Disneyland Anaheim is the holy land to Disneyfiles. It is the original, the blueprint that all the other parks were born from. I can’t say there’s nothing like it in the world, because there is. Several actually, but they’re copies. And just like movie franchises (*cough* Star Wars *cough*) the sequels are never quite as good. While there are many imitators there is just Disenyland. Here are 7 Must Do’s you won’t find at any other Disney parks.
Finding Nemo Submarine Ride
Yes, I do know that there is a Finding Nemo ride in Epcot. And yes, the story-line of that dark ride is similar. However, the Disneyland version utilizes the track, lagoon, and ride vehicles of the original Submarine Voyage which existed in Disneyland from 1959 to 1998. If you’re not familiar with the ride’s history you’re probably not impressed, so let me explain. At the time of it’s creation this was one of the most ground breaking rides, there was nothing like it – and there’s still not many similar today. During 1959 it was also the 8th largest submarine fleet in the world, a fact that Walt Disney thoroughly enjoyed boasting about. Oh ya – and, small detail, Walt actually rode on these submarines.
Send Walt your Regards on Main Street
Since we’re talking the man, the myth, the legend – Walt Disney, and the fact that Disneyland is the only park he stepped foot in. Disneyland is also home to Walt’s apartment, which sits atop the fire station at the start of Main Street U.S.A. The apartment was built for Walt and his family when they were enjoying the park, and was designed by Lillian herself. To this day a lamp is left on in the apartment window in memory of Walt. If you’re lucky, you can also catch a rare glimpse of the entrance. During especially busy times, cast members will open a secret backstage passage down the back side of Main Street after the closing fireworks show. If you’re on the correct side of the street and keep your eyes peeled, you can use this passage to exit the park and walk right by the entrance to Walt’s apartment.
ride the lilly belle train car
Another unique opportunity to step in Walt’s shoes at Disneyland is the ability to ride in the Lilly Belle car on the Disneyland Railroad. The Lilly Belle is the ornate presidential car, used to transport VIP’s around the park. Like Walt’s apartment the interior of the train car was designed by Lillian, and thus named after her. The car is filled with Disney memorabilia and the accompanying cast member shares stories and trivia during the ride. It’s a pretty exclusive reservation to obtain and the car does not run everyday. If you’re interested, you will need to be at the train station for rope drop.
Mr. Toad’s Wild ride
Mr. Toad’s Wild ride is a fast paced dark ride centered on the adventures of Mr. Toad. The ride whips you around corners and takes you on an adventure through many scenes from the Mr. Toad franchise. It’s similar to Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin (another unique Disneyland attraction) but definitely a bit more sinister. As with everything on this list, you’re not going to find it anywhere else.
haunted mansion holiday
This attraction is extra unique, because it’s only available about 25% of the year. Haunted Mansion Holiday is a Nightmare Before Christmas themed overlay of the Haunted Mansion. Jack Skellington and his friends from Halloweentown have taken over the mansion decked it out in some elaborate Halloween/Christmas decorations. The additions to this popular ride make it even more immersive and is a cult classic itself. The standby wait time explodes and the line backs up into the park walkways from September through December.
iNDIANA jONES aDVENTURE
There’s a rumor that Indy may get a second home in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, but for now he’s one of a kind. The Indiana Jones ride takes you on an adventure through the original franchise adventure. Complete with fire, zombie warriors, and….SNAKES!!! This ride will through you for a loop – well not literally, but it is pretty bumpy to say the least.
The real 8th wonder of the year and the most illusive of Disney Mountains, is the Matterhorn. A near exact replicate of it’s Italian namesake, this attraction is home to the notorious big foot, Harold. The first steel roller-coaster built in the US, the ride is well known for the backaches it educes. When it originally opened there were cut-outs through which the now extinct Skyway traversed through, there is also an employee breakroom in the very top which houses a half-sized basketball court. You’re likely to get a little splash from the waterfall, but you’ll catch one of the best views in the park.
What are some of your favorite unique attractions?