Welcome to Disneyland – still the Happiest Place on Earth! For over 50 years young and old, big and small have found the park to be the place where your imagination is in charge and your dreams come true. As soon as you enter the gates you’ll be awed with the wonders that await you in this fantastic and beautiful world. Each of the Lands that make up Disneyland Park bring different stories to life around you, immersing you in tales from some of your favorite older Disney films… with a whole new California Adventure full of tales from the newer films.
No matter which season of the year you choose to visit, there is always something special going on in the Magic Kingdom. From the New Orleans Bash at the beginning of the year, to the very ’spook-tacular’ Halloween festivities in the Fall to the most beautiful Holiday Season with snow, icicles and twinkling lights everywhere. disneyland.disney.go.com OCTA bus routes 43, 56, 50, 205, 430
Lands of Disneyland
There are 8 themed lands that hold a host to shops, restaurants, live entertainment, and attractions that differ from each other.
Main Street, U.S.A.
Main Street, U.S.A. is patterned after a typical Midwest town of the early 20th century. Walt Disney derived inspiration from his boyhood town of Marceline, Missouri and worked closely with designers and architects to develop the Main Street appeal. It is the first area guests see when they enter the park (if not entering by monorail), and is how guests reach Central Plaza. At the center of The Magic Kingdom and immediately North of Central Plaza stands Sleeping Beauty Castle, which provides entrance to Fantasyland by way of a drawbridge across a moat. Adventureland, Frontierland, and Tomorrowland are arrayed on both sides of the castle.
Main Street, U.S.A. is reminiscent of the Victorian period of America with the train station, town square, movie theater, city hall, firehouse complete with a steam-powered pump engine, emporium, shops, arcades, double-decker bus, horse-drawn streetcar, jitneys and other bits of memorabilia. Main Street is also home to the Disney Art Gallery and the Opera House which showcases Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln a show featuring an autonomatronic version of the president. There are many specialty stores on Main Street including: a candy store, jewelry and watch shop, a silhouette station, a store that sells Disney collectable items created by various artists, and a hat shop where you have the option of creating your own ear hat along with a personalized embrodiery. At the far end of Main Street, U.S.A. is Sleeping Beauty Castle, and the Central Plaza (also known as the Hub), which is a portal to most of the themed lands. While the Central Plaza was key when the park opened, many lands are not directly connected to the Central Plaza currently, namely, New Orleans Square, Critter Country and Toontown.
The design of Main Street, U.S.A. utilizes a process to give the appearance of height called forced perspective, frequently used in movies. Buildings down Main Street are built at 3/4 scale on the first level, then 5/8 on the second story, and 1/2 scale on the third—reducing the scale by 1/8 each level up. Main Street U.S.A. has the most lights of any land. That’s 11,000/100,000 lights total.
Adventureland is designed to be an exotic tropical place in a far-off region of the world. “To create a land that would make this dream reality”, said Walt Disney, “we pictured ourselves far from civilization, in the remote jungles of Asia and Africa.” Attractions include opening day’s Jungle Cruise, the “Temple of the Forbidden Eye” in Indiana Jones Adventure, and Tarzan’s Treehouse, which is a conversion of the earlier Swiss Family Robinson Tree House from the Walt Disney film, Swiss Family Robinson. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room which is located at the entrance to Adventureland is the first feature attraction to employ Audio-Animatronics, a computer synchronization of sound and robotics.
New Orleans Square
New Orleans Square is a themed land based on 19th century New Orleans. It was opened to the public on July 24, 1966. Despite its age, it is still very popular with Disneyland guests, being home some of the park’s most popular attractions: Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, including nighttime entertainment in Fantasmic!. Also included are Mark Twain’s River boat, the Sailing Ship Colombia, and Pirate’s lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island. The above mentioned attractions are sometimes mistakenly placed as Frontierland attractions.
Frontierland recreates the setting of pioneer days along the American frontier. According to Walt Disney, “All of us have cause to be proud of our country’s history, shaped by the pioneering spirit of our forefathers. Our adventures are designed to give you the feeling of having lived, even for a short while, during our country’s pioneer days.” Frontierland is home to the Pinewood Indians band of animatronic Native Americans, who live on the banks of the Rivers of America. Entertainment and attractions include Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition Frontierland is also home to the Golden Horseshoe Saloon, a show palace straight out of the Old West. Currently the comedic troupe “Billy Hill and the Hillbillies” entertain guests.
Critter Country opened in 1972 as “Bear Country”, and was renamed in 1988. Formerly the area was home to Indian Village where actual indigenous tribespeople demonstrated their dances and other customs. Today, the main draw of the area is Splash Mountain, a log-flume journey inspired by the Uncle Remus stories of Joel Chandler Harris and the animated segments of Disney’s Academy Award-winning 1946 film, Song of the South. In 2003, a dark ride called The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh replaced the Country Bear Jamboree, which closed in 2001. The Country Bear Jamboree presented shows featuring singing bear characters that were visualized through Disney’s electronically controlled and mechanically animated puppets, known as Audio-Animatronics.
Fantasyland is the area of Disneyland which Walt Disney said, “What youngster has not dreamed of flying with Peter Pan over moonlit London, or tumbling into Alice’s nonsensical Wonderland? In Fantasyland, these classic stories of everyone’s youth have become realities for youngsters – of all ages – to participate in.” Fantasyland was originally styled in a medieval European fairground fashion, but its 1983 refurbishment turned it into a Bavarian village. Attractions include several dark rides, the King Arthur Carrousel, and various children’s rides.
Before the fireworks begin, some attractions in Fantasyland close at approximately 8:30 on nights that fireworks shoot off at 9:25. The inside of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is a walk through attraction that was previously opened from 1959–1972 but after being hidden for years this darkride walkthrough of the story of Sleeping Beauty. The walkthrough is now reopened and it features the restored work of Eyvind Earle (not Mary Blair) . The dioramas have been made in to 3D to capture new ages. Fantasyland has the most fiber optics in the park because more than half of them are in Peter Pan’s Flight. There are 350 total.
Mickey’s Toontown opened in 1993 and was partly inspired by the fictional Los Angeles suburb of Toontown in The Walt Disney Studios’ 1988 release Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Mickey’s Toontown is a 1930s cartoon come-to-life and is home to Disney’s most popular cartoon characters. Toontown features two main attractions: Gadget’s Go Coaster and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. The “city” is also home to cartoon character’s houses such as the house of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy.
During the 1955 inauguration Walt Disney dedicated Tomorrowland with these words: “Tomorrow can be a wonderful age. Our scientists today are opening the doors of the Space Age to achievements that will benefit our children and generations to come. The Tomorrowland attractions have been designed to give you an opportunity to participate in adventures that are a living blueprint of our future.” Disneyland producer Ward Kimball had rocket scientists Wernher von Braun, Willy Ley, and Heinz Haber serve as technical consultants during the original design of Tomorrowland. Initial attractions included Rocket to the Moon, Astro-Jets and Autopia; later, the first incarnation of the Submarine Voyage was added. The area underwent a major transformation in 1967 to become New Tomorrowland, and then again in 1998 when its focus was changed to present a “retro-future” theme reminiscent of the illustrations of Jules Verne.
Current attractions include Space Mountain, Innoventions, Star Tours, Captain EO Tribute, Autopia, the Disneyland Monorail Tomorrowland Station, the Astro Orbitor and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage opened on June 11, 2007, resurrecting the original Submarine Voyage which closed in 1998.
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