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Brian Bennett

Back ] Disneyland Trip Planning Guide - Contents ]

 

Forward
Forward  |  Why Travel to Disneyland?  |  My Favorite Things at Disneyland

Resources

Disneyland Trip Planning Phone List  |  Critique of Published Disneyland Trip Guide Books  |  Other Disneyland Resources on the Web

Planning Ahead

Planning Your Trip  |  What Time of Year You Should go to Disneyland  |  How Many Days Do You Need to "See It All?"  |  Other Attractions in Southern California  |  Estimating What Your Trip Will Cost  |  Rental Car Considerations  |  What You Should Pack to Take on Your Trip

Accommodations

Should You Stay On or Off Site?  |  Off Site Accommodations  |  Disneyland Area Campgrounds  |  Disneyland's "Good Neighbor Hotels"  |  On Site Hotels  |  Grand Californian  Hotel  |  Disneyland Hotel  |  Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel

Disneyland Resort Primer
A Disneyland / WDW Comparison  |  The Ins and Outs of Disneyland Reservations  |  How to Use Disneyland's Transportation System  |  Developing a Daily "Game Plan"  |  The Daily Afternoon Break Touring the Parks With Kids  |  Touring the Parks With an Infant  |  Touring the Parks with Disabled Guests

The Parks
General Issues
  |  All About Admission Media (i.e. Tickets)  |  General Park Operating Hours  |  "Magic Mornings", the Disneyland Resort's Version of Early Entry  |  Fastpass -- Disney's New "Virtual Queue"  |  Disneyland  |  Details-at-a-Glance  |  Touring the Park  |  Attractions  |  Shopping  |  Disneyland Shows and Entertainment  |  Parade of Stars  |  Believe: There's Magic in the Sky  |  Fantasmic!  |  Disney's California Adventure  |  Details-at-a-Glance  |  Touring the Park  |  Attractions  | Shopping  |  Eureka! The California Adventure Parade

Everything Else
Downtown Disney  |  Guided Tours of Disneyland

Disneyland Restaurant Resource

First, if you couldn't find it here, I would appreciate it if you would click on this link and send me a message to tell me what's missing.  I'll do my best to "fill in the blanks" as soon as possible.

My Favorite Things at Disneyland

This is just a fun list...enjoy

  • Entering the turnstiles, walking under the train station, and viewing the castle for the first time every trip

  • The amazing quaintness of Disneyland. From the moment you first gaze down Main Street, it's small, compact...and more inviting that the same vista in the Magic Kingdom in Florida

  • The turn-of-the-century music in the town square of Main Street

  • The big dill pickles you can buy in the cul-de-sac east of Main Street

  • Smelling the bakery and the candy shop

  • Rod and Alan playing four-hand piano at Coke Corner in the evenings

  • Swing dancing on Saturday nights

  • Bengal Barbecue

  • Pirates of the Caribbean...I love the extensive treasure caves and the atmosphere of the bayou

  • The Blue Bayou Restaurant...nothing like it anywhere else

  • Strolling past the lawns and gardens surrounding Sleeping Beauty's castle

  • Riding the mountains (Matterhorn, Space, Splash, and Big Thunder)

  • Listening to the phone "conversations" in the Main Street Market House

  • The jungle cruise...the queue themeing is great (it's not new anymore, but refreshing compared to Florida)

  • Fantasmic...the best nighttime show anywhere anytime

  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye

  • The shops of Main Street and New Orleans Square

  • The Disneyland Rail Road

  • The original Disney monorail

  • The "streets" of New Orleans Square

  • The fireflies at the Blue Bayou restaurant

  • Flowers everywhere

  • Alice in Wonderland

  • The soundtrack in Space Mountain

  • Casey Junior

  • Storybook Land Canal Boats (especially Monstro)

  • Toontown...what Toontown Fair should have been

  • The Grand Canyon Diorama...and the dinosaurs

  • The Disney Gallery


ENTROPYM, a fellow alt.disney.disneyland poster, compiled the following list:

"I liked Shoshana Lewin's Your favorite DL spot topic so much that I compiled them into a single document so that I can check them all out the next time that I'm in Disneyland in May. I thought that some of you would also like it in this form. Thanks to all that contributed."

Shoshana Lewin <c693256@showme.missouri.edu>

I thought it was time for one of these. What is your favorite SPOT in Disneyland. I don't mean a ride or a show. I mean a place spot in the park that you adore. I have two. 1) The area right next to the ticket window before you go through the turnstile and can hear the train announcers voice. 2) The area that leads past Snow White's Grotto and the wishing well.

How about you?

lparker@uniserve.com (Scott Parker)

Two spots in particular: 1. the place in the entry to Fantasyland where Jiminy Cricket sings "When You Wish Upon a Star". 2. the Koi pond near Big Thunder.

neilkz@earthlink.net

I have to second Scott's favorite place. Entering the Castle to hear When You Wish Upon A Star. It really makes me believe that I'm REALLY at DL, that it's not a dream :-) As an East Coast transplant from 12 years ago, well... sometimes it's hard to believe that I now live only 8 miles from DL.

tracyannce@aol.com (TracyAnnCE)

My favorite spot is the flower garden right near the main entrance that makes up a picture of Mickey's face. Every time my parent's and I have gone to DL (since I was 5), my mom has taken a picture of my dad and I in front of it!

jiminycesq@aol.com (JiminyCEsq)

I can't pick a favorite, but I always enjoy breakfast at the Riverbelle Terrace - the birds, the flowers, the steamboat Walt rode on their anniversary, the Gallery to the side, and a gentle breeze. Not crowded early, quiet, pretty, and relaxing. I would also have to say the statue in the hub, looking down Main Street or at the castle, and realizing how many countless thousands have enjoyed the magic over 42 years.

jjeisner@ix.netcom.com (DMC Jim)

I like the back road to Fantasyland. The area between Big Thunder and the Hunchback show. There are benches there. There used to be quail and other such small birds in cages in the middle of the walkway. My favorite spot, however, is way back in the back of the upper level of the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country. I even have a favorite table. I just like it because it's quiet, secluded and peaceful. The train or the Mark Twain pass by every once in a while. I really love the Song of the South music that they play in the restaurant and most areas of the land. To me, it's just the best of all worlds.

shersaint1@aol.com

Hey! That's (way back in the back of the upper level of the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country) one of my favorite spots, too! It ties with the pathway from the Hub to Tomorrowland....I like watching the people go by, and listening to the Princesses CD at Ariel's grotto.

gjw <webmaster@cityofcarson.com>

Hmmmm... I couldn't choose just one. I like (in no particular order):

  • the courtyard in New Orleans Square, at the base of the staircase (where the portrait artists do business.)

  • the lower level (back) of the Hungry Bear Restaurant, complete with ducks.

  • the Blue Bayou's eternal "twilight"...

  • the castle entrance (complete with "When You Wish Upon a Star").

  • the Snow White wishing well (reminds me of my first visit to DL as a child).

  • the view of Main Street's Town Square as you first enter through the tunnels.

  • the Disney Gallery.

  • the patio of the River Belle Terrace during breakfast, with its view of the River.

  • the small bridge near the moat, between Carnation Garden and the Castle.

  • the "looking back" view of the "back" of the castle, as seen from the quad between the castle and the carousel.

  • the hub on warm summer nights, at twilight, with the twinkling lights in the trees.

Greg <treat@earthlink.net>

Hmmmmmm.............. I like so many that I have Spots before my eye's. Actually, some of my favorite spots are missing. Like sitting in the Skyway Buckets overlooking the whole park especially when it got stuck, the Old Petting Zoo and Sitting in the Blue Bayou at the Waters edge, The Stairway behind the Disney Gallery and the seating area in Critter Country Food Court that over looks the Rivers of America from the second level

shoskins@ix.netcom.com(Steve)

I love to sit on the benches facing the castle where the horse-drawn trolley stops, and watch the antics of the horses (as well as the antics of the guests that don't know the horses better). Another favorite spot to sit and enjoy nature is at the far end of the upper patio area at the Hungry Bear Cafe, with the river on one side, woods on the north, and the railroad trains passing often next to the patio. It's usually relatively quiet there, and the sounds of the birds can be nice and relaxing at times.

Seawolf <seawolf@wolfenet.com>

You know threads like these are killing me!:) My husband and I went to DL last November and I've been going through withdrawals since. I have to wait until 1999 to go back...but at least we're planning to see WDW next year for our 10th anniversary!

Blue Bayou is one of my very favorite places, as is the enclosed eating area in New Orleans Square. We spent a lot of time there, relaxing, watching people go by and the traffic on the Rivers of America. We felt totally removed from the hubub.

damato@NOSPAM.beachnet.com (Andrew Rich)

  • Snow White Grotto

  • Sleeping Beauty Castle walk through

  • Fantasia Gardens (when it's not covered in Light Magic construction)

  • Front cabin on the Monorail

  • Patio seating at Carnation Ice Cream Parlor... oops.

  • IJA "outside" queue area when the line isn't going through -- swing music!

  • Disney Gallery back patio

  • Hungry Bear restaurant, top deck, all the way back.

  • Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo... oops.

  • Carnation Plaza Gardens, Sunday afternoons -- swing music!

tggrfn@aol.com

Sitting on the porch at the Disney Gallery surveying all the surrounding activity. I want to live up there and have all my meals on that porch. Sitting in Critter Country, back by the stream, before they used that area as a place for guests to meet Pooh. It's beautiful back there. The Festival of Fools area, especially during an evening performance followed by fireworks. Standing by the trash can near the exit of Dumbo, to watch Tink "crash land" after she ignites Fantasy In The Sky.

64Valient <mopar64@ix.netcom.com>

IMHO, nothing beats that quiet spot on the other side of the Columbia dock near where the splash mountain logs come out at the river.

bartdavid@aol.com

Favorite Disney spot.....hmmmmm I would have to choose the Main Street Square, watching the kids line up to talk to Mickey in front of the Opera House. Whenever I need a TRUE DOSE of Disney Magic, I watch a Kid's face.

entropym@aol.com

It's more of a time than a place, but I love the feeling that I get when, during early entry, I walk under the tunnel and get my first glimpse of Main Street. The pavement is wet and the air is crisp. There is almost no one there and the music is playing. CMs dressed as Kops greet you and implore the kids (and myself) not to run. I invariably say to myself "I love this place." I want so much to take my time and enjoy it, but hey, the line on Indy is getting longer! Other than that, I like to get a Coke and sit on the front porch about noon, before the sun is on it.

pantryman@aol.com (Pantryman)

For me it would have to be the courtyard of the Tiki Room. Cheesy Hawaiian music, lush plants, and Thurl Ravenscroft interrupting from time to time. That all goes well with a Dole whip. I have to agree with all those that mentioned Hungry Bear. Great place to zone out. Another great place is a log on Tom Sawyers island that overlooks cascade peak. Really nice.

scott@sannet.gov

I have a few favorites: The landing way up at the top of the Swiss Family Treehouse. From there, you can look down at NOS and the Rivers of America. The tree house on Tom Sawyer Island. When there aren't kids climbing around it, you can have a really peaceful rest while viewing NOS from the opposite direction of the SFT view above. The bench on the island that sits opposite the Hungry Bear Restaurant. Shady, quiet, and you can watch all of the silly tourists feed their expensive food to the ducks.

cunn0041@gold.tc.umn.edu (Adelard of Bath)

Well, personally, I like walking through the two tunnels right at the entrance there, and looking at the old-style attraction posters, because then you know that you are about to spend a day at Disneyland. And I don't know if this counts or not, since it's technically a ride, but I love to be on the top of the Mark Twain steamboat at night and watch Tom Sawyer island and stuff while the groovy banjo music plays and that captain guy tells stories. Oh, and walking around anywhere in the park when there is no one left, i.e. like at 1 am. Especially main street, with all the lights on, and all that. Especially during Christmas time,,,ya got that music playing, and there's the huge Christmas tree, and all kinds of good stuff.

bumala@agena.space.lockheed.com

Okay, that's it; I was going to say that!! Isn't it nice to sit and watch the people and the ducks and the Mark Twain, and maybe wave to folks on the Columbia as they go by? Makes some nice photo ops, too. I also like the wishing well by the castle; it's easy to miss, quiet and pretty. The story on the figurines is interesting, too (according to the Bob Thomas biography), and I love Ms. Adriana Caselotti's voice issuing from the well.

itlnemo*@*slumberland.com (Wendi Dunlap Simpson)

Here are mine (not in any particular order):

  • The Snow White wishing well... especially right at closing time. I usually stop by there right before leaving the park.

  • The front porch of the Disney Gallery, where I like to stand and imagine living there and coming out to that view every morning. :)

  • As everyone else said, at Hungry Bear by the edge of the river.

  • Standing in the center of Adventureland while the steel drum band is playing and watching the hubbub while eating food from Bengal Barbecue.

  • Eating at water's edge in the Blue Bayou.

  • The gate through the castle, with "When You Wish Upon A Star" playing.

encore@cats.ucsc.edu (Kaszandra A Liput)

Wow, reading all these make me feel as though I'm there. *sigh* :) (in no particular order) My favorite spots:

  • the courtyard in New Orleans Square

  • walking down main street, at night, around Christmas time. With the decorations all up, and the lights twinkling away...to this day it still gives me shivers.

  • the benches by the rivers of America near the big Thunder exit

  • anywhere around the rivers of America right near closing time when it's dark and quiet and beautifully still

  • IJA queue late at night when it's nearly completely empty and I can walk through the queue slowly, alone, pretending. It's wonderfully creepy (in that safe Disney way). ;)

  • the festival arena. (yeah, no big surprise there) When the show was first running they had the curtains open in the mornings so you could actually go in and look around a little. I remember the feeling I got the first time I saw it. (I knew nothing more about the FoF than that it was a "street show of sorts") In the daylight, bare stages, devoid of people, it still overwhelmed me. I loved it at night watching the fireworks as well. I hope they do that again this summer.

  • anywhere I see a kid spontaneously run into a character they adore. Their faces just light up and the magic is rarely more evident than in those moments. Actually I've seen some adults with the same reactions, so I can't attribute it solely to kids :) A reason I despise lines to see the characters though. Kinda takes the magic out of the whole thing :(

Ross Plesset <RPlesset@webtv.net>

One of my favorite spots is the former location of the Disneyland Miniature Golf Course (on West and Cerritos) because I have fond child hood memories of that attraction.

tory@eskimo.com.remove.to.reply (Tory Klementsen)

I love the area on Tom Sawyer's Island near the water wheel. Hardly anyone ever goes there. Lots of times my husband and I would go there and just sit and hold hands watching the ducks and water bugs. Every once in awhile we'd sneak a few kisses and feel like the only people in the world. I also used to love the People Mover because it moved it's way slowly through the park. We'd always go on it when we were tired. He would rub my feet and we'd just enjoy people watching.

doctor@cyberhighway.net (The Doctor)

Well, no one else has said it, but I'm gonna hafta submit Tom Sawyer Island. There is a small dock across from the restaurant on the mainland where you can sit and enjoy watching the baby ducks swim in the spring.

Angela <aland@vvm.com>

I really love the porch on Main Street. Whether I'm sitting on it, or even watching others enjoy time on it, as I make my way toward the castle. It is so comfortable. It's the way home should feel. I didn't answer the favorite Disney song, but I feel it's appropriate now, even in this thread... It's "On the Front Porch" sung by the late Burl Ives from Summer Magic. I imagine I will love that song when I'm old and gray too.

Also the tables right outside the Main Street lockers. The past 3 times at DL, the groups I've gone with, grab a quick taste of fruit from the fruit cart, and enjoy it there first thing in the morning as we talk about the rides we want to see, and what time and where to meet for lunch. It's really an exciting part of our day.

Karen O'Mara <karen@randomgraphics.com>

I never responded to this one because it was just too hard to decide. Then, when I saw Angie mention the front porch, I knew I could make a choice. This is a great scheduled meeting spot, and I like to show up early so I can just watch the world go by.

sherinot@aol.com

My favorite spot isn't IN the park. When you approach the park from the freeway after a long car trip and get that FIRST glimpse of the Matterhorn, and you know you're finally at Disneyland!!!!!!

Amy Hill <ahill@pinpt.com>

My favorite spot is the Blue Bayou at about 2pm on a hot summer day at a waterside table with the jazz trio on the balcony. Mmmm...

diz2000@aol.com (Diz2000)

My two favorites spots are

  • the fountain area between the Frontierland train station and the HM. I think its great to sit there and watch the ROA ships go by.

  • I like sitting next to the small stream by the Country Bears in Critter Country. Although I am STILL waiting for a small brook trout to swim up stream. I guess the ducks will have to do...

imtigger@aol.com (IM TIGGER)

My first favorite spot is the small dock across from Big Thunder Mountain RR. Most people don't realize it's there or that you CAN actually go up the ramp to a small dock area. Even on a crowded day no one goes up there. Try this dock for Fantasmic for a different perspective. You can't really see most the show like the stage and the water projections, but the cast and characters "play" with you just before their floats/boats go "on stage"... it's really cool. You also have a quick escape route when the show is over. Also, this is a nice spot to see the fireworks as well. You can see the Matterhorn and the Castle from the dock. Some of my other fav spots are:

  • The porch

  • On a hot, crowded day, I go to the large tree behind the fort on Tom Sawyer Island and lay between the large "V" the tree creates, it's nice and cool in the shade!

  • The waterfall at the Country Bear exit... as well as that whole area.

  • The bridge and seating where the Columbia docks Hotel:

  • The table at the Wharf Bar that hangs out over the water (is that still there?)

  • The large waterfall at the hotel

Shoshana Lewin <c693256@showme.missouri.edu>

Thank you all for responding to this post! I probably won't be back in Disneyland until next winter break. I'll be spending the summer in Missouri getting residency. All of your responses sure put a smile on my face. Just thinking about all of those places reminds me of the magic and the memories and I wish I was there right now instead of here at school about to take an exam. Thank you again!:)

 

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