Sunday, 20 November 2016

100 Disneyland Delights

Last weekend, the excellent Disneyland Dilettante blog celebrated the milestone of 100 posts. If you haven't been reading it, you really should check it out!

To celebrate, the Dilettante herself posted her "100 Disneyland Delights"... The simple things that she loves about visiting the Happiest Place on Earth. After exhorting her readers to give their own (and doing so), it inspired me to account for a full 100 of the little things, the simple things, perhaps the atypical things, that I love so much about Disneyland. These are in no particular order, and some of them might brand me as "THAT GUY! You're that kind of person who does that annoying thing!" but it is my (and partly Ashley's) list nonetheless.

  1. The moment we buy the tickets! OMG! We're actually going!!
  2. Reviewing the necessary Disney films to get in the mood in the months before... Snow White, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, Song of the South, Wind in the Willows, Winnie the Pooh, Davy Crockett...
  3. Ashley planning out her wardrobe weeks in advance, and vaguely Disneybounding.
  4. (Me) packing the night before, anticipating what I'll need and how much space to leave in my suitcase. Gotta' remember to bring my pins! 
  5. That feeling of waiting for the day to end because I know we're tearing off directly from work to get to the airport, if we're taking the evening flight.
  6. Finally, three hours later, arriving over Los Angeles and, if we're lucky, catching a glimpse of Disneyland from the air. Slower... slower... Thadumpbump... skreeeeech... Touchdown! 
  7. Getting our luggage, getting out of the airport, arriving at our motel (usually one of the ones on W. Katella), throwing in our suitcases and hotfooting it out in record time because DISNEYLAND AWAITS! I'm just about fit to burst in that hour or so. 
  8. The humid smell of flowers along W. Katella and Disneyland Dr.
  9. The warning signs that Disneyland may contain carcinogenic chemicals posted all over Downtown Disney.
  10. Cutting through the lobby and grounds of the Grand Californian on our way too and from the park. It really is quite lovely. 
  11. First sight of the Esplanade, Disneyland's gates, and Main St. Station. WE. ARE. HERE!
  12. The Tinkerbell chime of the turnstile... Which is also the ringtone on my phone.
  13. Next "WE. ARE. HERE!" moment: the blow of the train whistle and the pre-recorded conductor booming "Your attention please. The Disneyland Limited is now arriving from a trip around Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom. Passengers will stand by to board... Your attention please. The Disneyland limited is now leaving for a grand circle tour of the Magic Kingdom. With stops at New Orleans Square, Mickey's ToonTown and Tomorrowland. All passengers BOOOOOOOARD."
  14. Pausing for a moment beneath the plaque after which our blog is named, to take in that we are, in fact, leaving today and entering a world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.
  15. And pausing for a moment in front of the Firehouse to pay our respects.
  16. Picking up a button for one of our birthdays, or whichever other occasion happens to loosely align with our trip, and having not just castmembers but even other guests wishing us a happy birthday or anniversary or whatever. 
  17. Taking the grand circle tour on the DLRR, and especially Primeval World and the Grand Canyon Diorama. Even better if we can wing it aboard the Lilly Belle.
  18. The artifacts and photographs in Main St. Station.
  19. Looking at the vignettes on the upper floor of the Emporium.
  20. Slowly sauntering up Main St., and even stopping on a porch to just people watch and take it in.
  21. Watching cartoons in the Main St. Cinema, especially Steamboat Willie.
  22. Seeing the exhibit in the Disney Gallery.
  23. Getting my fortune told by Esmeralda.
  24. Playing the few remaining Penny Arcade machines.
  25. Dancing down Main St. when "Fortuosity" starts playing.
  26. Matterhorn macaroons (or gingerbread for Ashley) at the Jolly Holiday Bakery, and picking out all the Mary Poppins references.
  27. Fried chicken (or chicken alfredo for Ashley) in the sumptuous, gorgeous Plaza Inn, and wishing that was our home.
  28. Taking mental notes (and some reference photos) about the decor in Main St. for future use at home.
  29. Taking in the entire Enchanted Tiki Room experience, from the beginning of the video to the end of the show. Yes, we'll often forego getting into the show right away, because without hearing the chants of the Tiki gods it's just not the same!
  30. And enjoying a Dole whip or Dole float while doing it.
  31. Singing like the birdies sing.
  32. Getting a prescription from Shrunken Ned. 
  33. Finding new Tiki mugs or ceramic Adventureland, Tikish tchotchkes for our collection.  
  34. The Jungle Cruise. Every bit of it.
  35. Trying out every interactive in the Indiana Jones queue to see if they work this time.
  36. Failing at the attempt to read the Mara script.
  37. Ashley, a trained archaeologist, chuckling at the Indiana Jones ride (and Indiana Jones in general).
  38. The first steps through the castle, which may sometimes involve a waltz between Ashley and I.
  39. Watching out for the Evil Queen in the window.
  40. Touching the apple.
  41. Riding Snow White's Scary Adventures first, and pretending to actually be scared.
  42. Riding Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and pretending to actually be driving out of control.
  43. Riding Pinocchio's Daring Journey and squealing when Monstro attacks (and shouting "Get me out of here! I command it!"... yes Craig, I don't know if you want to let the Goose know that she supplied us with a running joke).
  44. But being in silent, rapt awe when riding Peter Pan's Flight.
  45. Slowly walking through the Sleeping Beauty's Castle walkthrough and taking home decor notes from that too. 
  46. Taking a time out in the Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough's disabled guest room and admiring the decor. 
  47. Actually enjoying It's a Small World as a giant kinetic work of art, and wondering how Mary Blair must have felt when she rode it.
  48. Acting like monkeys in the monkey cage of Casey Jr.
  49. Getting stared at for acting like monkeys in the monkey cage of Casey Jr. Especially if it's kids looking at us like we're the immature ones.
  50. Ridiculous photos in the ride vehicles beside each attraction.
  51. Admiring how each Fantasyland attraction facade echoes themes and images from their respective films.
  52. The carrousel's calliope versions of Disney classics.
  53. The pixie dusted princesses from the Biddy Bobbidy Boutique having the time of their lives and showing off their dresses.
  54. Ashley getting pixie dusted herself (but then she tries to get it on me). 
  55. Singing Disney song duets, quietly, as we wait in line. 
  56. Enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of Frontierland, and hearing music from Davy Crockett play.
  57. Buying a mint julep, racing over to the dock, and drinking it aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat.
  58. Riding the Mark Twain Riverboat multiple times.
  59. Occasionally riding in the pilot house of the Mark Twain.
  60. Walking along the paths of Tom Sawyer's Island when we need a break from crowds and rides, and need some exposure to nature. 
  61. Recognizing the handful of references to Mark Twain's writings on Tom Sawyer's Island.
  62. Examining the petrified tree.
  63. Lafitte's anchor. The best joke in Disneyland. 
  64. Checking out the old Rainbow Ridge buildings in the queue of Big Thunder Mountain, and rubbernecking for a closer look when we're on the ride.
  65. Breakfast on the patio of the River Belle Terrace. Particularly the Mickey pancakes.
  66. The Haunted Mansion. All of it. 
  67. Reciting the lines along with the characters in the Haunted Mansion. Quietly. To myself.
  68. And being that guy who screams "OW!" when the skeleton falls.
  69. I can't pause long enough for the whole show, but at least catching snippets of the Dapper Dans and the live jazz music in New Orleans Square.
  70. Getting my fortune read by Fortune Red.
  71. Pirates of the Caribbean's queue music loop.
  72. The bayou and caverns of Pirates of the Caribbean. 
  73. The smell of the water at Disneyland... You know, that Pirates of the Caribbean/It's a Small World smell.
  74. Fantasmic.
  75. Cheering for the villains in Fantasmic, but secretly being glad that Mickey won.
  76. Little girls screaming for their favourite princess at parades, Fantasmic, etc.
  77. Sauntering along the Rivers of America waterfront in the evening, lit up by the surrounding buildings. 
  78. Screwing up the courage to pose for the camera on Splash Mountain before assuming the crash position. Actually, mugging for any on-ride camera. It's always a challenge to come up with something new.
  79. Uncle Remus quotes in the queue of Splash Mountain, and knowing that I actually catch the references because most people don't have the chance to see the film.
  80. Catching Max, Buff, and Melvin on the Winnie the Pooh ride, and now being able to recall how great the Country Bear Jamboree is. 
  81. Having the proportions of a cartoon character, which works great for taking photos in Toontown.
  82. Playing up the electrified door.
  83. Meeting Mickey! And wondering if I'll ever get Sorcerer Mickey or Steamboat Willie (hasn't happened yet).
  84. Spying all the references to my favourite Disney film, Fantasia.
  85. Moseying around the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel, appreciating the concept art and models in the tower lobbies, and the sparkling tiles in the convention centre. Even though we're not staying there, we like feeling like we are. 
  86. The Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar experience, especially looking at the walls full of fun references.
  87. Screaming "we're all gonna' die" the first one or two times someone orders a Krakatoa.
  88. Not being a Star Wars fan but still hoping to be the Rebel spy.
  89. Still not being a Star Wars fan but building my own lightsabre and R2 units that I don't intend to buy (though I wish I had bought the pirate Arr2-D2 I made one time).
  90. I've already covered most of these implicitly, but putting in an effort to ride the original Class of '55, including a round on Autopia. 
  91. Running across obscure characters in completely random locations (I once even met the Country Bears!).
  92. Looking at each other's pin lanyards with complete strangers, and being thrilled if they actually recognize the theme of mine (Jules Verne/20,000 Leagues Under the Sea).
  93. Being told by castmembers that we're dressed too cute for Disneyland, or it's not Dapper Day yet, then telling them it's ALWAYS Dapper Day when WE go. 
  94. Finding something interesting that will stimulate a desire for further research into the inspiration and sources for it, which will inevitably become the subject of a new blog post. 
  95. Shopping... We do too much of it, but can't help ourselves, especially when it involves something unexpected like a new PVC figure set, theme park edition board game, pins, or Jeremy Fulton print. 
  96. Walking around Downtown Disney at night, usually after the park itself has closed, and popping in and out of the stores.
  97. Getting away from Disneyland for a day or two to travel around the LA area and see some of the interesting sights.
  98. Evening on Main St. USA, just after the park closes and most of the people have cleared out, its relatively quiet serenity amidst the warm incandescent lights and tinkling sounds of faux-Victorian music.
  99. The bittersweet reality of the final ride of the trip... Usually Dumbo. It's sad to be leaving, but good to know that we will be back...
  100. And, most important of all, the friends we meet and make there every time we go. We love you guys and miss you!  
That's our list... Probably not even exhaustive, but it's 100 things we enjoy about Disneyland. Now why don't you pay The Disneyland Dilettante a visit and share your Disneyland delights? 


  1. I'm really touched by both the tribute and the promotion. I think it's great that you and I bring such differing perspectives on visiting Disneyland and what "a trip" means to us. I'm the local, the AP-holder, the frequent day-tripper. I'm unfazed by long lines because I'll be back on a slower day. You're the tourist from afar, who visits only occasionally but for several days at a time.

    We really must arrange to meet up there at some point.

    1. Thank you for your blog, one of the most consistently interesting and intelligent Disney blogs out there!

      And agreed, we should meet up next time we`re down there!