[Originally published on May 1, 2014]
In my previous post I told you all about my favorite places to stuff my face across Disneyland. Eating is half the fun of going to Disneyland and I didn’t even get to tell you about Mickey waffles at Storytellers Cafe, or the Mickey pancakes at the River Belle Terrace. Maybe I should just do an entirely separate breakfast post? Anyway, today I have my five favorite attractions at Disneyland, but what’s the difference between an attraction and a ride? The easiest differentiator is that if you either have to be secured in, or the intention is to thrill you, its a ride. Everything else? Let’s call it an attraction. I think you’ll see what I mean. To the list!
My Five Favorite Disneyland Attractions
5. Disneyland Railroad (Disneyland)
I’m always looking for an excuse to ride the Disneyland Railroad while in the park, even if it actually takes longer than simply walking. What I love most about the park is its rich history, and the Railroad has plenty of it. Walt’s love of trains led to him building a 1/8th scale train of his own, The Carolwood Pacific Railroad, and that love transferred over to the original Disneyland of 1955. If you live in the Southern California area you can actually visit Walt’s barn and workshop every third Sunday by means of the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society.
4. Captain EO (Disneyland, Tomorrowland)
I’m just going to leave this Vine here..
I love Captain EO. Every few months I hear people say, “This is it! Captain EO is leaving the park!” And then it totally doesn’t, but that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t at any moment! It harkens back to a time where we believed that Michael Jackson not only ruled the world, but quite possibly the universe as well. It’s still as fun and as energetic as it was back in 1985, and while the 3D is pretty rough it doesn’t do anything to hurt the big musical finale. Don’t be afraid to sing along, someone else will probably join you.
3. Mark Twain Riverboat (Disneyland, Frontierland)
Another attraction that is more about the history than the thrill of the experience. There’s no better way to decompress while still enjoying the sights and sounds of the park than by taking a stroll down the Rivers of America. As an original 1955 Disneyland attraction, the Mark Twain has a ton of charm, but it’s the wheelhouse that’s the real treat. Be polite and ask the pilot if it’s possible to visit the wheelhouse and you may just walk away with one of my favorite Disneyland souvenirs, as well as hear a whole lot of fascinating backstory along the Rivers of America.
2. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (Disneyland, Main Street USA)
It’s not “Do you want to go see Mr. Lincoln,” or “Should we go check out the robot Lincoln?” It’s “Would you like to go spend some Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln?” I tend to bite my lip for most of the show as I am a total sap and something about Great Moments brings out the Hank Hill in me. It’s not just the show itself that’s great, but the entire exhibit. Don’t rush through it! Check out all the portraits and scale models, as well as the museum and Steve Martin’s “Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years.”
1. World of Color (DCA, Paradise Pier)
World of Color is my absolute favorite part of Disneyland. It may actually be my favorite Disney thing, period. It’s an incredible feat how it weaves together its spectacle of sights and sounds alongside some of your favorite Disney memories that it typically leaves me as blubbering sack of goo by the end of it. I always go into it thinking, “This is going to be the time I don’t get weirdly emotional about water fountains” and then the Wall-E part hits, or god forbid, the opening chords of the theme to UP and next thing you know it’s like Dumbo all over again. If you haven’t before, make sure you go see World of Color the next time you’re at DCA. Or just go to DCA exclusively to see it. Whatever. Just do it!
Next up, my favorite rides at Disneyland. Just one more list to go!