David Letterman and I have a lot in common. We both stay up late, we both love New York, we both tell a lot of jokes, and we both LOVE top ten lists. List’s are somewhat of a theme on this blog, whether it be top five, or top ten. So today, when I was thinking about Disneyland, which I do often, I decided it was a necessity, to make a list of the top ten things that should not be missed at Disneyland. Ten things, that no trip, to the most magical place on earth, would be complete without (in our own, one sided opinions).
1. Peter Pan’s Flight
Here we go! (Points, if you catch the reference.) While both North American parks have a version of this ride, California’s is recently refurbished, with pixie dust firing on all cylinders. This is a Disneyland must-do, and should probably be the first thing you attempt to accomplish in your day, as it doesn’t have a FassPass, and lines can become long enough to make you wanna cry.
2. Indiana Jones Adventure
This is a Disneyland original, that’s a clear example of Disney magic at it’s finest. Even the queue you walk through to get to the ride should not be missed, as it’s as much a part of the experience. Even non-fans of the Indiana Jones movies (like myself), will love this ride, and want to experience it multiple times.
3. Space Mountain
We love Disneyland’s superior version of Space Mountain – mainly because it doesn’t leave us feeling like we need to go to the chiropractor immediately after riding.
4. New Orleans Square
Exclusive to Disneyland, New Orleans Square is intricately detailed, and full of jazz music, and must eat Mickey shaped snacks (BEIGNETS!!). This is also where you will find the far superior version of Pirate’s of the Caribbean, and The Haunted Mansion.
5. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
This ride is a Disney classic that we personally think is better at night. There’s a loose story behind the ride, which centers around a mining town hit by tragedy.
6. The Plaza Inn Fried Chicken
This disease curing, manna from heaven is available to you WITHOUT A RESERVATION. The Disney gods have smiled upon us, giving lovingly with both hands. The Plaza Inn, which overlooks Main Street and was decorated by Walt’s wife, is set up cafeteria style, and should not be missed.
Ever wonder what goes on in the mind of Mickey Mouse? Spoiler – it’s just as charming and magical as you might think. This nighttime show on The Rivers of America features a good vs evil battle for the frontier of Mickey’s imagination, using fountains, fire, puppets, characters, and fireworks. I’ll give you one guess who wins.
8. Paint The Night
I have a confession to make – when SpectroMagic was retired from Walt Disney World, years ago, I never let it go. I held deep grudges against the Main Street Electrical Parade, refusing to watch it, because it took the spot of my childhood favorite. In my mind, no light parade, could ever hold a candle to SpectroMagic. Well, I’m eating crow. Paint The Night, with it’s flashy lights, catchy music, and beautiful floats, has won me over, and I am a huge fan. It NEEDS to have a spot on your vacation itinerary.
9. Disneyland Forever Fireworks
Disneyland Forever strikes the right balance between being visually stunning, and making you wanna bawl your eyes out because you’re overcome with emotion. It tugs on all the right heartstrings, without ever feelings manipulative or cloying.
10. Storybook Land Canal Boats
We understand that this is a dark horse, underdog pick to finish out our list. But we love this peaceful, beautiful boat ride that takes you past scenes from your favorite Disney movies. Plus, we did say that this was a biased list, did we not?
We encourage you to try everything Disneyland has to offer, as you never know what your favorite might end up being! (For example, David and I are obsessed with Astro Orbiter as Walt Disney World, which we never would have known, if we had only followed top ten lists). The park is full of magical experiences, and everything is worth trying at least once.