12 Jun Title: Disneyland Favorites
Now, Disneyland stands at 61 years of age, having marked its diamond celebration in 2015. I travel to Disneyland quite a lot, due to the fact that I live in Los Angeles, and work there as well. As a Cast Member I’m privy to enjoy free admission almost year round, and it’s with this perk (along with the annual pass I used to have), that I travel to Disneyland almost once a week. In this small piece, I’ll share with you some of my favorite spots and things to-do while you enjoy the resort.
by Johnathan Lozano from United States
The Disneyland Resort is one of the most featured destinations in almost every tourist guidebook. Nestled in the long-gone orange groves of Anaheim, Disneyland was Walt Disney’s original theme park, an endeavor that many considered would fail. Now, Disneyland stands at 61 years of age, having marked its diamond celebration in 2015. I travel to Disneyland quite a lot, due to the fact that I live in Los Angeles, and work there as well. As a Cast Member I’m privy to enjoy free admission almost year round, and it’s with this perk (along with the annual pass I used to have), that I travel to Disneyland almost once a week. In this small piece, I’ll share with you some of my favorite spots and things to-do while you enjoy the resort.
One of my favorite areas in Disneyland is the castle. Granted, it’s not as ‘diamondy’ as it was during our 60th celebration, but it still makes for great photo opportunities and snapshots. You’ll see the Sleeping Beauty Castle tagged multiple times in various Instagram posts and for good reason, it’s a beautiful castle that glistens under the spotlights at night.
While you’re looking at the castle, take a quick break and admire the Partners Statue located a few feet south from the castle. From here you’ll see Walt and Mickey, holding hands as they view down at their achievement of Main St. USA. Personally, I love looking at this statue whenever I come into the park as it reminds me of what Disneyland really means – a place to enjoy with other people, friends, or ‘partners.’ Also, the idea that you can accomplish your goals and aspirations as long as you have support along the way. At the same time, glance around the small statues near the gardens, as they’re different characters in various poses.
I personally believe that the best time to take pictures at the park is at night. The lights and glitter that come from the well-placed lights make excellent shots. For example, the Tomorrowland entrance is beautiful with its numerous amounts of lights, making it a unique experience when you walk into the world of tomorrow. Likewise, the entrance to Disney California Adventure at night also brings out various colors of the façade. Modeled after the Pan-Pacific Auditorium, it invites you to step back in time as you enter Buena Vista St. Other areas to look into at night also include Cars Land (make sure you’re there during sunset and watch the neon turn on all around), Fantasyland, and parts of New Orleans Square. The park is different at night, and these locations are some of my favorite to view at that time.
Another favorite area of mine is the view of Carthay Circle at the end of Buena Vista St. This theater, also modeled after the original which was torn down in the late-60s, it provides a sense of complete immersion as if you’re in 1920s Los Angeles. This beautiful replica towers high above Buena Vista St and Hollywood Blvd, and if you’re hungry can also grab a bite to eat inside.
World of Color, one of my favorite shows to watch at the Disneyland Resort ranks high on my list. Made up of water, projections, music, and light, it’s a symphony brought to life to entertain you, and possibly make you shed a tear. Various different iterations of show occur during the year – Season of Light for the Holidays, or the 60th Celebration in honor of Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration, but none compare to the original show. If you have a moment, make sure you get your World of Color Fastpass in front of Grizzly River Run (don’t worry, it won’t count towards your other Fastpass attractions), and come back at night to watch Paradise Bay come to life. Do be advised that guests standing near the water will get wet.
Aside from the World of Color show, I also like to view others like Five and Dime, Red Car Trolley News Boys, Soundsational Parade and Jedi Training – Trials of the Temple. Each of these shows (amongst others), bring music, acting and a plain old good time as you watch Disney characters, villains, and goofballs come to life. Going on attractions is great and all, but please, do make it a point to watch the shows. They’re bound to bring you one heck of a time.
Lastly, it wouldn’t be a favorite list if I didn’t include the fireworks show. Like World of Color, the fireworks show changes seasonally depending on the festivities. For Christmas we had our Believe in Holiday Magic show, and for our 60th celebration we had our Disneyland Forever. However, my favorite fireworks show is Remember… Dreams, Come True narrated by Julie Andrews. Remember… was the fireworks show for the 50th celebration, and in my opinion one of the best shows that Disneyland has ever produced. It sadly went away in 2015 in order to begin the festivities for the 60th, but the Disneyland Resort has announced that it will be returning later this month in January. It’s an amazing show, and it ranks high on my list of favorite things to do, and things to see (Disneyland Forever ranks second in my favorite fireworks show).
There are many things to do at Disneyland. Whether you’re here for a day, a week, or are an annual passholder – the possibilities, and the shots that you take around the park can change day-by-day. It’d be impossible to list all of my top favorite things to do, as there are too many. My Lightroom catalog is filled with thousands of photos I’ve taken around the park, and each one reminds me of a certain memory, place, feeling, and company that I had while taking it. In the end, isn’t that what Disneyland is meant to be? A place to make memories with friends and family? I certainly hope so.