Disneyland Just Got Happier

5

Johnny Jet asked me if I’d like to take my girls to check out the newest adventures at Disneyland and California Adventure. We jumped at the chance! I’m Allison Rainey, a mother of two young girls, ages 3 and 5. Formerly an elementary school teacher, I was excited to get the opportunity to get my “working mind” back, especially if it meant having fun and working at the same time. The journey began as we ditched Daddy on his way to work and we headed to Anaheim! I was a little nervous about conquering this alone, but we ended up having the time of our lives—staying out much too late, singing, dancing, and making memories to last a lifetime. Did Disneyland’s newest attractions stand up to the ultimate Rainey test? Read to find out…

2Mickey and the Magical Map
Just when you think it couldn’t get better, Disneyland just got happier! Come get lost in the newest story of “Mickey and the Magical Map,” now open in Fantasyland Theatre. Musical adventures, magical powers and special effects make this a show to remember. Join mischievous Mickey as he discovers the magic of a wondrous map, which spans the entire stage of the theatre. When Mickey tries to paint the unfinished spot on the map, it magically comes to life and takes him on musical adventures with some of our favorite Disney characters: King Louie, Pochahontas, Mulan, Tiana and Sebastian. This show reminds us of the importance of imagination and the power of being you.

We walked in expecting a great show and we sure got it. The big map was like nothing we’ve seen—technology meets live action.  Make sure you sit in the first five rows or so because streamers come down at the end and my girls really enjoyed that.

Additional information:
-This show is great for all ages.
-Five shows, approximately 20 minutes in length, will run daily this summer.

7Fantasy Faire
Love hearing a good fairy tale? The Royal Theatre will take you on a medieval storytelling adventure.  There are two vaudevillians narrating the stories through music, dance and humor. The princesses, Belle and Rapunzel, come as guests to help tell their stories. The Royal Theatre offers floor seating up close for the younger guests to enjoy. To top it off, after the show you can meet some favorite princesses in the Royal Hall.

My girls and I were completely entertained during this show. Even though you may know these stories word for word, the fresh way of presenting them makes them quite entertaining. I think I laughed more than my children. The shower of rose petals at the end brought another touch of Disney magic.

Additional information:
-Great for young and old alike.
-Theatre seats 300 with additional standing room around the perimeter.
-Two stories play throughout the day: Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel.
-Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Ariel are the princesses who will be available to meet in the Royal Hall. Your child will get to meet three of them.
-The Meet and Greet in the Royal Hall can be done whether or not you see the show.

10Newly expanded California Adventure
Want to walk in the steps of Walt Disney and see what life was like in Los Angeles in the 1920’s?  Head on over to Buena Vista Street in the newly expanded California Adventure!  The shops, costumes and architecture will transport you back in time.

The first things we noticed were the new Red Car Trolleys! My young children were excited to see Mickey waving to them as the trolley drove by. But I must say, we were most surprised when we heard Mickey’s voice! Yes, you see and HEAR him!  As the trolley drove by, we found ourselves singing along with the news boys, “California Here We Come!”

Additional information:
-There are two red trolleys that transport guests through Hollywood Land.
-They make several stops and operate daily. Each trolley seats 20 and has a space for a wheelchair.

12Disney Junior Live on Stage
Do you recognize this tune, “Disney Junior… where the magic begins?” If so, you must come see the latest show playing at Disney Junior Live on Stage!  This presentation is perfect for young children. My girls loved seeing Mickey, Sophia the First, Jake and Doc McStuffins up close. Interacting with the show kept the kids engaged—helping Sophia with her magic wand, dancing, singing and finally shouting out “Surprise!” at the end of the show. The fake snow, golds of bloom and bubbles raining down throughout the show make this show another magical moment!

Additional information:
-We waited in line for about thirty minutes to see this, but it was well worth the wait.
-TV monitors playing Disney Junior entertain your little ones as you wait to go inside.
-Seating on the floor creates an intimate, kid-friendly experience.
-Outside of the theatre at different times of the day you can see some of the Disney Junior Characters. We saw Jake and Handy Manny.
-I asked about Sophia the First and DocMcStuffins, but apparently these new characters aren’t out roaming the streets of California Adventure yet!

14Cars Land
Get your kicks on Route 66 and explore Cars Land, a three-dimensional recreation of the set of Radiator Springs. Come enjoy the newest attractions. Start off by trying the “tow-si-do” at Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. The tractors will swing you around the junkyard. Then speed over to Luigi’s Flying Tires, where you will get the sensation of floating on air. Finally, rev your way over to Radiator Springs Racers where you will zoom your way through Ornament Valley. The ride ends in a nose-to-nose race where racers never know which car will win!

My younger daughter wasn’t tall enough for Radiator Springs and was a little frightened on Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree (it whips you around pretty good). However, if you have adventurous kids who love cars, then this would be the place for you!

Additional Information:
-Radiator Springs is a FASTPASS attraction with a 40-inch height requirement.
-From what I heard and saw, it’s hard to get a FASTPASS for this ride.
-They go very quickly.
-The wait time when I was there was oven an hour!
-Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi’s Flying Tires minimum height requirement: 32 inches

Well, did the Disneyland Parks latest attractions pass the ultimate test? Yes! In fact, we’d like to go back!

 

Allison Rainey

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About the Author

Allison Rainey

Even at an early age, Allison Rainey knew that she would pursue a career in education. She spent 13 years as a dedicated, creative, and enthusiastic elementary school teacher. Then one December day, her identity instantly changed from “Mrs. Rainey” to “Mommy!” That was the beginning of her career as a stay at home mom. This latest life adventure has had many rewards: smiles on her girls’ faces, giggles in the other room, princess dance parties, and countless hugs and kisses. Recently she has started a YouTube channel with her family called Princess Detectives. It consists of two girls solving cases, traveling the world, telling jokes, and education videos.

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