March 29, 2006

My trip to Disneyland Part 1

Filed under: My trips — movie_critic @ 2:58 pm

On the next day after visiting Hollywood and the Universal Studios I went to Disneyland. Yeah, that’s right, the very first and the most glorious amusement park in Anaheim, Ca., which celebrated 50 years of existence just last year. The number 50 is still very much on display in Disneyland even now. I was very curious to see if there were any changes since I’ve been there the first and only time in 1993.

I started out great, the sky was blue, the sun was bright and I was in a very mellow mood. Finding my way to Anaheim turned out to be easy, but finding the entrance to Disneyland was a bit more difficult – as usual, I’ve taken the wrong exit and ended up somewhere in the backyard of Disneyland first. Thanks to a good Samaritan (actually, a guard at the gates) I got the instructions on how to get to the entrance and naturally, it had to be the next exit! Sometimes I can’t believe myself…

The parking lots in Disneyland had surely changed. I remember these vast open lots going for miles, now it looks like they’ve built multi-story parking garages over that area and they are also huge! I forgot my windbreaker in the car and by the time I’ve reached the escalator to the lower level and the trams heading for the park, I felt a bit chilly, so I had to go back to get it. I think it took me about 10 minutes to get back to the car, it felt like I had to walk a whole mile to get back there. What’s interesting, the parking lot was filling up fast and I was on the 3rd level, so the two floors beneath us must have been filled up already. The cars were coming in one after another, the business must be booming!

Finally, I got to the box offices, where a lot of people were trying to buy a ticket to paradise… Just kidding, I know it’s only an imitation J. Anyway, the lines were rather long and that is actually something that I’ve remembered about the Disneyland from my first tour in 1993 – for all the best rides you had to stay in line forever, so I’ve decided that this time I’ll be only going to those attractions where the wait is minimal. I would not know what I’d be missing anyway!

So, finally I got the ticket and entered the magic kingdom.

There is something really very festive about the main square of Disneyland, where the City Hall and the Disneyland Fire Department are located. There are lots of flowers, the stores around the square have the doors opened and you can see the brightly colored souvenirs, the omnibus is coming and going and generally I think the air seems to be filled with the sense of anticipation. The famous castle, the icon of Disneyland, is rising in a distance, the Main street leading right to it. That’s where I went first, to the Fantasyland. After I passed the castle gate first thing I saw was the Witch from “The Chronicles of Narnia”, posing for the tourists. The movie was still in the theaters (I’ve actually seen on the previous week), but the huge machine of moneymaking on the related merchandise was apparently in full swing already. I saw the small house with the sign “Pinocchio” (one of my favorite Disney movies) and went to take a ride in a small cart through the dark rooms past the villains, puppets and donkeys (if you saw the movie you know what I am talking about, if you did not – run out and rent a DVD right now!). The ride was short, but very enjoyable.

I went through several other attractions with huge lines and saw the “Casey Jr. Special Circus Train”, the little engine all shiny and smart, with cute little cars behind it. A train ride seemed like fun to me, plus my doggie’s name is Casey, so the train definitely had a special appeal to me. Too bad the line was rather long, but I’ve decided to tough it out. Finally, the train pulled to the station and we got in. We went past several small scale landmarks like the castle from “The Beauty and the Beast”, palace from “Aladdin” and others, they looked great, the landscapes were very natural. After a circle on a train my head was probably still a bit spinning, because I’ve left my backpack in the car, but fortunately, noticed that rather quickly and was lucky to retrieve it right away.

I saw the land out of the Western movies right next to the train ride, so that’s become my next destination. Walking there I’ve noticed the farm with live animals and 2 turkeys that looked a bit out of place there. The sign proclaimed them the luckiest turkeys in the world as they were the turkeys which President Bush pardoned during a Thanksgiving dinner in 2005 and then they promptly were shipped off to Disneyland. Well, it’s still better than to end up on somebody’s plate!


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