With yesterday being Disneyland’s anniversary, I decided to honor it by sharing my thoughts on the remaining attractions that were present on opening day.
11. Main Street Cinema
I can’t recall having ever gone to the Main Street Cinema if I’m honest. So I can’t really rank it, which is why it defaulted to being the lowest. I will say that there clearly hasn’t been a reason for me to go to it when there are better attractions available.
As an adult who can drive and would ultimately drive faster to get to Disneyland, I can say that Autopia is not a fun attraction. I probably found it fun as a child when I couldn’t drive, but now it’s just outdated and the smell of gasoline is too much. I wouldn’t be heartbroken if they replaced this attraction honestly.
9. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
I know this is a beloved attraction, especially since the Walt Disney World version was replaced. But it is just so bizarre and I’m certain the majority of guests visiting the park now have no idea who Mr. Toad is. And there are other IPs that I would love to see have an attraction that fit Fantasyland, such as Tangled, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and even Frozen.
8. Mark Twain Riverboat
Ultimately, it is just a boat. It is a nice thing to do when you want a leisurely activity when you’ve done your must-dos already. It can be a chance to get out of the sun for a while, plus it is an important piece of Fantasmic.
7. King Arthur’s Carrousel
It’s a simple carousel, but the extra magic they have added makes this rise on my list. One detail, in particular, is Jingles the horse. All of the horses on the carousel have names, but Jingles is special because she is dedicated to Julie Andrews, aka the original Mary Poppins who can be seen riding a carousel steed. If you want to ride Jingles, you’ll have to look for the horse covered with jingle bells.
6. Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
Originally Snow White was a scary adventure, but recently got refurbished to be more enchanting instead. I put Snow White here mainly because I am personally not a fan of her film or her character. But this is a classic attraction where we are transported into the story, which is why it is higher on the list. If it was still the scary version it might have been lower though.
5. Peter Pan’s Flight
Controversial opinion: Peter Pan’s Flight is not as good as people make it seem and is never worth a wait of over thirty minutes. That said, I do think it is a nice attraction and the refurbishments that it has had have elevated it. It’s a solid Fantasyland attraction, but compared to all of the opening day attractions it just isn’t top tier for me.
4. Storybook Land Canal Boats
StorybookLand Canal Boats is underrated in my opinion. It may not be the most exciting attraction, but it has a lot of charm. You travel by boat through miniature scenes from favorite Disney films like Aladdin, Frozen, Cinderella, and Winnie the Pooh. Is traveling through Monstro the Whale a little unsettling? Yes. But the following scenes are worth it, with a reasonable wait time.
3. Mad Tea Party
Everyone knows about the spinning teacups. It is definitely one of the most iconic attractions in the park. I’m not someone who enjoys getting dizzy, but thankfully with the teacups, you can just choose to not spin yours and enjoy the ride like that. You still spin a little bit but not enough to get sick. The dizzy factor lowers it in my ranking, but it is iconic and riding at night is very fun.
2. Disneyland Railroad
Since I am a nerd for the history of the parks, I rank the railroad quite high. Walt Disney loved trains to the point he built a miniature one in his own backyard prior to Disneyland’s existence. So if nothing else, Walt was going to have a train in the happiest place on Earth. What also makes the Disneyland Railroad special is that it is genuine transportation around the park with four stations in total, so you can travel from Main Street to Tomorrowland via train. You can also get some interesting views of other attractions like it’s a small world and Splash Mountain as well as special dioramas. It’s not a thrilling ride, but I would call it a must-do.
Honorable Mention: Casey Jr. Circus Train
People often list Casey Jr. as an opening day attraction, but it actually wasn’t. It missed opening day by two weeks. So I give it an honorable mention since it was close, but not close enough.
And for the number opening day attraction…
1. Jungle Cruise
One of my favorite attractions of all is the Jungle Cruise, so it was easily going to be number one on my list. The pun-filled trip through the wilds of Africa is truly a classic, to the point they’ve made a movie around it. It has changed some since the opening day version, but for the better. And it will always be a must-do for me.
How would you rank these rides? Let me know in the comments.
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