Top 3 Essential Things at Disneyland..... and DCA

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
When I was a kid there were so many more tourists at DL. Now I hardly notice any at all. I guess 5 international Disney parks opening around the world since then have something to do with it.
 

mandstaft

Well-Known Member
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Honest answer, the absolute most essential thing at Disneyland is not a ride, land, or show, it's the theme of Americana. The Disneyland Railroad, Main Street USA, Frontierland, Rivers of America, New Orleans Square, the Golden Age Disney classics. Not to say these particular attractions/lands are or aren't essential but the idea behind them is more important. As for rides that are essential, Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion more than anything else. Without that core theme and without those two rides, Disneyland would not be Disneyland, and any place that calls itself Disneyland but lacks these is not Disneyland.
You’re absolutely right,! This is also what makes it feel like Walt’s park.
 

The Empress Lilly

Well-Known Member
DL:
Really anything left from 55 to 67...

More specifically:
The whole walk from RR to castle. That most iconic street view in pop culture, an American landmark.
When You Wish Upon a Star under the castle gate.
The light left on for Walt above the Fire Station.

I literally would make the pilgrimage out West right now or anytime just to walk to the hub and back.

DCA:
I really don't care. I'll spend a nice enough afternoon there, but if next visit I found the entire thing razed and replaced by another park I wouldn't miss a thing.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
DL:
Really anything left from 55 to 67...

More specifically:
The whole walk from RR to castle. That most iconic street view in pop culture, an American landmark.
When You Wish Upon a Star under the castle gate.
The light left on for Walt above the Fire Station.

I literally would make the pilgrimage out West right now or anytime just to walk to the hub and back.

DCA:
I really don't care. I'll spend a nice enough afternoon there, but if next visit I found the entire thing razed and replaced by another park I wouldn't miss a thing.
Agree with everything about DL. DCA pales in comparison to DL but I would miss a few things. I would miss Grizzly Peak, Soarin Over California, Paradise Gardens. I’d probably miss the view of the pier too. Although it was nicer before the Pixar overlay.
 

BrianLo

Well-Known Member
When I was a kid there were so many more tourists at DL. Now I hardly notice any at all. I guess 5 international Disney parks opening around the world since then have something to do with it.
In part DLR has aggressively turned themselves into a locals / AP park. Nothing wrong with that per say, it does provide more predictable stability.

Florida is still very tourist heavy.
 

Rich T

Well-Known Member
These three elements are essential Disneyland to me—as in, without them I would probably not bother to ever go to the park again:

1. A Fantasyland full of classic Pre-1960’s Disney.
2. A charming, detailed, lively Main Street
3. The Mark Twain on a river that—dagnabbit—better not get any shorter.

And DCA? I love Cars Land and Buena Vista St. but in all honesty Disney could completely bulldoze DCA and I wouldn’t miss it much; I didn’t grow up with DCA and have little emotional attachment to it. It’s become the whatever park. Pixar Pier is garbage and Avengers’ Campus sounds about as charming as a can of expired tuna.
 
I had to think this one over a bit. Limiting it to just three was much harder than I thought, not helped by the fact that I haven't been able to visit these parks for well over a year now. But, here it is...

Disneyland
1) Space Mountain: This was an easy one. It was my first-ever roller coaster. For a ride with such a simple execution, it's still an absolute blast and one of my all-time favorites. Michael Giacchino's music makes this attraction for me! I also like how versatile it is in regards to the numerous ride overlays it has received over the years.

2) Believe...in Holiday Magic: My favorite of the Disney fireworks show. From the music to the post-show snowfall to the new visuals they map onto the castle, everything just flows beautifully. For me, this show is Christmas.

3) Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage: An bit of an interesting choice, but the original Submarine Voyage is the earliest Disney attraction that I have memories of. Even if Nemo isn't quite the same, I do love the unique experience of being in a submarine sitting below the water-level.

Disney California Adventure
1) Soarin' over California/Around the World: Of course, I prefer the "over California" version, but nonetheless it's amazing that the one unique attraction that DCA had in the 1.0 has since been cloned to the other parks around the world. It's another ride that's amazing despite a simple execution.

2) Paint the Night: I adore this parade so much! The music is definitely the most upbeat, happiest music I've ever heard. I also love the colorful floats (Big Mac and the final Mickey float being my favorites). Now if only they would cut back on the food festivals and actually show the damn parade for longer than a summer.

3) Cars Land: This was the shot in the arm that DCA desperately needed. It's still one of the most immersive areas Disney has ever done. Cadillac Range still blows my mind to this day. I especially love the food offerings at the Cozy Cone. And of course, there's Radiator Springs Racers...'nuff said.

Honorable mentions: Haunted Mansion (both normal and Holiday), Remember Dreams Come True, Incredicoaster (California Screamin' was my first looping coaster), Matterhorn Bobsleds, Casey Jr.
 
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