It has been a dream of mine to visit Disneyland to see where it all began. When I spoke with people, very often I was told how disappointed I would be. Its much smaller was what I heard, or does not compare to Florida. Hardly a positive comment ever. But I did not change my mind, and kept my plans to visit.
I was lucky to visit this summer, and even luckier to visit on my birthday! What a present!
Anytime I enter a park I always get goosebumps at my first view of the castle, and this was no exception. But it was definitely different… seeing a pink castle at the end of Main Street! But there was no disappointment. Only excitement that I was finally visiting the park where it all began.
I had done research on things and rides that I should not miss, so I did my best to see it all! The park was not officially open yet, so people were lined up at the end of Main Street. So we took this time to look around. We found the “Test Wall” where legend has it Walt tried different bricks out. If you are facing the castle, its the little side street to the right off of Main Street.
If you look at the photo, you will see a few different styles of bricks.
I found the park to be a bit smaller that the Florida Magic Kingdom, but I liked the cozier feel. The feeling of the smaller walkways, and mature plantings over the paths. I especially loved the teacups. Especially at night with the glowing lanterns.
I also loved the walk through Sleeping Beauty area in the castle. It was nice to see something other than an expensive restaurant within the castle. That is one of my favorite Disney Tales, so I could be a little biased….
But seriously how could you be disappointed with this sight? I know I certainly was not.
There are also some rides at this park not in Florida. Such as Mr. Toads wild ride, Pinocchio, Snow Whites Scary Adventures, and the Matterhorn to mention just a few. Its a Small World has never been a favorite of mine, but I actually enjoyed this version. Its a more grand display at this park, and has its own versions of Disney Characters throughout the ride.
Another thing you must see is the Fire Department building. At first it seems like an ordinary building, until you know the symbolism. Walt and his wife had an apartment on the second floor, and legend has it that when he was in residence, the light would be on. So the light is left on in tribute. I loved seeing this in person. It seemed surreal to me, to be in the park where it all began, and to walk in his footsteps.
Overall I loved my visit to the original park. Yes, it was different from Florida and yes it was smaller. But it made all of that up with its unique rides, and nostalgic features. Being an artist I thought of this as Walt’s first try. Whenever an artist creates, they are always striving to make changes and get better with their future work. You learn from mistakes, and successes. I can only imagine the parks that Walt would have created had he been around longer. I think that the company has done well without him, but you have to wonder how different the Parks would have been had he been here to direct them. We will never know, but I am thankful that someone took over the reigns and did their best, as the Disney Park legacy is a wonderful one. One that I enjoy visiting with my family, and keep going back. Because I love the creativity, the escapism that they provide. Thank you Walt!