Walt Disney’s original theme park has some thrilling new attractions.
Strap yourself in for a ride with a difference. Disneyland Park’s most famous rollercoaster, Space Mountain, has blasted into a new incarnation as Hyperspace Mountain. While there are still as many twists and thrills as before, what’s different is that this time, riders are given a mission – by none other than Star Wars’ Admiral Ackbar, head of the Rebel Alliance.
The task is to reconnoitre an imperial Star Destroyer. An X-wing squadron escorts you into hyperspace; however, you will find yourself caught in a trap, with a Star Destroyer and a squad of fighters lying in wait for you. Get set for evasive manoeuvres amid a barrage of blaster fire.
For Star Wars fans, Hyperspace Mountain is just the beginning of the adventure. Although Disneyland Park’s extraordinary new Star Wars Land won’t open until 2019, there is plenty to keep aficionados interested in the meantime. Explore the in-depth exhibit dedicated to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and snap a selfie with Chewbacca while you are there.
The highlight for most fans, however, will be taking a turn on Star Tours – The Adventure Continues, in which you board a Starspeeder 1000 piloted by C3PO. The destination changes with each ride: you may find yourself soaring above the ice world of Hoth, deep beneath the oceans of Naboo, or caught up in an intergalactic battle above Coruscant. No wonder that so many people get off the ride and get straight back in line!
Disneyland Park may be the world’s most famous theme park, but it is always reinventing itself. New attractions sit side-by-side with returning favourites, such as Fantasmic! This night-time musical extravaganza, returning in July, is known for its spectacular digital displays projected onto water and onto the sky. Among the scenes you will see are some classics from Fantasia, complete with princesses and pink elephants. Another after-dark favourite, which has been around since 1956, is the colourful fireworks display, still the classic way to finish a Disney day.
That is, of course, part of the joy of visiting Disneyland Park: the enduring charm of old favourites which are just as you remember them. No-one is ever too old to take a delightfully dizzying ride in the spinning teacups, or soak up the feel-good fun of It’s a Small World. (Yes, it’s fine to sing along.) If you are more familiar with Pirates of the Caribbean as a movie than as a ride, it’s time to discover this long-time fan favourite, which actually inspired the movie. Take a swashbuckling ride past burning towns and Dead Man’s Lagoon, and keep your eyes peeled for guest appearances from Captain Barbossa and Jack Sparrow.
If you are something of an adrenaline addict, there is also plenty to choose from. Take a trip down the river in a hollowed-out log on Splash Mountain, but be prepared for the hair-raising five-storey plunge at the end. If you make it through that experience, then test your nerves in the Haunted Mansion, home to 999 ghosts, ghouls and goblins, or try your luck in a mysterious ancient temple on the Indiana Jones Adventure.
Travelling with the littlies? Then head straight for Mickey’s Toontown, where the tots can visit the homes of Mickey and Minnie. Other Toontown favourites include hopping into a toon cab on Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, or twisting and tumbling on Gadget’s Go Coaster.
Nothing will give the children a bigger thrill than meeting their favourite Disney characters and there are plenty of opportunities to snap a selfie with a big or small-screen favourite. Head to Mickey’s Toontown to meet up with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto; track down Tinker Bell and her fairy friends at Pixie Hollow; or get a cuddle from Winnie the Pooh in Critter Country.
For the best breakfast ever, head to Plaza Inn for the popular Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park. The buffet dishes, including waffles and made-to-order omelettes, are delicious, but the real treat is getting to meet Minnie Mouse and some of her best mates.
In fact, meals at Disneyland Park can be as colourful as the park’s better-known attractions. Take Café Orleans, inspired by New Orleans’ Cajun and Creole flavours, which serves up signature dishes such as crepes and the Monte Cristo sandwich. Feast on Mexican flavours such as chili and huevo rancheros at the Carnation Café, or soak up the Alpine feel of Edelweiss Snacks, where you can watch bobsleds race over the ice as you munch on turkey legs. On a hot day, a scoop of ice cream from Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream hits the spot.
With so much on offer, you could easily spend several days exploring all that the park has to offer. However, if you are ready for a double dose of Disney, consider buying a Park Hopper ticket, which gives you entrance into both the theme parks that make up the Disneyland Resort: Disneyland Park and neighbouring Disney California Adventure Park. It is the perfect option for those who believe too much Disney is barely enough.
As to Disney artwork/ properties: ©Disney. ©Disney/Pixar. ©2017 MARVEL. ©Disney/Lucasfilm Ltd. © &™ Lucasfilm Ltd.
“There is a place, like no other. Where a walk down Main Street can fill you with wonder. Where magic is spread with every touch and the spirit of imagination lives on. So make the time, to take your time because at the Disneyland Resort in California there’s Magic for Days. Contact your local Travel Agent to book your dream Disney holiday.”