Just how brave are you? Are you willing to step into the long-lost Temple of the Forbidden Eye? According to legend, the temple’s powerful deity, Mara, has all kinds of terrifying torments in store for trespassers, from giant snakes and lava eruptions to screaming undead mummies.
If this sounds like the plot of an Indiana Jones film, that’s no surprise. It is, in fact, the set up for Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure which, in true Indy fashion, will take you on a hair-raising ride across collapsing bridges and careening round precipices. It is just one of the many rides at Disney’s neighbouring California theme parks, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park that brings your favourite movies to life.
First stop for many will be the rides associated with everyone’s favourite space saga: Star Wars. Disneyland’s Star Tours – The Adventure Continues – takes you travelling through hyperspace aboard a Starspeeder 1000 piloted by C3PO. It is one of the most addictive attractions in the entire park, for one simple reason: you never know where you will land. A series of randomly-selected storylines may see you transported to the oceans of Naboo or the ice world of Hoth, where you may encounter former Stormtrooper Finn, Yoda or even Darth Vader himself.
You can also visit an exhibition devoted to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, as well as taking a heart-pounding ride on Hyperspace Mountain, a space age roller coaster which takes you on one dizzying ride through a fierce battle between the Empire and the rebels. However, for Star Wars fans the best is yet to come. In 2019, Disneyland will unveil its new Star Wars Land, five hectares dedicated to fabulous adventures inspired by a galaxy far, far away.
Marvel Comics fans don’t have to wait quite that long for their next thrill, however. In addition to existing opportunities to meet Spider-Man and Captain America, Disney California Adventure Park is debuting a new Marvel ride on 27th May 2017. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! takes visitors inside a futuristic fortress, where they encounter Rocket Raccoon, who is trying to escape. Rocket enters the elevator with guests and disarms a generator, causing the elevator to go haywire.
Action fans aren’t the only ones who will find their favourite movies brought to life at the Disneyland Resort parks. Other favourite attractions include the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, where a trip to explore an underwater volcano leads to encounters with Nemo, his father Marlin and tiny turtle Squirt. Just as popular is Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, where you are recruited to help save the Little Green Men by fighting Zurg’s evil robots, armed with an Astro Blaster.
More fun awaits Pixar fans at Disney California Adventure Park in Cars Land, where the thrilling Radiator Springs Racers rockets you through the desert in a car race that includes some of your favourite characters and locations from the movie Cars. There are more memorable rides in A Bug’s Land, where you experience life as an insect, dwarfed by giant garden hoses spraying water and where a discarded umbrella doubles as a circus tent.
Over at Paradise Pier, go wild on Toy Story Midway Mania!, a 4D ride where the aim is to hit targets with your Spring-Action Shooter, or cheer on your favourite characters in the Pixar Play Parade. Another highlight is the night-time World of Color performance, where 1200 choreographed fountains create screens of mist on which images of classic Pixar and Disney films appear.
At Paradise Pier you can also sit in a giant clam shell and sink beneath the waves to explore the underwater world on The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. You can also meet Ariel and other Disney princesses over breakfast at Ariel’s Grotto.
Speaking of princesses: another don’t-miss attraction is Frozen Live at the Hyperion, which recreates the wonderful world of Anna and Elsa in a stage spectacular that your littlies (and grown-ups) will enjoy. For those who prefer their characters slightly hairier, head for Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!, where you join everyone’s favourite monsters on a wild ride through Monstropolis. Or have a friendly chat with Crush, the laidback turtle from Finding Nemo, in Turtle Talk with Crush.
Perhaps the most intriguing movie encounters, however, take place inside the Animation Academy. This is where you can discover how real movie magic happens, how animators use pencils and pixels to create these mesmerising movies.
The Sorcerer’s Workshop uses interactive exhibits to explain the tricks of the trade, from the optical illusions that convince your eyes that still images are in motion, and how a voice can portray a personality – give it a go yourself. There is even a quiz which reveals which Disney character you most resemble.
Perhaps the most exciting activity of all is an animation lesson in which you get step-by-step instructions on how to draw some of your favourite Disney characters – giving you a great souvenir to take home.
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.”