mountain is, but you never know until you get on it!  I’ll keep you posted on how it works out for her.

In the meantime, what do you think of Splash Mountain? Must do, or do you not like it for some reason?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks!