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A Family Guide to California's Disneyland

22nd January 2014

I was in my twenties when I first had the opportunity to visit Disneyland California but I still came away convinced it really was the happiest place on earth. From the moment you spy the colourful Mickey Mouse garden at the entrance to the impressive fireworks finale in the evening, the magic of Disney really is alive and kicking. Despite perhaps being older than the average attendee, I experienced firsthand the fun Disneyland offers with its impressive collection of rides and entertainment. A visit to Disneyland really is perfect for the whole family.

Disney ©Disney

Little ones will love a visit to Mickey’s Toontown, the colourful home of Mickey, Minnie and many more Disney friends. This charming little town will bring your favourite Disney characters to life, as you wander the colorful streets, enter the quirky houses and discover life as a Disney cartoon! Jump onboard Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin or if your kids are over 89cm tall, they can brave the Gadget’s Go Coaster. Grab a bite to eat at Daisy’s Diner or enjoy a hotdog from Pluto’s Dog House but don’t leave without meeting Mickey and Minnie!

Disneyland has an excellent selection of rides the whole family can enjoy. If you have kids of varying ages, you may find most of your time will be spent in Fantasyland. As you wander past the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle, you will enter a magical land filled with enchanting rides. The perfect way to start is with a delightful It’s a Small World cruise before joining Wendy and the lost boys on Peter Pan’s Flight. There’s also Mr Toad’s Wild Ride, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and the Mad Tea Party. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Disney Princesses that may grace you with their presence.

So many of Disneyland’s rides really are a blast, no matter how old you are. Teens can head to New Orleans Square to board the mysterious boat at the Pirates of the Caribbean or take a frightening tour of the Haunted Mountain. Cruise the jungles of Adventureland before entering the legendary Temple of the Forbidden Eye at Indiana Jones Adventure. Fly around the park on the high speed Disneyland Monorail before racing down the icy mountain on the Matterhorn Bobsled. In Tomorrowland, you can experience the Stars Wars universe onboard a motion simulated space flight or practise your Michael Jackson moves at the Captain EO 3D film tribute.

Thrill Seekers
Despite often being considered a child’s theme park, Disneyland also has a smattering of heart pounding rides for the brave. Perhaps the greatest of them all is Space Mountain, situated in Tomorrowland. This modern indoor roller coaster will take you on a high speed thrill ride as you are launched into the darkness of outer space. There’s also the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, where you can take a wild ride on a runaway mine cart or Splash Mountain, which features a steep finale. The Indiana Jones Adventure ride is also sure to give guests a fright.

You are never too old to experience the magic of Disney. You’ll find many of the rides at Disneyland will be entertaining for adults too, especially as you watch the joy on your kid’s faces. Don’t forget to set aside time to watch the spectacular Mickey Soundsational Parade that tours the Main Street most afternoons. An excellent performance of song and dance, the parade will feature all your favourite characters on a conga line of impressive floats. Finish your magical day with the dazzling fireworks display over Sleeping Beauty Castle.