3. Disneyland’s Unique Attractions
It is easy to think that, details aside, one Disney Park is basically the same as any other. This is patently untrue. The overall experience is the same. The cast members are always fabulous. The park is always clean. The rides are fun. The shows are high quality. There are many reasons to find the parks interchangeable. However, there are attractions at Disneyland that you cannot experience anywhere else. They are:
- Alice in Wonderland
- Casey Jr. Circus Train
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Toad’s Wild Ride
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
- Snow White’s Scary Adventures
- Storybook Land Canal Boats
These ten rides are unique to Disneyland. Of those, three and a half of them are Opening Day attractions (1/2 because Storybook Land Canal Boats is an upgrade from opening day attraction, Canal Boats of the World). They are not all amazing rides. Some are quite dull (again Storybook Land Canal Boats). But they are all part of the experience. No visit to Disneyland is complete without Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and The Princess refuses to skip the Canal Boats no matter how long the line is. Snow White and Pinocchio are basic dark rides that really aren’t all that. Alice is a little better with the indoor/outdoor aspect and the multiple levels. We ride them if there’s no line. We may have never ridden Casey Jr. Circus Train. On the other hand, some of them are extraordinary.
It boggles my mind that the Matterhorn Bobsleds only exist in Disneyland. It is a fun ride that feels much faster than it really is. It is a great ride for younger riders as it is 10 miles per hours slower than the other two coasters in the park. Plus there is Harold the Yeti who terrified me as a child but has always been adored by The Princess. It may be because this was her very first Disney ride. It may be because she is a very brave Princess. We will ride this one repeatedly every trip.
Another must ride is Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. We have pictures of the Princess and I on this ride from almost every trip we’ve been on. It’s another dark ride, but this one is based on the idea that your taxi cab has lost all traction and spins its way through the story. It fun and funny. We laugh our way through this one. The only down side is that you have to choose between spinning your car very fast or paying attention to the story elements around you. This is why it should always be ridden twice.
On the extreme end, there is Indiana Jones Adventure. This one is not for the faint of heart. It is dark, bumpy, and scary. It is the only ride in the actual Disneyland park that kids have to be over 48 inches to ride (There are others in California Adventure). If you child is at all afraid of dark, snakes, large boulders, or life threatening situations you will want to give this one a miss. It is intense. This is the ride I’ve seen groups of teenage boys bragging about how many times they’ve ridden it. This is also a ride I’ve seen small children leaving in tears. We, of course, love it and Walt Disney World doesn’t have it. They have a ride that uses the same technology (Dinosaur), but it’s not as good. Interestingly for us, The Princess finds that one even scarier than Indiana Jones. She has covered her eyes every time we’ve ridden in and has never seen the end.
While it is not an attraction, Disneyland is also the home of The Blue Bayou, the restaurant in Pirates of the Caribbean. It is not only beautiful, but the food is quite good. It is on the expensive side. We will either go for lunch or save up for a special occasion. The only downside is that there are relatively few waterside tables. They are the best as you can see the boats heading down the stream into the place where dead men tell no tales. You can also occasionally hear screaming from the first drop. Definitely a unique dining experience.
All of these are one of a kind experience can only be found at Disneyland, which is yet another reason that Disneyland is better than Walt Disney World.