The highway driving in California is not one of the state’s best features and nowhere in the state does that become abundantly clearer than the freeway approach to the Los Angeles area. The slow bumper to bumper traffic takes hours and starts about 60 miles out and I won’t go into detail but the last 3 miles did take over 45 minutes to complete!
We are settled into the Anaheim RV Park. We were looking for a place close to Disneyland and found a couple that would work. Our quality expectations were low as this is a very urban area and not particularly upscale. We chose Anaheim RV only because it is the closest to Disney. We were so pleasantly surprised when we arrived to find a really nice, well maintained RV Resort with large concrete pads, swimming pools and shuttle bus service directly to Disneyland. I would easily recommend this park to all of our RV friends.
As most of you know Ellen kind of likes Disney a little, okay, maybe a lot, so a trip to DisneyLand in California has always been on our must do list. As you walk into the park it is immediately clear that the urban setting constrains the parks size but every Disney fan knows that long before they arrive. I found Main Street USA to be about 2/3 scale. It was kind of cool, everything was perfectly scaled smaller, the length of the street, the width of the sidewalks as well as the size of each of the shops along the way. Everything is in perfect scale until you see the Castle. Apparently Sleeping Beauty was not as affluent as Cinderella. The Castle is TINY! The Castle here is 77 feet tall which seems plenty large enough until you realize that the Florida Castle is just under 190 feet, more than twice as big!
Disneyland was great fun and is a very familiar setting as the layout and attractions are very much like the Magic Kingdom in Florida. We spent the day here and really enjoyed every minute of it. We even got to ride the “Nemo Submarine Voyage” which is an updated version of “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” that disappeared from DisneyWorld decades ago.
The best Disneyland feature for us was the Haunted Mansion. We have been visiting Disneyworld since its opening in the seventies and the Haunted Mansion has remained virtually unchanged throughout this time but here at Disneyland we got a real treat. You see, it’s almost Halloween and for this special time of the year the theme of the Haunted Mansion is transformed into “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas”. Oh My God! It was Awesome! The wait time was quite long but the transformation was incredible. The Tim Burton characters and theme were integrated into the Haunted Mansion so perfectly that it seemed like an entirely different and exciting attraction.
Disney has two theme parks here separated by a long courtyard, Disneyland to the right and California Adventure to the left. It is now day two and we decide to take the left into Disney’s California Adventure. This park is really exciting, it is newer, fresher and more upbeat than the more traditional Disneyland. I guess it’s a little bit of Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios but even better! There are many familiar attractions like Soaring, It’s Tough To Be A Bug, and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror but that only scratches the surface. The best stuff in California Adventure can’t be found in the Florida Parks. Grizzly River Run is a wet, splashing, whitewater river rafting adventure, the Radiator Springs Racers is an amazing ride through the route 66 landscape of yesterday, and the entire Paradise Pier area is just amazing!, bringing us back to a time of authentic seaside amusement parks with Ferris Wheels, Roller Coasters, and Carnival Games.
Every Disney Park has a nighttime light show or fireworks display and California Adventure’s “World Of Color” may be the best! The choreographed water features and laser light projections are absolutely stunning as the music plays and the lake in front of Paradise Pier comes to life in brilliant colors. We truly enjoyed ALL of Disney’s California Adventure and the “World Of Color” event was the perfect ending to a perfect day.