Saturday, February 10, 2024

Disneyland! After All these Years!

Jess shared her pictures with me! (You can do that?) So I'm updating this post with more and better pictures!

This was going to be a post on our big first day at Disneyland, but now it isn't. You see, we spent about 15 hours in the park that day, so this is a post about HALF of our big first day at Disneyland! I just couldn't fit it all into one post! 

We got up bright and early and were at the gate by 7:30. The park officially opened at 8:00, but we are experienced "Park Commandos" with multiple Walt Disney World trips under our belts, so we hit it early and hard! No wimps allowed!

This is Jess feeling a little excited before first rope drop. As you probably know, they open the park in stages, letting you into Main Street U.S.A. first, and then letting you into the lands. 

We're in! I took a moment to capture the sign above the left tunnel. By the way, our plan for the day was, "When in doubt, go left." Therefore, we started in Adventureland and worked clockwise. 

And here we are waiting to get into Adventureland! One reason that I took this picture was to show a view that you can never get at Walt Disney World; the Adventureland and Frontierland signs in the same frame. Disneyland is certainly more compact. Still, it really saves on walking and makes traveling around even more exciting! A new adventure really is right around the corner!

Ah, our first attraction- The Jungle Cruise! We had a five minute wait...maybe. it was pretty much a complete walk on. Our skipper was good, but she talked a bit quickly for the first thing in the morning! The biggest difference between this original version and the Walt Disney World version is the lack of a treasure cave (which was borrowed from LeSalle's Riverboats at Six Flags Over Texas). The Disneyland cruise doesn't suffer because of the omission, though, as it felt complete without it!

Next, we were off to the Pirates of the Caribbean! Note the wait time on the sign...

The classic entrance to piratey thrills!

Yep, another walk on! The Disneyland version of Pirates doesn't lack anything that the Walt Disney World ride has. In fact, it's much longer with more caves and a double drop instead of a single one. This is the ride that I remember from when I was a kid! 

The Wicked Wench!

We then had some beignets at Royal Street location that were wonderful (and a rare fairly good deal)! Strolling around New Orleans Square, we passed the old enterance to this place. I hear it's nice...

Alas, my favorate ride was closed due to Tiana and her salt mine ride next door. Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but I'd have just as soon kept singing Zip-A-Dee Doo Da and therefore been able to see some ghosts...

Oh wait! Here are some! The fence had a QR code you could scan to make your face look a little more...spooooooky!

I've always loved this bit of myth!

We decided to go on Pooh because it was another walk on and it was there. I was happily surprised to find that I liked it a bit better than it's WDW counterpart. The story seemed a little stronger. Or maybe it was the two year old little girl in from of our car that was in awe of everything and immediately asked her father to go on it again when we stopped. Disney through the eyes of a child is always special.

Happy Birthday, Pooh!!!

Next, we wandered over to The Rivers of America. The Mark Twain was being refurbished, but I didn't mind having ridden the WDW counterpart many times. What I don't remember riding is the Columbia sailing ship! We were in luck, as it was running!

The open decks of the Columbia make for great views of the river!

The rather cramped crew courters showed life on the seas was far from glamerous.

Taking a shot at those pesky pirates! I missed the smoke from the cannon. Oh well.

A little taste of life on the river!

We cut back through the hub and went up into Toontown!

We then scooted over to Tune Town to check out Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway. Jess had ridden this at WDW, but I never had ridden it. It was cute and I really enjoyed it. The cars are trackless and just do their own thing!

Mucho Toony fun!

Then we went back to Main Street. Our Walt's Main Street tour was about to start! Jess thought of everything for this trip!

One thing that I really liked more about Disneyland than WDW is that at Disneyland the characters still just walk around. Even the Big Cheese himself! At Disney World people wait hours for an interaction with Mickey. Why? I really don't know...

"Our tour begins here...." 
Ok, I just had a brief Haunted Mansion moment. But it really did begin here...

There were just five of us on the tour, which made getting up and down Main Street pretty easy.

The first part of the tour just pointed out Walt related items on Main Street. They also pointed out the famous two color light bulb at Coke Corner. Here it is, in case you want to see it!

Ah, here is the real reason for the tour! Jess and I standing in Walt's firehouse apartment. I actually was selected to open the door and let everyone in, so that was pretty nice. Not much is actually from the family, but it doesn't matter. Just being where he lived from time to time while building and working in the park was worth it!

Our Tour Treats! A large Main Street Story lemon cookie, Coke and a Walt post card. I regret to say that the cookie has been consumed.

And a nod to our tour guide, Josh. He did a good job, and I tried not to blurt out facts. Really. I was good. 

And so ends Part One of our 32 part series.
Ok, not really 32 part  but it probably could have been. At this point it wasn't even noon! So come back next week for more Disneyland Fun!


  1. It looks like you and your daughter were really enjoying yourselves. Park attendance sure looks light. That can make a visit even more enjoyable.

    Wow, the front Haunted Mansion sure looks least what we can see of it over the wall. I'm guessing that they cut down a lot (or all?) of the trees in front of it. I guess it's a part of their grand plan to ruin it, just like they ruin everything. (Sorry for the negativity!).

    That is pretty amazing that Mickey didn't have any kind of a line. Sometimes they do have people line up for him when he is in Town Square, but maybe that is only necessary on busier days.

    I can't believe that you actually ate that lemon cookie. If only you had saved it, and then shellacked it when you go home. Do you realize how much it would be worth in another 40 or 50 years? ;-)

    Thanks for sharing your pics and experience with us, Stu! I'm looking forward to "Part 2" of your first day at the park!

    - TokyoMagic!

    1. Yeah, attendance was pretty light alright! It was very low stress.
      The Haunted Mansion did look pretty bare. I didn't try to look over the fence and see the torn out mausoleum. It was too painful!
      At WDW you actually have to Lightning Lane characters! It was a totally better feel at DL!
      The cookie made it back home to Texas, but then my wife and I split it! I thought the words were on a slip of paper, but it was candy!
      Part 2 is in the works!

  2. Thanks for part 1 of your Disneyland trip, Stu. Wow, hard to believe that the Haunted Mansion was closed. That's the bestest thing at the Park! Well, that and Pirates. Then again, this was January, so I guess we should expect some closures. Looking at the "red & white light bulb" again, it seems like they could've just left that bulb out and it would have looked ok. Even with the bulb, the spacing is off, which makes it look awkward. Oh well. Looking forward to part 2. Thanks, Stu.

    1. Yeah, I knew before we went that the Mansion would be closed so I was emotionally prepared for it, lol! Still, there are other attractions (who knew?) Lol! We had a great time!

  3. Alright, Disneyland Trip Report #2! I’m like you, I want to be at the park when it opens, though I am usually more of a “when in doubt, go right” person, so that I can get Space Mountain done with hardly a wait (sometimes twice).

    Having never been to WDW, I have no concept of just how large that place is, but it must be pretty darn large. At Disneyland the entrances to Adventureland and Frontierland are weirdly close together, but it seems like it was the only way to do it, with not much room between the end of Main Street and the Castle.

    I didn’t know that the WDW Jungle Cruise had a treasure cave. And I’ll bet that 5 minutes wait time for “Pirates” was actually 0 minutes! I literally walked on the last time I was there (on a rainy morning, admittedly). I’ve always loved the caves and caverns at the beginning of “Pirates”, so it would bum me out to not have those.

    It is too bad that both the Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain are down, but I guess it is to be expected in the off season. “Pooh” is a cute ride, Worth seeing, though my niece refused to ride it years ago because it was “for babies”.

    The first day of my two-day visit had the Columbia closed, maybe that was due to the rain? But it was running the next day - though the “below decks” area was closed for some reason. And they didn’t fire the cannon! Your video of the DLRR going over the trestle shows that this part of the river is still beautiful, in spite of all the changes.

    MIckey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is very fun, and we had a nice interaction with one of the CMs, she was very personable. The queue was not that long, but I enjoy all of the stuff that have for us to look at.

    Very cool that you got to see Walt’s Apartment, and the most famous lightbulb in the world! I was very lucky that a super generous person took me on the same tour. I put my lemon cookie in my backpack and forgot about it for a week, but it was still good when I found it!

    I’m looking forward to the other 31 parts of your series!

    1. I literally just messed up putting my name in to reply...Yes, I'm tired!
      WDW is HUGE, but there's not that many more attractions. For the charm and ease, Disneyland wins hands down!
      Yep, Pirates was a walk on!
      I was thrilled to get to ride the Columbia! She's a beautiful ship and we were almost alone on her!
      On M&M's Railway I was very impressed with how the train cars look like they are linked together, but they aren't. Yes, I'm a nerd about stuff like that!
      I'm pretty sure those cookies could last forever, but they're still pretty good!

  4. Stu, I love your trip reports! It's OK with me if you do one a week for the next year.

    Come to think of it, when in the Parks, I go neither left nor right....I wander. Maybe it's my age...I lose my train of thought or something.

    I love that the characters still wander in the wild at Disneyland. Easily accessible and in view for everyone to enjoy.

    POTC in DL is, by far, the best. I do love DL for its smaller size and convenience. Again, it may be my age, but I love DL for so many reasons. Knowing Walt was there - adds a special touch. And, regarding the Walt's apartment tour, I guarantee you know SO MUCH MORE than the tour guides, from GDB.

    Thanks, Stu.

    1. We pretty much wandered at California Adventure and the second day at Disneyland. We found we didn't need to be neatly as strict with our plans as we have to at WDW!
      Yes, I loved Disneyland for all of those reasons!

  5. Stu, I am so happy to see your visit after so long. It must be a wonderful feeling. Thanks for sharing it with us. I’m off to read more.


    1. Thanks! I'm about to start writing the next one!

  6. I'm finally reading this! Oh, life with children. Anyway, thank you for putting this together. What a cool memory book you've made. Who knew dads could scrapbook? Er, I mean, blog. One liiiiittle thing, in case CM shoutouts ever find their way here: the tour guide was Sean. He was a fantastic communicator, and he does look a bit like a Josh 😊

  7. Sorry I’m late to the party. Looks like it was a great time. I’ll help clean up if you need a hand.

    ”The biggest difference between this original version and the Walt Disney World version is the lack of a treasure cave (which was borrowed from LeSalle's Riverboats at Six Flags Over Texas).”. Well, that explains why I couldn’t find the riverboats on my last trip to Arlington.

    Love the Haunted Mansion filters. They remind me of the “Tevye’s Dream” scene in Fiddler On the Roof. They will probably give me nightmares, just like Tevye’s.

    Looking forward to catching up on the rest of the series!

    1. Sorry - this is Chuck!

    2. You think you're late, I just saw these!
      Yeah, the filters were freaky!
      There's more!


Apparently Blogger doesn't like people commenting from anything but a computer. I'm trying to find a solution, but so far no luck. If your comment doesn't go through, please try from a computer. Thanks.