This is the original Disneyland, created by legend and entrepreneurial mastermind Walt Disney himself, inaugurated in 1955 in Anaheim, south of Los Angeles.
Many of the attractions have now been updated or replaced, but the original tiny castle is still there, the tiniest of all the Disney castles (except for its Hong Kong Disneyland copy). Unfortunately, the vast, picturesque orange farms once surrounding the park have been turned into a rather unpleasant residential neighborhood. Nevertheless, the moment you enter the park you are engulfed in Disney’s magic and forget about the world beyond its gates.
Highlights: 'Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage', a brand new underwater ride packed with exciting visual effects that make you wonder what is real and what is not. Expect to queue for hours though! 'Indiana Jones Adventure' uses the Enhanced Motion Vehicle (EMV) technology, first introduced here in 1995, to speed you through an amazing temple structure filled with snakes, giant boulders and fire effects; 'Big Thunder Mountain Railroad', the classic Disney wild west mountain roller coaster; 'Splash Mountain', a great storytelling flume ride with several lifts and drops, hilarious animatronics, music and atmosphere; 'Pirates of the Caribbean', Disney's atmospheric water dark ride classic; 'Honey I Shrunk the Audience', the second best Disney theme park 3-D movie (after 'It’s Tough to Be a Bug' in Disney's California Adventure next door) with a great storyline and wonderful effects: the snake scene is the best part and the rumbling of the auditorium is more than you would expect from a 3-D cinema!
'Haunted Mansion' ghost train, 'Star Tours' flight simulator and 'Space Mountain' roller coaster are worthwhile additions. It's not the best Disneyland in the world anymore, but the fact that it is the original lends the park its charm.
Disneyland Anaheim aerial view
The original Disneyland castle
The very first Disneyland castle, inspired by Neuschwanstein in Germany
Walt Disney statue
Submarine attraction (left) and Matterhorn Bobsleds ride (right)
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
The Matterhorn attraction opened when Walt Disney was still alive
Matterhorn, a bit closer
The bobsleds create a coaster-like experience
Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster aerial
Big Thunder Mountain, with parked buggies
This classic Disney mountain roller coaster can be found in various Disney parks
The coaster has both indoor and outdoor sections
Mark Twain Riverboat attraction
Haunted Mansion ghost train
Splash Mountain flume ride
The final drop at Splash Mountain
Tarzan's Treehouse walk-through attraction
Queue to the Indiana Jones ride
Indiana Jones temple
The queue continues inside the temple
John Rhys-Davies stars as Sallah in the Indiana Jones ride pre-show
Indiana Jones ride vehicles
Monorail, with massive queues to the Submarine Voyage below
Space Mountain roller coaster station
Space Mountain from above
Star Tours flight simulator
This Disneyland model shows how the park looked when it opened back in the 1950's