Exploring Disneyland



Jungle Cruise

The Jungle Cruise boat ride through the waters of the world is definitely a highlight of the park, not least because of the wacky jokes that are told during the ride and the eighth wonder of the world that you can discover during the ride. Without the long wait shortly after the release of the film of the same name starring Dwayne Johnson, the attraction is twice as much fun.

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

The Enchanted Tiki Room is the archetype of all electronic bird shows worldwide and, interestingly, one of the few that still exists. Whilst the attraction hasn’t aged well at any other theme park in the world and even the few remaining shows are just scary, the Enchanted Tiki Room is simply great. The show has great humour, a well thought out storyline and the music is just wonderful, especially when the tiki totem poles come into play. I am blown away!

Indiana Jones Adventure

Probably the biggest attraction at Adventureland today is the Indiana Jones Adventure dark ride. This Intamin Enhanced Motion Vehicle ride is one of the best dark rides around. In keeping with the theme of the films, we have come to help Indiana Jones as he explores an ancient temple, hitting quite a few booby traps along the way.  

Indiana Jones Adventure is a very impressive dark ride. The use of Enhanced Motion vehicles makes our ride a rather wild one. Combined with the immersive environment, this is a ride not to be missed. 

New Orleans Square

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of Disneyland’s classic dark rides that everyone should experience, and it has an unexpected depth here in Anaheim. The ride offers the same breathtaking scenes as Orlando and Paris, but has a few more to offer. This makes for a more rounded ride overall, as Dead Men Tell No Tales is established as the attraction’s leitmotif before you experience the loose story of Blackbeard’s pirates raiding a village in search of treasure.

The Haunted Mansion

During my Halloween visit, the Haunted Mansion was the home of Jack Skellington and the other characters from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The temporary Haunted Mansion Holiday attraction is really worth seeing, which unfortunately makes the beloved attraction even more popular. Yet the dark ride itself has so many striking characters that it is simply fun to follow the action in the creepy mansion.

Critter Country

Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain was originally intended to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film Song of the South, a film in which Disney succeeded for the first time in combining animated films with real actors. The film is famous for its animation, but also very controversial because of the way it portrays the time in which it is set. After its last release in 1984, the film was never shown again in America. Instead of the log flume dark ride that somehow kept the famous Disney songs “How do you do?” and “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” alive, next year we can look forward to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which picks up the story of The Princess and the Frog and takes us on a jazz-infused journey through the swamps of Louisana.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

The journey through the Hundred Acre Wood begins with the story of Winnie the Pooh and the stormy day when everyone is struggling to weather the storm. Exhausted from the exertions, Pooh quickly falls asleep and dreams of Heffalumps and Woozies in a very crazy dream sequence. Barely awake, everyone celebrates Pooh’s birthday together.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Star Wars Galaxy Edge is by far the most immersive themed area ever realised in a theme park. You feel like you’re in one of the Star Wars films. There is also a great bar, Oga’s Cantina, and a really great restaurant, Docking Bay 7.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

The Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance dark ride is hard to put into words. After standing on our feet for a while, we immediately enter the first pre-show, where we are prepared for our mission. We promptly board a spaceship, which after a while ends up in the clutches of a First Order Star Destroyer. We quickly reach the Stormtrooper hangar and here, at the latest, the whole wait is more than worth it. The oversized room is simply overwhelming. However, we only spend a short time here because we have been captured by the First Order. We are gradually led in small groups to other rooms to await our interrogation. Shortly afterwards, however, we are freed by the resistance and board a captured fleet transporter to make our way to the escape pods. What follows is a wild and, above all, surprising ride through numerous scenes, with each new scene surpassing the previous one. In the end, we reach the escape pods and are able to flee.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is by far the best dark ride in the world. The ride is stunning in every way and should be seen as more of a 15-minute experience that is absolutely worth a much longer wait.

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is the second of the two dark rides in the Star Wars Galaxy Edge themed area and is often considered the weaker of the two attractions. However, Smuggler’s Run is actually a really strong attraction and definitely worth a visit. Here, a crew of six experience a breathtaking mission in which each passenger has their own task to fulfil. The highlight here is that we are in a simulator and can partly control it ourselves, which can lead to some really funny driving manoeuvres. Depending on how well you have controlled the Millennium Falcon, you are rewarded accordingly at the end of the journey. Great fun!


Mark Twain River Boat und Pirate’s Liar on Tom Sawyer Island

In addition to a trip on the Mark Twain Riverboat, which travels past Tom Sawyer Island, it is also worth visiting the island itself, which can only be reached by raft. Although there are no rides on the island itself, there are plenty of places to explore and great photo opportunities in the direction of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Sometime in the late 19th century, gold was discovered on Big Thunder Mountain. Overnight, the small mining town of Rainbow Ridge flourished under the thumb of the greedy mine owner Barnabas T. Bullion. Mining flourished and an extensive network of mine railways was built to transport the ore. But the land was sacred, and the desecration of the mountain by the settlers soon led to a great tragedy. After an earthquake destroyed the mines and the town, the village was abandoned. It was later discovered that the locomotives travelled around the mountain by themselves without drivers or crews, giving us the opportunity to take a ride on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

We start our journey by entering the mine. After a short right and left turn, we reach the first lift hill. Once at the top, we quickly pick up speed on a downhill right-hand bend. We then race through a rock formation before a turn, followed by a very sudden dip, leads us into another tight bend. We race through a long tunnel on a very fun and bumpy section of the route. After a right-hand bend, we reach the second lift hill. We gain some speed again in a fast downhill bend. Then we climb up a hill and enter a helix at the top. At high speed, we then go over a few hills with very sharp transitions that catapult us out of our seats before we reach the third and final lift hill. Once at the top, we first ride over hill and dale before finally gaining more and more speed. A long right-hand bend is followed by a left-hand bend as we leave Big Thunder Mountain behind us. Passing a dinosaur skeleton, we enter the last bend of the track, which leads directly into the braking section.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is the perfect Mine Train rollercoaster. Compared to the version in Florida, the ride is a little more colourful and the finale during the third lift is a little more explosive. The sometimes quite bizarre ride sections of the track mirrored here emphasise the feeling of uncontrollability that you should expect when riding a ghost train. In short: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is the perfect rollercoaster for the whole family.


Casey Jr. Circus Train

Casey Jr. Circus Train takes you on an amazing journey through Fantasyland. At the start, Casey Jr. breathes “I think I can” as he climbs up a hill, but soon shows his true strength and accelerates across the flat track. The ride is gentle but fun.

Storybook Land Canal Boats

Next door, and partly surrounded by the track of the Casey Jr. Circus Train, are the Storybook Land Canal Boats. This classic ride takes you on a relaxing cruise along miniatures of classic Disney films and their fairy tales.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

The Carousel, where you control your elephant’s flight, is one of Disneyland’s most popular and iconic rides. The first version of this ride opened in 1955 with some interesting mechanics that unfortunately never worked. Over the years, the attraction has undergone several visual changes and moved locations within Fantasyland. In 1990, a new Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride opened, now with 16 elephants instead of the original 10.

Pinocchio’s Daring Journey

Pinocchio’s Daring Journey is a charming little dark ride that tells an abridged version of the film, with Pinocchio escaping from Stromboli’s puppet show and visiting Pleasure Island, ignoring Jiminy Cricket’s advice. After an appearance by Monstro the whale, Pinocchio is finally reunited with Geppetto and transformed into a real boy.

Snow White’s Enchanted Wish

Another famous dark ride in this section of the park is Snow White’s Enchanted Wish – formerly known as Snow White’s Scary Adventures. While it used to be Fantasyland’s classic Ghost Train, the ride is now much more lively and tells the story of the film in a more light-hearted way, making it a much less scary and more rounded attraction.

Peter Pan’s Flight

Peter Pan’s Flight is always one of the most popular dark rides at the big Disneyland parks and accordingly usually has a very long queue. It is one of the classic themed rides, but a rather short and, in my opinion, rather unsatisfying experience:

After leaving the Darlings’ nursery, we fly over London before reaching Neverland. Here the children are kidnapped by Captain Hook. Shortly afterwards, there is a short fight scene between Pan and Hook. After Pan has defeated Hook, the children take over the ship and Hook has to face the crocodile. The end.

Mr. Toads Wild Ride

Next to the King Arthur Carousel is the entrance to Mr Toad’s Wild Ride. The story is based on the ridiculous speedster Mr. Toad from the novel The Wind in the Willows, which was adapted into The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. Driving recklessly through the English countryside with Mr Toad, we soon find ourselves in a lot of trouble, and after an accident in a railway tunnel, we end up driving straight through hell. The ride is one of the few remaining attractions to have been in operation since the park opened in July 1955.

Alice in Wonderland

Next to the Mad Tea Party – a classic tea cup ride installed in the park in 1955 – is another classic Disneyland dark ride: Alice in Wonderland. It is one of Disneyland’s most unique rides, taking you through the madcap Wonderland along Alice, with many references to the animated film. The ride directly inspired the Alice in Wonderland Dark Ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Matterhorn Bobsleds

One of the most important attractions in the world is the Matterhorn Bobsleds rollercoaster. Built in 1959, the roller coaster revolutionised the amusement park industry like no other attraction before it. The company Arrow Dynamics used a tubular steel construction for the first time.   

The Matterhorn Bobsleds offer two different lanes, with the right lane reserved for Genie+ users. Both sides start off alongside each other, and after a short turn through a cave, they enter the lift hill of the ride. At the top of the hill, the two tracks separate again, with the left side (Tomorrowland side) turning left and the right side (Fantasyland side) turning right. After a long curve, the two tracks meet again in a larger hall, with the Fantasyland track now going round in a helix for several laps, while the Tomorrowland track goes round once. After the encounter with the Yeti, both tracks are on their own for a while and experience some very fast cornering manoeuvres. After several long left and right turns, the Tomorrowland track finally dives under the Fantasyland track to continue its way along the mountainside. Shortly after, the Fantasyland track disappears into a long tunnel that runs right through the mountain. After another long turn and some wilder twists and turns, both tracks enter their final shoot ride, which takes them into a water basin. The final turns bring you back to the station at a much reduced speed. 

The Matterhorn Bobsleds are two really great and surprisingly wild rollercoasters. The ride is great fun and is still one of the park’s most popular attractions after all these years at Disneyland. I for one am delighted that it is my 900th rollercoaster ride. 

It’s a small World

The happiest place on earth is also home to the happiest cruise in the world: It’s a small World. The cruise takes us on a journey around the world and shows us the culture of each country from a child’s perspective. It’s a small World is a beautifully themed dark ride with a distinctive style, cute puppets and a very catchy tune. It is one of the must-see attractions at Disneyland.

Mickey’s Toon Town

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Train

Right at the entrance to Toon Town, we come across the El CapiToon theatre, where Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is being performed. We watch the latest Mickey Mouse cartoon in a small cinema, which quickly becomes reality. Mickey & Minnie are on a picnic outing while we are travelling on the train with Goofy. Before we know it, Goofy is travelling in one direction and we in another. Mickey and Minnie rush to the rescue to bring our runaway railway to a halt. What follows is a wild ride through various comic scenes, which are mainly supported by projection mapping and can change at lightning speed. At the end, we waltz and conga dance with Daisy before almost ending up in the scrap press. As absurd as it may all sound, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is great cinema and a wonderful homage to classic American cartoons.

Chip & Dale’s Gadget Coaster

Chip & Dale’s Gadget Coaster is the smallest family coaster at Disneyland. The coaster has a classic Vekoma Junior Coaster layout, but with some modifications to integrate a second train. After the lift, the train immediately turns into a steep curve that brings us to the ground, followed by a curve around the lift hill. After a small dip, a right-hand bend takes us into a helix. A short time later, we hit the brakes – and the ride is over.

Rodger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin

After the success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, it’s no surprise that Mickey’s Toontown is home to Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin dark ride. During the ride, we steer a taxi and follow Roger Rabbit and Benny the Cab as they try to help Jessica Rabbit thwart the diabolical plans of the villainous Weasels. Although the ride is well done, it does not feel on the same level as the other dark rides in the park.


Tomorrowland has always been home to many first-class and admittedly quite unique attractions such as the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter – later Stitch’s Great Escape – or the Rocket Rods. Today, unfortunately, you will only find attractions here that you can also find at the other Disneylands.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

The Submarine Voyage is one of Disneyland’s oldest dark rides. Opened in 1958, the ride simulated a dive into the ocean. Unfortunately, the original idea of using real fish and other sea creatures never came to fruition. Today, the ride features Nemo and his friends on screens as you pass by. 


One of the best attractions in Tomorrowland is the old-fashioned car ride Autopia, which takes us on a cosy road trip. I particularly enjoyed the short off-road section during the ride.


Walt Disney pioneered the modern monorail – a mode of transport that has become very popular in amusement parks and airports. The elevated track takes you on a journey through Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney. It runs mainly through backstage areas and features a long and winding section above the Autopia ride. 

Space Mountain

Two years after the opening of the Space Mountain indoor coaster in the Magic Kingdom, a version of this coaster followed in Disneyland. However, instead of two tracks, the coaster had only one, and instead of the bob-like seating position, you sat in rows of two next to each other. The track layout is very similar though. Unfortunately, the ride was undergoing maintenance when I visited, so I was unable to test it. 

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

The interactive dark ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger is one of the smaller attractions in Tomorrowland, but it’s still fun because you can control the rotation of the vehicle as you try to get the highest score. The interactive dark ride is very solid and you should give it a chance if the wait times are limited.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

Galactic space travel agency Star Tours has been offering flights to Endor since 1987. The giant motion simulator ride defined this type of attraction and made it extremely popular in the 1990s. Nowadays, instead of just travelling to Endor, there are a variety of elaborate experiences that, combined with the fun simulator ride, invite you to return for more. However, as of 2019, waiting times at this Star Wars attraction have been significantly reduced due to the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Pictures Disneyland

Conclusion Disneyland

I really enjoyed my visit to the original Disneyland. The park combines the best attractions that Disney has ever created in one park and has still remained small. Everything is much cosier here and the little castle in the middle of the park is simply cute, especially compared to the castle in Paris. Disneyland in Anaheim is and remains a park that every theme park fan should visit once in their life. I for one am glad that I finally made it.


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The happiest place on Earth


Jingle Cruise

Thanks to the recent screen adaptation starring Dwayne Johnson as the skipper, Jungle Cruise was by far the most visited attraction during my visits to the Magic Kingdom. The Jingle Cruise Holiday Overlay certainly helped make even more people want to visit the attraction, yet it is a very nice addition to the overall great attraction. The boat trip through the waters of the world is definitely a highlight of the park, not least thanks to the wacky jokes that are told along the way and the eighth wonder of the world.  

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the classic Disneyland dark rides that everyone wants to experience, but when the Magic Kingdom opened, it was nowhere to be found. As the Caribbean is so close to Florida, it was thought that a pirate attraction would not be as popular, instead a large Western dark ride was already in the making. It didn’t take long, and plans changed to install Pirates of the Caribbean at the Magic Kingdom as well. A good decision, as the ride is just a splendid experience. All of the scenes are great and the loose story line of Blackbeard’s pirates overrunning a village in search of treasure is overall very well staged. 

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

The Enchanted Tiki Room is the archetype of all animatronic based shows worldwide and interestingly one of the only remaining ones. While the attraction did not age well in any other theme park around the globe and even the few remaining shows are cringe pure, the Enchanted Tiki Room is just great. The show has a great humour, a well thought out story arc and the music is just wonderful; especially when the tiki totem poles get into the action. I just love it!


Country Bear Jamboree

While the Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland is just an awesome experience, I cannot say the same for the adjacent Country Bear Jamboree. The show is a country music revue and fine for what it is; however, it is nothing special and a bit boring. No surprise, there is a new version of the show already in the making.

Tom Sawyer Island

One of the smaller attractions in Frontierland is Tom Sawyer Island, which can only be reached by rafts. The island itself is lacking a bit of attractions. There is a windmill, a fort, a rarely opened restaurant and plenty of great photo opportunities towards the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but that’s about it. 

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Sometime in the late 1800s, gold was discovered on Big Thunder Mountain. Overnight, the small mining town of Tumbleweed became thriving under the thumb of the greedy mining company owner Barnabas T. Bullion. Mining was prosperous, and an extensive line of mine trains was set up to transport the ore. The land was sacred and hence the desecration of the mountain by the settlers soon led to a great tragedy. After a flash flood struck the mines and the town, the village was abandoned. Interestingly, the locomotives were found to be racing around the mountain on their own, without engineers or a crew giving us the opportunity to take a ride on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

We start our journey by entering the mine. After a short turn to the left and a turn to the right, we reach the first lift hill. Arrived on top, we quickly get some speed in a descending turn to the left. We then race through a rock formation before a turnaround followed by a very sudden dip leads us into a tight helix. We then pass the village on a very fun and janky track section, before diving a second time into the mine. After a left turn, we then reach the second lift hill. Once again, we gain some speed in fast descending turn. Then we climb up a hill and enter another helix at the top. With speed, we then take some hills with very sharp transitions, throwing us out of our seats, before entering the third and final lift hill. Now on top of the mountain, we first head over dip and dale, before gaining more and more speed. A long curve to the left is followed by one to the right, while we leave Big Thunder Mountain behind us. Passing a dinosaur skeleton, we then take the final turn of the ride leading us directly into the brake section. 

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is the perfect mine train style roller coaster. While aesthetically, the version in Paris is overall more stunning, it is also far gentler, albeit the very similar layout. The Floridian version has far more janky moments which underline the out-of-control sensation, we should expect from a ride on a runaway ghost train. In short, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is the perfect family roller coaster.

Splash Mountain

Initially, Splash Mountain was set to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie Song of the South, where for the first time, Disney managed to merge animation with live actors. The movie is famous for its animation, yet very controversial in its portrayal of the time period it is supposed to be set in. After its final theatrical release in 1984, the film never got a home release in America, nor was ever intended to be released on the streaming service Disney+, which to be honest is a shame and an early example of cancel culture. It would be best, if one day, a narrated version will be published.

Now that we have that out of the way, we can focus on Splash Mountain following the adventures of Br’er Rabbit. The ride starts with our log approaching the first lift hill after which we make a scenic tour around the ride’s final chute, before entering the second lift hill. On top, we bob our way through the channel before plunging down the first chute. A bit moist, we now enter a large-scale dark ride section which is accompanied by the song “How Do You Do?”.  After turning a corner, we see that Br’er Bear is caught in a trap, while Br’er Fox says to him: “We gotta catch that Br’er Rabbit!”.

Meanwhile, Br’er Rabbit has left home in search of adventure and is on his way to his Laughin’ Place. Br’er Bear follows him, but the “Laughin’ Place” is just a trick, and Br’er Bear is attacked by bees, while Br’er Rabbit laughs at the sight, which led Br’er Fox to catch him. While taking the third lift hill, we see that Br’er Rabbit in Br’er Fox’s Liar about to be eaten. Fortunately, Br’er Rabbit outsmarts Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear by tricking them into throwing him into the briar patch (where he was born and raised), whereupon we take the ride’s final drop. Soaked, we then approach the ride’s final show scene, celebrating a “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” day and the homecoming of Br’er Rabbit.

Splash Mountain is a fantastic log flume, but it does show its age. While technically, the ride still is top notch, the animatronics were a bit outdated and not all of them were in a good shape. About a year after my visit, extensive renovations started making way for a princess and the frog attractions, which for sure will be a perfect theme for this great water ride.  

Liberty Square

The Haunted Mansion

Passing the Liberty Bell Riverboat, we now enter the queue for the Haunted Mansion. This attraction is the reinvention of the classic ghost train and focuses on a coherent story line throughout the ride, while others focus on cheap scares or an overload of animatronics. The dark ride has so many noticeable characters and is just a very fun one to experience.

Hall of Presidents

Probably the most unique attraction within the Magic Kingdom is the Hall of Presidents. The show that features all past (and present) presidents is quite iconic and even for non-Americans quite interesting to watch.


It’s a small World

The happiest place on earth is also home to the happiest cruise on Earth: It’s a small World. The cruise takes us on a world tour while portraying the culture of every country through the innocent view of the children. It’s a very nice dark ride, with a distinctive style, cute puppets, and a very catchy tune. It’s one of the must-do rides at the Magic Kingdom.

Peter Pan’s Flight

Peter Pan’s Flight is always one of the most popular dark rides at any of the main Disneyland Parks and therefore usually has a very long queue. It is one of the classic dark rides, yet it is a rather short, and in my opinion quite underwhelming, experience:

After leaving the darling’s children’s room, the ride takes us on a flight above London, before reaching Neverland. Here the kids get kidnapped by Captain Hook. Shortly thereafter, there is a short fight scene between Pan and Hook. After defeating Hook, the kids take over the ship and Hook has to deal with the crocodile. The End.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Located right next to Peter Pan’s Flight you can find the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. The ride through the Hundred Acre Wood starts with the story of Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, where everyone is having some troubles facing the storm. After finding shelter in Owl’s house, we then meet Tigger, who tells us about Heffalumps and Woozies, which lead to a very wacky dream sequence. The storm got worse and not everyone is safe. Awake by the increased water, Pooh gets gone with the wind, while Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, Tigger, and Owl attempt to save Piglet from floating away. Fortunately, Pooh finds himself stuck in a tree with lots of honey and in the final scene, everybody is celebrating that the storm is gone.

Mickey’s PhilharMagic

One of the few attractions at the Magic Kingdom to feature the world-famous Mouse and his friends is Mickey’s PhilharMagic. The attraction takes you on a magical voyage through the famous movie scenes and their tunes, but Mickey is nowhere to be found. The star of the attraction is actually Donald Duck, who curiously took over Mickey’s role of conducting the orchestra and experiences the famous animated scenes himself, which leads to all kind of clumsy situations. The movie itself is well animated and a lot of fun.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Currently, the most popular roller coaster at the Magic Kingdom is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Based on Snow White and the seven Dwarfs, the ride puts us in a swinging mine cart which the seven Dwarfs use for their work.

After leaving the station, the ride directly starts with a turn to the right, giving the mine carts a first swing. A turn to the left then leads us into the first lift hill. The route now follows an undulating pattern over hill and dale, constantly changing direction, while approaching the mine. Here we see the seven dwarfs, working and chanting. While climbing the ride’s second lift, the dwarfs tune in their famous tune. After a small dip, we then take the ride’s largest drop, which releases us in large helix. After passing a bridge, we then make our way through some tight alternating bends leading us into the brakes.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is the most family-friendly roller coaster at the Magic Kingdom. Despite being innovative in its ride system, it barely uses it to its advantage. The dark ride scene is great, and the coaster sections are fun, but the ride is not worth the current wait times.   

The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

The little Mermaid dark ride gives us the opportunity to voyage under the sea. The ride is home to some of the best animatronics to be found anywhere in the world, especially the one of Ursula is seriously impressive. The ride itself is entertaining and great if you just need some minutes of rest, as the wait times are normally pretty low due to the high capacity of the ride.

Storybook Circus

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

The carousel where you control the flight of your elephant is one of the most popular and most iconic rides at the Magic Kingdom. The first version of this ride opened in 1971 with a capacity of 10 cars. In 1993, a 16-elephant version opened. When creating the Storybook Circus area in 2012, the ride capacity got doubled – now two Dumbo the Flying Elephant carousels exists right next to each other, flying in opposite directions.

The Barnstormer

The Barnstormer is the smallest family coaster of the Magic Kingdom. The ride features a classic junior coaster layout by Vekoma, yet it got varied a bit to feature a second train. Starting with the lift, the train immediately goes into a steep curve leading us to the ground, followed by a curve surrounding the lift hill. After a small dip, a righthand curve then leads us into a helix. Shortly thereafter, we hit the brakes, and the ride comes to an end.


Tomorrowland Speedway

One of the least futuristic attractions at Tomorrowland is its old-style car ride Tomorrowland Speedway. The ride is based on Disneyland’s Autopia, yet it does not feature the same premise; instead of a scenic voyage, you are driving along a four-lane racetrack. Overall, the experience is rather short and underwhelming.

Space Mountain

After the success of Matterhorn Bobsleds roller coaster, Walt Disney approached designer John Hench for a new attraction that would be a focal point of Disneyland’s renovated Tomorrowland planned for 1967. Plans changed, but the ride itself got into fruition as the headlight attraction to the Magic Kingdom in 1975. The ride consists of two tracks, which layouts are exactly mirrored. Nowadays, one of the tracks is reserved for Genie+ customers.

The ride on Space Mountain starts slow but feels incredibly fast due to the lighting effect used on the otherwise very straight section. After a short curve, we reach the ride’s lifthill. Once at the top, we start our decent by entering a curve. After passing a block brake, we enter a gentle slope and soon after pick up some speed in a 270° helix. This is followed by a surprisingly steep ascent. After passing another block brake, we then hit a downward helix leading us into a very long curve followed by a jump into the next block brake. Here, we enter a very tight curve after which we take a large drop. We then make our way through a bunch of curves, before hitting another block brake parallel to the ride’s lift hill. The ride now gets progressively faster, as we rage through a series of drops interrupted by some curves. The largest of them then leads us into an upward helix. After another block brake, we continue our way downwards through a helix and some turns before we enter the final brake sections underlined by a visually pleasing light effect.

Magic Kingdom’s Space Mountain is a very wild ride, although it only consists of a bunch of tight turns, helices and drops. However, due to the very rapid transitions, this ride fells out-of-control, which is especially underlined by being an indoor coaster mostly travelling through a low light environment. This ride is just insane.

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

The Carousel of Progress is a nice attraction showing the advancements of technology through time. While some scenes nowadays are a bit dated – especially the fourth act representing the 21st century –, the ride itself has a very nice leitmotiv showcasing a great, big, beautiful tomorrow. Overall, the Carousel of Progress is an entertaining show, which should not be missed.  

Astro Orbiter and The Peoplemover

Sitting above the structure that houses the station of the Peoplemover scenic ride, is the Astro Orbiter. The ride itself is very similar to Dumbo the Flying Elephant, yet with a different seating arrangement, and just as popular. While there are always people waiting in line for the lift leading to the ride, the Peoplemover hardly ever sees a queue.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

The interactive dark ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger is one of the smaller attractions at Tomorrowland, yet it is still a pretty funny one as you can control the rotation of the vehicle by yourself while aiming for the highest score. It is a very solid interactive dark ride, and one you should give a chance when the wait times are low.  

Monster Inc. Laugh Floor

The story of Monster Inc. Laugh Floor takes place after the movie; therefore, laughter is the new form of energy to power the monster’s world and we are invited to laugh at the headquarters of Monster Inc. The show is a fine one for native English speakers, as it is basically just a stand-up comedy show, but if you are not fluent, the show is a waste of time. Overall, most of the jokes are about the visitors to the theater, so if you don’t like that, the show is not at all for you.

Pictures Magic Kingdom

Conclusion Magic Kingdom

Overall, I had a great time visiting the Magic Kingdom. The park has a bunch of truly great attractions and some very cool shows. With the next roller coaster already in the making, I will not hesitate to come back one day. Albeit there is one thing I did not enjoyed at all: The food. Somehow, the offering at the Magic Kingdom differs a lot from the other parks at Walt Disney World and the quality is not that great. 


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Visiting Mickey Mouse

Disneyland Park

Having arrived in Disneyland Park, it feels as if you have been transported back a few decades, since you are now in an American main street at the beginning of the twentieth century. Oldtimers and carriages are waiting for their guests and also the park railway has its main station here. There are also some shops and most of the parade route runs along this path, which is fairly long and leads to the entrances of the remaining four themed areas.

In addition to the tramway we also tested the park railway in this area. It runs along the edge of the park and belongs to one of the more crowded Disneyland Park rides, where you can queue for up to an hour. As we got a good opportunity we didn’t have to wait. The 40 minute round trip is definitely worthwhile.


If you walk down Disneyland Park’s main street, you are walking towards the landmark of the Fantasyland. The castle, inside which you can see the story of Sleeping Beauty, is not as big as it seems from some angles.

If you cross the castle, you find yourself on a place with a horse carousel – where it was quite difficult to climb the horses –, as well as the two dark rides Pinocchio and Snow White. The second one reminds of a very trippy ghost train, while the journey of Pinocchio was wonderfully staged and belongs to one of the best dark rides of the continent.

Nearby are the Dumbo carousel and the teacups. Two lanes which can show an incredibly long queue quite fast. An influence on the rotation of the teacups is unfortunately hardly possible, but the ride remains a wonderful attraction to avoid a very heavy downpour.

The labyrinth next door shares the same theme as the tea cups. Like Alice in Wonderland, you pass through this somewhat bizarre labyrinth, whose exit is unfortunately quite easy to find.

Peter Pan’s Flight

You can also find the most popular attraction of the park in this area. It is Peter Pan’s Flight, a dark ride with too few scenes and a very bizarre ride system. If you are planning a ride, you should get a Fastpass-Ticket, as this is the weakest ride in the whole park and the capacity is simply too low.

It’s a small World

A little off the beaten track, but always present, lies the wonderful dark ride It’s a small World. Remarkable and somehow strange is the number of boats which give this ride an enormous capacity and very short waiting times. The happiest cruise of the planet should therefore not be missed, even if the music is one of the greatest catchy tunes in the world.


Pirates of the Caribbean

If you follow the paths of the Fantasyland, you will find the entrance to another dark ride in Adventureland. Even the queue is a feast for the eyes, which is rarely trumped. Of course we are talking about the Pirates of the Caribbean, a dark ride using the same boats as in It’s a small World, which leads to a fantastically high capacity among other things. The music is a catchy tune that gets you in the mood for binge drinking. The only point of criticism is the way too loud chain at the lift, but this can be overcome during such a great ride.

The area itself is beautiful, but also unfortunately somewhat underpopulated by rides. Therefore we visited the temple of fear. A very beautifully themed queue prepares one for the following experience. In the station of the roller coaster, we get into the wagons in which we take the route.

Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril

During the curves of the Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril you often get to know the shoulder restraints when you are sitting in the front car. The rest of the track is as great it should be: Intense with a touch of airtime in front of every block brake, which is great for blowing mouse ears into the air. From the outside this Indiana Jones ride also looks very attractive and should be ridden in any case, even if it gives some people a different picture of the manufacturer Intamin.

In addition, you can find a long suspension bridge, some caves and Robinson Cruseo’s tree house – a walktrough where you can queue a little longer –, in this area of Disneyland Park.


Big Thunder Mountain

If you follow the circuit of Disneyland Park, you will at some point enter the Wild West with its landmark the Big Thunder Mountain. The size is trivial, but the ride is as loud as a thunder roll. The Big Thunder Mountain offers a station for normal visitors and fast passers. For this reason it can take quite a long time until the next train appears on your side. The ride itself doesn’t offer many daring curves, but a lot of beautiful straights, strange lifts and cool tunnels. Everything is rounded off by the harmonious and always present theme, which makes the ride together with Colorado Adventure of Phantasialand and El Diablo of Port Aventura one of the best mine trains in Europe.

An attraction that goes around the island and over the first and last tunnel of the roller coaster Big Thunder Mountain is the three-storey steamer. It is recommended to look in the direction of the Big Thunder Mountain, as the surrounding area is beautiful but offers little variety.

Phantom Manor

From the steamer you can see an old manor house. It looks deserted, just like the garden you have to pass through to approach this house. In the house itself one is greeted by strange figures who are able to speak languages that no Frenchman or Englishman would describe as grammatically correct. They send you into a room that turns out to be an elevator with nice pictures on the wall. After you have left this part of Phantom Manor behind, you enter a corridor, which you have to walk along in order to take a seat in your doom buggy. The ride is harmonious and offers a continuous storyline. A scary beautiful melody accompanies you to the cemetery, where it is briefly replaced by the Grimm Grinning Ghosts and you finally come to the end of the ride which is clearly one of the best dark rides out there.


The final theme of Disneyland Park is Discoveryland, which is largely based on the work of the French writer Jules Verne. As a contrast to this, Star Wars is here too – something that really doesn’t fit in here.

Space Mountain

The Space Mountain hall is a visual feast for the eyes. On its second mission you fly to the supernova and back again. The Columbiad cannon shoots the train towards space and a completely mad route is taken. The cars are similar to those of the Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, comfortable and well padded. The launch is noticeable, although not particularly intense due to the location. Inside the building some curves and inversions appear where you wouldn’t expect them. The ride characteristics range from very good to well, depending on the time you get on the ride and how loaded the train is at that time. In any case this is an experience not to be missed, especially as this concept coaster is still unique.

Star Tours

One of the older attractions of this area is Star Tours. A beautiful large-capacity simulator where, starting from an intergalactic airport, you can experience a tourist flight through space. Of course with an inexperienced pilot, who brings you into very risky situations. This simulator is just a cult classic.

Honey, I shrunk the Audience

In the cinema next door you can watch the movie Honey, I shrunk the Audience, a very old 3D movie with some predictable effects. A negative aspect is the poor quality of the image, which takes some time to get used to. Even the cinema itself is not the best due to its flooring, as you can quickly fall if you don’t pay attention.


Also to be found in this area is the multi-lane car ride Autopia, which can be controlled very poorly from my point of view. Perhaps it was also due to the fact that I had to drive on the right lane and thus had the steering wheel on the right. However, it could also be simply due to the fact that I am used to drive other things. However, it is a ride worth driving.

Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast

The last major attraction of Disneyland Park is the interactive dark ride Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast by Mack Rides. In this highly recommended attraction you travel to planet Z to put a stop to the evil Zurg and bring back the energy sources (in the form of batteries) and score some points. Thanks to the rather unfavourable capacity due to all the intermediate stops, a fast pass is definitely recommendable here.

In addition to the submarine attraction, which was closed at the time of the visit, and the mostly crowded ride next door, there is also a musical show theatre in this area, which unfortunately did not host any shows due to the low season and instead showed some cartoon classics.

Pictures Disneyland Park