Ever since we landed in California, our girls have been absolutely busting to get to Disneyland. However, we have been so busy since we arrived, we haven’t had a chance to get there (not to mention the thought of forking out the money for the tickets), so on the weekend that the spring semester started at The Master’s Seminary, we decided to take two days out in the weekend and head down to Disneyland. We were blessed that Denise’s sister had given us some money at Christmas, so we put the that money toward two-day hopper passes for each of us.
Disneyland is approximately 60 miles from our house, so in order for us to make the most of each day at the park and to avoid traveling up and down the freeways, we decided to spend the night at a hotel in Anaheim. Disneyland essentially consists of two main theme parks: Disneyland Park and Disneyland California Adventure Park. Disneyland has the older parts of Disneyland, such as Fantasyland and the California Adventure Park is the newest theme park having been completed in the early 2000’s. The two-day park hopper tickets we bought allowed us to jump between the two parks as we pleased.
We started off at the Disneyland Park and as soon as you get through the gates, you are instantly transported to the early 1900’s as you walk down ‘Main Street USA‘ which is the main thoroughfare to the themed parts of the park. While on the Main Street, we picked up ‘First Time’ badges which is worth getting as the staff in the park acknowledge that you are first time visitors and often let you stay on rides instead of getting off and queuing up again for another ride. Our first ride was the ‘Indiana Jones Adventure‘ in Adventureland, which was a fun jungle ride where we crossed a rickety bridge, dodged rolling boulders and were thrilled with many fast turns, spins and dips. The thing I thought was
quite clever about the rides at Disneyland was that you were entertained as you queued, so queuing didn’t seem so bad or seem as long. This meant that as you queued, you looked at a set that brought you into the world of the theme of the ride.
From Adventureland, we took a few rides on ‘Splash Mountain‘, then we went to Frontierland where we took a ride on the ‘Big Thunder Mountain Railroad‘, jumped on the ‘Mark Twain Riverboat‘ and took a raft to ‘Tom Sawyer Island‘. An action packed morning. After wandering through ‘New Orleans Square‘ we headed to Tomorrowland for some of the coolest rides where for us, ‘Space Mountain‘ and ‘Star Tours‘ were the coolest. ‘Space Mountain’ is a high speed, indoor roller coaster where you actually feel like you are hurtling through the space. ‘Star Tours’, which is an exciting 3-D motion simulation ride based on the Star Wars movies was another standout. As you walk in the queue, you are entertained with friendly banter between C-3PO and R2D2 and other well-known Star Wars droid characters.
After Tomorrowland, we went across to the Disneyland California Adventure Park where took a couple of rides on ‘Soarin’ Over California‘. This is one of the most popular rides which simulates a hang-glider flight over California landmarks such as the Golden Gate bridge, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite. In certain parts, you can actually smell oranges as you soar over orange orchards and also feel a breeze in your face in other parts. After we got absolutely soaked on the ‘Grizzly River Run‘ we slowed down a bit and queued, for what seemed for hours, for the nightly grand finale, the magnificent ‘World of Color‘. The ‘Word of Color’ is a 20 minute show which uses water fountains shooting water over 200 feet in the air and movie projections to produce a wonderful show featuring some of the more well known Disney characters.
After a long day, we trudged the half a mile walk back to the hotel for a well-earned rest for day two.