Disneyland Park Review: Family Friendly Fun

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Disneyland Park, in Anaheim, California, a family friendly fantasy land, where beloved cartoon characters come out to play, sing and dance, has something amazing for everyone to enjoy.

The Magic Kingdom welcomes over 14 million visitors every year and all are encouraged to don a variety of Minnie or Mickey Mouse ears and walk confidently through the 430 acre park that includes Downtown Disney, a collection of retail shops, hotels and restaurants and California Adventure Park, an extension of Disneyland with thrilling amusement park style rides.

Approaching the park, giddy with anticipation, as the wonderful world of Disney had been a part of my childhood, my expectations were very high. It was my first trip to Disneyland!

Disneyland Park is sectioned into themes and visitors are transported, from the moment they enter the park, into a whole new world beginning with New Orleans Square, complete with strolling jazz band, which leads directly into Main Street U.S.A.

From there the park splits into pathways beginning with Adventureland, which pays homage to the Indian Jones explorer in all of us, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, home to the future, Buzz Lightyear and Star Wars; Fantasyland, Mickey's Toon-Town, and Critter County, home to Splash Mountain and The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Disneyland has a way of creating happiness, it's difficult not to smile, be happy, to be awed as the park unfolds and cartoon and animation characters that one has loved for a lifetime, are dancing in the street!

The Disneyland Train, a twenty minute respite if one is weary from walking or a great introduction to the park, boards in New Orleans Square, Main Street USA, Tomorrowland as well as Mickey's Toon-Town.

After spending the day walking through time and riding the train through the Frontierland Trail which also provides a quick pre-historic trip through the Jurassic Era it was time to depart. Heading toward the exit a full marching band crossed my path and my interest sidelined my plans. The band stopped at New Orleans Square for the Lowering of the Colors, a tradition that allows all visitors to participate in a slice of Americana.

After the American Flag was lowered and tribute paid to past and present military veterans the marching band disappeared and suddenly the people were abuzz! A parade unexpectedly appeared, out of nowhere, and even for the exhausted visitors the Disneyland Street Party, celebrating the history of rock and roll with a medley of classic hits, got the crowd excited, clapping, cheering and everyone dancing in the streets! It was well worth the wait!

It is a Family Friendly vacation destination and as one would expect with any amusement park, long lines are a given and novelty items can send one into shock. Notices are posted predicting wait times for rides. During my visit the estimated times were less and it's also important to understand families may have a designated person standing for the entire group until the lines narrow into the fenced corrals.

While the queue for Space Mountain proved to be a three hour wait, the lines for the Finding Nemo Submarine Ride, a must for anyone who has ever wanted to experience aquatic life combined with Disney fun, and Tomorrowland Speedway, the testing track for automobiles of the future, were far less. And both were very fun!

Walter Elias Disney, founder of Disneyland had these words bronzed and hung on the park's entrance, "Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy."

One enters a magic land where blue elephants fly, distant worlds come to life and long forgotten times invite, over-sized lime, lemon and peach meringue frosting colored buildings line the streets and the wonderful world of exotic sea life is a submarine ride away.

Disneyland Park, Anaheim is great fun for children of all ages! Whether it's your first time visiting or the hundred and first time, Disneyland doesn't disappoint!

For more information on Disneyland Park Resort: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/

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