If you watched television this week, you probably saw a commercial with Eli Manning making an exclamation similar to this title, with the notable exception that he was excited about going to (Walt) Disney World. However, when I read the recent leaked rumor that Disney California Adventure will be concluding the end of its massive overhaul with grand reopening events on June 14th and 15th, 2012, I found myself jumping out of my computer chair and screaming, “I’M GOING TO DISNEYLAND!” Despite a few weird looks from my dog for this spontaneous outburst, I’m really am this excited about touring Disneyland this summer!
Although there is also some exciting expansion taking place in Walt Disney World‘s Magic Kingdom, this year is definitely the year of Disneyland Resort. We know of many people planning their first trips out to Disneyland this summer, and I’m personally ecstatic about that. I think every Walt Disney World fan should take at least one trip out to Disneyland. (A “one time” visit will invariably turn into regular visits, as Disneyland is that impressive–that’s what happened to my wife and me!)
If you follow my various rambling around the internet, you know I’ve made it my personal crusade to convince people to visit Disneyland Resort in 2012. Disneyland is actually such a fun place that I consider this a public service. (So far I’ve performed hundreds of hours of community service this year thanks to this crusade!) Why should you visit in 2012? Here is my pitch from the perspective of Disneyland Resort’s new offerings:
Cars Land – This is the big draw. The single most expensive addition to Disney California Adventure is also rumored to be the most expensive addition to any existing Disney theme park ever. Whether that’s true is unknown, but given John Lasseter’s penchant for perfection and the epic scale and scope of this land, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if this land alone put the billion-dollar plus Disney California Adventure makeover project well over budget. Highlights include Radiator Springs Racers (an attraction that shares bloodlines with Test Track, but looks to be significantly more richly-themed), Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree (a modern-day spinning attraction in the spirit of the Mad Tea Party), and Luigi’s Flying Tires (a ‛floating’ attraction reminiscent of Disneyland’s classic Flying Saucers). In addition to these three attractions, there will be shops and restaurants, and some incredible theming and landscaping. I can’t wait to let my camera loose (figuratively, of course) in this highly photogenic new land!
Buena Vista Street – Although the only attraction on Buena Vista Street, Disney California Adventure’s version of Main Street, is the Red Car Trolley, this new land is exciting because it transforms an ostentatious and lackluster park entrance into something resembling Los Angeles when Walt Disney arrived there in the 1920s. Expect wonderful new shops and restaurants, and most importantly, an aesthetic that puts a smile on guests’ faces much like Main Street, USA in the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland! Although it might seem somewhat mundane, Buena Vista Street is actually the most exciting addition for me; I think it’s the make-or-break addition, as success here creates a great “opening scene” for Disney California Adventure, which will set the tone for the rest of the park. Plus, it will feature a beautiful statue of Walt and Mickey called “Storytellers,” which will be a companion statue to “Partners,” a statue in the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland (among other locations world-wide).
Mad T Party – Mad T Party is the newest nighttime street party to come to Disney California Adventure. For Disneyland regulars, this one is bittersweet. elecTRONica has been a blast, but it’s definitely a bit long in the tooth. Mad T Party seems intriguing, and time will tell whether it faithfully carries on the legacy of Glowfest and elecTRONica. I’m actually dreading this addition a bit, as it means I get dragged to yet another dance party by my wife. Me dancing is pretty much a train-wreck set to music.
Other 2012 Changes at Disneyland Resort – Some other additions coming this year also include: the Matterhorn reopening in plussed form this summer, Fantasy Faire being added to the Carnation Plaza Gardens, and Carnation Café’s expansion. Other new attractions and experiences have recently opened: Jolly Holiday Bakery, The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, Soundsational Parade, and new tags for World of Color, just to name a few things. These additions, of course, compliment the already stellar attraction lineup and wonderful dining options at Disneyland Resort!
Some of you are probably reading this, thinking that it all sounds great, but a trip to Disneyland is not in the cards because it’s too costly. This can be true, but is not necessarily true. There is little reason to stay in an on-site hotel at Disneyland (off-site hotels are much cheaper and often closer to the parks!), so the added costs in airfare can usually be recouped in hotel savings. There’s also little need to rent a car, as a cheap airport shuttle can take you from the airport to your hotel, and you can walk everywhere at Disneyland Resort due to its small footprint. It still may be more expensive for your family to visit Disneyland, but don’t dismiss it out of hand. It may actually be cheaper than you think! But I’m getting ahead of myself with all of this…
For now, if I’ve piqued your interest in Disneyland, that’s great! We’ll try to help you make your Disneyland trip as excellent as possible with a series of Disneyland trip planning blog posts in the coming weeks, and we also have an exciting Disneyland announcement coming very soon, so stay tuned!
Are you planning on taking a trip to Disneyland in 2012? If so, will it be your first trip or a return trip? What do you think about these additions to Disneyland? Want to see some come to Walt Disney World? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!