“To all who come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts which have created America … with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” -Walt Disney’s dedication of Disneyland July 17,1955.
Friday marked our final day at Disneyland. It was a wonderful and magical week, but also exhausting.
When we do a Disney vacation we do it hard, arriving before the gates open and staying still close, eager to soak up all the magic we can in our time there. So by the end of the week we were all spent.
On Friday the park was open until midnight so we opted to sleep in and hit Downtown Disney before we went into the park, knowing we would have four extra hours to tour the park.
As we waited for the shuttle bus to pick us up the kids kept themselves entertained with a game of “Bear, Hunter, Lass.” This is a game similar to “Rock Paper, Scissors” but you either pose as a bear, hunter, or lass. Hunter beats Bear, Bear beats Lass, and Lass beats Hunter. It kept everyone entertained until our shuttle bus arrived.
By the time Friday had arrived we had ridden all the rides at least twice so we were able to move through the park at a more relaxed pace,
re-riding favorite rides,
stopping to watch street performances,
meeting our favorite characters,
and enjoying our favorite Disney treats.
Here are some highlights from our final day:
Feel the wind in your hair while cruising down one of 4 picturesque lanes—humorous billboards on the sidelines give drivers a wacky look at the world from the car’s perspective. While twisting around the track, you’ll pick up the pace under a small bridge and pass iconic attractions like the Matterhorn Bobsleds in the not-too-far-off distance. Go for your own personal best or compete against family members and friends. When the checkered flag comes down, coast back to the pit a champion!
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
As a Junior Space Ranger, it’s up to you to maneuver an XP-40 space cruiser through the shadowy Gamma Quadrant and fire lasers from an onboard cannon to stop Zurg and score points.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Streak through a legendary gold-mining town aboard a rollicking runaway mine train.
Amid rugged bedrock and desert cactus, venture inside a barren mountain to the Big Thunder Mining Company, established in the early days of America’s Gold Rush. Traipse down and discover a mysterious 5-car locomotive waiting to take you on a journey inside an abandoned mine shaft.
Hang Onto Your Hats
Hurl forward into the darkness of a tunnel as the train’s wheels chug back and forth across a winding track. Swoop around sharp turns and dip and drop into canyons and caves, darting through the ghost town of Big Thunder.
Peel under a booming waterfall, past rock formations, and dodge a rumbling boulder from an unexpected landslide. Glimpse the remnants of an earthquake and behold a bevy of local critters—including bats, opossum and a goat with a stick of dynamite in his mouth—before hastily making your way back to the safety of the railroad station.
Finding Nemo Submarine
Embark on an undersea research expedition to an active volcano and dive into a new Finding Nemo adventure along the way.
Climb down an open hatch inside a research submarine operated by the Nautical Exploration and Marine Observation Institute (N.E.M.O.) and take a seat in front of a crystal-clear porthole. As your friendly captain gives the order, an upward flow of bubbles suddenly fills your window view: your underwater adventure is beginning.
Forge ahead on a research study to a newly discovered volcano, sailing past divers photographing colorful sea life and age-old artifacts of an ancient civilization scattered along the seafloor. Then, hang on as your sub dives further down to avoid a coming sea storm.
Having made your way to deeper depths, a familiar sight suddenly comes into view: Nemo and his turtle pal Squirt—and as can be expected, Nemo’s dad Marlin and forgetful friend Dory aren’t far behind. Thanks to special “sonar hydrophones” located inside the submarine, you can hear what everyone’s saying!
Follow Marlin and Dory on their quest to find Nemo in an exciting underwater adventure reminiscent of the hit film. Hold on tight as you ride the East Australian Current and sail through a graveyard of sunken ships. Catch up with Bruce the Shark and his gathering of fish friends and avoid a floating WWII mine. Evade the toothy bite of an anglerfish, weave your way through a school of translucent jellyfish and even find yourself inside the belly of a gigantic whale.
Maintaining the humor and heart of the original film, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage immerses you in your very own unforgettable underwater adventure with many of your favorite Finding Nemo friends.
Indiana Jones Adventure
Take a cliff-hanging journey through the chilling dangers of the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. With Indy’s help, escape the supernatural pull of the Gates of Doom—beyond which lies eternal torment. Careen along precarious precipices that plummet into molten lava in the Cavern of Bubbling Death, avoid the screaming undead mummies of the temple’s past victims and swerve to avoid lava eruptions, swarms of insects and evil wraiths.
As you narrowly escape a collapsing bridge to find yourself face-to-fang with a giant venomous snake, you’ll wish that you never dared to test the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Just when you think you’ve made it through safely, a massive boulder rolls straight in your direction and only one man is brave enough—or crazy enough—to save you… Indiana Jones!
The Troop Transports
Indiana Jones Adventure is neither a roller coaster nor a typical slow-speed attraction like the Haunted Mansion. You’ll board a 12-person troop transport for a fast-paced thrill ride that realistically simulates driving fast over rough terrain. The experience is truly unique—and truly exciting.
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
Driven mad by his first automobile, Mr. Toad embarks on an uproarious trip toward “nowhere in particular”… and you’re invited! Recreating the frenzied journey of J. Thaddeus Toad, Esq. from the Wind in the Willows segment of the animated film The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is a frantic flight through the English countryside the whole family is sure to love.
Hold On! Stroll through a well-manicured garden into a lavish manor known to all as Toad Hall. Hop inside a 2-person, open-air buggy and begin your wild drive by zooming beneath the vaulted ceiling of the main parlor, the cheerful song “Merrily On Our Way” playing overhead. Skid past teetering stacks of books in a library and barrel through a fireplace before hurtling wildly into a formal dining room, dishes rattling and glass crackling. Then, careen through a wall-sized window and race past a riverbank narrowly missing a sheep herder and his flock.
That’s when the motor mayhem really begins! While avoiding a platoon of pursuing policemen, you’ll crash through scaffolding, splatter a stack of pies, smash crates and even ignite a fiery explosion. But when you’re caught and sentenced for your runaway crimes, it looks as if the jig is up. Will you escape your punishment? Or is something even more dire waiting for you down the road?
Cast off on a thrilling expedition where tigers, gorillas, elephants and maybe even a headhunter await your arrival.
Trek to a dusty tropical jungle outpost—overflowing with cargo nets, wooden crates, rusty lanterns and faded marquee signs—and board a weathered tramp steamer for a tongue-in-cheek adventure through some of the world’s most “dangerous” rivers. Led by your trusty skipper, leave civilization behind as you cross continents and oceans through untamed waters rarely seen by man.
A True-Life Adventure
During your lively 7-minute journey, encounter awesome wonders of nature amid some of the world’s most exotic locales.
Throughout the sometimes perilous voyage, take in lively narration from your friendly skipper, known for a brave heart and a clever joke… or two.
King Arthur Carrousel
Climb aboard an ornate carousel horse and gallop through a whirling backdrop of color and sound.
Make your way beneath a vibrant medieval tent within the Castle Courtyard and select one of 68 wood-carved white horses—or one intricately carved chariot. Accented in soft pastel and jewel tones, each magnificent steed is posed in a fanciful leaping position. Once chosen, hop atop your charger and prepare yourself for a royal ride as if you were a part of King Arthur’s royal army.
Test Your Horsemanship
As a classic Disney tune echoes to the sounds of an old-fashioned fairground organ, parade up and down in a gentle counter-clockwise direction atop your majestic horse. Spin around and around and feel a cool breeze brush across your face as you view a menagerie of classic Fantasyland attractions in the not-too-far-off distance—including Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Nobody could pull the Sword from the Stone…
Command your prancing horse as the prince or princess of your very own fairytale by day or embark on a journey at night, basking in the magical glow of the carousel’s 3,328 shimmering lights.
A Fairytale Come To Life
During your whimsical journey, relive the classic Disney animated film Sleeping Beauty through a series of 9 illustriously hand-painted vignettes on the inner rounding board above the horses.
During Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, brace yourself for eerie encounters with spooky star fields and menacing meteors. From September 9 through October 31, Space Mountain will be overtaken by an ominous and powerful phantom force bent on your destruction.
Flight of Fright
As the universe’s newest explorer, you’ve been recruited to investigate a creepy cosmic phenomenon within the darkest regions of Space Mountain. But when your starship becomes mysteriously possessed by something sinister, your voyage takes an unexpected detour into a shadowy realm—an uncharted galaxy where haunted star clusters, supernatural supernovas and spine-tingling phenomena threaten you at every turn.
Bumps in the Dark
Dip and careen past spectral stars and scary satellites during your spirited space ride in the dark. Shiver and shudder amid the inky blackness—glowing apparitions reaching out in all directions to grab you. Behold ghoulish orbs of light, howling comets and materializing meteors. And shriek in fear inside a wicked wormhole—piercing screams, ghostly music and inhuman sounds echoing all around.
Will you make it back to Earth… or will the phantoms of Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy haunt you forever?
It was a magical day that ended in the most magical way.
Thank you, Walt Disney, for sharing this place of joy and inspiration with us!