This is truly the "Happiest Place on Earth"

Disneyland: A World of Magic


            What comes to mind when you try to imagine the ideal theme park? A place where there is excitement, laid-back fun and everyone can be carefree. Where can you find food from all around the world, rides for all ages, and your favorite characters from those beloved Disney movies? Disneyland Resort is able to provide all that and more. Disneyland is known as the “happiest place on earth,” for good reason too. The amusement park has eight different “themes” or “lands” that can make anyone feel like they really are at the happiest place on earth. Disneyland offers a chance for families to be together and make unforgettable memories.

            Disneyland can be reached from car, from plane, from train, from about any type of transportation available. The resort is located in Anaheim, which is in southern California. It is conveniently located next to a freeway and forty-five minutes away from Los Angeles International Airport. There should be no stopping anyone from coming here.

            Once you arrive at Disneyland, you purchase your seventy-three dollar single day, park-hopper ticket, which allows you to visit Disneyland and another theme park located right next door, California Adventure, (or you can purchase a fifty-three dollar single day “one theme park” ticket), and you enter this wonderful, magical world of imagination. As you travel through the magical gates of Disneyland, onto Main Street U.S.A., the first thing that hits you is the smell. It is an intriguing mixture of buttery, caramel popcorn, soda pop, fruity cotton candy, hot dogs, and hamburgers.  As you continue to walk down this famous street and breathe in the scent, you are able to see your favorite Disney characters as balloons and stuffed animals in the storefront windows. If you are lucky, you might even see the characters in person.

            As you keep on walking down Main Street U.S.A., you pass different types of restaurants and shops. The shops contain hats, where you can have your name stitched on the back. In addition, there are costumes for the young children such as the numerous different princesses, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The stores also carry key chains, postcards, film, cameras, and of course pens, pencils and autograph books, which is a necessity when you encounter your favorite character.

 The varieties of restaurants are available to suit just about anyone. There are twenty-nine restaurants in the theme park, which include American cuisine, of course, as well as Chinese, Italian, and Caribbean. There is also a character-themed restaurant where some Disney characters are able to sit down with you and your family to eat a meal. Not only are there restaurants on Main Street, but also in the seven other “lands” of fun and adventure.

The eight “lands” include: Main Street U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Mickey’s Toontown, Critter Country, and New Orleans Square. Within all these themes, there are all kinds of attractions, a total of fifty-nine. There are rides for those who love an adrenaline rush, those with younger children who prefer a calm ride, or those who just want to take a tour of the whole park. However, Main Street U.S.A is the only section where there is no permanent ride. Instead, there are trolleys, a double decker bus, and a horse-drawn carriage that is able to take you around Main Street.

The main attractions of the park are “it’s a small world” boat ride, the train ride, Mickey’s House, Splash Mountain, and Space Mountain. “it’s a small world” is a cute world cruise for all ages. It takes you “around the world” with animated dolls in settings of different cultures. There is no jerkiness during this fifteen-minute ride unless you happen to bump into the boat in front of you.  As well, the only song that is playing throughout the ride, “It’s a small world,” can get a bit annoying. Yet, this is still a quite popular ride.

An attraction that is perfect for toddlers, kids, teenagers, adults, and seniors is the train ride. The train allows first-timers and anyone else to see what Disneyland has to offer. It begins at Main Street U.S.A, and it stops three times before it returns back to Main Street. You are able to get off and on at New Orleans Square, Tomorrowland, and/or Mickey’s Toontown, or you may remain on the train until it arrives back at Main Street. The train is slow moving, open-windowed ride. It is safe for everyone.

Another attraction that is for all ages is Mickey’s House. Mickey’s House is located in Mickey’s Toontown, and it is the only place you can visit Mickey. It is easy to visit Mickey but it takes a while because of all the young children that wants to meet him. You wait in line, take a self-tour of Mickey’s house, and then you see Mickey at the end of the line. You can have Mickey sign the autograph book and take a picture with him, and that is it. This is a perfect attraction for toddlers.

Splash Mountain and Space Mountain are some of the more attractions geared towards the teenagers and adults. Splash Mountain is located in Frontierland.  It is an eight-person “log” boat ride where you ride around and see what it would have been like to be a frontier, and then at the end, there is a big drop, where mostly the front people get wet and a picture is taken at the height of the drop. It is up to you if you want to purchase the picture of this wet ride or not.

Since Splash Mountain is a roller coaster type ride, there is a height requirement. You must be at least forty-eight inches or four feet tall. Space Mountain has the same height requirement. Unlike the other ride, this roller coaster is taken place in the dark. There are exciting twists and turns, and a slight drop somewhere along the ride, but you never know when it is since it is pitch black. All you can hear is screams from other riders. The average wait time in line for these rides is about an hour and half. The wait in line is worth it for these exhilarating rides.

Disneyland is such a fine place to be, but the wait in line takes forever, that to experience this park to the fullest, you must visit it for at least two days. Though, to help keep the lines moving faster, Disney came up with the FASTPASS concept. This is only on certain attractions, but is appealing to customers. A guest would insert his/her park ticket in a FASTPASS machine, which would be located near the entrance to an attraction, and the machine would spit out a ticket with an one-hour return time later in the day. It is usually a one-hour time slot. When the guest returns within that hour time slot, they can enter a shorter line and be on the ride within fifteen minutes. The implementation of this invention does make the lines go a bit quicker, but since not all rides have it, you do end up waiting in line half the time you are at the park. On the bright side, standing in line, you are able to enjoy some quality time with your family.

Where can you find a variety of things to do in a single theme park? Nowhere else can you take a boat ride to visit our “small world” in only fifteen minutes, then immediately have a roller coaster to take you into space, and then go a wild ride in a log to get wet. After all those exciting activities, you still have to eat at one of the restaurants, and do not forget to go into a souvenir shop to buy gifts for those that could not come. Disneyland truly is a place for families to be together and having everyone’s dreams come true at the “Happiest Place on Earth.”