Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Visit to Disneyland, Anaheim, California

This year we decided to go to Disneyland and Universal Studios during Thanksgiving holidays. We thought it will be less crowded in Disneyland on Thanksgiving Day (November 26). But we did not take into account that the previous day, Wednesday, November 25, is the most travelled day in the USA. That is the day we drove from our home to Disneyland. The distance is 356 miles (573 km). We usually cover this distance in 4 hours plus 30 minutes snack/lunch break midway. Since there was heavy traffic on Highway 5, it took us 8 hours and 30 minutes to reach our destination. We stayed in a hotel opposite to Disneyland.

At the Disneyland entrance

The next morning we went to Disneyland. We have been there many times. Therefore, we have decided to visit for only one day and see those attractions that we did not see before. We were expecting a long line to purchase the tickets. But to our surprise there was no line in the ticket counter. We bought the tickets and went inside.

Since it was a Thanksgiving Day, there was a special Turkey Parade at 10 AM. It was very colorful.

Special Turkey Day Parade

We first visited Pirates of the Caribbean. Even though it was less crowded in the Park, we had to wait for 30 minutes in the lines to see this. The ride is built underground and it is filled with water. We travel in small boats and see the exploits of the treacherous Captain Jack Sparrow who is going after the buried treasure. The special effects and the way the story is told in the very Disney style are awesome. The 2003 Movie “Pirates of the Caribbean” is based on this Disney attraction.

A snapshot from inside the "Pirates of the Caribbean"

After this, we decided to visit the Haunted Mansion Holiday. This is available from September to January only each year. This incorporates Tim Burton’s story “A Nightmare Before Christmas”. We are supposed to scream and shout as we see the ghosts. Of course, there were lots of screams in the dark by many visitors. We, personally, were disappointed. We think Chamber of Horrors in Madame Tussauds in London is much better than this.

Outside the Haunted Mansion

Then we took a ride on the sailing ship Columbia. This is the exact replica of the first American ship to sail around the world. The ship sails through the “Rivers of America”. There is a museum in the lower deck. We can see the ship employees’ (Captain, Crew, and Doctor) quarters and the galley. For this ship, they use the same U.S. flag that was used in 1787.

On the deck of Sail Ship Columbia

It is now 2:00 PM. We left the park to have some lunch and take a break. They put a stamp on your left hand which will enable you to reenter the Park.

We got back in the park around 5:00 PM. They have 2 daily parades. One at 2:30 PM and another at 5:30 PM. We saw the second one. We videotaped portions of the parade with our digital camera. It was very fascinating.

Then we took the Disneyland Railroad to tour the entire park. It is one of the most popular attractions. It has 4 stations. The Main Street, New Orleans Square, Mickey’s Toontown, and Tomorrowland. You can get down at any station. Or, you can keep riding all day in this train. Between Tomorrowland and Main Street, we can see Grand Canyon and Primeval World.

Finally, before watching the fireworks, we went for the most popular attraction “It’s a Small World”. There was a 45 minute wait. If it was a regular day, the waiting time would be around 2 hours. It is a boat ride. It is located in the Fantasyland area. The boat goes softly and smoothly and you can witness more than 300 brightly costumed dolls and animals sing the following song:

It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small small world

The costumes represent more than 100 nations. The dolls sing this song in 5 languages. It is a wonderful and unforgettable experience. It will make you come back here more and more.

Dolls inside the "It's a Small World"

At 9:25 PM the fireworks began. It lasted 17 minutes. One simple word to describe these fireworks. Spectacular. This and It’s a Small World will make you come back to Disneyland again and again.


  1. nice!!! glad you had fun...i wanna go visit disney sometime too..maybe next year :D

  2. what a fun to read the post..even we lovd small world and then Jungle cruise also and splash mountain..but haunted house is only for kids I think,in madam Tussad it is really scary, even my dad was so scared:)
    I havent been to the ship, may be some other time...its realy a dream world.

  3. Amazing! I thought Disneyland's POTC was inspired from the Johnny Depp one!

    You didn't go on other rides? High-thrill ones?

    "Its a small world after all" - sounds very cute.

    All in all, a fun day huh? :-)

  4. how exciting.. I want to take my daughter there once.. Dunno how n when!! but ya! surely once!! :)

  5. Thanks for your comments Titaxy. I am sure you will enjoy your trip to Disneyland next year.

  6. Thanks for your comments Antarman. Your London experience is same as ours. Thanks.

  7. Thanks for your comments lostworld. It's a small world after all is the most popular show. I am glad you liked it.

  8. Thanks for your comments MM. I am sure one of these days you and your family will be visiting Disneyland in California. I guarantee it.

  9. Glad you had lot of fun. I went to Anaheim and kept roaming outside DisneyLand. We were 4 people; we had 2 tickets and the other 2 were not interested. The two of us didnt want to go without them; so instead we roamed outside for a while; had lunch at iHOPs and left. Hope to visit it some day

  10. Thanks for your comments Insignia. I was waiting for that. I am sorry you were so close to Dinnyland but did not go. But I have to admire you for staying up with your friends and not abandoning them. That is what friendship is for. I am sure you will have an opportunity to visit Disneyland very very soon.

    It is amazingly true that we had our breakfast in the same IHOP.

  11. Oh what a sheer joy. I just love Disneyland, be it anywhere. But you'll be surprised to know that I've never been inside yet. I don't even know where in India they have a fun park!

    Forest Warbler

  12. Quite informative!! Thanks for sharing!! Glad to know after a long drive you people had fun..

  13. Thanks for your comments Bhavesh. I am less familiar with India. May be someone else can tell you.

  14. Thanks for your comments Swatantra. Our long drive was on Wednesday. We had a good night rest. So it was OK. Also, the roads and the car here make it not so tired.

  15. Glad that your Dinnyland vacation went great even if no air-journey was involved.Special turkey day parade sounds cool.We have been to Florida DL,it was its 25th anniversary and LION KING was ruling was an amazing experience.might visit again by the end of next year when we attend our niece's Arengatram-ceremony...i want my kids to experience Dinnyland fun.

  16. Beautiful colorful post, the turkey parade n fireworks looks cool :)

    573km in 4 hrs!! Thats very fast by indian standards :)

    enjoyed the post.

  17. Thanks for your comments Kavita. I hope you visit the Disneyland in California because that is the original. Your kids will enjoy.

  18. Thanks for your comments Rajlakshmi. Yes, we drove at 90 miles per hour. The maximum speed limit in Highway 5 is 70 MPH. But if we go in that speed, it will look as if we are the slowest driver.

    I am glad you enjoyed this post. By Sunday morning Indian time, I will have another post in which you all will be able to enjoy the video/music clips from Disney,

  19. I only have two words for you...


    Nikita Khrushchev
    (risen from the grave so I can post on your blog)

  20. Thanks for your comments Nikita. On October 12, 1960, you took off one of your shoes at the United Nations and banged it on the table because you were angry at a particular resolution. The smell from that shoe was so horrible the entire UN building had to be vacated. That is why Walt Disney denied admission for you at the Disneyland. Walt did not want another incident like the UN and all the thousands of visitors on the day you wanted to vist Disneyland to run away from the Park. Ha Ha Ha

  21. It was very interesting to read your post. We saw some of the places you have explained, when we were there. You have given a good description.

    We did not go by the ship. Next time. Have you seen Kamal's 'Sathi Leelavathi'? He often uses this, 'its a small worldunga!'

    Enjoyed reading this post, SG!

  22. Thanks for your comments Sandhya. I am glad you liked the Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. Yes, I have seen that movie.

  23. ahhh.. am some jealous right now.. make that envy.. not even able to go home.. and u are veruppuethufying me with such wonderful experiences.. looks like u have roamed around the world quite well..
    the movie was based on this?? interesting..

  24. This is a very interesting blog and so i like to visit your blog again and again. Keep it up.