Just across the Square, you’ll find City Hall and the Fire Station. The Disneyland fire station holds a very special significance. Walt Disney was ever-present during the construction and first 11 years of the park’s existence (until his death in 1966), so much so that he had a private apartment built above the Disneyland Fire Dept. so that he and his family had a place to stay in the park while he watched over daily operations. In the front window of the apartment was a small lamp that, when turned on, clued the Cast Members in on the fact that Mr. Disney was in the park. When Walt died, the lamp was turned on and has not been turned off since. Some may call me crazy, but when I walk into the park (and then as I am leaving the park for the last time on my trip) I say “Good morning,” and “See you next time,” in the direction of the Disney apartment. I guess it is my own little way of thanking the man who built the park that both kids, and the kids in all of us adults, have come to love so much.
As you continue on down Main Street you’ll pass by the Emporium, Candy Palace, Blue Ribbon Bakery, Carnation Café, Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, Newsstand, Main Street Pin Shop, Penny Arcade, and Main Street Cinema. The Cinema is modeled on old silent movie theaters, and different animated shorts are played on the screen to recorded musical accompaniments. Since it opened it has always included “Steamboat Willie,”, of course!
Around the Central Plaza (known to some as “The Hub” at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom), you’ll have the option of heading left into Adventureland and Frontierland, right into Tomorrowland (passing the Plaza Inn – home of the “Minnie and Friends – Breakfast in the Park” character breakfast), or straight ahead through Sleeping Beauty Castle to Fantasyland. As I am I a creature of habit, I always go left. Adventureland, here we come!
The first attraction you come to in Adventureland is the original Enchanted Tiki Room! Opened in 1963, the Tiki Room was originally planned as a restaurant where birds would serenade you as you ate, but the restaurant plans were scrapped and the attraction instead was made into a full show. (Tiki Trivia! Because of the extensive use of computers necessary for the operation of the audio- animatronic birds, Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room was the park’s first air-conditioned attraction.) For all of you Dole Whip lovers, you can get your fill of Dole Whips, Dole Whip Floats and fresh pineapple spears from the Tiki Juice Bar just out in front of the Tiki Room. As you wander further into Adventureland, you can visit with Aladdin and friends in Aladdin’s Oasis and climb Tarzan’s Treehouse. As you exit Tarzan’s Treehouse, be sure to check out the artifacts left behind by the Swiss Family Robinson when they sold their treehouse to Tarzan and the Porter’s in 1999! Don’t forget to take a ride on the Jungle Cruise (who can resist the bad jokes, really?) where you’ll see charging hippos, sleeping zebras, the backside of water, and very hungry piranhas while riding in boats named such things as Nile Princess, Amazon Belle, and Kissimmee Kate.
If there is one attraction you do not want to miss in Disneyland Park, it is (in my opinion) Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Trust me, this is an attraction that you probably wouldn’t mind standing in a long line for, as the queue is totally immersive. The queue area includes lots of props from the Indiana Jones movies as well as booby traps (such as the Temple of Doom’s spike room), and wall inscriptions of a cryptic nature. (Trivia! The ride was built on what was once Disneyland’s “Eeyore” parking lot. See if you can find the lot’s sign along the queue.) The ride technology is much the same as DINOSAUR in Disney’s Animal Kingdom park at Walt Disney World, in that you ride in a jeep that bounces and moves along the ride’s, often very dark, course. But whatever you do, “Once you enter the Chamber of Destiny, do NOT look into the eyes of the idol!”
All this touring has worn me out, so I am going to take a break and snack on some tasty barbequed kabobs at Bengal Barbeque. In the next installment in this series, we’ll continue exploring Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom.
This plaque appears overhead as you enter Disneyland Park. - photo by 4Zs
About the Author: Sarah is a busy stay-at-home mom, Travel Consultant with Ears to You Travel, PassPorter Message Board Guide and Navy wife whose family is currently stationed in Washington state. She has made many trips to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Her family is excited to be heading to Disneyland (her husband and 2-year-old son's first trip) in August 2011!
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