Welcome to part two of my Disneyland series. Disneyland Park by many is described as a smaller version of the Magic Kingdom with Galaxy's Edge. I would agree with that statement as that is what it felt like. It had all of the parks like at Magic Kingdom such as Frontierland, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, and Adventureland. It had Galaxy's Edge and I was hard pressed to find any difference between this one and the one at Hollywood Studios in Florida. Disneyland Park also has Critter Country, New Orleans Square, and Mickey's Toontown. Mickey's Toontown was closed when we were visiting as it was getting re-imagined and opened up again in March of 2023.
Here is a summary of what I thought of the rides, attractions, and food. Reach out to me at any time if you have questions about any specific item.
Disneyland does share a lot of rides that you can find at Disney World. There are rides that are the same, or so close that someone like me couldn't tell a difference. I mean I have only been to Disney World 3 times so I could be wrong! They are rides like Big Thunder Mountain, Smuggler's Run, Peters Pan, and Rise of the Resistance.
Some rides were the similar but not exactly the same as their Florida counterpart. Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion (big difference in exterior here), Its a Small World, Jungle Cruise, and Pirates of the Caribbean are some. Again no expert and even rides like Big Thunder may have some variations.
Then there are the rides Disneyland has that are unique. Sadly Matterhorn Bobsleds was closed for refurbishment when we visited. It was the one ride I was most excited to try. I guess a return visit is in order!
Fantasyland seemed to have offered a few experiences worth at least doing once. Their is Snow White's Enchanted Wish, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Alice in Wonderland, and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (though this one used to be in Disney World and was taken out on 1998). These rides were casual and would be great for younger kids; and for adults who want to sit for a few minutes.
My favorite Disneyland Park unique ride was Indiana Jones. Some compare it to Dinosaur but I don't consider them similar; other than you sit in something that is meant to like an expedition jeep. Indiana Jones is far superior. Its a ride with great design elements and a fun storyline to make you feel like your on a quest with Indy.
Finally, I do want to say the railroad that goes around the park was worth hoping on for a little bit. I was surprised when during one point we sort of got a tour through history that included dinosaurs!
First we did not do any shows and we don't really participate in meet and greets; so I cannot comment on them. One of the first things you notice when you arrive is the transportation options to get from one end of Main Street to the other. There is a horse drawn street car, horseless carriage (classic old street car), a bus, and a fire engine. We didn't ride any of them but I probably would have done the fire engine if I had to choose. Picture of it below in front of the castle.
Speaking of the castle; every Disney park has their own unique one. Disneyland's castle is featured after Sleeping Beauty. This one though you can do a self guided tour anytime during park hours. During the stroll, you will see small displays to tell the tale of the Sleeping Beauty movie.
Finally, Disney Fireworks at any park are awesome; so not going to go into detail there. Sometimes we watch them; sometimes we use the opportunity to get on a ride with a low wait time. Here we watched for like 5 minutes and then went on to something else.
We did not do any big sit down type restaurants. We just did quick serve options throughout the day. We had a meal at Docking Bay 7 while in Stars Wars and enjoyed some taco's that Rancho del Zocalo. As I said before, it was super hot when we were there. That kind of heat kills the appetite, so it was mostly quick serve and snacks when the mood struck for food. However, two snacks stood out to me; and they were desserts! Surprise!!! Not really, anyone who knows me; knows I have a huge sweet tooth.
First, is the Mickey Beignet' served at the Mint Julep Bar. I was so excited to try these as I heard good things. They did not disappoint and were warm layers of fried dough drenched in powdered sugar.
The second was the grey stuff. We were able to get some of this at the Red Rose Tavern (picture below) and it was Halloween themed. I've had it at Be Our Guest in a chocolates cup, and Gaston's Tavern on top of a cupcake (both at Magic Kingdom, Florida). This version is the best one I've had out of them all.
If I did ever go back and want to sit down I would consider the Blue Bayou for a meal. When we first set sail on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, we noticed a restaurant inside the ride. It was beautiful set up, and smelled delicious. Not to mention you get to watch boats glide by with passengers on their way to their doom. Don't worry the boats don't get close to the tables; so no strangers commenting on your food choices.
Overall, I will say this park has a very nostalgic feel to it. It was Walt's original park, a lot of his vision, and there is something to be said knowing he had actually been there and was very involved with its initial design.