We here at Disney Addicts wanted to devote a bit of time to celebrate one of the aspects about Disneyland that we love the most. While Walt Disney World with its four theme parks and 25 resorts certainly wins when it comes to size and variety, one of the areas where Disneyland clearly comes out tops is by making you feel that big dose of Disney nostalgia. It’s so easy to get swept away to days gone by and soak in that feeling that you are walking in Walt’s footsteps. And though much has changed since Walt spent his time at Disneyland, it is also amazing how much has stayed the same. That’s why squeezing in these much-loved original attractions is just as important as scoping out the latest offerings. With that in mind, we thought we’d highlight 5 of our favorite vintage Disneyland attractions.
1. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – One of Disneyland’s original rides from 1955, this classic should be a much do for Disney visitors young and old. Taking its inspiration from the “The Wind in the Willows” segment of “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad,” it’s one of a handful of “dark rides” found at Disney theme parks which shows sets painted with black-light and illuminated in ultraviolet light to immerse guests the re-telling of the story. It definitely has a nostalgic feel yet can still leave guests amazed at how something so simple can be so engaging. And though the original facade of the attraction received a major updating in the 1980’s the ride itself remains true to form.
2. Alice in Wonderland – Though this attraction was not one of the 1955 originals, it did open only a few years later in June of 1958 and still evokes that feeling of the Disneyland of days gone by. Guests jump on the back of a giant caterpillar before journeying into Wonderland and following the familiar story of Alice and friends. This ride is a bit of a leap up from Mr. Toad’s in offering 3-dimensional sets to convey the story. Another unique aspect of the ride is that guests are whisked outside mid-adventure on the two-story track. The ride did receive an update just a few years ago but still retains that wonderful vintage Disney feel.
3. Matterhorn Bobsleds – When you think about vintage Disneyland, it doesn’t get more iconic than Matterhorn. The ride has been a Disneyland staple since it opened in June of 1958. This vintage coaster ride takes guests on an Alpine adventure in a three-passenger bobsled car where you come face to face with the Abominable Snowman. Though the ride does still maintain its classic feel, it has also undergone a fair share of updates including one in 2015 when enhancements were made to lighting and special effects making the interaction with the Yeti a slightly more intense experience.
4. Disneyland Railroad – No other ride at Disneyland really makes you feel like you’re walking in Walt’s shadow than a trip on the iconic Disneyland Railroad. With so much focus on the newest and flashiest Disneyland attractions, the railroad often gets overlooked. But, if you take time out to hop aboard, it’s bound to put a smile on your face. Though much of the attraction still evokes that feeling of being one of the original 1955 classics, recent upgrades to the Rivers of American area of Disneyland has also meant new breathtaking views from a recently constructed trestle.
5. Jungle Cruise – Another original 1955 attraction, the Jungle Cruise definitely feels dated next to some of its more modern counterparts but it has definitely kept its sense of humor. The ride was originally based on Disney’s award-winning Adventure Films and was designed to be informative and educational. However, in the 1960’s Walt himself collaborated with animators to liven things up a bit and many of those elements will still have you laughing today!
These are just a few of the many vintage attractions you’ll find at Disneyland giving that rich sense of theme park history while filling your days with whimsy in the way that Walt intended. We hope that during you’re next visit you’ll take some time to enjoy these and other classic attractions!
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