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Planning a Family Getaway: Disneyland Attractions in Anaheim
The kids are back in school, leaves are starting to turn, and that recognizable early morning chill is in the air… there’s no doubt about it, fall is on the way. We all know that fall leads to winter (don’t remind us!), and that it can be a sanity-saver to start thinking ahead with plans for a (warmer) change of scenery and a family vacation during the winter break from school.
One of the most “magical” and family-friendly destinations to keep in mind is Disneyland in Anaheim, Ca. The theme park was opened in 1955 and conceptualized by the “man behind the mouse” himself, Walt Disney. To this day, the 160-acre expanse delights over 16 million guests each year, bringing families face-to-face with the timeless characters they grew up with and the friendly new faces their own children have come to love.
The park plays host to a number of iconic rides and attractions. Disneyland tickets are available year-round in the perpetually sunny Magic Kingdom, making it an ideal place for a family vacation. If you’re thinking about mingling with Mickey and Minnie on the West coast, here are a few of our favorite spots that offer a little something for everyone:
The Jungle Cruise has been a part of Disneyland since the very first day the park opened. Take a 10-minute tour of a simulated jungle landscape aboard a boat that takes you past hippos, headhunters, and elephants. None of these creatures are real, of course, but their replicas are pretty convincing! The tramp steamer cruises along and treats visitors to replicas of great rivers and their geographic locales, such as the Nile, the Amazon, and the Mekong River. Bring your binoculars to scope out some of the hidden characters sprinkled among the exotic foliage!
The Mad Tea Party
Disneyland’s famous teacups take visitors on a whirlwind of a ride that’s best experienced on an empty stomach. Modeled after the colorful cups that adorned the Mad Hatter’s table in Alice In Wonderland, this whirling dervish spins visitors around and around on a near-collision course with other wild teacups. Each of the cups has its own wheel in the middle that allows you to control just how fast and furious your teacup turns.
For the thrill-seekers among your family, the Haunted Mansion scares up some chills. This Disneyland attraction may not be suitable for very young children and could cause them a few sleepless nights. (Not exactly what any family wants to encounter on their vacation!) For others, however, the Haunted Mansion is a bona fide classic. Located in the New Orleans Square section of Disneyland, the Haunted Mansion boasts ghosts upon ghosts (999 of them, to be exact), and resembles a grand old Louisiana mansion. Take a ride in the Doom Buggy and see haunted portraits including the many husbands of decapitation-happy widow Constance, a never-ending hallway, and a graveyard populated with a slew of very social ghosts.
It may be one of the oldest rides in the park, but Space Mountain has still got the longest line! The wait time for this ride can be up to 120 minutes, so if you’re planning on experiencing this coaster, make sure you make preparations to avoid the wait or stay entertained. However, this coaster is certainly worth the wait. Housed in the Tomorrowland portion of the park, the Space Mountain rollercoaster opened in 1977 and has been dipping, diving, and delighting visitors ever since. The coaster stands 75 feet tall and whizzes along its tracks and drops at 32 mph. Space Mountain also has its own musical accompaniment, too. A tune by surf guitar legend Dick Dale and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ version of “Higher Ground” have provided the sonic backdrop for this epic ride.
The park itself is a prime Southern California attraction, but Disneyland's rides are certainly iconic in their own right. Do you have a favorite Disneyland ride? How many times have you visited the “park that Walt built”? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!