Disney Vision

This is the Oregon weather we hoped to leave behind for a week.

Much of the reason for our November visit to the parks was due to the kids’ request. They both grew up in the rainy, cool Pacific Northwest and cannot stand any kind of heat. For both of them, all prior visits to Disneyland were in the spring or summer and this time they wanted to be able to enjoy the parks without being miserably hot. We saw a little rain, chilly mornings and evenings, and warm afternoons.

We arrived in Los Angeles a day early and it was mostly sunny until evening when clouds and rain moved in.
This is probably the only part of Los Angeles where packs of pedestrians are thronging the sidewalks at 7:30 am, jubilant and energized no matter the weather. Here is a glimpse of the morning migration, waiting for the lights to change.
This is one of my favourite parts of a Disney vacation: the shared anticipation. Every morning we all walk from our hotels to the parks. Then we walk down a promenade to the entrance gates. The whole time there is building excitement.
At the end of the promenade, you pass through metal detectors and all bags and purses are searched before you can come into the park. Then if you turn to your right, you see the train station above the entrance to Disneyland, above, where Mickey still wears a Halloween mask of flowers.
If you turn to your left, you will see the entrance to Disney California Adventure. On both sides there are gates to pass through where you show your very expensive ticket that you purchased well in advance.

I named my post Disney Vision and I mean vision in two ways. First, to incorporate the vision in creating this place, and the vision that continues to shape its development. Second, to incorporate my vision of the place, or rather, my views of it. Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are successful in helping me to forget the outside world and immerse myself in the atmosphere. Part of this success is due to Disney’s efforts to shape perspective, so that everything you see in any direction is what they want you to see. Trees and walls and buildings are carefully placed to make it all as beautiful as possible. And it works.

Once inside, every ride on land or on water, every roller coaster and theatrical performance and musical event and movie and demonstration is free. All the effort and expense to get in, for me, is worth it.

Pass beneath this sign into Disneyland.
You first arrive at Main Street USA, with a real City Hall and a Fire Department.
Sleeping Beauty’s Castle always looks good. Here, the kids pointed out how the winter decorations are going up. You can see icicles hanging down, and some Christmas balls, as well as fake snow.
After the first cloudy and rainy day, we had sunshine for the rest of the week. Here we pose with Mr. Walt Disney and his most famous buddy, Mickey Mouse. Disney photographers wander the park and offer to take your picture for free.
Waterfalls cascade around Grizzly Peak, obviously named for the shape of the mountain.
This is a night view.
The Mark Twain, a steam powered paddle wheeler, is always scenic. You can board all of the river boats here, including a full-sized pirate ship, a barge taking passengers to the island, and multiple canoes. In a canoe, you have to actually paddle it yourself, with the others on board.
A nighttime view of the pirate ship.
The riverboats can be viewed from several sections of the park, such as the New Orleans Square.
The entrance to this restaurant is pretty.

Restaurants, by the way, are not free at all. Some are quite expensive, but there are many options in the park and you can get a full meal for a reasonable price. Also, it is fully expected and encouraged that you bring in whatever food and drinks you want, especially water. There are water refilling stations throughout the park too. If you want to avoid spending a penny inside the park, it is easily manageable. That is, if you have self control, haha! I spent money on souvenirs and food mostly.

You will find many attractive scenes if you take the time to look around you. I love the attempts at authenticity too, such as the live cactus and flowers in this shot.
There are a couple of places where old, beautiful cars are parked, just to make the area look good.
Or… Avengers Quinjet aircraft are parked for effect, whatever it takes.
I even find this Guardians of the Galaxy tower to be beautiful. (It used to be the Tower of Terror, for those of you who have been here before.)
This mill is at the foot of Grizzly Peak.

Anyway, you get the idea. It can be a pretty place. In the slideshow below I will include a bunch more photos that catch my attention because the scene looks so nice. And for me, these beautiful images are unexpected in a place understood to be a sort of carnival.

After all that, we would walk back to our hotel, get some sleep, and get up the next morning and do it all again.

16 thoughts on “Disney Vision

    1. Thank you, Derrick. Yes, for a once-every-several-years destination, a few days in the parks is best. People who live in LA get annual passes and just go for an hour and then go home again. If I lived there, I would certainly have an annual pass, ha ha.

  1. Wow. I think they’ve added quite a few new things since I visited last time. However, that’s been many, many years ago. Thanks for taking us along for the ride (pun intended) :o).

    1. Ha!! I WISH I could take you along on the rides. They are the best part! I just have so much fun on the rides. We were very smart this time about how we went on rides too, so all the standing in line was not stressful as it has been in the past.

  2. Looks like you had a great time, Crystal. Fun photos. I still remember our visit with Tony and Tasha way back. Peggy was taking too long eating lunch when there were rides to explore, so we all joined in and helped her eat. I’m not sure it was appreciated. 🙂 Did I tell you that Pinto Colvig, the creator of Goofy, was raised in Jacksonville. My mom’s family and hers were close friends. One of my grandfather’s sisters married Pintos older brother. Pinto was the voice for some of Disneys early characters. When Disney put Goofy into an early cartoon as a minor character, he so liked the voice that Pinto gave him, he immediately moved him to major character status. Pinto would later go on to create Bozo the Clown.

    1. Yes, I think the inside story about Pinto came up on my last Disney trip. Gosh, we’ve known each other a long time, Curt! My last trip was so long ago. One big change amplified by the pandemic is that nearly everyone uses the Disney app on their phones now. It’s hard to do much there without a smart phone. With the app, you can see in an instant what all the wait times for rides are, and just make a path to the shortest line. That really helped us manage our day. If you had the app, Peggy could take too long eating lunch and you would still have plenty of time, ha ha.

    1. These days visitors use an app on their smart phones to see what wait times are in the queues. There is no way to avoid a queue, but you can choose a shorter one at least. That helped us so much. We only had one catastrophe, where we got in line for a ride that supposedly had a 25 minute wait, and as soon as we got in line, the wait time was adjusted to 125 minutes. We thought it might be a glitch so we stayed in line. But after an hour, we knew it was no glitch. By that time we were feeling stubborn, and stayed in line. We waited the full 125 minutes. It was horrible and we were grumpy about that and avoided that part of the park for two days, ha ha!!

    1. It was four days of excitement, that’s for sure. I think it was the perfect amount of time to spend there, and all three of us had adventures aplenty and were certainly ready to go home after the last day. Thanks for coming along. :o)

    1. Some of this park really is inspiring. On this trip, we went to a totally new part I had never visited before: the island in the center of the “Rivers of America” section, where I show the paddlewheel ship and the pirate ship. You can ride a barge over to the island, and just explore around there. There’s trails and a swinging bridge and a treehouse and tunnels. It’s all so fun for kids, with less people. I don’t know how we missed it in the past. That’s another thing: the parks are really ginormous, so you can miss something like an entire island.

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