December 22, 2019

Take your time to experience Disneyland

Disneyland Park has always been the number one U.S. day trip for Australians but there is so much to see and do at The Happiest Place on Earth in 2020 that you really need to spend several days at the resort.
Now, I have to tell you right from the start that Disneyland Park has always been at the very top of the list of places to visit for me: it holds a special place in my heart.
And it is even better than ever with lots to see and do if you arrange to spend a week or so in Anaheim.
There is traditional Disneyland Park with its attractions like the new Star Wars ….and its famous street parades.  Add to this Disney's California Adventure and Disney Downtown and you have several days of fun filled action to the time of your life.
I recently spent 12 days in Anaheim staying at the Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance and the Hyatt Regency Orange County and I arranged to get the Disney Park Hopper Pass that allowed me to swap between Disneyland and California Adventure at will.
Both parks are just a few paces apart, facing each other, but they offer completely different experiences. Disneyland was part of growing up for Australia babyboomers. We watched in awe as Walt himself showed off his park on the Sunday night Disneyland TV show and occasionally on the Mickey Mouse Club show.

Generations of Aussies have cruised on the Mark Twain, rode the Disneyland railroad, laughed on the Jungle Ride, met Mickey and Donald Duck, visited the Pirates of the Caribbean and revelled in my personal favorite, It's a Small Small World.
Now those same babyboomers are taking their families and their grandkids to see the place of their childhood dreams. And Disneyland never disappoints.
It is still the jewel in the crown of all theme parks with a special magic that overwhelms you as you wander down Main Street dodging horse drawn trams and ancient fire engines, bound for Cinderella's castle that dominates the horizon.
In 2020, it is the massive Star Wars land that is drawing the crowds. At the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge attraction you can launch into the Star Wars universe. Rides include the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and he forthcoming Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
The park opens at 8am most days and I made sure I was there early before the crowds began to flock in. This allowed me to walk straight on to several favourite rides without lining up. As the park became busier I went to Disney Downtown for lunch and then nipped into California Adventure Park for the afternoon.
I wasn't sure what to expect after Disneyland. What an amazing surprise it was. California Adventure is every bit good as Disneyland in its own right.

The Disney "Imagineers" have mentioned to take the many lessons learnt at Disneyland and applied them to the newer park.
For starters, the Main Street plan of Disneyland with its tram running down the street has been maintained and enhanced with a replica Los Angeles Electric "Red Car" meandering along.
While Disneyland is a recreation of Walt's home town of Marceline in the early 1900s, California Adventure is Hollywood when Disney set up his studio in the 1920s.
However it has unique attractions like the complete full scale "set" from the Cars animated movies and the awesome Grizzly Peak with the best Flume Ride I have ever been on.
My personal favourite is "Flying" a unique hang glider like ride around the world. You really do feel like you are in mid air over the plains of Africa and Sydney Harbor.
At the opposite end of the park is Guardians of the Galaxy's giant tower which dominates the horizon. Then there is Hollywood Land which is much better than the real Hollywood.
Finally, if you are going to Disneyland, don't rush. Pick a recommended hotel close to the resort and relax and enjoy the time of your life spread of a week or so.
Words and images: Dallas Sherringham.
Feature supplied by:
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Courtyard by Marriott:
1: The Big Wheel is one of the highlights of the amazing California Adventure Park
2: Inside the new Star Wars: Galaxy Quest attraction at Disneyland Park (supplied)
3: People of all ages from all around the world flock towards the famous Disneyland Castle
4: Dallas Sherringham and wife Sharon getting up courage to go on the Splash Mountain ride
5: Sharon went on the Splash Mountain Ride alone after Dallas chickened out...yet again!
6: The legendary Mark Twain paddle steamer is one of the few original rides at Disneyland.

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