Anaheim – Disney

Regardless of how old you are, you will feel like a kid again when you visit Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Enjoy one day of nostalgia at Disneyland Park and the next day at Disney California Adventure. What fun!

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1 Mickey Mouse Kneeling at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

This face needs no introduction, but it is fun to introduce yourself to Mickey Mouse at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Created by Walt Disney in the 1928 cartoon Steamboat Willie, his appearance evolved for 12 years before becoming the smiling, four-fingered, and lovable character with circular ears. Walt Disney also gave Mickey his high-pitched voice, but don’t expect the character to talk at the theme park.

1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802
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2 Horse-drawn Streetcar in Town Square at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

The magic of Disneyland begins on Main Street U.S.A. where you can walk among the early 20th century buildings or catch a one-way ride on a horse-drawn streetcar from City Hall in Town Square to the Sleeping Beauty Castle. Or if you prefer, hop aboard a red fire engine, a jitney (roofless car) or a two-story bus called an omnibus. Any of the Main Street Vehicles are a great way to start your fun.

Disneyland City Hall, 105 Main Street, Anaheim, CA 92802
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3 Emporium Shop on Main Street U.S.A at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

When Walt Disney was designing what he originally called “Mickey Mouse Park,” he wanted the entrance to be filled with nostalgic, 1900s Victorian buildings that felt like his boyhood town. The result is Main Street U.S.A which is primarily filled with restaurants and shops. You can almost hear him say to you, as he did during the opening line of his speech in 1955, “To all who come to this happy place: Welcome.”

107 Main Street U.S.A., Anaheim, CA 92802
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4 Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse Partners Statue at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

On November 18, 1993, the statue “Partners” was installed in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle on Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 65th birthday. It shows a larger-than-life Walt Disney as he looked in 1954 holding hands with a three-foot Mickey. Blaine Gibson created it, along with most of the other iconic sculptures at the park. A similar version was added to Walt Disney World in 1995.

Partners Statue, Main Street U.S.A., Anaheim, CA 92802
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5 Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

Apparently Walt Disney loved Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria because the centerpiece of Disneyland when it opened in 1955 was the Sleeping Beauty Castle that shares design elements of the 1892 original. When the animated musical movie “Sleeping Beauty” was released in 1959, it initially was not successful at the box office but after 50 years it is considered to be a Disney classic.

Sleeping Beauty Castle, Main Street U.S.A & Plaza Gardens, Anaheim, CA 92802
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6 It’s a Small World Ride in Fantasyland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

The “It’s a Small World” ride was originally created for the 1964 New York World’s Fair and was then moved to Fantasyland in 1966. Outside the water attraction it is billed as, “The happiest cruise that ever sailed.” And after hearing 300 mechanical dolls dressed as children singing the same song in various languages for 15 minutes, it is virtually impossible not to hum the melody for days.

It's a Small World, Fantasyland & Parade Route, Anaheim, CA 92802
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7 Dumbo the Flying Elephant Ride in Fantasyland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

The Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride was expected to be operative when Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955. But when the attraction arrived, the elephant cars had been painted pink to represent when characters from the 1941 animated movie saw “pink elephants on parade” during a drunken hallucination. Walt Disney objected. After they were repainted to resemble Dumbo, the attraction opened four months later.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Fantasyland, Anaheim, CA 92802
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8 Monstro the Whale in Storybook Land Ride at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

In Carlo Collodi’s 1883 book “The Adventures of Pinocchio,” the carpenter Geppetto is swallowed by The Terrible Dogfish. However, in the 1940 release of the animated film “Pinocchio,” that sea monster is portrayed as a giant whale named Monstro. You will float through his gaping jaws in a canal boat at the beginning of your ride through Storybook Land.

Storybook Land Canal Boats, Fantasyland, Anaheim, CA 92802
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9 King Arthur Carrousel in Fantasyland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

The legend of King Arthur’s Round Table dates back to 1155 and 800 years later another legend, Walt Disney, displayed this carousel on the opening day of Disneyland. The merry-go-round was built in 1875 but before it became part of Fantasyland, it was refitted with 68 horses from across the country. Each white horse has a name. If you are curious, the complete list is available at the City Hall on Main Street U.S.A.

King Arthur Carrousel, Fantasyland, Anaheim, CA 92802
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10 Welcome to Mickey’s Toontown Sign at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

No visit to Disneyland Park is complete unless the whole family has had a chance to shake the four-fingered, white glove of Mickey Mouse. So, you’ll walk (or maybe your kids will run) under this welcome sign and towards “Mikey’s House and Meet Mickey.” After taking endless photos, there are seven other attractions to enjoy at Mickey’s Toontown.

Disneyland Railroad, Mickey's Toontown Station, Toontown, Anaheim, CA 92802
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11 Mickey Mouse Bandleader Fountain in Toontown at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

If you wore a black hat with big round ears while sitting in front of your parent’s black and white TV, then you know the answer to the musical question, “Who is the leader of the club that’s made for you and me?” Of course, this was the opening theme to “The Mickey Mouse Club.” The children’s variety show ran from 1955 to 1996. During the initial years, Mickey pranced around waving a baton as the leader of the band. This fountain in Toontown was a nostalgic reminder of my years as a Musketeer.

Neighborhood Lane, Anaheim, CA 92802
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12 City Hall and Clockenspiel in Toontown at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

There are two City Halls at Disneyland. The first is just beyond the front gate in Town Square at the start of Main Street U.S.A. This guest relations office provides a host of services like park maps and answers to questions. The second is in Toontown, the cartoonish neighborhood where Mickey and Minnie live. Every half hour, this City Hall’s “Clockenspiel” shrieks out a chorus of delightful noises.

Clarabelle's, Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802
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13 Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

In 1988, Touchstone Pictures, a division of The Walt Disney Company, released a film about cartoons interacting with humans called “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” After its commercial success, the Mickey’s Toontown was opened at Disneyland in 1993. All of the attractions in this theme land have a colorful, cartoonish design. In this “Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin” ride, you climb into a yellow cab to travel through some scenes from the movie.

Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, Toontown, Anaheim, CA 92802
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14 Goofy Signing Autograph for Young Girl at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

Dippy Dawg first appeared as a heckler in the audience while Mikey Mouse performed on stage in the 1932 cartoon called Mickey’s Revue. This lovable, albeit clumsy, Walt Disney dog character had several other names before becoming Goofy. At Disneyland, he and other “fur characters” are played by cast members who delight children with their silent antics and playfulness. He can often be seen at Goofy’s Playhouse in Mickey’s Toontown.

Goofy's Playhouse, Toontown & Neighborhood Lane, Anaheim, CA 92802
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15 Little Boy at Fireworks Factory in Toontown at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

Disneyland is filled with so many fun attractions, rides and activities that it is sometimes easy to miss the most fun of all: watching a child who is mesmerized by living inside a cartoon land. Toontown is designed for small children. Every few minutes, something is spinning, whistling and/or blowing steam like this Fireworks Factory behind the Firehouse. For adult children, there is also a real fireworks display just before the park closes for the night.

Mickey's Toontown, Toontown, Anaheim, CA 92802
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16 Parents Pushing Strollers in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

Disneyland not only does an extraordinary job of entertaining their guests but they also try to accommodate everyone’s needs. This includes helping those with hearing, visual, mobility and cognitive disabilities. Young parents are also helped with services like stroller rental and a Baby Center. Even your dog can have a great day at the Disneyland Kennel Club.

Toontown Five & Dime, Anaheim, CA 92802
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17 Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

In the 1920s, a father named A. A. Milne used his son’s stuffed animals to create the characters Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga and Roo. His son’s name was Christopher Robin. The original toys are on display at the New York Public Library Main Branch. Or, you can relive the storybook adventures while riding in a big beehive at the “Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” attraction in Critter Country at Disneyland.

Pooh Corner, Critter Country Lane, Anaheim, CA 92802
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18 Tigger Character Hugging Little Girl at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

In 1968, during the second Winnie the Pooh film, this bouncing, orange and black striped tiger introduced himself by saying, “The name’s Tigger! T-I-double-G-ER! That spells Tigger!” At the Critter Country section of Disneyland, this wonderful character still bounces along playfully until there is a photo op with a cute little child.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Critter Country Lane, Anaheim, CA 92802
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19 Sailing Ship Columbia in Frontierland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

In 1790, the Columbia became the first private ship to sail around the world. You can relive the experience by floating around the Rivers of America on this full-scale, three-masted sailing ship in Frontierland.

Mill View Lane, Frontierland, Anaheim, CA 92802
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20 The Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

The Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland has the distinction in the Guinness Book of World Records for performing the same variety and musical show over 39,000 times during 31 years after it opened in 1955. Inside this Wild West saloon you can get a bite to eat while watching a great show on center stage.

The Golden Horseshoe, Frontierland & Big Thunder Way, Anaheim, CA 92802
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21 Cowboys and Cowgirls Dancing in Frontierland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

Frontierland at Disneyland has an early American theme and parts of it focus on the Wild Wild West. These cowboys and cowgirls were kicking up their boots during a variety show on the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree stage.

1150 Magic Way, Anaheim, CA 92802
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22 Carnival Mask in New Orleans Square at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

The ambiance and décor of New Orleans Square is designed to simulate the famous French Quarter without the unsavory aspects of the real Bourbon Street. Or is that true? You see, hidden behind a secret door with an engraved “33” is entry to the only restaurant at Disneyland that serves alcohol. But before you get too excited, you must be a member of Club 33. And the waiting list is several years long and the initiation fee can be as high as $10,000.

20 Orleans Street ,Anaheim, CA 92802
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23 Caricature Artist in New Orleans Square at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

If you want a fun, personalized memory of your trip to Disneyland, then have a seat and let one of the talented artists draw your caricature. A black and white portrait takes about ten minutes or you can be memorialized in color. Apparently, they have been sketching guests at this booth near the Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square since the 1960s.

40 Orleans Street, Anaheim, CA 92802
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24 Astro Orbiter in Tomorrowland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

In 1955, the U.S. and Russia began the Space Race to win the competition for exploring the heavens. Less than a year later, before the first real rocket was launched, the Astro Jets rocket ship ride opened in Tomorrowland; it must have felt like pure fantasy from science fiction. Since then, both countries have conquered space and the ride is now called Astro Orbiter.

Astro Orbitor, 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802
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25 Star Wars Show in Tomorrowland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

I fondly remember when the George Lucas movie “Star Wars” was released in 1977 and I enjoyed both trilogies. So the kid in me was thrilled to see Darth Vader appear in a cloud of smoke surrounded by Stormtroopers. Unfortunately, only current kids under 12 are selected to become Padawans at the Jedi Training Academy and after taking the Jedi Oath, they ward off the evil villains with their lightsabers.

Star Wars Launch Bay, Tomorrowland Way, Anaheim, CA 92802
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26 Pluto Greeting on Buena Vista Street at California Adventure in Anaheim, California

When you step inside Disney California Adventure Park and onto Buena Vista Street, it won’t be long before you are greeted by what Disney management calls an atmosphere or fur character. To everyone else this is Pluto, the fun loving pet of Mickey Mouse’s. This orange hound with the black, floppy ears was created by Walt Disney Productions in 1930.

Buena Vista Street, Anaheim, CA 92802
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27 Roaring Twenties Band and Flapper at California Adventure in Anaheim, California

After Walt Disney’s first animation studio in Kansas City failed, he moved to Hollywood and opened the Disney Brother’s Studio in 1923. His early Hollywood years were during the Roaring Twenties, when motion pictures began to talk (1927), the Jazz Age was in full swing, and young women became liberated, wore garish clothes and were called flappers. So don’t be surprised when you see a musical celebration of this era in Carthay Circle on Buena Vista Street.

Carthay Circle & Hollywood Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92802
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28 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood Land at California Adventure in Anaheim, California

When the original iconic sign was built on Mount Lee in Los Angeles in 1923 it read, “Hollywoodland.” So it seems fitting that this section of the park would share the name because it celebrates the Golden Age of movies. In the background of this photo are landmarks like the El Capitan Theater and Roosevelt Hotel which are along the real Hollywood Boulevard. But when you take a closer look, you realize this street scene is only a painted backdrop similar to those used in many movies.

Hollywood Blvd & Sunset Boulevard, Anaheim, CA 92802
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29 Hopper the Grasshopper Statue at California Adventure in Anaheim, California

In the 1998 animated film “A Bug’s Life,” this menacing creature is Hopper, the evil leader of the grasshopper gang and the enemy of the ants on Ant Island. He is just one of many statues, rides and a theater based on the movie in A Bug’s Land which is a section of Disney California Adventure.

A Bugs Land, Performance Corridor & Fik’s Fun Fair, Anaheim, CA 92802
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30 Route 66 Rusted Sign at Adventure in Anaheim, California

This rusted Route 66 sign at Cars Land in Disney California Adventure is a nostalgic tribute to the 2,451 mile highway that linked Chicago with Santa Monica. It earned nicknames such as “Main Street of America” and “The Mother Road.” By 1985, it was officially replaced with interstates but numerous people still make the cross-country journey on the most famous road in America.

Route 66 & Cross Street, Anaheim, CA 92802
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31 Lightening McQueen Racecar at California Adventure in Anaheim, California

It is always fun to stand next to a celebrity but it is particularly exciting when the movie star is a red stock car named Lightening McQueen, the rookie racer from the animated film “Cars.” I had always thought this main character was named after actor Steve McQueen who was also a racecar driver and collector of luxury sports cars. But the namesake is actually Glenn McQueen, an animator who supervised several Pixar classics before dying of cancer.

Radiator Springs Curios Disney California Adventure Park, Route 66, Anaheim, CA 92802
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32 Radiator Springs Racers Ride at California Adventure in Anaheim, California

Here is your chance to climb into a convertible racecar and relive some of the scenes from the 2006 animated film “Cars” before challenging another driver at breakneck speeds through the mountains and buttes of Ornament Valley. It cost over $200 million to build this Radiator Springs Racers ride in Cars Land, so you know it has to be thrilling.

Cross Street, Anaheim, CA 92802
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33 Little Mermaid Mural on Paradise Pier at California Adventure in Anaheim, California

If you enjoyed the 1989 animated film “The Little Mermaid,” then you have the opportunity at Paradise Pier to live some of your favorite scenes with Ariel the mermaid and her best friend Flounder the tropical fish. Just hop aboard the ride called The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.

The Little Mermaid Ariel's Undersea Adventure, 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802
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34 Ferris Wheel on Paradise Pier at California Adventure in Anaheim, California

Along the Pacific Coast near Los Angeles are several piers that host amusement parks. As a tribute to this tradition, Paradise Pier was created at Disney California Adventure in 2001. On the left is the California Screamin’ roller coaster and on the right is Mickey’s Fun Wheel.

Paradise Pier Performace Corridor, Anaheim, CA 92802
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35 Minnie Mouse as Stewardess at California Adventure in Anaheim, California

It seemed only fitting that my visit to Disneyland Resort started with a greeting from Mickey Mouse at Disneyland and ended with Minnie Mouse. Here she was singing and dancing in a show called Minnie’s Fly Girls at Candor Flats. Both of these lovable characters first appeared in “Steamboat Willie” that was released in 1928.

Condor Flats, Anaheim, CA 92802
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36 They Lived Happily Ever After at California Adventure in Anaheim, California

The Disney Animation Building in Hollywood Land features several attractions. They include The Art of Animation Gallery where guests learn how to draw cartoon characters, the Character Close-up where you can see Disney movie artifacts, and the Sorcerer’s Workshop featuring interactive exhibits. As you walk out the door you’ll see this classic line, “And they lived happily ever after.”

Animation Academy, S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, CA
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