Ever wondered what to see and do in each of Disney’s lands? Look no further! In this blog, I’ll offer my opinions on the rides and where to find some cool eats, treats and souvenirs!
New Orleans Square
A really pretty area made to resemble a 19th century New Orleans. Colorful buildings with balconies are abundant in this one street that is mostly shops and restaurants and a couple of rides that tie into this theme.
Haunted Mansion – walk through the ornate gate up to the beautiful old manor, past the ghost horse and carriage and enter into the foyer. Then you’re trapped. The walls stretch, and you descend into the corridor… walking past the creepy portraits on the walls. Climb into your Doom Buggy and explore the afterlife. I think you need to ride this one at least twice to take everything in. The effects are amazing and the whole ride is beautifully done. Be aware though…a ghost may follow you home……
Pirates of The Caribbean – one of Disneyland’s most famous and beloved ride. The ride starts in a quiet bayou; lights twinkling and crickets chirping as you float past the houseboats and the Blue Bayou restaurant . Then through an ominous stone archway ….and be ready for 2 plunges that take you down into Dead Man’s Cove. This was a funny moment for me because my mom and sis don’t like intense rides so when we dropped in the dark…..well let’s just say it wasn’t expected. Hahaha. Now you’re in Pirate’s Land…the animatronics are so life like it’s crazy. Fun Fact: one time Johnny Depp made an appearance in the ride! So much attention to detail…one of the best rides you’ll experience at Disneyland. You should ride at least twice to see everything.
Blue Bayou Restaurant– we didn’t eat here, but I think this is probably the coolest restaurant in the park. It’s like you’re sitting outside in the bayou on a quiet summer night, as the boats from Pirates of the Caribbean float by. This is where you can try the Monte Cristo Sandwich. I wish I’d heard of this beforehand so I could have tried it. It’s ham, turkey and Swiss cheese that is battered and deep fried and served with a berry dipping sauce. What?????? If you don’t have time to sit and eat here, you can also order this sandwich at Café Orleans. And wash it down with an(alcohol free) mint julep. And for dessert? Mickey beignets – fried dough with icing on top? In the shape of Mickey’s head? Ok!
The shops here are pretty cool. There is one called Port Royal, featuring creepy spooky things with emphasis on the Nightmare Before Christmas and the Haunted Mansion.
Enjoy the feeling of being in the jungles of Africa, Asia or South America , far from civilization. Fun Fact: Walt wanted to use real animals but a zoologist told him that real animals would hide. So they settled on animatronic animals of course! It is a small area, with a few rides close in proximity.
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room – a 15 minute show with 150 exotic birds dancing and singing catchy tunes. It was the first attraction to feature animatronics. If you’re feeling tired from running around the park, this is a great place to relax and then “let’s all sing like the birdies sing”. Try getting these songs out of your head afterwards.
Outside of the Tiki room is the famous Dole stand that sells Dole Whip, which is basically like a creamy pineapple ice cream. You must try this one!
Jungle Cruise– board your tramp steamer and head into the jungles of Asia, Africa and South America. The ride is narrated by a cast member, so be prepared for ridiculously cheesy jokes. You’ll see all kinds of exotic animatronic animals on this journey. It’s a fun and easy ride for everyone!
Indiana Jones Adventure – based on the movies, enter into the eerie and dimly lit passageways to get to the start of the ride. Hop into the military troop transport(it is an enhanced motion vehicle that shakes and tilts). Past snakes and skulls, over a shaky bridge and finally the large boulder….will it crush you? Nothing too crazy or scary – really fun!
Fun story – I was waiting in the single rider line when the ride “broke down”(apparently the ride shuts down several times a day as the safety system is “sensitive”). While we waited for the outcome, I was talking to a guy and his daughter who were just ahead of me. They were super nice. I thought he looked familiar, and was certain he was an actor but I didn’t want to ask him. It was bugging me all night, and it finally dawned on me when I got back to the hotel…he’s pretty obscure unless you watch The Young And The Restless. It was Kristoff St. John, who has been on the show for decades. Sad update: Kristoff died February 3rd, 2019. RIP
Tarzan’s Treehouse – this one looked pretty basic and aimed at kids, so we skipped it
Bengal Barbeque – the main dish here is meat skewers. We had a big lunch so we came here for a quick dinner. The food was tasty, but terrible value. Too expensive for the small portions.
There are only a few options for food in this Land, and they are walk up stands. There are also a couple of shops to pick up your tropical and adventure themed stuff.
For more blogs, check out the original Dazzling Disneyland and reviews of the other “lands” of Disney!