December 21, 2012

Three Classic Disneyland Experiences Many Guests Overlook

When touring Disneyland, it's important -- between E-ticket adventures -- to take in the calmer, more beautiful aspects of the park. Rushing through is like fast-forwarding through a movie to catch only the action scenes; the big picture gets lost in the shuffle. Our recommendation? If time permits, always try to work these three classic experiences into a visit:

1) Spend Time On the River
Disneyland Columbia Canoes Rivers America Frontierland
Whether you hop aboard the Mark Twain, set sail on the Columbia, or give your arms a workout on the Davy Crockett Canoes, make sure to take a lap around the Rivers of America. You'll enjoy several minutes of pure relaxation (unless you're in the canoes) while voyaging through some of the park's most beautiful environments, seemingly miles away from the crowds.

2) Ride the Horse-Drawn Street Cars
Disneyland Horse Drawn Street Car Main Street
Sure, it's a brief ride, but there's something about the gentle rumble of the streetcar and the clip-clop of the horse's hooves that soothes and relaxes even the most sunburned, frazzled traveler. Plus, it's the most casual and spur-of-the-moment ride experience at the park; you don't plan to ride -- it just happens. You see the streetcar pulling to a halt, and you head over and board. No waiting in line, no seat belts...and, blessedly, no need to navigate crowded sidewalks.

3) Visit Storybook Land
Disneyland Casy Jr. Circus Train Story Book Storybook Land
Many first time guests don't realize this (rather large) hidden neighborhood in Fantasyland exists at all. There are two ways to tour the beautiful landscapes and miniature villages of Storybook Land: a rollicking three-minute adventure about the Casey Jr. Circus Train, or a leisurely cruise on a Canal Boat. Either way, the sights are unforgettable.

These three experiences certainly aren't headliners like Pirates of the Caribbean or Indiana Jones, but they add additional depth and character to a Disneyland day. Walt put these experiences into his park for a reason, and when we take the time to slow down and enjoy these "non-blockbuster" attractions, the park really works its magic.


  1. I'm going to feel so much better prepared when I make my second trip to DL. Of course, with all the blog reading, but it's nice when you point out spots/activities like this too.

    Thanks Rich!

  2. You're so right about the waters of Disneyland. I went there for the first time as an adult (went as a kid in 1985), and one of my favorite parts was riding the boats. The Mark Twain was nice, and the Columbia was even better, particularly in the nearly perfect weather. It really adds flavor to that whole side of the park.


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